Barefoot walking is therapeutic according to 19th century priest Father Sebastian Kneipp from Germany. I'd heard of reflexology and knew that gait can be improved when walking barefoot, but Father Sebastian suggested that a disease he had suffered from was cured. I believe that walking barefoot is good for circulation too. What was interesting was how grounding it was.
We visited an outdoor nature centre, and paet of the experience was a barefoot walking trail. It started off (as you would expect) with the removal of shoes. Babies in slings, and our son holding Captain Underpants hand, we began on latticed rubber matting on mud; that was pleasant enough. The next sensation was a cold muddy waterbath, it was refreshing and a gentle start. The ground under foot gradually became more stoney! The most painful was a waterbath with stones and some coal type rocks. The bed of large rounded stones and log rolls was like a pleasant massage. To finish there was a trail of straw, hardened clay and a squishy mud bath!
I know I always tend to over analyse, but I stopped and spoke to my family about how it really did feel like a therapy. In the moment when you are walking on sharp rocks, there is nowhere else you can be. And it was so grounding to be focussed on each step.
In that moment I woke up. Not in the sense that I wasn't tired, it was rather the opposite, as if I stopped to listen to my body and I felt how exhausted I am.
I googled Barefoot Therapy and found out there are holidays! I think for now I will dream about building my very own experience in my back garden...