The foot, so easily overlooked and taken for granted, can be surprisingly debilitating when it’s in pain.

This week I’ve unusually treated someone three days in a row to get to the bottom of what’s causing her the pain in the front arch of her foot and toes making her limp and wince.

Having treated this person previously I knew her body’s patterns and tendencies that used to lead to chronic pain and difficulty sitting for any length of time. We’d worked together over a few sessions to get to the bottom of it all and she was in a much better place, needing an infrequent check-in instead of chunks of treatment fairly often.

Day one: Fact-finding Mission.
What tissues are causing the symptoms? What areas locally and/or remote from the symptomatic area are in trouble, not functioning as well as they might? And importantly, where’s the doorway for change in this person’s body today?

This led to offering some support for the ankle joint itself which felt ‘all at sea’ as well as the forefoot which felt inflamed with a lot of sticky movement between the joints at the base of the toes. I checked in with the usual areas of her body that would usually be under strain to make sure there was nothing brewing there.

Day two: Going Deeper.
She’d already mentioned turning both her ankles in the past and broken the one that wasn’t currentlypainful 11 years before. Today though it surfaced that in fact it was THIS ankle that she’d broken – in her mind she had a clear image of the boot that she’d worn for six weeks and remembered the feeling of weird stiffness just where I was working around her lower leg, just above the ankle itself. I stayed put for a good twenty minutes, feeling the deadness and absence of the area, my fingers knowing that I was feeling something old and hidden away.

Day three: Feedback.
After yesterday’s treatment she went straight on zoom for an hour, fully expecting to feel the same pain as she stood up afterwards. In fact she felt “a new kind of grounding through my foot” and a feeling that “my toes had a lot more space to be”… and she’d walked home without the gnawing pain and limp that had been there for four weeks.

The sniffer dog in me continued, knowing that we were close to the source of things. The unexpected bonus was that this ‘new’ foot problem had shown us the next step in resolving of the longstanding back issue, so these three sessions have been particularly satisfying in understanding this person in a deeper way.

If you feel something being stirred by this story and would like to explore your own situation, do give me a call at the practice. I love a detective story, but rarely read a novel. Life presents so many curiosities and puzzles right under our noses.

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