Foot Massage

Adaptable feet are the key to health and happiness!

That may not be true for everyone, but for sure, foot problems stop you in your tracks. As a Rolfer® and movement coach, I’ve seen too many miserable feet and the problems they’ve transmitted to the bodies above. So I’m motivated to share anything I come across that might help my readers care for their own precious gravity negotiators.

Feet, with their 26 bones and 33 joints and countless soft tissue springs and pulleys, are perfectly designed to negotiate uneven surfaces. When they don’t get to do that—when they’re constantly shod and subjected to flat, hard surfaces--they accommodate by becoming the foot equivalent of deaf and dumb. American feet, with all their privileges, may be the most disadvantaged in the world—there’s hardly a cobblestone street or dirt road left on the continent. So unless you’re a hardy type who runs barefoot on mountain trails, there’s little to challenge your feet’s adaptability, little to tone lax tissues or stretch rigid ones. Walking on flat surfaces inevitably diminishes the sensory intelligence of our feet and makes them stiff. So we need ways to re-enliven them.

Thinking the parcel was something I’d ordered online, I opened it.


There was my very own takefumi. In Japanese, ta-ke means bamboo, and fumi means “to step on.” Here’s the story: I had been a guest in a home where the bamboo massager had been placed in front of the bathroom sink. How perfect: instead of a prop that you must remember to use, this attractive object is there whenever you wash your face, floss your teeth, or apply make-up. Usually barefoot in the bathroom, it’s easy to acquire the habit of stepping onto the bamboo whenever you stand at the sink. I used it to remind my transverse tarsal joints to open, to flex my tarsometatarsal joints and strengthen my lateral arches. (Learn more about this in my online class: Know Your Feet.) After four days, I was hooked.

I asked my hostess—a Pilates instructor--where she’d found this wonderful device. She shrugged: it had been given to her on a visit to  Japan. Unobtainable then, I thought, and forgot about it--until I opened my Christmas gift.


Desperately Seeking Takefumi!

Now comes the part where I send you the link. However, I’ve been searching and searching, and have found only inactive sites for this bamboo miracle-worker. Amazon doesn’t know when or whether it will be back in stock, the most recent post on the takefumi Facebook page was in 2013, and there are none to be found on eBay.

Japanese readers, can you help?

This short video  shares some of my takefumi explorations.

© 2014 Mary Bond