April 08, 2016 –
PBP Nation – The human foot has 26 bones, 33 joints, 107 ligaments, along with 19 muscles and tendons. The 52 bones in your feet make up about 25 percent of all the bones in your body. The way you treat and use your feet can have a direct impact on the knees, hips and back which ultimately can impact the overall health of the body.
At birth, the thinnest part of the foot is the heel and the widest part of the foot are the toes. This is the natural and healthiest foot shape. This is how feet are designed, in order to absorb all the impact of the human body. Baby shoes are constructed to fit the natural foot shape, but most shoes afterwards do not.
The majority of modern footwear is narrow with small toe boxes (the area of the shoe reserved for the toes). This creates an obstacle of fitting the foot to the shoe, not the other way around. Due to this, the foot structure can be subject to malformation (think bunions). Notice in the picture below, the shape of the toes after wearing modern shoes. The largest part of the foot now becomes the pad of the foot with the toes smooshed together.
On Tuesday, April 5, 2016, Cat McMahon a professional yoga instructor provided this information along with body mechanics and reasons to care about your feet at the “Healthy Feet for a Healthier You” course sponsored by the PBPN Diabetes Program. McMahon demonstrated finding the body’s natural alignment and simple stretches and exercises for greater foot health during the 90 minute course attended by approximately 20 community members. Each participant received a free set of yoga therapy massage balls which were used during the session.
McMahon has been teaching Yoga for 17 years and practicing for 21 years. She teaches Yoga and anatomy in a way that is not only informative but also fun. Her current focus is on how to enable every body type to move more and stretch often. Cat currently teaches on the reservation two days a week, Tuesdays from 4:45 to 6:15 pm and Wednesdays, from noon to 1 pm in the PBP Health Center Training Room.
More information and tips regarding feet and health care:
- Limit standing on cement or other hard flat surfaces for extended periods of time, feet prefer walking on natural and varied terrains.
- The best shoes, when possible, are no shoes at all. Give your feet a break and your toes a chance to stretch out.
- Walking is one of the best forms of exercise for the human body in terms of impact/wear and tear on body and the health benefits received.
- For optimal alignment, your ears should align with shoulders, shoulders should align with hips, and hips should align with ankles, and the big toe should point forward.
- Visit nutritiousmovement.com or read works by Katy Bowman
- Visit alignmentmonkey.nurturance.net or read works by Barbara Loomis