which incorporated stability ball exercises, and balance point movements.
Bodily wisdom of the sacrum being the keystone to spinal support and enlightening information about the intricacies of the sole of the foot were also given.
Are you struggling in the midst of an abusive relationship with your strappy stilettos?
The High Heel Recovery Clinic is not about abstinence!
We want to give you the tools to keep looking fabulous..... just without all the pain!
When I posted a notice on the Backbone and Wingspan Facebook page
about the studio's first High Heel Recovery Clinic in April, one woman responded,
"They're not trying to get us to stop wearing them, are they?"
I answered, "Absolutely not!"
Our intent is to give you imagery, exercises, and movement experiences that you can recreate while you are walking or standing in your shoes that better support your body so that your weight doesn't all fall forward into the ball of your foot, but can balanced across the entire foot surface.
I started out the clinic by having people look at the soles of their own feet (some sole searching) to identify the three parts of the foot which are the ball, the arch, and the heel.
I related that the heel is three-dimensional - that feeling and imagining your heel as a sphere - like the ball pictured here - has the potential to grant you a much more spring-like support and shock absorption than imagining your heel as flat.
Another teacher then took the floor (so to speak), - taking the floor -literally- is part of what can come across to anyone who experiences pain in terms of walking or standing; to "take the floor" is imagining not feeling separate from the surface upon which you are standing, but letting the floor, whether it be the kitchen floor or the dance floor - come up to meet those searching soles seemingly separated from the earth underneath by your fabulous, but sometimes treacherous high heels -
The sacrum is the keystone of the spine
the weight of the spine and ribs and head, rather than having to be hiked up, can be instead suspended on the sacrum in a similar way in which the keystone arch of a building could be imagined as the legs coming up into the pelvis and at the center of the pelvic support is the weight-bearing, but able-to-shift sacrum.
We identified the location of the sacrum by showing on one of the teacher's bodies, (who teaches a form of Pilates at Backbone and Wingspan which has a lot of back-strengthening elements) that the two dimpled areas at the top of the pelvis (one person I worked with recently said, "Oh yeah, I've seen those on my boyfriend's back - those dimples are so cute...") that in between those two dimpled areas is the sacrum, that keystone to spinal support.
I include above three images of the sacrum to show its size, its relationship to the tailbone, and its location as being between the two pelvic bones. I show the plaster cast of the sacrum that we have in the studio next to the black release balls to illustrate that the sacrum is not flat.
Participants were then taught the
High Heel Workout
in which exercises were performed on a stability ball, (first with the body laying down and eventually coming to kneeling).
Hamstring-strengthening, low-back-releasing, and spinal-stretching movements bring the body to a state of empowered ease.
Teachers related more imagery to the high heelers (which included feeling the ribs like fish gills) moving the clinic attendees to experience the breath as being integral to the support of the body, and how when the ribs expand with the breath that it gives the body access to the deep wrap of the abdominals.
Backbone and Wingspan teachers
then got the attendees back into their high heels, taking their experience to the next level with techniques which allowed them to feel their weight differently in their shoes and to put into practical use the subtle strengthening they received in the stability ball work.
We brought home to the high heelers the experience of what was promised in our press release and promotional flyers:
showing you innovative ways to strike that challenging balance between a comfortable shoe experience and a fabulous fashion expression.
If you are interested in future
High Heel Recovery Clinics
please call 212-647-8878.
Suspension Bridge /
Stability Ball Exercise,
Also visit my website:
and sign up for free informative guides
to better body understanding including:
High Heel Healing: Tips for Footwear Comfort
Backbone and Wingspan®
Founder and owner
and author of Pilates Iconoclast
is located on the Upper East Side at
Mind Your Body Pilates
1370 Lexington Avenue @ 90th Street
and at Studio Contour in Bedford Hills
Tim can be reached at
Call him today for info or to find our about
his special intro rates for new clients!
See the Website: Backbone and Wingspan
and sign up for free guides including
High Heel Healing: Tips for Fashion Footwear Comfort
Backbone and Wingspan LLC