I read about a study in the paper today that seems to indicate something really amazing – the kind of thing you’d say to yourself, “Why, who would have thought?”
It seems the study, conducted by Harvard biologist Daniel Lieberman, concluded that people were born to run – barefoot! That’s right, folks. We were not built to run on elevated running shoes that have lights flashing in the soles and a pump up air mechanism. Sounds crazy, doesn’t it?
The study revealed that people wearing those cushy shoes strike the ground on their heels first. You don’t have any choice the way they’re designed. This gives everybody painful heels, a condition doctors call plantar fasciitis because they want to sound smarter than all the rest of us.
I have had painful heels myself and spent a lot of money, which I’m not going to divulge the exact amount in case my husband ever sees this blog – trust me, it was A LOT of money – to get insoles put in my shoes by a specialist in foot doctoring who said it would help my heels heal much faster. It did not. What cured me was a half hour visiting with Google who said I needed to stretch my Achilles tendon by standing with the balls of my feet on a step and letting the heels hang down. This cured me right up. What was interesting is that my foot doctor told me NOT to do that – he said I needed to keep coming back to him for exercises and examinations. Interesting…
I once had a co-worker who ran all the time, and he explained to me that I needed to change my running style and land on my heels first, which I went to great pains to do (and the pun was intended – I have to take them when I can get them). He said he got this information from his doctor, so I assumed he knew what he was talking about. I know now that it probably explains why I kept getting heel pain.
I’m coming to a point, if you’ll bear with me, just as soon as I can think of one. In the meantime, I have to wonder why so many people have an aversion to common sense? It seems like it would cure most ills if we humans would just quit listening to learned specialists. I remember when the food pyramid came out and they wanted everyone to eat lots of grains and pastas – it was at the bottom, so the biggest chunk of your diet was supposed to come from breads and cereals and Italian food. I looked at that and thought, “Every time I eat this stuff I put on 10 pounds, and now I’m supposed to go out of my way to eat it?” I’m convinced that America became obese because of this pyramid, and I think we should file a class action suit because of our pain and suffering. If someone wants to spearhead that, count me in.
Over the years the know-it-alls have told us all kinds of things that have not been good advice. I can’t think of anything else right now, but I’m sure you can. Well, I am thinking of something, though it’s not so recent. They used to bleed people for illnesses – cut right into a vein or artery and let the blood squirt up and arc into a bucket – I saw a picture in a book one time. Ghastly. That was supposed to cure you of everything from pneumonia so a sore pinky finger. The doctors of our first President, George Washington, bled him literally to death, or so my history teacher told me and it’s such a good story I don’t want to risk looking it up in case it’s not true. These days we’ve figured out that losing blood can actually kill you, and we busy ourselves putting blood back into people who have lost it. I don’t know how they missed that back in George Washington’s day. Maybe they were too preoccupied because they were also diving into ponds and catching leeches for medicinal purposes as a supplement to slowly bleeding people to death. Can you imagine walking around town with about 10 leeches stuck to your face and neck? I get embarrassed if I have a band-aid showing. And what was that conversation like at the doctor’s office? “Well, son, I see you have an infected cut on the shin, so we’re going to surround it with these leeches here, and you need to wear them 24/7 for the next two weeks, or until you die. I’m just joking, of course, because we all know this is proven science that will cure just about anything that ails you. Now, let’s see that leg.”
All in all, as I read about medical “discoveries” they’ve spent years researching on millions of mice and men, and how they reach such obvious conclusions like we should breastfeed our babies or run barefoot, I scratch my head and think, this is what centuries of humans did before modern times and the species survived just fine. But who am I to judge? I sit up until all hours writing blogs and staring at bright computer screens, driving myself slowly blind, and where’s the common sense in that?
I will end on this piece of interesting advice from a write-in column about home remedies. Aloe vera will cure warts. Honest to goodness. Take the leaf of an aloe vera plant; slice it open and put the plant juices on your wart and sometime or other it will go away. Now this is the kind of information we can all use – and, wouldn’t you know it, it didn’t come from a scientist.