Hands like Feet, Learning – Shape and form follow Function

Bodies form according to Stress

We think and unconsciously act as if our bodies, our shape, even our boney structures are controlled by genetics, but are they? They are really formed by what ever force or learning get placed upon them. Bind your feet, put expanding rings in your ears, put rings around your neck, wear tight shoes, bras, clothing, high heels, etc. Your body will conform to those stresses no matter how subtle or powerful.

Here are some examples of learning to move, act, and function differently that also change the whole structure, and all out of necessity. We can also do it out of choice.

Using Feet like Hands, Foot structure changing as a result of use patterns.

Eating Sushi with chopsticks with feet

Driving car with feet

So what does all this mean for us. Well, it means that we probably have only a few favorite ways of using our bodies (eg. we choose right or left side dominance) and therefore we limit our possibilities. We could do a whole lot more but we don’t take the time to break down the learning process to make the changes we want. (BTW that is how I help.)

If feet can do this, imagine what hands truly well trained could do, on the piano, touching another, drawing, ……

The converse is true. Most all pains and dysfunction have their basis in limited use and habit patterns. The weakest link, so to speak. Yes accidents and impacts are a problem, but even then why did the body choose to break where it did, not two inches to the left or right, up or down.


Moshe Feldenkrais was fond of noting that the more choices we haveĀ (through learning) the greater (and perhaps the only true) freedom we have.

I like to think of it this way: If we have only one choice it is a compulsion, if we have only two choices we have a dilemma, if we have three or many more choices we have real freedom, don’t we.

So learning how to do the things we already know how to do in many, many ways may be both the only really important learning, and the path to choice and freedom. Maybe try learning something simple and new today. Butter your toast differently. Brush your teeth differently. Slowly, learning takes some slowing down.

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