Have you ever thought to yourself, "Gee. If I can do this--whatever this might be--I could do anything. Unfortunately, if you have ever said that, chances are good that you have yet to discover exactly what "this" is. You and a lot of other people. Well, if you have ever said that to yourself, get ready to find it. It's fire walking, and despite thousands of years of people doing it, when most people are asked whether they could or would do it, there's a better than average chance that you would get a resounding "No" for an answer.
Prepare to change your mind. The truth is that firewalking has been practiced by people of different cultures around the world. The reasons for the practice are equally diverse. It is often used as a rite of passage, a test of strength and courage, as well as a proof of faith. More recently, however, firewalking is used as a team building exercise, an exercise of faith, confidence-building, a test of "mind over matter" and, as strange as it might seem, just for a fun activity.
Not to detract from the mystic behind the practice, but the truth is that scientists offer several explanations for how firewalking can be accomplished without participants being injured. First, firewalkers don't spend very much time on the embers. They keep moving, minimizing the time their feet are exposed to the heat. Second, firewalkers usually dip their feet in water prior to walking on the embers, which leads to the insulation of the feet. Third, when two bodies of different temperatures meet, the body of the higher temperature lowers, bringing them closer in temperature until they are separated or they meet at a temperature in between.
Not to dampen your enthusiasm to try a new activity, but it should be stressed that without an understanding of how firewalking is done, the activity can be very dangerous and open those who take part in it to be seriously harmed. It is necessary, as a result, that before you attempt to firewalk, you either get instruction from an expert or have some other source of guidance. Tony Robbins seminars include firewalking as an exercise in confidence building, along with instruction on how to perform it. There is also a institute in Hawaii, the Firewalking Institute of Research and Education (www.firewalking.com) where you can learn to fire walk, or if your medical insurance is paid up, even become a certified firewalking instructor.
Firewalking might sound scary, but once you get a taste of it, you're likely to be hooked for life.