W
e should learn from and get inspired by our hands. Hands and feet look very different today but they didn’t before. Not everybody knows that they share a same blueprint. I may exaggerate a little bit going back to the theory of evolution, but I think it’s important to understand what happened to us when we started walking upright. When I went to the Museum of Natural History with my son, I was spellbound by all the fossils and pictures, showing how feet and hands started differentiating in their structures and functions, only from a certain point. This is an interesting and important concept: shape relates to function and function dictates shape!

 

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 An article on BCC.uk in 2010 made me reflect on this. A group of scientists, report in the journal Evolution that changes in our hands and fingers, were a side-effect of changes in the shape of our feet. The evolution of the latter stimulated the hands, now free and far away from the ground, to do different and new things. This article also explains how hands and feet share a similar genetic and developmental code: at the change of one, also the other modifies. “So, if you have a long big toe, you tend have a long thumb,” Dr Rolian explained. If the blueprint of hands and feet is the same we should take inspiration from that and allow our feet more movement (like our hands do) so that they can increase the range of motion, the quality of movement and be more dextrous and healthy. We only have to teach them how!

 

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 We just learned that hands and feet have different shapes/structures, different function, but they share the same “blueprint”. Having said that, we never give our feet the chance to explore their potentialities. We allow our hands and our fingers to move around, grab and stretch but we never do that with the feet! We constrict our hands in cozy and warm gloves, only when the weather is bitter, but we always constrict our feet in socks, shoes, boots and sometimes even slippers at home! They want and need to be free! They need to curl, stretch, have the blood circulating… they deserve some freedom!

As Leonardo Da Vinci stated the foot is the most complex piece of machinery ever designed, “a masterpiece of engineering” but, even if we deal with them since we are born, we are too often unaware of their potential. The feet are our foundations and the mirror of our bodies but too often we try to fix the knees, the back, the hips and the neck, without relating any of these common pathologies to the feet. Between the feet and the body there is a two way correlation: pathologies of the feet affect the rest of the body and/or imbalances from the ankles up affect the feet. The day we will start paying more attention to our foundations, our feet, the whole approach to the health of the body will have a shift in its “center of gravity”.

I have a challenge for you! Put on a pair of snow gloves or gardener gloves and try to do what you usually do… Cook, wash your face, clean up the house, do your make up. Tweet me how far you will go!