Your foot has 26 bones, 33 joints, 20 intrinsic muscles 14 extrinsic muscles and a whopping 200,000 nerve endings.

According to research out of the University of Calgary, the modern soled shoe today only supports 1 out of 33 joints, 2 of 34 muscles, and blocks out most of the sensory feedback!

Put another way, all of your fresh looking, nicely categorized and overpriced shoes are actually doing the OPPOSITE of what you were promised. 

They are inhibiting the true functional potential of your feet.

The majority of us grew up with these kind of shoes, including myself, and I’ve spent a lifetime studying and experimenting with different ways to heal and recondition the human foot.

Hello, I’m Matthew Walden.

I’ve spent most of my career as an osteopath, naturopath and CHEK Practitioner.

I’ve  consulted for various top sports teams including Chelsea Football Club, Charlton Athletic Football Club and Surrey County Cricket Club. I also have the privilege to be the CHEK Institute’s Global Head of Education.

So why am I talking about feet?

Well, if you’ve been following Paul Chek you’ve probably heard him mention the Primal Pattern® Movements.

These are the movements Paul identified as the most necessary for survival in our developmental environment. In other words, if you couldn’t correctly perform these seven movement patterns quickly and effectively without thinking about what your body was doing, you probably wouldn’t survive in the wild.

Matthew Wallden

Those 7 movement patterns are:

  1. Bend
  2. Squat
  3. Lunge
  4. Push
  5. Pull
  6. Twist, and last but not least..
  7. GAIT

Now, having worked with thousands of fitness professionals over the past 20 years, I’m betting you’ve improved your clients’ performance on the first 5-6 out of those 7 movement patterns. (Most trainers rarely focus on twisting, but that’s a conversation for another day!)

Unless you’re a runner or train runners (and if you do, then it is EXTREMELY important for you so KEEP READING!) most of your clients are probably asking you to help them lose weight… just generally get fit… or maybe to improve their athletic performance. 

So, what do you do? 

You design programs that will help your clients slim down, build stronger, more defined muscles and for the athletes, maybe get more explosive.

And you can definitely get great results (and I’m sure you are!) with 5 out of those 7 movement patterns.

But what happens when your client starts to experience lower back pain?

Or what do you do when your athlete’s performance hits a plateau and no matter how much you switch things up, they just can’t get better?

At this point, as most practitioners do, you begin to look outside the body for answers…

Maybe you begin to explore their mental-emotional bodies and find imbalances, in which case you offer zone exercises or tai-chi.

Maybe you begin to prescribe supplements, more rest, the use of saunas or ice baths, certain workout gear, visits to a chiropractor’s etc. all in the hopes to alleviate pain and improve performance. 

Now, all of these tools could  bring on some great results. But, what if in the long-term they pan out to be not enough?

What do you do then?

With all that I know after seeing literally hundreds of clients, I would recommend you start to get familiar with their feet.

Their feet?!

Yes, their feet!

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Why in the world would you do that?

Well, let’s take a few things into consideration:

  1. Humans were designed to move, to move efficiently and to move a lot. If for whatever reason we are unable to do that without injury or without reaching a plateau, there is something within our operating system that is working poorly- keeping us stuck.
  2. The design of feet for land animals has been around for 400 million years and has not deviated much since its inception, and according to the theory of evolution this means it has proven an extremely worthy and useful mechanism. The same could be said for the human foot which has been around for 2.2 million years!
  3. Your feet are your body’s structural foundation and any problem with your feet will eventually affect your entire body including posture and even organ function. How problematic could you client’s feet be? Well, this next point might shock you…

Throughout my career I’ve worked intimately with a wide range of people. I’ve worked with single mothers, children under the age of 10 and professional football players on this exact problem. 

And I’ve seen countless times how our modern shoes affect our feet and gait.

As Global Head of Education at the CHEK Institute it is my privilege to distill everything I’ve learned from my clients and my research and design a system that will equip you with the knowledge and tools to assess and rehabilitate your clients’ gait.