At first glance, exercises with your feet may not make sense when you’re trying to get relief from your back.
However, these exercises have been effectively used for thousands of years in China. This technique is called acupressure and it applies the same principles as acupuncture to promote relaxation and wellness and to treat disease.
Acupressure is often thought of as simply acupuncture without the needles.
Why Does Acupressure Work?
Traditional Chinese medical theory describes special acupoints, or acupressure points, that lie along meridians, or channels, in your body. These are the same energy meridians and acupoints as those targeted with acupuncture.
It is believed that through these invisible channels flows vital energy — or a life force called qi (ch’i). It is also believed that these 12 major meridians connect specific organs or networks of organs, organizing a system of communication throughout your body.
The meridians begin at your fingertips, connect to your brain, and then connect to an organ associated with a certain meridian.
Therefore, these 5 simple exercises will help you improve the balance, strengthen the feet, and soothe pain:
1. Toe press
It’s always important to get a good warm up going before engaging in exercise. We use the toe press movement to get the blood flowing and body prepared.
As you are standing straight up, bend your knees a little to grab the floor with your toes. Do this for five seconds and repeat for a total of ten times. This works best when you do this three times a day.
2. Toe Pencil Pickups
Place a pencil on the ground, and grab with your toes so that it’s off the ground and hold for ten seconds. Do this five times with each foot.
3. Toe Walking
In order to strengthen the toe muscles, the ligaments, and the muscles surrounding the balls of the feet, you should try toe walking. Just stay on the tiptoes and move forward for 20 seconds, rest for 15 seconds, and repeat five more times.
For best effects, do this twice daily.
4. Resisted Flexion
This simple exercise targets the tiny muscles in the foot, which are responsible for balance. It will also tighten the muscles and prevent injuries.
While sitting on the floor, straighten the feet in front and wrap an exercise band around the bedpost. Then, place the band on the top of the feet, and lean backward to tighten it. Then, with the foot bent backward, hold for 5 seconds, rest a bit, and make 10 repetitions.
5. Ankle circles
Tight ankles are often caused by an overload of the body, leading to muscle and joint pain, as well as hip, knee, and back pain. This is why we need flexibility and mobility for the ankle.
While lying on the back, extend the leg over the head, and rotate it clockwise. Count to 10, and repeat with the other leg as well.