I have mentioned in several other posts that sometimes, especially in The Woods at night that I feel that I can see with my feet. That my feet guide me as to whether or not I am on the path and heading the right direction, I have referred to this as seeing with my feet, although I don’t actually see with my feet, the sensory input that I gain from being barefoot tells me an awful lot about the ground over which I am walking.
200,000 Nerve Endings!
The human foot contains 26 bones, 33 joints, 20 muscles and over 200,000 nerve endings! Just think about that for a minute. The majority of these nerve endings are also on the sole of the foot, the human foot is designed to have one of the body’s richest concentrations of sensory neurons.
With so many sensory neurons in the soles of our feet, it’s hardly surprising that so many people have ticklish feet!
The practice of reflexology involves applying subtle pressures to various points on the sole of the feet (as well as other parts of the foot, the hands and the ears). It has been shown that various parts of the foot correspond to different parts or areas of the body. Applying pressure to specific parts of the foot creates a physical change in the corresponding part of the body.
There is a reasonable amount of evidence that massaging the feet does release tension and stimulate physical changes within specific parts of the body. The exact reasoning behind this mechanism is unclear, but as reflexology has been around for several millennia, and based on its longevity it cannot be dismissed instantly out of hand.
Bearing in mind the number of nerve ending in the foot, it is hardly surprising that stimulating them has a direct affect of the corresponding part of the body.
Just thinking about the contention between reflexology and being barefoot, it would seem to me that with every barefoot step that I take I am receiving a mini reflexology session. This calming or relaxing affect that stimulating the foot neurons by barefoot walking, is something that I can personally testify to.
The sheer number of nerve endings in the sole of the foot would imply that the foot has evolved, partly, to transmit information from and about our environment to our brains, as well as providing us with a way to get from A to B!
Modern shoes pretty much act as a blindfold for your feet, providing a sensory barrier between your foot and your environment. Effectively ‘blinding’ you to the ground on which you walk, yet just another good reason to go barefoot!
Foot design by Morgan -