5 Ways to Improve Your Foundation Through Your Feet
Your feet touch the ground whether you’re standing, walking or sitting. They carry you from meetings to appointments, on vacations, and to the gym. Today, our lives are so stressful that we can feel it in our bodies, moods, and relationships. Some experts even think that because our feet are our primary contact point with the ground, our body is literally designed to ground and release that extra stress downward. Furthermore, some even claim that the human nervous system is not designed to handle “the stresses of the modern era.” 
People are waking up to the problems of modern-day stress and are looking for ways to regain health, happiness, and vitality, to ground and let go. While stress causes muscle tension, pain, premature aging, negative emotions, and a host of other negative side effects , few know the simple, weekly (or daily!) rituals we can all to practice to improve your foundation for living– and it starts with the feet.
1. Get grounded, literally!
All life on the planet carries a certain electrical charge – even the earth itself. Because the earth’s surface has a negative charge, it is believed that you can absorb negative ions through your feet by walking on the ground barefoot. While science has largely neglected the importance of electrical currents in the human body, there are studies  showing that walking barefoot, also known as earthing, may reduce inflammation, promote a healthy stress response, reduce pain, and increase your energy. Research involving the benefits of negative ions also seems to confirm  what supporters of earthing claim it does. Our bodies are made up of about 60 percent water, which is great for conducting electricity, and the best places to get some negative ions through your feet are by the water. Everyone knows how good it feels to be barefoot on the beach – now we know why!
2. Fix Your Posture
According to a 2009 study by the American Podiatric Medical Association, the average person walks 8,000 to 10,000 steps in one day. That’s a lot of movement for your bones, muscles and joints! A group of chiropractors have reported that about 77 percent of their patients had mild to moderate overpronation.
This common problem can cause foot arches to collapse, ankles to roll in and the feet to not properly support your body. Fallen arches or an instep can indicate weak muscle in the area, but you can work on improving your strength with yoga poses that specifically target those muscles. Try to work on relaxing your feet in addition to building strength in your weaker sections in order to improve your posture. Your feet will thank you!
3. Boost your energy.
Beyond getting off your feet and fixing your posture, giving your feet some TLC is said to improve energy levels “by improving the function of many accessory organs and the processing of food.” For example, massaging the feet can help with joint pain and aid recovery after an injury, as well as reduce muscle soreness . Massage has also been found to decrease levels of cortisol and increase levels of serotonin which produces melatonin and helps us sleep . This means that you will have more energy to go about your daily life!
4. Release the good feelings with serotonin and dopamine!
Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that is secreted in the brain by specialized neurons which regulate mood, hunger, and sleep. Massage promotes the release of serotonin, which explains the positive effect on mood, as well as the observation that many people fall asleep during a massage. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter whose concentration is elevated by massage. The neurons that use dopamine as their chemical transmitter (dopaminergic neurons) make up the reward system in the brain . Combined with serotonin, dopamine creates euphoric feelings, which we call happiness!
5. Get more sleep!
Massage has been found to decrease levels of cortisol and increase levels of serotonin which produces melatonin and helps us sleep . You can increase the benefit of a massage by adding an essential oil like Lavender. Lavender has been suggested as an excellent natural remedy to treat insomnia and improve the sleep quality. Multiple single-blind randomized studies found the floral oil improved the mean scores of sleep quality in participants . And consider this: the soles of our feet happen to be a sweet spot for essential oils because of their large pores that quickly absorb the oils. So, a little oil like lavender thrown into your foot bath can reduce restlessness and disturbed sleep .
Incorporating wellness practices into your daily life, no matter how small, can improve your relationships, your work and your ability to do the things you love. Something as simple as walking barefoot, a 30 minute foot massage, or soaking in a warm footbath can have an impact on well-being. Our feet are a great place to start in any wellness routine because it doesn’t take much to reap lasting rewards in our health and wellness. Taking care of your foundation makes for an easier road in your journey into deeper well-being.
1. MacCluer, Joshua. “The Foundational Importance of Foot Health” joshuamaccluer.com http://joshuamaccluer.com/the-foundational-importance-of-foot-health/
2. Levy, Jillian CHHC. “Earthing: 5 Ways It Can Help You Fight Disease” draxe.com https://draxe.com/earthing/
3. English, Jim. “The Positive Health Benefits of Negative Ions” nutritionreview.org “https://nutritionreview.org/2013/04/positive-health-benefits-negative-ions/
4. Taylor, Michael. “Yoga Poses for Beginners: How-to, Tips, Benefits, Images, Videos” mindbodygreen.com https://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-682/Yoga-Poses-for-Beginners-Howto-Tips-Benefits-Images-Videos.html
5. “How Does Massage Boost Energy” urbanmassage.com https://w
6. Michaeli, Dov MDl. “Massage and Your Brain” thedoctorweighsin.com https://thedoctorweighsin.com/massage-and-your-brain/
7. Jessimy, Michael. “13 Benefits of Foot Massage and Reflexology” naturalfoodseries.com https://www.naturalfoodseries.com/13-benefits-foot-massage-reflexology/
8. “Lavender and the Nervous System” US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3612440/
9. Health Through Posture, https://healththroughposture.co.uk/
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