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THE BAREFOOT DOCTOR: ARTICLE IN MALAYSIAN BUSINESS MAY 16TH, 2012

 

Interview by Sharmila Valli Narayanan
May 16, 2012

Dr James Stoxen is a well-known figure among rock stars and celebrities in the United States. He is a star in the world of chiropractors and an advocate of running barefoot. Sharmila Valli Narayanan meets up with the man with the magic touch who literally brings back the spring to your step.

Chiropractor Dr James Stoxen DC is a strong advocate of running barefoot. According to him, most of us walk wrongly, which, in turn, causes all kinds of problems to crop up from knee and joint pains to backache.One of the Malaysian reporters whocame to interview him had over the past year developed a mysterious condition in her legs that caused this once-fit runner unable to run.

Worse, her left leg had become numb. She had consulted many specialists and podiatrists but to no avail. Most of them said that she would eventually have to undergo surgery to get some relief from the pain. They also told her that her running days were behind her.

Stoxen, who has been an ‘on-site chiropractor’ for American A-List stars’ concerts since 2003, listened to her complaints and videotaped her walking. He studied the video recording of her gait and said there was no problem with how she walked.

He asked her to come in for a consultation where for about two-and-a-half hours he used his hands to do some deep tissue massaging on her left leg. To the pleasant surprise of the journalist, she actually began to experience sensation in her leg after enduring numbness for more than a year. He told her in order for her to be fully recovered, she would need a series of treatment for both her legs.

He also gave her the book How I Got My Wiggle Back by Anthony Field, ‘the founder and co-star of the world’s most popular children’s musical group, The Wiggles’. The book chronicles Field’s long struggle to battle chronic pain (among other things) to get back his health and vigour. Field’s life took a turn for the better after meeting Stoxen and he credits Stoxen for helping him get back on the road to wellness.

Dr. James Stoxen DC with Anthony Fiel

Over the years, Stoxen has helped many of his patients, some of whom were scheduled for hip replacement, recover from their pain without resorting to drugs or surgery.

The barrel-chested Stoxen is a picture of health and vitality himself at 50. It is a difficult task to get him to steer away from one of his favourite topics: the advantages of running barefoot or going shoeless. Not for nothing is he known in the US as the anti-shoe doctor.

Shoes, even the best designed or most expensive ones, give an artificial spring to the feet, while going barefoot is more natural and it actually develops the feet’s natural cushion,’ he claims. Stoxen has been running barefoot for three years and even has taken part in races – barefoot of course. ‘As children, we ran barefoot but we can’t seem to do it as adults. That’s one sign of ageing.’

He cautions again embracing barefootedness immediately. The feet have to be conditioned first by exercises (prescribed in Field’s book) and runners are urged to try running barefoot on grassy surfaces first before
graduating to hard surfaces.

Stoxen: Shoes give an artificial spring to the feet, while going barefoot is more natural and it actually develops the natural cushion.

The man who is in great demand among the rich and famous comes from a humble background. He grew up in South Side, Chicago, a working- class neighbourhood.

He credits his parents for helping to instill in him the idea of having a dream. He describes an incident from his childhood: ‘My parents took me with them when they wanted to buy an apartment. We saw a lot of luxury apartments that were clearly beyond my parents’ budget. Later on, when I was older, I realised why my parents went to look at these expensive apartments. They wanted me to have a dream or vision of the kind of apartment I wanted to live in. They were indirectly letting me know that if I wanted to stay in places like this, I had to make good in life. And that meant getting a good education and working hard.’

He recalls another incident when he was 17 that had a powerful influence on him. ‘My mom came to me with a piece of paper and told me to write down what I wanted to do with my life.’ Stoxen listed down his loves. ‘I love exercise and sports. I wanted to travel around the world like my idol James Bond. I wanted to go to concerts and the ultimate dream was to rub shoulders with the stars.’ His mother told him to look for a job that would combine all this.

Stoxen decided to become a chiropractor because he was attracted by the concept of healing using one’s hands. ‘In my line of work, there is no need for medicine or surgery to heal people; just the hands do all the work.’

Today, Stoxen is living his dream. His job involves all that he loves. ‘I have a life that people only dream about. Everywhere I go, I am treated like a king,’ says Stoxen, who was in Kuala Lumpur recently to give a talk.

Stoxen has toured with all the big names such as Justin Timberlake, Beyonce, Mariah Carey, the 2008 American Idols Tour and Cirque De Soleil. On these tours, he works on the back-up dancers, musicians and any other members who need help with pain and adjustments. He has also personally attended to many top celebrities whom he does not name because of confidentiality issues.

Working with celebrity and concerts is not glamorous at all, says Stoxen. It’s a lot of hard work: working 12 hours days until the wee hours of the morning is the norm, as most concert crew come to see him after the concert.

Dr. James Stoxen DC

Stoxen has not forgotten his humble background. Unlike many other celebrity doctors who have their clinics in Beverly Hills, Stoxen’s centre is in a working-class area in Chicago with a high crime rate. ‘Doctors who treat celebrities need not always be based in Beverly Hills. If you give quality service, people will come to you. I can treat patients everywhere,’ he says.

Being in this neighbourhood, besides giving him a level of comfort, also provides him with an opportunity to help the community. His centre has given away more than US$1 million worth of free treatment to the people in the area. ‘You get more out of life when you give to others,’ he philosophises.

When asked on how to find a good chiropractor, he says, ‘A good chiropractor’s reputation precedes him. Find a chiropractor that approaches your body as a spring mechanism that is capable of healing itself.’
Stoxen hopes to teach more about this healing technique in the future.

‘I hope to have doctors change their model of evaluating treating, training and maintaining the human body from a lever system to a spring mechanism. Basically, I’d like to only teach this new standard of care in medicine to healers around the world,’ he says. mb

 

 

 

The Barefoot Doctor: Article in Malaysia Business, May 16th, 2012 Page 1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Barefoot Doctor: Article in Malaysian Business, May 16th, 2012 Page 2

About Dr James Stoxen DC (282 Posts)

Dr. James Stoxen, D.C., owns and operates Team Doctors Treatment and Training Center. and Team Doctors Sports Medicine and Anti-aging Products. He has been the meet and team chiropractor at many national and world championships. He has been inducted into the prestigious National Hall of Fame, the Personal Trainers Hall of Fame and appointed to serve on the prestigious, Global Advisory Board of The International Sports Hall of Fame. He is also a member of the Advisory Board for the American Board of Anti-Aging Health Practitioners. Dr. Stoxen is a sought after speaker, internationally having organized and /or given over 1000 live presentations around the world.(full bio)


Comments

  1. Paul Kramer DC • Barefoot minimalist shoe running is by far the best way to go. I’ve been doing it myself for three years. I love it.

  2. Dr Allan Laird • Hola Doc, I practice in Cabo MX and many patients like to run on the beach. I find some people develop LBP. What is your opinion and advice on running in sand?

  3. Dear Allan – If you look at the human body is a giant spring mechanism you will save that the body absorbs impacts through the spring mechanism by springing off the ground with elastic recoil mechanisms such as a spring suspension system is composed of the arch mechanism with the 33 joints suspended from above by the landing muscles are what I call the spring suspension system muscles, tibialis posterior, anterior peroneus longus and brevis.

    So essentially when I run barefoot I’m actually leaning forward from the ankles so that my body masses trying to impact in the whole of the deepest loading point of the spring mechanism of the body slightly ahead of the impact point so I’m always falling forward with gravity pulling my body forward rather than muscles pushing my body forward. Runners talk about this efficiency of keeping the body relaxed allowing the gravity to pull us forward.

    So if you think of the human body is a giant spring and evaluated from a purely engineering standpoint springs or balls when dropped into the sand do not recoil off of the sand, especially soft sand. In other words springs and balls cannot recoil or spring back from sand or soft services easier then hard surfaces.

    So along that same theory if spring allows the body to use less muscle contraction and push as a lever system if we spring off of a hard surface or using more elastic elements. If we land in the soft sand spring energy dissipates and we sink into the sand. This forces us to use muscles because the spring energy can no longer bounces out of a deep as point of loading of the force into the mechanism. So we have to use the muscles to push ourselves out of the sand.

    The other problem is that those who are normally shod runners are used to being able to heel land because they have an artificial cushion in the heel that does not let them know when the heel lands and it doesn’t matter whether they heal land are not.

    You see the foot has zones of spring and zones of non-spring. The forefoot is a spring zone in the heel is a non-spring zone. If you look at the configuration of the there is really no springiness in the heel as it goes from the calcaneus to the talus to the long bones of the shin or the ankle mortis. There’s not much spring to load the force of the landing into this area.

    However in the forefoot there’s a lot of room for force of landing to load into this area. The definition of spring into this area is when the force of the impact she forms the structure, during the deformation process it loads energy into this information and stores it. Then it releases back to its exact original position thus releasing the energy back into the system. In physics we call this elastic deformity. If it doesn’t come back to its exact original shape it’s called plastic deformity and that’s a deformity like a bunion or herniated disc.

  4. Part I – Dear Allan – If you look at the human body is a giant spring mechanism you will save that the body absorbs impacts through the spring mechanism by springing off the ground with elastic recoil mechanisms such as a spring suspension system is composed of the arch mechanism with the 33 joints suspended from above by the landing muscles are what I call the spring suspension system muscles, tibialis posterior, anterior peroneus longus and brevis.

    So essentially when I run barefoot I’m actually leaning forward from the ankles so that my body masses trying to impact in the whole of the deepest loading point of the spring mechanism of the body slightly ahead of the impact point so I’m always falling forward with gravity pulling my body forward rather than muscles pushing my body forward. Runners talk about this efficiency of keeping the body relaxed allowing the gravity to pull us forward.

    So if you think of the human body is a giant spring and evaluated from a purely engineering standpoint springs or balls when dropped into the sand do not recoil off of the sand, especially soft sand. In other words springs and balls cannot recoil or spring back from sand or soft services easier then hard surfaces.

    So along that same theory if spring allows the body to use less muscle contraction and push as a lever system if we spring off of a hard surface or using more elastic elements. If we land in the soft sand spring energy dissipates and we sink into the sand. This forces us to use muscles because the spring energy can no longer bounces out of a deep as point of loading of the force into the mechanism. So we have to use the muscles to push ourselves out of the sand.

    The other problem is that those who are normally shod runners are used to being able to heel land because they have an artificial cushion in the heel that does not let them know when the heel lands and it doesn’t matter whether they heal land are not.

    You see the foot has zones of spring and zones of non-spring. The forefoot is a spring zone in the heel is a non-spring zone. If you look at the configuration of the there is really no springiness in the heel as it goes from the calcaneus to the talus to the long bones of the shin or the ankle mortis. There’s not much spring to load the force of the landing into this area.

    However in the forefoot there’s a lot of room for force of landing to load into this area. The definition of spring into this area is when the force of the impact she forms the structure, during the deformation process it loads energy into this information and stores it. Then it releases back to its exact original position thus releasing the energy back into the system. In physics we call this elastic deformity. If it doesn’t come back to its exact original shape it’s called plastic deformity and that’s a deformity like a bunion or herniated disc.

    Part II – When someone heal lands the potential spring energy is lost when the heel loses the deformation potential of the spring banging the energy into the area with last spring loading potential and in running recall of breaking. You combine that with the loss of ability to spring out of the sand and you’re essentially slowing your spring momentum down forcing you to have to engage muscles to essentially drag your body mass fall forword through the sand for the next step.

    Normally what I find from heel landers is not only do they overextend their foot beyond or over stride and lose spring energy forcing them to have to pull their body forward but also they tend to turn their foot out at the dream is over extension or over striding. Typically what you’ll find in these gates is a stiff and sore posterior aspect of the tensor fascia latae – illio tibial band. a lot of people think that’s a tight hamstring. You’ll also find a painful spasm in the gluteus medius muscle on that side from having to pull the body through the sand.

    The tension in the muscles preloads or jams the spring mechanism because it brings the origins insertion together compressing the joins together from the toes to the head. I call this the preloading of the human spring. So essentially what’s happening is that let’s say your human spring mechanism had the capacity to load 450 to 500 pounds of impact force with each landing or lift. however because of the tension of the muscle spasms that are compressing the human spring from the origin and insertion compressing the joints the disc being a compression spring is squeezed down by these muscles. The capacity to load more force into the spring mechanism is reduced because it’s already preloaded

    So essentially what’s happening is that the impact forces are no longer spring forces but lever forces on joints that are preloaded with compressive forces from the muscle spasms. That’s what causes joint your occasion inflammation and pain.

    what I would recommend is a gait evaluation to determine how the mass is impacting the human spring mechanism to the foot and other joints. Then I would evaluate the two BLS posterior tension and level of inflammation by deep tissue palpation as well as the posterior aspect of tensor fascia latae and gluteus medius.

    My recommendation for them is to read this blog post about how to land your foot during walking and barefoot running which states that there should be a forward lean from the ankles and a spring off from the forefoot and not on the heel like typical shod runners. My next recommendation is that they only run on hard sand next to the waterfront is and focus on springing their body off of the sand rather than banging and pulling and twisting their body through the soft sand. I hope that helps

    Feel free to comment in the comments section of my blog and leave your website address and phone number where the people who read my blog can find you if they’ re looking for an expert that can treat this problem in the comment section as well

    Video Tutorial #168 The “Controlled Fall” And It’s Importance In Efficiency In Walking, Running And Especially Barefoot Running
    http://teamdoctorsblog.com/2012/04/06/video-tutorial-168-control-fall-and-its-importance-in-efficiency-in-walking-running-and-especially-barefoot-running/

    Video Tutorial #169 How To Land Your Foot When Walking, Running And Barefoot Running
    http://teamdoctorsblog.com/2012/04/17/video-tutorial-169-how-to-land-your-foot-when-walking-running-and-barefoot-running/

    Video Tutorial #171 Barefoot Footprints In The Sand – What They Can Tell You About Your Walking and Running Form And Technique
    http://teamdoctorsblog.com/2012/04/12/video-tutorial-171-barefoot-footprints-in-the-sand-what-they-can-tell-you-about-your-running-form-and-technique/

    http://teamdoctorsblog.com/2012/05/09/interview-of-dr-james-stoxen-dc-by-chris-russell-on-runrunlive-podcast-episode-220/

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