Shoes for Happy Feet

As a former dancer and current cute shoe enthusiast (let me just pop into Nordstroms and see what’s on sale…) I am admittedly not the poster child for healthy footwear.   As a child I begged my mom for the latest cool boots instead of my dorky sadle oxfords even though getting them on my feet meant me lying on the bed and her using a pair of pliers and some serious muscle.

I am lucky to be genetically gifted with healthy, albeit wide, feet.  I cannot say the same for several of my clients.  If you suffer from hammer toes, bunions, plantar faciatis (or more often fasciosis according to Dr McClanahan, more on that later) or a host of other foot ailments, one solution may be changing your footwear.


Dr Ray McClanahan of Northwest Foot and Ankle here in Portland recommends shoes that are flat, wide across the toes, and flexible.  He has a healthy shoe list on his website with millions of shoe options.

I admit I could go the rest of my life without seeing another adult in crocs, however the Noat  mary janes are super cute.


Ok now back to the faciosis.  Dr Ray claims that most people are misdiagnosed and that the tissue in your foot in not inflamed, it is suffering from lack of blood flow, or necrosis.  In other words dead tissue (I know, gross).  This may be the result of our toes being abducted and extended for long periods of time.  Take a look at the toe spring in the front of a typical running shoe – not a recipe for happy feet.

I usually spend the majority of my day barefoot.  I realize not all of us have this luxury.  If you are suffering from unhappy feet experiment with one of these shoe styles and see if this brings you some pain relief.

I have several clients on a foot heath program that involves exercises, stretches, heat and ice.  Contact me if you would like more information.

Can Exercise Reduce Anxiety?

Can exercise reduce your anxiety and boost your mood?  Research says yes!  According to this article studies suggest that regular exercise can help alleviate anxiety as much as medications and the effects may last longer than those of drugs.

While short 10 to 15 minute bouts of exercise can improve your fitness and your mood, a total of 30 minutes of exercise a day is recommended.  This week try taking the stairs at work, or parking your car a few blacks away from your destination.  What are your favorite tips for adding more movement into your day?

Thai Massage, Snorkeling, and Fire Dancing in Maui Hawaii



I am back from a week in Maui and am now getting around to uploading my photos.  The reason for my trip, along with vacation, was a Table top Thai Stretching course with Valerie “Passion Flower” Mandall.  We learned an excellent lower body routine that I have been testing out on clients this week (you know who you are:).  This work incorporates a lot of stretching, range of motion and breath work.  Really nice after a long run or bike ride, or even sitting at a desk all day.

This is my third trip to the island and I spent most of my time in Kihei.  I’ve decided my favorites spots are on the south and west sides of the island (Kihei, Lahaina and Napili Bay in that order) because it is usually hot and dry.  The north shore tends to be cooler, greener and get more rain.

Most Saturdays and Sundays the HeU’i Arts and Crafts Festival is happening under the Banyan tree in Lahaina.  You can’t miss it, this one tree takes up the whole city block.  I found some nice photography and jewelry made by local artists.



There are several spots along the beach in South Kihei where you can just pull over, and snorkel right from the beach.  At secret beach I saw a yellow tang (my favorite), a trumpet fish and the state fish – humuhumunukunukuapua.  I’m still not able to pronounce this correctly.  I also saw a unicorn fish, an eel,  and one sea turtle.

Kamaole 1,2 and 3 have big grassy areas with picnic tables and you will see local families barbecuing and hanging out on the weekends.  I stuck to snorkeling but if you are interested in SCUBA contact Steve at Maui Dive shops.

Hula Hoop

On Sunday the action is at Little Beach.  Go here to watch the sunset, and post-sunset drumming and fire dancing.  Awesome!  These dancers were unbelievable.  I saw kids as young as 7 or 8 working the flaming hula hoops.  Here a sample:


Even though I slept luxuriously late most days I did manage to do at least 30 minutes of Pilates almost every morning and yoga on the beach several afternoons.  Here are some action shots:






I am planning a client trip for February 2011 so keep your eyes peeled here or on my newsletter for more info.  I would love for you to join me!

And I will  leave you with a sunset…..Aloha and Mahalo!

Hawaii sunset

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Neti Pot

Spring has sprung in Portland! Cherry trees and magnolias are blooming. Tulips are popping up all over my neighborhood. Unfortunately for some of you this may mean a runny nose and itchy eyes. I have spoken with several of you this week suffering from allergy symptoms.

Here is an article from the New York Times about the Neti Pot. This is a simple, drug-free nasal irrigator that can be used by adults and children. Studies have shown that “those treated with nasal irrigation reported greater improvements than those treated with a spray.”

If you are wondering just what the heck a Neti Pot is and how to use it, here is a YouTube demonstration.