Whatever the season, whenever I can, you’ll find me barefooted. There is something very spiritual and grounding about the feeling of the earth beneath my feet.
On a non spiritual level, if this isn’t your thing, think about it logically. The text books tell us that there are more than 7,000 nerve endings in the sole of each foot. This would explain quiet simply how direct contact of our feet to the floor stimulates those nerves and neural pathways creating a heightened awareness of the body systems.
The structure of the foot with it’s many intricate bones, joints, muscles, ligaments and tendons gives us incredible stability and balance. With small movements we have the ability to easily adjust our stance and keep ourselves upright and mobile.
I watch Ewan boxing barefoot and can confirm how he moves more easily during this exercise in comparison to his more thoughtful and deliberate movements when wearing trainers or outside of the gym.
Whilst his thoughts are with the punch actions he balances with greater ease. The more times he repeats the actions the easier it seems to become. Dancers call it muscle memory. What actually happens, according to neuroscientists, is that the movements become thoroughly mapped in the brain, creating a shorthand between thinking and doing.
So…Stimulate your feet and wake them up. Try a session with a professional Reflexologist, a foot rub from a friend, a splash in the foot spa or just a wander barefoot around the house on as many different surfaces as you can find. And…whatever movement you are capable of making, do it! And repeat it, over and over and over again!
**Please check in with your GP, nurse or consultant before you start a new type of exercise and before you begin treatment with a therapist.