Overview/Abstract:

In this free guide to holistic foot massage and practical foot care techniques, you will explore why healthy feet hold the key to vibrant health. You will also discover wonderful and refreshing foot massage practices including foot reflexology and foot baths. You will find that extraordinary access to health and vitality is available simply by placing attention upon your feet!

Structural Foot Balancing Foot Massage: Putting Your Feet First

by Patricia Cramer

“When you are in touch with your feet, then you are on the ground.”–Buddha

When was the last time that you really looked at your feet? I mean, really looked at them closely and told yourself the facts about what you observed.

And when you did this, what stories did you tell yourself about your feet, your toes, and your ankles? Listening to our answers to these questions is enormously helpful because what we say to ourselves about our feet, or any part of our body, has a profound influence upon our health.

Awareness of our thoughts about our feet is especially important because our feet mirror and reflect everything else in our physical systems: from organs to glands. As we become aware of our feet, we open an extraordinary window to our health and well-being. As we care for our feet, we care for our whole body. Yet despite the vital importance that our feet hold for our general health, feet have become one of the most ignored parts of our bodies.

Indeed, very few people are aware of the majority of sensations they experience in their feet. This lack of awareness leads to circulatory problems, skeletal distortions and many painful foot and general health conditions.

The good news is that simply by beginning to consciously look at our feet and examine what’s going on down there, new worlds of self-discovery and recovery become available:

  • Circulation is restored
  • Arches self-repair
  • Meridians reawaken
  • Sleep deepens
  • Legs, knees, and hips realign
  • Toes reshape themselves
  • Feet become beautiful again

In related articles I have discussed in depth the significant role that language and thought plays in promoting health. I encourage you to read The Language of Healing: the Power of Words to learn more about the importance of language in foot care. For this article, our special focus will be upon:

  • looking at new and freeing ways of thinking about our feet.
  • discussing approaches to enhancing foot awareness.
  • describing some very fun, easy and luxurious ways of enjoying and healing our feet through foot massage and other pleasurable foot care techniques.

It is my intention that as a result of your reading this article, you will gain new appreciation for your feet, discover enticing practices for foot care, foot massage and whole body self-care, and find that access to extraordinary health and vitality is available simply by becoming conscious of your feet.

Holistic feet, holistic bodies

My first genuine understanding of holism came when I noticed and acknowledged that my feet were really a part of me. I allowed myself to become aware of how my feet and toes were connected to my body rather than simply an appendage. I realized that feet are not objects at the bottom of our bodies “holding” us up. Feet are a part of what we call our whole body.

At the same time I also began to realize that my feet reflect my overall state of health and show me by way of visual, kinesthetic and other sensory feedback, what is going on with my physiology, me.

As I consciously placed attention upon my feet through self-foot massage and other treatments, my overall health improved remarkably.

Perhaps it is because these holistic principles and practices are so simple and obvious that people rarely take the time to recognize and consider them.

Regardless, these observations are just the beginning of the story of what is happening with our feet.

Feet as fluid mediums

Did you know that there are 26-28 bones in the feet and not one bone has a flat surface with which to carry or bear weight? Although we have thought that feet carry the weight of our bodies’ pressures, this is really not the case. The floor or surface we stand on is what distributes the weight. It has been backwards thinking for us to assume that our feet must do this holding or carrying for us.

In the new Fluid Body Model® paradigm taught at our San Francisco massage school, the World School of Massage, students learn to recognize the simple fact that our feet are not solid things: feet both articulate and act as conduits for an immense amount of fluid, information, and energy. When this is experienced and understood, we become conscious of what is really occurring in our feet.

In the Structural Foot Balancing course, also taught at our massage school, we have discovered that 90-95% of students are unaware of the majority of sensations in their feet. As a result, in a large number of cases, people’s toes are either “floating” above the surface of the ground, turned completely over (“belly side up”), or worse, completely “switched off,” such that nerve connections and circulation are severely restricted.

Some, however, are beginning to find the tools to replenish their whole being through feet rehabilitation. It is obvious what is happening when one closely examines their own feet/toes and then literally takes fully responsibility to rejuvenate them. The answer to so many of our health issues is amazingly simple. All we have to do is give our feet more attention.

Foot Reflexology: windows to your health

As I indicated earlier, our feet are not isolated parts of our anatomy as so many think. This is well illustrated in the success of Foot Reflexology, an ancient and effective healing modality taught for thousands of years. Reflexologists follow highly intricate reference charts which show points and areas on the feet that actually reflect the health of corresponding organs, glands, and systems. As feet are treated, so are our bodies.

Foot Reflexology suggests that feet literally mirror the health condition of our bodies by showing us, through surface pain, the part of the body that needs attention or increased circulation. Pain is a warning of an upcoming problem. It is considered an early warning indicator or “wake-up call” signaling us to pay closer attention to our bodies as a whole.

The level of pain we experience in our feet is generally thought of as being 10-20 times more significant than the malady itself. This intensity of pain exists in order to get our attention at early stages of disease. When attention is given to the foot in the alarmed area, then the body restores health to the organ or system that the pain had represented to us.

Self-foot massage: a solution that works

In addition to receiving Foot Reflexology or Structural Foot Balancing, self-foot massage is an easy, effective and luxurious way to add measurably to our total health. When our feet are seen as mirrors for our bigger health picture and for grounding and connection, we can begin to comprehend how valuable and essential daily foot care attention can be.

Choosing your feet first

To produce the most outstanding results in our Structural Foot Balancing foot massage training, we start by asking each student to take full responsibility for their own bodies by working on their feet daily. We invite you as well to choose to give your feet the attention they need to repair themselves and your whole body. By choosing our feet, we grant ourselves permission to take ownership of our own bodies. Remember, our feet are our bodies. Choose your feet and you choose yourself.

Benefits of holistic foot care

Within two to three weeks of following these simple daily foot care practices, people report having literally new feet. Students and clients universally describe new connections in their bodies and senses as well as new results in their lives. Visible phenomena occur: bunions clear up, funguses move out, and arches are restored. Even foot odors diminish as you regain natural circulation and drainage. People begin to have the beautiful feet that others notice and comment upon.

When you take ownership of your own feet through daily care, the results are like putting in one ounce of effort and getting 100 ounces back. The benefits are enormous! In just a few short weeks you may also find that you have gained

  • An ability to walk longer distances with no pain
  • An ability to stand longer and with more fluidity
  • An ability to lie down and sleep with enhanced circulation of the feet
  • More connection and grounding through the hips for spinal and pelvic health
  • The desire to choose better and more comfortable shoes, socks and stockings

Simple activities, amazing results

We all can nurture and nourish our feet, learn to feel and rest more deeply, and also give relaxing pleasure to ourselves just by working on our feet for a few minutes each day. Here’s what we suggest as a basic and fun routine:

  1. Look at your feet! Focus attention upon the shape, size, and length and sensations of your toes, feet and ankles.
  2. Open your foot joints. Have fun pulling, stretching, and rotating the joints of each toe as well as your ankles. Also, try self-foot massage and pushing your heel and ankle in one direction while pulling or pushing the toes (as a group) in the opposite direction.
  3. Stretch, flex and extend your feet and shake them free of tension and excess electrical energy.
  4. Consciously stand and place attention on your feet. Notice their position, the sensations you are experiencing, listen to what you are saying to yourself about your feet.

When?

Anytime of the day is a good time for these activities. Choose the time that feels most natural for you.

  • Upon awakening
  • In the shower
  • Upon putting on shoes or when taking them off
  • At night before bed
  • For romance and connection anytime

How often?

One to two minutes, two to three times a day for all the activities combined is a great start. That’s all that’s needed to begin transformation.

Pleasurable foot care practices

Be sure to find a way of keeping your foot care practices as enjoyable as possible. Here are a few additional luxurious and fun self-care tips that you can try on a weekly or ongoing basis to add to your already extraordinary results.

  1. Take foot baths (once a week or more)
    • Add salts, sodas, crystals, rocks, petals to the warm water as desired.
    • Use filtered water whenever possible.
    • Use aromatherapies in the foot bath
    • Fungal remedies: lavender and citrus (lime, grapefruit, lemon).
    • For special “grounding”: fir, birch, or pine.
    • To enhance full-body consciousness: cinnamon, cardamom, or nutmeg.
    • If aromatherapies are unavailable, try substituting chamomile or mint tea.
  2. Trade foot massage sessions with a friend and learn self-foot massage techniques.
  3. Find a coach/personal foot care trainer to support you in starting.
  4. Take before and after photos to measure your progress.
  5. Gently roll your feet on tennis balls, golf balls, or reflex balls. Try this daily if possible. Many find that doing this while engaged in seated activities like working at a desk can be both easy and refreshing.
  6. Wear toe separators from your local beauty shop. Start by wearing them for around two hours, two times a week to produce noticeable results.
  7. Choose shoes thoughtfully
    • Wear thongs or sandals whenever possible.
    • Always select shoes that allow your toes to spread out naturally.
  8. Create new and empowering language (self-talk) about your feet
  9. Intend to become aware of your feelings and thoughts about your feet as well.
  10. Invent new stories about your feet based on what you want rather than limiting thoughts of the past.
  11. Play with toe and foot exercises (once a week if possible)
  12. Practice picking up paper or towels with your toes.
  13. March in place: 10 steps on each of the four sides of the foot, toes, heels, medial and lateral sides.
  14. Keep your feet (or any part of your body) away from electrical motors and outlets. A distance of two feet from computers, power supplies, power strips, outlets, etc. typically ensures autonomy from the electromagnetic fields generated from these sources.
  15. Register at the World School for courses in Feet First Foot Reflexology, Structural Foot Balancing foot massage, or Vibrational Healing Massage Therapy. Your feet will become new.

Consider as well that the measurable success that so many people have experienced from these exercises may have as much to do with the act of placing conscious attention and desire upon the change as do the actual activities themselves. Desire combined with commitment will likely yield the fastest results. Be aware, however, that simply choosing to focus more attention upon your feet is an outstanding first step.

Conclusion

In this free guide to foot health using practical foot care techniques such as holistic foot massage, foot reflexology, foot baths, etc., we explored how healthy feet hold the key to vibrant health.

We learned that as we care for our feet, we care for our whole bodies. As we care for our bodies, we equip ourselves for caring for those around us. As we care for others, we create our world. Literally, as we transform ourselves, we transform the world.

  • What new stories are you willing to invent about your feet beginning right now?
  • What new commitments to foot massage and foot care are you choosing to make to your feet, yourself and your health?

About Patricia Cramer

Patricia Cramer is a respected authority on foot massage, foot health, and foot care practices. She is the developer of Structural Foot Balancing Foot Massage, which has helped literally thousands of people regain foot health.

Patricia Cramer is the founder of the World School of Massage San Francisco and the developer of Vibrational Healing Massage Therapy. She has personally trained thousands of certified massage therapists, professional bodyworkers, holistic health coaches, instructors and leaders over the last 30+ years.

In addition to Vibrational Healing Massage Therapy, Ms. Cramer is credited with several contributions in the field of holistic healing massage and somatics including the Language of HealingBabies in Motion: Birth Trauma Release and Massage Body Mechanics. She can be reached at the World School of Massage San Francisco at 415-221-2533 or at World School of Massage in Pleasanton: 925-461-2533.