How long has Tony been doing the firewalk at Unleash the Power Within events?
The firewalk has been part of Unleash the Power Within for over 35 years. Tony first learned to firewalk in 1983 and soon incorporated the firewalk into his seminars as a “powerful expression of moving beyond one’s fears.”
What is the purpose of the firewalk? What benefits do people get from the experience?
Firewalking isn’t just a mind-over-matter process. Walking over hot coals is a symbolic experience that gives people the courage to take on any challenge. After all, if they can make it through the fire, they can make it through anything.
Many of the people who have completed the firewalk report a renewed certainty and self-assuredness that carries into every aspect of their lives. While their circumstances vary widely, participants report less stress and anxiety after the firewalk, having found the inner strength to address what’s holding them back in their career, their health or in their relationships.
The lesson of the firewalk is not about the fire, but about what it takes to get through it—which can be applied to any aspect of a person’s life.
Where did the idea of the firewalk originate? Do other groups offer it as part of personal development courses?
Firewalking has been practiced by people from different cultures for thousands of years. The earliest known firewalk happened in present-day India in 1200 B.C.
Firewalking is a popular personal development practice, though we do not know of any other firewalk that is done in this kind of context, that is, a multi-day event with specific curriculum and experiences designed to increase psychological self-awareness, improve health and vitality, uncover the path to financial freedom and create stronger personal bonds.
Are attendees required to do the firewalk? Is there an alternative for those people who don’t want to do the walk?
Attendees are not required to do the firewalk; participation is 100% voluntary. If an attendee chooses not to do the firewalk, they are welcome to stay at the venue and participate by encouraging others as they do so.
What are the risks of the firewalk?
There are inherent risks to firewalking, which are detailed for all seminar attendees. Failure to adhere to the rules of the event, including standing in one spot too long or attempting to run across the coals, can increase the odds of blisters and burning.
The vast majority of participants—more than 99%—experience no significant side effects from the firewalk.
What support and instructions are provided to participants?
Participants are extensively prepped during the seminar, on firewalking, and how to successfully get through the firewalk.
What kinds of side effects are most common?
The most common side effect of the firewalk is hot spots, similar to a sunburn on the soles of the feet, which can be treated with aloe vera. Fewer than 1% of participants experience hot spots or blisters as part of the firewalk and their symptoms are typically resolved in one or two days.
Why do participants scream and yell before, during and after the firewalk?
The energetic and supportive group environment is critical to helping participants get and stay in their peak “state” to complete the firewalk. Vocalizing their support through chants and yells helps carry participants through the exercise.
Are there any medical treatments that are done on-site to prevent blisters?
After doing the firewalk, attendees will have their feet hosed down to ensure that hot coals haven’t stuck to their toes, as those can cause hot spots or blisters. If participants do experience the hot spots or blisters, there is a trained team on site to evaluate and treat.
Have you changed any procedures for the firewalk over the years?
The firewalk has remained largely unchanged since it was first introduced at Unleash the Power Within, though we have had to expand the venue to accommodate growing crowds at the seminar. We now also explicitly instruct attendees to put away their mobile devices, including taking photos or videos, until after their firewalk is complete.