Ever since I was a kid I have felt pulled to be outside barefoot and I was never exactly sure why. I just knew that it felt really, really good to get my feet in the grass and connect with the earth.
After years of living my “shoe-free” lifestyle (much to my parents’ and husbands’ dismay) and now watching my daughter do the same, I was introduced to “Earthing.”
Earthing, or grounding, as it is often called, refers to being barefoot outside or in bare skin contact with the earth.
When I learned about this I thought: “Okay, great! I am not the only non-shoe wearing hippie out there!” (It’s always great to know you aren’t alone in your quirks, right?)
But then I wanted to know more. Why does it feel so good? Why do I often feel pulled to go put my feet in the grass, or the lake or the sand?
So I set out on a discovery mission to find answers.
The Earthing Theory
Basically, the earthing theory is that our bodies are meant to come into contact with the earth (a “grounding” force) on a regular basis. Positive electrons in the form of free radicals (ever heard of those guys?) can build up in our bodies. Direct contact with the ground balances this out as it is a negative grounding charge.
Our bodies and cells have electrical energy and especially with the high prevalence of electromagnetic waves, Wi-Fi and mobile phone waves, many of us have a high amount of positive electrons built up in our bodies.
Now, I am not a scientist, but seems legit to me! We ground things like wires and electrical outlets for the same reason.
The problem is that we rarely spend time in contact with the earth anymore. We wear rubber soled shoes, we don’t sleep outdoors like our ancestors did, we don’t rely on gardens and farms so our hands are not tending to the soil anymore.
In so many ways we live in complete disconnect from our planet. We live on earth without actually touching it. What’s that about?
Research is starting to show that getting back to our roots, literally, can have some really great effects on our health. Earthing has been shown to reduce inflammation, reduce chronic pain, improve sleep, increase energy, lower stress, improve blood flow, speed healing and so much more.
For me personally, I have found that in times of high stress or when I am just feeling out of sorts, being outside with my feet securely grounded in the soil seems to calm my spirit and bring me back down to a place of calm and peace. This is the very reason why I am always so drawn to leave the house without my shoes.
I have been, without even knowing it, gravitating towards a healing I didn’t even know existed.
So, are you ready to give it a try?
How To Tips
It is as easy as kicking off your shoes and walking outside! Of course, I would be remiss if I didn’t warn you to make sure you are earthing in a safe area. Your own yard is a great choice, since you have more control and knowledge about what may be there. If you don’t have a yard, find a clean park or beach and be sure to inspect the area for things like broken glass, trash and animal poo before ditching your shoes.
Once you have your tootsies safely grounded to the earth take a minute to breathe, to reflect and to feel the earth’s energy beneath you. We live on a pretty incredible planet and it is just buzzing with goodies it wants to gift to us. Take Advantage!
Ashley Black is a Certified Holistic Health Coach who studied at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition and currently runs a health coaching practice in Indiana. She works with clients who are looking for support in the areas of weight loss, freedom from emotional eating and creating balance in the areas of work, relationships, spiritual practice and health. You can learn more about her on her website and connect with her on Facebook.