The Benefits of a Cobblestone Tray
A stone tray is a great way to reintroduce movement for our feet and it requires very little time or effort to make - maximum gain for minimum effort!
Variety is the spice of life so they say, and this applies as much to our feet as it does to other aspects of our lives. There’s very little variety in the terrain we walk on; it’s flat, even, predictable and doesn’t challenge us neurologically or physiologically. Convenience has its price and barefoot shoes can only do so much to restore foot mobility if we’re always walking on level ground.
Uneven surfaces and varied terrain mobilises our feet, improves balance and helps decrease structural problems up the chain (if the feet aren’t working as they should, other areas have to compensate). Transitioning from even to uneven surfaces takes time in the same way that switching to minimal shoes does; tissue needs to get used to new length and your structure needs time to adjust. Gaining mobility is a lengthly process so take this as a caveat - where the mind is willing, the body may not be completely able.
Cobblestone paths are common throughout China and are often recommended to people with a variety of health issues as, in Traditional Chinese Medicine, the uneven surfaces are said to regulate and stimulate acupressure points on the soles of the feet which to relate to specific internal organs.
It may feel painful at first as there are a lot of nerve endings in our feet that are unused to new sensations; build up tolerance to standing on it progressively and it won’t feel so overwhelming!
i. Buy or make a tray to put your stones in. I bought mine from IKEA (BAGGMUCK Shoe mat) for £2.25 and the dimensions are:
Length 71cm x Width 35cm x Height 3cm
ii. Buy or collect stones or varying textures, shapes and sizes.
iii. Add stones to tray.
iiii. Place stone tray somewhere you stand often (bathroom / kitchen / workstation).
iv. Every once in a while rearrange the stones.
I’ve been following my hunch about critical thinking recently and how it can impact every area of our lives. We all think we are more rational and logical than we are, and our beliefs, choices and decisions are made for us and not by us more than we’d care to admit.
Popcorn has been reborn as a gourmet food in recent years. I, however, grew up eating the unholy sugar-laden Butterkist popcorn which stuck to my teeth. As I munched on another huge bag it occurred to me that I really should just start making my own as it is ridiculously easy and satisfying. I don’t own a microwave, so it’s stove-top popcorn every time for me.
My new favourite YouTuber, a beautiful place for a swim and the endless search for stretchy trousers I can train in.
Frances’ week in links.
Interoception is the awareness of internal body sensations and provides us with information about how our body is feeling on the inside and is the way we self-regulate to ensure that we look after ourselves, allowing us to sense things like pain, hunger or thirst and take appropriate action based on these signals.
Perception can determine reality so, although there are certain factors (such as age or gender) that can make us more vulnerable to victim selection, we can stack the deck in our favour by adopting confident body language. As Jerry Sternin said, ‘it’s easier to act your way into a new way of thinking, than think your way into a new way of acting.’
Our whole culture is underpinned by measured time. Instruments invented to track time have been traced back about 6000 years to the Egyptians yet it was only about 500 years ago that clocks became precise enough to be measured and minutes and seconds became the universal norm. To put this in perspective, if accepted human history spans 24 hours, 43 minutes represents the amount of time since clocks were invented and 3.5 minutes since we began using minutes and seconds.
A stone tray is a great way to reintroduce movement for our feet and requires very little time or effort - maximum gain for minimum effort!
Variety is the spice of life, so they say, and this applies as much to our feet as it does to other aspects of our lives. Convenience has its price and barefoot shoes can only do so much if we’re always walking on level surfaces and this limits restoring foot mobility.
Flexibility isn’t about using physical force to lengthen muscles, it’s about communication; reassuring our nervous system that a particular range of motion is safe to move into.
Functional: To be practical and useful, rather than attractive.
That is the definition of the word Functional, so then why are so many of the functional exercises we see popularized currently so useless. Most functional training fails to replicate anything you would actually do in your everyday life, and that’s what I’m going to look at in this video