For years, I have been pampering my feet with oils. Every night before going to bed , I rub olive oil with a few drops of lavender into the bottoms of my feet. This leaves my feet feeling smooth and soft.
In addition, when taking a shower, I make sure to rub my feet with a pumice stone to get rid of any rough spots.
Taking care of your feet is not just about wearing proper shoes and exercising your feet, but also about how you nourish your skin.
How to Make Massage Oil for Your Feet:
Find a glass bottle that closes securely as olive oil can stain clothing.
Pour olive oil into it (it can be plain olive oil, no need for extra virgin).
Add a few drops of your favorite essential oils into the oil (I love lavender from Young Living as it promotes relaxation).
Massage is a wonderful way to awaken the feet by releasing fascia (connective tissue that stabilizes and encloses muscles) and increasing blood flow. This also allows for you to loosen up places of tension caused by improper alignment and overuse of certain muscles groups.
Using a golf ball is a great way to massage the feet. However, if you suffer from lots of pain in your feet, you may want massage your feet with a tennis ball instead. As your feet start to open up more, then you can use a golf ball.
When using a golf ball, you can add more or less pressure by placing more or less of your weight onto the ball. Remember to listen to your body as you go and honor the places of tension.
Below is a video where I share some golf ball rolling massage techniques as developed by the MELT Method.
Massage Your Feet With a Golf Ball – fast forward to minute 8
Today’s Healthy Feet Tip is a little tricky because a person’s toes often reside in places that are considered properly aligned. Consider bunions for a moment. When a bunion forms, it pulls the big toe over (toward the pinkie toe). This movement brings the big toe out of proper alignment.
So when we talk about walking with our toes forward or keeping our feet parallel (Healthy Feet Tip #7), you really need to look beyond the toes toward the outer edges of your feet. When you get the outer edge of the foot in, it will bring the toes forward, which will allow you to walk with the toes truly forward in correct alignment.
How do you align the outer edge of your foot? You start by drawing a line from the little bone at the base of your pinkie back toward your ankle. Then you draw a line from the outside of your ankle straight down. Where these two points intersect is where you need to place your heel. Check out the image below. My heels actually need to turn out more to bring my feet into proper alignment. It may look like my toes are forward, but they really aren’t.
This is a difficult healthy foot tip. It is one I have been working on for the last three years, basically since I became a Healthy Foot Practitioner. This tip takes patience and perseverance.
The video below shares in more detail how to align the feet properly. I shared this information recently to over 100 people who are going through the Master Holy Yoga Instructor Training.
Notice the position of your feet at various times during the day. When you look at them, are they parallel? Or are both feet turned out? Or one foot turned out? Are the legs parallel or do you stand with a hip popped out?
Awareness is the first step is correcting foot alignment. Don’t try to correct anything just yet; just notice your natural habits.
Here is what we found in my household when looking at the alignment of our feet.
Notice how my hip is popped out to create a “shelf” to hold my daughter. In creating this type of “shelf,” it requires me to shift my hips and alter the alignment of my feet (see how one foot turns out to keep me balanced).
Notice how my feet are not pelvic-distance apart. My feet are actually too close together. Women commonly stand like this (with feet too close together); this is one reason why women are more prone to get osteoporosis. When you stand with you feet too close together, it does not allow for the bones of the legs to stack properly, thus resulting in the bones not getting adequate stimulate to promote bone growth and strength.
This is one of my children. Notice how both toes turn out, but the left (your right) turns out even more. The front of the foot is actually pelvic-distance apart, but the heels are not at all. To correct this stance, my child would need to turn her heels out.
The ultimate goal of healthy feet is to be able to walk barefoot every day all day long with no pain or discomfort. However, that is not reality for most people. If you have been wearing shoes every day for years and transition immediately to being barefoot, you will experience many negative side effects of this transition. Moving to being primarily barefoot requires you to train your feet, just as you would train your body for running a marathon.
Walking barefoot in your yard is one way that you can start to train your body to be barefoot. Start slowly if you are new to being barefoot. As your feet start to adapt, start to be barefoot more and more.
This will also help you in transitioning into minimalist shoes as well.
We have cardio classes to exercise the heart. We have abs/core classes to exercise our midsections. We have weights classes to build strong arms and legs. We have Pilates classes to build flexibility and core strength. Have any of you ever attended a foot class to strengthen your feet?
Our feet are one of the most important areas of our body. The feet contain 26 bones, which are a quarter of the bones in the entire body. They also have 33 joints and 100 muscles. Now compare that to your arm which has only three muscles.
The feet play a vital role in our ability to live life. They are what get us from point A to point B. They also help us ride bikes, walk, drive a car, swim, dance, etc.
Today’s tip for creating healthy feet is to exercise your feet on a daily basis.
The following video blogs will provide you with exercises to assist you on your way to building stronger and healthier feet. You don’t need to do all of these exercises in one day; pick 2-3 each day and then rotate through them during the week.
Today we are going to take a look at the natural structure of our feet in comparison to the structure of our shoes. Often, we are placing our feet into shoes that alter their natural shape. When this occurs, it causes foot-related problems such as bunions, plantar fasciitis and Morton’s Neuroma.
Step 1: Grab two pieces of paper.
Step 2. Place each foot on the paper and trace them.
Step 3: Cut out your feet tracings.
Step 4: Place your shoes on the appropriate shoe cut out and compare your “natural” foot to the shape of the shoe.
Step 5: Consider how your shoes may be contributing to your foot related problems.
Note: notice how the only shoes that don’t pull by big toe out of alignment are Kigos.
In full disclosure, I do have an affiliate with Kigos but only because I really really like their shoes and have been telling everyone about how great they are for the last two years. Plus, all affiliate resources help to keep this blog running and support organizations like Sole Hope which provides hope and healing to people with foot-related diseases in Uganda.
Today’s Healthy Feet Tip is one that not many people like to hear because people love flip flops. I understand that flips flops are easy to slip on and great for warm weather and the beach however wearing flip flops has significant negative effects on the health of the feet.
Katy Bowman does a great job of explaining how flip flops cause the feet to grip with each step. This gripping action causes tiny fractures of the feet thus setting yourself up for several foot related foot problems/issues, like bunions. Read more about How Flip Flops Change Your Feet to learn more.
Adding a strap around the heel can change the negative effects of flip flops on the feet.
On a recent visit to Target, I saw that they had several flip flops for children with straps around the heel for a very reasonable price. The flip flops featured below are from Sanuk, which I just purchased for my son.
Last year, I got these cute sandals for myself from Target. The only draw back is they have a slight heel lift.
However, my favorite sandals to wear are Gladsoles. These shoes are handmade to fit exactly to the shape of your feet. When purchasing these shoes you have to trace your feet before they can make them. This allows your feet to truly be in its natural form as you wear them. Use the coupon code of healthyfeet to get 15% a pair of Gladsoles.
Today’s healthy feet tip in honor of National Foot Health Awareness month is, spread your toes several times a day.
Our shoe choices often limit our ability to spread our toes. When the toes are crunched it causes the muscles that pull the feet together to become stiff and tight and the muscles that pull our toes apart to become week.
One of the biggest benefits of toe spreading is impact it has on minimizing and/or preventing the development of bunions. If you have bunions, this is a great video that explains why bunions form and how spreading the toes can minimize them.
How do you spread your toes?
1. Use the muscles of your feet to move each toe away from one another.
2. Place your fingers in between your toes. Start with the tips of your fingers. As the feet loosen up start to place more of your fingers in between your toes. For maximum benefit, place your fingers in between your toes and then spread your fingers.
3. Use alignment socks to spread your toes. I personally get my alignment socks from The Original Foot Alignment Socks. When you first start using these socks you want to start slowly. Simply wear them for about 30 minutes the first time. Then gradually increase the time each day. Eventually working up to being able to wear them overnight.
Note: I have no affiliation with The Original Foot Alignment Socks, I just love their product.
April is National Foot Health Awareness Month, so throughout the month I will be sharing tips on how to create or maintain healthy feet.
Healthy Feet Tip #1 is don’t wear shoes in your home, that includes slippers as well. Allow your feet to move freely while at home. Taking off your socks will bring even greater benefit to the health of your feet, so slip those off too if possible.
Having your feet be barefoot allows for freedom in the toes, bones, muscles, ligaments and skin. This freedom is crucial for balance, proprioception (how your body sense where you are) and arthritis.
Note: if you always wear something on your feet when at home, you might want to start out slowly. Simply allow your feet to be barefoot in your home for an hour and then gradually increase the time being barefoot.