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The feet and clitoris have more in common than you may think.
Our feet have 7,000 nerve endings, while the clitoris has roughly 8,000 nerve endings.
Our feet deserve more of our love and attention. It’s time to kick off our shoes, sense the ground beneath us, and point and flex our toes. The feet are an erogenous nerve party, awaiting our attention to get fired-up…so what are we waiting for?
My sensory awareness of feet and body literacy began as a student of the Nia Technique’s White Belt Training. My teacher, Sophie Marsh, taught me to bring power from behind and underneath by pressing my feet into the earth as I walked. I remember Sophie instructed my class to walk around the space with a heel-lead, sensing the sole of the foot.
At first, I felt absolutely nothing and I looked around the room comparing myself to the enlightened students who were walking their orgasmic, juicy walks in their flared dance pants—and I wanted some of that for myself.
“Start with a smaller range of motion that allows you to have awareness while you move. Sense your feet and notice how your hips gently sway as you lead with your heel and transfer weight along a ‘smile-line’ rather than stomping on the earth. Breathe.” ~ Sophie Marsh
On day three of the six-day training course, I walk around the room with a heel-lead, with power from behind and underneath. I hear the song “Living in the Flow” by Jana Stanfield playing across the studio speakers and I look out the window.
We’re in a large open space above the Palm Beach Surf Club on the Gold Coast in Queensland. The breeze is whipping straight off the Pacific Ocean and cooling the sweat that’s beading on my skin. The words of the song repeat in my head, “Living in the flow of miracles.”
I feel the sensation of pleasure as I sense the soft texture of the carpet beneath my foot and roll from my heel; the ankle joint stabilises before my toes press away.
It’s slow. It’s delicious.
Moving into my hips, I sense a natural smile-line, as my hips gently move in small sideways motions. I sense my clothes—where they touch my skin, the fabric, and how it sticks to my sweaty skin. In this moment, I’m walking in my own pleasure. The 7,000 nerve endings in each of my feet are fired-up and I’m walking my own luscious walk of pleasure.
Another delicious human and co-founder of the Nia Technique, Debbie Rosas, describes our feet as the “hands that touch the earth.” Debbie teaches that the feet speak to us through the voice of pleasure and pain, and if we listen, we can learn to ease tension in the body, strengthen our core with support from behind and underneath, and allow the body to breathe deeply.
Our feet don’t lie. They are the foundation of movement in our body. Taking our shoes off and walking with body awareness increases our body literacy. Listening to the pleasure and pain messages in our feet improves flexibility, agility, mobility, and stability of the feet and ankle joints, which is key to maintaining movement as the body ages.
In our day, we will take around 18,000 steps. Becoming body literate gives us the ability to interpret our body’s language, which is vital.
Here are my favourite ways for sensing pleasure in the feet:
Movement and Dance
Moving to music connects the feet to the joy of sensation and pleasure. Nia classes are a fun and safe space to play with moving our bodies to music whilst conditioning and strengthening our feet. They are done barefoot and are a mindful movement practise designed for every body.
Grounding/Earthing the Body from the Feet
Ground through the body from the feet by taking our shoes off. Stand with our feet hip distance apart and take several deep breaths, in through the nose and out through the mouth.
Sense the ground beneath you. Notice where your feet come into contact with the floor.
Sense the distribution of weight between the right and the left foot. Gently start to sway side-to-side, slowly transferring weight from the left foot to the right.
Come to stillness and imagine roots of a tree extending down from the sole of each foot deep into the earth. Breathe from the roots of our foundations up to the throat, breathe out and release tension in the body. Continue this breath pattern several times.
When we are ready, return to sense the soles of the feet on the ground. Step out of the stance and walk into the rest of our day.
To find out more about earthing and grounding, check out these Elephant articles: The Benefits of Walking Barefoot (& a Simple Ritual for Grounding) and 5 Simple Grounding Exercises to Ease Anxiety & the Stress of Daily Life.
Pleasure Point Massage
Acupressure stems from traditional Chinese medicine and is the application of pressure or massage to points on the body. Acupressure points are located in the upper sole of the foot, which are connected to male and female reproductive organs. Hello erogenous nerve party!
The powerful spot located below the ball of each foot (scrunch your toes and you will see an indentation—that is the spot) is nicknamed the “Bubbling Spring” acupressure point. Hold your thumb on this point and wrap your fingers around the foot to gain leverage whilst going to the deepest pressure for 30-60 seconds. Repeat on the other foot.
Massage your foot using massage oil and knead the soles, the sides of the feet and toes, and explore your own pleasure points in the feet.
Spend Five Minutes Walking Barefoot on the Grass
At the end of the day, head to the park or your backyard and kick your shoes and socks off. Walk barefoot for five minutes.
Slow down. Sense the grass under your feet. Breathe.
Develop a relationship with your feet by looking after them. One way to do this is via a home pedicure. Deeply clean the feet and exfoliate with a pumice stone or a foot scrub.
Check out yoga teacher Kathryn Budig’s tootsie scrub recipe. Moisturise the feet and include a foot massage up to the calves. Apply two coats of nail polish in your favourite colour.
The feet are our voice of pleasure and pain. They are the foundation of movement and mobility in our body. When we look after our feet, we allow ourselves to move with the awareness of sensation.
“When I cannot look at your face
I look at your feet.
Your feet of arched bone,
your hard little feet.
I know that they support you,
and that your sweet weight
rises upon them.
Your waist and your breasts,
the doubled purple
of your nipples,
the sockets of your eyes
that have just flown away,
your wide fruit mouth,
your red tresses,
my little tower.
But I love your feet
only because they walked
upon the earth and upon
the wind and upon the waters,
until they found me.”
~ Pablo Neruda (The Feet)