Wellness dictionary

Little ABC for your spa-break questions ...

In their treatment discriptions, wellness hotels often use technical terms, which are hard to understand for potential guests. We have therefore collected and defined the most relevant terms in our small wellness ABC. A tip: Our wellness dictionary also supports word requests. You don't need to know the exact wording.

Bare foot path

Barefoot path - what does it mean?

The attraction of barefoot paths lies in the sensual experience of walking barefoot over various surfaces. Barefoot paths are both short paths and long distances. They serve the health, the conscious feeling with the feet as well as the strengthening of the attentive perception of nature. Our feet are the contact organ to the ground and they carry us through our everyday life. That is why it is a valuable experience to pay more attention to them in everyday life. 

Barefoot path - Which materials are used?

Popular materials for barefoot paths are:

  • tree discs
  • Fir cone
  • Bark mulch
  • Sawdust
  • Pebbles
  • Bog
  • Sand
  • Fine gravel
  • Boulders
  • Crossbars
  • Balancing strain
  • Water
  • Mussels
  • Humus
  • Grass

How long have barefoot paths been around in Germany?

Since the first barefoot path in Germany was opened in 1992 in Bad Sobernheim, the interest in this nature-loving leisure activity has been growing steadily. However, walking barefoot regularly is not only a sensual experience, it is also beneficial to general health.

Why using the barefoot path is so healthy

Due to the uneven surface caused by the different materials, the foot is activated much more when walking than on smooth ground or in shoes. These properties promote the strengthening of the feet and back.

Barefoot path - what is positively influenced?

Walking barefoot outdoors and on barefoot paths has many positive effects on the body. These include:

  • an increase in blood circulation 
  • in cool temperatures, the cold stimulus boosts heat production in the body. 
  • the use of the ideal rolling movement of the foot, which gives the back muscles decisive impulses to protect the vertebral joints and intervertebral discs 
  • strengthening of feet and back, as the unevenness demands a lot of mobility the muscle tension 
  • supporting the arch of the foot and can prevent foot damage 
  • an improvement of the psychological state of mind, as happiness hormones are increasingly produced by the stimuli on the soles of the feet 
  • that the calf muscle can fully develop its function as a blood pump and is therefore considered a healing method against venous disorders.

What types of barefoot paths are there?

Today there are barefoot paths of different types all over Germany. In general, three different types can be distinguished. 

  1. Footpaths: Footpaths are usually temporary and include different materials. The materials are usually spread out on fleece or placed in cardboard boxes. These paths are usually ten to 100 metres long.
  2. Barefoot trails: Barefoot trails usually cover a length of one to five kilometres and therefore have a pleasant ground section. The conditions of the region are taken into account in order to create a particularly authentic, nature-loving experience. Balancing over tree trunks or boulders is also often integrated into such routes. 
  3. Barefoot parks: Barefoot parks are often offered close to the spa facilities. This requires a longer route, which can be walked by those interested. Alternating floor coverings provide variety. There are often perception stations where participants can feel things with their hands. With such stations it is particularly important to maintain the park well so that dangers for the users can be excluded.

Related topics: Foot reflexology massage

Wellness-Experte Dr. Matthias Menschel Allgemeinmediziner und Naturheilverfahren

Matthias Menschel

Dr. med. Matthias Menschel, born in 1965, is a general medical practitioner and naturopathic physician. Since 2000 he has been the head physician at Menschel's Vitalresort in Bad Sobernheim. Buchinger fasting and Felke therapy are the focus of his medical activities. Further treatment focuses are: