Grounding or earthing is a freely available and accessible way to tap into the highly effective and natural medicine known as Earth’s restorative and incalculable energy. It can rebalance your body and restore you to greater levels of health and vitality. The best, most direct way to get grounded by the Earth is to go barefoot as often as you can. Going barefoot significantly slows the process of aging and offers a whole host of other remarkable benefits listed throughout this article.
There are other ways to get grounded if you prefer not to go barefoot such as sitting, working, or sleeping indoors while you’re connected to earthing devices that transfer the Earth's electrons from the ground into the body. But going barefoot not only takes advantage of Earth’s abundance of electrons, it properly and naturally adjusts the body’s posture and internal organs to say nothing of the greater sense of well-being and self-esteem that is achieved simply by being out in nature.
Two hundred thousand neurotransmitters in the soles of the feet send messages via a neural pathway to the brain about the terrain you are trampling under your feet so that both body and Earth may work together to heal, protect, strengthen and rejuvenate the body, mind and spirit. The brain literally responds to the sensory feedback received by the soles of the feet. Walking barefoot gives you direct physical contact with the vast supply of healing electrons on the surface of the Earth.
The disconnect caused by modern lifestyle is proving to be a major contributor to physiological dysfunction and lack of wellness. Barefoot walking utilizes grounding to actually not only heal the body but develop a deep connection to the Earth and to learn how to remain grounded wherever we are. The Earth, when connected to in this way, has been said to function as a “global treatment table.”
On Dr. Bill Weber’s best days (acclaimed author and expert on Colorado flora), he used to have to walk with either a walker or two walking poles. He began walking barefoot at age 90 and within months ditched both walker and poles for the freedom of walking on his own two legs doing laps barefoot around his neighborhood. In September 2019, he’ll be 100.
Scientific studies are finding that the influx of free electrons absorbed into the body through direct contact with the Earth neutralizes free radicals and thereby reduces acute and chronic inflammation and slows aging, in many cases, actually reversing certain symptoms of aging.
“Throughout history, humans mostly walked barefoot or with footwear made of animal skins. They slept on the ground or on skins. Through direct contact or through perspiration-moistened animal skins used as footwear or sleeping mats, the ground's abundant free electrons were able to enter the body, which is electrically conductive. Through this mechanism, every part of the body could equilibrate with the electrical potential of the Earth, thereby stabilizing the electrical environment of all organs, tissues, and cells.” — Gaetan Chevalier et al.
“Modern lifestyle has increasingly separated humans from the primordial flow of Earth's electrons.”
We’ve been increasingly wearing insulating rubber or plastic soled shoes since the 60s. and during recent decades, chronic illness, immune disorders, and inflammatory diseases have also increased dramatically so much so that some researchers who cite environmental factors as the cause are beginning to also cite a lack of environment as cause.
Major benefits from grounding have been scientifically found to include:
Reduction of primary indicators of osteoporosis
Improvement of glucose regulation
Enhanced immune response
Improved heart rate variability (HRV)*
Reduction in tension and overall stress levels
Improved healthy sleep
Our bodies are being constantly bombarded by electrical fields. Many people report becoming chronically ill from the constant insult of these frequencies. Earthing actually reduces such electric fields imposed on the body.
A 2005 study by electrical engineer R. Applewhite “… showed that when the body is grounded, its electrical potential becomes equalized with the Earth's electrical potential through a transfer of electrons from the Earth to the body. This, in turn, prevents the 60 Hz mode from producing an AC electric potential at the surface of the body and from producing perturbations of the electric charges of the molecules inside the body. The study confirms the ‘umbrella' effect of earthing the body explained by Nobel Prize winner Richard Feynman in his lectures on electromagnetism. Feynman said that when the body potential is the same as the Earth's electric potential (and thus grounded), it becomes an extension of the Earth's gigantic electric system. The Earth's potential thus becomes the ‘working agent that cancels, reduces, or pushes away electric fields from the body.’” —Chevalier et al. in Earthing: Health Implications of Reconnecting the Human Body to the Earth's Surface Electrons
Chevalier’s research finds that going barefoot outdoors or getting connected to grounded conductive systems indoors may be a simple but profoundly effective health strategy for dealing with chronic stress, autonomic nervous system dysfunction, inflammation, pain, poor sleep, disturbed HRV,* hyper-coagulable blood, cardiovascular disease and more.
In the journal article, The epidemiological Revolution of the 20th Century, by De Flora et al. we read:
“Since the late 20th century, chronic degenerative diseases have overcome infectious disease as the major causes of death in the 21st century, so an increase in human longevity will depend on finding an intervention that inhibits the development of these diseases and slows their progress.”
Grounding ourselves consistently just may be one of the most effective tools in our arsenal to combat degenerative disease.
In Sue Regan Kenney’s delightful book, How To Wear Bare Feet (available at Amazon and we highly recommend), she recounts her personal story of feeling the ravages of degeneration at age 55. Her intimate account and Dr. Bill Weber’s story above prove that anyone can get started walking barefoot at any age and enjoy a large range of natural health and vitality benefits.
Go barefoot outdoors as much as you can especially when weather is most cooperative in Spring, Summer and Fall. Let the sensory receptors in your feet help you to feel your happiness and vitality. Take your shoes and socks off. It’s good natural medicine and it’s free.
The simple act of going barefoot has the potential to provide the following advantages to your quality of life:
more efficient movement of the body
slowed aging process
sharpened brain function
increased physical energy
improved posture (Achilles’ heal can be healed, core muscles strengthened, chin naturally settlesd into proper position, shoulders relaxed, better alignment [both knees should touch each other when you stand up], stronger back, body able to focus on important functions other than maintain alignment and posture)
reduced stiffness and increased flexibility
regulated body temperature
arches in the feet returned to a more youthful height and spring
lessened, if not eliminated, bunions and calluses (calluses come from the wearing of shoes)
eliminated athlete’s foot or smelly feet
improved dental bite
reversed vaginal atrophy
more balanced body weight
increased physical strength and muscle definition
strengthened gait and more even stride (many people tend to shorten their steps as they grow older for fear of falling or for other reasons)
improved reaction time (reflexes)
relaxation into a more natural state of being
The skin on the soles of the feet adjusts to the barefoot environment quickly. There are no real side-effects to going barefoot. The benefits come from two sources:
from the electrons when walking on bare earth and
simply from allowing your feet to walk free wherever you walk (so barefoot walking is good to do even on pavement).
* the physiological phenomenon of variation in the time interval between heartbeats; reduced HRV has been shown to be a predictor of mortality after myocardial infarction, for example; a measurement of the heart's response to autonomic nervous system regulation.
** a natural hormone, cortisol prevents the release of substances in the body that cause inflammation.
Sandler, Michael, and Jessica Lee. Barefoot Walking: Free Your Feet to Minimize Impact, Maximize Efficiency, and Discover the Pleasure of Getting in Touch with the Earth. Three Rivers Press, 2013.
Chevalier, Gaétan, et al. “Earthing: Health Implications of Reconnecting the Human Body to the Earth's Surface Electrons.” Journal of Environmental and Public Health, Hindawi Publishing Corporation, 2012, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3265077/.
de Flora S, Quaglia A, Bennicelli C, Vercelli M. The epidemiological revolution of the 20th century. FASEB Journal. 2005;19(8):892–897.
Applewhite R. The effectiveness of a conductive patch and a conductive bed pad in reducing induced human body voltage via the application of earth ground. European Biology and Bioelectromagnetics. 2005;1:23–40
Feynman R, Leighton R, Sands M. The Feynman Lectures on Physics. II. Boston, Mass, USA: Addison-Wesley; 1963.
Regan Kenney, Sue. How to Wear Bare Feet. CreateSpace Independent Publishing, 2017.