Listen to the Podcast below:
Dr. James Stoxen DC Radio Interview
on 2GB Radio 873 AM
with Luke Grant
Luke Grant speaks with ‘Barefoot Running Doctor’ Dr James Stoxen about the barefoot phenomenon.
Read the interview below:
Luke: Listen very carefully, are you sitting down? Now I need you to lean down to your footsies and I need you to take off your shoes, hope your going quickly.. Now slowly remove your socks. My goodness we are going a bit fry here.. Thats it! Leave everything else on, including you, you dirty thing. (laughs) It’s assumed to make your life better. GOING BAREFOOT is the message promoted by my guest Dr. James Stoxen. According to Dr. Stoxen the human body sustains close to 4 million impacts every single year. Learning to go barefoot and walking properly are two important things that everybody can do to improve their health. He is a respected Chiropractor Physician who says our foot should be viewed as a human spring. It’s one of the keys to unlocking a multitude of health issues.
Dr. Stoxen has lectured to over 50,000 medical professionals across 60 countries. He is here in Australia to lecture on the links between inflammation and depression at 6th Annual A5M Conference in Anti-Aging and Aesthetic Medicine in Melbourne, Australia which takes place Sunday August 18th and 19th. If you have a question we will be taking a call or two later in the show. The Doctor is in the studio, Dr. James Stoxen. Welcome….
Dr. Stoxen: Thank you for inviting me. What an introduction! I think I will raise the fees after that one.
Luke: I think you should. Out of the important things you say that the foot is a spring but mine does not seem to be that way. Can you explain?
Dr. Stoxen: Well your body either acts like a spring or a lever. So what you are probably saying is maybe your foot is more like a lever than a spring. What we do is turn the lever system back into a spring mechanism. This will make it more efficient because your body can spring off of the ground instead of banging and twisting into the ground. This is important because if your banging and twisting into the ground as a lever system can create a lot of inflammation which can soak the tissues and create chronic fatigue system and can cause brain fog and can lead to anxiety and depression. If you spring off the ground it causes an increase in energy and is more efficiency to absorb the impacts of the landings.
Luke: That is fascinating. Do we learn bad habits? Is that why we walk in that lever system? Why do we become bad walkers as opposed to good barefoot walkers?
Dr. Stoxen: Well remember back when you were a child running around without your shoes on? Then you hear your mom yell, “stop running around like all over the place like a kid and get those shoes on”! That is the beginning. It seems like you go from being a happy go lucky child running around barefoot to an aching crippled adult.
A shoe is a binding device. We are not supposed to put braces or binding devices on our joints when we exercise. But somebody in time told us or rather sold us a bag of goods and told us we needed a binding device on our foot and take away or binds the natural spring mechanism and puts an artificial one on to make up for the one they took away. After years go by it’s de-funked and the spring mechanism does not work anymore.
Luke: So the one you are born with just doesn’t work anymore? It ends up dying on the stem?
Dr. Stoxen: Yes it just becomes a rigid stiff lever. In fact when I try to restore the spring mechanism it’s like taking a frozen steak out of the freezer and thaw it out with your bare hands. That is how much work it is sometimes.
Luke: When we see those ads for high tech shoes and they have springy soles and air gel and all that stuff what is that all about? Do you think all of that technology is going to help us?
Dr. Stoxen: Well what they are saying is that your natural spring is useless and that you have to wear their shoe in order to have artificial spring but that is just a crock.
Luke: So there is a time in our lives that we stop running around barefoot.
Dr. Stoxen: Corporate american has a little bit to do with this. You hear that the shoe will help you absorb impact so you might think that well I have to buy the shoes so they will help me. People are led to believe this by the shoe companies.
On the other hand world records were broken by some athletes that ran the whole course barefoot. Abebe Bikila ran in the Olympics barefoot on the concrete in 1960 only to win the olympic gold medal actually twice. You also have Zola Budd who also crushed everyone!
Luke: Okay so how much do you walk around barefoot?
Dr. Stoxen: Well I run 5-6 miles every other day on the solid concrete barefoot and i’m 50 years old. I feel no pain. It feels good. I’m not sure why people are afraid but I think it’s mostly built on fear. Some people fear just walking barefoot. It’s all about getting friendly and interacting with the earth. Getting a balance per say.
Luke: What kind of shoes do you wear when your not barefoot?
Dr. Stoxen: One thing we should understand is that we were not meant to stand in one place for a long period of time. If I gave you a glass of water and you held that for an hour in one position? The muscles will fatigue and the joints will lock up. So when we are standing on our feet for long periods of time, then our suspension systems of our body lock up. The foot will start to fatigue and the arch mechanism and the whole spring through the body will drop and lock.
If your standing on your feet for a long time and your foot drops and locks. Your feet are either going to roll inward or outward. In medical terms they call it supination or pronation. Maintaining the foot in a safe range between supination and pronation is important and a good shoe with an extended medial counter will help that. (for more information on recommending foot wear), click here
In pre-historic times we always had to keep moving because someone might have been chasing us to eat.
Luke: Avoiding cheap shoes would be a key. Let’s talk more after the break and allow callers to all in.
Okay Dr. Stoxen, can you repair the damage? Essentially you go from barefoot to shoes and you have been that way for 20,30 or 40 years like most of our audience have. but IS IT POSSIBLE TO UNLOCK THAT SPRING? and get your foot back to where it should be?
Dr. Stoxen: Yes there is. I will explain to you how. It’s also in Anthony Field, from the Wiggles in his book, How I got My Wiggle Back. to get a copy of the book, click here. It took 4 years to write the book. All of this is explained in the book and it can be used as a tool for you.
The most important step is to release the muscle spasms that are created by faulty walking mechanics. The brain says, hey I don’t like the way your walking but I don’t know how to fix it so so i’m going to tighten everything up including your feet which are locked into those shoes. These muscle spasms are released by hand. You have to release the muscle spasms that are squeezing the joints and compressing them because when they are compressed they can’t take up the load of the impacts. As a spring there must be some space to be able to LOAD the force of the impact from walking/running like a spring it absorbs and then springs it back.
Those of you that are runners and you get to a certain speed and shin splints might occur or back pain, foot pain, you might want to restore your spring mechanism so it can begin to work more efficiently again. If your running and the spring is loaded up with tension and let’s say you have 600 lbs of impact of force then you can’t absorb it into the spring but instead it goes into your tissues. Could it be that is why they hurt? So deep tissue/muscle work is a must to release your human spring
Luke: Can you tell by seeing someone walk if they walk incorrectly that there is something wrong with their muscles and bones and back?
Dr. Stoxen: Actually it’s simple. Anyone can get a flip camera or even a cell phone camera and video tape yourself walking towards the camera and back with your shoes and socks off. Then upload it into a camera and watch it frame frame to analyze your gait. Look for these things:
- Your second toe should be pointed towards the target. If your foot is straight then it pushes off straight.
- The second things is that your legs and feet should be completely relaxed so that you can load the force of the landings.
- The third important factor is that should land with your total body mass right over the top of the spring so when it hits the arch where it is actually depressed the most then your body weight is directly over it. YOU DO NOT WANT TO LAND ON YOUR HEELS. When you start walking a little faster just lean over a little bit further forward to make sure you keep your mass over the spring. On a side note if you see yourself in a sort of duck walk then it’s impossible to not land your self on an angle. This could cause twisting of the limbs and frame which could cause a number of unfavorable medical issues.
Luke: Fascinating stuff and now let’s get to the open lines for some questions for the doctor. Adam is on the line, g’day.
Adam: G’day Doctor. I have a diagnosis of PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder) and Alcoholism. This was a result from the war in Afganistan. I am just curious, “How am I going to get any benefit with walking around with no shoes on”?
Dr. Stoxen: Well first of all most of the depression and anxiety syndromes are related to the levels of inflammation in your body. When your body is under stress it produces inflammation. I have seen where people have taken blood tests and then put them in a situation with a negative environment such as the stress from the Afghanistan war and when tested again there is an increase of inflammation in their body.
Therefore mental stress increases inflammation.
If you add to that banging and twisting into the ground (locked spring) this will cause musculoskeletal inflammation and your joints will be soaking in these inflammatory chemicals that seep into your brain which can trip out your serotonin levels (happy hormone) by lowering this tryptophan chemicals in the brain. Many times physicians will give you medication but if you want to go after the cause then go after the INFLAMMATION. Fix your diet, get off the alcohol and this will help to lower your gut inflammation. Avoid breathing in chemicals that cause inflammation. By fixing your walk you will decrease the banging and twisting that causes the inflammation caused by a faulty spring. This should help you a lot. At least you would be making a natural attempt for yourself instead of just taking medications.
Luke: Thank you for your call Adam and now we have an email from Sandra; In the 60s when I was 8 my family moved to Melbourne to another town in Australia. Consequently I spent the rest of my childhood into my teens in bare feet. We even went barefoot to school, sports were run in hard dry surfaces in bare feet. We walked home from school in hot towering roads in bare feet. I had to trouble with my feet they only got wider from not restrictions from shoes. Since returning to Melbourne in my mid teens and wear shoes again I now have a lot of problems with my feet. This goes back to what you were saying, that you run 5-6 miles every other day. Most of us are afraid as we say in Australia, that we will bugger our feet. But frankly Dr. Stoxen you are living proof as well as Sandra that there should be no fear and that there are benefits.
Dr. Stoxen: Do you want to hear a crazy story?
Luke: Of course I do!
Dr. Stoxen: When I started running barefoot I was a size 8 1/2 – 9. For my entire life before I was that size. After running barefoot I went into the store to get a new pair of shoes. (unfortunately I can’t always go barefoot in the office) They measured me at 9 1/2 the problem was that the shoes squeezed my foot down to an 8 1/2 which made my foot even more narrow. Anything that you have to plant your full body weight on should be as wide as possible for a base of support so that you don’t fall over when you get older. When you get older your feet get stiffer and more narrow.
Luke: This all makes sense to me, why are we just hearing about this now? I am a size 13 so in real life I could probably be a size 15! I could have been a ‘super fish’ . I am just stuck making jokes behind a microphone. ha ha kidding… Anyway how do we find out more about this?
I know you have a conference this weekend and your speaking about this on Sunday but sadly we all can’t go there so how do we find out more information on a website?
Dr. Stoxen: When Anthony came out with the book How I got My Wiggle Back, it includes how I helped him but I decided to make video tutorials so they could see it in action. So I have all of my video tutorials and other articles which teach you how to release your human spring, train and supercharge your body. You can go to www.teamdoctorsblog.com and read them all there. You will find almost 300 tutorials, articles, interviews and more so you can sit on the floor and work on your feet and legs and get yourself back in shape.
Luke: Great Information! Great to meet you Dr. James Stoxen. I hope you enjoy your stay in Australia and join us again some time.
Dr. Stoxen: Oh I would love to!
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Listen to Dr. Stoxen on other radio interviews: