Also called “earthing” or “grounding,” the simple act of walking barefoot offers so many benefits that often get overlooked by mainstream society pushing the importance of wearing shoes at all times. According to Dr. Mercola, walking with your feet directly touching the soil allows your body to absorb negative electrons through the Earth, which helps to stabilize daily cortisol rhythm and create a balanced internal bioelectrical environment.
We have lost much of our connection with Mother Earth due to modern living, but making an effort to spend more time barefoot in nature can provide more benefits than you would think.
Here are 10 more health benefits of walking barefoot:
1. Walking barefoot can reduce pain and inflammation.
In this study, twelve people slept on a conductive mattress pad that mimicked the effects of sleeping directly on the Earth for eight weeks straight. All the participants complained of pain, stress, and trouble sleeping. After the test period, scientists discovered a considerable reduction in their cortisol levels, and all subjects reported that their pain, stress, and sleep troubles had either been greatly reduced or disappeared entirely.
2. It can help improve your sleep.
Another study in PubMed revealed that earthing influences physiologic processes and induces relaxation. The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine also reported that people who had been exposed to grounding had a better night’s sleep compared with those who did not walk barefoot regularly. Earthing is believed to stabilize circadian rhythms, which explains why many people experience a better night’s sleep.
3. Walking barefoot strengthens the immune system.
In this comprehensive report published in the Journal of Environmental and Public Health, researchers found that walking barefoot can actually decrease white blood cell count and increase red blood cell count, indicating a positive immune response.
4. Walking barefoot can reduce the risk of heart disease.
According to a study published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, earthing increases the surface charge of red blood cells. This results in the reduction of clumping in the cells, which therefore decreases blood thickness. Since high viscosity has been directly linked as a risk factor in heart disease, earthing therefore reduces the risk of heart disease significantly.
5. Walking barefoot regulates the nervous system, decreasing feelings of anxiety and stress.
Going outside in general can help regulate emotions and balance the nervous system, but letting your body come in contact with the soil directly decreases anxiety and stress even more. Since the Earth carries a negative charge with it, and we have a positive charge due to all the electromagnetic waves we come in contact with daily, spending time connecting with Earth is vital to your emotional and physical health.
6. It helps normalize biological rhythms.
In the book Earthing by Clint Ober, Dr. Stephen Sinatra MD, and Martin Zucker, the authors explain that “…the biological clock of the body needs to be continually calibrated by the pulse of the Earth that governs the circadian rhythms of all life on the planet.”
Earthing helps to reestablish regular sleeping patterns and resets the biological clock within us all. Environmental pollution, including lights, chemicals, and other factors, greatly affects our sleeping patterns, so coming in contact with Earth’s negatively charged electrons can help immensely with your body’s circadian rhythm and other biological processes.
7. Walking barefoot can even lessen the severity of menstrual cramps!
Because grounding reduces overall pain, it should come as no surprise that walking barefoot can ease menstrual cramps, as well. In a sense, all pain we feel within the body first begins in the mind and manifests as stress, which can greatly impact menstrual cramps. Going outdoors and letting your bare feet grace the Earth does wonders for the body, mind, and soul; many pain pills are sold specifically for women with cramps, but earthing provides the same benefits without the side effects, plus, it’s totally free.
8. Walking barefoot helps loosen tense muscles and even eliminate headaches.
A pilot study found that earthing can prevent delayed onset muscle soreness from occurring after engaging in physical exercise, so this can certainly apply to other situations that cause tense muscles, such as working at a desk all day, for example. Migraines have been linked in some instances to prolonged exposure to radiation, and since earthing literally grounds the body and reduces free radicals, it can alleviate headaches as well.
9. Earthing boosts energy levels.
This one might seem obvious by now, but it’s still worth mentioning. Any time you immerse yourself in the natural world, you pick up on the higher frequencies emitted from nature, and therefore increase your own energy levels. Exposure to modern society can definitely affect your vitality, so make sure to spend as much time in nature as you can!
10. It protects the body from dangerous EMF’s (electromagnetic fields).
As we have touched on previously, earthing can reduce the electromagnetic charge within the body and prevent you from the harmful effects of EMF’s. For more information on the incredible ways that walking barefoot can improve your health, consider reading the book Earthing: The Most Important Health Discovery Ever? In it, you will find studies and other information from doctors, an electrical engineer, and a cardiologist, as well as first hand stories about the benefits of earthing.