Thanks to my recent certification in Whole Body Alignment I can share this picture with you.
See the woman on the far left, she is standing perfectly aligned. All of her alignment markers in their proper places. She is standing perfectly vertical. Her human machine should function perfectly! (if she indeed were not a picture and a human!) The woman on the far right just put on a pair of heels – and not even a fancy pair of the high heels from CIF or Soy Porteña.
Do you see how she now veers from the vertical plumb line? Where do you see the adjustments that her body needs to make to wear those heels? In the knee? Or maybe in the lower back? Or maybe her mid-to upper back? What about her neck?
These are all the places that take the brunt of wearing those high heels. And not to mention the foot pain or the plantar fasciiatis, or neuromas, bunions, or metatarsalgia that she may acquire over time.
From a 1999 study from the Journal of Podiatric Medecine by Mandato and Nestor, the pressure on the forefoot increases 63% in a 2″ shoe. On a 2001 poster from the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons entitled Women’s Shoes and Knee Osteoarthritis by D. Casey Kerrigan, Jennifer Lelas, and Mark Karvosky, the statistics are as follows: with a 1″ heel the pressure on the forefoot increases 22%, in 2″ 57%, and in 3″ there is 76% increase in pressure on the balls of the feet. NO WONDER OUR FEET HURT! and our backs, and our knees, and our necks, etc… Also, the higher the heel the shorter the tendons get and we experience heel pain. This altered position of walking in high heels places excess forces on the inside of the knee too. The knee joint pressure increases 26% when wearing heels.
For any men out there reading this, you too have heels in your dress shoes. This applies to you too!
Are you panicking? Does this mean that Daniela is promoting barefoot tango dancing from now on? Does this mean you have to sell all those high heels and trade-off sexy?
(pause for dramatic effect)
NO of course not!
But what I will begin to encourage you to do is to decide what you are going to do for yourself post the tango dancing high. After the long weekend of a festival, or during the festival, or after dancing at your local milongas with your favorite dancers. What are you going to do to restore yourself?
You can refer to my blog with my Foot Care Toolkit. AND also check out Katy Bowman’s book Every Woman’s Guide to Foot Pain Relief: The New Science of Healthy Feet
Stay tuned for an upcoming list and explanation of exercises designed for tango dancers and their whole bodies.