I have the worst feet ever, but I love to run, so I do my best to baby them and make them as good as they can be. I have really flat feet and am also a chronic ankle sprainer, thanks to years of soccer playing. Doing a lot of yoga has helped me strengthen my arches and improve my balance, which has helped significantly reduce my number of ankles sprains. (Knock on wood) That said, I recently discovered something that really helps my plantar fasciitis. Something that I thought never would, but when I tried it out..., I was pleasantly surprised.
It’s a bed of nails! It is more accurately a meditation mat with needles sticking up, or essentially an acupuncture tool. My friend Josh sent it to me and claimed it worked great for meditation purposes. I have used it for meditation once or twice, and probably should use it more for that purpose, BUT where I find it benefits me most is for my plantar fasciitis.
Anyone who has suffered from plantar fasciitis will tell you that it hurts more in the morning, and when you jump out of bed and put your feet down on the floor, you might start cursing your feet… or life in general. Mine tends to flare up after a long run on hard surfaces- which is basically every decent running route in NYC. Many doctors have told me to wear insoles ( I do); roll my foot over tennis balls ( I tried to no avail); and someone even told me to try scraping a butter knife on the underside of my foot ( I did and I looked crazy).
On a fluke, sort of, and keeping in mind the tenets of acupuncture and acupressure, I decided to try standing barefoot on my bed of nails. I’ll tell you this: It hurts at first- it hurts a lot. Not like a lower back tattoo, but enough to make you wince. That said, when you have plantar fasciitis, there is something oddly refreshing and relieving about the Bed of Nails-induced pain. Once I stand on the Bed of Nails for a minute or two, I start standing on one foot. That hurts even more- but again, and this might sound strange, the pain is refreshing compared to the fasciitis pain!! If you try this at home, I recommend holding on to a chair or table, because you don’t want to lose your balance and fall over. Sometimes I dig the bottom of my foot into the Bed of Nails, or rock back and forth from the heel to the toes. I have no idea if the Bed of Nails is serving as a temporary myo-fascial release ( Essentially loosening up tightly-wound fascia) or increasing blood flow or reducing inflammation or all three or something else entirely. I have NO idea why it works or why it helps me, but I can say that after I stand on the Bed of Nails for a few minutes, my plantar fasciitis FEELS BETTER and I feel like I can go on my merry way and put in a better workout. Now I am standing barefoot on my Bed of Nails two to three times a day. My feet crave it. I have no idea if it will help you or not, but it has helped me, and if you are desperate to try something for your plantar fasciitis or foot pain, I say give the Bed of Nails a try!
Here’s what it looks like on my patio:
I also found it for a decent price on Amazon here, if you want to try it: