By Dr. Alexia Georgousis ND, BPE, CPC
It is amazing how something as simple and natural as being barefoot is actually incredibly beneficial for our health. The forefathers and foremothers of naturopathic medicine often prescribed dew walking to improve immunity and circulation – sadly, many have been ridiculed for recommending these grounding practices. Now however, research studies are proving the nature doctors were right all along! In fact, studies demonstrate having direct skin contact with the surface of the Earth for a sustained period of time (30 minutes) is extremely beneficial for our health.
Earthing (also known as grounding – Vitamin G), has been shown to not only reduce inflammation and pain levels but also improve wound healing, sleep helps our nervous systems become more relaxed.
How does it work? Well, in a nut shell; the Earth carries a powerful negative charge in the form of ions. Absorbing these negative ions from the Earth through our skin, protects our cells from free radical damage. Free radicals are unstable atoms that cause oxidative stress, causing cell damage. Chronic damage to our cells may to many disease processes such as; cardiovascular disease, diabetes, dementia, Rheumatoid arthritis, immune diseases and premature aging.
Try it out in your garden, a park, the beach – any place where it is safe for you to sit or walk barefoot – and hopefully not too cold! You will likely notice a gentle calming energy wash over you. Here are some other helpful hints to assist in grounding yourself: wear leather-soled shoes, walk barefoot on ceramic tile, unpainted concrete or brick. It is important to be aware of surfaces that will not ground you such as: rubber (the soles of shoes), wood, vinyl, asphalt, plastic, tarmac.
Contacting the Earth is nourishment for our cells at a very deep level. It reminds us we are not separate from this amazing planet we live on but part of it. Welcome the wisdom!
PS. When barefoot options aren’t possible there are also grounding mats available for home and office use. For more information about the science of earthing:
- Earthing: Health Implications of Reconnecting the Human Body to the Earth’s Surface Electrons; J Environ Public Health. 2012; 2012: 291541.
- The effects of grounding (earthing) on inflammation, the immune response, wound healing, and prevention and treatment of chronic inflammatory and autoimmune diseases J Inflamm Res. 2015; 8: 83–96.
- “How Do Free Radicals Affect The Body.” https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/318652.php