Dr. Seuss book that my five year old son loves to have me read. I’m not too sure that Dr. Seuss based the book on a real fox, but if the good doctor were still alive he could write the true-life story, Doc In Socks, about Dr. Steve Gangemi. Gangemi is a chiropractic physician who has become known by the nickname of The Sock Doc from his habit of wearing only socks or even going barefoot in his chiropractic office. Unlike other habits that could land you in jail, shunning your shoes isn’t only legal, it is good for you.
Gangemi has been trained in a variety of specialties ranging from functional neurology to applied kinesiology. Although he does not specialize in the treatment of foot ailments, he believes that healthy people have healthy feet which do not require cushioned, supportive shoes. Gangemi proposes the concept that feet can send you signs and signals about your overall health, and that these clues are well worth pursuing in order to arrive at a state of complete health, literally from head to toe!
Gangemi states that the feet are the foundation of your body. With approximately 7,000 nerve endings in each foot, feedback from your feet can affect your overall health. Any foot impairment, injury, pain, dysfunction, or the wearing of footwear can (and often does) impair sensory feedback, balance and y muscle-skeletal function. Given that we take thousands of steps a day, day after day, the end result can be injury, arthritis, pain or other problems.
Gangemi also explains that an ache in one part of our body may be (and often is!) the result of a problem somewhere else in the body. For example, he explains that pain in your knee may be due to a muscle imbalance in the foot, improper footwear, poor diet, or even stress.
One of the fundamental tenets of his practice is that rarely will an unhealthy person not present with problems in their feet, and it is these bases of the entire human anatomy which can reflect and influence the health of the organism as a whole. Wearing improper footwear can disrupt the normal walking gait, and that can have a knock-on effect which can point to problems being experienced elsewhere in the body.
Gangemi prides himself on dealing with his patients’ health problems on a cause oriented individual level, and highly recommends the barefoot lifestyle. He believes that everyone can benefit from walking barefoot, not just multiple sport athletes and dedicated runners. The wearing of built up shoes featuring supportive orthotics and plush padding benefits few if any people, since going barefoot equates with improved lower leg function and balance which has an impact on overall health.
Steve “Sock Doc” Gangemi’s website (http://sock-doc.com) is a treasure trove of information on every aspect of educating athletes and other interested people about injury, prevention, and treatment to help them live longer and healthier lives. Gangemi provides cutting edge information on injuries, training, racing, nutrition, gear and much more. Dr. Seuss would be proud of him. And so am I.
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