Natalie the Founder of Well Aligned: Functioning Feet

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We’d like to introduce Natalie Wieneroider the Founder & Co-owner of Well Aligned in Richmond, Melbourne. Natalie’s desire to work out how to integrate movement into our lives to achieve personal transformation has led her to further questions and research. This includes completing a Graduate Diploma in Integrative and Transformative Studies at the OASES Graduate School. Her major goal is to help people achieve health and wellbeing through integrating alignment and natural movement in our daily lives.

Toes Curled | Sole Mechanics Blog PostImage courtesy:Vivobarefoot

Here’s what she has to say about feet…

Those little guys at the end of our legs. A couple of our most important body parts which are often not really thought about – until something goes wrong and they become painful. It’s then that we begin to realise their importance as we need them to get ourselves from place to place. These could be short distances like the bedroom to the bathroom or longer ones like going for a hike.

Our feet interpret the information received from the surfaces we walk on and send this information to the rest of the body. The body then reacts appropriately to keep us upright and move fluidly through life. If our feet are not functioning well, we may see that impacted in other areas of our body such as knee and hip pain or even neck and shoulder issues.

They’re incredibly complex and contain a quarter of the number of bones in our bodies and associated joints, muscles and connective tissues. They have been designed to move in similar ways to our hands which are incredibly mobile and dextrous. Unlike our hands, we spend a lot of time with our feet in shoes and we move around on flat and hard surfaces, depriving them of much-needed texture. When we don’t give them an opportunity to move in varied ways, or don’t move them much, they can begin to signal pain. Issues like plantar fasciitis, neuromas and bunions can cause a lot of pain and that’s when we really start to pay attention to our feet. They’re screaming for attention. Foot pain may begin due to under or overuse – the symptoms are the same.

What are some simple solutions that we can do to help alleviate foot pain?

1. Stand/walk on textured, uneven surfaces. You can easily scatter some cushions around and walk on them or try walking the length of a broomstick. An important thing to bring to mind is that it doesn’t have to hurt to work. Start softly. For thrill-seekers, an extreme example of this is the ‘Lego firewalk’ where bits of Lego are scattered on the floor and you walk on top of them.

2. Find a ball, such as a tennis ball. Softer is better here too. With one foot firmly on the floor (you can hold onto a wall to help you balance) step onto the ball with the other foot and put as much weight on the ball as you can. Pause a moment or two then shift the ball and repeat. Try to make contact with the whole foot. Don’t forget the heel.

3. Heel raises. Holding onto a wall or other steady surface, lift and lower your heels. If your ankles are wobbling, place a ball in between your ankles to keep your feet steady. The exercise strengthens the feet and legs.

4. Wear shoes which give your feet the ability to feel the earth. The Vivobarefoot range is an excellent start!

Barefoot Research via Vivobarefoot

If you want to find out more or get in touch with Natalie and her awesome work then check out the Well Aligned website here

Well Aligned - 228 Lennox Street, Richmond, Vic 3121

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