Toot, Toot Tootsie Pain, Goodbye!

Techniques to relieve sore feet and ankles, can help your back and shoulders, too.

From My Table, by Colleen's Contributor, Diane Gornell

Lately I’ve been paying more attention to my feet and ankles. In Shiatsu/Acupressure theory, what affects one part of the body affects the opposite part, i.e., top/head-bottom/feet, left side-right side. Spending too much time on the computer causes me neck and shoulder tension. So now I’m stretching my feet and ankles and observing if there’s any feedback to my neck and shoulders.

Here’s an easy routine you can do anywhere, standing or sitting. Gently rotate your ankle to the right, starting out with small circles. With the same foot, repeat to the left. As you feel your ankle loosen, increase the size of the circle. Notice where the smoothness of the movement seems to be catching or sticking.

Do the same movements with your other foot.

Go back to your first foot and point your toes, followed by the opposite movement, toes toward the knees. As with the ankle rotations, start with smaller movements and as your feel your ankle loosen, see if you can gently increase the range of motion. You will feel the muscles on the back of your calf stretching as your bring your toes toward the knee.

If you have a tennis ball or golf ball, take a seat and rest the bottom of your foot on the ball and roll the ball back and forth, side to side with your foot. Slowly increase the pressure you’re applying to the ball to find out your comfort level. Switch and repeat on the other foot.

Reflexology massage identifies areas on the bottom of the foot that can affect the wellbeing of other parts of your body. By using a ball to massage the bottom of your foot, you’re impacting these points.

This routine is especially good if you regularly wear high heels, do a lot of standing, walking or running. Some people also find it helpful to soak their feet and then stretch.  And remember, always use gentle movements and pay attention to how your body is responding. None of these movements should cause any pain or discomfort.

Keep your tootsies comfortable, and keep your body in balance.

Image: photostock / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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