Many people may not realize that walking is healing, or at least has powerful healing capabilities to aide us through difficult times. When analyzing the human body from a spiritual lens, our anatomy is interconnected with pressure points that lay in our hands and feet.
The hands and feet are two of the most important parts of our body. The feet move us forward and the hands are the parts of our anatomy that give and receive.
“All truly great thoughts are conceived by walking.” ~Nietzsche
In Chinese medicine and reflexology, the feet contain many pressure points that link directly to our glands and major organs. When compressed, these help us with various ailments that we suffer from. Walking, especially on cobblestone, puts pressure into these points to activate those areas of the body.
From another holistic perspective, many claim the chakras are also located in our feet. These areas tap into the chakras located along the spine and activate the same energy centers when triggered. Like the other chakras, these can also be "open or closed" to receiving energy or be out of balance at times.
Walking is overall a low-impact form of exercise that ignites a meditation in motion type of experience.
Walking Stimulates Oxygen + Blood Flow + Our Qi
Like any exercise, walking stimulates the body through the movement of oxygen and blood flowing throughout the circulatory system. When this happens, we secrete different hormones that make us feel better and elevates our mood.
In Chinese medicine, the flow of energy is called Qi. Walking moves the "Qi" that is stuck or built up in the body. Moderate exercise in general can balance hormones without overtraining.
Walking Helps Us Move Forward
Walking, specifically on a journey like the Camino de Santiago, moves us in a forward direction toward a destination. But it is the journey that pushes our boundaries and allows us to move past barriers in life.
The symbolism here is that we move forward and leave all the "junk" behind us. The journey doesn't know whether there will be hills, uneven terrain or bad weather, but through that journey we are pushed to overcome whatever obstacle comes our way.
When overcoming issues on the walk, it is symbolic to being able to overcome issues in everyday life.
Walking Grounds Us
The feet are our foundation of the kinetic chain. Walking grounds us to the planet, especially if walking barefoot in the grass. Similar to the concept of "earthing," basically our feet (and its energy centers) absorb energy from the earth to help us stay grounded and in balance.
It's like being a battery and the earth recharges ourselves.
Walking is "Yoking" our Mind, Body, Spirit
Like yoga, or any other form of exercise, walking, specifically in nature, unites the mind, body and spirit.
Especially when walking in nature, most people feel connected to God or their source energy.
When surrounded by unity, walking ignites deep thoughts while meandering on the trail. It also connects the body to be aware to the breath and notice the physical presence of the body (even if there is pain). When the hormones secrete, most people feel alive and vibrant.
I recommend reading some of these following links regarding how walking elevates mood and promotes optimal brain health and physical wellbeing.
Has walking healed you? I hope whatever journey you are in life, walking can help you move past barriers and be one with yourself and your spirit.
Elizabeth Rae Kovar M.A. is Author of her memoir, Finding Om and is a Fitness Trainer, Yogi, Reiki Master, Presenter and Lover of Life. To view her portfolio please visit www.elizabethkovar.com