Barefoot Healing: Why Digging Your Toes Into The Grass Benefits Your Body
Earthing research shows that exposure to the ground provides “electrical nutrition” in the form of electrons. Could the natural solution to lowering stress, inflammation and pain be right under our feet?
The Greek philosopher Aristotle said, “In all things of nature, there is something of the marvellous.”
We live on a planet that’s vibrant and alive with natural energies and frequencies. Have you ever noticed a tiny tingling or subtle sensation of warmth rising up from your feet during a barefoot stroll along a sandy beach or a grassy field glistening with morning dew? That experience is what’s known as earthing.
In the electrical world, we refer to this as grounding (the connection of equipment or appliances to the earth to protect against shocks, shorts, and interference). When applied to humans, earthing naturally protects our body’s delicate bioelectrical circuitry against static electrical charges and interference. It also facilitates the reception of the earth’s free electrons, as well as its stabilising electrical signals and energy.
THE THEORY BEHIND EARTHING
The concept of earthing is based on the foundation that positive charges can build up in our body over time, so direct skin contact with the earth acts as a “ground” in the same way that it does for electrical outlets, thereby reducing the extra positive charges.
Our bodies are made up mostly of water and minerals, which in combination, are good conductors of electrons, enabling us to be electrically conductive. Maintaining contact with the ground allows our body to absorb and become charged with electrons from earth, which in turn reduces electrical imbalances in the body, stabilises its basic biological rhythms, and neutralise the oxidative free radicals involved in causing chronic inflammation and multiple diseases.
Earthing restores and maintains the human body’s most natural electrical state, which in turn promotes optimum health and functionality in daily life. The primordial natural energy emanating from the Earth is the ultimate anti-inflammatory and ultimate antiaging medicine.
– James L. Oschman, Ph.D ., author of Energy Medicine: The Scientific Basis and Energy Medicine in Therapeutics and Human Performance.
In the past, our ancestors mostly walked barefoot or used footwear made of animal hides. When they slept, they usually slept on the ground or laid on animal skins as sleeping mats. The direct contact enabled the earth’s abundant free electrons to enter the body, allowing it to equilibrate with the electrical potential of the earth, thereby stabilising the electrical environment of all organs, tissues and cells.
However, thanks to rapid technological advances and modern fast-paced lifestyles, majority of city-living folks who live in developed societies have lost touch with our “electrical roots”. Modern lifestyle has increasingly separated humans from the primordial flow of earth’s electrons. Think about it: when’s the last time you ditched your shoes and dug your toes into the sand or dirt? When did you last let the rich network of nerve endings on your bare feet, touch the ground without some form of insulation? For many of us, this doesn’t happen much anymore, if at all.
When we’re outdoors, we wear cushioned shoes or sandals made from insulated materials such as rubber or plastic. At work or at home, we sit on elevated sofas and sleep on raised beds… but we’re now learning that there might be more reason to start making barefoot walking a priority.
In our high tech society, connecting with the Earth has never been more critical to our health and well-being.
– Nicholas Perricone, M.D., author of Ageless Face, Ageless Mind
The practice of earthing (or grounding) has swept the holistic health scene by storm, and for good reason. A growing body of evidence suggests that contact with the earth – whether being barefoot outdoors or connected to grounded conductive systems indoors – may be a simple, yet profoundly effective environmental strategy against chronic stress, ANS dysfunction, inflammation, pain, poor sleep quality, and many common health disorders. According to a study published in the Journal of Environmental and Public Health, research done to date supports the concept that earthing the human body may be an essential element in the health equation, along with sunshine, clean air and water, nutritious food, and physical activity.
Pain reduction from sleeping grounded has been confirmed in a controlled study on DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness, which is felt most strongly 24 to 72 hours after exercising). Reduction in inflammation as a result of earthing has also been documented with infrared imaging, and with measurements of blood chemistry and white blood cell counts (grounding the body allows negatively charged antioxidant electrons from the earth to enter the body and neutralise positively charged free radicals at inflammation sites). Stress reduction too, has been confirmed with various measures showing rapid shifts in the ANS from sympathetic to parasympathetic dominance, improvement in heart rate variability, and normalisation of muscle tension. In fact, researchers have observed that just going barefoot for as little as half an hour daily, can significantly reduce pain and stress.
Earthing connects us to Nature and Nature is the ultimate source of health and healing.
– John Gray, Ph.D., author of Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus
If you feel disconnected from the earth, go barefoot outdoors for at least 30 minutes and feel the difference it makes to your pain or stress levels. Take some time to ground yourself by standing, sitting, or lying down on grass, or by taking a walk along the beach and digging your feet into the cool sand. If there’re no parks or beaches in your neighbourhood, simply take an outdoors walk barefoot on earthy surfaces or plain concrete (non-conductive surfaces such as wood, vinyl, asphalt and carpet won’t work).
The use of conductive systems and grounding pads while sleeping, working, or relaxing indoors may offer convenience if daily barefoot walking is not practical for you. But barefoot grounding outdoors costs nothing, yet, it can be greatly beneficial for your health by lowering oxidation stress, inflammation, and pain. So take off your shoes and socks, connect to Mother Earth, and feel her healing energy at work the next time you’re in pain or feel stressed.