I was fortunate to have been assigned barefoot running as my final year project in my physiology and pharmacology. When I received that topic I was a little pissed because some of my friends got to do the so called hard core biomedical research in the fields of neuroscience, developmental biology, cancer research and and all that.
I came to appreciate my topic when I started my library research i. e. Reading research articles on barefoot running. Apart from the detrimental effects of running shoes on the planta fascia (tissues of the foot), tibia and fibular (shin) stress and fracture, loss of the foot arc, amongst other things, I started to understand the principles of acupressure and reflexology. I had heard these terms before, and on many occasions but reading those articles really made me understand why I felt much better walking around without shoes or slippers, and why I loved the feel of the moist loam of a farm or sandy soil at the beach beneath my feet. I learned about grounding, earthing and became a whole new barefoot walking and running enthusiast. I didn’t get a distinction in my research project (mostly because I added the part about earthing and grounding, which is borderline science at best because I didn’t have any scientific evidence to back it up), but a whole new me was born.
I already had the interest in taking herbs, making natural cosmetics, doing yoga and living the spa life but this added an almost spiritual aspect to this because I couldn’t explain it (scientifically). I don’t do it as often as I would like but I would like to encourage you to try it from time to time. Many people have reported mood improvements, lowered blood pressure, increase in energy and lowered stress levels from just walking barefoot. Absorption of negative ions from the earth, offering anti inflammatory and antioxidant effects to the body.
Note: please don’t go barefoot if you have any open sore/wound and especially not on grounds compromised by glass and other pollutants that can cut through the skin. Care should be taken when walking or running on concrete as they can be very hard compared to untarred grounds.
So go forth into your gardens, parks and enjoy the feeling of grass, soil and stones under your feet. Trust me it’s like getting a mini foot massage!