Is your foot pain more than physical? Does it have spiritual and metaphysical roots as well?
'He shifted his weight from foot to foot, but it was equally uncomfortable on each.' ~ Douglas Adams
Do foot problems describe your reality? Does this quote describe you? Are you uncomfortable and unable to stand on your own two feet? Do you suffer from aching feet, plantar fasciitis, bone spurs and stress fractures in your feet, foot injuries or heel pain? Is your Body Window speaking to you through your feet?
If so, read on and learn about the metaphysical reasons for your foot pain. The body, mind and soul are all involved and your truth is physically manifested in your feet if you are not grounded. Your heart knows that you do not have your feet on solid ground. Your feet are the foundation for your body and your life. When your feet hurt your soul is aching for a different foundation and different way for stepping out into the world… or not stepping out. Only you can discover your truth. Your foot pain is not good or bad: it is just information about where your true self, your true heart lies, deep in your soul.
(If you have problems of the ankle and lower leg, like shin splints, Achilles tendinitis, tendinitis of other muscles of the ankle area, I discuss them in my article on foam roller exercises for the lower leg muscles. Please refer to this article if you have these problems.)
When I went to look up causes of foot pain, foot problems and quotes on the foot/feet, I was astounded at how many metaphors we have for the feet. I believe this is a reflection of the importance of the feet as a foundation for our lives. If you don’t understand the incredible significance of the metaphor in body-mind-soul health and healing, see my article, What is a Metaphor. It will open your eyes, when viewed in light of the significance of your feet.
Seems like the importance of the human foot was understood since man has been standing on the earth, hence this quote, of extreme significance from the Buddha:
‘The foot feels the foot when it feels the ground.’ ~ Buddha
What a great way to look at life! So often we have our eyes set ahead of us, far into the future that we fail to celebrate the here and now. We miss the present moment when we fail to perceive our feet! I just love this quote.
Foot pain is most certainly a wake-up call to you to attend to the present moment.
Stepping out or stepping forward is exceedingly hard to do with foot
pain, isn’t it? Your foot problems will prevent you from stepping out
in any direction at all! To push through foot pain only makes it worse.
Only rest, pampering and listening to your feet will allow you the
time for healing. It will take all your will power if your foot pain is a
result of your hard-driving, forward-moving and always forward-looking
personality. In your meditations, consider the metaphysical source of your pain.
In my January, 2011 issue of my newsletter, Body Moments, I did a foot meditation called "In the Moment with your Feet ~ Stepping Out Into the New Year." If you have foot problems, you may wish to click on the link, and the welcoming email will contain a link to all the back issues. Subscribing is totally free and you might just benefit from reading it!
Consider the following cultural metaphors of the foot:
If you have foot problems, and any of these metaphors resonate with you, contemplate your feet and their personal message to you as you do your foot meditations. Your Body Window is speaking to you through your feet.
Rocky Mountain Wild Raspberry
There are many causes of foot pain. Often these causes are preventable. Usually foot problems that are at the root of foot pain and heel pain are due to overuse and improper footwear. When we wear high heels and other ill-fitting footwear, it sets us up for plantar fasciitis, stress fractures of the foot, bunions, bone spurs on the heel that cause heel pain and deformed, hammer toes.
Plantar fasciitis is an inflammation and/or small tears of the fascia (ligament type sheath) on the bottom of the foot, just in front of the heel.
Plantar fasciitis is frequently found in athletes, especially runners and those who require jumping in their sport. It is a result of over-training or a sudden increase in frequency, intensity and/or duration of the physical activity without proper conditioning. Plantar fasciitis may also be due to the pressure of carrying around additional weight, both from pregnancy and from obesity.
With the advent of barefoot running, orthopedists are raking in the rewards of a sudden change in the pressure on the bare feet. If you start barefoot running without the proper conditioning, you are setting yourself up to injure the fascia in your feet. Can you say foot pain and heel pain?
Bone spurs on the heel are often a cause of plantar fasciitis, so make sure if you have foot pain at the bottom of your feet, or heel pain, that you go get it checked out. Bone spurs themselves are usually an overuse phenomenon. Undue pressure and stress on the feet from dancing and running or the added weight of obesity and improperly fitting footwear all cause bone spurs of the feet. When the foot feels the added pressure, it’s adaptation is to build more bone, that result in the bone spurs.
Stress fractures of the metatarsal bones of the foot are also a common sign of overuse syndrome of the feet. There is a reason for the term 'stress' fractures. You are literally putting too much stress on the foot, or too much force and activity. Stress fractures may also be due to other foot problems such as osteoporosis and arthritis.
All types of heel pain and foot pain are the result of pushing too hard, too fast and too often in all things; emotional, mental and physical. Foot pain is the hallmark of our current rush, rush, rush culture. Take the time to reflect on your life if you are affected.
The plantar ligaments in the foot, or the fascia that runs along the bottom of the foot interconnects with the heel and the Achilles tendon, which in turns connects to the fascia of the calf, which connect to the knee, which in turn connects to the hamstrings on the back of the thigh. In fact it can be demonstrated that a continuous string of fascia that starts in the feet can be traced all the way to the top of the head!
So is it any wonder that if your back, or your legs hurt that eventually your feet hurt, and vice versa? This is why taking care of your feet is so important. Foot pain, regardless of the origin should never, ever be ignored. If you push through foot pain you can create serious damage. Stress fractures can go through the entire bone in the foot if untreated. Plantar fasciitis can cause debilitating tears in the sole of the feet that can take years to heal.
A simple exercise to demonstrate the effect of the plantar fascia on your legs and their flexibility can be found in the February, 2011 issue of Body Moments. I urge you to subscribe so you can read this back issue.
Come back to earth, focus on the here and now. Focus on your feet, the foundation for your body, mind and soul. Take to heart the following quote by Henry David Thoreau:
'Heaven is under our feet as well as over our heads.' ~ Henry David Thoreau
You may wish to try the following therapeutic techniques to bring mindfulness to your feet, and set your intention to heal them:
First: Sit quietly in contemplation for the meaning of your feet in your life. Be grateful for all that you have and all that you are, because YOU ARE ENOUGH. Thank your feet for the messages that they bring to you. Thank your foot pain and/or your heel pain. It will remind you that without the pain, there are no messages that something in your life needs to change.
Second: Say daily, positive affirmations for your feet:
Third: Consider using a therapeutic foot bath for your quiet, contemplative time. It is a very relaxing way to relieve the stress on your feet, and set your focus on them for healing. Bringing your attention with warm water flowing over them is very, very grounding. Click on the link for the best ideas on how to do this.
Fourth: Consider my yoga methods for increasing your grounding experience to heal your feet. Issues of the feet are 1st Chakra energy issues. Unblock your first chakra to heal your feet. Click on the link to learn more about this.
May your foot pain be your guide to get you back in stride with a pace that is manageable, neither too fast nor too slow as you move toward health and healing of your body-mind-soul!
'My imperfections and failures are as much a blessing from God as my successes and my talents and I lay them both at his feet.'
~ Mahatma Gandhi.
The practice of giving, without the expectation of something in return is what most spiritual traditions teach. It is a great spiritual paradox that giving in this spirit is what creates the energy for more abundance in our lives. It is through love that we complete the ongoing cycle of giving and receiving.
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