You don’t have to have attractive feet to go barefoot!

What comes to mind for you when you think about feet?

Do you think of aching feet after a long day at work? A foot massage or luxurious manicure? Bunions and warts and smelly socks? A day at the beach on the warm sand? Arches and orthotics? Shoe shopping? Foot fetishes?

For me, feet are usually at the back of my mind, until I decide to take off my shoes and go outside. Poor little feet, always suffocated by their leathery cages… never getting to connect back with the earth.

It’s a strange sensation when you decide to take off your shoes and go barefoot in nature. It feels foreign, yet it just feels so good!!

It Reminds Me Of Days Gone By

For me, it reminds me of the dog days of summer as a child, running around with dirty little feet all over the garden… I could run over grass, gravel, rocks… anything. My tootsies were king of the backyard.

Oh yes, but then we grow up. And society says it’s not allowed. It’s uncivilized to go without shoes. No shirt, no shoes, no service. Our rough, protective callouses give way to wimpy tenderness. The idea of going for a bare foot walk now sounds much more painful than pleasant.

I’m excited to learn that there is now a growing movement that is tossing its shoes aside and campaigning for equal rights for the bare foot.

Why?

Because aside from feeling good, natural, and connected, going barefoot on the earth may have health benefits too.

The Health Benefits of Going Bare

To start off with… shoes actually aren’t good for your feet, your posture, or your spine. Feet are not lifeless limbs designed only to keep us upright. They have thousands and thousands of nerve endings to help us gather information from the earth around us. We wrap our feet in padding and raise the heels… and because this is an unnatural way to walk, our feet inevitably end up hurting. As a result, we add more padding, arches, and other bells and whistles. Shoes, in a way, are similar to acne medication. Just covering up the symptoms!

Many people with serious foot or spinal problems have searched ages for the right shoes to correct their woes and when they try going barefoot, they suddenly get long awaited relief. Why? Because barefoot walking is the way our bodies were designed. It’s the natural way.

Of course, it’s not very acceptable yet to go around in your day to day activities barefoot, so an item that is all the rage these days are a shoe called Vibram Fivefingers. They are essentally like gloves for your feet… they offer some protection yet they get you the closest experience to barefoot while still wearing shoes. I’m eager to buy a pair when I can afford it.

If you aren’t ready to give up shoes, you should at least try to get barefoot on the lawn for a little bit each day. This is because of something called grounding.

What is Grounding?

If a building or appliance is “grounded” that means that its electricity can be transferred to the earth in order to prevent an electrical buildup and the damage that can come along with power surges.

All living things have low levels of electrical activity running through them, so this concept is applied to our own bodies as well. When we step onto the ground without the insulating factor of shoes, our free radicals (those bad things that promote aging by scooting around in your body and causing damage to cells) can diffuse out into the earth and we can gain a flow of healing electrons in return – instantly giving your body a healthy boost.

Don’t tell me you don’t feel less stressed and more balanced after a day at the beach or a barefoot twirl across the lawn! I know I do. I’ve been taking barefoot walks through the forest lately, and I have to say – it feels amazing. The connection to the trees and bushes and mother earth around me feels acute and beautiful. It would be a certain challenge to feel stressed in this situation ♥

What does the bare foot make you think of?

photo by chapendra