Thursday, May 29, 2008
I recently purchased a WII Fit to go along with my WII console. It has been an eye opener because it goes way beyond simple fitness.
I find the WII Fit very interesting as it is not just about standard fitness. It actually addresses balance which is a larger ignored sense.
The WII Fit is basically a flat board that you stand on. Your movements on the board are monitored by the console and you receive visual feedback on your balance and movements. Even Yoga and other fitness exercises give you feedback.
But there is a series of balance exercises that really work your foot-eye coordination. My favorite is the game where soccer balls are kicked towards you and you must use your head to deflect them. It requires the shifting of your weight while visually spotting where the ball is going. It could be to the left, the right or the middle. But you can also encounter other objects like a flying a shoe which when they bop you in the head take points away. (I seem to attract them.)
Does this signal a new era in fitness which goes beyond muscle and engages the brain as well? I think so. For me it has been an eye opener as to the need to reengage my balance mechanism. As we age our sense of balance needs attention. That is why I think reflexology is so helpful with aging.
And boy, does my sense of balance need attention.
Monday, May 19, 2008
No, this is not a blog about high heels. It is about the reproductive organs and their locations around the heels.
The testes and prostate on men and the uterus and ovaries on women are all on the sides of the heel. See the free foot chart for exact locations.
Interestingly there is an additional area that isn't shown on many charts. It is an area on the bottom of the foot at the border between where the heel joins the arch. A Canadian chart is the only one I am aware of that shows this location.
Women with menopause may find relief by working this area for problems like hot flashes and night sweats. It also was in a book that was mostly in Chinese by Father Josef. Father Josef is credited with reviving the ancient tradition of reflexology in China. The book targeted fibroid tumors by working that area.
The best way to work the bottom of the foot with self help is a simple foot roller. Simply roll it back and forth over the area.
The sides of the foot are easily worked by using the rotating on a point technique. All these technique are described in either Complete Reflexology for Life or in our e-book- Uterus- Prostate. If you are looking for information on menopause try Menopause- Hot flashes. An e-book is easily downloaded to your computer and can either be read on screen or printed out.
Hope this helps.
Tuesday, May 13, 2008
© Ron Odell. Image from BigStockPhoto.com
We call them "sidewalk runners". You know those people who run on sidewalks and then wonder why their feet, legs and back hurt so much.
Concrete simply does not have any give. You are better running on asphalt as it has a slight give. The best surface is obviously the ground.
Running shoes help somewhat but aren't the full answer. The high tech ones are designed specifically to cut down on what is referred to as heel shock.
Heel shock is the shock wave generated every time your foot hits the ground. It generates a shock wave that goes up your body at two hundred miles an hour. Heel shock can actually break bone along the way causing micro-fractures along the tibia or leg bone.The micro-fractures heal over only to be fractured again.
The shock wave effects knees, hips, low backs and can even shake the brain in it's casing. There is some evidence connecting it to wrinkles. And that is while you are walking. Running can increase those forces.
Here are some hints.
1) Think about the surfaces you run on. Sidewalks may seem convenient but the results may be shocking to your body.
2) Buy a good running shoe. It is worth the investment like a good set of tires. Runner's World has shoe buying guides.
3) Stretch before you run. You warm up your car before driving off. Do the same for your body.
4) Consider walking. If you are continually running into trouble walking is a great exercise.
Monday, May 12, 2008
© geom. Image from BigStockPhoto.com
We were once doing a health show demonstration. A young woman sat down in the chair and said,"My feet always hurt me. What do you think is my problem?" I picked up her 4 inch stiletto heels and declared that "I think I found your problem." I wasn't trying to be mean but this was the obvious source of her problem.
One year Newsweek declared that it was going to be a great year for reflexologists as heels had gone to lofty heights once again. And there have been actual deaths blamed on high heels.
(CBS) Two California women were killed in a freak train accident. Police believe the high heel shoes they were wearing may have hindered their escape from a car stuck on the tracks, the Los Angeles Times reports. http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2007/11/01/national/main3441224.shtml
And the ever recurring fad of platform shoes can be dangerous as well. A client's daughter asked me what I thought of some fashionable high platform shoes. I said,"Well you know these type of shoes are illegal in Japan." She didn't believe me. I said well they found women driving in them often found their foot stuck to the accelerator so they outlawed them while driving.
But I learned a long time a go a woman and her heels are not easily parted even with potential lethal effects possible. Just like the old cowboy who wants to die with his boots on some women apparently are ready to die with their high heels on. Try googling high heel accidents. There are some interesting stories. There is even one report that over 7000 visits a year to the emergency room in the UK are attributable to high heels.
But if you must wear high heels and love the sense of danger they bring to your life try a few simple tips.
1) Take a pair of practical shoes with you for driving or walking to work.
2) Take your high heels off whenever you can. Even a few minutes when you are sitting at your desk can be helpful.
3) Rub your feet or get someone else to do it. High heels put too much weight on the forward part of the foot. The toes get all scrunched together causing corns and callouses.
4) Do calf stretches to try to compensate for wearing them. The tendons and muscles in the back of your leg will shorten. This will most likely cause problems not just with legs, knees and hips but also with your back and even your neck.
5) Be aware that high heels can inhibit safety. We once met a New York editor that not only could not run from her mugger but sprained her ankle as well.
6) Try to limit yourself to a two inch heel or lower.
Try "Looking after your feet" in Complete Reflexology for Life p 58. There is more information on shoes.
What do you like or dislike about high heels? Have you ever injuried yourself in them?
Thursday, May 8, 2008
© Rohit. Image from BigStockPhoto.com
There is a word that I find very interesting. It is "stereognosis". Stereognosis is learning through manipulating objects. A child playing with blocks is learning through touch. Handling three dimensional objects like blocks helps the child's brain develop.
We are familiar with learning through handling objects with the hands. But did you ever think about the information you gather by "handling" objects with your feet? Everything underfoot contributes to our learning process. Rocks, grass, pebbles and sand are objects that send messages to our brains
There was a Japanese school years ago that was entirely barefooted. The faculty felt that the students learned more while being unshod. The occasional splinter was worth the benefits of learning through the feet.
Go to YouTube and you will find loads of interesting videos on people who can do spectacular things with their feet.
There is one video of a woman born with arms. She could do a variety of things you would not think possible like eating with chopsticks. There are even people who can solve Rubik's Cube with their feet.
Are we using our full intelligence? Does encasing the foot and limiting the input from the outside world cause a kind of sensory "blindness"? Is the shoe in a sense a type of sensory deprivation chamber? Could the loss of stereognosis lead to over a lifetime the type of fragility we see with aging?
The real interesting thing is that stereognosis is linked to proprioception. Proprioception means sense of self. It is beyond the 5 senses. Proprioception is the way that when we close our eyes we can still sense ourselves. We do this through the stretch of muscles, the angulation of joints and deep pressure to the bottom of the feet. Proprioception is what the police officer checks in a checkpoint to see if you have been drinking. Touching your finger to your nose with your eyes closed is a proprioceptive test.
People with Alzheimer's lose proprioceptive abilities and have a distinctive loss of stereognosis. Could lack of stimulation of proprioceptors and accompanying loss of stereognosis lead to the devastating loss of self that Alzheimer's patients experience? Could we develop new and unique ways to stave off the effects of aging if we just started playing with our feet- again?
What do you think? And how would you do it?
Wednesday, May 7, 2008
© Olivier. Image from BigStockPhoto.com
> Hi Kevin,
> Interesting logical explanation. Healing crisis or "going back through".
> I have but one question - Why have you reacted the past once again in the
Very good question. It may be that simply my body has the resources to resolve this problem at the present time.
Hans Selye the famous stress researcher said there are only three ways to deal with internal stress. You can eject it (vomiting as an example), chemically destroy it through the immune system or encapsulate it. The last possibility has to do with walling off the problem until later.
If we don't have the resources (enough energy to deal with the stressor) the next choice is to encapsulate the problem. Walling off a stressor puts off the resolving of the problem but allows us to continue. We adapt to survive. But we also build up layers of adaptations that build up our stress load. Too much stress load and we continue to bury the problem. We encapsulate our problems until there is no more room for adaptations.
I think the point is that we are all layered with these adaptations. They can come from accident, injury, illness or emotional trauma.
I think the weirdest "going back through" event was the healing of an old head injury. As 12 year old boys do we were throwing stones at a telephone pole. My friend, Louie, threw a large stone that was shaped like a brick at the telephone pole. It ricochet off the pole and struck me in the head throwing me to the ground. The stone had caught me in on the back corner of my skull.
For years that part of my skull was like two sections of sidewalk that don't quite meet being quite jagged. Then one day after years of working on myself with reflexology that part of my skull started to weep. I was worried that something dire had happened. Then a few days later it somehow the jagged pieces popped back into place.
To this day that part of my skull is smooth and even. But how? My conclusion is that there is an innate intelligence that we possess that knows when it has enough resources to make repairs.
Science talks about "movement intelligence". It is our bodies ability to make movement calculations taking into account enormus amounts of information and then delivering a successful movement.
Could there be such a thing as "healing intelligence" that knows when to effect repairs? We must heal to survive. But when is the question. Does our body know it must put off repairs until it has enough energy to take on the project? Sometime years later?
Tuesday, May 6, 2008
© podfoto. Image from BigStockPhoto.com
There is a phenomena you run into the longer you do reflexology. Some people call it a "healing crisis'. We call it "going back through". Going back through is the experience of a past illness or injury again. It is a type of deja vu of sorts.
I am going back through an old judo injury currently. My achilles tendon was rupture when I was sixteen. I was laid up for quite awhile. And the pain was so bad that they put me on morphine.
The funny part is that these "going back through" experiences can be quite dramatic. My "deja vu" was intense starting as an ache and then actually feeling like the injury from the past. The sides of my ankles were deeply bruised. i could hardly walk. Each footstep was like shards of glass ran from my heel to the ankle.
But then in 24 hours it had all started to fade. Right now it is a mild ache hardly noticeable. And my ankle feels really loose and limber.
Our bodies remember all kinds of injuries, illnesses and accidents but we have an incredible ability to go on adapting to whatever knock us off course. Even though we adjust to the assault the memory is still there.
Why then do we revisit these old traumas? My theory is that there is a three part adaptation process taking place. First our bodies try to survive and throw all it's resources to meet that mandate. Next if we can get beyond sheer survival the body has enough resources to start making repairs. If we have even more resources we move into a state of wellness.
But if the body is always in a state of "fight or flight" repairs aren't made and things are covered over. They get buried inside. But reflexology frees up energy committed to these old memories. When enough energy is free the body starts it's incredible repair process. It's like the the body intelligently selects a project to work on. And then it methodically sets out to fix what is still broken.
The way I can usually tell if it is a "going back through" experience is how long the experience lasts. Even if it is intense at first the duration is much shorter then the original injury. And at the end there seems to be a resolution to what once lurked in the background.
And the other clue is that there isn't a triggering event. I didn't twist my ankle or even stress it much with the current situation. I hadn't been standing for long periods of time or walking long distances. Nothing seemed to trigger it. I felt great before it happened better than I had felt in years.
Despite the pain I rejoice at these events because I know it is progress. Even though at moments it is hard to figure out if you are moving forward or backward there is a sense that this is a good direction.
By putting energy into the healing process, inputting positive messages through reflexology, massage, yoga and so forth we allow that innate intelligence we all have within us to find the best solutions.
Sunday, May 4, 2008
I was thinking about compression of the body over a lifetime while hanging upside down on my inversion table. You see I am part monkey. (Or as my British friends would say "cheeky monkey" whatever that means.) I love to hang upside down.
Gravity causes a lot of stress on a daily basis and I like to reverse that compression by hanging out. From our feet to the top of our head the daily gravity grind tightens up our joints and muscles. Hanging upside down seems to lessen the strain on the muscles and joints.
Interestingly when Eunice Ingham was threaten with arrest for using the term "reflexology" she changed to "compression massage". In a sense reflexology does use a form of compression to feet and hands to address the compression we feel from our daily grind.