I know I am footcentric and see the world from the other end of the telescope. But there are a lot of other voices starting to say somewhat the same thing- we are disconnected from our soles of our feet. There are two books that talk about how we may be recking havoc with our health because of this disconnection with what is under our feet.
The first voice comes from a book a friend of mine insisted that I should check out. It is called Born to Run, A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World has ever seen by Christopher McDougall. (Here is a pretty good review.)
Well I didn't buy getting sidetracked by other things. But then there was a very interesting article in Parade Magazine about barefooted running and how it had grown by leaps and bounds (admit it- good pun). So I finally bought the book.
While this is an amazing book about ultra-athletes who can run for incredible distances it had some real insight into the human foot and it's impact on the body.
1) Feet are self correcting and will avoid injury if unencumbered by the modern running shoe.
2) "The feet are like a minnow bucket full of sensory neurons all wiggling around in search of sensation Stimulate those nerves just a little and the impulse rockets through out your entire nervous system..."
3) Shoes will block the pain but not the impact.
4) Pain will help you to run comfortably. You sense the ground underneath you and build ground awareness. Shoes that are meant to lessen impact may actually be creating less ground awareness.
5) Running shoes may be evil in that they make our feet weak and the rest of our body vulnerable to injury. Knees, hips. low backs and so forth are in the line of fire for repeated injury.
The second voice is about more than our physical disconnection. It is about our electrical disconnection with the earth. Called "Earthing- The Most Important Health Discovery?", it is a book about our electrical disconnection with the Mother Earth. This book has quickly gathered followers- barefooted followers.
What is interesting to me is the question mark at the end of the title. Most publisher would steer you away from any uncertainty in regard to what is referred to in the book publishing industry as "the promise." But this truly a reflection of the sincerity of the authors. They are trying very hard to be as real as possible and not to mislead the public. They have research but it is not at a level that would please the scientific community and they admit it.
What really interests me is that we are again back to the question of insulation of the feet from their natural environment. but this time unlike Born to Run and the physical disconnect caused by the shoe but this is the electrical disconnect. We are meant to be plugged into the earth and to be stimulate by the energies coming up from the earth according to the authors.
Here is what I find interesting :
1) The authors point out that the foot has more nerve endings than any other part of the body.
2) The moment your foot touches the Earth our physiology changes. A normalization process begins that is triggered by us plugging back into the electrical grounding of the earth.
3) The authors theorize that the grounding effects are acting on inflammation, a hidden culprit in a lot of diseases such as cardiovascular disease.
4) The Earth is charged and it's interaction electrically with our bodies is self- correcting to our health. Our bodies are meant to interact with energetically with these forces. However, we are insulated by shoes and modern surfaces from interacting with Earth and our nervous system suffers needlessly because of this.
I love walking around barefooted on the earth. It is soothing and some how comforting. Will it play out that the most important health discovery ever? May be that we need to spend at least part of the time reconnecting with Mother Earth, both for our physical selves and our energetic selves.