The Benefits of Walking Barefoot in Nature

Do you ever walk in the grass barefoot? Do you ever raise your face to accept the warmth of the sun, and feel shivers of energy throughout your being and down your limbs? Do you ever close your eyes and breathe in the smell of the dew on the grass and the briskness of the air?

I do. Besides the benefit of providing me with relaxation and an overwhelming sense of peace, there are actually scientifically proven benefits of spending time in nature, and specifically for walking on the grass with no shoes on. It seems like in the modern world, it is uncommon for most to make time each day to immerse themselves in nature. We are so dependent on our technological counterparts that we often forget to take in the trees, leaves and the breeze. Our modern lifestyle also includes heavily insulated rubber or plastic-soled shoes, which further disconnects us from connecting with the earth. Further, it’s to your benefit to consider why it’s important for your physical, mental, and spiritual health to connect with the earth and go shoeless from time to time (the more often, the better!)

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Some may call walking barefoot on the earth as ‘earthing’ or ‘grounding’ which was initially developed by Clint Ober, CEO of EarthFX Inc. As sensory beings, we are able to collect a lot of information about our environment through our feet when they are bare. We have a vast majority of different nerves and acupuncture points in our feet, and we tend to pick up free electrons from the earth’s surface. A lack of ‘grounding’ may even lead to “electron deficiency syndrome,” which is seen as a contributing factor of inflammation in the body. With that, inflammation is linked to major health disorders. Research indicates that “earthing” alters electrical activity in our brain, and boosts immunity along with other positive benefits.

The “earthing” theory can be understood like this: The earth has a negative charge, and when you connect with the bare ground, you absorb electrons from it. These electrons help rid of free radicals (unbalanced molecules that are missing an electron) in the body, of which can be connected to inflammation. It is also theorized that ‘grounding’ allows negatively charged electrons to increase the structure of water in your cells, according to Dr. Joseph Mercola. By enabling free electrons, it simulates an antioxidant effect in the body. These electrons help smooth the blood, speed up wound healing, and help treat autoimmune diseases, too. Earthing is connected to better sleep, tranquility, and glucose regulation (which reduced risk for diabetes). Physically, it improves cardiovascular health, helps oxygenate the blood, and remove toxins from the body. For ill individuals these effects can be major, and for someone of average health, higher energy is usually the outcome followed by this lifestyle practice.

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It is significant in helping you to have a more restful sleep. Grounding may normalize the day-night cortisol rhythm. In the year 2000, Clint Ober conducted a study consisting of people that suffered sleep disturbances due to their chronic joint pain. People in this study slept ‘grounded,’ which meant they slept on a mattress that was conducive to a wire connected to the ground outside. They reported relief from asthmatic and respiratory conditions, arthritis, PMS, etc.

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A study published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine displayed a link between a barefoot connection with the earth and reduced blood viscosity. The study begins by stating how cardiovascular disease is the number one killer in the U.S., and many times it has to do with blood viscosity in regards to hypertension and other specific heart related conditions.

Being able to enhance your health in such a simple way is something that should be taken advantage of on a daily basis. In the society we live in, it is too easy to be glued to our screens and tucked away in an air-conditioned office building, floors above Mother Earth. But it is so extremely important to make time to unplug, and to find a balance between work and taking care of our own health. Grounding seems to be one of the simplest interventions to prevent and help treat cardiovascular conditions.

With that, I would recommend to everyone to try to include some grounding exercises in their day to day life. Maybe during your lunch break you decide to sit on the grass with no shoes on, or you take advantage of some in-between time in your day. We have more of this than we realize because we typically spend it mindlessly scrolling through our social media platforms, and then claim we have no time left in the day. Everyone has a few spare moments here and there throughout the day, even the busiest of people. So take at least five minutes a day to start to just walk around barefoot in the grass, and then increase how much time a day you engage in this for. You may be surprised at how quickly your body will thank you.

Check out this documentary about ‘Earthing’ to find out more information.

Xo, Susie