So I am not sure where my intrigue with being barefoot comes from, maybe it is primal instinct, but regardless when I wrote about walking last week, it only made since to talk about shedding shoes.
I guess it began in childhood. I grew up in the country. Going barefoot was the norm. If I needed to pop outside I would, putting on shoes took much time and effort, even if it meant walking across gravel.
Another pivotal barefoot moment came when I began reading (maybe a bit obsessively) Mark Sisson’s about 6+ years ago. Actually even before this, because my family has been lifting weights barefooted for over a decade (just like yoga you do shoeless). Anyways I thought about Mark: What are those toe shoes on his feet? I had to have some. At the time people in Terre Haute had no clue about them. Are those socks on your feet? What the hell do you have on your toes? Are those comfortable? Always my response was: it’s like I don’t have shoes on. The more I wore my shoes or went completely barefoot, the more of a change I felt. Less time wearing shoes really shaped up my calf muscles and legs (there for a bit I actually kept a photo journal). After long hikes in the mountains, I could feel how my feet and legs had worked to adapt to the ever-changing terrain. I could feel my feet grip the ground as I took off in sprints. Part of my research led to the idea that shoes weaken the feet because they cut off the small muscles and bones in your feet. Working it’s way up, that throws the rest of your leg joints and back out of whack. I didn’t wear gloves when I lifted or back braces, same idea. I wanted to use what I had, to strengthen what was there. Muscles correspond. You need a strong core to have a strong back. Muscles in the front correspond with muscles in the back. Why not my feet as well? And then I looked at my foot. I wish I had a before pic of it. My arches. My arches are beautiful and curved perfectly now, compared to the slight flatness I had before. Your body is genius and complex, we have no clue of the full miracle that is our body and all the complex feedback loops it has. The foot is designed to walk. We did it for how long? Shoes are truly like a newborn in the grand scheme of time. The arch is meant to absorb shock. Not to mention how foot strike has changed overtime. Look at barefoot runners, who strike mid-foot or on the toes. A natural human stride. Whereas most shoes with their arches replacing our arches, cause us to strike on our heels. I know so many people with plantar problems. Why cover the foot up? Why not use it? Kind of like steroids. Your body naturally produces testosterone, so when you take it synthetically, your body minimizes production. You are then dependent on the man-made stuff. We weaken our feet and now we are dependent on shoes companies. As a simple, minimalistic girl, I am all about some barefootness.
That last paragraph was a bit of a rant, but I did so many years of research and I truly am a dork who loves to study, sometimes it comes back up. Anyways, around the same time as I started all this, I found a book about Earthing. Yes a whole book dedicated to the idea of connecting to the earth and going shoe-less. Naturally I jumped on Amazon and bought the book. The book definitely took a different approach. Before I was thinking more anatomy and physiology Now they had me thinking about energy and vibration. We are energy. The Earth is energy. Everything is energy. I could connect the dots they were making. It just added more to the idea of ditching shoes.
Now lately at the market I’ve been hearing a lot more about earthing, not to mention one of my favorite vendors, Jason practices. Plus there was that post a friend posted to my timeline (here) about the perks of being barefoot. She saw it and thought of me. Of course someone commented that it was such a wonderfully hippie thing. No wonder they thought of me, but is that a bad? As one of the happiest people I know, I would say whatever I’m doing/thinking/believing is working. Walking, forest bathing, going barefoot, all contribute to my state of bliss. Here are some of the things they say about Earthing (or you may see it as Grounding):
- Our body and the Earth have similar energy frequencies. However, many things in today’s world, can take away from our energy. Would we not want to get our frequency back to balanced? Get connected to a positive source? Our energy frequency should be 7.8 HZ. This corresponds to brain waves which are connected to our insight, intuition, inspiration, relaxation, calmness and meditation. So when we are at the right frequency we function better, mentally, emotionally and physically
- HUG A TREE: It’s science; go couple and touch another organism to balance your energy field. When I saw this I had to share, as a friend of mine has been trying to get me to visit some trees. Guess he knows what he’s talking about.
- According to The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, earth contact thins blood and lowers inflammations. That can mean better blood flow and pressure. Basically, it is good for your heart.
- It’s good for your mood and decreases depression
- Good for inflammation
Just think of all the time you’ll save (lacing up shoes, retying, shoe shopping, shoe cleaning) and the money you’re saving (stop feeding the ridiculous shoe industry (check out these little crochet ‘sandals’ I’m going to have a friends’ mom make for me.
Start small. Stop wearing shoes around the house. Next time you’re on a stroll, kick off your shoes for a bit. Do yoga in the grass. Have a picnic. Just lay in the grass. Try it! What does it hurt to try something? Get out there and get some good energy vibes!!!