Barefoot running is the key to healthier feet

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  1. Barefoot TJ

    Barefoot TJ
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    Mar 5, 2010
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    Barefoot running is the key to healthier feet
    Dr. James Stoxen, DCM

    This post is also available in: Spanish

    Dr. James Stoxen is a chiropractor physician in Chicago who has become the in-demand backstage doctor. He was hired by musicians Lupe Fiasco, Aerosmith, Kanye West and Mariah Carey for their national tours. He worked with shows like “Dancing with the Stars” and athletes such as former IBF Champion David Diaz, and UFC fighters Andrei Arlovski and Shonie Carter. Stars come to him for his anti-aging and performance-improving philosophies that he believes will extend their careers.

    Before the barefoot running craze became really hot, Stoxen discovered the human spring model. While some doctors may say that high impacts are bad for us, elite athletes use plyometrics to train for big events. The human body is designed to absorb shock. “Gel inserts and cushioned soles are altering what Mother Nature made perfect,” said Stoxen.

    According to Stoxen, the human spring philosophy is defined as the body being composed of millions of “springs” that consist of muscles, ligaments, tendons, and even the feet. When we “protect” our feet by wearing cushioned soles, we weaken the muscles that allow us to effectively absorb impact. The muscles in our feet become lazy. To compensate for this, leg muscles absorb the stress and they eventually become exhausted. This eventual wear-and-tear leads us to ailments such as back pain and muscle spasms later on in life.

    “Each step we take puts a stress on the body muscles. They rebuild and the body gets stronger,” said Stoxen. This is the same philosophy that is applied to weightlifting. Since the feet are the foundations of our bodies, strengthening the foot muscles can do a lot to prevent ailments over time.

    Stoxen has become an advocate for barefoot running by studying the methods of African runners who practiced running barefoot and become some of the fastest marathon runners in the world. Practicing barefoot running and walking will allow people to use their natural gait when they move and could eliminate some of the hip, foot and knee problems some people suffer through later on in life. Before the Vibram FiveFingers shoes became popular, Stoxen worked with Converse Footwear in Japan to create an athletic shoe that would simulate “natural barefoot” mobility.

    To help fix ailments, Stoxen will film a person walking in their bare feet. From there, he will sit down with a patient and correct the fine points in their step. He will then work to balance each side of a patient’s body and may even reset the bones in their feet. In turn, this should reduce the amount of back pain and muscle spasms that may occur later on in life.

    Stoxen’s office is located on 6432 S. Pulaski Rd. For more information and his treatments, visit or call 773-735-5200.
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