Plantar Fasciitis Foot Pain Relief Using Integrated Positional Therapy



Five years ago I sprained my right ankle walking Scruff, the dog, the evening before my daughter’s wedding rehearsal dinner. With much icing and resting and elevating and Reiki over the next 36 hours, I was even able to walk down the aisle in my fancy, strappy, mother-of-the-bride sandals. But the full swelling never really went down and I continued to experience weakness in that ankle and developed a sharp tearing pain in my arch.

A year later, I sprained the other ankle, again walking Scruff, and wearing the same favorite, most comfortable pair of Crocs all weather plastic clogs. In both sprains, it was the shoe’s rounded sole design that allowed my foot to roll under when stepping on an uneven sidewalk, violently twisting my ankle along with it. Reluctantly, I recycled the Crocs that day.

I’m fairly certain that the initial weakness in my right ankle caused me to over-rely and weaken my left ankle, ultimately resulting in its own injury. As time passed, I noticed a greater variety of twinges, stiffness and swelling on both feet and ankles that seemed to come and go at will. Good walking days and bad ones. Feet hurt more, feet hurt less, but they never really felt good.

Having used acupuncturists as my primary care practitioners for the past 30 years, my acupuncturist and I worked with various treatments to alleviate the pain and reduce swelling, resulting in only isolated successes. As a 20-year yoga student, I asked my yoga teacher for exercises to help strengthen my feet and ankles, however, I admit that I did not do them earnestly. The pain seemed bigger than something exercises could help and I lost interest. Since some were poses we did fairly routinely in class once a week, perhaps I also thought that was enough.

But the pain in my feet continued to worsen and became a constant companion. The ripping pain in my right arch often prevented me from going places that involved even a little extra walking. However, there was no way I could resist the call of the warm, sunny beach in Truro with my 1-year-old granddaughter on it! As we were leaving the beach, I remember climbing barefoot up the very steep and very hot sand dune, wondering if my feet were going to make it. It was a big stretch, in more ways than one. It wasn’t until the next morning that I realized the searing pain in my right arch had inexplicably vanished. Was it the heat of the sand? The vertical stretch on the dune?

At least it was gone, but far from forgotten. Before long, other pains, stiffness and swelling in both feet and ankles replaced the instep’s insistent voice, “Help! We need attention!” Only in my mid-fifties, I worried this was the start of feet problems for the rest of my life. Then in April 2016, I attended Marilyn Taylor’s monthly Wellness Roundtable holistic networking meeting in Northborough, MA, and heard two local practitioners speak about therapeutic stretching. Even with my sore feet, I wasn’t particularly interested in stretch therapy at the time, but both Pat Lebau’s presentation on Integrated Positional Therapy and Judy Malcolm’s follow-up with Fascial Stretch Therapy ignited wonder and fascination for me. How could something as simple as stretching relieve excruciating pain?

Two weeks later I found out. It was Sunday afternoon and sudden debilitating pain struck my right heel, preventing me from walking or even flexing my foot. While I had learned to live with foot and ankle pain for the past five years by walking gingerly, and no running or jumping, I couldn’t live with this pain, so I hobbled over to my desk to research my symptoms online.

Oh! So this is plantar fasciitis, which up until now had just been a condition with a name I couldn’t pronounce. Everything I read online told me to flex my toes up against a wall or flat surface to stretch out the plantar fascia along the bottom of my foot, which I dutifully performed without relief.

Pat Lebau from the Wellness Roundtable popped into my mind so I emailed her for some advice. As fortune would have it, she emailed right back and instructed me, above all, not to stretch my toes upward. Curl them under. This helps slacken the plantar fascial muscle, which is already overstretched and the cause of the pain in the first place. Very quickly the pain subsided to the point where I could at least walk on the foot. I scheduled a full Integrated Positional Therapy session with Pat for the next morning, and continued curling my toes under for instant, though temporary, relief from the pain.

During my IPT session, Pat first assessed the way I held my body and moved, asked lots of questions and then had me hop up on the massage table for the work. Very gently and completely painlessly she stretched and moved my body into precise positions to relieve pain. Even very minute repositioning of a muscle could mean the difference between feeling pain and no pain; it was that precise. Pat worked on my entire body during the session, holding each pain relief pose for a minute or two, while focusing most intensely on my feet, legs and hips. When I blissfully stepped off the table and onto the floor, my feet and legs were so light and pain free, I felt like I was floating.

While Pat sent me home with a protocol of five stretching exercises I should do at least once daily — just a seven-minute regimen — my feet, ankles and legs felt so good I hardly even gave the stretches another thought. All of the stretches were extremely simple, and even felt good, such as windshield washer feet: Lie on your stomach, feet up in the air and wave them side to side like windshield wipers. Your feet will instantly be relieved of pain and you even get a gentle internal organ massage on the front of your body. Or try sitting on your feet: Kneel on a rug or pad and gently lower your bottom towards your heels with the tops of your feet flat on the floor (plantar fascia slackening position). Place as much padding or pillows under your bottom so you can comfortably sit on your heels, making sure you are adjusted high enough so your knees or feet feel no pain. Sit and breathe for at least one minute.

Despite the gradual return of daily pain in both feet and ankles, I was reluctant to add yet another caretaking step to my day, and only occasionally made half-hearted attempts to do the stretches. Within a month, I was calling Pat for an emergency session to relieve serious pain issues again and resolved to do the exercises daily. Once again, her therapeutic touch relieved my pain and I promptly forgot all about the home stretching.

Not long after, Pat sponsored a local lecture and yoga class with Integrated Positional Therapy founder Lee Albert, NMT. Lee is a highly popular neuromuscular therapist and yoga instructor at Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health in Lenox, MA, and for good reason. Having lived through pain personally and worked with it professionally for decades, Lee shares his wisdom about pain relief as readily as common sense. It’s easy to learn something new when it works on the spot. I learned so much during Lee’s presentation about pain, I couldn’t wait to get home and start doing my daily stretches.

And it worked. For the past six months my feet and ankles have been pain free. I hardly go a day without doing my stretches because I am so grateful for something that works so well to keep me walking and pain free — all without an office visit, filling out a form or even paying a dollar. Lee emphasizes doing the stretches at least once daily (preferably more), holding each pose at least 30 seconds to a minute (since a stretch is not very effective under 30 seconds), and breathing deeply down into the belly throughout each stretch. Deep belly breathing floods the internal organs with prana (life force) while carrying waste out of the body through exhalation. For a multi-tasker like me, giving myself something productive to do (deep breathe) during the whole impossibly long minute I’m standing there holding each stretch is an added bonus and motivation.

As an Aquarian, a sign supposedly vulnerable to weakness in the ankles, I once thought I might be resigned to an early unwelcome fate, but my IPT stretches confirm that my health is grounded firmly on my own two feet.

Previous Story

 

Submit Your Own Healing Account Here

Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Add your comment:
Edit Module Edit ModuleShow Tags

Daily Astrology

April 29, 2017

The morning pace is fast from the start. The Gemini Moon is in an effervescent angle with Mercury. Because the winged messenger of the Gods is still retrograde it’s an opportune day to review papers, return calls, discard unnecessary clutter and follow…
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Alternative Health Directory

Browse all listings »

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Calendar

April 2017

Reiki Level I is an introduction to the basic principles of traditional Usui Reiki. The skills learned help you develop more fully your human potential by activating your healing hands to...

Cost: $125

Where:
Northeast Reiki Center
61 Nicholas Road, Suite B2
Framingham, MA  01701
View map »


Sponsor: Northeast Reiki Center
Telephone: 508-808-5696
Contact Name: Lou Orsan
Website »

More information

January 14 - December 9, 2017 With Tom Frederick Novice — This 12-month program is designed to assist you on your journey to spiritual enlightenment. Here we study a variety of esoteric...

Cost: $1300

Where:
Women of Wisdom
118 Washington Street
North Easton, MA  02356
View map »


Sponsor: Women of Wisdom
Telephone: 508-230-3680
Contact Name: Women of Wisdom
Website »

More information

2 hours of amazing healing. Join us for an hour of Yoga Nidra (with relaxing music) — known as yogic sleep — a meditation and conscious relaxation practice that is intended to induce...

Cost: $50

Where:
YOUnity Yoga & Wellness
189 Main Street
4th floor
Milford, MA  01757
View map »


Telephone: 508-478-3333
Website »

More information

April 21 - 23 Level I & II in Boston, MA. For information and registration visit www.marconics.com. 4/21: Friday 6 - 9 pm 4/22: Saturday 9:30 am - 4:30 pm; 6:30 - 9:30 pm 4/23: Sunday...

Where:
Embassy Suites
207 Porter Street
Boston, MA
View map »


Telephone: 617-366-6042
Website »

More information

Hatha yoga classes are held on Sunday mornings from 10 - 11 am in the Function Room at the Village at Waterman Lake. These classes are mixed levels and open to the public. Please register at...

Cost: $12

Where:
Village at Waterman Lake
715 Putnam Pike
Greenville, RI  02828
View map »


Sponsor: The Yoga Workshop
Telephone: 401-261-1060
Contact Name: Barbara Fetta
Website »

More information

Sunday Reiki treatments with Reiki master and practitioner Linda Simons in Brookline, MA. Start your week off on a more balanced note with a Reiki treatment on a Sunday afternoon. Please join me...

Cost: Sliding Scale $20-$40

Where:
233 Harvard Street
Suite 36
Brookline, MA  02446
View map »


Telephone: 617-304-2205
Contact Name: LInda Simons
Website »

More information

Spend a quiet, relaxing meditative afternoon drawing structured patterns that create beautiful images. Focus on being in the present moment and let go of the outcome. No experience necessary....

Cost: $20

Where:
HeartSong Spiritual Wellness
23 Pine Street
Milford, MA  01757
View map »


Website »

More information

Prayer for Peace — Lao-Tse If there is to be peace in the world, There must be peace in the nations. If there is to be peace in the nations, There must be peace in the cities. If...

Cost: Donation / heart offering

Where:
HeartSong Spiritual Wellness
23 Pine Street
Milford, MA  01757
View map »


Sponsor: HeartSong Spiritual Wellness Center
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

January 14 - December 9, 2017 With Tom Frederick Novice — This 12-month program is designed to assist you on your journey to spiritual enlightenment. Here we study a variety of esoteric...

Cost: $1300

Where:
Women of Wisdom
118 Washington Street
North Easton, MA  02356
View map »


Sponsor: Women of Wisdom
Telephone: 508-230-3680
Contact Name: Women of Wisdom
Website »

More information

We do not discuss technology. This is a non-technical meeting. Hello everybody, This is a group for anyone interested in finding healing solutions to chronic diseases using big data. We do...

Cost: Free

Where:
Cambridge Innovation Center
1 Broadway
Cambridge, MA  02142
View map »


Sponsor: TeddycanHeal.Com
Telephone: 617-395-8864
Contact Name: Ray
Website »

More information

Qigong is an amazing practice for health, healing and inspiration. Qigong is a series of flowing and repeated movements, stretches and breathing exercises that are very easy to learn and may be...

Cost: Drop in $20 or purchase series card

Where:
The Yoga Depot
17 Depot Square
Lexington, MA  02420
View map »


Sponsor: BodyWork Revolution
Telephone: 781-372-1000
Contact Name: Steve Cunningham
Website »

More information

Start your week on a positive note! Each Monday, we will come together to discuss meditation techniques followed by the opportunity to put those techniques into practice with a goal of developing a...

Cost: $10

Where:
Women of Wisdom
118 Washington Street
North Easton, MA  02356
View map »


Telephone: 508-230-3680
Website »

More information

Feeling stuck in some area of your life? Learn how to shift your energy to support your intuition, relationships, life direction. Release what is holding you back — live and act from your...

Cost: $100 each class plus book /CDs

Where:
Gracepoint Holistic Health
382 Boston Turnpike
Suite 203B
Shrewsbury, MA  01545
View map »


Sponsor: Gracepoint Holistic Health
Telephone: 508-868-2168
Contact Name: Diane Burns
Website »

More information

4 Workshops, each on a Monday starting April 24 and ending May 15. Strong Core/Balanced Body with certified health fitness coach Jean Gillis Join us for this low-impact class for all ages and...

Cost: $20 for 1 or $65 for all

Where:
YOUnity Yoga & Wellness
189 Main Street
4th floor
Milford, MA  01757
View map »


Telephone: 508-478-3333
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

January 14 - December 9, 2017 With Tom Frederick Novice — This 12-month program is designed to assist you on your journey to spiritual enlightenment. Here we study a variety of esoteric...

Cost: $1300

Where:
Women of Wisdom
118 Washington Street
North Easton, MA  02356
View map »


Sponsor: Women of Wisdom
Telephone: 508-230-3680
Contact Name: Women of Wisdom
Website »

More information

What exactly is a zentangle? If you haven’t heard of them before, the name can sound a little funny! A zentangle is a “patterned” drawing made through the use of intricate and...

Cost: $35

Where:
YOUnity Yoga & Wellness
189 Main Street
4th floor
Milford, MA  01757
View map »


Telephone: 508-478-3333
Website »

More information

ONE-OF-A-KIND, LIFE CHANGING HOLISTIC HEALTH EDUCATION PROGRAM BEING OFFERED FREE OF CHARGE Local business owner creates groundbreaking mind-body-spirit instruction to combat obesity epidemic...

Cost: Free

Where:
Wilbraham Senior Center (Sponsored by Harmony Way)
45 Post Office Park
#4502
Wilbraham, MA  01095
View map »


Sponsor: Harmony Way
Telephone: 413-636-2475
Contact Name: Michelle Caron, RMT, CYT, ZIN
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

April 26 - 29 Healing Trauma and Installing Boundaries. With Judith Swack, PhD. Learn how to heal PTSD. HBLU™ integrates the best of biomedical science, psychology, spirituality,...

Where:
56 Pickering Street
Needham, MA
View map »


Sponsor: HBLU™, Inc.
Telephone: (781) 444-6940
Website »

More information

January 14 - December 9, 2017 With Tom Frederick Novice — This 12-month program is designed to assist you on your journey to spiritual enlightenment. Here we study a variety of esoteric...

Cost: $1300

Where:
Women of Wisdom
118 Washington Street
North Easton, MA  02356
View map »


Sponsor: Women of Wisdom
Telephone: 508-230-3680
Contact Name: Women of Wisdom
Website »

More information

Join Anne Lafleur for this practical and open-ended exploration of how to approach life and other people with more love, honesty, and joy. She will bring questions and new ideas that are alive...

Cost: Free. Donations welcomed.

Where:
Open Spirit
39 Edwards Street
Susan Dickerman Building
Framingham, MA  01701
View map »


Sponsor: Open Spirit
Telephone: 508-877-8162
Website »

More information

Let's connect to the deck... Do you have the desire to understand and get a deeper sense of your readings? Learn how to read for yourself and others. Clear your cards, enhance your...

Cost: $30

Where:
YOUnity Yoga & Wellness
189 Main Street
4th floor
Milford, MA  01757
View map »


Telephone: 508-478-3333
Website »

More information

Weekly yoga classes with Rev. Michelle Caron, RMT, CYT, ZIN of Harmony Way on Wednesdays at 12:15 PM and Fridays at 9:30 AM at the Wilbraham Senior Center. Class welcomes all ages and uses a...

Cost: $5

Where:
Wilbraham Senior Center
45 Post Office Park, #4502
Wilbraham, MA  01095
View map »


Sponsor: Harmony Way
Telephone: 413-636-2475
Contact Name: Rev. Michelle Caron, RMT, CYT, ZIN
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

January 14 - December 9, 2017 With Tom Frederick Novice — This 12-month program is designed to assist you on your journey to spiritual enlightenment. Here we study a variety of esoteric...

Cost: $1300

Where:
Women of Wisdom
118 Washington Street
North Easton, MA  02356
View map »


Sponsor: Women of Wisdom
Telephone: 508-230-3680
Contact Name: Women of Wisdom
Website »

More information

Brookhaven Hospice is looking for alternative therapy volunteers (Reiki, massage, aromatherapy, and more) to volunteer with patients in various cities around MA and NH. Trainings to become a...

Cost: Free

Where:
, MA

More information

A Reiki Share is a gathering of Reiki practitioners who congregate for a combination social/healing session. The primary purpose of having a "share" is for practitioners to participate in...

Cost: $10

Where:
Open Doors
395 Washington Street
Braintree, MA  02170
View map »


Sponsor: Leslie Miller Jewett
Telephone: (857) 526-3301
Contact Name: Leslie Miller Jewett
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

April 28 - 30, 2017 Promoting Natural Health, Wellness, Mindfulness And Empowering Lasting Change Festival for Change is a free outdoor festival, and Powermastery Empowerment Retreat is an...

Cost: Free

Where:
Saratoga Spa State Park & Gideon Putnam Resort
24 Gideon Putnam Road
Victoria Pool & Gideon Putnam Resort
Saratoga Springs, NY  12866
View map »


Sponsor: City of Saratoga Springs
Telephone: 347-974-1312
Contact Name: Carson Tang
Website »

More information

January 14 - December 9, 2017 With Tom Frederick Novice — This 12-month program is designed to assist you on your journey to spiritual enlightenment. Here we study a variety of esoteric...

Cost: $1300

Where:
Women of Wisdom
118 Washington Street
North Easton, MA  02356
View map »


Sponsor: Women of Wisdom
Telephone: 508-230-3680
Contact Name: Women of Wisdom
Website »

More information

Get to really know yourself from the inside out. Join us for a 6-session series focused on the energy body/chakras (pronounced, chah-krahz). We will spend each of the sessions exploring one of the...

Cost: $20

Where:
HeartSong Spiritual Wellness Center
23 Pine Street
Milford, MA  01757
View map »


Sponsor: HeartSong Spiritual Wellness Center
Website »

More information

Join us for a one-of-a-kind GNO for yoga, dance and sake. That's right! Ignite your Friday evening with a super fun yoga/dance class with black light. We will then head to Sawa for Apres Yoga...

Cost: $45

Where:
Union Street Yoga
25 Union Street
3rd Floor - Studio A
Worcester, MA
View map »


Sponsor: Union Street Yoga
Telephone: 617-548-1933
Contact Name: Bonnie
Website »

More information

Weekly yoga classes with Rev. Michelle Caron, RMT, CYT, ZIN of Harmony Way on Wednesdays at 12:15 PM and Fridays at 9:30 AM at the Wilbraham Senior Center. Class welcomes all ages and uses a...

Cost: $5

Where:
Wilbraham Senior Center
45 Post Office Park, #4502
Wilbraham, MA  01095
View map »


Sponsor: Harmony Way
Telephone: 413-636-2475
Contact Name: Rev. Michelle Caron, RMT, CYT, ZIN
Website »

More information

Lectures/classes are generally between 45 minutes and 1.5 hours. If you must leave before the video ends, that is okay. Video presentations will be facilitated by varied ashram members and...

Cost: $5 donation is suggested

Where:
Yoga At The Ashram
368 Village Street
Millis, MA  02054
View map »


Sponsor: Yoga At The Ashram
Telephone: 508-376-4525
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Set your own 15 minute to 1 hour presentation for free! Spring is (almost) around the corner! On April 29th, 2017, join leaders in Eastern philosophy and practice together at Eastover on World...

Cost: Please see our website

Where:
Eastover Estate & Retreat Center
430 East Street
Lenox, MA  01240
View map »


Sponsor: Eastover Estate & Retreat Center
Telephone: 866-264-5139
Contact Name: Yingxing Wang
Website »

More information

Free admission. Sponsored by the Canton Spiritualist Church. Psychics, mediums, readings for a fee. Free healings.

Cost: Free

Where:
Blue Hills
Route 138 and Blue River Road
Canton, MA
View map »


Sponsor: Canton Spiritualist Church
Telephone: (617) 469-2568
Website »

More information

One World…One Breath The last Saturday of April each year in 100's of cities, spanning over 80 nations, people come together to breath together and provide a healing vision for our...

Cost: Free

Where:
Central Mass YWCA
1 Salem Square
Worcester, MA
View map »


Sponsor: Kung Fu & Tai Chi Academy of New England
Telephone: 774-321-6611
Contact Name: Sifu Gary Lachapelle
Website »

More information

Step out of your chaos into your joy Event by: Michelle Cordani of Pure Intentions Event highlights: ✓ Gentle stretching and yoga ✓ Ball rolling for tension and myofascial release (roll...

Cost: $159

Where:
YOUnity Yoga & Wellness
189 Main Street
4th floor
Milford, MA  01757
View map »


Website »

More information

January 14 - December 9, 2017 With Tom Frederick Novice — This 12-month program is designed to assist you on your journey to spiritual enlightenment. Here we study a variety of esoteric...

Cost: $1300

Where:
Women of Wisdom
118 Washington Street
North Easton, MA  02356
View map »


Sponsor: Women of Wisdom
Telephone: 508-230-3680
Contact Name: Women of Wisdom
Website »

More information

On April 29, the People's Climate March will bring together hundreds of thousands of people from across the country to demand jobs, justice and real climate solutions. Here in Boston, we'll...

Cost: Free

Where:
Boston Common
24 Beacon Street
Boston, MA  02133
View map »


Website »

More information

Spend the afternoon feeling peace, serenity and fun. Get a card reading, chair massage and hang out at the mindful drawing and coloring table. Includes light refreshments, card reading, chair...

Cost: $30 in advance; $40 at the door

Where:
HeartSong Spiritual Wellness
23 Pine Street
Milford, MA  01757
View map »


Sponsor: HeartSong Spiritual Wellness Center
Website »

More information

Special program of the month! The Time Is Now! Empower the Self, Connect to Source Art and live exhibit: 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm (drop in any time) Evening program: 4:30 pm - 6:00 pm Talk:...

Cost: Free

Where:
InnerSpace Meditation Center And Gallery
1110 Massachusetts Ave.
Cambridge, MA  02138
View map »


Telephone: 617-547-1110
Website »

More information

Start a seven-month program at Women of Wisdom with Nancy Smith, author of best selling book Divine Love Affair, An Akashic Journey. Explore the mystery of your soul, past lives, soul contracts,...

Where:
Women of Wisdom
118 Washington Street
North Easton, MA  02356
View map »


Sponsor: Women of Wisdom
Telephone: 508-230-3680
Contact Name: Nancy Smith
Website »

More information

April 29 - 30, 2017 Chinese Astrology (four pillars/eight characters, more commonly know as the Ba Zi) is one of the oldest systems of astrology, and has been an integral part of Chinese...

Cost: Please see our website

Where:
Eastover Estate & Retreat Center
430 East Street
Lenox, MA  01240
View map »


Sponsor: Eastover Estate & Retreat Center
Telephone: 866-264-5139
Contact Name: Yingxing Wang
Website »

More information

April 29 - 30 Alchemy is both a philosophical and scientific tradition, initially practiced throughout Europe, Egypt, Asia and India. At its core it attempts to discover the relationship between...

Cost: $250-$300

Where:
Wildwood Retreat Center
5 Wildwood Rd
Sherborn, MA
View map »


Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module Edit ModuleShow Tags