Feet First

December 10, 2012

With winter in full swing, you need to give your body extra care—especially your dry, aching feet. After a long day of rehearsals, treat your soles to a calming, healing soak. We talked to Michelle Rodriguez, MPT, OCS, CMPT, to get the perfect recipe for a mixture that will leave your feet relaxed and ready for your next performance.  


• 5 drops lavender essential oil

• 5 drops wintergreen essential oil

• 5 drops peppermint essential oil

• 1/4 cup Himalayan salt (You can buy it at the supermarket or any health food store.)


• Place the Himalayan salt in a large basin (a bucket or big pot will work) of very warm water. Let it sit for 20-–30 minutes or until the salt crystals dissolve.

• Stir the essential oils into the water.

• Soak your feet for 20 minutes in the mixture.

Consultant: Michelle Rodriguez, MPT, OCS, CMPT, is the founder and director of Manhattan Physio Group and has worked with dancers from New York City Ballet, Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet and more.

You can increase your energy levels 20 percent by taking a walk. Researchers at the University of Georgia found that people who did 20 minutes of low-intensity exercise three times a week felt their fatigue decrease by 65 percent. So the next time you’re feeling tired before class, go for a stroll around the studio.


Your Aches and Pains Addressed: I Have Pink Eye. Should I Go to Class?

According to Dr. Burt Dubow, optometrist and president of Insight EyeCare in St. Cloud, MN, you shouldn’t go to the studio until at least 24 hours after starting treatment. Pink eye, the common name for conjunctivitis, occurs when the blood vessels in the conjunctiva (the clear covering that envelops the white part of the eye) become inflamed. Symptoms of bacterial pink eye include burning or tearing eyes, swollen lids and discharge—yuck! It’s very contagious early on, so wash your hands as often as possible, avoid touching or rubbing your infected eye and see your doctor ASAP.

Dr. Dubow says: “To prevent pink eye, never share makeup or towels.”

Work on your technique—your hand-washing technique!
When you wash your hands, lather up outside the stream of water. The friction will help displace germs.