One of the images that represent freedom the most is the image of someone barefoot. In addition to conveying a certain form of irreverence and non-adherence to established standards, walking without shoes is indeed an act capable of providing very pleasurable sensations of physical well-being, comfort and relaxation. The explanations are countless, ranging from mystical to scientific ones.
Our feet are complex structures, full of nerve endings that connect through ramifications to the various organs of the body, to the spine, to the head, and to the upper and lower limbs. The practice of caring for the body by touching and stimulating these endings is called reflexology and has been used in Eastern cultures for thousands of years. Walking barefoot, especially on uneven surfaces (sand, small rocks, grass), massages different points of the foot and stimulates different parts of the body, promoting the proper functioning of the body and stimulating our ability to concentrate, our motor skills and balance.
Others say that, by walking barefoot on moist soil, we unload on the ground the excess of static electricity accumulated in our bodies, thereby obtaining a sense of relaxation. The most mystic ones say that walking barefoot increases the flow of our vital energy (or our Chi, Qi, Prana, Baraka or Orenda, among other synonyms), through the direct contact with the Earth, one of its natural sources – and the pleasure we feel would be provided by the reestablishment of this connection with the natural universe where we belong.
Discussing and investigating the sources of our pleasures often represents solely the identification of such sources so we can expand the space they occupy in our lives. Their origins or the decoding of their processes do not always matter… but it is important to be aware of its manifestations, ensuring that they remain alive and present in our everyday life. (I personally like to make sure I walk barefoot for a few minutes of my day – thus giving myself, in a very simple way, moments of great pleasure.)