Here’s Why You Probably Shouldn’t Be Wearing Shoes Right Now
By: Georgina Berbari
The other day, my brother got mad at me for wearing shoes too often. “You’re making yourself sick,” he said sternly, proceeding to send me seven different links on the benefits of earthing. Frankly, at first, I was both annoyed and confused. Was he subtly insulting my shoe choice? Also, what’s so healthy about being barefoot all the time?
I was assuaged after reading through some of the information he sent me and learning about Earthing’s therapeutically grounding effects. I realized it had nothing to do with my potentially lacking shoe-game. Rather, Earthing (sometimes called grounding) is a practice that realigns one’s electrical energy by reconnecting them to the earth.
Earthing.com elegantly describes the practice of grounding as follows: “Just as the sun gives us warmth and vitamin D, the Earth underfoot gives us food and water, a surface to walk, sit, stand, play, and build on, and something you never, ever thought about—an eternal, natural, and gentle energy.”
The science-backed benefits of Earthing
The central theory surrounding Earthing is that it affects the living matrix, or the central connector between living cells. Within the matrix exists electrical conductivity: This electricity acts similar to antioxidants by functioning as an immune system defense.
Findings published in the Journal of Inflammation Research postulate that through Earthing — or any activity in which your bare feet/skin come in contact with the earth — the natural defenses of the body can be restored. Various studies have cited Earthing’s ability to improve chronic fatigue, chronic pain, sleep disorders, anxiety/depression, and cardiovascular disease. Further research is needed in order to confirm these benefits, however, there’s little harm in simply reconnecting to nature — all the more reason to give Earthing a try.
How to begin Earthing yourself
There are many ways to practice Earthing; in each, the individual is reconnecting themselves with the Earth. “The simplest and most natural method of grounding is to go outdoors and place your bare feet and hands directly on the earth—many people choose to go for a barefoot walk in the park or on the beach,” Earthing-movement leader Clinton Ober told Goop. “It takes at least a half an hour of exposure to access significant health benefits, so I recommend a minimum of thirty minutes of barefoot time outdoors daily, if possible.”
Sit, stand, lay or walk on grass, sand, or dirt, for at least half an hour. During this, breathe deeply inwards and exhale slowly, intentionally outwards. Focus on being; nothing else. Afterwards, note how your mood has changed, if at all. Ober noted that when he first started grounding consistently, the first noticeable effect was that he slept much better.
If you can’t get outside, that’s OK too. Earthing indoor products are just as effective as outdoor grounding. From Grounding Shoes to Pillows, to Wristbands, Sheets or Mats – there is an accessible Earthing product to suit each person’s lifestyle and needs.
However you choose to implement Earthing in your own life, remember that you are performing the vital act of nourishing your living matrix — the very fabric of your body. Go in with the intention of honoring, revering both your body and nature’s gifts. Something as simply powerful as contact with the Earth’s surface – the “battery” for all planetary life – is one of the most nurturing things you can do for your body.
Photos by: Aimee Auguin