A Breakthrough in Treatment, Training and Living an Anti-Aging Lifestyle. This presentation was given at the Second World Congress of Anti-aging and Regenerative Medicine, Mexico City, Mexico on February 4-6, 2011


Running, as decades of studies have shown, is one of the best ways for your patients to put distance between themselves and the aging process. The medical quandary, though, has been determining for mature patients when the physical demands of running – the wear and tear on bone and joints -- outweigh the enormous anti-aging benefits. Many physicians err on the side of caution, supportive footwear, orthotics and even prematurely advising patients to stop running.


Firstly, let’s quickly review the enormity of the evidence helping to define regular running as a key anti-aging tool.

In short, it reduces the risks of fatal diseases in elderly people by 50 percent and increases quality of life by 16 years, according to research at Stanford University Medical Center. A 1984 study at the Stanford University School of Medicine, led by James Fries, MD and his team of research colleagues enlisted 538 runners, all at the age of 50 and above, and a similar group of non-runners. It found running reduces the risk not only of heart disease, but also delays cancer and neurological diseases such as Alzheimer’s.

Running strengthens bones to prevent osteoporosis in women and strengthens muscles to prevent muscle and bone loss, a common issue for aging men and women. Running has been proven to burn calories – strengthening the heart and lowering blood pressure – and increases mental sharpness, making you more alert. It makes you happier and the release of endorphins provides a feeling of euphoria. It can decrease memory loss in elderly people.

Unfortunately, these astonishing benefits are enjoyed by only a relative handful of patients who could be receiving them. Why? Because many adult patients cannot run because of arthritic conditions that are contraindicated for running.

Why cant as many adults run as they did in their youth? Why can children run barefoot and many adults cannot? Is the inability to run barefoot the first sigh of aging In this presentation I will provide evidence that it is.

The Harvard Barefoot vs Shod study published in Nature Magazine in 2010 allowed us to take a fresh and detailed look at the situation. The Harvard research (Lieberman et al., 2010) indicated that humans were able to run comfortably and safely when barefoot or in minimal footwear by landing with a flat foot (midfoot strike) or by landing on the ball of the foot before bringing down the heel (forefoot strike). Approximately 75% of shod runners heel strike. Lieberman et al., 2010) Their research indicated that habitual barefoot runners use all kinds of landings, but predominantly forefoot strike, even when going downhill.

In heel striking, the collision of the heel with the ground generates a significant impact transient, a nearly instantaneous, large force. This force sends a shock wave up through the body via the skeletal system. In forefoot striking, the collision of the forefoot with the ground generates a very minimal impact force with no impact transient.

Are running shoes healthy for us? Is any binding or motion-altering device healthy for us while exercising and specifically running?

We can initiate a change in this situation immediately by reevaluating the current standard of care.

Consider this: progressive regenerative medicine and anti-aging medicine is defined as the earliest detection, intervention and prevention of age-related diseases. The current standard of care only requires doctors to do evaluations of musculoskeletal systems when patients present with signs and symptoms. Anti-aging medicine exceeds this standard by practicing a form of medicine aimed at improving patients’ performance to the Olympic level for their age group.

Now, let’s breakdown what is addressed when assessing running as a medical tool, from an anti-aging perspective.

Allow me to a new, innovative way to run, barefoot. I contend that this is the optimal way to run for an anti-aging lifestyle. If footwear binds the human foot what about the weakness that it has caused by the time we are in our 30s, 40s and later years? By this age the average human has stepped over 100,000,000 steps with a binding device on their feet. My clinical findings suggest that in these years the incidence of reduced joint play or locking of key joints in the foot and kinematic chain that do not allow the mass to be absorbed safely into the human foot resulting in higher impacts to the body.

In my presentation I will outline a treatment, rehab and training approach to release the human spring mechanism so it can function as it did in our youth absorbing the impacts of forces in running.

TAKING A LEAP FORWARD WITH THIS NEW APPROACH TO TRAINING FOR RUNNING BAREFOOT OR SHOD THAT I AM ABOUT TO EXPOSE YOU TO - Performance running demands the combination of two types of strength defined as ‘absolute’ and ‘spring’ strength. A loss of either, makes running more risky, more stressful and damaging to the joints rather than more healthy. In short without both training regimes running becomes another tool to accelerate aging by way of a breakdown of the spring mechanism leading to abnormal movement patterns, the stress and strain, wear and tear, inflammation and every disease linked with inflammation aside from the pain.

Absolute strength has been addressed in studies and in clinical practice. We educate and coach our patients in the practice of resistance exercises to increase absolute strength of the weight bearing joints, thus improving general running ability. The development of spring strength is of paramount concern for athletes and their coaches to improve performance in running as it impacts speed, quickness, balance, agility and coordination, and is essential for safe directional changes, stopping and starting.

Spring strength training is called plyometrics and it’s required for safe and effective running biomechanics.

However few physicians understand the concepts of spring strength and plyometric training. In fact physicians commonly advise against this form of exercise as they feel it creates too much shock to the skeleton. Some fear it may even contribute to premature aging through the wear and tear theory. But running and spring training performed with a properly prepared spring mechanism and sound biomechanics do not damage joints. (Note also: research shows that people who run regularly and those who don’t run at all have the same risks of developing osteoarthritis).

Spring strength improves the efficiency of walking and running. Having a finely-tuned spring mechanism acts as a shock absorber to better protect the skeleton from stress and strain and potential wear and tear, inflammation and pain. A healthy spring mechanism can recycle more natural energy back into the walking and running effort.

In assessing patients, it is essential for physicians to employ specific testing to determine the exact level of absolute AND spring strength. This is pivotal in evaluating when it is safe for a patient to go from walking to jogging, running to sprinting and even jump training. After all, as speeds increase from walking to running, forces increase from one times body weight to five times bodyweight. Stepping up to advanced plyometric jump training increases the force to ten times bodyweight.

In this presentation I will clearly define absolute and spring strength, outline the differences between them and review what causes decreases in strength. Crucially, I’ll demonstrate new and innovative orthopedic testing methods I have developed for physicians to more accurately determine patients’ levels of absolute and spring strength through the incremental increased forces of standing (1x bodyweight), walking (1 - 2x bodyweight), running (3 – 5x bodyweight), sprinting (4 – 5x bodyweight), and jumping (estimated up to 10x bodyweight).

From that base, I’ll present new and innovative treatment, rehabilitation and training approaches to prepare your patients for running. Via video demonstrations, you’ll learn how to release the spring mechanism back into the gait courtesy of a new approach developed at Team Doctors and you’ll witness new exercise methods, which are performed barefoot to increase absolute strength and spring strength safely. We’ll also discuss lightening the load on the spring mechanism through proper diet and counseling.

Some people live to run. We all should be running – to live, for life.



Want to slow the aging process? Walk and even run barefoot.

Internationally renown lecturer and celebrity chiropractic physician Dr. James Stoxen ACA has some invaluable advice: take off your shoes when you run!

Chicago-based Dr. Stoxen, also known as the Barefoot Running Doctor, will focus on detailing how footwear accelerates the aging process when he addresses the Academia Americana De Medicina Anti-Envejecimiento, Segundo Congreso A4M Mexico at Congress Unit Medical Center Siglo XXI in Mexico City (Sept 4-6) a4m-mexico.com/

Over 20 years, during the course of developing the Stoxen Human Spring Approach™ -- a treatment and training regime to rectify and prevent musculoskeletal damage and restore peak biomechanic performance -- Dr. Stoxen has been one of the most vocal global advocates of the benefits of barefoot exercise namely barefoot running.

Recent studies, including work into the biomechanics of foot strikes at Harvard University’s Skeletal Biology Lab, has added further weight to Dr. Stoxen’s extensively tested contention that the daily restriction of footwear as a binding device weakens the supportive structures of the foot often triggering a domino effect in our body that has a devastating impact.

Based on the laws of physics & engineering and served with a healthy portion of common sense, Dr. Stoxen has, to much acclaim, outlined his Human Spring Theory to more than 50,000 medical physicians and scientists from 60 countries at ACME medical conferences in recent years, including the Royal College of Physicians in London, the SENS Conference in Cambridge, England and the International Bangkok Congress on Anti-Aging and Regenerative Medicine (BCAARM).

Put simply, Dr. Stoxen views the body as giant spring. At its foundation is the spring in the arch of foot. Should that lock, as is common, the rest of the body (the spring system) is hauled out of alignment, leading to abnormalities in movement, strain on muscles, joints and bones and wear and tear that promotes inflammation, the single biggest accelerant in aging.

Footwear, as a binding device, restricts motion and promotes rather than prevents locking of the spring mechanism.

From Barefoot to Bedridden (The Current Standard of Care)

Unfortunately, for millions, a lifetime of biomechanic evolution follows this path: barefoot play and running as a youth, to all-day shoes as teens and adults, then motion control footwear and/or orthotics when the spring suspension system weakens and the human spring locks. Next orthopedic shoes are medically necessary to walk pain free; preceding a cane, a walker and quite often a wheelchair and/or the prospect of being bedridden.

The current standard of care and the bulk of fitness and health instruction support perpetuate this downward spiral. Dr Stoxen’s approach reverses it.

The benefits of shedding shoes as often as feasible, or at the very least, ensuring correctly fitted footwear is worn, are enormous -- life-changing. What’s more, exercising without shoes, multiplies this effect.

Dr Stoxen was one of the first doctors to lecture at an ACME accredited medical conference on barefoot running and in June, 2010, at age 48, opted to take up running -- sans shoes -- to demonstrate its long-term benefits.

Hitting the streets of Chicago, the Barefoot Running Doctor ran 350 miles and contested three 10K races barefoot in 2010 noticing a major improvement in his overall health and no pain in any area of his body. His goal is to run a half marathon and possibly a barefoot marathon in 2011.

For more information please contact Dr James Stoxen DC

312 375 7303 Mobile
773 735 5200 Office

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