Holistic Help For Heel Pain Through the Feldenkrais Method
If you have heel pain, the first attempt at relief, naturally, is local; but if that doesn’t work, you may like to try a holistic approach, such as the Feldenkrais Method.
The first thing to recognize about heel pain is how much it hurts, and how much it interferes with your life. Every step is painful, sometimes with a dull ache, and sometimes piercingly sharp or hot with burning. After sitting or lying down, you are afraid to stand. You start to feel your world closing in.
Very likely, your first venture in seeking help is to go online. There you can find a name for the malady, generally plantar fasciitis, and a selection of remedial approaches all related directly to the feet: rest, icing, buying new shoes, stretching and wearing a night splint. If these work, excellent.
And, if they don’t work? Then, the source of the pain may be elsewhere – not local, but in some wider aspect of life in the body.
Practitioners of the Feldenkrais Method are trained to take a whole system view of pain and inability, as well as the upside possibilities of comfort and skillful improvement.
The fundamental fact of movement is the necessity for oscillation. In training the body, it is mostly considered that the muscles must be strong and flexible. These are good. But what is even more important is that they oscillate. For instance, when you walk forward, the heel touches first. For this to happen, the muscles at the back of the calf must release, producing length. And then, when the foot pushes off, the muscles at the back of the calf must contract; the shortening lifts the heel. The steady, invisible alternation of lengthening and shortening is the basis for comfort, strength, endurance – and even beauty.
A second fundamental fact is that the muscles work in whole body assemblies. In stepping forward, the release of the muscles at the back of the calf are joined to releases at the back of the thigh, the low back, the mid back, the upper back, the shoulders, and, even, the back of the neck. When the body works well, each action expresses a seamless, integrated kinetic chain.
A Feldenkrais practitioner can help you optimize the working of these principles in your own physicality and, so, bring about relief through a whole body approach.