Feet hurt? Chances are it's your shoes.

August 14, 2018

One of the things I remember from my Seattle Reflexology & Massage Center training is that 85% of the trouble people have with their feet is caused by their shoes. This statement came even closer to home when I began selling shoes in 2004 to those with Diabetes and Medicare under the Shoe Bill. That bill was created to help prevent lower leg, foot and toe amputations in those with Diabetes which was costing the government $6 billion a year. It is now known as the Therapeutic Shoe Program for Diabetes (TSPD).  In Seattle I became known as the Shoe Lady at HUD housing, senior centers, and retirement places. My job was to give talks about healthy foot care, measure feet with a Brannock device, and deliver shoes with a deeper, wider toe box.  It was observing and holding these hundreds of feet and visiting with this population that led me to reflexology training.

I tell you this because I truly understand that the shoes we wear cause foot problems. But it wasn’t until I moved to Portland and met podiatrist Dr. Ray McClanahan, the owner of Northwest Foot and Ankle that I learned the solution.  Here was a man who had given up his surgical practice and dedicated himself to solving foot pain through natural health care.  In that first meeting, he talked about shoes, fit and solutions. His office was filled with racks of Crocs. I thought they were gardening shoes. But they were the beginning of the solution because Crocs were neutral (level to the ground), flexible, and lightweight with an extra wide, roomy toe box. 

In exchange for that visit, I invited Dr. McClanahan to Portland Reflexology for a session. And I’ve been teaching you, dear clients, what Dr. Ray taught me: Most foot problems are caused by shoes that don’t fit.  And, yes, there is a natural solution to most of the issues I hold in my hands every day.  I can show you how to buy shoes that fit properly, and the right shoes can correct bunions, hammertoes, plantar fasciosis, neuromas, and pronation. For some, wearing a lightweight toe spreader called Correct Toes that Dr. Ray has developed will bring huge benefits.

When we stand on our insoles we can immediately see if our shoes fit. If your foot hangs over the insole or there is not a thumb-width of space between your longest toe and the end of the insole, your shoes are too narrow or too short.  Yes, it’s that simple.

If you know someone whose feet hurt, would you please refer them to me?  Not only can I teach them how to buy shoes that fit properly, I can reflex and stretch those toes and the parts of the foot that hurt. It’s my job to relax the foot (and body), increase blood flow, eliminate pain and demonstrate foot exercises. Reflexology is a marvelous way to de-stress and balance the whole body.  I also have Correct Toes, which help spread the toes and provide greater stability and balance. 

But let’s start with shoes that fit properly. 

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Nancie Hines, MA

OR LMT 18833

Oregon Reflexology Network
National Certified Reflexologist

(1 of 2 Nationally Certified in Portland)

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