August 11, 2012--The Golf Ball Thing (YOU'RE WELCOME)

I'm about to let you in on a huge and wonderful secret.

Okay, it's not really a secret.

It's more of a Thing Everyone Should Know, but Most People Don't.  But now I'm going to tell you about it and then you will KNOW.  And once you know something, you can't UNknow it, so you will have this added knowledge of this huge thing that has the potential to change your life.

So, you may have noticed something in the background of every picture I have taken in my bedroom of the bazillion forearm stands.
I cannot even tell you how much time I just spent trying to find some software on my computer that would allow me to draw a simple arrow pointing to the golf ball.  Apparently, I don't have that kind of software.  Just look in front of the dying houseplant.

It's a golf ball.

(Some of you, used to my photographic prowess, probably thought the golf ball was this year's Soft Scrub. Nope, I leave it out to remind me to do the magic golf ball trick morning and night.)

I know --I don't even play golf!

This golf ball was given to me by my acupuncturist. He put a little face on it, because he has a sense of humor.  You do not need to have a face on YOUR golf ball to participate in this exercise.
He looks a little pensive in this photo, doesn't he?
In fact, it's a little weird to have a face on your golf ball, especially the one on MY golf ball, which seems to always be watching me, which is kind of creepy.

TECHNICALLY, you don't even necessarily have to have a GOLF ball.  When I was in Dallas visiting my parents in January, I forgot my golf ball and had to use a dreidel.

Because there were no golf balls to be found in my parents' house, but of COURSE, there was a dreidel.


Here is Ana Katherine demonstrating the exercise.

All right, all right, I DO know how it works, but I just didn't think you'd buy my explanation since I sound like a Smurf and who would take a Smurf trying to explain something technical seriously? (People, there's a REASON I never went into broadcast journalism.)

Basically, it's kind of reflexology kind of thing. You're rolling around over all of these trigger points in your foot and that unlocks all of the joints traveling up your leg. OR, if you don't buy that, think about it as evening out the foundation on which you stand, which, in turn, brings all of your other joints into alignment.

What I've discovered about my FULF is that during my biggest pain episodes, the real culprit is that my foot goes into a spasm and locks up.  This causes everything in my leg and hip to lock up and then, I'm completely out of alignment and everything hurts.

I do the golf ball exercise at least twice a day, in the morning and at night, and sometimes I do it just because I can feel my foot beginning to spasm.  When I forget to do it, my entire foot is tight and uncomfortable--and my acupuncturist immediately knows I haven't been rolling it around on the golf ball. When I do the golf ball, my foot stays supple and relaxed and then every other joint up my leg does, too. It's magic.

Apparently, it's especially valuable as an exercise for runners and cyclists, who have notoriously tight joints due to the repetitive forward motion of their sports. But it's good for everyone, because we all ask so much of our feet.

So, there you have it: The Magic Golf Ball Thing. You should really do it every day.  Seriously, it's THAT good. Try it--your feet will thank you.


Kathy Ireland said…
During my visit last month, Barb showed me (us) the Golf Ball Thing and it totally works. I try to remember this little bit of magic every day.

Susan said…
I learned this in my yoga classes too (formally called Yoga for Backs but I like to call it Remedial Yoga for People Who Hurt Too Much to Do Real Yoga although my yoga instructor says that it is too Real Yoga). This class is helping me enormously after I survived the first month in which even Remedial Yoga just hurt everywhere until my body woke up and agreed to move. I'm glad that I stuck with it for that first month. I probably wouldn't have if I hadn't been going with a friend so felt obligated to show up.

Your post has me wondering, however: if you just rolled one foot all the time would you eventually start to walk in circles? I always roll both feet of course and wouldn't have even wondered about the circle thing if I hadn't read your (educational) blog.
hollygee said…
I'm going to put this to use.
-Karen said…
I have a FURF that has caused me to have chronic knee, hip and lower back problems so the golf ball trick may be just what I need because nothing else has had a long term effect. Thanks for sharing!
Rohit said…
Thanks so much!! Will give it a go!
Ann in NJ said…
This sounds great, even though I have peripheral neuropathy that causes my feet to be exceedingly sensitive to stimulation - we'll see.
Shaatzie said…
What a useful bit of information! I am going to look for a golf ball—I avoided surgery for plantar fasciitis by doing a simple exercise.

Keep on sharing.
Bullwinkle said…
Someone told me to do this while brushing my teeth. (Which you're supposed to do for 2 min, morning and night; right? That makes 60 sec per foot while you're otherwise doing nothing. Or playing with a puppy.)

And if you have a fancy toothbrush that times your brushing, it'll even tell you when to switch feet.
Judy said…
One of my naturopath friends suggests that this should be done as you're getting out of bed in the morning ... before putting your weight on your feet. As she puts it, jumping out of bed in the morning begins to activate your acupressure points in your feet ... whether you like or not. It is much better to give them a gentle massage or use your golf ball to consciously activate those points and start your day off right. This was much more do-able in my world before the advent of the puppy!
Alan Nyman said…
Ok ill try it!