If you want to have proper development of the brain and nervous system, it is essential to walk barefoot.
According to the chiropractor Dr. Kacie Flegal, a member of the International Chiropractic Pediatrics Association, wearing shoes you prevent the feet that are one of the parts of the body in which there is a great deal of nerves to send crucial messages to the brain for the environment we are in, thus preventing stimulation development of the brain.
This is of great importance if it is known that babies to stimulate the normal development of neurological pathways use the five basic senses: hearing, smell, touch, sight, and taste, and in this way they inform the brain exactly what they encounter in the environment in which they are located.
But the vestibular and proprioceptor system are also two sensory systems that are rarely discussed and taken into account.
But they are of great importance because the vestibular system is responsible for proper coordination and balance of the body, while we knowingly perceive the position and movements of our body in the space thanks to proprioceptors.
In an article in Natural Child Magazine, Flegal clearly explains the importance of going barefoot especially during the childhood, as the development of senses and sensory systems largely depends on the sensory information we receive when walking barefoot.
She clarifies that the brain receives information on how the body is oriented in the space with the help of proprioceptors that represent nerve endings in the feet that are activated during movement and pressure and then they send appropriate signals to the brain.
The author of The Barefoot Book, Dr. Daniel Howell, clarifies that proprioceptors provide adequate information and later it “is used to protect the foot itself from injury, but it’s also used by the brain to make subtle adjustments in your gait to protect bones and joints all the way up your body and to maximize the efficiency of your movements”.
The easiest way to block this connection and the proper development of healthy and strong neurological pathways is to wear shoes that will prevent the proper functioning of the receptors.
Flegal is confident in her claim that children who have not yet walked or have just begun to do not need to wear shoes, and the parents here make a big mistake.
The mistake of wearing shoes in this period is that in this way the correct coordination and balance are disturbed because still unformed joints and bones of children cannot get used to the steep terrain of the environment, and there is a walking disorder due to the inappropriate stimulation of the proprioceptors.
Flegal explains in writing: “When a child is allowed to be barefoot, her tactile pathways feel the surface of the ground, proprioceptors respond to pressure, and the terrain creates slight imbalances that create neuromuscular strength, special orientation, balance, and coordination.”
Flegal explains that walking barefoot is not recommended in all conditions and on all terrain, but it would be desirable for children to walk barefoot on sand or wet leaves, grass, dirt, meaning in other words on natural surfaces.
Flegal further clarifies, “As a result, you will allow them a great platform for the development of higher brain centers responsible for emotional control, problem-solving, language, social skills, and self-assurance.”