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Kick off those shoes....lets talk about going bare foot

For those of you who have visited the Vibrant Life centre to receive treatment from any member of our team, especially from our NIP (Neuro impulse protocol) practitioners, it’s more than likely that you have been asked to take your shoes off if you haven’t already done so when walking through the door. For all of us here at Vibrant Life, this is just standard practice, but have you ever actually wondered why we’re always walking around barefoot? It's not just because we love to show off our jazzy socks!!!

Each aspect of your body has a level of sensory mapping within the brain. This mapping refers to our brain's understanding of our body relative to time and space. Our bodies are constantly sending trillions of pieces of information up to our brains to give a clear picture as to what’s going on in the world around us. Different parts of the body will send more, or less amounts of this sensory information depending on their presence in the world; and the more information they send to the brain, the larger the amount of sensory mapping the brain will have for that part of the body.

The feet are responsible for massive amounts of sensory information that the brain receives. Therefore, they play a big role in our cranial system and they have a large role in affecting our biomechanics. But what relevance does this have to how we work?

This handsome fellow is known as Homunculus, he provides a visual representation of the size of the brains mapping of the body.

As you can see, the face, hands, and feet are represented as much larger in proportion to the rest of the body. These three parts of the body are held with the most sensory input into the brain.

This gives some visual understanding as to how much sensory information can be stopped from reaching the brain as a result of wearing shoes.

Why do we adjust you barefoot?

As the focus of NIP is around the nerves and cranial system, it is crucial that we are able to measure and evaluate within neurological neutral. Wearing shoes can actually alter and change your body's biomechanics; meaning that if you wore shoes during an NIP evaluation, your shoes could actually somewhat reduce the accuracy of our measurements. So, by removing shoes before NIP assessments, we can be sure that we are making the most accurate and precise decisions possible.

What about orthopaedic insoles?

Orthopaedic insoles are designed to restore normal body biomechanics to the best of their ability. Therefore, wearing them will bring the body closer to neurological neutrality more than being barefoot. In this case, it is likely that we won’t ask you to remove your shoes if you wear orthopaedic insoles as we want you to be as neutral as possible! What are the benefits of being barefoot?

Being barefoot gives us the chance to become grounded with the earth. But what is grounding? Grounding, also referred to as earthing, refers to techniques that allow us to electrically reconnect with the earth.

The theory of grounding is that electrical currents exist in our bodies and control functions such as the immune system. The earth also has an electrical current, that is the opposite to that of the human body. So by contacting the earth with our bare skin, whether that be through walking barefoot or lying on the ground, we are able to achieve a level of electrical neutrality that can have numerous positive effects on our health and well-being

By constantly wearing shoes, we are insulating ourselves against the balancing of these electrical currents. There is a belief that this can lead to our bodies becoming imbalanced and eventually cause a build up of electrical energy and heat within the body that can lead to inflammatory disease and illness.

While there is still little research into the benefits of grounding, the studies that have

been concluded have reported that grounding had a positive effect in improving symptoms of chronic fatigue, chronic pain, anxiety, depression, and grounding has also shown to reduce blood pressure in people with hypertension. While there is still research to be done, the early signs show that grounding can have beneficial physiological effects on the body.

Maybe it’s time to ditch the shoes!

Written by Alex Knight - NeuroImpusle Protocol Practitioner at Vibrant Life Centre


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