Ouch… not again. My feet are killing me … again.
This is a common problem for most dancers. Belly dancers are no exception. We like to dancer barefoot or if we are being fancy in painful heels. I have a few great ideas that will help your feet feel better and your whole self in the process.
1. A good soak. I know this is an old fashion idea, but it works. Giving your feet a good soak will do wonders for you whole well-being. I like to use warm to hot (pretty hot, but not burning your feet) water and I like to pamper myself with bath salts and scented soaps. If you have the money invest in one of those expensive foot spas (worth every penny and not as expensive as you think).
2. Loofah/ Scrub – Give your feet a good scrub to get rid of the extra skin and dirt that gets stuck on your feet. I know this is gross, but as dancers our feet can get dirty just from dancing in the classroom. Also scrubing has an added bonus of acting like a short massage for you feet. So get in the shower and scrub, scrub, scrub. Do it every chance you get.
3. Avoid flip flops – I know you’re a dancer and putting on shoes and socks every time you go in and out of class is a pain. I didn’t say avoid sandles, I said avoid flip flops. Flip flops are terrible for your feet. They pull on the muscles and tendons of the foot while giving little to no support. They will hurt your feet over time. I challenge you! Try two weeks with no flip flops. See if it helps.
4. Stretch your Toes: Get those nail polish spacers and stick them in. You can also stick your fingers in between and stretch them (this bothers some people). Wiggle you toes around. You would be amazed how crammed our toes get in shoes all day. Give them some space.
5. Self massage – This is the big one. Its best to use a little lotion or oil to do this. Doing little circles with your thumb, start at the top of the foot and move your way down to the heel. Stop and focus on any knots you feel also spend some time on your heel and arch (big one for dancers). I find that a little massage on the feet goes a long way. I know a few of you out there is thinking, “There is no way I am touching my feet!” Well I suggest you start slow or try using your elbow (no kidding it actually works).
6. (One Extra) Invest in Good Shoes or Arch Supports: Most of the shoes women buy are horrible for the feet. So, I suggest you spend a little extra money, not on the cute shoes but on the shoes that will make you feel better. Good arch support can solve foot pain as well as back and neck pain. I know some of us can’t get rid of our pretty shoes, but maybe we can invest in arch support inserts. They work just as well and help so much.
Try one or try them all. A good dancer takes care of his or herself. So lets not forget our feet.