Tag Archives: feet

Curiosity why some things work…

I am sure my best friend won’t mind if I use my darling Godson as a blog post subject.

My 2 year old Godson has been stricken with croup and a chesty cough on top of that now, and he has been sleeping fitfully and being sick a lot as well.  Poor little chap.  It was suggested by one of our mutual Facebook friends that she try putting Vicks Vapo-rub on the soles of his feet to stop the coughing.  It worked!

Vaporub

After reporting this fact, my friend was curious as to why it worked, and to be fair, I was thoroughly intrigued and so I have done some speedy research.  I know from previous research that a traditional folk remedy for bad chests is to put poultices on your feet, and I know anecdotally that it works a treat, but what is the scientific reason why it works?

My research turned up something called the Theory of Counter Irritation.  Essentially, what this states is that if you have an internal pain, or discomfort in one place, then causing a pain or irritation in another place  or externally will help alleviate the original pain or discomfort.  That seems something of a circular argument to me, seeing as you will still have a pain or irritation, but I suppose the menthol, eucalyptus and camphor in the Vapo-rub is not really pain.  It isn’t really discomfort either.  Still.  I am not sure I am necessarily convinced by this argument.

reflexology chart

So the other explanation I found surrounds reflexology and how parts of the feet essential parts of this holistic practice.  Basically, the idea behind reflexology is that there are different areas of the feet which have links to different parts of the body.  Massaging the feet can, according to this theory, really assist you in maintaining overall health.  My hypothesis in relation to Vicks Vapo-Rub is therefore that rubbing the warming jelly on the feet will relax the body and if the body is relaxed, then hopefully coughing will be less of an issue.  I don’t know about you, but after having a foot rub, I tend to be all floppy and relaxed, so this theory persuades me slightly more.

toddler sleeping

In the final analysis however, who cares why it works.  When you are desperate to do something to help a small person struggling to sleep and coughing a lot, you are really only worried about making sure SOMETHING works, not necessarily why it works or how it works.  Still, something to be remembered for the next time I feel like death warmed up and have a cough that just won’t quit!

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Problems with your Plates of Meat…

In cockney rhyming slang, plates of meat are your feet.  I have terribly problems with my feet.  They are flat as a pancake and it makes buying and wearing shoes and getting around on some occasions, really rather painful.   This is one reason why you will not see me wearing heels very often.  Not just that I resemble an elephant balancing on toothpicks.

flat feet

How do you know if you have flat feet?  Well, the best way is to look at your footprints, maybe when you walk along the beach.  If you see a crescent shape on either side of your foot, then you have well defined arches.  If you don’t then welcome to the flat footed club.

Being flat footed is not necessarily a problem.  Plenty of people are and still manage to compete is sports and go through life relatively untroubled by it all.  But you need to be warned.  Flat feet can cause pain in the bottom of the foot, as well as in the calves, knees, hips and back.

flat foot shoes

The best tips for flat feet is to buy shoes which are sensible.  Okay, so it is not as fun and prancing about in the latest Manolos, but it is a darn site more comfortable.  I always go for shoes with decent arch support.  When I am at home, I can be found bumming around in running shoes mostly, and even my smarter dress shoes, all have good arch supports.  Boring, but sensible.  One interesting titbit though; buying flat shoes with no heel can be worse for you than teetering about on towering stillettos.  You need a slight heel, even as little as and eighth of an inch, to keep your foot in the right position.  You can buy lifts to go into shoes if you need to, but just tend to go for a shoe with a teeny broad heel rather than flatter than a prairie heel.

You might also want to buy an insert or insole for your shoe.  Now, often it can seem that they are awfully expensive for what they are, but you don’t have to go expensive for it to work properly.  Scholl stores tend to have inexpensive and useful options, although the last time I went in there, it had to pay a pretty high price for an insole that didn’t work all that well really.

handmade shoes

Of course, if money is no object, then getting handmade shoes might be the best way forward.  Sadly, it is dying art, and it is very, very expensive to have done, but if you have to consult a podiatrist, they can help to work with a shoe manufacturer to get shoes made for your foot issues.  Yeah… that is going to have to wait until my number come up on the lottery.  And at that point I might get a pair of knee boots made to go around my thunder calves as well.

Definitely dreaming territory there.