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Show your feet appreciation this holiday season

Leana Huntley is an English trained foot health practitioner attached to ALMAWI Limited – The Holistic Clinic. E-mail your questions / concerns / comments to lhuntley@almawiclinic.com; or contact her at 662-1732 Tuesday - Saturday. Check for the Clinic at www.almawiclinic.com.

By Foot Health with Leana

You would think that with Internet shopping, the need for mall and street shopping is no longer necessary. Of course it is! Between the curtain shopping, overall excitement and Trini last minute tradition, retail stores experience the greatest sales a mere few days before the big day!

As a child, Christmas was a Christian religious celebration. The religious part is now forgotten by most but more importantly the occasion is now celebrated by most religions. Some Muslims kick start the celebration from Eid-ul-Fitr preparations, while some Hindus start from Divali. Many from these religions are now seen decorating with lights and other Christmas decorations. Certainly a sight that brings joy to my heart as it's an indicator that we have become an all-embracing people.

Christmas is the wonderful time of year when we stand at holiday parties, spending hours cooking turkey, ham, cakes and other holiday treats. Some will spend hours in the car travelling to visit relatives and loved ones. Although the belly and the heart are full this time of year, our wallets and poor feet seem to suffer.

Treat your feet this Christmas

Not only will your feet bear the brunt of all the Christmas shopping mayhem, you'll probably be showcasing them in a pair of killer heels at that Christmas party very soon. The key to fabulous feet this Christmas? Preparation is everything...

So is it possible to make it through this holiday season without having foot pain? Yes!

Here are guidelines for Holiday scenarios:

Holiday cooking:

• Wear cushioned shoes/slippers, even in the kitchen. If the bulk of walking is from stove to oven to fridge, you want footwear that has support.

• Don't spend the day barefoot, this is damaging to the feet.

• Keep the high heels next to the dinner table but out of the kitchen.

• A cushioned mat to stand on will do wonders.

Holiday travel and weather:

• Some of us travel for the season. It is advised that for long flights you get up periodically and stretch your legs. This alleviates poor circulation and cramps. If you already suffer with poor circulation or swelling of the feet, it is even more critical that you walk around once or twice within the flight time to prevent deep vein thrombosis (blood clots).

• Cold temperatures generally mean dry feet. Thicker shoes/boots and socks result in more sweating, then drying, then sweating and drying. Skin dries out requiring moisturisers.

• Keep your feet warm with comfortable socks. Warm (not hot) Epsom salt soaks can help soothe inflammation. Add essential oils to really have a spa like treatment.

Prepare for Holiday shopping:

• Actually stretch! Warm up your Achilles and hamstring muscles before going on "shopping walks". You'd be surprised at how far you actually do walk when going to the city, supermarket or malls.

• Stay hydrated (lots of water), eat small meals frequently. Pack snacks to keep your energy up.

• Don't make the mistake of wearing flip flops all day thinking that they will be more comfortable. Invest in a pair of walking sneakers or well-arched/cushioned shoes.

• Cotton-based socks can help absorb moisture and keep your feet dry.

• Although it may sound silly, distribute your shopping bags evenly. Placing too much weight on one side causes the body to compensate unevenly which can lead to unnecessary misalignment pains.

• Shopping carts were created for a reason, use them.

• Have ice packs and wraps ready to go after your long day, ice and elevate.

As always, if problems occur, never self-diagnose and always consult your physician before starting any medical treatment.

The Pre-Christmas Pedicure

Spend some time tackling those callused feet. It's unsightly and uncomfortable. If your feet are going to be on show indulge in a pedicure to ensure heels and toenails are party-ready.

This season is all about drama so nails should be an extension of this and add glamour to your look. Try a deep purple for a rich, glossy colour. For an edgier look, a grey is a fantastic shade to add depth. Red is always glamorous and versatile and there is a shade to suit any skin tone. Nails make a statement so don't worry about them matching your outfit. Be bold with your colour choice.

The pre-Christmas massage

Relax your body for the stress ahead, get a foot massage, better yet a full body massage to get you going. This goes a long way in taking you through the days and weeks of activities.

Post-party pampering

And after the festivities? Treat your feet to a foot soak. After a long day on your feet nothing works better than a foot soak. Make your own foot soak at home, use peppermint and epsom salts in a bowl/foot spa of lukewarm water. Just a few minutes makes a difference.

Remember with our unique culture, Carnival starts immediately after Christmas so preserve those feet cause it's a long road ahead!

Your feet mirror your

general health...

cherish them!

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