Grounding – The Science Behind Going Barefoot

“Because sometimes lying under trees and walking barefoot on the earth is the most spiritual thing you could ever do in your life “ Unknown

There’s nothing better than kicking off my shoes and socks, and walking around barefoot.  Be it a yoga studio, my home, my courtyard or patio, I just love the feeling all the feels under my feet.  Even in the midst of Midwest winters, I’ll go around my home with cold bare feet most of the time– artic blasts are always the exception.

Energy surrounds us.  We are bioelectrical beings living on an electrical planet. Your body operates electrically. All of your cells transmit multiple frequencies that run, for example, your heart, immune system, muscles, and nervous system. For safety and stability, most everything in the electrical world is connected to energy and/or bodies, whether it is an electric power plant or your refrigerator. That’s what the term “grounded” means.

In this day and age of technology, we don’t always connect to the ground or natural energy, rather we are disassociated from it.  For instance, lights instead of sun, texts instead of conversations, Skype instead of hugs, shoes instead of barefeet.  This isn’t diss against technology; I love my smart phone as much as the next person.

When you are feeling grounded, you are centered, solid, strong, balanced, less tense, less stressed – all true, right?  I suggest walking in the grass more often to help achieve groundedness.

Did you know there is a science, and data backed research on the goodness of walking barefooted?  This is the practice of earthing, or grounding. Benefits include –

· Improved sleep

· Increased energy

· Decreased levels of inflammation and pain

·  Decreased stress – allow for the the natural balance and rhythm of cortisol. Cortisol is connected to your body’s stress response and helps control blood sugar levels, regulates metabolism, helps reduce inflammation, and assists with memory formulation.

· Improved circulation, aiding in the delivery of oxygen and nutrients to the tissues in your body.

Let’s look at this another way – we’ve all taken a spring break type of trip.  One of the first things many of us do regardless of how tired we are is run to the beach, kick off the shoes, walk on the sand and into the water, and take a photo to post onto social media. Why?  Because it feels good– the warmth of the sand and usually the bite of the coldish water are invigorating, and we want to make all our friends jealous.  All true – and looking at the benefits of grounding – we can apply most of the research data points to that beach example.  Being barefoot helps us reconnect with nature, a conscious connection with the earth, and share the charge of the natural energy from the earth.

Do you go barefoot?  What is your experience the first time you kick off the shoes in the spring and take a walk?

Going barefoot is the gentlest way of walking and can symbolize a way of living – being authentic, vulnerable, sensitive to our surroundings. It’s the feeling of enjoying warm sand beneath our toes, or carefully making our way over sharp rocks in the darkness. It’s a way of living that has the lightest impact, removing the barrier between us and nature.” — Adele Coombs, “Barefoot Dreaming”

References:

Earthing: Health Implication of Reconnecting the Human Body to the Earth’s Surface Electrons– Gaeten Chevalier, Stephen Sinatra, James Oschman, Karol Sokal, Pawel Sokal

Grounding the Human Body: The Healing Benefits of Earthing  – Clint Ober and Gaetan Chevalier

Grounding after moderate eccentric contractions reduces muscle damage.
Brown R, Chevalier G, Hill M.

The effect of grounding the human body on mood. Chevalier G.

The biologic effects of grounding the human body during sleep as measured by cortisol levels and subjective reporting of sleep, pain, and stress. Ghaly M, Teplitz D.

Grounded– an independent documentary on going barefoot/grounding