In 1989, I published about podopostural therapy, the important pillar for posturology.

In 1994 my publication 'zien, een andere kijk op de houding' (the relationship between seeing and the human posture) was edited.  A translation in English is available


What is posturology?

Posturology represents the knowledge of human posture, its cooperative regulation systems and, based on feedback, the integral implementation.

My name is Peter W.B.Oomens. I am a retired posturologist. From 2007 till 2011 I have been chairman of the Dutch professional group. My intention is to get posturology better known. My knowledge and experience makes it possible to help and coach my colleagues. 

If you are interested, need some kind of support or coaching, please contact me by e-mail: peteroomens(at)xs4all(dot)nl or by phone: +31 (0)343 442563.


Peter W.B.Oomens (Research on Posturology). 



the best shoe? no shoe!

The best shoe? No shoe! A hypothesis by Peter W.B.Oomens  


More than 20 years I treated patients suffering from (low) back pain, foot- and ankle pain and other, posture related disorders. I did so by making them a pair of very thin, personal insoles on which I glued 1 à 2  mm pieces of cork. This therapy is based on the ideas of Dr. René Jacques Bourdiol, a French neurologist (†).

It is my hypothesis that pressure at the plantar mechanoreceptors of the foot initiate impulses to the spinal cord through α – afferent fibers, resulting in an efferent motor (re)action to this area. The involved intrinsic foot muscles will then contract. Such an element placed under the medial arch of the foot causes contraction of the m. abductor hallucis and so less pronation. This pronation is in my opinion physiologic . 

Form closure: 

In 1995, I published in the Dutch journal for Integral Medicine (Nederlands Tijdschrift voor Integrale Geneeskunde, 1995; 11(2), 108-112) my hypothesis that in a loaded human foot we find a so called ‘force closure’ of the foot joints, at least in the length. The needed force is provided mainly by the intrinsic foot muscles and supported by strong plantar ligaments, such as the aponeurosis plantaris, lig. calcaneonaviculare, lig.plantare, etc. These ligaments are not found in mammals as e.g. the bear, who also can walk and stand on flat feet. A hypothesis at that time, but more and more accepted. 

Barefoot sand prints:

Frequently walking on the beach (North Sea), I have watched an infinite number of barefoot prints. To my surprise almost all sand prints show less deep where you expect them to be the deepest: under the medial arch!

This raises automatically the question why (over)pronation can seldom be concluded from these sand prints?   

 The only reasonable explanation must be that pronation is a physiologic phenomenon .  

Barefoot or shod:

What is the difference between barefoot walking and walking on shoes?

Benno Nigg published in 1986 ‘Biomechanics of running shoes’. He concluded that a medial arch orthotic, placed in the rear part of a shoe against the calcaneus, reduces the initial pronation, while placed more ventral the effect becomes less. Compared to barefoot running however shod running always causes more pronation. 

Neurologic of the plantar foot:

The glabrous foot sole has a great number and variety of neuroreceptors: Ruffini, Krause, Vater, Pacini, Meisner, free nerve endings, etc. They are all specified to a certain function, but many of them are also sensitive to pressure. These are called mechanoreceptors. A total of 104 mechanoreceptors are identified in the glabrous skin of the foot sole, controlling standing balance and movement.  


stands for knowledge of the human posture, the interactive body control systems and, based on feedback, integral implementation. 

Posturology is partly based on the theory of the late Dr.R.J.Bourdiol (neurologist, France), who suggested that stimulation of the foot sole lead to a postural correction in patients suffering from all kind of postural complaints as e.g. low back pain, but also with foot- and ankle disorders. It was Bourdiol’s hypothesis that such an insert, placed under the medial arch of the foot, activates immediately the nuclear chain- and bag spindle of the involved muscle (proprioceptive, see image above). In this example the m.abductor hallucis. 

Some skepticism

Although the method has proven its effectiveness over more than 35-40 years, there has been initially some skepticism. Not incomprehensible.

Analyzing the local skin and the underlying tissues it is not very probable that a cork element activates the у-fibers inside the muscle as thought by Bourdiol… The only sensors that can be activated are the mechanoreceptors as mentioned before (which are exteroceptive). Facilitation of the skin under the medial arch causes the m. abductor hallucis to contract. The role of the у-system is to preset a basic muscle tone and registration of the foot/ankle joint position. In fact, the α – and у – fibers fire almost together; we call this ą - у co-activation.                                                                                                                                     The ‘Bourdiol system’ (proprioceptive/exteroceptive) activates the intrinsic muscles of the foot, instead of supporting the arches mechanically. These intrinsic muscles are mainly found at the plantar side of the foot. 

The question shoes or no shoes depends on the situation. Observing the running performance of Ethiopians and Kenyans, I tend when and where possible, to go barefoot. Especially children up to 6/7 years. And when they need to wear shoes, these should be properly fitting and flexible! Too stiff shoes influence people’s gait.

Peter W.B. Oomens

Research on Posturology