Did you know that nearly half of all the sensory information transmitted to your brain originates in your feet? With this vast amount of stimuli, the feet-to-brain relationship leads to dynamic things such as stability, strength, safety, focus, and clarity about where we are in space–all-important to provide calm, certainty, and security throughout our lives.
When it comes to achieving your mind-body balance it’s important to recognize your feet are a vital cornerstone to total well being.
Footwear is a great protectorate when we are navigating all of the potentially dangerous terrains and conditions. However, with our feet always covered and encased in shoes and socks, the brain loses touch with sensory stimulation from our feet.
Try spending time barefoot to improve the feet-mind connection.
When we are barefoot, we receive a massive amount of sensory feedback from our feet. We receive increased information from the foot about its position in space, the texture of the ground and muscle tension. Being barefoot sharpens the homunculus area in the brain and lays the foundation for better balance and improved motor control through the increased information intake and subsequent brain growth.
The brain, just like muscles, bones and connective tissue operates on the “use it or lose it” principle. Meaning, if an area of the brain is not stimulated it will atrophy, weaken and shrink. Conversely, if an area of the brain is stimulated regularly and used routinely, it can grow in both size and in the number of neuronal connections.
The freedom of going barefoot allows the intrinsic muscles of your feet to strengthen and the many motor and sensory functions of the feet to become restored. Plus–a sandy beach, or a manicured lawn–can feel awesome!
With time and practice, your feet will become strong, more mobile, and increasingly capable of delivering the information you need to feel strong, calm, and in control of your life.
Feel the soles of your feet against the ground. Feel the textures and contours of the ground. Feel the weight of your body against them. Sense the balance of your body in space—yes, on your own two feet!
When it comes to your health, stress can lead to a multitude of physical ailments. Long term anxiety can lead to an overload of the cortisol steroid hormone which can weaken the system immune system and impact your general health. Over-eating, for example, will stress your body and possibly cause the onset of diabetes, which in turn can cause your feet to suffer. And without your feet functioning and healthy your daily life will become a burdensome endeavor.
Aging problems in the body can show up in the feet. Diabetes is a huge one, then there’s nerve damage such as peripheral neuropathy and circulatory decline called Peripheral Arterial Disease, arthritis, swelling, toenail, and arch problems to name a few. Overall, its active prevention that will help ward off foot conditions, and other general health ailments, from arising.
Here are a few more practices to help you meld body and mind through foot awareness.
A great foot massage or reflexive conditioning will leave your feet and spirit freshly refurbished. When you have an expert who has mastered these massage techniques treat you it’s a good remedy for total well-being beyond your feet.
Foot reflexology is a type of science based on the idea that there are “zones” or reflex areas on feet that correspond with all of the glands, organs, parts, and systems found inside or on the body.
According to the idea of reflexology, applying pressure to these points using specific thumb, finger and hand techniques results in a reduction of stress in the body.
Check this link to learn more about foot reflexology at http://www.beyondtalk.net/what-is-foot-reflexology/
A simple foot massage can offer a surprising number of health benefits like relaxation, stress relief, improved circulation, better sleep and pain relief.
Go to this link and learn about how to give a foot massage which will also enable you to know how to get a great one as well! at: https://www.verywellhealth.com/how-to-give-a-foot-massage-1337810
Foot Yoga Poses
Yoga offers a wealth of benefits and your feet can be part of an overall wellness routine. Plantar fasciitis and heel pain are two of the most common foot ailments that yoga can help guard against.
Standing poses of yoga can help build a solid and stable foundation in the feet, while the yoga stretches can relieve tightened muscles, ligaments and tendons.
Visit this link to learn about six step-by-step foot poses with instructions: https://www.yogauonline.com/yoga-for-pain-relief/6-yoga-poses-for-achy-feet
Plus, learn all about the universal meditation posture at https://www.yogajournal.com/meditation/everything-need-know-meditation-posture
- Wearing shoes that have good arch and footbed support and are not too tight is a big factor in keeping your feet healthy.
- Utilizing well-designed orthotics/insoles gives your feet added support and comfort.
- Daily foot hygiene: cleaning with attention to details of your feet
- Nail care: proper trimming (straight across the nail) and checking for cuticle damage
Peace and serenity can be elusive, but the more you are aware and practice good health rituals–especially for your feet–you can achieve a more sound body-mind connection. Happy, strong feet can bring immense pleasure by virtue of their daily function (carrying you through all your activities and travels), and when you engage exercise, foot reflexology or yoga.
Learn more here about How our feet calm our minds: hypofrontality and optimal performance.