Mind over matter or simple physics?
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.