A 3-piece of writing about our incredible feet and how caressing them grows us deeper into life and love and presents
1693 words will take you about 8.5 minutes to read
is it that a little foot rub can change life?
Our Sensory Development
As you have noticed in part I [see May 2009] of this article your feet are a key to your whole life.
How much can you sense of and with your feet right now? Socks, Shoes, Space, Temperature? How about a sense of Release, Landing and Comfort? Not jet? Read on.
Where are you going?
To appreciate the fundamental importance of your feet, [which not only literally carry you where you want to go in your life], it is fun to look at the exciting sensory development from the foot perspective.
Being able to really FEEL your feet is at the end of a fascinating installation, awakening and ripening process of our whole bodies’ sensate systems that begins around your mouth with the 8th week after your conception. Starting from the head your sensory awareness is fine tuning and expanding down your embryonic tiny body.
Although most of your skin can sense stimulation and even differentiate pain from around the 12th week after your conception – when you were almost 3 ½ inch tall and your weight was an amazing 1,6 ounces – awareness reaches your feet last.
If you are a mother you may vividly remember the wonderful reassuring kicks of your babies’ feet from the inside. Fathers and special friends got to feel this exhilaration from the outside.
Directly after being born a baby can use these well practiced motions to ‘crawl’ up to its mother’s nipple and nurse for the first time all by itself within 30 min.
But for the next few months their legs and feet are by far not as interesting to them as their mouth and upper body because the ability to sense with discrimination has not yet reached the lower body. When you gently massage their exquisite feet infants will let you know clearly if you are doing it just right, but they do not make the connection to where on their body that pleasurable feeling actually comes from until their nervous system has ripened all the way down.
Throughout my Physical Therapy training in Germany and still during my further specification in child developmental therapy [Bobath and Sensory Integration] during the early 80’s the understanding was that the fundamental learning capacity of our brain ends at the age of 7[!] From than on, my teachers said, our brain could only refine the basic patterns that had been engraved by those early impressions.
I remember a deep sense of loss and even a ‘giving up’ hearing this – not just for all my adult patients who where trying to learn to walk again after injuries, hip or knee replacements, or other surgeries – but also for my own need to fill the gaps of crushed pleasure horizons and limiting mind-sets that I was raised with by my parents’ and grand parents’ WW II generations. In those times they had none for ‘sweet footing’ around.
In our achievement obsessed world we need to value that a baby will only stand up by itself naturally and maturely when its nervous system has developed enough by integrating sensory acuity with muscular strength. Curiosity and a desire for pleasurable experiences build the floor.
Unsurprisingly maturing happens naturally in the horizontal positions on the floor.
I always cringe when I see parents who stand up their babies and pull them to walk earlier and earlier. Besides other devastating long term effects on the unprepared hip joints and spine, standing on those immature feet alone takes away all of the necessary information that their whole body would otherwise receive and assimilate by rolling, crawling, creeping, pushing, pulling, pivoting; in short playing around on the floor. The natural year long [not counted the time in the womb] completion process of getting to embody ones whole world with ones whole body gets a terrible far-reaching short cut.
As a result we see too many adults who struggle to stand on their own two feet. Too many appear spineless. And our spirituality feels flat – “it comes out like a fax”.
New Pleasure Horizons
Researchers only recently found that our brain keeps its plasticity all along and so we can all celebrate what I was so curious about: It’s never too late to explore and develop our capacity to feel the nourishment of pleasure! Neuro plasticity/learning, the sprouting of new neural connections between brain cells for physical emotional and mental recovery, and our over all expansion and deepening of human awareness never has to end! Spirituality can dance on the feet of your embodiment.
As babies play their way down their body one extremely important achievement happens – they get fascinated by their feet, learn to grab them and thoroughly and extensively lick and bite and chew on them; from about the 5th month onward.
Talk about natural contentment and sensuality… aaaahhhhhh! Uuuuuuhhhhhh!
Steps to Awareness
What’s your connection to your feet in this moment? Warmer?
Do you recall spending time barefoot in nature? Does that not always feel like summer vacations?
Since the very old days where kids grew up barefoot our world got more and more modernized and we ‘concretized’ more and more over Mother Nature.
Our mothers began than to protect and hide our feet in those, I have to admit, irresistibly cute tiny baby shoes too much too early. Our ‘hungry for life’ feet do not come in contact with enough sensory ‘nourishment’ any longer.
I never forget my boss, the Neuro-Pediatrician Dr. Inge Flehmig creator of the Institut fuer Kindesentwicklung [Institute for Child development] in Hamburg, stating: “Shoes? Only for protection against cold wet and injury!”
To this day I feel disconnected from my clients as well as my intuition if I wear shoes when giving a Symphonic Touch® session or teaching my workshops. I keep asking my adult clients to walk barefoot as much as possible for grounding, relaxing and connecting to themselves and root to the earth.
Feminine Radiance – Masculine Presents
Our predominantly established sexualisation of pure sensory experience to me is one major reason for the lack of true masculine clarity and presents in men and the lack of feminine ease and flow in women. How can we feel safe enough to allow ourselves to live our true nature if we do not sufficiently feel our whole body resting on our ‘awakened pleasure’ feet? Therefore how can we trust our foundation? In other words; Authenticity is a question of embodiment.
As you can imagine by now; one seriously delicious return to sanity is to entice some-one out of their head and into their em-bodiment with a wonderfully relaxing foot rub. You do not have to wait until next months ‘How” is posted to grab any available foot including your own and start exploring right now.
Foot fetish – I could not get around researching the adult sexualized view of our feet. This is what I found:
In 2002 Neurologist Vilayanur S. Ramachandran proposed that foot fetishism is caused by the feet and the genitals occupying adjacent areas of the somato-sensory cortex, possibly entailing some neural crosstalk between the two.
Great! Isn’t it? The possibilities of getting your skeptical girlfriends or even your tired man more easily interested in receiving and giving a foot rub just multiplied. Curiosity moves mountains.
During the late 80’s I had justt gotten very curious about the very descriptive, simply down to earth, embodied language that Germans use when I immigrated to the US. Here are some of the English examples I found since that give you a sense of how embodiment shows up internationally through your feet.
Getting cold feet
I’ve lost my footing
Got blown of my feet
Walking on eggshells
Tip toe through the tulips [could also belong below]
Having to put a foot into your mouth [might not be so bad after all – try]
And here’s a German one: If your idea has no hand and foot – it’s useless
Jump into life
Down to earth
Walk your talk
Put your foot down
Get a foot in the door
Connecting to our roots
Getting back on you feet again
Land/ Stand on your own two feet
Putting one foot in front of the other
A journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step
At last I want to call to your attention the people who are born without or have lost or badly injured their feet. As a Physical Therapist I can only imagine how their nervous system, physical body and psychology are facing a tremendous amount of challenges with daily ups and downs. But [re]-learning to walk on our own, I know you know, is a tremendous motivation and accomplishment for us humans. I am sure you have also heard of someone who got back onto their feet after a devastating personal event. Do you remember how relieved/light footed that made you feel?
When I was about 21 and working at a big orthopedic hospital, I remember unassumingly asking a patient in his wheelchair: “How is it going?” “It’s rolling!” he answered.
Thank you for taking the time to read.
Onwards in July with
OK – if [foot]-pleasuring is so good for everyone, how can I have and give more of it?
Das Leben vor dem Leben – Katherina Zimmer
Normale Entwicklung des Saeuglings und ihre Abweichungen – Dr. Inge Flehmig
Please! Whatever you do. Stay within the limits of pleasure. Make it simple and easy.
The author doesn’t take any responsibility for any possible consequences that might occur from your thoughts and actions.
Embodiment Expert and Workshop Leader
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