Discover how walking on air enhances the whole body

Sunday 17th June 2012

I guess all of us have sung ĎDem Dry Bonesí at some stage of our childhood.

The work of James Weldon Johnson underpins most schoolsí rudimentary introduction to the skeleton.

ĎThe foot boneís connected to the leg bone, the leg bone connected to the knee bone and the knee bone connected to the thigh boneí

This may well be a song that you still occasionally hum.

However, I discovered this week that the nineteenth century author and songwriter was definitely onto something.

Itís all about biomechanics and suspension systems you see.

We tend to think about our feet as being inanimate objects flapping at the bottom of our legs, but in actual fact they are critical to the overall health of our bodies.

They sense the nature of the ground we are walking on and absorb impact as we move.

Because of this they are intrinsically linked to our posture and adaptation to load Ė hopefully you are starting to think about your feet a little more sympathetically.

To put all of this into context we need to consider the body as a machine, a series of interconnected levers and hinges.

If any of these become dysfunctional then the rest of the system has to adapt to the failure, and work outside of their normal capacity.

If the only part of this machine which is in contact with the ground begins to grind to a halt it has to affect everything else above it.

Thatís how feet problems can contribute to knee and hip pain, lower back pain and even headaches.

Click here to discover what you can do to help your feet do their job better

We shouldnít neglect to consider the impact painful feet have upon us as well.

Itís no fun walking to the shops, trying to get upstairs or even just standing on one leg to put your trousers on if your feet are giving you gip.

Foot pain can be as a result of general stress and strains, but also can be due to more serious conditions like diabetes.

One classic problem is known as metatarsalgia, where the bones in the middle of the foot become inflamed often as a result of our shoes not providing us with support.

Other problems include bunions, corns, calluses and veruccas Ė and all cause severe discomfort.

What your feet are crying out for is a little tender loving care, and more importantly a soft supportive cushion.

Get super soft and supportive feet saviours here

But just giving them a lovely soft place to stay isnít enough to deal with all of the problems.

Let me explain why they need a bit of magnetism as well.

The body electric

In 2010 two researchers in Utah wrote a fantastic review about the bioelectricity of bone, citing the fact that minute levels of electricity and magnetic fields are generated by living tissue.(1)

More importantly they deduced that these charges directly affected how bone and other tissue heals and grows.

Itís a fascinating and developing area of modern science, even though some of the first instances of how magnetism directly affects living tissue goes back to a chap called Galvani in 1792. (2)

The problem is that it is also one of those areas where a lot of folk tend to disagree about what the effects are and why they happen.

Mostly I suspect because they canít work out how to make big money out of it!

Magnetic and copper bracelets have been widely used for centuries to help relieve the pain of bone and muscle conditions without anyone fully understanding how they work.

Sometimes we just have to believe the evidence of history, rather than worry about what we can measure with fancy meters and prove with complicated statistics.

They work for most people and thatís it.

So, letís get back to the whole foot thing again and start to apply some of the bioelectrical principles.

Because our feet live a very hard life they are constantly being put under pressure (quite literally for those of us of a comfortable girth!) and suffer many hundreds of small scale injuries every day.

Iím not suggesting that a walk with the dog causes multiple fractures, just that the general wear and tear has to take its toll.

These micro-traumas have to heal and repair in order to keep the machinery of the foot working as best it can.

Back when we were teenagers our bodies could achieve this repair quicker than they can now, so providing a boost with a positive change in the magnetic field can only be a benefit.

Find out how to boost your feet back to health by clicking here

A winning combination

There is one other consideration though.

The machinery that makes up our body needs energy to power it and a waste disposal system to keep it working properly.

Our blood carries glucose and fatty acids to muscles to make them work and provides the means for waste products to be carried to the kidneys, lungs and liver to help us get rid of them.

The problem is that our pump, the heart, is not in the bottom of our feet so getting blood down there and back relies on some powerful work by the muscles of our legs to overcome gravity.

If our feet are jammed up then they donít help the return process at all. By allowing them to move and flex on a nice soft cushion helps improve the circulatory function.

Better circulation is always linked to better health as we know, so anything that keeps our blood moving will really help keep us in tip top shape.

Still think your feet bones are just out on a limb?

Truly they are connected to the whole of the body, so all together now...

Dem Bones,

Dem Bones,

Dem Dry Bones...

Yours, as always

(1)Isaaceson, B., and Bloebaum, R., (2010); Bone bioelectricity: What have we learned in the past 160 years?. Journal of Biomedical Materials Research. Wiley. 15 December 2010. 95(a):4; pp1270-9
(2)Martonosi, A, N., (2000) Animal electricity. Ca2+ and muscle contraction. A brief history of muscle research. Acta. Biochim. Pol 2000:47:493-516










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