Friday, November 9, 2007

Takifumi- Stepping Upon Bamboo

It is said that the ancient samurai's would go off into the bamboo groves and lop off a piece of bamboo. The samurai's would then split the bamboo piece in half. They would place the piece of bamboo on the ground with the rounded side up. They would then walk on the bamboo to build their fighting spirit. This was called takifumi or stepping on bamboo.

Takifumi is a very good exercise for the feet. All day long our feet are compressed from the forces of gravity. Walking on bamboo pushes the foot back into shape and decompresses the foot.

I also find it very good for stamina and find myself better able to balance. I also seem to require less sleep and wake up ready to go.

What if you don't have easy access to bamboo? Try a piece of 4 inch pvc pipe from the hardware store. Cut the pipe about as wide as your shoulder width and then split it in half. Place it on the floor and test it.

There are commercial takifumi devices like the one produced by Footlex (see below). The takifumi devices are molded plastic creations that are based on the takifumi tradition.

Or you can find a nice rounded river rock and step on that. Get two and make your self a set. Keep going with more rocks and you have a Reflexology Path before too long.

Reflexology Paths are spreading like a wild fire throughout Asia and Europe. These paths are just now taking hold in the US. The paths use rocks and logs to simulate the takifumi tradition and can be quite short to several kilometers long.

But like any exercise you should gradually increase the pressure. And if you have a foot problem or it hurts a lot when you try this it may not be the exercise for you. Particularly if you have a foot problem you should consult your doctor before proceeding.

The next blog I plan to talk about Reflexology Paths. Or as I like to call it "Disneyland for the Feet".

See you next time. Best of health.

Kevin Kunz

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