Firewalking is the act of walking barefoot over a 15-20ft long bed of hot wooden coals. A combination of pine, ash and oak is burnt and then broken down into a smooth red hot path of embers.
Q. Who can take part?
The event is open for anyone 16 years of age or over.
Q. What's the history of firewalking?
The oldest recorded firewalk took place in India over 3000 years ago and evidence of firewalking has been found on every continent except Antarctica. From the shamanic Hawaiian Kahunas walking over red hot lava to the healing ceremonies of the Kung Bushmen of the African Kalahari desert, the act of firewalking still forms a key religious and spiritual practice of indigenous people the world over.
Q. How hot is it?
During the course of the burn-down the temperature of the fire reaches over 1236° Fahrenheit and when it comes time to walk on the coals the fire lane will be burning at a core temperature of over 400-600° degrees Fahrenheit. The most important thing to note is you will not be walking over flames! The wood is burnt down to a bed of smooth embers before the walk takes place.
Q. What does it feel like?
The actual experience of firewalking seems to be completely subjective; some people report a pleasant warm sensation, some say it’s like ‘walking on snow’ and others still say they can remember absolutely no sensation at all. If you have ever been abroad and stood on a hot beach you will have experienced more discomfort that walking on hot coals!
Q. How is it possible?
There are multiple theories as to why it is possible to firewalk without injury. On one hand we have the ‘Leidenfrost Effect’ which occurs when a cold wet object (the foot) contacts a hot dry object (the coals). The resulting water vapours form a barrier of steam and since steam is a relatively poor conductor of heat, the foot remains unharmed. On the other hand, is the more ‘esoteric’ / ‘spiritual’ explanation which is based upon the concepts of ‘heightened body energy’ and an enhanced state of consciousness. Regardless of your belief system, everyone has the innate ability to walk safely across hot coals without injury.
Q. Who will be teaching me?
The firewalk will be run by an experienced training and events company Time4Change (T4C). For over three decades our instructor Cliff Mann has safely guided thousands of people over hot coals. Cliff and his team have appeared on Discovery Health, The House of Fear and Record Breakers where he broke the European firewalk record for distance. In addition to this, Cliff is a fully qualified hypnotherapist, veteran martial arts instructor and Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) Master Practitioner.
Q. How do I learn to Firewalk?
Each participant will take part in a mandatory training seminar before being given the opportunity to ‘feel the fear and do it anyway’. The training will be a combination of humour, metaphor, experience and experiment but most importantly, it will be lots of fun! We draw upon a wide range of disciplines and practices such as motivational psychology, NLP and the martial arts. There is no illusion or ‘trick’ to firewalking. No special materials are used, nor are you hypnotised or put into any altered state of consciousness.
Q. What happens if I stop half-way?
No-one has ever to our knowledge stopped halfway through a firewalk. The fact that you will be in an energised state when you take part does not in anyway take your attention away from the task in hand. In-keeping with T4C’s strict health and safety guidelines, they will ensure at least two members of their team are constantly monitoring the lane as you cross.
Q. Has anyone ever been injured?
Provided that training is carried out adequately and by an experienced instructor, firewalking is perfectly safe. However, injuries can occur should participants fail to adhere to instructions. T4C follow strict health and safety guidelines and as a result of their training methods and attention to detail, no-one has ever suffered an injury while crossing a fire lane. They are proud of their 100% safety record and take every precaution to ensure it remains this way.
Q. Has anyone declined to walk?
Firewalking is a courageous undertaking. In the heat of the moment, all of your survival instincts will tell you to stay put; to stay where it’s safe. But, with training from our experts and an enthusiastic crowd behind you, we’re certain you WILL rise to the challenge. We suggest to those who are unsure as to whether they will actually walk to leave that decision until after the training. The training is as important as the actual firewalk itself and the skills and attitudes you will learn in the seminar are tools which last a lifetime. Out of the thousands of people who have been taught the art of firewalking by T4C; not a single person has declined to walk across fire when given the opportunity to do so. Another 100% record of success they are very proud of.
Q. How will I benefit?
The number of people who say Firewalking has transformed their lives is astonishing. When an individual firewalks, they experience an increased awareness of how to achieve goals and they develop an enhanced view of the potential to succeed. The positive belief systems adopted during a firewalk seminar are similar to those learnt in our Activate your Life – Affected by Cancer Seminars. The skills you will learn are applicable to all areas of life where fear and doubt can prevent you from becoming the person they are truly capable of being. You may benefit from these sessions if you are having difficulty with unwelcome thoughts, panic, anxiety, low self-confidence and lack of motivation.
Q. What do I wear/bring?
Casual clothing is fine as long as your trousers can be rolled up and there is no obstacle to removing your socks. Wet wipes are a good idea afterwards to wipe any soot off your feet. You can also bring along any sponsorship money you have raised, as well as your sponsorship forms, to save you posting them to us later.
Alcohol and prescribed drugs policy
Drinking alcohol is not permitted before the event and anyone who appears to be intoxicated will be prevented from taking part. If you are taking prescribed medication you are unsure about, please refer to your local GP for advice. Feel free to celebrate your achievements with a glass of fizz AFTER your walk!