Feet & The Sort-of-Enlightened Approach to Healing: Part I

Well, y’all.  Two weeks into my blog and I realize I have a lot to say. This week, a three-part post on Feet & The Sort of Enlightened Approach to Healing…

I’m a Nia teacher.  And it’s January.  My favorite time of year.  Even though I don’t really believe in them, New Year’s Resolutions are my friends.  Lots of people want to get fit and some are ready for a new experience.   I just love a full room full of happy, moving bodies.

At this most wonderful time of the year, I often focus on the feet to encourage new Nia movers to draw their attention to their foundation.  Especially if a mover is not accustomed to dancing in bare feet, blisters and soreness can happen unless she’s mindful of how she places her feet on the ground.  Happy feet make for a happy person.  Ever notice that everything is more difficult if your feet are cold, sore or stuffed into a pair of pointy pointy shoes?  Even a little blister or hot spot can put a damper on even the happiest of campers.  I want happy feet to be dancing Nia.

So again this January, I will focus on the feet in my classes.  I’ll offer some fun foot facts (see the Feet: Form, Function & Facts page to the right under the Helpful Info menu) with the intent of increasing understanding of these oft-forgotten, much-maligned parts.  But this year, I have another layer of appreciation to share.  This year will be a little different because since September, my feet and I have been on a journey.

When I started doing Nia in 1999, I developed a new relationship and respect for my feet.  I noticed them more, and took better care of them than I ever had.  Nia’s 52 Moves offered precision which helped me be mindful of the placement of my feet both in class and out.  Nia encourages us to look at the form of the body to understand its function, and the feet are intricate and amazing structures of bones, connective tissue and muscle.  (Again, check out the Feet: Form, Function & Facts page under Helpful Info to the right for more on this.)  I love looking at and living in the body this way.

And I fear it gave me a bit of hubris.  I felt confident that I was moving in The Body’s Way and that by practicing Nia, I would prevent injury and avoid pain.  If I did Nia, I would never get hurt.

Dear Reader, you are no dummy.  You know where this is going.  Pride goeth before a fall and all that.  And while it wasn’t pretty, what followed led me to a Sort of Enlightened Approach to Healing.  I didn’t cure cancer with this approach.  I didn’t even heal a broken bone.  But I did change the way I approach pain and injury.  Which was pretty cool.  So here it is:

Susan’s Sort-of-Enlightened Approach to Healing

1.        Listen to the Body

2.     Ignore the Body (optional)

3.      Panic (optional)

4.      Ask for Help and Listen to the Help

5.      Listen to Your Intuition

6.      Follow Your Intuition

7.       Be patient

8.      Repeat

For much of my life, I have been healthy and injury-free.  In the past, when in pain, my tendency was to do three things, usually in this order:

  • ignore what was happening in the hopes it would go away
  • medicate it
  • give up my authority and unquestioningly follow the advice of a doctor.

My experience with my feet has gone a different way.  Check in again tomorrow for Part II of the story of my feet and the ensuing Sort- of-Enlightened Approach to Healing.

For Part II of this post, click here!




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