“It’s all connected” is a phrase that can be applied appropriately in virtually any industry or any field of study, and health and medicine is no exception. Being part of something larger than yourself is good for you physically, psychologically, and spiritually. Given the importance of connection, it should come as no surprise that feeling disconnected from the natural world can be a catalyst for a whole range of different health problems. There’s a mountain of evidence (no pun intended) that people who spend time outdoors (enjoying green spaces and engaging in practices like hiking or “forest bathing”) are healthier than those who are cut off from the natural world.
The emerging science and practice of “grounding” (also known as earthing) takes the idea of connection with the earth to a whole new level. Read this article by my team at UpWellness to learn more about this intriguing practice….I have a feeling you’ll want to kick off your shoes after you read it.
Have you ever paid attention to the soothing feeling of walking barefoot on a nice bed of grass or the way cool sand feels under your toes? Chances are you may not even notice the benefit of the ancient practice of grounding.
Also known as earthing, research has shown that connecting to the earth’s natural energy, by walking barefoot on grass, dirt, rock, or sand can reduce chronic pain, fatigue, and a host of other ailments.
How does grounding work?
Planet earth has a mild negative charge. As we walk around, a positive charge builds up in our cells. When our great, great ancestors walked barefoot and slept on the ground, the positive charge did not build us as the earth’s charge canceled it out, leaving us neutral.
Nowadays, we wear shoes with rubber soles and sleep inside where we are insulated from the earth. The positive charge just keeps building up. This robs us of energy and can cause inflammation and disease.
Benefits of grounding
Absorbing the energy from the earth via grounding allows the body to move into a stage of repair which promotes wellbeing and vitality.
- Here are just some of the benefits of regular grounding:
- Squash inflammation
- Reduce or eliminate chronic pain
- Improve sleep and promote deeper sleep
- Increase energy
- Reduce stress and anxiety by cooling the nervous system
- Thin the blood and improve blood pressure and flow
- Ease muscle tension and headaches
- Normalize the body’s biological rhythms
- Balance hormones
- Reduce or eliminate jet lag
- Speed healing
- Accelerate recovery after physical activity
How to start earthing
The great thing about grounding is that it is so easy and can be done anywhere and requires no special equipment. Take off your shoes and go barefoot outside for at least 30 minutes. You can sit, stand, lay or walk on grass, sand, dirt or even concrete. All of these are conductive surfaces from which your body can draw the energy from the earth.
Keep in mind that wood, asphalt, sealed or painted concrete or vinyl will not work as they all block the flow of electrons because they are not conductive surfaces.
More benefits of time spent barefoot
There are even more benefits to taking your shoes off outdoors once in a while:
It’s a free reflexology session – The foot contains reflex points that go to every other part in our body. Each little rock or lump in the ground can stimulate these points promoting healing. It may hurt a bit at first, but this is because your feet need the stimulation. The pain will go away, and your feet and corresponding body parts/systems will be revived.
It’s feet yoga – Walking barefoot on the ground stretches and strengthens muscles, tendons, and ligaments not only in the feet but also in the ankles and calves. This can help prevent back and knee injuries and strains. In addition, walking barefoot works muscles not used when you are wearing shoes and strengthens your core while improving your posture and balance.
It clears your mind – When you walk barefoot outside, you have to pay attention to every step you take to avoid stepping on something sharp or dangerous. Having to pay attention to every step that you take, clears other thoughts from your mind and puts you in the present. This reduces stress and calms both mind and body.
Are you ready to get outside…barefoot?
-The UpWellness Team