My take on the RootyRUG

I came across the RootyRUG by chance while surfing the Internet. Chance probably isn’t the right word, though. I was actually headed in the other direction. Why? Feet are an important part of my practice, my physical therapy work, and my perception of the body as a whole. The foot is a masterpiece ???? Strong and healthy feet are one of the critical components of overall good health. And if we’re willing to perceive, they can provide us with a lot of information, perceptions and feelings.

I remember the first time I really saw important they are when I was learning and training the Spiraldynamik concept (simply put – the intelligent use of one’s own body) a few years ago. A rewarding experience immediately led me to start noticing them completely differently. And lately my attention to them has become even more heightened. On my social network profile, I have a bunch of “likes” on things that relate to feet. And so I came across this interesting health aid that’s reminiscent of developed tree roots in the forest. They’re raised up in various ways, so they wonderfully force the feet to work, to realize their unbalanced positions, to level out the imbalance, thus not leaving our proprioceptions cold.

RootyRUG_Derdeleven_01I don’t get excited about something very often; it always takes some time before I accept something as my own or decide on something. But I was surprised that I reacted to this carpet immediately. Right away, I wrote an email to the manufacturers that I’d like to have it in my studio, and in a few days it was already in its place. I personally walk around at home barefoot or in socks, lately wearing only minimalist shoes outdoors, so I had no problem getting used to the “wavy carpet” pretty quickly. Almost every day, I start my morning regime by taking a walk on it as part of my “kinetic breakfast” and doing various simple exercises.

The reactions of my clients were interesting – some of them noticed it immediately, some not at all, and some thought it was just a bunched-up rug without a real purpose. So I’ve started gradually incorporating it into my lessons. I use it at the beginning during warm-up, during the lesson, and even at the end. The methods, of course, vary from client to client. From merely standing and perceiving the position of the body on an uneven surface, through different types of walking, to various balance exercises using only one’s own weight or with aids. At the beginning of the therapy, I also use it together with rollers, balls for relaxing and increasing the elasticity of the plantar fascia. It also greatly helped one of my patients in the rehabilitation of a broken ankle.

Their reactions? Definitely positive. It provides clients with interesting feedback. They were surprised at how good it felt, since many of them think of the foot as a part of the body that’s hidden inside the shoe. They see how much of an effect it can have on the whole body. Some of them already are thinking about having the carpet at home, and the management of one company is thinking about getting it for their stretching zone directly in the offices so that their employees can relieve their tired legs.

I work with younger and older children, and even for those ages it’s an interesting tool, something they think is cool. They don’t think much about the benefits, of course, they “simply” enjoy it.

My conclusion? Our feet are our roots, our connection with the earth, and this root carpet only enhances this connection and improves it through correct use. What’s more, it can be used at home every day. I recommend RootyRUG.