Our feet are very complex pieces of our body and are essential to our means of traversing the planet. The feet are the bottom of the totem pole creating the foundation for our balance, stability, and mobility though our lives, which are huge factors influencing our life and experiences. Each foot including the ankle are the location of 26 bones and 33 joints along with layers of soft tissue, tendons and muscle. Both feet together make up twenty-five percent of our skeletal structure so enough of the intellectual facts and on to the question. How much attention do you give your feet?
We expect the body to perform just as they are supposed to without any care, but just as we bring our car into the shop for check ups we can do the same for our bodies by deepening localized bodily awareness through daily self massage practices. Abhyanga is the practice of self massage in Ayurveda and not just limited to the feet. This practice connects us to ourselves and when performed daily, it can overtime create dramatic changes to our physiology. Through massage we bring in more circulation to the chosen areas in our body influencing the changes on a deeper levels of our tissues.
We are conditioned to wear shoes through life for almost everything. Hiking in fear of ants or a pine cone and even at the beach in fear of stepping on shells, but to me this is a restriction not only of the grounding effect we recieve through touching the Earth and exchanging beneficial magnetic charges, but that of the constriction of the foot and the bones being forced in unnatural directions. Imagine wearing gloves all day not for warmth, but for social acceptance and protection from touching dirty things. It would be very constrictive and disruptive to say the least, but the main reason why self massage practices are so effective on our feet is the ability to decompress and relieve accumulated stress after a day of wearing constricting shoes.
It’s no wonder then why along the rest of categories of diseases, there are numerous just in relation to the feet. From plantar fasciitis to bunions, I see it as a disconnection to our bodies as a whole mechanism. A whole world apart from what we believe we have the power to influence or to even take control of.
So I share here one of many simple practices to explore in the category of Abhyanga which is one I use daily. Use a small amount of sesame oil (not toasted) and put into a clean jar. Add a couple drops of your favorite essential oils and store somewhere you can see as a reminder to do it daily. Grab a towel you won’t mind getting a little oil on and place it below your feet just in case you spill some. Next put a small amount of oil on your hands and you guessed it, start massaging exploring your feet with curiosity and make them feel really good!