The bodies that we occupy during this life – ‘our’ bodies – have many different parts in order for us to deal with a multitude of activities that are presented to us every day. Some of these parts, such as eyes and ears, are so important that most of us simply cannot imagine life without them.
Our hands are used not only to skilfully craft all manner of items, but also to welcome others when we meet, and in addition to express ourselves.
Our legs propel us around the planet, and if we are female are considered to be a great source of beauty and elegance, something borne out by countless advertisements for tights and stockings.
However, there is one area of our bodies that in my opinion, doesn’t get the acclaim and recognition that it deserves.
This particular body component is extremely hard-working, though not terribly glamorous.
It supports us whatever we do and wherever we go.
It spends hours covered up in the dark, and for most of the time does not utter a single protest as it goes about its daily toil.
It is important enough to have a unit of measurement named after itself, but seldom features in any major film role or advertisement, and it only seems to get our attention when finally it has had enough and breaks down!
Yes… you’ve guessed; I’m talking about the human foot.
We just seem to take it for granted! Don’t we?
I was quite a keen middle-distance runner when I was young, an interest which started while I was still at school and which was fuelled by my desire to escape the self-importance of that organisation – to enjoy the beauty of the surrounding countryside while keeping up enough pace to constantly change the scenery.
Sometimes, during lessons, we would all be summoned for a ‘foot inspection’.
Looking back, those nurses must have had extremely robust constitutions!
They must also have had special training in self-desensitising, in order to be able to cope with the onslaught of thirty or more pairs of naked, perspiring and generally uncared-for, young male feet!
Anyone who was identified with a fungal infection was prescribed the appropriate cream and we all trooped off back to our lesson.
Plimsols were the universally accepted footwear for running at school, but looking back they seem so totally inadequate, with their flat soles and lack of support.
When I discovered ‘trainers‘ in the nineteen seventies it was akin to a ‘religious’ experience.
Here was a running shoe that embraced, caressed and supported your feet while you put ‘miles on the clock’. My first pair were called ‘Air’, and they were literally like running on air.
At this time I worked at a TV station in Central London adjacent to Regent’s Park and lunchtimes would find me frequently bounding around its semi-rural perimeter with other enthusiasts from work, always trying to put on an impressive display for the captive audience of sandwich-munchers perched upon their park benches.
When I was first introduced to Universal Medicine and Serge Benhayon, I learnt about the importance of self-love and the basic ideas regarding the importance of eating the right food for our bodies and sleeping at the right times.
Also, the importance of generally looking after one’s body and not subjecting it to anything too harsh that could be described as abuse.
Years earlier I had often pushed myself too hard in the mistaken belief that it was necessary for the body to harden up and cope with the rigours of life. I remember spending hours operating a Kango hammer, digging up a stone-covered patio in order to create a new flowerbed. As a result of this abuse, a large lump appeared on my hand, which then had to be removed by surgery… (the lump that is!).
At that time, I had a job in Television and therefore had ‘soft hands’, which were not ideal for the volume of self-imposed weekend DIY that I was then undertaking. I had been trying to ‘harden myself up’ to compensate for this.
I was still running when I was in my mid to late thirties, and as the pain started to develop I had taught myself just to ignore it and run ‘through it’. It all came to a halt when I had to go and see the physio with a knee problem.
After that, I barely ran at all.
Walking really came into its own after that, along with basic foot maintenance!
One particular group of health-workers, who are hugely under-valued in my view, is Chiropodists.
Really good Chiropodists are worth their weight in gold in my opinion.
Now my feet have got a few miles on the clock, I often only realise that a visit is long overdue when I have to start modifying my walk to compensate for some corns or dead skin, situated in a crucial point of contact between my foot and where it touches down.
After a recent visit to my favourite local chiropodist, I came away with a pair of ‘completely new feet ‘.
At least that’s what it felt like.
I felt years younger, and as I walked away from her treatment room it was all I could do to restrain myself from breaking into a mild trot!
The anatomy of the foot is far from simple. There are twenty-eight tiny bones among the muscles and flesh that make up this dazzlingly versatile organ.
The job it was designed to do is hard and varied and often in temperatures and cramped environments that today’s health and safety brigade would quite simply not allow us humans to endure!
My wife is always telling me that I have rather fine and delicate feet, and I must add that I would never have admitted that publicly years ago, being… “hardly the way chaps were supposed to talk about themselves”… then.
But now being committed to self-love means loving my feet in whatever form they present themselves.
So, if they are fine and delicate, then so be it!!
The foot, I feel, is the great unsung hero of anatomy.
At the very least it deserves a great big round of applause and at the very most a whole lot of tender loving care!
So let’s hear it!
A Big Hand Please for …….. The Foot! …….. Yeah!
By Jonathan Cooke, France
– From Low Self‐Esteem to True Self‐Care: What My Feet Reflected to Me
– Intermittent Catheterisation – The Unlikely Link between the Anatomy of my Vagina and Starting to Love my Body
– Body Awareness Exercise