A Typical Client Experience

When you think you've exhausted all your avenues but it turns out you've only exhausted the WEIRD ones

In my last post I outlined (with your generous feedback) some of the problems people have with their feet. Of course, I already knew about all these problems, but it is better reflected back to you than having someone tell you "you know what your problem is? this is your problem!" That's never nice to hear. Because you know what your problems are (clearly) and you know there's got to be a solution out there, but where, and which one (because I'm certainly not the only good foot person out there). Why me?  Anyone with good googling skills can put together an impressive set of facts, but do they really know their stuff, and why am I any different?

Clients sign up for sessions with me for a variety of issues, and I always listen to them very carefully, and then I reflect their story back to them, using my filters, so they can see their own issues from a different perspective, using a different lens. This is something I have learned to do organically, because it makes you feel heard, and then it gives you a broader outlook, and finally I outline a plan that might never have occurred to you before, because it's difficult to think outside the box (or tank) when you are inside it and have never seen what it's like outside it. And then we start with your feet, because we have to work from the ground up (it's physics).

How can you know how to address your issues if all the resources you've been given are the ones that you've been using and it's not working? Will it suddenly work the 1000th time or is it safe to say that after a really good try, it's time to move on. If everyone you see gives you a different version of the same story, yet seems confident that their version is "the one!" eventually you give up looking for the answer and become a statistic.

The reason I help so many people (as does Nutritious Movement's Katy Bowman through her books and videos) is because I've been exposed to an outside the tank perspective, one where you aren't at fault as much as at a disadvantage because our cultural outlook doesn't look kindly on alternative views.

If you've read Move Your DNA, you will know the story of the orca in the tank and the floppy fin - I won't ruin the ending for you, but it turns out that most research is done on people in our culture. For example, foot turnout is considered "normal" because most of the population has it (between 5-12 degrees). That means, that out of everyone measured, they mostly fell into this range and that is a good representation of our current population and this is accepted as a normal range. But because we don't have access to cultures and populations from the past whose behaviour and environment was different from ours, we can't really know what "natural" is. Most (80%) research is conducted on Western, educated, industrialized, rich and democratic (WEIRD) - which represents only 20% of the world's population. And it's well known that most research is done on men and then adjusted if it affects women (such as drug dosage).

So when I see my typical client (female, 50-65, active, creative, curious and open minded) I already know they've exhausted the obvious avenues, and sometimes is being told that medical intervention in the form of therapy, surgery or devices is the last resort. They are ready to try something out of the tank, as long as it makes sense. The second thing I hear most from clients is "that makes so much sense!" (the first is "I wish I knew this sooner"). If you've been exposed to the Nutritious Movementâ„¢ way of looking at movement, you will have probably experienced this as well.

I often receive reports of things changing in mysterious ways after years (decades sometimes) of being a certain way. After one class recently a new client reported her massage therapist couldn't believe the difference, the movement in the joint in question was markedly changed. The work seems so subtle and yet, something shifted. 

I like to think that what I do is talking gently to the CNS, so that it feels safe to offer change. Anyone who works with dogs or horses knows that force can get results but at a cost. It's much better to present an environment or situation where the animal willingly offers, and if you are asking the right questions, the answer will present itself. You can force movement, you can override pain with enough injections or painkillers, but if you create an environment where the body is in control, feels safe and recognizes a novel solution, sometimes things just fall into place. The body is wonderful.

If this sounds like something you would like to know more about, my new course Rescue Your Feet is coming soon and you can be on the list for launch notification by signing up here.

Categories: Teaching, Feet