Many people describe a sense of well-being when they walk barefoot on the earth. I know I do. I love the feeling I get walking on the beach where I live. The connection is so profound. Ancient, really. Throughout history, humans have walked, sat, stood and slept directly on the ground, oblivious that such simple contact transferred to them a natural electrical signal. Only recently has the knowledge and significance of this connection been explored by scientific experts in geophysics, biophysics, electrical engineering and medicine. And the verdict is this: grounding our feet to the earth is good for our health.
That’s because the earth is a negative electron machine. And our bodies – made up mostly of water and minerals – are excellent conductors of electrons. As long as there is direct skin contact with the ground, free electrons transfer easily up into and throughout the body. Disconnected from the earth, the body is vulnerable and prone to inflammation-related disease and accelerated aging – a startling theory just beginning to gather scientific momentum.
I learned a lot about this concept – and about our connective relationship with the planet we live on – from Clint Obers’ book, Earthing. Clint Ober was a pioneer in the cable industry who, for more than a decade, has pursued a one-man mission to awaken a skeptical world to a simple and forgotten fact: the earth contains a healing energy. And connecting ourselves to this energy is immediately beneficial and completely protects us against electromagnetic frequencies (EMFs) found in our cell phones, iPads, and laptop computers. It baffles me why more people aren’t talking about the potential negative effects of our constant exposure to EMFs. What can the effects of using these devices be in the future? And what can we do now to protect ourselves?
According to Clint Ober, the simplest action we can take is to take our shoes off. And take a walk outside. When we wear shoes – which most of us do, and most of the time we are cut off from the healing energy and connection of the earth. Think about how many days you go without ever touching toes to grass. The simple act of walking barefoot restores and maintains the body’s most natural electrical state, which in turn promotes optimum health and functionality in daily life – the ultimate anti-inflammatory/anti-aging medicine. One of the most prevalent aging theories is the inflammation theory – which states that our bodies (and skin) age due to chronic inflammation caused by diet (lack of omega 3’s), sleep deprivation, stress and…not being connected to the earth. Putting your feet on the ground actually reduces heat (inflammation) in the body and floods it with negative ions (proven through infrared imaging).
Traditional exercises such as yoga, tai chi and qigong have long been practiced without footwear. A central focus in Chinese practices involves “growing a root” and has to do with opening communication between the bottom of the feet and the earth. This process occurs through the “yong quan point” also known in acupuncture as the kidney 1 point.
Reconnecting to earth can also involve the use of conductive bed sheets or floor pads linked by wire to a ground-rod outside your house or office, or plugged into a wall outlet with a modern earth ground system (every house has it – it’s the third hole under the outlet). I am currently sleeping on a grounding sheet and love it. It looks just like an ordinary sheet (only half the size) with a cord that I plug into my wall outlet. What we are doing is akin to what is well-known in the electrical world as “grounding,” the common practice of connecting equipment and appliances to the Earth to protect against shocks, shorts and interference.
For me personally, just in walking the beach barefoot (as often as I can) and sleeping daily on a grounding sheet – I am definitely feeling a difference. Following are some of the benefits you can expect from grounding – and more are likely to emerge with ongoing studies:
- Diffuses the cause of inflammation and improves or eliminates the symptoms of many inflammation-related disorders
- Reduces or eliminates chronic pain
- Improves sleep in most cases
- Increases energy
- Relieves muscle tension and headaches
- Protects the body against health-disturbing environmental electromagnetic fields (EMFS)
‘Earthing’ is also helpful in reducing or eliminating jet lag. One of the first things I do after any long-haul flight is to toss my bags in my room, head outside and kick off my shoes (I’ve been known to take my shoes off in some pretty cold places).