Massage Continuing Education: Happy Feet

Generally we have no appreciation for our feet and tend to ignore them for many years, until they decide they need some attention and rudely let us know. We force them to put up with poorly fitted shoes, stand on hard surfaces for hours on end, walk further than they appreciate and then get upset when they object. If they are lucky they are briefly rubbed before the next onslaught of torture. The thought of getting rid of our favorite, worn out shoes is not acceptable, but the problem is that those shoes amplify our poor movement habits and exacerbate any foot issues.

Our feet are a complex marvel in their design and deserve some respect. In a typical day they endure a cumulative force of several 100 tons!

There are 28 bones, 33 joints in the foot and over 100 ligaments that bind them all together. 20 intrinsic muscles operate the finer motions in the foot, which sadly often lose power, due to constantly being encased in shoes and not challenged. The larger muscles of the lower leg take over and imbalances emerge.

Many people develop foot problems from injuries and trauma, so may have structural issues but can still obtain great benefit from constructive attention and movement. The goods news is that there are many excellent therapies available to assist in re-awakening and re-balancing the feet. Knowledge is power. Give your feet some well deserved attention and they will be much happier.

Ingrid Musson, LMT, PT and certified fitness trainer has a private practice in Port Townsend, Washington State where she works as a massage/Feldenkrais practitioner and fitness trainer.