Hot Psychology? [No harm done?]

Ivan Seeking

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Some see walking over hot coals as insanity. To others, it's a motivational technique that teaches people to pursue dreams. Either way, the offbeat activity is gaining popularity in Pinellas County, where there are now six certified firewalk instructors.
http://www.sptimes.com/2003/10/05/Tampabay/Hot_Psychology.shtml [Broken]
 
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A

Abnaki

Feet have about 250,000 sweat glands each . Certainly walking over hot coals ( especially the first time ) produces some kind of apprehension . This is only natural .

When devotees become proficient at fire walking , they can move on to spoon bending .
 
A

Abnaki

To test the validity of sweat gland secretion as the main factor in "firewalking " , try putting the hot burning embers of a cigarette on your tongue ..... then try putting it on the tip of your nose .
 

FZ+

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Actually, I think the simplest explanation of firewalking is the low thermal conductivity of the coals and ashes involved. So if you move fast enough, your feet don't even heat up. Try the same trick on hot metal plates and it won't work.
 
A

Abnaki

Excellent FZ , you might be correct . How 'bout a combination of speed and wetness ? Also , my example involved saliva not sweat and maybe a poor example . It was the only one similar that I had experience with .

The one guy in Ivan's link stated that the first time to transverse the coals was the easiest , but it got harder to accomplish after that . This is (imo) because the moisture barrier was diminished .
 
I watched a TV program (national geographic?) and read a book about firewalking few years ago. I remember there was a group of (30 If I Remember Correctly) scientists did a firewalk (in 1997 IIRC) since they all knew it wouldn't hurt them as long as they didn't stand still on the coal. It really needs courage and strength to take the first step. After watching the tv program, I thought if my friends and I got lost in a primitive forest and encountered a primitive society which forced us to walk over hot coal before letting go of us, I'd told my friends not to worry and I'd be the first one to walk over hot coals.

I remember about 2 weeks ago, I poured liquid nitrogen on my left hand intentionally. I knew pretty well it wouldn't hurt me but I did struggled for a while before I actually did that.

Edit:
it's a motivational technique that teaches people to pursue dreams
I think if those people who want to boost their confident by firewalking know it can be in fact explained by principles in thermodynamics, their sense of satisfaction won't be that much.
 
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Njorl

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The one guy in Ivan's link stated that the first time to transverse the coals was the easiest , but it got harder to accomplish after that . This is (imo) because the moisture barrier was diminished .
I wonder if the moisture barrier was reduced because he was not as nervous on the later attempts. The more nervous you are, the more you sweat.

Njorl
 

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