No Shoes? No Problem
Proponents sing the praises of barefoot movement; doubters not so sureThe Epoch Times
MD Does Earthing ExperimentCritics of the earthing movement say there is a lack of solid research on its benefits, which rely too heavily on anecdotal evidence. Physicians have raised concerns about the possibility of picking up bacteria, fungal infections or viruses as a result of going barefoot—not to mention the potential for stepping on sharp objects.
After hearing the buzz about earthing, well-known doctor, author, and speaker John Briffa decided to try it for himself. He was initially skeptical, but after going barefoot for brief intervals over just a few days he was shocked to find an old ankle injury cleared up, as did an ingrown toenail.Though he admits this could have been a placebo effect, he found that another injury in his elbow was not cured, decreasing the likelihood that his experience could be explained by placebo alone. “My earthing experiment started with me sitting with my bare feet on damp grass on 14th April. I lasted 20 minutes. Later in the day I noticed that the pain in my left foot and ankle had disappeared completely (and they have not returned since),” he wrote on his website. “While my ankle and foot pain (and ingrowing toenail) resolved, my elbow pain did not. This does not in any way disprove my foot/ankle improvement was not a placebo response, but the likelihood of it being placebo is diminished by the experience with my elbow I think.” There is also a barefoot running movement. While controversial in some medical circles, proponents say running without shoes or with minimal footwear protects them against injury because it corrects their form and strengthens the feet. The movement has grown in popularity in the last half-century, publicized by authors, marathoners, and Olympians who themselves run barefoot. The Barefoot Runners Society has thousands of members around the world including a Canadian chapter, whose runners have been known to brave even the most frigid winter months. Kenney says going barefoot has ultimately taught her gratitude and respect for nature, while helping to cultivate patience and self-awareness. “I think it’s that primal need to be connected not only to ourselves, but to be connected to the world as one—to have a universal connection, and a connection with nature. All of that comes out of barefooting.”