Granny's Notes - the writing of Sue Gerard

Law learned in past days needs to be applied now

Driving a car on a warm day with the left arm resting across the auto’s window frame doesn’t apply much pressure on the spine, and it usually doesn’t go on for hours or happen every day. However, according to Wolf’s Law, that habit can result in the left shoulder being higher than the right, causing slight spinal curvature and, much later, it could affect ribs and breathing. Wolf’s Law simply means this: "Slight pressure, on living bone, continued for a long time, will change the shape of the bone."

The "miracle" of Chinese women’s tiny feet was no miracle at all. Binding the feet of female babies changed the shape of bones in their feet forever.

I first heard of Wolf’s Law 65 years ago in Mae Kelley’s "Body Mechanics" class. I recalled that I had been round-shouldered as a growing child and that I wore a mild brace made of wide elastic bands for a year or two. I was appalled when a missionary told of mothers binding feet of baby girls. I had not thought that this "law" affected me until the day Miss Kelley asked if I would take off my shoes and socks to show my feet to the dozen men and women in our class!

There it was - Wolf’s Law - the result of my having worn pointed-toe shoes. I had a hard, red lump at the base of my big toes, but there was no pain. The second toe on each foot rests on the first toes. The left third toe touched the top of the big toe, but the right middle toe is partly underneath its neighbor and touches the big first one! What a sight!

Miss Kelley was kind, saying, "Wolf’s Law works to correct live bones which have been distorted, but it takes patience and a long time to change a bone’s shape." I take the easy way out - I wear low-heeled shoes with width and depth enough to accommodate my distorted feet!

Wolf’s Law is still valid, but our behavior has changed. Women don’t wear those "stylish" pointed toes for work or everyday use as we did during the Depression and wartime, when shoes were scarce. Today, those who bowl, play tennis or hunt with bow and arrows are advised to counteract the one-sided pressures on bones by doing exercises applying pressures in the opposite direction.

I recently waited about 30 minutes in a location where I noticed a young office worker clamping a telephone with head and shoulder while using the hands to hold pen and notebook. That person was still working the same way an hour later. Who knows what damage is done to the spinal cord, which is supposedly "protected" by bones in the neck? Don’t forget my feet!

For many years gadgets to support a heavy telephone receiver have hit the market and disappeared. Some people prefer to cock the head to one side to clamp the telephone receiver whenever a hand is needed for note-taking or for driving a vehicle while using the cell phone. Cocking the head is "Slight pressure to one side only." Repeated frequently, the shape of living bone will be changed.

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