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  • Writer's pictureIsabel Rowe

How One Doctor Is Tackling Mental Health Disorders by Revitalizing Feet

"I want to leave a legacy about how texture on the foot can be life-changing for someone's health," Dr. Emily Splichal told me during an interview about her foot care company, Naboso. "The pandemic changed things for many people. People are thinking more about longevity and preventive health care." That may be true, and Dr. Splichal claims that the answer is through our feet. She is striving to teach the world that foot stimulation can be the key to unlocking a more superb quality of life for everyone worldwide.


Who is this Foot Doctor?


Dr. Emily Splichal is a podiatrist and movement specialist. Her rebellious spirit was evident in

my time with her, and it resonates through her company's brand at Naboso. Dr. Splichal is flipping conventional Podiatric Medicine on its head by integrating a new approach based on sensory science. She's not keeping quiet about her breakthroughs; Dr. Splichal has been traveling the world with her unique approach to foot health. She has taught 20,000 professionals in 35 countries and quickly became a global foot care leader.


What stood out to me was the science emerging showing that stimulating specific points on the feet can influence the health of corresponding organs and bodily systems. It can promote healing and relaxation through neural pathways. Foot stimulation can help relieve anxiety, reduce stress, improve nervous system function, and even help victims of stroke and neurological disorders. By improving neurological function, humans can live longer, and Naboso can help. 


Dr. Splichal's Path to Discovery Started in Athletics.

Naboso's founding story follows a winding trail in the relentless pursuit of wellness through the science of touch and texture. Dr. Splichal embarked on this journey shortly after completing her doctoral residency. The year was 2008, and she was in the right place at the right time during the barefoot running boom. Her unique perspective on foot health, influenced by psychosomatics, breath work, and a health-fitness connection, positioned her to lead in foot health. 


Dr. Splichal's exploration into surface science and the profound effects of textured insoles on movement control and function led to groundbreaking research and the eventual creation of Naboso. Collaborating with engineers and consultants, she developed a barefoot training surface that resonated with users, particularly an MS patient who experienced significant breakthroughs. This success underscored the transformative power of texture on mechanoreception — the way mechanical stimuli affect the nervous system and brain — and solidified Dr. Splichal's reputation as the "Guru of Texture." 


Naboso Texture

Although not directly studying reflexology, Dr. Splichal acknowledges that reflexology and Naboso rely on many of the same principles. Naboso is a company that produces products for movement. Although fitness was the beginning, Naboso's future might be through its impact on mental health and longevity. To understand this more, we can look to the science behind foot stimulation and reflexology to see how the brain benefits.


The Science of Foot Stimulation and Reflexology


Reflexology is a therapy that stimulates points on the feet, hands, and ears that correspond to different parts of the body, including organs and the nervous system. The practice suggests stimulating these points leads to greater well-being, including mental health improvements. 


Foot stimulation can help reduce stress levels by inducing deep relaxation. Applying pressure to specific points is believed to stimulate the nervous system to reduce stress hormones, such as cortisol, and promote the release of endorphins, the body's natural painkillers and mood elevators. This can also enhance circulation and improve sleep.


Some studies suggest that this type of stimulation can be beneficial for people experiencing anxiety and depression. The therapy may help by promoting relaxation, improving mood, and alleviating the physical symptoms of anxiety and depression. The calming effect of foot stimulation was highlighted in the study: "Changes in The Mental Health Condition Among Elderly After Giving Reflexology Massage Intervention by Putri et al. (2023)." The article examined the impact of reflexology massage on the mental health conditions of older Americans, focusing on improvements in depression and anxiety levels. This study suggests that reflexology can be an effective intervention for enhancing mental health among older adults.


Pressure point therapy is the practice behind Naboso's science. Many of their products use texture to replicate some of the impacts of this type of therapy. To understand this better, we need to try on some spiky socks.


Naboso Products that Improve Mental Wellness.

For people who want to improve the way they move, feel, and live, Naboso provides the first-ever small nerve proprioceptive insoles and mats designed to stimulate the nervous system and enhance movement. Their line of textured socks, in-soles, and mats stimulate your feet and claim to improve wellness. She provides individual products or complete foot recovery kits. As an athlete myself, I wanted to be the judge of this.


Dr. Splichal graciously sent me a pair of socks, in-soles, and the new neuro ball. I love to walk, run, and lift, and my feet often pay the price. Living in Europe, I walk everywhere, and a good Sunday afternoon usually involves a 6-hour jaunt amongst old buildings, popping in and out of cafes. The experience is lovely, but I often rack up step-counter numbers above 30,000 steps by day's end. My problem is the recovery in the days that follow. I am not elderly by any stretch, but at 35, I feel more sore than in my twenties - I hate to admit it, but intentional recovery is becoming a big part of my life. Enter the Naboso in-soles and socks.


I went on my first weekend wander with the Naboso products, and the change was radical. I often wear converses walking in the city - I know fashion over function - and the in-soles left my feet feeling refreshed the next day. Usually, I step gingerly down the staircase on a Monday morning after a Sunday walkabout, but this past Monday was different. I quite literally felt a pep in my step, and I am never going back to life without Naboso. 


I found that my overall mood was better during the day. I was less tired in the afternoons and felt more balanced. I went online to see what people said about the Naboso products, and it clicked. If you read the reviews, people go crazy for their products. It is because they are a subtle change to a daily habit that makes significant shifts in well-being. There is one problem that Naboso faces now. More people need to learn about foot care!


The Future of Naboso

Naboso could be an excellent bet for customers and investors alike for two distinct reasons: the product and the founder. I have first-hand experience that socks, in-soles, and neuro balls deliver on their promises. The reviews online provide further evidence. Number two, Dr. Splichal is a force of nature; she is relentless and will see this foot care movement succeed. Her energy and spirit are evident from the moment you speak to her, and I don't see her stopping any time soon. As I wrote at the beginning of the article, her purpose is to leave a legacy worldwide about how sensory stimulation of the feet through texture can be life-changing for people seeking greater wellness.


As awareness grows about the interconnectedness of physical health and psycho-somatic well-being with the feet, products contributing to this harmony could gain significant attention. Innovations in foot care could evolve beyond immediate relief, focusing on long-term neurological benefits and even trauma recovery. This shift signifies a profound change in how we view wellness, recognizing that our feet’s well-being can reflect and affect our body’s overall state. As the industry moves forward, we can anticipate a wellness market in which footcare is not just about addressing discomfort but about enhancing life quality, promoting longevity, and supporting dramatic health improvements through textural stimulation.


Educating the World About Feet

Despite the groundbreaking nature of Naboso's products, the concept of stimulating the bottom of the foot for wellness needs to be more appreciated outside specialized circles. Dr. Splichal, a pioneer in the field and often considered a one-woman army, faces the monumental task of disseminating this knowledge among her peers in the medical and podiatric fields, fitness professionals, footwear companies, and, most importantly, the general public. Naboso's mission is about instilling a paradigm shift in how society perceives foot health as integral to overall well-being.


Dr. Splichal aims to amplify her voice and reach to overcome this hurdle. She will continue to travel and educate professionals across all wellness industries. She is a nurturing educator and advocate who can carry the torch of preventative foot care and champion the legacy of texture!


The Future is Through FDA Approval.

Parallel to the educational challenge is Naboso's ambitious endeavor to gain FDA approval for their textured socks, specifically designed to aid in the recovery of stroke patients. This initiative represents a pivotal shift in the company's trajectory from offering fitness and wellness products to providing medically endorsed solutions that can be integrated into hospital care protocols. The textured socks, developed after meticulous research and trials, are poised to offer a non-invasive, innovative approach to stimulate neurological recovery and enhance the quality of life for stroke survivors.


The path to FDA approval is fraught with complexities and stringent requirements. Yet, it is a journey that Naboso undertakes with determination and a clear vision. Achieving this milestone would validate the scientific foundation of Naboso's products and open doors to partnerships with healthcare institutions. Naboso could be on the cusp of mass institutional adoption with FDA approval, but this hasn’t always been the case. It was the Star Strong Capital and Naboso relationship that helped drive growth. Combine Dr. Emily’s ingenuity and drive with the Star Strong ethos and ecosystem; you have a recipe for success.


The Star Strong and Naboso Relationship

The partnership between Naboso and Star Strong Capital (SSC) traces back to a pivotal introduction by Digital Surgeons, a creative agency that recognized the synergy between the two entities. At the time, Naboso was in the throes of a dynamic marketing campaign and on the cusp of launching several innovative products. This period of strategic expansion was the perfect moment for SSC to step in. Their support, manifested through crucial funding, has been instrumental in Naboso’s journey over the last few years. This collaboration has not only enabled Naboso to scale operations significantly but also to penetrate new markets with confidence. The results speak volumes, with Naboso achieving an impressive 65% growth year over year since the inception of their partnership with SSC. This relationship underscores a shared vision for wellness innovation and the transformative potential of Naboso’s products in enhancing quality of life through foot stimulation.


Through the innovative application of textured products designed to stimulate the feet, Naboso aims to leave a revolutionary legacy in wellness. Dr. Splichal's vision—rooted in the science of sensory stimulation— could promise a future where quality of life is first found through our feet. Preventative foot care as a gateway to improved mental and physical health remains a largely uncharted territory, yet Dr. Splichal is undeterred. With plans to amplify her educational outreach and gain FDA approval for her products, she is determined to spread the science far and wide. We are in a new era in health and wellness, and it is clear that the market is ready for innovators like Naboso. The future of our health is quite literally underfoot.



The performance quoted represents past performance. Past performance does not guarantee future results.


Not all investments made by Star Strong Capital LLC should be expected to be profitable.


The information and opinions provided herein should not be taken as specific advice on the merits of any investment decision. Investors should make their own decisions based on such investors’ own review of publicly available information and should not rely on the information contained herein.



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