Walking barefoot outside with the soles of your feet free to mesh with the surface of the earth, a process called earthing or grounding, has been shown to be good for your health.   There is growing research showing that this connection to the Earth’s surface plays a vital role in preventing disease and offers a host of benefits from improved sleep to pain relief.  An article in the Journal of Environmental and Public Health states that:

“It is an established, though not widely appreciated fact, that the Earth’s surface possesses a limitless and continuously renewed supply of free or mobile electrons.

… Mounting evidence suggests that the Earth’s negative potential can create a stable internal bioelectrical environment for the normal functioning of all body systems. Moreover, oscillations of the intensity of the Earth’s potential may be important for setting the biological clocks regulating diurnal body rhythms, such as cortisol secretion.”

To put it simply, it’s thought that the influx of free electrons from the Earth’s surface will help to neutralize free radicals and reduce both acute and chronic inflammation, which is at the root of many health conditions and accelerated aging.

In another article, the researchers found a myriad of health benefits from grounding that included improvements in: Sleep disturbances, Chronic Muscular and joint pain, stress and hypertension to name a few.

The best way to become grounded is as simple as taking off your shoes and walking barefoot on the earth.  Studies suggest that benefits such as pain relief and stress reduction may occur in just 30-80 minutes of barefoot time a day.  The other option is to use a grounding or Earthing pad, which allows you to get the benefits of the Earth’s electrons even if you’re indoors, especially when you’re sleeping.

The Journal of Environmental and Public Health, researchers concluded:

“Emerging evidence shows that contact with the Earth—whether being outside barefoot or indoors connected to grounded conductive systems—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.

The research done to date supports the concept that grounding or earthing the human body may be an essential element in the health equation along with sunshine, clean air and water, nutritious food, and physical activity.”

For more information please see:

Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine. 2007 Nov;13(9):955-67

Journal of Environmental and Public Health. 2012; 2012: 291541

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