Caring For Your Soles

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About six years ago I had the wonderful opportunity to manage a free-standing Origins store in Philadelphia.

And although I enjoy most everything that Origins offers in the way of skin care, hair care, and body care products, I found their foot care products to be superior to any other I’ve ever used.

There are five products within the line that can be used in pairs or individually.

 

*Foot Rest: Soothing foot soak
 
When your feet feel on fire from having been stuffed into shoes, pounded on pavement, or standing around too long, feel how invigorating Australian Eucalyptus dispels toxins while cooling Menthol ousts the ouch to put you on friendly footing again.

 

*Sole Searcher: Smoothing foot scrub
 
You’ll feel lighter on your feet as finely ground Lava Rock sloughs away rough and tough layers to smooth and soften thick-skinned soles.

 

*Reinventing The Heel: Mega-moisture for dry, cracked feet
 
This heavy cream soothes your soles with the richness of Rose Fruit and Jojoba Oils. Super-sloughing Salicylic Acid gets rid of pesky rough patches. Softening Shea Butter smooths cracks to put feet back on easy street. And tingly Menthol provides a refreshing kick.

 

*Step Lively: Energizing foot cream
 
You’ll be back on your feet with a spring in your step when exhilarating Mentha Piperita and stimulating Wintergreen travel across the “reflex points” in your feet to help channel energy throughout your body. Rose Hips Oil combats dryness to soften and smooth your feet.

 

*Leg Lifts: To rev up tired legs (this product is my personal favorite because it’s magical)
 
Nature’s cooling leg-lifters, including invigorating Menthol, Cypress, Peppermint and Cedarwood, tingle, tone and de-tense tired thighs and calves to add new glide to your stride.

 

*Origins can be found in selected department stores in your area.

 

So if you’ve been soul searching for quality and effective foot care products, please take your feet over to Origins…where you’ll discover a great deal of  Sole.

 

Enjoy!

Seasonal Feet!

                               

Ahhh…warm footsies!

 

Feet are the great “barometers” of our body that reflect the totality of how we feel.

If you can think of the feet as an external thermometer, you will begin to see how they can greatly assist us in regulating our body’s temperature.

When our feet are hot…our whole body feels hot.

When our feet are cold…our whole body feels cold.

During this Winter season, it’s important to keep our feet warm and snuggly – so that we feel the same.

I would like to offer you some helpful suggestions for keeping your extremities in “toe.”

When Outdoors

*Be sure to wear cotton/wool socks when walking in snow. It’s very important to keep your feet warm in extreme temperatures. Boots or shoes that are water-proof are very helpful. The minute your feet become wet…your entire body will become chilled. If your feet do become wet, change your socks immediately upon returning indoors.

At Home

*Be sure to wear a pair of socks or slippers, if your home is not well heated. This will keep your body at a consistant even temperature. Cold bathroom tile floors are the worst culprits for shocking the body into an extreme temperature change.

 

                                 

A Warm Foot Bath

 

Nothing feels better than a warm relaxing foot bath during the cold Winter months.

*Mix 4 drops of Rosemary pure essential oil to a cup of Epsom salts. Fill a large basin with warm running water, as you add the mixture.

*Soak your feet for 20 minutes.

*Do this after spending the day outdoors…your entire body will LOVE you for it!

 

Caution Care

*Use only pure essential oils.

*Foot baths are not recommended for those individuals who have a diabetic condition.

 

So remember, keeping your feet comfortably warm, will reflect the same throughout your entire body.

Enjoy this Winter season…without a case of “Popsicle Toes.”

And stay well, folks!

 

Photos: Crittz & Mass Distraction

 

 

 

Good Stuff for Your Feet!

                               

Feet are the most abused and ignored part of our anatomy.

Through improper footwear, and constant pounding on hard flat surfaces, our feet take a lot of wear and tear.

 

Shoes

Most adults have abused feet, caused by ill-fitted shoes. There are no shoes on the market that truly conform to the outline of the human foot – this is obvious if you just place your shoe beside your foot and compare the shape. Another factor is that one foot may be slightly larger than the other.

High-heeled shoes are probably the worst culprits as they affect the body weight, balance, and spine.

Synthetic shoes should also be avoided as they do not ventilate, thus increasing the risk of fungal infection. Rubber and plastic shoes will stifle the feet.

Low-heeled, lightweight, leather or natural fiber shoes are the best. So choose your shoes carefully; your health depends on it.

*Tip: shop for shoes in the late afternoon or evening after any foot swelling has occured.

 

Socks

Socks made of synthetic materials should be avoided, as they increase the likehood of sweating. Choose cotton or wool rather than nylon.

 

Exercising You Feet

Regular foot exercise will not only keep the feet in good shape, but can also combat deformities.

There are some simple, easy exercises which can be done at home or the office, which will be beneficial to the feet and should be practiced whenever the opportunity arises:

*Rotate the feet to limber them up.

*To tone up the ligaments and tendons, pick up marbles with the toes.

*To strengthen the arches, stand with your feet flat on the floor and curl the toes under.

 

Walking is the best and simplest form of exercise. Walk barefoot as often as possible to allow your feet to recover from the confinement of shoes. Barefooted people are less likely to develop foot deformaties. A barefoot walk on the beach, grass or bare earth brings the feet into contact with the earth and the energies that flow through it to provide a revitalizing, energizing and natural massage.

 

The feet transport us through our entire life.

So, if we can begin to think of them as the “tires” on our car…we would realize the importance of taking proper care of our “treads.”

Allowing them to give our life…many more happy and healthy miles.

Be well feet!

 

 

Please visit: How to Buy Shoes

Portions of this post gratefully supplied by: “The Art of Reflexology” – Inge Dougans with Suzanne Ellis

Photo: Debbie in California

 

Reflexology…and the “High Heel”

                                                 

                                                                         Ouch!@#!

Nothing looks more aesthetically beautiful than a woman’s calf – as the result of a high-heeled shoe.

Most women feel about shoes…like some people feel about Lays potato chips…they can’t just have one.

I know this to be true, because most of my friends are female…it’s an obesession!

Most shoe companies would go out of business if it were not for the grace of women.

And me, Mr. Boring Man…has one pair of dress shoes, one pair of sneakers, a pair of boots for the winter, and a set of flip-flops for the summer….woo-woo!

However, because of this “shoe exceitment” – women seem to have the most foot problems.

 

~Foot Notes~

~ 8 out of 10 women develop foot problems from wearing high heels on a regular basis.

~ Wearing high heels can shorten the Achilles tendon overtime, causing heel pain and decrease range of motion. 75 percent of the 2 million Americans that suffer from heel pain are women.

~ High heels force the weight of the body forward, placing 90 percent of your body weight over the balls of the feet. This added pressure to the forefeet increases your risk of forefoot injury, and it throws off body alignment.

~ High-heeled shoes have narrow, pointed toe boxes that cramp the toes and forefeet, contributing to foot problems like corns, hammertoes, and bunions.

 

~Reflexology~

Not only do wearing  high-heeled shoes affect the feet and body alignment, but they also put excessive pressure on all the reflex points of the feet. Over time, this pressure begins to “over-stimulate” these points, causing more imbalance with not only the physical structure, but also the energetic structure of an individual.

It can throw the “whole being” out of whack.

 

Now, I’m not saying you should go from heels to flats for the rest of your life…however, moderation is the name of the game.

 

~Suggestions~ 

~ Save your “pumps” for special occasions.

~ If you enjoy wearing heels to work, try switching off in the middle of the day to something flatter.

~ Go barefoot when you’re at home.

~ Stretch and rotate your feet daily.

~ If you notice any changes in the structure of your feet – visit a Podiatrist.

~ Receive pedicures.

~ And try some professional foot reflexology once a month – to keep yourself balanced.

 

Remember, we only get one set of feet in this lifetime…so treat them with respect and care.

Your “entire being” will be so glad you did.

High heal, ladies…and be well!

 

Portions of this post gratefully supplied by: “The Little Foot Care Book”- Erika Dillman

And the “American Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle Society”

 

Reflexology…Are You a Callus Person?

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                                                          “Oy….such a callus life!”

Foot calluses are quite common as the skin on the feet is subject to a great deal of pressure, especially from ill-fitted shoes, walking barefoot and uneven weight distribution.

Repeated pressure and friction on the skin will cause it to thicken into a callus.

If this thickening is aggravated by consistent pressure, the build-up of skin will sometimes lead to pain and discomfort. Burning sensations in the callus or congestion and swelling under it, indicate that it is irritating nerve endings (this may be a time to visit your friendly Podiatrist).

Not only are calluses the result of the fore mentioned above, but the Art of Foot Reflexology shows us that callusing may also be the result of an imbalance within the body.

If a part of the body is repeatedly under stress, reflex points on the feet begin to form a callus over the point as a means of protection – giving us a “stress clue.”

~Experience~

~About 7 years ago, I treated a friend of mine (who is a heavy cigarette smoker) to a reflexology session. As I worked on the balls of his feet (which includes the lung reflex point), I noticed that the skin was extremely thick and cracked (like an Armadillo). I had to use quite a bit of pressure to move over the reflex point.

~Another time I worked on a client who had a very high stress job, who complained of constant neck pain. I noticed that on the cervical reflex point – callusing had formed.

~I have had countless clients who complained of shoulder issues – they too had callusing on the correlating reflex point.

~On myself, I have noticed callusing and dry skin forming on the heels of my own feet. I occasionally experience issues with my lower back. In reflexology, the heel represents the lower back, tip of the spine, hip and pelvic areas of the body. So it makes sense to me – that callusing will form over the associated reflex point.

As someone who works on feet, I’ve come to the conclusion that callusing can be the result of several reasons; whether they form from footwear, weight distribution or an imbalance within the body – the important thing is to keep them down.

So let’s talk about De-Callusing our peddle-pushers!

 

Foot Paddles

~ They are usually made of plastic or wood. They contain sandpaper on either side (one is fine, the other is rough). You can purchase them inexpensively in any drug store.

I leave mine in the shower, so that every few days I can do a little “sanding” while the skin is soft and supple.

 

Foot Scrubs

~ This is a thick paste that usually contains walnut shells or pumice (it comes in either a tube or jar). It can also be purchased inexpensively in a drug store.

I leave mine in the shower for the same reason mentioned above.

 

Foot Baths

~ When time permits – fill a large basin with warm water and a half a cup of Epsom salts (this helps to soften hard calluses) – soak for 20 minutes.

You can also had 3- 4 drops of your favorite pure essential oil (for even distribution – be sure to add the oil to the Epsom salts first – before adding to the water).

This is a great time to do a little “paddle sanding.”

 

~Caution Care~

~ Do not…I repeat…do not attempted to remove all callusing on the first try. You must do this over a gradual period of time – as to not “fry” your feet.

Any callus that has been “long standing” must be removed slowly.

Be kind to your calluses as you say good-bye!

 

Leonado Da Vinci called the foot…“A Masterpiece of Engineering and a Work of Art”

So take good care of your precious “artwork”…by keeping them healthy and callus-free.

Trend lightly…and be well!

 

Portions of this post gratefully supplied by: “The Art of Reflexology” – Inge Dougans/Suzanne Ellis

 

A Foot Bath…..ahhhh!

Nothing….I mean nothing feels better than a hot foot bath after a long hard day to relax and rejuvenate your “barking dogs”.

Being in retail, this is something I do for myself at least once a week. It’s a ritual that helps both body and soul. It’s my 30 minute escape that transports me to another world.

 

 

Spa list:

  • One large porcelain or stainless steel bowl

  • One small bag of river rock pebbles (dollar store)

  • One box of Epsom salts

  • Two hand towels

  • Your favorite body or foot moisturizing lotion

  • Pure essential oils of Lavender, Peppermint, Rosemary (all of which are inexpensive and can be found at your local health food store)

  • Four or five tea lights w/holders (dollar store)

  • A relaxing music CD

  • Thirty minutes of uninterrupted freedom

The execution:

  • Begin by lighting your tea lights and placing them evenly around the room – then add the music CD. This creates that “spa ambiance”

  • Take the bag of river rock pebbles and place them in the foot bowl

  • Fill half a cup with Epsom salts and begin to add into the salts: 1 drop of peppermint oil, 2 drops of rosemary & 2 drops of lavender (peppermint is extremely concentrated, so use sparingly)

  • Lavender – relaxes

  • Rosemary – warms

  • Peppermint – rejuvenates

  • Fill the foot basin with hot (but comfortable) water. As the water is filling, begin to pour the Epsom salts mixture into the running wate (this will help evenly distribute the essential oils throughout).

  • Place the bowl at the feet of your favorite comfortable chair

  • Turn off all electrical room light and begin to slowly submerge your feet into your heavenly creation.

  • Gently rub your feet over the river rock pebbles and then squeeze and flex your toes (this will allow the Epsom salts to move into the muscles and joints, relieving all tension).

  • Lay your head back, take 5 slow deep relaxing breaths and allow your body, mind and spirit to totally let go.

  • After about 15 min, take each foot out and dry thoroughly

  • Apply a generous amount of body or foot lotion, and begin to rub all areas of the feet (tops, bottoms, sides, and around the ankles). Hold your legs out straight and gently rotate both ankles (this feels incredible)

  • To bring yourself back into the earthly realms, make a fist with both hands and gently pound the bottoms of your feet

  • Take three deep breaths…..and welcome back!

I promise, that if you give yourself this weekly ritual – you will be doing so much for yourself…..in so many ways. 

Our feet are an extremely powerful tool – that enable us to rejuvenate, rebalance and renew.

When we give them just a little TLC….. they return the favor threefold.

So enjoy your foot bath……ahhhhh!

Be well