Barefoot Earthing

Ever thought about the term ‘grounding yourself’?

I had been told by someone who practiced alternative therapy and healing that I should literally ‘ground myself’ regularly by walking outside in bare-feet to ‘connect with earth’. Her reasoning behind this advice was that it would help make me feel less stressed.

‘Hmmm…Yeah, right’, I thought and proceeded to not do what I was told.

Until one sleepless night during a little life crisis (it’s all another story – see; The Big Year Off). I had taken a trip to Sydney and was feeling overwhelmed by concrete and tall buildings. I wondered if there was anything in the concept of being in nature and in contact with the earth. I started looking at some research. I was looking all sorts of things up; nature therapy, negative ions and impact on mood and health etc, but this little gem of an article blew me away.

Turns out the hippies were right.

Earthing or grounding, which refers to connecting (usually an electrical device) with the ground, turns out to be very good for us humans.

Although we can do it without plugging ourselves into sockets. We can simply put our bare-feet on the earth, grass, sand or soil.

The evidence suggests that connecting with the earth – either with bare-feet or via a connection such as a metal plate or a wire to a ground or earth – causes physiological changes in your body.

Although many of the changes were self reported (when compared to a placebo or ‘pretend grounding’; people reported improved sleep, decreased pain, reduced inflammation), some changes were able to be measured by taking blood or saliva samples and shows things such as increased blood viscosity, reduced cortisol levels (hormone released when under stress), reduced blood sugar levels in those with diabetes and a host of other benefits.

And the article goes as far to say that “clinicians could recommend outdoor “barefoot sessions” to patients”.

My next question has to be, that if the ground works – then imagine what swimming in the sea must do for you? Total contact with water, earthed to the ground, water being a conductor of electricity. This is another form or grounding.

Grounding therefore:

…may be a simple, natural, and yet profoundly effective environmental strategy against chronic stress, ANS (autonomic nervous system) dysfunction, inflammation, pain, poor sleep, disturbed HRV (heart rate variability) hypercoagulable blood, and many common health disorders, including cardiovascular disease.

So there we have it. Slightly unbelievable, but the science appears to say it is so.

Go and walk, outside, on the earth in your bare-feet.

Never mind what the neighbours will think.


20140331_180544Edit:  Since writing this piece I have heard from other researchers who have since critiqued this article – there seems some debate about how ‘electrons’ can pass from the earth to humans – and the small issues of disclosure – that the people who wrote this article are associated with a company that sponsors earthing research. So…. Fact or well crafted fiction?

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