Custom fit orthotics are similar to Killz paint for stained or moldy walls. You can paint over the ugly wall and make it white, but you didn’t really get rid of the ugly problem. It’s still there.
Tired and achy feet don’t need special orthotics. Yes, there may be the rare exception. But let’s not talk about the rare exception. Because products like Dr. Scholl’s “custom” orthotic machine in stores would make you believe everyone should be wearing orthotics.
The reality is most people would start to feel better if they simply spent the vast majority of their time walking around in bare feet. And when they have to wear shoes, a pair that’s as minimal as possible. Meaning, a pair of shoes where you can actually feel the ground you walk on.
The Kenyans that run in their bare feet are not exceptionally gifted. They just didn’t brainwash their bodies with technology. Imagine that.
Orthotics don’t address the real problem of why you’re feet are tired and achy. They might mask it temporarily. The same way a special wrist brace does for people with “carpal tunnel syndrome.” Anything that prevents your body from moving in a 100% natural, unrestricted way will have negative side effects over time.
Think about it. If you’re restricting your movement with a brace, you’re preventing the body from performing in a natural way.
Compensations are sure to take place.
It’s important to look at what caused the problem in the first place. Again, it’s not the tire that’s the problem.
It’s the car’s alignment.
So doesn’t it make sense to figure out what’s causing the alignment problems?
If one hip is higher than the other, it’s not that one leg is longer or shorter. That’s ridiculous.
So imagine if you were told to wear an extra orthotic insert of some kind in the shoe for the “shorter” leg? Are you fixing the real problem?
No, you’re going to make it worse. You’re going to make it more difficult to bring it back to neutral – to its normal position….That being level on the right and left side.
So before you pull on a special pair of shoes or go and buy some fancy orthotics, I’d like you to take just a few minutes to try something. Read this through first, then just do it.
First, stand up close your eyes. Keep your eyes closed, and march in place for a few seconds, then stop and stand as you would normally stand. Keep your eyes closed.
Notice your balance. Are you having trouble staying steady? How about your feet? Where do you feel your weight? Is it evenly distributed? On the balls of your feet? Or is it more on the outside or inside of your feet? Is it different on your right foot than your left foot?
Open your eyes up and look down at your feet. Are they even or is one foot ahead of the other? Are you feet pointing straight ahead?
Now I’d like you to find a mirror, preferably a full length mirror, but one from the knees up will do for now. Stand in front of it so you can see all or as much of your body as possible. March in place for a few seconds and stop and stand naturally.
Take a look at your body carefully. Does anything pop out at you as off? Let’s start with your hands. Can you see the back of your hands at all? Is one hand more in front of you than the other?
How about your shoulders? Is one shoulder a little lower than the other? Take a look at your hands again to help you here. Do you see your fingers dangling lower on one hand versus the other?
Now look at your head. Is it tilted more to the left or right?
Now that’s a quick little survey of your body that I’m willing to bet you’ve never done before. And probably you’re doctor has never had you perform.
But I don’t want you to just move on from this experience. Please make sure you walk away with this: If when you stand naturally, your feet aren’t pointing straight ahead, and your hands aren’t at your sides (so you can’t see the back), and your shoulders aren’t even, and your head is not straight (without any tilt), your body is compromised.
How you feel may not be affected now, but certainly there’s a strong likelihood that it will be one day. Think about it. How could it not be? Right? Are bodies are much more dynamic than a car.
For good or bad, we make adjustments to work around problems and dysfunctions. A car only knows the right way, and if the axel isn’t aligned the right way, the tires will wear out unevenly, and you will see and pay for it soon enough and move on.
So you now have the opportunity to do something about your body. It’s 100% your choice. Kick the can down the road until it runs into a brick wall and says, “Sorry, you can’t kick me any farther,” or take action on the most valuable asset in your life: YOU.