I continue to learn as any good health practitioner should and continue to experiment with myself.
As a medical practitioner completely devoted to the care and health of feet, I really find it amazing how much we take them for granted. Every podiatrist says this to their patients, but most of us do the same. When do we experience our feet like our hands?
The most common question expressed to me (and every podiatrist) is "why feet?!"
Most people are disgusted and embarassed of feet. Many even try to wash their feet quickly before an appointment.
This is the part of your body that should touch the Earth, that SHOULD be dirty. They are adapted directly to do so. They don't harbour or disseminate disease nearly as much as hands, but most people directly blame many foot ailments with that arguement. Hands are the disseminators of communicable disease, not feet!
In this direct hatred of feet, we've also come to want to "control" them with orthotics and anti-pronation devices and to place protective coverings on them to prevent disease and banish them from our sight. (Most people are more embarassed and disgusted of their feet than an absolutely horrible Hemoglobin A1c [diabetes lab value] or HDL [good cholesterol] or their own obesity. I find this a symptom of our own ignorance and as a general attitude toward health.)
As I mentioned pronation control earlier, I don't speak to banish orthotics. They truly, truly have their place, as do most modern medications. Nearly every person in the world is on one! Are all of these medications and orthotics necessitated by disease, or just lack of health! I argue, we typically know nothing of health as a population and rely on quick fixes and rationalization (which is the bane of modern healthcare) and this allows us to continue our unhealthy life, with a medication boost to win us our meager goals. We rely on modern healthcare to assuage or own weaknesses of resolve when it comes to true health and wellness. Healthcare is not the government's or doctor's responsibility; it is ours!
When it comes to foot health and wellness, we are not truly aware of what our feet are capable of until we use them to their full extent. They are marvelous structures and experiencing the world barefoot has made me appreciate my profession so much more, but also it has led me to question it, like any good scientist should!
Unfortunately, our feet are passive structures in the modern world, as are many of our minds and gastrointestinal tracts! We are fed what we see: technology-laden shoes, television stations owned by partisan billionaires, and food sent to the supermarket by profit-driven corporations.
Please, take back your feet and your health! Passivity, rationalization and fear should not be your motivators; the drive for a happier and healthier life should be!