October 8th is International Podiatry Day and gives us the opportunity to address a very neglected part of our body, our feet. Our feet our the foundation on which the rest of our body stands. Years ago (twenty-nine to be exact!) while traveling through Australia and staying in hostels, I neglected to wear flip flops in the shower and ended up with a whopping case of athlete’s foot. My answer was to travel for another six months letting it get worse and worse. I opted to let my feet air dry instead of using my small shammy towel to touch my disgusting feet. Upon returning stateside and going to the doctor, I required massive doses of topical steroid creams and anti-fungals. My feet hurt! While that experience taught me how important it is to keep my feet dry, it also left me feeling that feet (and public showers!) are absolutely gross. My entire family knows I have a weird foot “issue” which means I do not walk anywhere (except the Yoga Pod for Hot Yoga!) without socks or foot protection, and rarely touch my feet.

As I am aging, I realize I have given my feet a bad wrap and it is time to treat them with the respect they deserve. In Chinese Medicine, the feet are of utmost importance as they are the changing of Yin to Yang – the heart of balance, the place where the meridians meet and gather energy from the front of the body and the back of the body and the medial and lateral parts (we call the the white side – the inner side, and the tan side – the outside that faces the sun). With all these interchanges of meridians, your feet strongly impact the health of your entire body.

During the Pandemic, my regular yoga practice went out the window for many, many months. What I realize is how many muscles of the feet are used in a practice such as yoga, pilates, or Tai Chi. Spreading your feet, stretching your feet, and strengthening your feet all effect balance, stability, and overall energy. For the first time in my life, I have experienced foot pain, felt old, and physically felt off balance. What a great lesson! There are so many reasons to take care of ourselves, and for me, it has started with my feet! I am lovin’ on my feet every day now, with some good old foot massaging. They deserve it. I am now paying attention to my footwear, making sure I have a wide toe box so my toes can both grasp and spread, stretching my toes with Correct Toes and the Visco-Gel ToeBuddy reducing my bunion probability, and strengthening my toes using MELTMethod balls. I learned about Zero Drop shoes (or close to them) from Brenna Backe at KOA Fit. I also got foot exercises from Brenna. I got more exercises and an ankle adjustment from Amber Thompson at Well Spine Chiropractic. And of course, started having regular acupuncture to reduce inflammation, improve my energy, and help with pain. And last but not least, have started walking barefoot to activate every part of my foot. Your feet are the only feet you have got, so take care of them!!!

It may be one of the more overlooked parts of the body, but when it comes to feet, acupuncture shines.

Why use Acupuncture?

  • To promote pain reduction and accelerate local healing (reduce treatment time)

  • To turn off active myofascial trigger points that cause pain in the body

  • To reduce chronic and widespread pain in different parts of the lower body along the same Channels (Meridians), where needles are inserted (Zonal Treatment Methodology)

  • To provide a calming and analgesic effect in the body.

The Acupuncture Clinic of Boulder can manage and treat common but difficult podiatric conditions such as:

  • Neuropathic Pain (Diabetic Neuropathy)

  • Numbness or Pins and Needles in the Foot or Toes

  • Peripheral Vascular Disease (Raynaud’s Disease)

  • Cold Feet

We are also trained in Trigger Point Dry Needling and Neuro-Functional Acupuncture.

This is one of the acupuncture techniques we apply to effectively release myofascial trigger points in the lower body. It is well documented that active trigger points may account for 70-85% for musculoskeletal pain in the body. A trigger point (also known as a shortened muscle, or “knot”), is defined as a hyper-irritable spot in the musculo-skeletal system that can cause motor dysfunction. It can give rise to characteristic referred pain e.g. active trigger points in the inner side of your upper calf typically cause referred pain to the heel, mimicking plantar fasciitis symptoms, and trigger points in some of the gluteus muscles can cause symptoms of sciatica. Releasing these actively painful trigger points can be life-changing for chronic pain sufferers and change the way people move.

Needling in a painful trigger point often provokes a local twitch response. There is a growing body of scientific evidence that this causes chemical changes in the body resulting in the reduction of pain.

Our Acupuncture techniques have a key role in complementing our other treatment modalities to optimize clinical results for sports injuries and chronic musculoskeletal pain such as:

  • Heel Pain, Arch Pain, Plantar Fasciitis / Fasciosis, Heel Spurs

  • Ankle Pain / Injury

  • Foot and Ankle Arthritis

  • Bunions / Hammer Toes

  • Aching Feet / Foot Stiffness

  • Achilles Pain / Injury

  • Morton’s Neuroma

  • Ball of Foot Pain / Metatarsalgia

  • Shin Splints

  • Tight / Aching Leg Muscles

  • Knee, Hip, and Lower Back Pain

  • Post-Surgical and Traumatic Scars

  • Fibromyalgia

Information Resource:

The Footwork Clinic, Chatswood and Sydney, NSW, Australia