Do you remember the last time you ran barefoot through a field, or laid in the grass to look up at the clouds? What about the last time you slipped off your sandals and got sand between your toes? In the field of health, this type of activity is known as “earthing”. Earthing involves placing your bare feet in sand, grass, and even mud. It can be messy but it feels good. And has recently been shown to be good for your health.
The Benefits of Earthing
• Improved quality of sleep
• Reduced inflammation and chronic pain
• Regulation of hormones such as cortisol for stress reduction
• Restored balance between the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous system
• Improved energy and overall sense of wellbeing
All that can be done by just kicking off your shoes? The simple answer is, yes! Earthing works by connecting you to the healing energies of the ground thereby neutralizing free radicals and reducing chronic inflammation in the body. Sounds a bit farfetched, but it works!
How Earthing Works
From your cells to your nerves, trillions of electrical impulses are being emitted in your body every minute. All your movement, thoughts, behaviors and actions are powered by these impulses. The Earth itself is also electrically charged, meaning when you, a bioelectrical human being, makes direct contact with the ground, you are absorbing a steady flow of electrons into your body. These electrons have an antioxidant effect which helps restore your body’s natural balance. Even short periods of time engaging in this activity yield significant health benefits, whether it is on sand, rock, dirt or grass.
Unfortunately, not enough people are benefitting from this simple practice. The biggest reason for this is due to the clothes and shoes we wear. Shoes inhibit the natural flow of electrons. You see, earth’s natural elements, along with your body, are very good electrical conductors. However, materials such as rubber, leather, plastic and polyester – which are in the majority of the apparel we wear– are not. This prevents us from having direct contact with the Earth’s natural healing properties.
Why Practice Earthing?
Exposure to “electromagnetic pollution” or “dirty electricity” can have varying adverse effects on different people, yet in the short term is most known for disrupting sleep patterns, reducing concentration, and disrupting the body’s natural electron balance. By attempting to reduce exposure to such fields, and by regularly reconnecting with the Earth’s own electromagnetic field, we may be able to reduce and even reverse these adverse effects.
Walking barefoot in the great outdoors also provides the added benefit of reflexology. Reflexology is a technique based on the theory that specific pressure points on the bottoms of our feet relate to specific organs and glands in the body. Stimulating those points promotes health in those organs and glands via the body’s energetic pathways. By walking on uneven grounds and changing textures of the earth’s ground, our feet are being kneaded and stimulated which in itself has stress-reducing and restorative properties.
Earthing and Exercise
You can incorporate earthing to your weekly exercise routine by working out barefoot outdoors (weather permitting, not so good for some of us in the cold Canadian months). Not only are you getting the benefit of physical activity, but you are also getting adequate vitamin D levels from the sun, and restoring your body’s natural electron balance. Think to traditional yoga or tai-chi which are strongly encouraged to be done outdoors. What a rejuvenating way to spend a summer afternoon!
The practice of earthing may be one of the most overlooked factors in holistic health. We may be nourishing our bodies with whole foods, exercising daily, however when energy through earthing is restored, many people report significant improvement in a wide range of ailments. Kick off the shoes and get to it!