It is a curious thing that there is magic in the air at this time of year. There really is! For some the magic centers around gifts and feasts but I have always found the ‘hustle and bustle’ difficult and for many years, before I really understood that the natural energy of this time of year is one of stillness, I would feel depressed and exhausted.
As we approach winter and the shortest hours of daylight, the temperatures drop and the trees are bare. The growing season is over, and while here in the Pacific Northwest it is our greenest time of year, in many places this is a time when the world is a stark contrast of white ground and dark night.
It is also a time of transformation, alchemy and rebirth. Deep inside the earth (under that blanket of snow), and inside trees, preparations are underway for the coming spring. This week while walking I noticed new buds already fattening, and as hard as it is to believe, in a month or so the first of the cherry blossoms will begin blooming.
It is a time for rebirth which is why I love the song “Breath of Heaven” because we do need time, solitude and introspective for rebirth. The long dark nights are an opportunity to reflect on how we have grown over the past year – what we have received and what we have given of ourselves. Doing so, we prepare for our rebirth – for the year ahead.
Winter sets the tone for whatever is next. At this time of year, so close to the year’s end – we naturally review and evaluate the past year, and makes resolutions for the coming one. Although there are several months of winter and the dark time of year left, we begin to set the seeds in late December and early January.
The seeds are new ideas, inspiration and experiences, and is also an opportunity to let go of old mind conditioning, thoughts and habits that might hinder our forward movement. Does it mean that Winter is the only time that we can do this work? No, it simply means that the cycles of nature provide us with a natural opportunity to do this work.
The more in tune we become to the cycles of nature, the more room there is for natural healing – why fight the natural order? If you find yourself feeling overwhelmed during this time of year, and feeling that something is ‘wrong’, that you can’t feel the holiday spirit, perhaps your spirit is nudging you to find the magic inside.
My own self-care plan is to experience the magic and alchemy of the weeks leading up to winter and to celebrate birth in all its manifestations.
I am now certified as a Healthy Foot Practitioner™. I received my training through the Restorative Exercise Institute. The training involves a thorough education of foot mechanics, how foot function affects whole-body health, and the role of footwear on foot health and foot pain.
The Restorative Exercise Institute is a science-based education facility dedicated to optimizing long-term health of the human machine through proper understanding of how habits of posture and alignment affect organ and system function.
Your Future is in the Health of your Feet
Does this sound like an extreme statement? Consider that your feet are involved in all non-sitting activity you do. They are the platform for your entire body.
Your feet affect the health and function of your ankles, knees and pelvis. Your pelvis is your body’s center-point and where it is in relation to your knees, hips and feet can make all the difference to how well your body works. When that relationship between your feet and pelvis is out of alignment it contributes to joint degeneration of the ankles, hips, lumbar and thoracic spine, and in the feet can be a cause of plantar faciitis, hammertoes and neuropathy.
The most important exercise you can get is simple walking – but few of have really good ‘walking machines’. Do your feet turn out, or in? If you do, what effect do you think that might have on your ankles and knees? Incorrect loading of the feet sets you up for knee, pelvis and lower back pain and simply put, when it hurts to walk, you avoid it.
A lot of us are pretty good at ignoring pain. But what if ignoring pain today put your future health at risk in a very serious way. Incorrect alignment and loading on joints can lead to hip fractures, knee osteoarthritis, pelvic floor disorders and more. In other words, whatever problem you have right now will become more pronounced and serious as you get older, and contribute to your ability to:
- Live independently in your elder years: your ability to walk and balance depends on the mobility and strength of the muscles within the foot.
- Maintain your weight: the best exercise you can do for your cardiovascular system is walking but if you become too unsteady on your feet, or it hurts too much, your whole body suffers.
- Maintain your bone mass: incorrect alignment makes full hip weight-bearing difficult, and osteoarthritis is an increased risk.
I am available for daytime sessions on Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday morning and am also available for Skype appointments if you live too far away for us to visit.
Rate: $60 for a 60 minute assessment. $15 for a single stance alignment class. Small group pricing (up to 4 people) available. Please contact me for more information or to arrange an appointment.