Grandma was right when she said, you should not walk barefoot, and especially on a cold floor.
And this is especially true in the winter months when you want to prevent colds and flu's, feeling lethargic, weak, weak muscles, and just plain feeling sick all the time.
In fact the cold from the floor can still go through your socks and into your foot, and cause you sickness. Read on to find out more about why.
Some people complain of getting a sore throat, or swelling of the throat (lymph nodes) in the winter months, but never really develop any cold or flu. This is a kind of borderline sickness, where the immune system can't really kick in and get rid of the cold or illness, but you don't succumb to it anyways..
While this tendency to sore throat or malaise may not be true for everyone, if a person does not have a hearty constitution they may be more susceptible than others.
It is never advisable to get used to walking barefoot on a cold floor period. Wear good socks. Wear shoes, slippers, but thick slippers, not cloth slippers.
So, what is the reason for a person walking on a cold floor, even with socks greatly increasing their tendency to get sick.
The reason, a very simple one is answered from the point view of TCM - Traditional Chinese Medicine, and the acupuncture meridians.
Underneath the foot, is a kidney-meridian point, called the bubbling well point of the Kidney meridian (K-1, or Kidney-1). The chinese name is Yong Quan (pronounced yong chuwen).
You can search the internet for 'Yong Quan point images' and see where it is exactly.
Because the meridians receive energy through them, when you are walking on a cold floor, barefoot or with socks, the energy goes straight into the meridian. Meridians need warmth to work properly. Digestion needs warmth to work properly.
If this is happening in the winter time, when you should be keeping yourself warm, you could get sick. If you already have an infection, walking with just socks is a very bad idea.
Once the energy enters your meridians, it cools your body off, cools your kidneys and could cause disease to set in.
In the summer time, it may be more appropriate to walk barefoot, inside and out of the house, but if you can't tolerate the cold going up into the kidneys, you should not do this at all, especially if you have a prolonged cold.
Alternatively, you could be massaging the K-1 point to warm the kidneys, which would increase your Kidney-Yang energy.
Chinese medicine practitioners also recommend putting your feet into a warm foot bath with warming herbs. Called Foot Bath therapy or Zu Yu. You could use ginger for this.
Have you ever watched that Fred Flintstone episodes where Fred had his feet in a foot bath, with a cloth over the rest of his body, and was sneezing. He had come in from the cold.
What Fred did to help himself may have been grounded in Traditional Chinese Medicine, since even after exposure to cold, warming the body up, by warming up the feet can have a profound effect. It might even save you from getting a full cold or flu.
By the way, some QiGong Masters suggest that you rub the Yong-Quan point vigorously to increase yang-energy, and warm your kidneys. People in China do this on a regular basis. It is part of QiGong massage.
Warming the kidneys is important because kidney warmth, warms the digestion, by way of the spleen
The one thing I'm not discussing on this web page which is related to how cold enters the body is the whole controversy surrounding what medicine believes about the wind cold entering the body and increasing susceptibility to a cold or flu. Medicine believes it is all about the pathogen, but not about the immunity developed in the body.
Immunity is a Western Concept and model to discuss the anti-pathogen fighting ability of the body.
It does not represent the totality of why some people are more immune than others.
Do you have friends, or family who don't get sick all season and then you do.
They may have a heartier constitution because they were born with stronger kidneys.
Are you also the type who even when exposed to Wind from fans in the summer develops that ill feeling?
In TCM, Wind is a Pathogenic factor, that requires defensive energy from the body to circumvent. That is called Wei-Chi.
If summer fan wind weakens your body you need help.
If your lungs or spleen are not working well, then your body will be weakened.
Have you ever gotten a cold, and felt like it is neither going in, and is not expelled?
As you get older do you feel like you have to wear a jacket to protect yourself in the spring, because it is Windy?
You used to be able to just wear a long-sleeved shirt, and some light pants?
In TCM, there is a whole ancient Treatise about how Cold Enters the Body, and the damage it can do:
It is called the Shanghan Lun, Treatise on Cold Damage Disorders or the Treatise on Cold Injury, and it is a Chinese medical treatise that was compiled around 200 A.D.
There are 6 Stages as to how the Cold can enter the body and cause damage.
If you have ever felt like your Cold, or Flu just won't go in, or come out, then it is probably in one of the 6 Stages, and stuck.
This can feel really awful, and you need to go to a Doctor of TCM, who can give you a unique perscription of TCM herbs, to bring it out into the exterior.
The herbs are boiled carefully and then you drink the liquid. Alternatively, you can have the herbs ground, as they would be cheaper, and then mix with hot water and ingest them.
Usually you go back after seeing them, the first time, and they check your pulse, and tongue, and visual.
A lot of people who are weak, or are not aware of the impact of a cold, or flue on their vitality, and the vitality of their organs, and get a cold, can get even more weakened after it, just barely coming out of it with much energy.
These are people who have weak lungs, or weak spleen.
One of the things that people who get sick easily must do is be in bed by 9:00pm, and no later than 9:30pm to allow their spleen to recharge more, and not over-use it.
Thinking or over-thinking uses up energy, and after 9pm your Spleen is not at it's optimum point, and this is when things can get worse rather than better with your health if you don't go to bed early.
Some people will also have created weakness in their body because of staying up late, many times in their "party" life, and later paying for it with poorer health.
Even though you slept off the sleep deficit as soon as possible, you worked against nature, and your body.
You could even be someone who goes to sleep on time, but does not regularly exercise, but studies too much, and depletes the Spleen Energy too much, by over-thinking, and studying too late.
So, Remember to listen to grandma. She knows a lot of little things to keep you healthy!
Updated: May 13, 2016.