What the Foot?

Every now and again you realize that you know more than what you know. I am reading a great book, written by Gary Ward Titled “What the Foot?”. He describes it as a “game changing” philosophy of human movement, eliminating pain and maximizing human potential. I am not sure about ” game changing” because it is a philosophy I have been using for the past few years. Mosche Feldenkrais was actually the game changer. He was a pioneer of the idea that the way we organise our bodies in an upright posture is related to how our feet meet the earth. Anyway, Back to Gary. Gary is receiving rave reviews for his insightful book and his “crazy ideas”….

In my opinion there is nothing new in Gary’s “crazy ideas” it is just the way he has targeted the delivery of the concepts to the fitness and health professional industry. Most of them are still trying to work out neutral pelvis and core stability. So the common sense idea that the way you stand matters is still hard for them to grasp. That is could all be so simple, is threatening to those who feel the need to demonstrate their intellect.

For those of you that have been into see me, you will remember back to standing, closing your eyes, noticing your feet and noticing the weight distribution. The core concept is – the more we can work towards optimizing weight distribution through out feet between left and right, front and back – the less pain you will experience in your body. The art I believe, is in which tools we select to facilitate that quickly and to have it stick. The way we move, the way we stand, the way we get out of a chair are all memories held in our brain. To have any lasting change on these patterns the Brain is the key.

This is why I am such a fan of “mindful” movement practices. Mindful implies that you are thinking consciously about the flow, the speed, the quality, the directions, your breath, all whilst moving. Can you imagine how lit up your brain would be if it were tuning into all those factors of your movement. Its the same reason Joseph Pilates stated that 10 repetitions done with focus, was equivalent of 30 mindless repetitions.

Upshot of the book is that 1. I must give myself credit for knowing more than I know. Sometimes in the world of movement, neuroscience, subconscious brain pathways, it becomes overwhelming and I often feel I know so little. However when Gary is getting such praise for his concepts, all of which I have nutted out and been using already, it is reassuring. 2. I shall be sourcing some force plates for measuring standing weight distributions before and after treatments. Some of my patients love seeing numbers change (as I do) so it will be a great motivational and objective measure of progress. Keep an eye out for them soon. Check out Gary’s YouTube video highlighting the importance of stretching dynamically in multi-directions.