Newspaper Article: “Going Barefoot, Not As Simple As It Looks” Adelaide Advertiser By Callie Watson


Going Barefoot Not As Simple As It Looks
By Callie Watson
Adelaide Advertiser Newspaper
August 27, 2012
Adelaide Australia
WE all did it as children, but for most of us, the older we get, the less appealing running barefoot becomes.
But the trend towards walking and running sans shoes is gaining momentum as high-profile supporters encourage others to ditch their trainers.
Among them is Dr James Stoxen, a US chiropractor who presented at the Australasian Academy of Anti- Ageing Medicine Conference in Melbourne this month.
He believes the body has a ‘‘natural spring mechanism that’s perfectly good to take up the impact you feel when you run and walk’’.
Dr Stoxen says going barefoot can promote a healthy spring mechanism in your foot – which takes the impact  when you go for a walk or run. But critics of the method say there is too little scientific research to promote the benefits of going barefoot.
Dr Dominic Thewlis is a UniSA lecturer who specialises in lower limb biomechanics and says, at best, the jury is still out on the topic.
‘‘There was speculative work published in 2010 that suggests barefoot running might be efficient . . . but there is still no evidence to say it is beneficial,’’ he says.
The 2010 study, published in the journal Nature , found soft shoes encouraged runners to land heel-first.
That creates an abrupt collision force 1.5 times the runner’s body weight, which contributes to injuries.
Barefoot runners land on the forefoot or with a flat foot, decreasing the effect, the study found. Dr Thewlis, however, says advocates of barefoot running failed to understand they could injure their foot simply by stepping on a stone.
‘‘Our feet have adapted to a pattern of wearing shoes,’’ he says. ‘‘We can’t sustain running on our toes. We revert to running on our heel because our physiological system is not capable of doing it for a long period.’’
UniSA Professor of Exercise Science Kevin Norton described the barefoot movement as a fad.
But if you decide to hit the pavement barefoot, Dr Stoxen says there are adjustments you should make to the way you run. This includes:

  • WHEN you’re running and you want to run with maximum spring, don’t land heel first. The faster you run the more you lean forward
  • WHEN you first start your run, bend forward at the ankles – right when you’re about to ‘‘fall through’’. ‘‘This is called a controlled fall. You’re falling constantly throughout the entire run with the mid-part of your pelvis slightly ahead of the foot.’’
  • KEEP your second toe pointing towards the target. ‘‘If your foot does not point forward, it’s impossible for you not to twist your leg.’’
  • DON’T run barefoot when the weather is freezing.

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Dr James Stoxen DC., FSSEMM (hon) He is the president of Team Doctors®, Treatment and Training Center Chicago. Dr Stoxen is a #1 International Bestselling Author of the book, The Human Spring Approach to Thoracic Outlet Syndrome. He has lectured at more than 20 medical conferences on his Human Spring Approach to Thoracic Outlet Syndrome and asked to publish his research on this approach to treating thoracic outlet syndrome in over 30 peer review medical journals. He has been asked to submit his other research on the human spring approach to treatment, training and prevention in over 225 peer review medical journals. He serves as the Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Orthopedic Science and Research, Executive Editor or the Journal of Trauma and Acute Care, Chief Editor, Advances in Orthopedics and Sports Medicine Journal and editorial board for over 40 peer review medical journals. He is a much sought-after speaker both to the general public and at CME credentialed medical conferences. He has given over 1000 live presentations and lectured at over 70 medical conferences to over 50,000 doctors in more than 20 countries. He has been invited to speak at over 400 medical conferences in over 50 international cities in 30 countries. He has been invited as the keynote speaker at over 60 medical conferences. After his groundbreaking lecture on the Integrated Spring-Mass Model at the World Congress of Sports and Exercise Medicine he was presented with an Honorary Fellowship Award by a member of the royal family, the Sultan of Pahang, for his distinguished research and contributions to the advancement of Sports and Exercise Medicine on an International level. He was inducted into the National Fitness Hall of Fame in 2008 and the Personal Trainers Hall of Fame in 2012. Dr Stoxen has a big reputation in the entertainment industry working as a doctor for over 150 tours of elite entertainers, caring for over 1000 top celebrity entertainers and their handlers. Anthony Field or the popular children’s entertainment group, The Wiggles, wrote a book, How I Got My Wiggle Back detailing his struggles with chronic pain and clinical depression he struggled with for years. Dr Stoxen is proud to be able to assist him. Physicians Medical Technologies does business as Team Doctors®, a medical device company that provides high end vibration massage tools. In 2012, the Massage Assist Pro was cleared by the FDA. Today the Massage Assist® is sold in 13 countries. In late 2019, Team Doctors launched the Vibeassage® which was cleared by the FDA in 2019 and has sold thousands of units around the world. Dr Stoxen can be reached directly at

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