Sunday, September 26, 2010

Dancing with the Stars?

I am not Bristol Palin, nor do I ever wish to be. I have no famous mother so no one is going to take some one like me with no physical talent, spend a nice chunk of change on lessons, and jet me into the ranks of the rich and famous.

 If I can't be Bristol Palin, I am certainly not going to be the great ballerina, Margot Fonteyn, either. Nor will I dance with the Pennsylvania Ballet Company, Philadanco, BalletX, or Koresh Dance Company.

 But I can be treated by someone who takes care of the toes of many of the aforementioned companies. While doing Occupational Therapy for balance problems, my OT noticed that my feet don't point out straight and that this impacts my gait (technical word for walking).

 If my feet aren't stable, then my balance won't be completely stable. The OT verified this by having me walk a straight line and I wobbled a little bit. So, off I go to the Podiatrist.

 I found Dr. Diamond at the Center for Enhanced Podiatric Function who takes care of most of the dance companies in Philadelphia. The man knows the toes and blends Eastern and Western medicine in treating foot problems. His assistant took my history and then had me walk on the TOG Gait Scanner, a digitized scanner of the foot.
 The TOG Gait Scanner produces a little "heat map" of the foot showing the pressure points where you foot hits the surface.

 Next, I saw the Doctor who told me that contrary to what I had thought about my feet: I do not have high arches but, apparently, my foot rolls outward. We will work on training the foot to roll inward.

 Dr. Diamond had his assistant "rack my toes". I put my foot into a contraption that stabilizes it and then stretches my Big Toe and the First Toe for 10 minutes. Then, she gave my foot muscles some stimulation with an electric stimmer for another 10 minutes in order to soften them up. Then Dr. Diamond taped up my foot.  He uses the KinesioTaping Method of taping.  Kinesio Taping uses the body's natural healing process by activating neurological and circulatory systems.    I am to keep my foot taped for 2 days and then I can take off the bandages. I will see him weekly to train the toes.

 I felt a lot better after my toes were taped. I felt the ground solidly under my feet and psychologically, felt more secure and grounded. It is amazing how changing your feet can change your overall sense of well being. It's too bad that I hadn't had this taken care of before I started OT for balance. But, who would have thunk it. It's amazing how all of my problems get tied together. Poor stance impacts posture and balance. Lousy balance and posture lead to misaligning the body and impacts focus. Lousy focus and vision problems lead to bad posture as you try to compensate for a weaker eye and poor eyesight.

 It's a shame these problems weren't taken care of earlier. Not that I would have been Dancing with the Stars, but my adolescence would have been different. I do enjoy moving my body. I think I would have been one of the chorus members in a school musical or something like that. I would have gone out disco dancing more in college. Well... here's what seeing what maturity will bring.