The temperature drops and all too suddenly flu season is here. I recall all the times people talk about covering the head in cold weather and never leaving one’s feet exposed. But I wonder which of the two is more risky in getting sick: exposed feet or a damp, exposed head?
How Bare Feet Heats
Scratch that. While an exposed –and damp—head can promote hypothermia in harsh weather conditions, the threat is more to do with viruses that thrive in less humid and dry conditions than anything. Pneumonia is mostly caused by bacteria already in our bodies or that somehow got into our bodies from elsewhere –a cut, lesion, inhalation, etc. But not from the outright cold. Regardless, I’m apparently better off forgoing footwear altogether! I’ll start from the beginning.
Feel the Ground
If I’m going to talk about the importance of healthy feet in cold conditions, I may as well talk about overall purpose. Firstly, the foot and a shoe are two things I have taken for granted pretty much all of my life, I realize. They are NOT the same thing. Or, maybe I should put it this way: they are both designed to have the same functionality, but one is manmade and one is not. Go figure. BUT! My feet should both be naturally strong, including the soles and each individual toe. My feet should also be contributing enormously to my balance, as well as improving posture. Thus, bare feet ease back pain over time.
Oh! And –another shock to me – apparently bare feet leads to warmer feet. ..Sounds ironic, no? To an ignoramus like myself, yes. Apparently when blood properly circulates to the feet and continuously, the feet get warmer and according to one woman’s experience I read, she never had to wear socks around the house again. This happens because when the soles of our feet touch the ground, our brains tells our body how much blood to pump towards our feet to get warm. Can’t be half-assed about this, either. If I were to wear flip-flops in super cold weather, my feet would be exposed, but will freeze anyways because they’re not touching the ground. My brain can’t talk to my feet without the ground. And here’s me going “DUH!” lol I never knew.
There Be Germs Out There
A common remark from many adults, especially parents, is that exposed feet leads to contracting germs. Half the injuries commonly associated to feet are connected to wearing shoes. The skin, especially on the hands and feet is especially tough and built to withstand outside bacteria and absorb the beneficial ones. Common funguses and nasty germs, such as that with athletes foot, are located in SHOES! The key is conditioning. Anymore, people in my neck-of-the-woods don’t have properly conditioned feet that thrives properly in their natural environment. Most people have had no chance. So just throwing our feet out in the open with no knowledge what’s going to happen and why is a fool’s risk, I feel, in this case. Like any other organism in nature, our feet and bodies need to be properly acclimated. Exposing feet to sunlight allows the foot to grow more resistant to microbial growth and infection. The soles of our feet, when touching the ground, literally absorb the earth’s energy and allow the feet, thus the body, to balance out according to the earth’s temperature.
Lesson? The whole dang body is CONNECTED. Screw one part up? I throw my whole system outta wack. A problem, I think, is that a wacky system is normal. That’s a scary thought. I am part of a culture that is comfortable with discomfort, complains about said discomfort, but spends millions—MAKES MILLIONS—of money off of resources to experience both. Basically, the idea of “I’m in pain, but I’ll buy painkillers to ignore said pain (a natural warning) to stay in a conformed state that I’m comfortable with. It’s what I’m supposed to do.” This is just one example, of course, but this nuance is all over my culture. But I also see how it makes sense to wash the feet as often, if not half as often has the hands if going the barefoot route.
Since my ears also manage my equilibrium, I assume my ears and feet should collaborate? After all, we don’t make shoes for ears. Why can’t my modern Western culture allow for exposed feet? How far do liabilities go that human beings suffer physically? Am I less developed than I think? In other words, am I more underdeveloped than I realized.
In many ways, I don’t think it’s just a “yes” but a “HELL YEAH!” One time I wore a waist belt that was so tight, that my left thigh went numb and I didn’t realize the cause of this anomaly until TWENTY-FOUR HOURS LATER! Heck, my own jean selection influences my posture and blood circulation. My environment has to do with it, my society has much to do with it, my mental state, my income, forces that are outside of my control. I believe that if I have a problem on my hands, I need to admit at least two causes: my own choices and the parts of my life I cannot control. I can’t control how or where I was born, or who from, but my responsibility as a human being is to take the reins on my own life if I should come across something of myself that needs fixing.
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