The Nature Doctor
Alfred Vogel believed in keeping the body in harmony with Nature. Here in an extract from his health newsletter, Das Neue Leben (June 1929), he outlines the benefits of going barefoot outdoors, a topic he covers in more depth in The Nature Doctor.
‘When the sun is sending down its warm rays from the blue vault of the sky, you have the opportunity of going outdoors, if only into the garden, taking your shoes off and running through the lush green of a lawn or over the bare earth.
After a short time you will be aware of a pleasant, powerful, fresh feeling flowing through your body. Anyone who works in the fields or the garden should take the opportunity of letting the body experience the benefits of going barefoot. Not for nothing do the soles of our feet possess such a rich, finely tuned nervous system, because when the foot makes contact with mother earth, powers are bestowed upon the body and, in addition, the earth draws bad substances from us which have put pressure on the body and hence the spirit.
This relief serves to improve the glands and anyone who has, for example, suffered from recurrent swollen tonsils should try, in addition to a basic balanced diet, the wonderful effect of going barefoot.
Going barefoot can even have a beneficial effect on lower abdominal complaints, as well as problems with cold feet. If, in the beginning, the soles of the feet react sensitively to each little stone, then every evening take a footbath with a marigold decoction or oakbark extract.
Here, as in the case of all such applications, common sense should prevail. Of course you cannot undertake a two-hour walk on the very first occasion. And do not go barefoot when it is cold or wet as this will cool down your body too much and the benefits will be lost. But when the sun is shining or after a warm summer rain shower, going barefoot does the whole body a real favour.’