January, 2000, Vol. 01, Issue 01
The Role of Orthotic Therapy in Balancing the Body and Achieving Structural & Functional Harmony
By Hubert Chang
Imagine sitting on the edge of a peaceful pond, observing the wonderful reflections dancing on the surface of the mirror blue waters. A gentle breeze blows by a tree and releases a tender leaf that quietly floats and lightly touches the surface of the water.
The immediate effects are noticeable. The mirror-like finish of the water has been transformed to concentric oscillating waves and ripples. Like that pond, which reacted to the presence of the leaf, the human body is constantly in a dynamic state, acting and reacting to the environment that it is surrounded by.
The human neuromusculoskeletal structure is a link in the biomechanical kinetic chain in which movement at one area influences movement in other areas. A similar view is also shared in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM); the human body is interconnected through meridians in which the influence of one affects the other. In TCM, meridians are the "powerlines" that govern the flow of qi. Without the meridians in which the qi flows, the anatomical structure has no physiological function. An intricacy exists in the relationship of structure and function of the human body. In the TCM theory, in order to achieve balance in the meridians, harmony must be established through structure (yin) and function (yang).
Orthotic therapy is instrumental in correcting structural imbalances that exist in the body's pedal foundation. The feet are the foundation of our neuromusculskeletal system and play a major influence on the integrity and functionality of the rest of the system. The feet comprise one quarter of the body's bones and are susceptible to structural defects such as plastic deformation of connective tissues and malalignment of bones, leading to excessive pronation or supination.1,2,3