PLANNED exercise is done to supplement what we do not get in our daily routine, unless of course, if we were running barefoot through the jungle looking for our meals, there would be no need for gyms and exercise.
For that reason, even cycling or going on a cross-trainer does not provide your feet the exercise they need to develop and strengthen the foot muscles, according to American chiropractor Dr James Stoxen.
The doctor, called the Barefoot Doctor for his approach to health and youth, believes that feet have been overlooked and neglected.
The human foot has 33 joints that allow 26 bones to move freely during walking, running and other activities.
The Barefoot Doctor said the reason for the big number of joints was because during movement, impact could be spread across these 33 joints thereby lessening the overall impact on any one area.
He said people always exercised with footwear on, and trained every region of the body except the feet, where the foundation of health was located in.
“It is so backwards. The foot is stiff because the 33 joints cannot adjust the mass over the foot in exactly the position that is required. Consequently, the foot is not flexible enough to attain the precise three-dimensional configuration.
“If you can run barefoot as a child but can’t do as an adult, that is sign of aging. When we remove the shoes, we take away the cushion and develop stronger feet — that is how we reverse aging,” said Dr Stoxen, who runs Team Doctors Treatment and Training Centre in Chicago.
He was recently in Kuala Lumpur for a presentation at the 9th Malaysian Conference and Exhibition on Anti-Aging, Aesthetic and Regenerative Medicine and 2nd International Congress on Anti-Aging, Aesthetic and Regenerative Medicine.
Using his Human Spring Approach, Dr Stoxen explained the sense and logic of placing importance on foot health for general well-being and anti-aging.
Based on Hooke’s Law of Elasticity, the Human Spring Approach refers to the natural spring suspension system in the human feet, engineered to sustain itself without the cushiony footwear that we pamper them with.
It simply means that the deeper the spring is able to depress or deform itself, the more force it can protect you from and the more energy it gives back.
By binding the feet with footwear, Dr Stoxen said, “We are accelerating the aging process by compromising the feet’s natural sustainability, which is the Human Spring.
“One problem trips another, it has a domino effect on our well-being. When you run on the treadmill with a locked spring, are you accelerating or decelerating to prevent aging? That is why it is so important to restore spring mechanism because it protects you from impacts, helps recycle energy by loading mass into the stretch elastic spring mechanism and release it,”
He explained that a person took about 10,000 steps a day and if those steps were taken with a locked spring, it literally meant bang and twist leading to stress, strain, wear and tear, and later, silent inflammation and more painful inflammations over time.
It thus accelerates the aging process.
With this, the approach he has developed releases a locked spring, restores the strength with resistance training to the spring suspension system, restores the strength for the spring mechanism through drills jumps, hops and plyometrics and teaches a person how to use the spring mechanism and better it with proper form and technique of walking, running and playing sports.
Dr Stoxen explained that chronic abnormal levels of inflammation accelerate aging of circulatory, nervous, organ, skin and even energy systems.
During a demonstration, Dr Stoxen steady pressure using his fingers on a patient with chronic leg pains whenever she ran, with deep tissue treatment.
Typically, a treatment session can last between 10 and 20 hours with the focus on flushing out inflammation that fuels pain, fatigue and depression.
“The areas that hurt during the treatment are the inflamed tissues. Doctors give you medication but it will not stop until you restore the mechanism.
“If left as it is, pain from the inflammation in the legs will spread all over the body, causing lack of concentration, lack of spirit and depression,” he added.
Hence, the process is famously referred to as pain exorcism. Dr Stoxen’s clients include many A-list celebrities, including Anthony Field of Australia’s The Wiggles.
The article is below from the Malaysia Star Newspaper: