The idea of improving health is on the minds of many – we’re bombarded with magazines, tv shows, infomercials, websites, all telling us how to lose weight fast, detox or get flat abs (yes, fast). The health and wellness industry is huge. We spent billions of dollars every year on health products and services without knowing if they will work. We live in a stress-obsessed, fast-paced world and use that same mentality of immediate gratification and quick fixes to improve our health (that our lifestyle is contributing to). It’s ironic, but I get it. We all get it, but what if there was an easier way. By easier, I mean less products, less fancy stuff, less cost. It’s not about quick fixes, it’s about lifestyle changes that have a slow, but profound effect. One simple practice that could improve your health, help you get better sleep and improved immunity is earthing (aka grounding). All you have to do is remove your shoes.
What is Earthing?
Earthing is the process of taking off your shoes and connecting with the Earth below you. It doesn’t have to be a strenuous hike or anything of the sort, just letting your bare feet rest on the Earth is all you need to do. It also counts as Earthing to sit or lie on the ground (grass or dirt). The goal is for your body to be as close to the natural elements as possible.
The theory behind earthing is that Earthling allows for the transfer of electrons between us and the Earth. According to Dr. Weil (a physician with an integrative focus), some small studies show that grounding can improve health, from better sleep to less pain. The thought is that the electron transfer helps to fight free radicals in our body (much like antioxidants do), leading to less illness and inflammation. How, why and to what extent is completely unknown (scientifically anyway). For those who feel a deep spiritual or personal connection with the natural world, it makes perfect sense.
All you Have to Do is Stand There
Just like all options in healthcare (mainstream or alternative), grounding isn’t for everyone. Skeptics and naysayers need not try. Much of what happens in our lives is a product of our own thoughts and manifestations. If you repeatedly tell yourself it won’t work, it won’t and you might as well save yourself some time. And that’s ok. Not all techniques make sense to everyone.
If you’re intrigued or part of it makes sense to you, give it a try. The beauty of holistic medicine is that side effects rarely exist. There is no downsides to Earthing. Either it’ll help or it’ll do nothing, I can’t say for sure which it’ll be for you but I think it’s worth trying. And give it some time to feel any effects.
Next time you have a couple minutes, go outside. Sit with your feet in the grass while you have a meal or read a book. Do gardening chores barefoot, kneel in the dirt and become connected to your bounty. Touch trees as you walk by them. Sit out in the lawn or on a rock and just look around. Play yard games barefoot. And now that summer is winding down, make an effort to get your feet onto the Earth whenever possible.
To get maximum benefit, make your grounding or Earthing time deliberate. Go out with the objective of connecting with the Earth. Sit or stand where it’s quiet and peaceful. Feel the grass or dirt on your feet. Breathe consciously. Possibly even close your eyes and take it all in. And if it pleases you, lie down feeling the grass on your back and the sunshine on your face. Stay there as long as you’d like.
This isn’t like a pill, where you will notice strong and sudden effects. It could take time, or you could feel something with just one time. You might feel more relaxed, less anxious, happier or calm. If one free and easy technique can do that, it’s worth a try!Get outside, take your shoes off and practice Earthing. Post your reactions in the comments – I’d love to hear your thoughts!