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WRA's mission is to promote excellence and professionalism in the practice of Reflexology in the State of Washington.


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  • Book Review: Born to Run
    May 10th, 2010

    This book was reviewed by Tina Bystrom, NBCR & WRA President in December 2009.

    Born to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen by Christopher McDougall

    I heard an interview with Christopher McDougall, the author of this book, on NPR and immediately ran out to buy it. Are humans really a running species? Does our anatomy support this supposition? Do cushy running shoes cause more injuries than they prevent, and hinder our natural stride? Is this guy really saying that running barefoot is good for us? Who are the elusive Tarahumara Indians and how are they able to easily run distances of 100 miles or more barefoot or lightly shod (and into their senior years)? Can modernized, hard-core ultra-marathoners compete with the Tarahumara and win?

    Yep, all this and more is explored in this excellent, easy to read book. The author is a journalist with a page-turning writing style, exploring core subjects with different threads that come back around to create a big picture of human anatomy, theories of our evolution as a long-distance running species, the mechanics of running, the development of running shoes (and how they have hindered us), the fascinating Tarahumara culture, and the bigger-than-life characters in the of world ultra-marathon running.

    This is really several stories in one, and each subject is as fascinating as the next. I couldn’t put it down, nor could my husband who, after reading it, now runs only in Vibram FiveFingers (“barefoot shoes”), with excellent results. He’s not alone—this bestselling book is at the forefront of what appears to be a “barefoot running revolution”. I have found many articles on the subject online in recent weeks, as well as on walking barefoot or in barefoot-like footwear.

    As a reflexologist, it was especially eye-opening. I view my clients feet, footwear, and walking/running styles very differently now. Much has “clicked into place” for me, with a broader prospective and deeper understanding of how footwear affects our feet, our bodies, and our brains (thick soles disrupt proprioceptive information from foot to brain and back again). I have also taken to wearing “barefoot shoes” exclusively, and have benefited greatly. This is a “must read”.

    Publisher: Knopf; First American Edition edition (May 5, 2009)
    ISBN-10: 0307266303
    ISBN-13: 978-0307266309