Spring has arrived and with it comes bare feet and exposed toes. Most people ignore their feet during the winter months covering them with sox, shoes, and boots. To be sure, this is the perfect breeding ground for fungus and infections. Total foot care is necessary, and it goes beyond cosmetic purposes.
Our feet are our center of energy. They hold us up, balance our bodies and take us where we want to go in life. Healthy feet benefit the entire body, so it is vital that we look after them.
I read recently that more than 75% of all people in the US have foot problems at some time in their life.
Total foot care can reduce your chances of being one of them and can prevent infections, calluses, and other foot ailments. If you don't take good care of your feet, it can end up being the beginning of severe foot issues later in life that could affect the way you live your life.
Here we'll explore 10 total foot care practices for healthy feet for life.
Total Foot Care For a Lifetime of Foot Health
1. Keep Your Feet Clean
This one is common sense, but you would be surprised at how many people neglect cleaning their feet. Don't be one of them. When bacteria and other microorganisms build up on your feet, it can become unhealthy quickly.
If you love to be bare feet, it's a good idea to have a few special tools for grooming your feet. Dirty feet make it easy for tiny germs to get under the sensitive tissues of your toenails which can lead to a breeding ground for infection.
So, it's a good idea to develop a habit of washing your feet before bedtime. This will help remove the day's dust and bacteria from your feet. Plus you'll sleep so much better with clean feet.
If you have any fungus happening, use a neem soap. It has antibacterial properties.
Once you have finished washing your feet, dry them thoroughly. Especially in the creases between your toes. These areas are the perfect places for infections to take hold.
2. Soaking Your Feet
Besides keeping your feet clean, soak them at least once or twice a week. Studies have shown that soaking your feet can produce a calming response in your body. Taking time to center yourself is important and giving yourself a foot bath is an excellent way to do that. But foot baths are also great for getting rid of some of the toxins in your body.
If you have a smaller tub that can accommodate your feet, you can fill it with warm water and add some Epsom salts. If you let your feet soak for at least 15 minutes, you will loosen any dead skin that is on the surface of your skin. Find an efficient abrasive like pumice or a textured sponge for scrubbing.
3. Remove Dead Skin
Another vital part of keeping your feet healthy has to do with the removal of dead skin. Dead skin is usually somewhat unsightly and can make your skin look drier and older than it should. It can also trap harmful and foul-smelling bacteria.
There are a variety of dead skin removal options available. Some of the best are those that use a simple scraping method. So, begin with a specially designed sponge, foot file, or pumice stone.
It’s always a good idea to soak your feet for at least 15 – 20 minutes before so that you don’t have to rub your skin as hard.
Also, callouses form due to poor circulation. An excellent way to stimulate stagnation is to rub the moist cut end of a slice of ginger root on the calloused area. Or use three drops Rosemary and three drops of Peppermint essential oil in 1 ounce of sesame oil to detoxify and improve circulation and arterial dilation.
After removing your callouses, you’ll notice that your weight is more evenly distributed to the four corners of the feet, where you’re most centered and balanced.
4. Use a Good Foot Oil
You want the skin on your feet to be supple, so use an excellent foot oil to protect them. If you walk bare feet, your skin is less likely to absorb bacteria if you protect them with a moisture barrier.
Changes in temperature and humidity can also affect the skin on your feet more than you may know. A lot of people discover that they get dry, cracked heels during the colder months. This happens because skin cells dry out and have more difficulty staying bonded together.
One of the best ways to stop this is to make sure to keep your feet moisturized with a good foot oil. Massage your feet with oil before bed and then wear socks for extra absorption. This will help to keep your feet very soft and smooth.
5. Keep Your Toe Nails Trimmed
You've probably experienced a moment when you realize that your toenails need attention. Nails that aren’t well kept will be more likely to experience some form of a problem. Longer toenails can become a place for bacteria and fungus to build up, so keep them as short as possible.
A significant thing to remember is that you should always use the proper tools for the trimming task. Invest in a good pair of nail clippers. If you use scissors or another random tool, you could cut your nails improperly and cause more problems.
If you end up with something like a split or malformed nail, see a grooming professional if you can't handle it yourself. You want to take caution not to invite further injury or infection.
6. Massage Your Feet With a Kansa Wand
One of the best foot tools specifically designed for the feet is a Kansa Foot Wand which comes from Ayurveda. The Kansa Wand is said to balance the bodily humors or doshas – Vata, Pitta, and Kapha. And according to Ayurveda, balancing the doshas activates a natural immune response.
I've been using the foot wand on my feet for the last few years. Not only does it improve circulation and pull toxins from your system, it feels fantastic. Discover here how the Kansa Healing Wand works, what health issues it can target, and how you can become more educated to use it properly.
7. Buy Shoes That Fit Well
How well do your shoes fit? An often overlooked casualty of fashion is often comfort. When you're buying new shoes, make sure you don't end up with a pair that is going to damage your feet.
Shoes that are too small or too big can constrict the natural movement of your bones and throw you off balance.
It's important to move around in a potential pair of shoes, so you know where they are going to fit when you're walking. Be sure they are comfortable and allow for good ventilation. This is key because shoes that don't ventilate well will be susceptible to molds, and fungus.
8. Don't Let Sweaty Feet Go Unchecked
According to studies, sweat producing glands in your feet can create between a 1/3 and a 1/2 cup of sweat during average daily activities. If sweat collects in your shoes, it can lead to fungal infection on the surface of your skin or between your toes.
The best way to combat fungal infections is to remove your shoes before they get too soaked with sweat. It's also a good idea to buy shoes specifically for athletic activities. This way you can keep the environment inside each shoe free from contamination.
Wear socks made of breathable material like cotton and change them frequently. In some cases, you may even need to change your socks more than once a day. Even though you might feel this is a pain in the butt, it's better than having an infection take hold.
You can also use a special moisture absorbing pads for your shoes or use foot powder to manage shoe moisture. Try to stay away from wearing anything made of man-made fibers because they tend not to allow moisture to evaporate freely. Stick to natural fibers and your feet will be much more comfortable.
Use the following recipe to naturally deodorize your feet:
Mix one part cornstarch and three pars bentonite clay with 4-5 drops of peppermint essential oil. Make a paste by adding cold water. Apply the paste to your feet for 30 minutes, then rinse and dry thoroughly.
9. Do Regular Self-Exams
Throughout your life, an aging body will eventually face challenges. Frequent self-exams can reveal how your health is unfolding and help you notice what's happening, especially with your feet.
Look at your feet and take note of anything unusual. Notice if you see any evidence of infection like changes in your skin around toenails. Other types of signals could be discoloration, thickening, bruising or blistering.
If you find any problems with your feet, don't ignore it and take further care as soon as possible.
10. Take a Polish Break
If you like to have your toenails painted, it’s a good idea to take some time off from polish.
Most polishes contain chemicals that are damaging. And extended wear causes yellow discoloration and puts you at a risk of fungus and infections. Polish and polish remover also causes the nails to become brittle.
So, during the winter months, let your toenails breathe. They need a break from polish.
If you have polish damage, you can apply jojoba oil or vitamin E oil directly to your nail bed to improve nail health.
So there you have it… 10 natural foot care practices for a lifetime of healthy, happy feet. Just a few simple self-care foot practices can go a long way toward keeping your entire body symptom free.
Take care of your feet, and they will take care of you! There is an ancient Ayurvedic Proverb that says… Disease does not go near one who massages his feet before sleeping, just as snakes do not approach eagles.
So, make a commitment to your foot care because if you do not have healthy feet, your mobility, health, and well-being could be seriously limited.