The Chinese custom of breaking the bones of young girls’ feet to structurally restrict size and growth began in the 10th century, but wasn’t banned until 1911 and in some rural areas continued as late as 1939. Photographer Jo Farrell has been working on a project funded by Kickstarter to document the last living women subjected to foot binding, all currently in their 80s and 90s.
The process typically began between the ages of 4 and 9, while girls’ arches were still forming and therefore more pliable. The feet were soaked in mixtures of animal blood and herbs. Then the toes were broken into the soles and the arches were cracked so that the front of the foot could be folded under. Thick bandages held feet in the desired shape until the bones healed in place.
While feet no longer receive the negative attention of manual reshaping, they also often lack the positive attention needed to maintain health. For information about every day foot care practices to keep your feet at their best, see podiatrist Dr. Henry Slomowitz of Paramus and Paterson. Dr. Slomowitzwill care for all of your podiatric concerns.
Every Day Foot Care
People tend to take better care of their bodies, face, and hair than their feet. However, the feet are a very important aspect of our bodies and must be given proper care. It is important to check your feet regularly for cuts, bruises or other irregularities that signify a bigger problem.
For dry feet, moisturizer can easily be a remedy and can be applied as often as necessary to the affected areas. Wearing shoes that fit can also help sustain good foot health, and make it easier to walk and do daily activities without the stress or pain of ill-fitting shoes, high heels, or even flip-flops.
Wearing clean socks within closed shoes is important to ensure that sweat and bacteria do not accumulate within the shoe. This will help prevent athlete’s foot, fungi problems, bad odors, and can absorb sweat.
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