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Foot Care for Belly Dancers
Yes, that's right. Your feet are often ignored because your entire body rests on them. Just because your feet allow the rest of your body to be free, doesn't mean everything is great; your feet need attention.
Belly dancers normally do not wear shoes when they dance. They depend on their naked feet to twist, turn, and move from start to finish. Unless there is a stage that is uncomfortable for the feet, belly dancers show them off. However, it is not wise to take your feet for granted, since they are the foundation of, well, everything.
Recently, I went through such a horrible experience with my right foot. What I thought was just a simple pain, turned out to be weeks of pain. Rest and proper foot care, was necessary in order for me to get my foot back to normal. The sesamoid bone, that is the ball connecting the large toe to the rest of the foot, felt pulled and all out of sorts. It was awful.
Never did I visit the doctor concerning this foot injury, so I don't necessarily know how or why. My guess is a combination of things. One, as a belly dancer, I am always on the balls of my feet, always. Certain moves call for being on the balls of your feet; it's the nature of the dance. Second, my flat feet. Need I say more? Third, the shoes I wear to work. High heel shoes do more damage than good.
The foot has twenty six bones. That is just in one foot! If you have the chance, take a look at the anatomy of the foot. Your entire body rests on your feet, so it is a wonder how they put up with the beating. It may be no surprise that a person injures different parts of the foot at different times. Think about an ankle injury, an injured toe, pain to the heels, and like me, injury to the sesamoid bone.
Always remember to warm-up and stretch your feet before you practice. Like the rest of your muscles that you preciously warm-up, you need to dedicate time to your feet. Slowly wiggle the toes, move them up, and back down. You can do this standing. To stretch other areas in your feet, go into a downward facing dog. This yoga pose will allow you to gently put your weight on your hands; thus, freeing your feet. While in the pose, you can lift your heels and bring them down.
While standing, you can rotate your ankles. Stand on one foot and rotate the ankle slow. You should rotate the ankle in each direction. Once you completed the rotation of both ankles, you can stand on one foot again to do the flex and point stretches. Your feet are going to be ready for dancing.
Make sure that your shoes are comfortable and give good support. Although I still wear heels to work, I added extra padding to go under the sesamoid bone. You can purchase these pads at CVS or Walgreens. Simply stick the pad on the shoe and you are ready to go.
There are other pads for different areas of the foot. Also, if you are still recovering from an injury, you should wear a foot wrap. Wear one while you practice and make sure that it is not too tight.
Pamper your feet by soaking them in water. There are several things you can add to the water to make your feet feel wonderful. Mint, salts, and milk are just a few natural items that you can add to the water. Search the internet to find out what is best for you.
Your feet are yours and take care of them. stretch, pamper, and make sure those shoes compliment your feet. If you have a foot injury, then chances are, you ignored your foot for too long.
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