High Heels: We Love Them But…

November 30, 2010

How can 6 inches transform how your feel about yourself and your place in the world; the answer? Stiletto heels—sexy and elegant! They tighten the calf muscles to slim the legs and give you a sexy walk. They not only transform an outfit they also transform your self-image. The stiletto wields so much power that in spite of the discomfort and precipitating problems they develop in backs, knees and feet women are buying and wearing them in record numbers.

This season the heels have reached such wobbly heights that they are almost impossible to walk in. There’s clearly a point where you run the risk of looking silly and may even break a leg. However, since we women are determined to do what we’re going to do perhaps there’s another alternative where we can wear our shoes and at the same time maintain our body’s integrity.

Alignment is a key issue; when you put on a pair of heels your weight shifts into your toes and your pelvis tips forward creating tension in the low back. Your nervous system thinks you’re going to pitch forward and fall on your nose so it gets busy trying to pull you back to a more neutral position thus chronically tightening the muscles in your calves.

Our feet form a triangle with the heel, little toe and the big toe forming the points. When you’re not wearing heels the weight is evenly spread out to these three points it doesn’t require much effort to hold your self upright. However, even in heels you can make yourself more comfortable by using this principle.

Try this so you can notice the difference:
Stand comfortably in your bare feet. Now without actually lifting your heels off the floor, shift your weight into your toes; stay there for 30 to 60 seconds and notice where you’re holding yourself. Notice the amount of tension in your body.
Come back to your original position and notice how the weight shifts so that it is spread more throughout the entire foot. Feel how this releases the tension you felt before.
Now put on your heels and notice that with your foot shimmed forward most of the weight naturally travels to your toes. Stand there for a minute so that you can feel your automatic response to the weight shift in your feet.
Now, allow some of your weight to move back into your heels that it’s more evenly spread over your entire foot. Notice how this decreases the amount of effort needed to hold you upright.

Remember how this feels so you can put it into practice the next time when you’re wearing those deliciously cute stilettos at the office Christmas party.

If you have any questions or comments visit me, as feldylady on Twitter or on my Facebook page under Sandra Bradshaw, Guild Certified Feldenkrais® Practitioner. 


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Feldenkrais®, Feldenkrais Method®, Awareness Through Movement®, and Functional Integration® are registered service marks of the Feldenkrais Guild® of North America. Guild Certified Feldenkrais Practitioner ™ and Guild Certified Feldenkrais Teacher ™ are certification marks of the Feldenkrais Guild®.