The Bliss Of Barefoot

If you know me at all you know that I don’t like wearing shoes very much but what you don’t know is how this transition came about and WHY I do it? (and No, it’s not to look like a homeless hippy living off the land :) ) 

Bliss of Barefoot

My barefoot journey began after I was working in construction for 2 months in Darwin, wearing cheap & heavy workbooks every day. The day I left that job to begin our adventure around this beautiful land of Oz, I threw my boots in the bin and didn’t wear shoes again for over two months. Well I lie, I HAD to wear my trusty Converse once in Byron bay to get into a night club that I didn’t even get into as I had one too many drinks (ohhh the good old days). 

Anyways fast forward nearly 5 years and I am still choosing to spend the majority of my time walking around Perth with no shoes on. By now my feet have built up enough resistance to fight off glass, hot ground and even the occasional dog s#it. 

What have I learned over the last 5 years while going barefoot? 

1.) This time has built up my feet to become strong and sturdy, overcoming a number of old injuries that plagued my running career. 

I no longer have any plantarfascitis in either of my feet and even enjoy running barefoot without dreading the feel of a knife going through the arch of my foot. 

2.) After a pretty serious ankle injury pulling a small fragment of bone from my lateral malleolus (the bony part of my ankle), I was always plagued with restriction & weakness in my left foot & would often roll my ankle very easily. Now, I feel strong as hell and if I do roll my ankle on a trail run I can easily continue as all my ligaments & muscles are so strong and stable. 

3.) Our feet were designed to move freely and adapt to our environments. When we limit this by covering them in poorly fitted rubber non-conductive materials this will have a serious run on effect on how our entire body adapts to our environment around us. By allowing our feet to move freely, our entire body can learn to adopt and responds better to external stimuli. 

4.) I feel more connected and grounded to the earth and myself when barefoot. Some may think this is hippy-do-da but it is true and I urge each and every one of you t do it. Go outside, kick off your shoes and socks & walk barefoot on the grass, in the dirt ad connect to how you feel. In todays society we NEED this in our life more as we are becoming more and more disconnected from everything around us 

5.) The healing properties of “grounding” or “earthing” are huge and there are lots of studies to back this up. Be it from balancing your melatonin secretion and helping with sleep, to reducing inflammation and free radical damage in your body, to balancing your nervous system linked to mental health & stress. 

Overall, I am here to open up people to the awareness of their bodies and the healing abilities that each and every one of us possess when we allow. 

If you make a conscious choice to free your feet for a little while every day, you won’t regret it. 

For a more in-depth breakdown of our feet & footwear, check out The Missing Link blog 

Yours in Health & Happiness, 

Fin 

The Way We Breathe Is The Way We Live

I love all things breathwork.

It is such a vital tool to help regain connection with ourselves, it is a powerful transformational tool for stress & anxiety, it is so important for movement & function, and it is also a very sacred tool that can be used for many deeper, more interconnected healing & practices.

Before I get into it too much I just want to look at some of the basics so please check out the video for a full breakdown on breathing, how to test if you are a chest breather or diaphragm breather, & the effects that this is having on your body. 

In summary: 

  • If you chest breath, you are forcing your body to utilise all the accessory muscles of your neck, chest & back to lift your ribcage and breath, thus causing a lot of unnecessary stress and tension to your body. 

  • If you chest breath, you are only filling the top third of your lungs therefore not allowing adequate oxygen exchange to occur 

  • If you are chest breathing, you can increase anxiety & stress in your body 

  • By diaphragm breathing, you are breathing with the muscles that were designed to breath thus being more efficient in your body 

  • By diaphragm breathing, you are allowing your entire lungs to reach their full capacity and therefore allowing better oxygen exchange to occur 

  • By diaphragm breathing, you are activating your deep core muscles and allowing your posts and other muscles have a stronger acne point to work from. 

Once you have taught yourself how to become more aware of your breathing, now it’s time to start training it in order to become more efficient and natural. The more we consciously work on building the neural connections with this training, the better your body will be at using your diaphragm subconsciously.

Once we become more aware of our breathing, then we can learn to consciously create change. The more we do this throughout our day, then the greater the change that will occur.

Retraining Your Breath

Now let’s look at 3-dimensional breath and how we can train to breathe through your diaphragm. I am going to run through a number of progressions for you to play with daily. 

Remember, when working through the exercises in the video, take your time, tune into your body and feel what it is telling you. Don’t Force It!! :)

To progress this further, we can look at a more advanced breathing exercise where you add in your legs to a 90’ angle while compressing a foam roller (or cushion) between your knees. This will help activate your core & begin linking your breathing to other muscle activation work. 

This is a more difficult exercise to master but is essential to train your body to connect to your breathe while moving through different movement patterns. 

TIP: Hang your breath on key activities you do throughout your day. eg. every time you open an e-mail, have a quick check in with your breath

If you have any questions on the above videos please feel free to contact me.

Yours in Health & Happiness,

Fin