Foot Problems and how Proper Alignment can help

Bunions: occur when the big toe bone is misaligned, which can lead to extra bone growth or the growth of the fluid-filled sac at the base of the toe. Bunions can cause redness, swelling, calluses and corns, soreness, and/or pain. Conventional treatment involves avoiding tight, pointed shoes, or accommodating the bunion with felt padding, or by cutting out a hole in the shoe. In severe cases, surgery is required, in the form of a bunionectomy. **One cause of bunions is inappropriate weight distribution, with poor posture forcing too much of your weight onto the front inner part of the foot. Proper leg and foot alignment that reduces excessive weight over the bunion area can help prevent and even treat bunions.

BeanshapingfeetCalluses and Corns: consist of thick, hardened skin appearing on the feet (or occasionally hands) as a result of pressure or friction. They may provide useful information about where the weight of your body is falling over the feet. You may reduce the discomfort with corn plasters, orthotics, or even by getting the callus or corn scraped off. ** By adjusting the pattern of weight distribution on the feet. This will not only help prevent calluses and corns, but may also help prevent or address other musculo-skeletal problems.

Flat Feet: occur when your foot loses its arch. Normally, they are treated with various orthotics, wedges or arch supports. In other words, under the traditional approach, you are encouraged to find ways to live with the condition. **Rather than adapting to your flat feet, you can work towards altering problematic foot structure. By redistributing most of your body weight over their heels rather than over the front of your feet, strengthening critical muscles in the feet, and walking in a way that builds up muscles in the foot arch. Insoles can help and can be easily upgraded as the foot structure improves.

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Morton’s Neuroma: is the result of a pinched nerve in the foot, causing a tissue buildup (called a neuroma) around the nerve. Pain is often felt between the third and fourth toes of the foot. Wide shoes, foot padding, oral medications, and cortisone injections may help. Surgery to remove the neuroma is occasionally recommended.**The body is designed to build up bone and other tissue where there is continual stress. In the case of Morton’s Neuroma, this build-up is unhappily adjacent to a nerve, and therefore causes significant pain. A solution is to relieve stress on that portion of the foot when standing and walking – learning to carry your weight mainly over the heels, which are the sturdiest parts of the feet, rather than over the more delicate balls and arches.

Plantar Fasciitis: is inflammation of the thick tissue bridging the arches on the bottom of the feet. The plantar fascia has limited elasticity and is not constructed to take a significant portion of the body’s weight. If it is overstretched it can become inflamed or even torn. People carrying excess weight and pregnant women are especially at risk of the inflammation, which can cause severe heel pain. This may be especially notable after exercising or when you get out of bed in the morning. The pain is usually mild at first, but increases over time if left untreated. Rest, cold therapy, pain relievers (NSAIDS), orthotics, and stretching exercises may help. If they don’t, your doctor may prescribe injections of corticosteroids, or in rare cases, surgery.**When we evolved from being Quadra pedal to bipedal, the foot changed significantly. We developed a much sturdier heel bone. The bones in the front of our feet are relatively delicate. The heel bone is constructed for weight bearing. We are designed to stand with our weight primarily on our heels.

Exercises to strengthen the foot: 1. Grab the Towel- Put a hand towel on the floor using just your foot, gather the towel under your foot using toes and arches. 2. Grab the Ball. Place a small ball on the floor. (25mm or so) Try to grab the ball with one foot. You may initially only be able to grab it with your toes. As your arches grow stronger you may be able to grab the ball under your transverse arch. You can then move to larger balls.

Information From: “8 Steps to a Pain-free Back” By Esther Gokhale & http://gokhalemethod.com   

Contributed by Michelle Ball- Gokhale Method Teacher                              Ph: 0428 223 271     Email: michelle@gokhalemethod.com

 

Long Flights – Staying healthy, getting comfortable and keeping your back in tact.

I just returned to Australia from Hawaii on a 10 1/2 hour flight. I was fortunate to have secured an isle seat. This works well as it allows me to get up easily to stretch and move around often without disturbing the people sitting next to me. In case you haven’t heard, movement on airplanes is recommended to prevent blood clots in the legs known as Deep Vein Thrombosis. “Motion is Lotion.” Sitting for long stretches on a plane or anywhere can reek havoc. Some statics on the subject of sitting for long stretches of time: As soon as you sit down electrical activity in the leg muscles shuts off; Calorie burning drops to 1 per minute; Enzymes that break down fat drop 90% and after 2 hours Good cholesterol drops by 20%. So the message here is MOVE and stay healthy whether on a plane, at a desk or watching TV. Stand up as often as every 20 minutes to keep things circulating. Increased circulation increases your bodies healing power.

The next thing I concern myself with on any flight is getting comfortable without doing my back in. I had just finished an intensive training on Posture with Esther Gokhale, the author of “8 Steps to a Pain-Free Back.” So I had my “Stretchsit” cushion placed on the back of my seat about mid back to support my posture and give my back a nice stretch for the long hall. This is a little miracle device that allows you to stick yourself to the seat back and put yourself into a gentle form of traction. You can also use a blanket or a jacket behind your mid back for the same effect. Unlike a lumbar support cushion, this method elongates rather than compresses your low back, giving you the natural, healthy spinal shape shared by children, athletes and people in traditional societies the world over. No more compression, no more pain. You can sit your way to a pain-free back!StretchsitcushionUntitled-1

On this particular flight, I was sitting in the middle section of a full flight. There were two young girls sitting next to me and a young couple in front of me. They were all wiggling about during the flight trying to find a way to get some rest and feel comfortable. They would go from slumping to contorting their bodies sideways, pulling their legs up and sort of getting into a fetal position. I was happy to sit up-right and relaxed for most of the trip as the cushion made it comfortable. Although when I did want to rest, I put the tray table down, hinged forward from my hips, placed my elbows on the tray with my hands on either side of my head allowing my chin to rest in my palms. I then rested my head against the seat in front of me using my jumper against the seat to add a bit more comfort. I was relaxed and very much at ease… However, the girl in front of me kept moving and jiggling the seat that I was leaning on. She was so desperate to get comfortable, she couldn’t sit still. I was relaxed enough to go with this movement. But I felt bad for her. I dozed off and upon waking from my little rest noticed her partner was mimicking me using his neck pillow against the seat in front of him. He looked very comfortable. I was happy to be able to influence at least one person. I wanted to get up and share this information with everyone on the plane! Maybe next time. I felt great after the flight no stiffness or pain… I hope this helps you on your next long trip!

Contributed By: Michelle “Mickie” Ball 0428223271 – Aloha Dreaming Massage & Gokhale Method Teacher  Email: michelle@gokhalemethod.com

(www.gokhalemethod.com)

Body Language

I have just returned from Melbourne where I did the Foundation Course for the Gokhale Method on Posture. It was a fantastic weekend of learning about primal posture and carrying one’s self in a way that is intrinsically well positioned and balanced. I was told that by working with this method you can make yourself a 1/2 an inch taller. Even though that is not why I did it. I found that to be very interesting. Making one-self taller. It led me to the thought of Body Language and how we carry ourselves. I am always talking about how the mind affects the body. But how can the body affect our minds…

I will ask you to audit your body right now. How are you sitting, standing or lying while you are reading this? Are you sitting cross legged, are you standing slightly slouched or lying in a position that causes you body to hunch?

I ask this because we are always watching how other people around us carry themselves. What is a person’s body language saying about them? What is yours saying about you?  Is someone going to think positively or negatively about us based on our non-verbal communication?

How do we judge others by their non verbals? How do they judge us? Interesting food for thought! But an even more interesting idea is, how does our own non verbal body language influence us?

Well here’s what I’m talking about. Take for instance, you win at something. Say you win a race! You cross over that finish line and throw both your arms up in the air! This is a natural sign of victory, a sign of power! It’s all about expanding. Making yourself bigger in some way. Head up & proud. When you feel powerful overall you have the tendency to expand.

Does the same hold true for a situation where we are feeling powerless.  Are we walking down the street with our arms up in a victory dance or are we shuffling along head down perhaps making ourselves small and less visible. Most people when they are feeling powerless have a tendency to close up, make themselves smaller and less expansive.

So this is where I’m going with this. We are influenced by non verbal like body language. Our thoughts, our feelings and our physiology are all affected. So if you wish to feel more powerful and confident. How about unfolding your arms from around your waist. Try standing up a bit taller or really expand yourself in a pose that makes you feel invincible. The “Wonder Woman or Superman”pose. Hands on your hips feet spread wide. Even if you only do it in your own home. Posing like this actually causes hormonal changes in the body that can raise your confidence and self esteem just by holding them for a few minutes. This is about you telling yourself non verbally that you are powerful. It has been proven to actually raise the good hormones and reduce cortisol or stress hormones. When we actually walk taller or expand into a power pose, we can trick ourselves into becoming more confident, passionate, enthusiastic and more powerful. Actually we become more of who we authentically really are. Our bodies can change our minds….and our minds can change our behavior, and our outcomes.

Photo: Walking tall using the Glide Walking Technique from Gokhale Method Posture Training

Glide Walking

This article was based on a speech given by Amy Cuddy at a TED talk. It is very inspirational. You can find it at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ks-_Mh1QhMc