Mind over mat­ter or sim­ple physics?

The Peterborough Evening Telegraph - - NEWS -

FIRE­WALK­ING has been prac­tised by peo­ple and cul­tures across the world, with the ear­li­est known ref­er­ence dat­ing back to 1,200 BC.

It is of­ten used as a rite of pas­sage, as a test of strength and courage, or in re­li­gion as a test of one’s faith.

To­day, it is of­ten used in cor­po­rate and team-build­ing sem­i­nars and self-help work­shops as a con­fi­dence­build­ing ex­er­cise.

It is of­ten im­plied that the feat re­quires su­per­nat­u­ral force or the in­di­vid­ual’s abil­ity to fo­cus on ‘mind over mat­ter’, but mod­ern physics has at­tempted to ex­plain the phe­nom­e­non by claim­ing the foot is not in con­tact with the em­bers long enough to in­duce a burn, com­bined with the fact that coal is not a very good con­duc­tor of heat.

An­other phys­i­cal ex­pla­na­tion is that un­der re­laxed men­tal con­di­tions, blood flow­ing through the feet can trans­port the heat of the coal away quickly enough to pre­vent burn­ing.

In this case, be­lief in a higher power or con­fi­dence in a the­ory is the fac­tor in­duc­ing the nec­es­sary re­lax­ation for the cool­ing process to func­tion.

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