Take the Toe-ga foot test

Gabe Ho, Registered Massage Therapist is a graduate of the Royal Canadian College of Massage, McMaster Contemporary Medical Acupuncture, and McMaster Advanced Neurofunctional Sports Performance Programs and a member of the College of Massage Therapists. He uses a neurofunctional approach for his massage and acupuncture treatments to identify and correct the underlying causes of dysfunction.


When treating the foot, I always start by focusing there. Where do you feel the weight distribution – inside, outside, heel, mid-foot, toes? Calluses, bunions, Morton’s Neuroma, and bruised toe nails are signs that the foot is unable to distribute the weight properly. Now consider if the first point of contact to the ground can’t distribute the weight properly what that means for the rest of the body… knees, hip, back.

Then we discuss the importance of foot and toe mobility:

  • Can you move the toes?
  • Do the bones in the foot move?
  • Does the ankle have good control?
  • Are the muscles in the foot able to handle the forces?

Usually one or more of these aren’t performing optimally resulting in some sort of discomfort.

You can check some of this at home by doing some Controlled Articular Rotations or C.A.R.S. This is a seemingly simple exercise however in practice it can be very difficult. You need to isolate the ankle range of motion by preventing the shin from compensating – put your opposite arm under your bent knee, and hold on to other arm’s wrist. That hand will now hold the shin and prevent it from rotating when you turn your ankle. Now with the ankle make the biggest and slowest clock possible. Does the foot catch and skip? How much time have you lost from the ankle clock?

Another good test is the TOE-GA (click here to see video) can you move that big toe independently from the other toes?

As a Neurofunctional Practitioner I start by educating on shoe selection. Next, we aid in the foot correction by releasing the abnormal tension thereby allowing the bones to move more optimally and activating the inhibited muscles, so the foot does not collapse with the force of impact. The rest is up to you – TOE-GA HOMEWORK!!

Are you specifically having pain in your heels – check out our blog post here to see if it could be plantar fasciitis.

If you are having problems with your feet, contact the clinic today so we can get you on a path to recovery as soon as possible. We’re conveniently located at the corner of Dundas and Trafalgar in Oakville.