Welcome to Pushing The Limits, the show that helps you reach your full potential with your host, Lisa Tamati, brought to you by lisatamati.com.
Lisa Tamati: Hi everyone, and welcome back to Pushing The Limits this week. So I have two guests. Dave Liow this time. Now Dave is a repeat offender on the show, and I love having him to guest. He is one of my great mentors. And I hope you're gonna get a lot out of today's session.
Today, it's all about feet or so. This is one for the runners out there for sure. But also for just optimizing your foot health and also the whole kinetic chain, your feet where you connect with the ground obviously, and it affects your whole body. So we go to a deep dive into looking after yourself in regards to your feet. For the runners out there, it's all about playing for charters and bunions and picking the right running shoes. But there's also a whole lot of need for people to just have—want to know about good foot health.
Before we head over to the show, Christmas is coming. So if you want to grab one of my books, or one of my jewellery pieces, I’ll love that. You can head over to lisatamati.com. All the things are on there. And we're gonna be having a little break over the Christmas period. Maybe one, maybe two weeks from the show. I'm not quite sure at the stage, depending on the team's requirements over that period. So I hope you do have a good time of the Christmas. If you're listening to this afterwards, I hope the New Year's starting off really well for you.
Before I go over to the show, just a reminder, I do have a couple of places left. We're nearly full on our one-on-one consultations, health optimization coaching. If you have a problem that you'd like to get help with, whether it's a high performance, whether you're a top athlete and wanting to get to the next level, whether you're wanting to work on your mindset, or maybe you've got a really complicated health challenge that you're just not getting any answers for, or you're having trouble sifting through all of the information and getting the right stuff—then please reach out to me, email@example.com. Right. Now over to the show with Dave Liow from the Holistic Movement Coach.
Lisa Tamati: Well, hi everyone. Welcome back. Today I have the amazing, the incredible, awesomest, Dave Liow on the show. Dave, welcome back, repeat offender.
Dave Liow: Hi Lisa.
Lisa: I'm super stoked to have you today.
Dave Liow: For the podcast you mean, right?
Lisa: You’re a repeat offender for the podcast. Coming back to give us more. Not an offender in any other way.
Dave is an expert that I've had on before and he's definitely one of my mentors. And he's been to—Neil, my business partner for many years. And he is a mentor to many of the coaches and top trainers in New Zealand and Australia. So that's Dave's background. And you've got a background in physiology, don’t you Dave?
Lisa: You have a company called the Holistic Movement Coach. And will you—we're going to talk today about feet. People are like, ‘Wow, that's really interesting topic to talk about’. But it is. It's really, really exciting. Last time we had you on the show, we talked about the science of life, and that was one of the most popular episodes. So I'm really…
Lisa: …happy to have you back on and to share some more of your absolute amazing wisdom. So today we've picked feet. What are we gonna to talk about, Dave? What are we going to share about feet and what you need to be aware of?
Dave: Well feet’s one of those interesting ones. So from—as a movement professional, which is really my background. Though, being a holistic movement coach, if you just look at movement, you're gonna come unstuck pretty soon. So when I started looking at movement though, one of the things that I noticed that was one of the areas that were neglected were feet.
So we're seeing or looking at people's lumbar spines all the time and come to wideness not losing link from the top of the head. But a lot of trainers and movement professionals weren't even looking at people's feet. They had no idea what was going on, underneath those shoes of theirs.
So for those of you who might think about maybe the back, whatever. Imagine if someone was wearing a big potato sack over their whole body, and you couldn't see where the spine was at trying to train them. So trying to work with someone and get them to move well without looking at their feet is to me just crazy.
Lisa: Yes, nonsensical.
Dave: Yeah. And we've got 28 bones in the feet. So 28 bones, and we've got 55 articulations from below the knee.
Dave: So over a third of the bones are in the feet there. So that tells you about just how important that area is there. We have a look at the muscles that run down below the knee too. We've got 50 muscles. So added it, 276 ortho muscles, I think that's about right muscles. We have 50 below the knee so that shows you just how important there is. And it's an area that I think has been largely neglected by moving professionals.
Lisa: Yes, it makes the total amount of sense. And we are on them all day, and we just shove them in a pair of shoes. And sometimes those shoes, you know, like ladies' high-heeled shoes, and tight shoes, and badly shaped shoes and don't do a lot barefoot—going out barefoot. Let’s start there, let’s start like—what does shoes do? When we put a pair of shoes on our feet? What sort of things are we taking away from our brain? Like, I always liken it to going around with a pair of gloves on my hands all day. I'm not going to be able to paint a picture and initiate anything, am I? Because I've just taken away all my proprioception and my ability to coordinate those fine motor controls with my hands. So we get that sort of analogy but actually, we do that to our feet all the time.
Dave: And that's a wonderful analogy, Lisa. And so the representation in your brain of your body is called homunculus. So your brain has representations of all your different body parts. And some body parts are represented very, very—have a very large representation in the brain because they may have a lot of sensation and require a lot of fine movement.
So there's a huge representation in your brain of your face because if you look at the number of expressions you can do, and the articulations you can do with your tongue, your lips—there's a lot of area in the brain devoted to the face. Same with the hands as well. So you look at the fine movements you can do in your hands, isn't it? And how pink your hands are say compared to your elbow. It's incredible how much space in the brain is devoted to the hand.
Now one other is the feet. The feet have a massive representation in the brain as well. But with that, though, we know the brain is plastic. It can evolve and it will adapt to whatever environment you're putting it into. If you're walking around with that, the gloves on your hand, or in this case as one of my mentors Phillip Beach would say, ‘With sensory deprivation chambers on your feet’…
Dave: ‘…you will lose that representation in your brain’. And the bottom of the feet is extremely propiocept. Isn’t it? So many on that plantar fascia, that part of the foot there, is full of receptors which send information up to your brain. Giving you information about where you are, how you're interacting with the ground, and how you're moving. And without that, and by breaking that link there, there's a price to pay.
Lisa: Yes, yes. And we just willy nilly wear shoes from the day we're born, pretty much. And if we're lucky in childhood, we might have run around bare feet a little bit. But most of us have got his feet and shoes all day. So you're saying that the—what did you call it? the munculus?
Lisa: I never heard one before. I did, like, hear the representations. Like I don't know where I picked this up, some podcasts, some ways, something. If you have two fingers that you tape together for say a month.
Lisa: When you untape them, you are unable to move them separately because the brain has wired them as being one unit. Another example of this is where people—they lose a limb. The brain still has the representation of that limb, even though the limbs are gone and they feel the pain of that limb. And this is like, the brain is like, ‘Hey, why? Where's my arm gone? Where's my leg gone’? or whatever.
And we're doing this to much lesser degree but when we don't need our toes and our things wiggle and wobble and do the proprioception. Okay, and we can improve our performance. Now, as runners are listening to us, let's talk about a little bit why this is important for runners to be able to sense the grounds and have good proprioception. So what are some of the advantages of having good—taking good care of our feet and maybe going bare feet a little bit.
Dave: Oh, massive. One of my buddies, one of the things he has around feet—he has a lot of background in horse training. And he says, ‘No foot, no horse’. If you have a horse which damaged his hoof, then that's pretty much the end of that horse. They can't do a lot. And for you being an ultra-runner, Lisa, I'm sure you understand when your foot goes wrong.
Lisa: Oh, yes. I'm in trouble.
Dave: Yes, you are, you're in a lot of trouble. So I'm constantly dumbfounded by how little care people have take on their feet. I work on my feet every day without fail.
Dave: I'm certainly not an ultra-runner. I'm not the same class as you guys. But the amount of care that I take on one of my major movement teachers… I know this time when I lift…
Lisa: So okay, what are some of the things that you would do to improve your foot mechanics and your proprioception and stuff? I mean, obviously, it's a little bit difficult with our podcasts and we can't show. I’ve got some video but…
Dave: So there's that saying, ‘use it or lose it’. If your foot’s in a sensory deprivation chamber, you're gonna lose it pretty quick. So I like my foot to be out of things as much as possible, though...
Lisa: Like right now?
Dave: Yes. Quite a surprise, no shoe. Yes, I don't really wear shoes much. I wear [10:14 unintelligible] more than other shoes. If I'm running off-road, I'll certainly—and on concrete—I’ll wear some shoes. And we'll kind of talk about the shoe design a bit later on. But whenever I can go barefoot, I will. So if I can give as much information to my feet as possible—that's going to keep them smart, but also gonna keep them strong because shoes add support. That's what they are.
Dave: You will not believe how much support shoes add. And you'll notice when you take them away, if you try and run barefoot, if you've been wearing sickly shoes with a lot of stability that added in there. So by going barefoot a fair amount of time, you get a very strong foot as well. So that doesn't come down to running shoes. And I guess we'll talk about running shoes in a bit.
But if you're wearing running shoes all day, even when you're not running, well, you're adding support there 24/7. I understand that some people might want more support when you're running, when you've got high forces going through your feet, but walking around and running shoes all day or highly-supportive shoes. You're basically walking around with.
Lisa: Crutches. Yes, and making yourself lazy. You're making yourself lazy. Yes.
Dave: Yes, right. So you're certainly going barefoot as much as possible. Now I do a lot of work at night to make sure that my foot’s mobile. A healthy foot is a mobile foot. So one of the things that they’ll often say is ‘the foot is not a hoof’. A hoof is rock solid and hits the ground and off the coast. So look at what you can do with your hand. Okay, you should do an awful lot with your toes as well and get them moving. So if you've lost the ability to do that, it really shows that you need to do some conditioning work on your feet and get them smarter and stronger.
Lisa: And if you don't, this is where some problems come up. If you can wiggle your toes and all that sort of stuff, you can prevent issues like yes—let's look at a couple of a common running problems that people get. Things like plantar fasciitis is a biggie, or even going up the leg a little bit. Like shin splints, and the problems in the calf, in the Achilles. Are these coming from the feet at all?
Dave: Well, they’re coming from running. And there's some sort of mechanics going on there. But think of the foot, that's your first contact with the ground. When that goes wrong, everything in the chain will [12:37 unintelligible]. And if we think about something like a marathon, you've got 30 to 50,000 impact on the ground. That's a lot of race. So something's going wrong. This repetition over and over and over again. That's gonna end up breaking you.
And we're talking about forces, which you can't—two to five times your body weight depending how you're running. Now that’s a hell of force, a hell of a repetition. If something's not working right there, you will pay the price. Will you pay that price? Well, it depends.
But if we look at running injuries, straight off the top. Probably 15% of those will be at the knee. So the knee is normally the one that pays the price. But you know, I often say this in my lectures. Knee’s a dump. I knew that they kind of extracted and they've been—they have a little bit of rotation. But you see that one too much. And they have a little bit of sideways motion, but you don’t want too much of that either. So the knees are dump. So it's not only the knees fault that the knee gets some problems. It's normally the foot and ankle, or it's normally the hip, that's normally where I'll go.
And if you're a runner and you're getting knee pain, I'd be looking at either the foot and ankle. After the foot and ankle I will be looking at their hips straight away. There's something going wrong in those areas there. So about 50% of people will get knee pain more common in females than males by a long shot. Now, we look at kind of around, kind of Achilles as well. That's another area that can get a fair bit of problems as well. That's probably around…
Lisa: That's mum, as usual. Ringing in the middle of the podcast.
Dave: Calling mum. So around 10% of people get Achilles issues. That's another really common one and that's more a male thing. So that's the case, the 40 plus male is that actually the shoe. But then you'll get your IT band and touch that, which is probably around like 5% of the injuries. [14:32 unintelligible] can be in the foot or your tibia as well. And that's probably around 5% too.
So those are the main injuries. You'll see that getting running back, but knees if I was gonna go after one injury in running, knees are normally the one that pay the price. And there's certainly a big relationship between the foot and the knee. Ginormous.
Lisa: Right. So it's not always go up. Mechanics of the knees is the actual problem is down, or above, or below.
Dave: Yes. Almost always. Unless you've had an impact at the knee? Yes, you can treat the knee and always look at knee because if people come and see you for a knee injury, if you start playing the beat straight away, they'll go, ‘Well, hang on’.
Lisa: ‘What's this going on’? But it does make sense that the kinetic chain and the linking together and trying to find out where the original problem was coming from. Not just where—because like Neil's always said to me, ‘You know, like, if you've got a problem with your ankle, it can affect your shoulder’. And I’m like, ‘How does that work’? You know?
Dave: Absolutely. Yes. Where it goes, nobody knows.
Lisa: And how do you trace it back? How do you trace up a back problem to the ankle? Or the piriformis?
Dave: If you know what it should look like and it doesn't look like what it should look like, well, what happens if you change and make it look more like it should? How does that change things? And that's normally in a nutshell the approach that I'll take. I guess that’s where you need to have a reasonable reference library of saying that, nothing more than my fair share of runners. And I'm sure you have too. I mean, if you feel someone running down the street, now you go, ‘That's not a very experienced runner’, or ‘Oh, boy, that's very experienced runner’. Well, you know that because you've seen so many runners.
So having that, I guess, experience in that database to draw from, and then understand the mechanics, and really add into it what you got. And I know what you gotta do in your Running Hot business. Well, you understand your body and you understand running technique, you can put that together and solve some wonderful problems.
Lisa: Yes, absolutely. But it is like a bit of a counterintuitive thing. I had a guy like, ‘Oh my piriformis’. Like Neil said to me the other day when he saw me, ‘Oh my God. Your bunions are getting really out of control. We got to do something about that’. And I'm like, ‘Oh, is it’? Sometimes you don't notice the things because you're just seeing them every day. You know? So let's talk about—let’s say some specific type of things that we are looking at. So let's look at bunions for that. What are bunions? And what effect can they have on the mechanics of your feet and up the body?
Dave: Yes. So bunions—the quarter bunions is up for debate. There is certainly a genetic component to it. So either your mum probably has bunions. I guess.
Lisa: Yes. Yes. Yes, you're right on money.
Dave: But that there’s also a big environmental part to it as well. So bunions, when your big toe starts to go in, then you'll end up with normally some calcification around that, well, that first joint—the joint in the big toe—that's probably a better way of saying it, around there as well.
What that does too is compresses the foot. The big toe goes sideways compared to it goes to the next [18:02 unintelligible], that compresses the foot, as well. So we get a lot of compression in that foot. They cause a number of problems. In between those bones in your foot. You've got a lot of nerves that run through there. So when those toes get compressed together, those nerves can get very irritated. Next, become very, very painful.
So and probably just as a little sideline here, if you were to pop your hands just in front of you there—if you're driving a car, listen to this, it's probably not such a good idea. But try this later on, you just put your hand down and look at your hand. So notice the space between your fingers there, that you put your foot down and have a look at your foot, you should also see space between your toes as well. Spacing’s really important to allow that room for the foot to move, to breathe. And also to get those space for all those straps in your foot to go.
Lisa: And that’s with you naturally just having the foot there and not trying to spread them but just...
Dave: Just naturally you should see space between your toes.
Lisa: Oh, wow.
Dave: That you see a nice wide foot there. I love it. I love a good wide foot. Yes, so compression in those toes. And that can be a footwear choice thing too. So if you have shoes, and we've talked about toe box, that's the front part of a shoe. So we go out the toe box, this area through here. So the step front pair of shoes give a wide toe box in a shoe design that lets the foot spread out versus one that narrow and pushes the toes together.
Lisa: Gosh. I should know about that. Yes. A lot of the shows that I get, I get sponsored by some brand or whatever. And then like I couldn't wear them.
Dave: Yes, the kiwi foot. Yes, and also this is a column that does this as well.
Dave: And with me, I've got a nice wide foot. I will not wish you for the narrow toe. It caused me nothing but problems. So footwear choice can be one of the things they also drive a bunion.
Now the other part too is that, when you've got that big toe and that big toes moving sideways, rather than going through the foot, you will often go inside the foot and fall into it. You get more pronation than what you normally have. So we lose the arch of the foot because the way the foot’s designed to move is your desire to move through and move through the big toe.
So, when we talk about the cycle of walking and running, we even have a phase of that called toe off. Because that's a really important part with a big toe pushes off. So if your big toe is going sideways, it's going to be—when you can't go through the toe, we’ll have to go around the toe. And that will cause a lot of wear and tear that can, after a while, that will start to break that foot down.
Now that may require you to drink, unless you do some exercises. In Sydney, we have some real bunion experts and my team, some of my guys love working with bunions. And you can certainly bring that foot back if you have surgery to repair bunions. So if you don't do the work, well the same thing is going to happen again. You just go straight across and they'll end up having to cut your foot open.
Lisa: Yes, yes.
Dave: My mum had bunions. But I gave her a little exercise program, and I'm pretty sure that's on my—that may be on my YouTube channel.
Lisa: Okay, we might get the link off here.
Dave: And yes, if not, I'll put it on there. And yes, she had some exercise to do for bunions. Her bunions pain disappeared and my mum's in her 70s. So you can certainly reverse that and have her feet are straighter. I’ve had some people come back from their podiatrist and I go to say, ‘What the hell have you been doing? What have you been doing? Keep doing it. Because your toes are straightening, and your foot in better condition’.
Lisa: So you can sometimes avoid surgery. Wow, that's pretty amazing. That's pretty amazing.
Dave: Well, and even if you have surgery, if you don't do the follow up, you're gonna end up having it again. It’s a huge amount of work with a huge amount of things you can do to help out your bunions.
Lisa: Okay, that's really good because I have—got a very neglected bunion. I've always like, ‘Oh, it’s not causing me major troubles yet’. You know? Now I'm thinking, ‘Shoot. I need to address it’, because it's getting, like, Neil noticed that last time I was with him, it's getting worse. And I'm, ‘Oh, this is it? I thought it was the same old, same old’. Neil exclaimed no. And I've got troubles with piriformis. And I'm like, ‘I've been looking at piriformis trying in working on that’. And that could be, could be, could be, might not be, could be a knock on the feet there.
Dave: So thinking about how that could relay. If you've got that bunion here, and your foot’s falling into pronation and it’ll take the knee with it, and it will take that whole hip and will rotate in and everything will rotate in there. What stops it? Well piriformis can stop that. So if piriformis is having to make up for a foot function issue there, well, that's worth working.
If you release piriformis, and get that guy—well, now you've got nothing holding your foot together. So where's that guy next to the public often deal on the spine? That's probably where we're going next. And then it could be somewhere else too, or it could travel to the knee.
Dave: So, you know, we talked before about finding the source. Fixing the foot would be a really useful one. And if you're still on your feet, a fair amount, which knowing who you are, you certainly want that contact with the ground.
Lisa: Yes. Yes. Yes.
Dave: Sort it out.
Lisa: Like paying attention to the little changes that are happening in your body because sometimes you think, ‘Oh, no, you know, it's all the same’. And then you don't see changes in your own body when you don't, when you see yourself every day, or your loved ones. Or sometimes you just like got your own little blind spots. Okay, so if we can dig that video out, we'll put that in the show notes for sure.
Let's talk about plantar fasciitis because this is a major problem. One of the most common running problems, especially the people who have up the distance very quickly or done some things here, what is plantar fasciitis and what can we do to deal with it one?
Dave: So the left part of fascia is a layer of fat or connective tissue that goes right along the bottom of the foot. And as I mentioned before, that has a lot of receptors on it. So it's very rich in receptors, though can get extremely painful. And typically people who have plantar fascia issues will get out of bed and they'll try to put their foot down, and take a snack, or walk, and start walking, and the whole bottom their foot will be locked up. It'll take a while for that to loosen up so they can use that foot.
More often, you'll get that around the front of the heel, so none of them pointed the heel back in towards the centre of the foot. And sometimes that'll run up in bands as well. Now, the change in volume too quickly is your number one culprit which you mentioned. And that centre area. But certainly some foot mechanics can also have an issue there as well. So the plantar fascia is—in your foot, you've got well, definition you got 50 muscles that run below their knee—all could help control that foot. Your plantar fascia is there, it winds up, and plucky when you bend your big toe. It helps wind up that panic factor to help make the foot rigid to make it to leave so you can push off it.
That's one of the—there’s sort of two main functions of a foot. The first one is to allow the foot to splat is my technical term. Hits the ground and conforms to the surface that it goes to, number one function. Second one is it becomes a rigid lever so you can repel off it. Well, that's pretty much what a foot does. If you have kind of with a narrow down.
So we've got an issue there with that timing between backing and becoming a rigid lever. And the plantar fascia is wearing it somewhere there. Now there's—we can look at the plantar fascia, and you can try and treat the plantar fascia. But there's a lot of layers of muscles and a lot of timing that happened before that plantar fascia that’s been beaten up. So there's something gone wrong with the timing of how you're going from flat to rigid lever that's causing that.
And particularly if you overload into that. So if you've increased your volume too much, that's often the last well, kilometre, or 1000 footsteps that broke the camel's back. So I want to look at what's happening with the ankle and the foot, and I'm always interested in the big toe when it comes to plantar fascia.
Lisa: Right, so that's your big lever. Point, really big toes when you push off and you get that elasticity sort of wound up.
Dave: Massively important part that big toes. The amount of bones you have in that big toe, and for those of you with bunions, or pinchy injuries in that big toe joint as well. That's a really important one to get looked at. That can have a massive effect on everything up the chain.
Lisa: Wow. Yes. And what can you do about it? Are there some exercises that you recommend? Like, you might have fascia release, you make your ball rolling, that type of thing for the actual plantar fasciitis itself, the stretching and icing, and all that jazz?
Dave: Icing can be nice, and that takes some of the pain away because it’s very painful. Having some light pressure in those areas too can help hydrate the tissues and get them healthier again. Because during—if you have some sore spots in their plantar fascia, often they won't have the hydration and the movement, because it's still layers and layers of tissue. Now, if you can get those moving better and hydrated, that will heal better.
Adding some load to it can be useful too, you just need to be careful where you are in their injury spectrum. But it actually does require some loading because the loading will help actually line up the fibres and get that strong again. But it needs to be the right type of loading starting slowly and building up. That sort of mechanics. In big toe, you'd be wanting to have a look at and also what's happening with the ankle. Check that you've got enough dorsiflexion to get into more. How much can you bring your ankle? If you've got a restriction on the ankle and a restricted big toe, your plantar fascia—well, everything in the foot but the plantar fascia, may end up wearing that one.
Lisa: Yes, yes. And there's a couple of tricks to do with the dorsiflexion that I can link to another video there that Neil's done. Where you can push that—I’ve forgotten it—talus bone. Where you pushing it back into—because sometimes there’s some sort of a line. Yes, this one, this one. Trying to find the words.
Dave: Restoring their ankle dorsiflexion will be critical. I think that the foot and ankle, I'll look at three main zones in the body. In terms of my model for looking at movement. If you get the torso moving really well, that's very important for rotation. If you're running, you get the pelvis and hips moving really well, that would be my second zone. And the third zone would be the foot and ankle. So if you can get those three zones working well, normally I take 85% of the movement issues will just disappear. Right? And so the foot and ankle are a huge player in my model, and certainly one that I see having a very big impact on how people move well or done don’t move well.
Lisa: Yes. Now, that's really good. So the torso, the pelvis, and the feet. So working on those areas in trying to get things balanced.
Dave: Yes, well, the big thing on that that's where I missed them.
Lisa: And those are the three areas—the key areas—and obviously it's the score a lot of work Dave but yes. It's everything from drills and exercises and it's what we do, what you do.
Let's look at now, for runners, talking about running shoes, and buying running shoes, and picking a shoe that's good for you and what you're doing. You were showing me some running shoes before and for people on the podcast, you can't see, but says Kipchoge ones, what do you call them? What are those shoes?
Dave: So these are Nike's Zoom Fly shoes. So for those of you who are listening to this, rather than watching it, so this is the shoe that Kipchoge wore to get his sub-2-hour marathon. And they have fibre placement, which have an awful lot of recoil. And also, it is over four centimeters of foam here, but the foam has incredible amount of recoil.
Dave: So the theory is these will take 4% of your running time.
Lisa: Wow, that’s messed up.
Dave: There’s actually a spreadsheet, which I got hold up to. We can actually look at your running times and calculate how much of a difference it would make to your running performance. And yes, I mean, who wouldn't pay for 4%?
Dave: Mostly runners, my straight line runners, will compete in these. And you'd be a magnet to, if you want to run fast on straight lines. These are extremely high and extremely unstable. If you wouldn’t run on trail with these, no way.
Lisa: Like the HokaOnes, you know, like really deep into the thing that a big sole...
Dave: No, these are high. And they're incredible amount of recoil. They do push you very much, your forefoot style. So what I’ve noticed for days, I totally didn't want to like these.
Lisa: Cause you want more people to go bare feet.
Dave: I ran in them last week. This is ridiculous.
Lisa: Ridiculously good.
Dave: The speed and ease is something else. And certainly most of my runners who run straight liner, competing in these and certainly in the meantime and now, unless athletes have sponsors, those are the shoes they are picking up. And why wouldn't you if you can—I mean getting 4% improvement in performance is there's something else, even with training. If you can get that by paying for it, why wouldn't you?
Lisa: So basically, it's elasticity that they're using. It’s the spring, it's the coil, it's the ability to bounce you off the ground, it's like being on a trampoline. So you're gonna get more force.
Lisa: Taking your foot.
Dave: Well, yes. The energy is returned a lot more efficiently. So you'll notice that there's a whole host of track records been broken lately, and then closed the marathon. And yes, the technology had a big part in playing it. I think that the next Olympics, the shoe feature extremely heavy. And a lot of a lot of other manufacturers are using this technology now. And they have a lot stricter with the technology they can use in those events now. So there's the level playing field.
Lisa: If you want to level the playing field, it's a thing—if we start having an unlevel playing field, and that's where it becomes a bit problematic.
Dave: And they're recouping broken now. And there'll be more broken with this sort of new technology coming through.
Lisa: And from a foot health perspective, are they okay, in that respect, or you just didn't want to like them?
Dave: No, it's not about—it’s sports. Sports is not about health.
Lisa: Performance is not about health. No
Lisa: It should be but it depends… It’s not always the case.
Dave: That's the point, though. I mean, if you wear these around all throughout the day, why would you do that? And having four centimeters of foam between you and the ground can be put to sleep. So look, I would—if I'm wanting to do a fast run and I don't really do much of that anymore—but if I was doing a faster training run with them, with a buddy of mine who runs pretty quick, I would definitely wear these.
I'm walking all day barefoot. I'm doing full exercises throughout my day. I'm waking up my feet all the time to look after my feet in-between. So you know, this foot choice, shoe choice doesn't stand finished when you're running. It's throughout the day. And that way, you'll choose a different type of shoe. If I was wearing a shoe during the day, my normal shoe would be something that's very minimal, which allows my foot to feel the ground and do things, if I need to wear footwear.
Lisa: Yes. And sometimes you don't, you know?
Dave: Yes. And I think that's an important thing too. We've always—there's always extremes. Yes. So I'll see the odd person is taken to the extreme, and they'll go barefoot all the time. And I think you need to be careful of that too. So from a health point of view, yes. So where I live, you wouldn't run—I have run some trails barefoot but there are sharp rocks around there. But also we have snakes there which is a bit of a problem. So I've done the odd barefoot run, but it makes you pretty nervous. The other part too, is what goes on your skin, goes in you.
Lisa: Yes, me too. You talked about that on—what was it on? Something you were talking about the other day. You were talking the skin and your feet. When your lectures that I was learning from you, right? And you were saying how your daughter was barefoot, which was great, but you went to get some picture with the car.
Lisa: And she wanted to run across the full court bare feet and you said, ‘No, put your shoes on’.
Dave: Yes. Gotta have shoes. If you go into public toilets, or you're going on a forecourt of a petrol station, if you're walking barefoot on those, those chemicals are getting into your thing.
Lisa: Yes. So also, if you're walking barefoot too, and certainly in Asia and I have an Asian background, you bringing into your house when you go in there too. So be careful where you expose your feet to, because it will go in you, and then we'll take it into your house.
Dave: So yes, there's time and place for everything.
Lisa: Yes, yes, that's so true. And this is where some other minimalist shoes come in. So and like, social etiquette and stuff, you don't—you can't go to the gym without some sort of footwear on. Most places will tell you off. Well, gym maybe.
Dave: My gym, we actually have a gym shoes off policy, right? If we want people to move well, we need all the sensors working well. So we want as much information from those shoes from those feet as possible. So people understand where they are on the ground. Then we have covered where people put their shoes in.
And now not everyone is trying to barefoot. And we have some people who have some structural foot issues who do require some footwear, as well tend to move well. So, if you drop a dumbbell on your foot, having a shoe isn't really going to help you. But as one of my main etiquette contains the meat.
Lisa: And most gyms prescribe that you have to have shoes on when you go to them. They do. And these social situations, you can't go to the opera with bare feet. It's not cool. And that brings me to ladies in high heels. What are we doing to our bodies when we wear…
Dave: Oh boy.
Lisa: …lovely, elegant? We look very elegant in high heels. What the hell are we doing to ourselves?
Dave: Okay, so yes, you mentioned that word kinetic chain before. And the idea there is when you change one part, it will change something else with. That's what a kinetic chain does. Okay, a closed kinetic chain. So when you add an incline to your heel, and lift yourself up there, that pushes you forward. So if you have a stiletto on or something very high, you’ll fall on your face unless you adjusted. So where will you adjust? You'll normally do that by pushing your pose forward, by arching your lower back more. So often, the problem that you'll see with high heels will be it changes up the chain.
As well as that when you're in high heels, you're effectively pointing your toes. So if you're in a flat shoe, you'd have been in your ankles. In a high heel, your toes are pointed more. So what that does is that will shorten the calf muscles. And that’s why, if you look at a woman in high heels, she has more definition in the calves because those calf muscles are shortened up. But if you're wearing high heels an awful lot there, what that will do is shorten up that calf, it may make it harder for you to bend that ankle again, which will cause you some different issues, and for those of you who are a bit more technical minded too, peroneus longus, okay, will be one of the muscles which is a part of the action which will be shortened.
The peroneus longus comes around a riff underneath the foot and a wrench into the base of that big toe. So it pulls you down into pronation so it collapses the arch. So if you've been wearing high heels an awful lot, that peroneus longus can shorten, which can end up reducing your amount of bend in your ankle and also will pull you into more pronation. Apparently, the good thing that allows you to splat, but remember we also want to make the foot rigid after that so it can repel often.
But if you end up mucking around with muscles, and changing the way they work, and certainly by placing a high heel, and you're certainly going to do that, that will do that. And it will change the way the peroneus longus works and wears out the muscles, which will change that timing, that intricate timing that we need to have in the foot.
Lisa: Wow. And so ladies, keep your high heels for special occasions and not everyday use if you can. And I mean I—working with mum and she was in the bed for a long time, bedridden. Drop foot, you know, same thing basically. But just on a horizontal because she couldn't stand so she couldn't get that dorsiflexion happening, and then I was not aware of it at the time that this was a problem when it was happening, and I caught it quite late. And then we had to have her in a boot to try and straighten that out and now she's got a rigid ankle pretty much. So she's got no dorsiflexion, therefore she can't roll over the front of your foot and off nicely. So her whole gait is more flat footed. And these things knock on very early. And then it happens quite quickly that you start to get dropped foot.
Even if you think about life, wake up in the morning and that first time the foot hits the floor, and you've got like, ‘Oh yes, stuff. Stuff on the calf muscles feeling scuffles within the Achilles. And this is a—getting onto the Achilles toe’. If you're getting that initial stiffness when you get up in the morning, there's something brewing and maybe start to look at it. Achilles is a good—that's a good indicator that so step in the morning. How are you feeling? If you're bouncing out of bed and you can get out of bed and run down the hallway and you find you've got nothing, then you probably, not too bad.
Dave: I think that's a great point here. You should wake up feeling reasonably good. I mean it’s not a margarine commercial. You shouldn't jump out of bed, ‘Hey. Hello world’. That's probably the only thing you'd be happy about if you're eating that stuff. But that's a whole other conversation.
I had a professional athlete who I was working with, and we were talking one morning and was actually helping, deciding—standing up, deciding we were gonna go with him. And he said, ‘Yes. So how things young is young? What’s your story? I didn't have a car stand up. And then I go, ‘Sharon district’. About 40 minutes later, I'm ready to move. That's normal, right? ‘No, no, that's not normal. Your body normal is not being in pain and struggling to move. That's not normal..
Lisa: Oh but it's age, Dave. That's the next thing, he’ll tell you. It’s just normal aging.
Dave: So now I think too, you know. Let’s you've got a—sorry for those of you who are in different hemispheres. But a classic car in the southern hemisphere was a Ford Cortina. Now imagine you've got a 1984 Cortina in your garage, and it's chrome. It's beautiful. And you've looked after it wonderfully. That car drives fantastically in your own town, you think this is the best car ever. But if you take a 1980 Ford Cortina, and you don't maintain it, and you just drive it hard, you won't have it here today.
Dave: Okay. So if you've got a classic car, it can run really well. But you need to put some extra care and maintenance into it.
Dave: That's all it is. So, but you can have a young—you can have a new sports car. You can trash it's probably gonna be a little bit better. But yes, so the older you are, the more keen you’re taking care of your classic car.
Lisa: We fit into the classic category now.
Dave: That's another spin on that too. You know, ages is one thing. But I kind of look at these young athletes, I think you're—you can you can keep up with me. You haven't got the experience I've got. Play that card. It's not there's not just physical is a lot more that goes on to it. And take a look at the outer world. And know that certainly, the more of a mental game that's required, the better it suits your experience.
Lisa: Yes, in Roman times, like, it's not about speed and power after a 100k, it sort of starts to come down to…
Lisa: So yes, it is. It's an attitude for life. There's a number of rounds on the clock, but it's keeping everything as best as you can in optimal performance and stopping things before they fall down the cliff, and being in that preventative space. And that's what we're both all about. And that's why you’re taking good care of your joints, and your muscles, and your hydration, and all of those exercises is really, really key. Let's talk a little bit now around, what's your take, I'd like to hear just on general and for joints and cartilage and stuff? Things like sulfur, MSM, conjugated salt, and so Glucosamine, that sort of supplementation for cartilage and joints you know anything about this? If it’s a cool thing or not?
Dave: It's really cool at one of my key areas. Look, supplements are strange one. And certainly my take on that really changed over the last few years. And now if you think you can get everything out of your diet, even if you're eating organic, you probably can't. So there's certainly some supplementation useful. I'm very big on getting an evidence base on that though.
So there's this push where we've almost seen our science as lying now. We need to be able to do our supplementation, to what you want to choose. But what I found now is basically you become a victim to marketing now. So there's a fine line between the two. So I read up on what I think is useful, and what's not, and I use it on an individual basis. But I'd like to cover the basics first, and often think that we're thinking they're tasting things like curcumin. Another problem with curcumin by the way, as well some other some other supplements here when you're not even looking at the basics. So do the big rocks first.
Lisa: Yes, I'm big on those pretty you know those ABCD. Selenium, zinc, magnesium-type base. Not sexy, but very essential for genetic functions. Yes.
Dave: A decent multivitamin is probably a bloody good place to start, and then you can start fine tuning from there. Sure. I take a few other things, as well. I'm a big fan of a decent probiotic, and veering those probiotics around. I think that's really important. And I use that as a food source as a supplement. I do like my fish oils. I think there is a part to play in that.
Lisa: Yes. Those are wild.
Dave: Wild, wild, wild small fish is the way you want to go and watch out for the processing on those as well, they can get...
Lisa: Very very important to get the right fish source, you get right fish source ,and you'll be doing the opposite to what you need to kick the company out especially... In our next conversation. I know we're getting a bit off topic but probiotics, I've done quite a lot of study around the probiotics, and some of the problems of probiotics, and has domains, and causing inflammation and allergic reactions. Have you found any one in particular that you'd say, ‘Yes, that one's been really good for a lot of people’. This got a good clinical base to it?
Dave: Yes. There's a few brands that I tend to like. These…
Lisa: Deep in here without any proof on that question, but I was interested for myself because I'm looking at our probiotics.
Dave: Syntol is a brand I quite like. Syntol, S-Y-N-T-O-L iis a brand that I've used for probably the last decade. That's an industrial strength one which works really well. Also Bio-Heal is another one, which I think is a pretty decent one. And the reason I like those brands is that they don't need refrigeration. And the Syntol is more spore one so it can be a bit bitter as well.
Lisa: Yes. Because it's got to get through the digestive, the stomach, the action, into the lower. And I know like the science in this area is still a very much an evolving space. And a lot of this, I have had a couple of clients been on probiotics that you get out of off the shelf or supermarket type thing. They ended up with histamine reactions and things like that because they do have often—so if you're sensitive to histamine and you might want to check it out a little bit more, and just be toe in the water and find out. So it's a little bit hard to know because I think the jury's still out in some regards. But I think but the spore based ones…
Dave: Yes, there seems to be built in there. I feel like most fermented foods, they won't suit everyone, for sure. They served me really well. So I make my own kimchi. I make my kombucha. I make my own sauerkraut. Do some water kefir as well. I often use a little bit of fermented foods to help my gut work. And every culture and everywhere in the world has some form of fermented food. And we realize as developing communities that we need to look after our gut health needs, and we didn't have refrigeration was probably the other thing as well. Then those are very health giving. And it still exists in most cultures today, and it's certainly something that I'd recommend if it suits you to work into your diet.
Lisa: Yes, and that is where I know—working with the PH-316 epigenetics programme that we do that there are certain biotypes. And one of them that can miss to watch the amount of fermented foods because it can again—cause histamine problems in inflammation in the body—so that is a bit of a bit more a personal genetic thing too, as rather than across the board.
But to be fair, I think that's everything needs to be personalized nowadays. And we've got a lot I wouldn't say we've got an all sass but there is a lot of science around what type of thing for what person and which genes, for which foods, and I don't think it's by any means perfect yet. The science behind it, but we can get a bit of an idea on some of these things. So just because it's healthy for Dave doesn't necessarily mean it's going to be healthy for Lisa, you know? So a little bit of experiment, and I'm a big experimenter, versus showing one of my athletes into my pantry. And it looks more like a cumulus isn't well supplement shop rather than a...
And I don't take on things all the time but I'm always experimenting on my own body, and trying to optimize, and to see what sort of things are having which effect and then trying to take note of it, and keep track of it, and trying to work out. A little bit hard when you keep chucking 100 variations at things. It's not exactly a clinical study where you do one variation. But…
Dave: Eating is one.
Lisa: Eating is one. Yes, exactly. And keeping testing. But back to the whole foot scenario talking that—I mean, you and I can end up in bloody all sorts of areas. What's your take on orthotics? I wanted to ask that again. Jury's out of my mind on orthotics and I'm not sure.
Dave: That’s a real polarizing one. I'm gonna make myself unpopular with some people here, but here's my take on it. I'm not—I'm not a [51:17 unintelligible]. If you have a foot that hasn't got a structural issue, or a neurological deficit, you can work without orthotics. Okay, so orthotics add support, and they will normally block motion. Okay, that's what they're pretty much designed to do.
So normally, when they describe orthotics, they'll look at, ‘Okay, there's too much motion. We will block that motion so that the foot can do its thing’. You block motion, some way though. What we know is that motion will be taken up somewhere else. And in that closed chain, where that motion goes will often have problems.
So let's have a look, if you've got a foot that doesn't dorsiflex well, so the ankle doesn't bend well. Now what will happen is the only way you can bend their ankle now is to roll inside or to over pronate. That's the only way you can go there. But rather than go through the foot, you go around the foot now.
So what may happen is, if you have no thoughts to stop that pronation, go, ‘What's happened now’? Okay? Now you can't pronate the foot, you can't work at the ankle, what's going to go next? You may end up taking up a knee. But now you'll end up with a knee issue, when you may come in with a foot issue. You may end up with a knee issue, or it may end up going into the hip or the lumbar spine, or as far as into the neck, which is a common thing or even to the head.
I've seen from people who've had a foot issue and they get hit out when they start hitting the pavement because it goes right through the chain. And that's it ends up tearing them up. So when you enter [52:53 unintelligible], if you've got a painful foot, it can be very useful temporarily to change what's going on, or a structure or neurological deficit. Otherwise, think of a crutch.
Okay, if I break my leg, ‘Oh, I want to break around my knee without smashing my knee to smithereens. I want to break around my knee and I want to wear crutches to start with’.
Now, oh boy that feels so good having extra support in there. And I've restricted that range around my knee because it's too painful to move. But 10 years later, I wouldn't want to be still be wearing that same brace on my knee with a crutch. And I wouldn't want to go in there each year and get that brace changed a little bit and realtered.
So I look at some of your thoughts that come into me and I look at that foot and I look at your foot and I go, ‘I have no idea’. I kind of—foot mechanics is tricky stuff. But I've put a fair bit of work into it. Like I understand how feet generally work, I think. I look at that foot and I look at that person, and I think, ‘I can’t see what’s that relating to at all’. I don’t know what you’re seeing, but that's not what I see.
And there’s a few things around some of the theory of orthotics which are a little bit tricky around foot mechanics change when you have your foot on the ground versus when you—whether your foot in the air.
Lisa: Of course.
Dave: A lot of the mechanics that are put into orthotics aren't done in a closed chain, which changes the whole way the foot works. Though, there is some stuff there. I've had piles of orthotics thrown away over the year. I have products come into me and I go, ‘What?’ And I'll test them. It'll take people with them, without them, and they'll go better without them. I had some people that do need them though, because they had some neurological issues for their head structural foot issues, where their foot is broken beyond repair, where it does need some help.
And making good orthotics, definitely—for those of you who maybe have a diabetic foot or have had some issues around there. Some of the orthotics I've seen that have come and have been worked about and are amazing, though there is some there are some amazing work on orthotics. And that's probably my outtake on this one. So finding someone who's very good at that, and looking after a foot in trouble is a real skill.
Lisa: It is. I've got a friend, Lisa Whiteman, who owns a China podiatry clinics, right, throughout New Zealand, and their stuff is next level. But the science and technology that they have in order to get the right things for that. So if you're thinking of doing it, make sure you go to somebody who really knows this stuff, and not just any sort of orthotic. And test it, and try it, and see whether you're getting something through up the train, fix that. And question with the immediate, long term—I've never had any benefit out of an orthotic. And I've only got, again, one anecdotal in me.
But we're not—like dealing with someone like my mum with a neurological problem, and limited dorsiflexion. I am considering the next opportunity I get to take down to Wellington to go and see my friend and go into her clinic and get her an assist, that might be, for example, a situation where something like that could be called for, because she's lost that motion and the ankle, so we haven't got it to work with.
Dave: So we do have problems from the bottom up. So the foot can cause a problem going up, but also it can probably be going down too.
Lisa: Yes, yes.
Dave: Okay, so life exists below the knee. So certainly, it's way useful to look at a foot, but I don't fit those other areas as well, because you're gonna have a lot of problems that are caused from up the chain that go down as well.
Lisa: Yes, yes, yes.
Dave: That's where I get a little bit concerned, sometimes where people look at just the foot by itself.
Lisa: It's reductionist. Doesn't that? It's like, yes, and I mean, we can have a conversation around reduction as sort of thinking, in medicine, and in every area really is looking at single piece of the puzzle.
Dave: And that is useful. We go to put it back through, you gotta work it.
Lisa: Got to put the screw to the chain. I love the imagery. Like, you've taught me the cell blueprint recently. That is a reductionist model, it's bringing things down onto the cellular level and saying, what is the cell going, and then what is the tissue doing, and the organ doing, and the system doing. But we are going back up through the system. And looking at it from another perspective, and when you just look at a piece of the puzzle and go, ‘Right. Oh, I got such because your ankle when I wiggle it, like this isn't doing it before you have this problem’. That's a reductionist view on it. And this is why the holistic—ike you, the holistic movement coach, and where the holistic run training system, because it says about being fit, holistic, and looking at things outside of your core focus. You know, like, when a runner comes in, they want to do an ultra-marathon, and we're gonna be looking at their health.
Lisa: In general, we're gonna be looking at their mindset. We're gonna be looking at their nutrition, not just if they're running the right amount of kilometres a week. It's far more complicated than that. And then holistic look at things as really—you want to be working with coaches, and doctors and health professionals that are taking a holistic—and we're possible, a personalized approach to what you're doing. And this takes time. And this takes more money. And this takes more education. And in a broader knowledge on a lot of subjects. So you're not going to find this on every street corner but I think that approach is just a much better way to look at things in general.
And that's why, like, you might need a holistic movement coach, but you're an absolute expert in so many areas. Now, it's just insane the level of knowledge that you have. And we're trying to, I'm trying to emulate that in different other areas because... And you can't be across every game thing in the whole world. Like, I had a lady yesterday that I was working with, and some of the testing that was coming out of America on mycotoxins and all that I haven't even looked at that pile of the science and something that I want to do, but it's just like—well, that's often the distant future because there's so many other pieces of the puzzle and you can't be across every damn thing.
But if you are trying to be as holistic as possible, and being able to refer out to people who you don't know what to do in that, in that sort of case, but having that broad of you. Get on the sphere on top of the specialization as a good combi day. Dave, we’ve bloody ravaged it on again for ages. I think we've covered off so pretty much. But I did want to ask you about reflexology. What's your take on reflexology before we wrap up?
Dave: I love getting it. I love doing it. So, the idea with reflexology is that—and there's lots of different types of reflexology. We often associate reflexology with the feet. But the French often use the ear as a reflexology ear and hands often— the idea is your body is represented and in smaller areas of your body, so you can access... So for instance, the kidneys or the small intestine through the fetus, there's a theory there.
And certainly this, yes, I've had some really good results on myself for reflexology. And I remember, my first experience of reflexology was, I used to be a competitive kayaker at another lifetime. And my regular massage therapist is away. And I had this, this drastic issue, I had a torn tissue, it wasn't going well, and had a bit of back pain with it. And so she put me on for another massage therapist, and I walked in there and this messed it up is the first indicator, ‘We'd start by cleansing your aura’. I’m like, ‘Lord’. And I'm probably a bit more forgiving of that now than it was back then.