Cry Ankle!

The reference to the dirty comedy “Cry Uncle!” is, of course for the older crowd. When in the early 70s this movie was running in the theatres, most of you were either ankle-biters, or not even born yet.

In this blog post, as the subtitle to the movie promises, I will get to the bottom of things and talk about the very low point of your body. This, of course, is not your bottom, but your feet and ankles.

You see, when most of us think about the signs of aging, we envision grey hair, liver spots, sagging flesh, etc. Yet for me, as a massage therapist, these are all secondary. As far as I am concerned, the primary sign of old age is the loss of mobility in the ankles.

When we stand, our ankles absorb the stress of the full body weight. When we walk, they bear over 1,000 foot strikes for every kilometer of the distance, and when we run, the ankles support up to four times our body weight.

The marvellous structure of the ankle joint allows it to be both flexible and strong. The three bones of the ankle, well supported by ligaments, form a mortise, or a hinge joint, allowing our foot to move around the horizontal axis pointing our toes up or down.

No less than twelve muscles cross the ankle joint, providing this movement. Eight muscles plantar-flex the foot (pointing the toes down) and four muscles dorsi-flex the foot (pointing the toes up).

These simple movements are, of course essential for walking. When because of our sedentary lifestyle, lack of exercise, tight and uncomfortable shoes, we abuse our ankle joints, they get restricted, lose their mobility and make walking very painful.

As a massage therapist, I am always sad when I get a client, sometimes as young as 40, whose ankles are fibrosed and feel like tree stumps. Don’t let it happen to you. Make a point of mobilizing your ankle joints and stretching the muscles. Movement is life. What kind of life can one have when walking hurts?

At Breathe Spa the ankle mobilization is included in both the 90 min. full body massage and the 30 min. foot massage treatments. Go online at, or call 403-457-3060 and make an appointment with me. I hope to see you soon.

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