It has always been incredible to me how much massage clients enjoy foot massage. Yet most therapists know very little about the detailed anatomy of the foot! And mostly they use general massage techniques! It brings a whole new level of pleasure, service, and benefit to your work as a therapist to really understand and know how to work with the feet!
The feet have six layers – fascia, 4 muscle layers, and ligament.
When we walk on them, these layers all get “impacted” one upon another. Over time these layers of muscle and fascia get stuck together, not sliding over each other as they are supposed to. Then the foot loses its critical capacity to absorb the shock of walking. When the foot loses that capacity, too much of the impact from walking and running, passes up to the lower leg, knee, hip and the many structures above them that depend on their functioning well for total body health.
There are 206 bones in the body – 52 of them are in the feet! It shouldn’t take much more to remind us that our feet do us an incredibly complex and essential service. It’s amazing that these two marvelously engineered structures can support our entire weight without being crushed or giving way. It’s little short of miraculous that they also constantly balance out the infinite varieties of motion going on in the body above them.
Let’s just take a look at the arches of the foot. First, please note that arches are not things; arching is something the muscles and bones of the foot cooperate in doing. As the muscles of the foot contract, they bow the arch, much as tightening a bowstring increases the curve of the bow. The muscles on the underside of the foot are the bowstrings which bend the arch and our body is the arrow which the foot propels up and forward.
The most true-to-life visualization of the foot and its arching is of a 3-poled geodesic dome tent. In the tent, as in the foot, the lift and balance is essentially provided by tension in soft tissues. But the foot is a tent that also can move of its own accord. Moreover, the foot is a tent moving of its own accord which just happens to also be the base of a geodesic Eiffel Tower which is the rest of your body, itself moving and gyrating around on its own.
Now is this not a miracle indeed?!
My workshop – Heel and Sole – coming up on September 28 will give you all the knowledge and skills to make an incredible difference in the life of the foot and the person who depends on them for their every step in life. CLICK HERE to register today!