The Art of Grounding: Have you ever walked barefoot? Then you have surely felt a direct connection with the earth below your feet.
“The human foot is a masterpiece of engineering and a work of art.” – Leonardo da Vinci
All of us walk barefoot almost every day in our own homes. Although we enjoyed walking barefoot on the grass as kids, as adults we can’t even think about going outside without our shoes.
But did you know going for a walk without your shoes can have surprising benefits? Also known as ‘grounding’ or ‘earthing’, the natural act of barefoot walking has numerous physical and mental health benefits that are widely sidelined by our society and the fashion industry.
The fact remains that only 20% of the global population wears shoes currently. In the western world, shoes are an important part of our culture and our lives. But when you take your shoes off and go outside barefoot for a stroll in the park or the beach, you feel a connection with nature that we always long for. The modern lifestyle has damaged our connection with the Earth’s energy leading to stress, anxiety, and illness.
Walking barefoot in dirt, grass, sand or even concrete is the remedy we need to reconnect with Mother Earth.
Why you should walk barefoot
“Feeling rooted in the earth is soothing to the body, and it is our connection to the earth that gives us our most basic sense of belonging, home, resilience, and safety.” – Jessica Moore
Grounding for only an hour every day can have a significant positive impact on your mind, body, and soul. When you walk on the ground barefoot and your feet touches the soil directly, your body absorbs negative electrons from the earth.
The negative ions help to balance the positive ions in our body and improve our health. It stabilizes our cortisol circadian rhythm to balance our internal bioelectrical environment. Moreover, as the pressure points in the feet are activated by walking barefoot, we feel a lot more energized. Studies have found that earthing positively alters the electrical activity in our brain which is gauged by electroencephalograms.
Research has also discovered that walking without shoes helps to boost immunity, glucose regulation, improve skin conductivity, reduce stress and anxiety, and check heart rate variability.
According to a study released in The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine in 2013, earthing also helps to improve the surface charge of red blood cells. This helps to lower blood cell clumping and decrease blood viscosity, reducing the chances of cardiovascular disease. The study also discovered that walking barefoot can regulate both the nervous systems and the endocrine.
Countering dirty electricity
“We are a child of nature so we must connect with nature in order to blossom into full manifestation.” – Wald Wassermann
Today we live in a world corrupted by electromagnetic waves that radiate from our beloved smartphone phone signals, WiFi, etc. This phenomenon is known as electromagnetic pollution or dirty electricity. The good news is the earth pregnant with electrons which can minimize the effects of electromagnetic pollution.
Grounding helps to neutralize the after-effects of exposure to disruptive fields like dirty electricity. When we walk barefoot, we can charge and vibrate the currents inside us and create a healthy balance within. As a result, it helps to enhance our moods and increase our energy allowing us to think clearly and live healthier.
Health benefits of grounding: ‘the art of walking barefoot’
“The foot feels the foot when it feels the ground.” – Gautama Buddha
Earthing or grounding in nature enables you to create direct contact with the earth which can have some significant therapeutic effects on your mind and body.
Here are 7 common health benefits of grounding: walking barefoot in your natural surroundings:
Damage to the cells in our body can cause inflammation which can lead to heart issues, aging, cancer, etc. Studies have found that electrons present in the earth have antioxidant effects that can heal our bodies from inflammation and related health issues. Connecting our body with the earth helps us to soak up the electrons present reducing inflammation, premature aging, and chronic disease.
2. Promotes better sleep
If you have trouble falling asleep or suffering from insomnia, then earthing can be an unlikely remedy. A study released by PubMed found that walking barefoot impacts our physiological processes and helps us relax better. It was also found that individuals who practice earthing regularly slept better compared to those who didn’t walk barefoot daily according to The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine. Earthing helps to stabilize circadian rhythms leading to better sleep.
“Soil is earth’s barefoot and when we walk barefoot, two barefoot touches each other with love!” – Mehmet Murat ildan
3. Improves immunity
Walking barefoot helps to stimulate our nervous system, boosts our immune system, and makes us less vulnerable to diseases. Studies have found that inflammatory-related diseases may occur due to a weak immune system which could be a result of disconnection from the earth. Grounding can help fix this. By absorbing electrons from the earth and donating it to the affected areas in need of immune support, we can prevent long-term health problems.
Another report by the Journal of Environmental and Public Health found that earthing can help to increase red blood cell count and decrease white blood cell count, signifying a decisive immune response. Moreover, if you have an auto-immune condition, then walking barefoot is highly recommended. Apart from increasing immunity, earthing also boosts oxygen levels in the body leading to reduced chronic pain.
4. Improves nervous system
When you walk barefoot even at home, it helps to activate certain acupuncture points in your foot. This stimulates your veins and nerves and boosts your nervous system. If you are diabetic and suffer from acute pain due to varicose veins then walking barefoot regularly can help you a lot.
5. Reduces stress and anxiety
“In a beautiful morning, walking barefoot to the work through the green fields with the company of the singing birds… and there you shall meet the real happiness!” – Mehmet Murat Ildan
Going outside and spending time in nature can itself help to alleviate your stress. Earthing in a park or a beach can greatly reduce your anxiety levels and regulate your emotions. By coming in direct contact with the soil on a daily basis, you can help treat depression, stress, and anxiety and improve your emotional health to a great extent.
6. Controls blood pressure
Research has found that earthing stimulates the nerves in our feet which releases stress and helps us relax mentally and physically. As walking barefoot reduces stress levels, your blood pressure gets stable and is controlled automatically.
7. Boosts energy level
If you’ve ever been out in nature, you must have felt a higher level of energy in your surroundings and within you. That’s why when you connect with nature directly by walking barefoot, you absorb the higher frequencies released by nature which boosts your own energy levels.
Exposure to technology and our modern world has significantly affected our vitality. Earthing in nature regularly can help us restore balance and keep our energy levels high during the day.
“You learn a lot when you’re barefoot. The first thing is every step you take is different.” – Michael Franti
Apart from these, there are many other benefits of walking barefoot and reconnecting with the earth. Some of these include:
- As certain pressure points on our feet are connected to the nerves in the eyes, earthing can help to improve overall eyesight.
- Women experiencing premenstrual syndrome and menstrual cramps can alleviate the severity of the issues by walking barefoot.
- By improving our nervous system, earthing helps to make our cardiovascular system healthier.
- Walking barefoot in nature helps us relax and be more mindful, and improve our focus and mood.
- The practice of regular earthing can also help to normalize biological circadian rhythms.
- It can also help to reduce headaches, tense muscles and even delayed onset muscle soreness usually experienced after physical exercise.
- Earthing can significantly help to protect our body from the harmful effects of electromagnetic fields or EMFs.
- Walking barefoot regularly can also help to improve our overall posture.
- It helps to neutralize free radicals in our body and decreases oxidative stress allowing us to recover from exhaustion, fatigue, and trauma.
- Barefoot walking can immediately affect our DNA in a positive way.
Kick-off your shoes & start walking
“Go walk barefoot on the grass
Really flow, just let it pass…
And dance in the wind,
So do it in your mind,
Such glory it is that the spirit lasts!”
– Ana Claudia Antunes
We are meant to ground. Humans were designed and born to walk barefoot. That is how we have evolved. There is nothing unnatural about earthing. In fact, this is the most natural thing to do. When you walk the way you are meant to walk, nature provides you with a lot of benefits that help you heal your body, mind, heart, and soul.
So stop thinking too much and get started. Go to your local park or beach or even your backyard and start walking barefoot. Start reconnecting with nature. Feel the vibrations. Feel the energy.
You will live a lot happier and healthier life.