Our ancestors came into contact with the earth on a regular basis. Believe it or not, a physical connection to the soil can have dramatic effects on your health.
“Earthing” or “grounding” is the act of walking or running with bare feet across the soil, grass, or sand. Modern science supports what many of us intuitively know: connecting with the earth is good for us.
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Dr. Joseph Mercola offers a brief overview of earthing and its benefits.
Here are 11 great health benefits of why you should start going barefoot today.
Say goodnight to unsatisfying sleep
If you don’t get adequate rest, it has a negative effect on your health. People who engage in earthing or use an earthing mat notice pronounced improvements in their sleep patterns.
Dr. Martin Zucker offers testimonials and discusses scientific studies that support earthing as a means to improve sleep.
Related Article: How to Fall Asleep Fast: 35 Proven Hacks for Better Sleep
Set free radicals free!
The human body runs on energy just like everything else. Our bodies tend to maintain a positive electrical charge, which means that we are constantly in need of electrons to balance our bioenergetic system.
Having direct contact with the earth eliminates free radicals.
Promote your proprioception
Proprioception, your body’s ability to perceive where it is in space, is a critical component of balance. According to Dr. Joseph Mercola, allowing children to go barefoot improves their ability to maintain balance as adults.
Give your shoes the boot
Shoes can have a negative impact on your foot health. Your feet are your base. They contain about a quarter of the bones in your body, and they support all your weight when you are standing and walking.
Runners in developing countries, where footwear is not always accessible, have fewer foot and leg related injuries than runners in the U.S. Going barefoot also strengthens your arches, which tend to flatten when you wear flip-flops or other types of shoes on a consistent basis.
Since grounding distributes your weight evenly across your feet, your core becomes stronger. While I can’t promise that you’ll get six-pack abs from going barefoot,you will have better posture and reduce your risk of ankle injuries when you strengthen your core.
Improve circulation and thyroid health
When your whole foot is able to touch the ground, you’ll have better blood flow to your lower extremities. Improving your circulation not only makes you less likely to develop icy toes, but it can also decrease your risk for circulatory problems in your legs.
Varicose veins are caused in part by poor circulation. Grounding enables your blood cells to move more freely. Longevity and natural food guru, David Wolfe, demonstrates the dramatic effects of grounding on the blood and thyroid in this video.
You will notice that blood cells separate from one another after a 45-minute grounding exercise.
Getting out into nature helps you handle stress. The positive effects of walking outdoors can be enhanced if you choose to walk without shoes. Think about how much calmer you feel after a long walk on the beach.
Walking barefoot on the soil, sand, or grass activates your parasympathetic nervous system, which signals your body and mind to calm itself.
Ixnay on the x-rays
EMFs, or electromagnetic fields, are a regular part of the modern environment. The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences summarizes current information on the link between EMFs and health.
According to their findings, low-level EMFs such as those from cell phones and electrical appliances do not have adverse effects on health, but X-Rays, UV rays, and gamma rays can cause cancer. By having contact with the earth, we can neutralize some of the negative biological effects of these sources of ionizing radiation.
Nonetheless, we are bombarded with low-frequency, non-ionizing EMFs every day. Even though the only proven effect has been that it causes cells to heat up, it is nice to know that these low-frequency EMFs can also be neutralized.
Improve your immune response
As Oschman, Chevalier, and Brown discuss, new research indicates that grounding improves our immunity and decreases inflammation. Controlled experiments have demonstrated that grounding can lessen delayed-onset muscle soreness (DOMS) after an intense workout.
Grounded subjects exhibited lower inflammation than their ungrounded peers. Earthing also speeds healing times for other types of injuries.
Cut Chronic Pain
While we know that earthing can decrease DOMS, how do the results stack up for sufferers of chronic pain? The same principles that help your immune response can have benefits in the fight against chronic pain and disease.
Inflammation is at the root of most chronic diseases like cancer, diabetes, arthritis, lupus, etc. By decreasing inflammation, you can break the cycle that exacerbates these diseases.
Dr. Clinton Ober’s work on earthing has demonstrated substantial improvements in chronic pain patients through earthing.
End Adrenal Fatigue
Grounding reduces cortisol, a stress hormone. Cortisol naturally occurs in your body, but as with many aspects of your delicate system, it can make you feel bad if it exists in abnormal levels.
Extended periods of increased cortisol levels make you feel sluggish throughout the day, and they can even promote weight gain.
Kristen Michaelis describes how she used grounding to end her adrenal fatigue.
Pare down PMS
Many of us have dealt with the uncomfortable symptoms of premenstrual syndrome (PMS). By reducing inflammation, regulating cortisol, and decreasing stress, many women who ground experience a decline in the severity of their PMS symptoms.
The results of earthing
Science points to earthing as a solution to some of our most prevalent health concerns today such as inflammation, stress, and sleep deprivation. Many of the health benefits of grounding are interconnected.
If you improve one aspect of your health, then you will feel a ripple effect throughout your system. While grounding tools are available to purchase, you can test the benefits of earthing for free.
Why not give grounding a try? Shed your shoes and take a walk on the beach or a stroll through the grass.
P.S. For furthering research, I would highly recommending reading ” Born to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen” by Christopher McDougall.