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sole searching: top tips for you and your feet

You don't need to know the names of the 26 bones, 33 joints, and more than 100 muscles, tendons and ligaments to get to know your feet. A little more insight teamed with creative curiosity will improve not only your ability to care for your feet themselves, but also to work with them to enhance your movement practice, the way you stand and walk, and even the way you take care of your knees, hips and spine.



Here are my TOP FIVE TIPS for you to explore.


1. TRACING THE TERRAIN

Find an anatomical picture of the bones, and after your next shower or bath use a little lotion or oil to consciously massage each foot whilst mapping the bones, joints, arches and ankles. Get to know the shapes of the bones and the kinds of movement you feel between them. If you don't have access to one, try an image search, or take a look at my Pinterest Board.



2. HEEL FOOT, ANKLE FOOT

This can follow on from your tracing or foot massage. Reflect on the relationship of the heel bone to the fourth and fifth toe side of your foot; and the relationship of your ankle to the big, second and third toe side of your foot. Trace or massage each to sense them as two co-existing structures - essentially two feet in one!



3. WIGGLE

Remind yourself that your foot is a collective of structures and if they live together in the confines of shoes (of any kind) for most of the day, they will be longing to find their own space when they get the chance. Remember playtime at school? Whether you loved lessons or not, you probably felt the relief of free play. And, don't forget to wiggle your feet inside your shoes too.



FIND ALL OF YOUR ANKLE BONE

It may seem to be just that bumpy bit on the outside of your foot, but if you trace the bone fully, you'll find you have to keep going, going, going! It's really the distal end of one of your shin bones, the fibula (one of my favourite bones). The fibula has a beautiful relationship with the neighbouring tibia (the shin bone proper) in forming the arch of your ankle joint. If you gently pinch your fibula you should be able to feel how it rotates as you flex and point your foot. BEWARE - you can blow your mind trying to track the movement of each fibula as they move when you're wallking!


PUT YOUR FEET UP

For most of us, the feet are in service all day long, moving us through the world and standing on our bit of the Earth. Get your feet up once a day (it doesn't have to be up the wall viparita karani style). Elevating your feet is great for so many of our body systems because this organisation of the body switches up the parasympathetic activity i.e. we usually start to REST, and we all need more of that for our physical, mental and emotional health.



If you'd like to explore your connection to your feet further, make sure your on the email list where I share more somatic practices and extracts from my journaling project Body Stories.


Thank you for reading. Let me know if you enjoyed.

Beverley

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