Our toes are part of our foundations and yet so often we forget about them. We'll stretch our bodies in a yoga class, we'll build up our biceps with weights, we'll work out our legs whilst running, but it's rare that we exercise our toes. Here are some simple exercises that can give your toes a beautiful work-out and show them how much you care. Relax in a seated position and carefully clean your feet with a warm cloth paying particular attention to the gaps in-between your toes. As you wash your toes spend time admiring them and reflect on the job that they do. Toes gives us balance and stability, they help support us to stay upright and assist us when walking or running. All in all toes are pretty amazing! Once you have washed your feet spend some time drying each toe with a vigorous rubbing movement. Get the blood flowing in those tootsies! Now it is time to give your toes some serious loving with a massage. I like to use peppermint or lavender essential oil (3 drops of each) mixed with 30 mls of olive oil.
To start the massage, I like to gently press along the bones of each toe feeling for both the phalanges and the metatarsals. I usually work along the top section of my toes before moving to the under section - adding some gentle circular movements will make your toes feel ridiculously happy! As you touch your toes imagine how they work for you as you run up a flight of stairs or as you jump in the air. Once you have finished working on each toe scrunch up your toes tight, hold for a few seconds and then release and stretch your toes out - do this half a dozen times or so. The next exercise reminds me of when my Mum used to wiggle my toes whilst saying the nursery rhyme: "This little piggy went to market." For this exercise I wiggle each toe back and forth. I then carefully open up the gaps between my toes and again apply the same wiggling movement to both toes either side of the gap. By now my toes are smiling with happiness as they feel all that additional space! To finish off this exercise I like to place my fingers in-between each gap for a really good final stretch. I'm told that if this is done on a regular basis it can help prevent bunions developing. For the grand finale, if you haven't done so already say "Thank-you toes for the wonderful job that you do!"