There was a time when barefoot walking was considered to be immodest and was frowned upon by people. In fact, watching someone walking without his/her shoes, or at least slippers, on was bound to create a negative impression about him/her in other people’s mind. However, this has ceased be the case in the present times. In fact, today, there is a complete society, called ‘Society of Barefoot’, dedicated to the cause of walking barefoot. Have you ever wondered why more and more people are taking to bare foot walking these days, especially in their home? Let us tell you that walking bare foot has a lot of positive effects on the health of a person. If you want to explore the benefits of bare foot walking, go through the following lines.
It has been noticed that people who have walked barefoot in their childhood encounter much less foot troubles, as compared to those whose feet were always covered with slippers, sandals or shoes. In other words, the children who go barefoot, and are allowed to do so by their parents, have been seen to have lesser foot deformities, greater flexor strength and more feet agility. At the same time, they are able to spread their toes to a greater extent than others.
• Irrespective of the extent of care shoes companies take, in making footwear that suits the shape of human feet, they can never ever beat the comfort that one gets from bare foot walking. In fact, those who walk with their shoes on encounter much more aches and pains in the body, as compared to the people who indulge in home bare foot walking.
• Barefoot walking helps straighten out the toes of a person. At the same time, if you walk bare foot, even the lazy muscles of your feet are prompted to move and develop more, with the result that you have toned and much stronger foot muscles.
• Another positive effect of bare foot walking, which most of the people are unaware of, is that it helps the leg muscles pump blood back to the heart. This makes it beneficial for those who are suffering from the problem of varicose veins.
• Though most of the people are unaware of the fact, walking barefoot helps relax tired feet. It has also proven beneficial for people suffering from flat feet, in many cases helping them overcome the problem altogether.
• Walking barefoot in the summer season has been found to have a cooling effect on the body of a person, especially if he/she walks on morning grass, leaves or a piece of log in the garden.
• In traditional exercises, like yoga, tai-chi and martial arts, it is believed that being barefoot helps a person absorb Chi, the life-force energy. As you walk with your feet bare, you increase your vitality. At the same time, it helps you think clearly and increases your capacity to work.
• Walking barefoot in your garden or the local park will help you feel closer to the nature. This will not only take your mind off everyday tensions and relax your body, but also rejuvenate your mind and boost your energy levels.
Wise Woman Way: Barefoot Meditation
Winter or summer, indoors or out, in the forest or the desert, on a mountain or a city street, I prefer my feet to be bare. I do own shoes, not many, which I wear when I must (airplanes, restaurants, when driving, at the gym), but most of the time my feet are bare. (My bare toes are wiggling at you as I write this.) What is this love affair with bare feet? Why would I expose my toes and soles to wet, gooey, sharp, slimy, muddy, thorny, prickly, and possibly dangerous terrains? Because bare feet sharpen my senses, expand my consciousness, give me a greater connection to nature, energize me, keep me in touch with my overall health (thanks to reflexology), and remind me that every step is a blessing.
Going barefoot sharpens my senses. I listen more acutely, pay much more attention to odors, even use my eyes in a different way when I am barefoot. I am more present, more aware of every detail. When walking barefoot, I go more slowly, I observe my surroundings in detail. Instead of being lost in my head, I am connecting to what is beneath my feet. Instead of carelessly plopping my heels down on the ground, I send my toes out ahead to reconnoiter. Once they give the “all clear,” the rest of my foot is safe to fall softly and caringly upon the earth.
Going barefoot expands my consciousness and enhances my experience of being alive. It nourishes the thoughtful and appreciative aspects of my personality. It causes me to move more gracefully through life.
Going barefoot gives me a greater connection to nature, physically, because I are experiencing it with my bare feet, and metaphysically, because I are being grounded into the electrical circuit of the planet. Rubber (the soles of most shoes) insulates me and prevents me from partaking of the energy of the earth.
Without shoes, I become part of the electrical and magnetic flows around this planet. I pulse with the same rhythms as all other barefoot life. Grandmother Twylah (Wold Clan Grandmother of the Seneca Nation) admonished us to: “Let your heart beat as one with the heartbeat of Mother Earth.”
Going barefoot energizes me, directly and intimately, with Earth Energy. My bare feet connect me to the endless flow of loving, healing energy that emanates from the earth. With every barefooted step, I can feel it tingling up my legs. I breathe it into my belly and nourish my personal power. I breathe it into my heart to help it stay in rhythm. I breathe it into my joints, and let it put a spring in my step.
You can experience this merely by taking off your shoes and placing your bare feet on the ground. No need to walk around if that is a challenge. Even five minutes a day of sitting quietly with your bare feet on the earth can have amazing repercussions on your health, sense of contentment, and feelings of joy.
Going barefoot keeps me in touch with my overall health. When I am healthy, my feet flex in all directions and conform to uneven ground without pain or discomfort. When I am ill, it hurts to walk barefoot. Reflexologists say that there is a reflex point on the bottom of the foot that relates to each organ and system of the body. When it hurts to walk on gravel, I connect the pain I feel to the part of the body it reflexes to, and then do what I can to nourish that organ. (Reflexology charts are easy to find.)
One of my first teachers (Margo Geiger), would go into a room, choose a “victim,” drop down on the floor next to them, take their foot in her hands, remove their shoe and sock, elicit a piercing scream as she knuckled their reflex points, and finish by telling them what their health problems were, all within a minute! Walking barefoot is like having a reflexology treatment several times a day. Perhaps it keeps me healthy, too.
Going barefoot reminds me that every step is a blessing. I am blessed to be alive in these most interesting times. Every barefooted step is a blessing. I allow myself to be blessed and to bless each thing my feet touch. Every step is a blessing. I am filled with gratitude to have a body. Every step is a bountiful blessing. Each step is a barefoot meditation. Each step is a blessing. Beneath my feet, plants. Each step is a green blessing.
I hope this article inspires you to take off your shoes and feel the earth as it should be felt ‘Naked’