I had a consultation with a woman yesterday who’s chiropractor had encouraged her to see me. The chiropractor had called ahead to tell me all about her physical ailments and requested that whatever I did with her to cut the volume in half. The woman and I sat and chatted for some time and I found out she had lived a very active life before encountering intense knee pain and the somewhat botched/unnecessary surgeries which followed. She had also developed SI instability and the pain in her body had painted her into a corner. No longer was she hiking (she had lived in the Himalayas for four years as a mountain guide) or enjoying any activities she pursued. She had gained 40-50 lb. and was so unhappy and uncertain what she could do.
She was to the point of tears and it was easy to feel her emotional pain. This is the moment I love. The all powerful bottom. It may not feel good in the moment but it is the turning point, the event horizon. All her defenses were torn down and there she was raw and exposed. She mentioned how her feet and ankles were weak and tired and how her knees were having trouble just going for a small walk. I asked her if I could see her feet. She said they were not pretty to look at but I could if I really wanted. I sat before her with her left foot in my hands. The bone structure of her feet were incredibly distorted. Her toes were flexed tight. Her little toe had dorsiflexed and adducted so much that it was folded back on the roof of her foot. Her fifth metatarsal (the bone along the outside of her foot) had pulled away so much that it looked like a second heel.
In the past three years I have performed foot mobilizations on over 3,000 feet and these feet were by far the most distorted I have yet to hold. As I moved her foot in various positions I looked up at her and told her that these were the most beautiful feet I have ever seen, and I meant every word. I told her that her feet had continued to do all they could to give her the life experiences she had. I told her that I loved her feet and sat in awe at their ability to find ways to let her continue her life’s journey.
Her facial expressions changed and softened. She saw her feet in a different light and understood how hard they had continued to try and provide whatever they could. I expressed the same about the rest of her body and suggested we begin to provide her body with different experiences that reduce the excess work her knees, feet and SI were providing. We didn’t do any exercises that day, it was just a consultation.
The foot mobilization definitely felt good to her but the real change occurred from within. She left already walking a bit differently. She had been able to change her emotional state which instantly affected her physical state. The first step has already been taken, now we just continue to be the mountain guide’s guide.