Though the Tsimane have high levels of C-reactive protein (CRP), an indicator of inflammation -- they show very low levels of heart disease. (In contrast, Americans high CRP levels are linked with heart disease & the risk of heart attack & strokes.)
The Feet & Blood Flow
I first examine feet for overall circulation & blood flow. (Checking temp. and "capillary return response" in the microcirculation system in capillarity* of the big toe, as well as feeling pulses.) Swelling in the foot and ankle (edema) can be a sign of circulatory challenge. While swelling can be a sign of heart disease, it can also indicate other conditions including trauma, insect bites, meds, diet and other circulatory issues such as venous stasis. (For instance, it is important when engaging with clients who have already had heart problems to be aware of possible implications in the foot of current meds & treatments.)
Some drugs, such as Lisinopril, which is used to treat high blood pressure and heart failure has a direct, logical effect in the foot. It can not only cause swelling in the foot but can also contribute to cases of gout. (Gout is when the breakdown products of amino acids from proteins -- uric acid -- accumulates in joints.)
Often at the joint at the base of the big toe. A "gouty attack" is quite painful and often occurs at night (when the foot is flexed least) with the affected joint being tender, red and swollen. When the heart is weakened and cannot pump as strongly as it should, blood will pool in the lower parts of the body, especially the foot and ankle.
Also, bladder and urinary tract infections (treated with antibiotics) will leave tell-tale crystals in feet that aren't being flexed properly/consistently. The essential points to stimulate in the feet and encourage flow are:
*The Tsimane get a ton of exercise, thou, it's not really intense exercise. Instead, the Tsimanes do A LOT of walking — about 7 1/2 miles each day and they do it barefoot (most of the time). Plus, they're active for more than 90 percent of daylight hours. In contrast, Americans spend about half their waking hours sitting down. (See this link for details on the research.)
**capillarity is the ability of a liquid to flow against gravity where liquid spontaneously rises in a narrow space such as a thin tube. This effect can cause liquids to flow against the force of gravity or magnetic field induction.
Randy Eady’s a Rehab-Therapeutic Specialist (focused on balance & movement disorders) using innovative, science & nature-based treatments to create a ritual space where sensibility & sensitivity converge... Opening new dimensions in perception between humans & the natural world. He applies a touch & feel technique called "foot whispering"* that relates to bio-energetic principles our body replicates from Nature. These are powerful processes at the core of which lie Presence and vital energy. ...some musing about this are here:
or a more in-depth interview is here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eC9uuj4Luwg
*Foot Whispering is a diagnostic attunement serving as a bioenergetic healing practice to balance circulatory and lymphatic flow with the endocrine and digestive systems -- via aligning symmetry throughout the entire muscular-skeletal structure. Its purpose: influence the subtle energy biofield surrounding the body in order to establish alignment of body, mind and heart with the deeper energy of a grounded, centered and present-self. This understanding can bring us into a more coherent awareness of both our "physical literacy" (we will be better balanced and more coordinated in our movement) and our "spatial semantic presence" (we'll have enhanced embodied awareness) to help us gain increasing access to better perceive, function healthily and integrate with our surroundings and become more empowered in our relationships.
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