When was the last time you ditched your shoes and walked barefoot on the Earth's surface?
This simple practice is a rare occurrence for most people in our society today.
Grounding, also referred to as earthing, is the simple act of connecting your barefoot to the earth.
The earth contains a vast supply of electrons, and these electrons are literally absorbed through your feet and provide your body with a number of health benefits.
Like sensible sun exposure, walking outside barefoot is an under-appreciated, health promoting activity that everyone can benefit from.
How Does Grounding Work
The practice of grounding was done by humans daily by default. We didn't wear rubber soled shoes and so our feet were constantly in contact with the earth's surface.
We are bioelectrical individuals. Our cellular processes are energized by electricity.
Various parts of our bodies including our heart and brain rely on electrical signals to function properly.
The earth is also an electrical organism that supplies a limitless amount of electrons.
When we make a direct connection to the earths surface, we are able to absorb an abundant supply of electrons through our feet since our skin acts as a conductor.
One of the reasons this benefits our bodies is that free radicals, which are harmful to our bodies and cause aging, are positively charged and the electrons we get from the earth are negatively charged so they are able to neutralize free radicals.
These free electrons that are absorbed by the earth are known to be some of the most potent antioxidants for our bodies.
The simple act of kicking off your shoes and walking barefoot on the grass, sand, or dirt can provide your body with amazing health benefits.
Health Benefits of Grounding
I know this may sound too good to be true, but the simple pleasure of walking barefoot on the earth has been proven to help improve your health in multiple ways!
1. Reduces Inflammation
Inflammation is the root cause for pain and many chronic diseases. It's thought to be the culprit to the majority of health issues people suffer from today.
Grounding has been shown to help reduce inflammation due to the free electrons that are absorbed during this practice. (1)
This can provide increased wound healing, better immune response, and much more!
2. Enhance Muscle Recovery
One study found grounding to help speed the rate of muscle recovery, thereby reducing your days of onset muscle soreness. (2)
This is especially important for athletes and individuals who workout since it will help your body recover faster and more effectively.
This is helpful for really everyone even if you don't do intense workouts since it can reduce muscle stiffness as well.
3. Improve Your Mood
The World Health Organization estimates that over 300 million people suffer from depression. It's the number 1 leading cause of disability in the world. (3)
Grounding has been shown to elevate mood and reduce symptoms of depression. (4)
4. Reduce Chronic Pain
Chronic pain is a debilitating problem and is very common. It's one of the leading reasons people become dependent on pharmaceutical pain drugs which has lead to an opioid addition epidemic in our country.
Well, the simple act of getting outside barefoot and going for a walk can help to reduce chronic pain likely due to the anti-inflammatory effects. (5)
Grounding can really help with rheumatoid arthritis and joint pain so make it a priority to get out for a walk barefoot today!
5. Improve Your Sleep and Boost Energy Levels
I don't know a single person who wouldn't like to have more energy. It's the underlying factor to achieving success in our personal/profession life and to feel great during the day.
A critical component to avoiding fatigue and having lots of energy is sleep!
Sleep doesn't get nearly enough attention, but I believe it to be one of the most under appreciated performance enhancing practice in our lives.
If you are not sleeping well, everything in your body begins to fall apart.
Grounding can help to balance cortisol, our bodies stress hormone, and lead to better sleep quality by normalizing your circadian rhythm. (6)
The electrical rhythm from the earth helps to set our bodies biological clock to regulate the hormones for good sleep.
If you ever have trouble falling asleep, staying asleep, or getting good quality deep sleep, grounding is a lifestyle practice you can implement to help resolve your sleep troubles.
This will not only improve your overall health, but also aid in weight loss, more energy, and better performance in everything you do!
How to Start Grounding
Connecting any part of your body to the earth will enable you to reap the benefits of grounding, but connecting the bottoms of your feet is the best way since experts believe certain points in your feet conduct the electric impulses from the ground best.
The ideal location to do this is walking on the beach since the sand is a soft, low impact surface and the salt water is a great conductor and can further enhance the grounding effects. You will also gain the benefits of negative ions, which are electrically charged particles found in the fresh air at the beach that can provide additional health benefits.
A local park, grassy meadow, or even your yard are all great places to start grounding. Anywhere that you can directly contact your feet with the ground will work.
Concrete and ceramic tiles can also conduct the electrical energy from the earth and work as long as they are not sealed or painted. any type of wood, rubber, plastic, or asphalt will block the effects of grounding.
There is really no such thing as too much grounding, so get barefoot on the native ground as often as you can. Any amount is better than none, but the research shows that 1 hour or more is ideal to reap the most benefits.
Combine other activities with your grounding to maximize the productivity so you have the time each day for this practice. A few simple examples are:
- Going for a walk barefoot
- Doing your workout barefoot outdoors at the park, beach, or your back yard
- Reading or listening to a book while your outdoors barefoot
- Listening to a podcast while barefoot outside
- Do some yard work or gardening
- Taking a phone call while grounding
- Doing phone related work tasks while barefoot outside
- Or simply relaxing and pondering life while your grounding
Getting your grounding naturally outdoors is always ideal, but when thats not a feasible option for your there are many grounding products you can purchase to reap the benefits indoors.
Several "grounding/earthing mats" have come out that look like yoga mats and when used correctly can provide your body with the benefits of grounding when working indoors or even when sleeping.
Grounding is completely free and can be done anywhere at anytime, so what are you waiting for? Get barefoot and go for a walk! You have nothing to lose and so much to gain!