Flabbiness in the muscles often causes this trouble with the feet. “The arches of the foot are maintained by ligaments between the bones, supported by muscle tendons which prevent undue stretching of the ligaments and are a protection against flat-foot." Muscle tissue has an abundant blood supply, while ligaments have very little and soon lose their resiliency if unsupported. Any lack of tone in the calf-muscles throws the weight on the less resistant ligaments and on the cartilages placed as cushions between the bony structures of the arch. This is what causes the pain.
[Footnote 31: Grey’s Anatomy—“The Articulations.”]
[Footnote 32: Actual loss of the arch by downward displacement of the bones cannot be overcome by restoring muscle-tone. The majority of so-called cases of flatfoot are, however, in the stage amenable to psychic measures.]
Flat-footedness is only one result of weak muscles. Eye-strain is another; ptosis, or falling of the organs, is another. In a majority of cases the best treatment for any of these troubles is an understanding attempt to go to the root of the matter by bracing up the whole mental tone. The most scientific oculists do not try to correct eye trouble due to muscular insufficiency by any special prisms or glasses. They know that the eyes will right themselves when the general health and the general spirits improve. I have found by repeated experience with nervous patients that it takes only a short time for people who have been unable to read for months or years to regain their old faculty. So remarkable is the power of mind.
We have found that the gap between the body and the mind is not so wide as it seems, and that it is bridged by the subconscious mind, which is at once the master of the body and the servant of consciousness. In recording the physical effects of suggestion and emotion, we have not taken time to describe the galvanometers, the weighing-machines and all the other apparatus used in the various laboratory tests; but enough has been said to show that when doctors and psychologists speak of the effect of mind on body, they are dealing with definite facts and with laws capable of scientific proof.
We have emphasized the fact that downcast and fearful moods have an immediate effect on the body; but after all, most people know this already. What they do not know is the real cause of the mood. When a nervous person finds out why he worries, he is well on the way toward recovery. An understanding of the cause is among the most vital discoveries of modern science.