People tend to perceive their bodies primarily on the vertical plane - especially when we are in an upright posture - standing, walking, running - even cycling. The vertical line is top-to-bottom or up-and-down, and our bodies - with our long leg lines and a spine - reside very much in this up-and-down line or plane.
Other than vertical, we understand the horizontal plane - which is evident and most obviously embodied when we lie down. However, there is horizontal even in the upright - in the width of the hips or in having broad shoulders - or in the breadth across the chest or collarbones. So we most easily embody vertical and horizontal - or height and width. But what about depth? How much depth do we perceive in our own bodies? When we say someone is "deep," we usually mean it in terms of the expression of emotions - or maybe artistry.
If you went to a furniture store to buy a sizable cabinet for your office or home, most likely you would take measurements of the space where the cabinet would need to fit. Even if you didn't, at a furniture store or especially - in a catalogue - three dimensions would be specified: height, width and depth. The depth would determine not just sizes of objects which could be stored in the cabinet, but also how sturdily the cabinet could rest against a wall, without having to be braced. Depth determines the stability of something in space, including how the body is stabilized in fully upright standing - or even in upright seated - postures.
The part of the cabinet closest to the floor -
the base -
would be the part in which the depth would be most crucial to stability.
So perhaps you might realize how it could be that the soles of the feet - being the parts of the body closest to the floor - would be what largely determines stability in the body. No matter how much you pull the abs in to try to stabilize between the front and back of your self, you'll not find an ease in posture or agility in active sports unless your feet are useful-of this front-to-back - or depth - or what we'll now start to call - the sagittal plane.
This annotated illustration is meant to show the three main planes -
the up-and-down vertical, the side-to-side horizontal and the front-to-back sagittal, expressed through the feet.
Even though the feet are also within the transverse plane, I most wish to convey the front-to-back aspect of the feet in referring to the feet as residing on the sagittal plane.
Sagittal means "arrow-like. The term sagittal is very closely related to the term for the astrological sign of Sagittarius, whose symbol is well-known as a centaur - but as a centaur shooting a bow-and-arrow.
But in the sagittal plane being arrow-like, you must remember that for an arrow to travel forward, the bow string which shoots the arrow must first be pulled back.
So what I'd like you to imagine in your feet is that the bow string could be the subtle action of the levering of the heel - that even though you walk, or run, or pedal a bicycle forward - that the heel is always drawing back- back-back-back in order for the connection to the legs and hips and lower spine to propel the body forward with ease and efficiency.
Just as if you were going to shoot an entire quiver of arrows, you'd keep pulling the bowstring back first - then allow the elasticity of the string to send the arrows forward, so you do a similar thing - much more subtly - with the heels.
If you have to stand for long periods of time - such as when waiting in line or working behind a counter - think of the heels as being subtly drawn-back as if the bowstrings of two bows-and-arrows are at-the-ready.
And while walking or running, think of having bowstrings on the heels and that you're shooting a huge quiver of arrows one after another, but that with each step of your gait, the bow-strung heels draw back to shoot your body forward - with precision.
This is the ease of aligned - and sagittally-empowered - movement.
There are hundreds more photos, illustrations and image overlays in the e-book High Heel Healing: Using the Feet & Legs Efficiently for Improving Posture and Enhancing Exercise & Sports by Herald
Although this e-book is entitled
High Heel Healing,
the information is not merely for women, nor merely for women who wear high heels.
It's truly a comprehensive book about foot function for spinal support, so there are many men who could get advice about hamstrings, ITB and lower back as well.
It can also help both women and men wear any type of shoe more comfortably - and it will assist both men and women to exercise, walk, run, sit and cycle more efficiently.
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Thanks for taking time to read this blog.
Please comment with thoughts or questions. - Herald
Also read the Related articles shown below for more ways to use the heels.
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Facebook: Heel & Sole for Foot Pain
Twitter: Herald @wingspanman
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