Feet are the beginning of great posture and easy movement. Happy feet make a happy body. Are your feet happy?
If you have tired achy feet at the end of your day the answer is probably no. If you have arch pain, heel pain, or toe pain, the answer is certainly no. But what if you have zero pain in your feet and ankles? Happy feet?
To answer this question consider the joints and muscles upstream. If you have complaints about your knees, hips, and lower back, then you can bet you have feet that are causing those problems or being compromised by them. Either way, feet must literally bear the burden of the whole body.
A very enlightening exercise is to take a walk on the carpet with your wet feet after a nice shower. Are your footprints clearly formed? Do they point forward? If not are they at least not-forward symmetrically? Probably not. And the difference between one foot and the other will probably also show on the soles of your favorite shoes.
Some people endure the stress on their feet very well (although often at the expense of another joint), and for others, problems will develop. Rolfing solves these problems by improving your body’s alignment on the assumption that if the parts move normally they will feel normal. After all, everybody has one, so why does yours hurt?
Here is a shortlist of common foot problems Rolfing can help resolve:
Plantar fasciitis – an “itis” is always inflammation. In this case inflammation of the plantar fascia on the bottom of the foot. It acts similar to the string on a bow and arrow, in that it helps keep the integrity of the arches of the foot. Do you know how many arches a foot has?
Bunions – inflammation and possibly enlargement of the bones in the metatarsophalangeal joint (the big toe). Structural causes are compressed tarsals which are typically too high and rotated metatarsal and phalanx bones.
Fallen arch – a “flat” foot without the joyful contours of a typical footprint. Caused by transferring weight across the foot in places that the arches cannot support. Fixable by proper orientation of the leg (especially below the knee where the muscles that create the lateral and medial arches begin).
High Arches – tarsal bones pressed together and lifted. Often comes with hammertoes. Causes can be hypertonic muscles of the lower leg, thickened ligaments on top of the foot, and often a forward-leaning or hunching position in the torso.
Consider that there may be a perfect way for your personal body to stand and move. One perfect way. And most ways are not that. If your structure moves the way it is supposed to, it will feel the way it is supposed to.
Rolfing addresses these issues in the context of the structure rather than chemistry. Rolfing is rightly classified within the family of manual medicine along with Osteopathy, Chiropractic, Cranio-Sacral, and many other fantastic health systems.