No Shoes, No Problem
1.5 min read
There’s one thing that doctors agree on when it comes to wellness: inflammation is bad. Chronic inflammation is a huge factor for diseases like asthma, heart disease, and diabetes. But Mother Nature has our backs with an anti-inflammatory of her own—just kick off your shoes and put your bare feet on the ground.
“Grounding” or “earthing” is simply making direct contact with the earth to stabilize the electrical charge of the body to support normal functioning. Standing barefoot on grass, stone, or sand for 30 minutes or more allows for an exchange of electrons into our bodies from the surface of the earth. This in turn, decreases inflammation, pain associated with the inflammation, and even speeds up the healing process.
Since the invention of rubber soled shoes we've had less and less contact with the surface of the earth, which could explain the rise in inflammation-related diseases in the past half-century.
A few studies have used medical infrared imaging to visually demonstrate the effects of grounding on inflammation and pain. The patient below had a knee injury that caused chronic pain & inflammation for over 15 years. After just 30 minutes of grounding, the patient felt a reduction of pain. After 6 days of grounding, the patient's pain decreased by 50%. By 12 weeks, the pain had diminished 90% and the inflammation was gone.
Grounding has benefits beyond a reduction in inflammation as well: Decreased stress and anxiety. Better sleep. Faster recovery from jet lag. Better blood viscosity. Anti-aging. The list goes on.
Biologist, E.O. Wilson’s biophilia theory suggests that the desire to connect with nature runs in our blood. It’s in our DNA. It’s biological evolution. What better way to satisfy that connection, than to walk barefoot through the woods, through grass?
There are even opportunities for grounding in urban environments that feature enhanced placemaking. Find the nearest park or greenspace and kick your shoes off. Or volunteer with a local urban garden program and get your hands in the soil.
We all are striving for wellness in body and spirit. One simple thing we can do—walking barefoot on grass, soil, sand, or stone—can help us reconnect with nature and even decrease inflammation by drawing energy from the Earth. Feeling stressed, disconnected, or sleep-deprived? Ground yourself in a calming natural environment, like the woods, a park, or the beach. You may find yourself more centered and reconnected.