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Despite what the name implies, firewalking does not entail walking among flames. Instead, the word firewalking refers to the act of walking on a bed of red-hot coals. Firewalking is done barefoot, with no special protection of any kind, and always on coals that are still glowing but no longer flaming.
To prepare an area for firewalking, a large bonfire is lit early in the afternoon and left to consume itself until all that remains is the coals. After the flames have died, the coals are spread out on a long thin line. Firewalking is always done at night so the glowing of the coals can be clearly seen by everybody.
Firewalking is practiced by fakirs, some branches of Buddhism, Native Americans, and Eastern Orthodox Christians in certain countries. Firewalking is sometimes part of motivational seminars, in which the "power of mind over body" is emphasized. The idea is that by preparing the mind and entering a special state of concentration, it becomes possible to avoid burns, even though logic indicates that it should happen.
Skeptics argue that there is nothing magical in firewalking, and give a series of practical explanations:
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