Sunday, April 8, 2018

Barefoot is Better

I have always been that kid, the one that adults were always telling to put on my shoes.  I walked everywhere in my bare feet.  Being lucky enough to grow up in Arizona, it was rarely too cold to go barefoot, and as long as I avoided the blistering blacktop in summer, I was pretty skilled at walking without any shoes throughout the year.  Eventually, as most people do, I grew up and got a job that required shoes, more or less, so my time walking barefoot was limited to non-working hours. 

Walking barefoot just feels more comfortable. I can feel everything under my feet better.  I have better balance when I am barefoot.  Apparently I am not alone.  There are lots of folks who prefer being barefoot, and there is even medical research that identifies some of the many benefits of walking barefoot. 

For some, walking outside on the clean ground or sand barefoot is known as grounding. Proponents of grounding, sometimes called earthing, say that it can reduce inflammation, provide your body with a natural source of antioxidants, reduce muscle tension and help you relax.  Walking barefoot can improve your balance, circulation and posture and some studies suggest that walking barefoot can even lower your blood pressure and decrease inflammation throughout the body.  I'm not sure I completely buy into the science of grounding, but I do know that it feels good to walk barefoot. For me, it elevates my mood and helps me feel more in touch with the earth.  

The science of reflexology is based on the stimulation of nerve endings in your feet.  Based on ancient philosophies, it is believed the nerve endings on your feet help absorb the chi, or life force through the soles on your feet. 

I am not sure if I am absorbing 'chi' from the earth but I do love to walk barefoot. The minute I get home from work I kick off my shoes and enjoy feeling the surfaces below my feet.  I know I am not alone. I even read a book about two sisters who hiked the entire Appalachian trail barefoot.  I am not sure I could handle hiking 1200 miles with no shoes, but I do understand their perspective.  For me, everything is better barefoot.  

Read about the Barefoot Sisters, click the image above

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