Tue. Feb 27th, 2024

Walking barefoot, also known as “earthing,” has gone from being a kooky counter-culture trend, to a scientifically-researched practice with a number of remarkable health advantages, such as increasing antioxidants, reducing inflammation, and improving sleep.

Earthing means walking barefoot on soil, grass or sand (meaning: any natural surface). So we’ll have to get off the sidewalk. Early studies are showing that the health benefits come from the relationship between our bodies and the electrons in the earth. The planet has its own natural charge, and we seem to do better when we’re in direct contact with it.

Benefits of Earthing:

Greater balance.

By feeling the ground, people begin waking up the vestibular system (balance system) of the brain, stimulating new neural connections and remapping their minds for greater balance. For seniors this is critical, because one fall or hip fracture can lead to a gradual decline in health.

Greater strength.

​By going barefoot one begins to wake up new muscles, both for balance and support. Not only that, but if you look at a super-model’s legs, chances are she’s been walking barefoot at the beach, toning ALL of her leg muscles in the process.

Healthier feet.

​The body works on the use it or lose it principle. Use something, you get to keep it. Don’t use it, and it atrophies. When people start going barefoot their feet reawaken and begin to strengthen again.

The corollary to this is less foot conditions.

​As the feet strengthen, plantar fasciitis diminishes, foot neuromas go away, bunions begin to dissipate and other conditions such as hammertoes go away. Even the arthritic foot begins to slowly heal itself as it develops greater strength, flexibility, and blood flow.

READ ALSO  4 Exercises For Lower Back Pain Relief

Greater circulation.

Going barefoot not only wakes up long-dormant muscles of the feet and legs, but gets more blood flow to the feet and legs to get them going. This increased blood flow means less aches and pains, less varicose veins, and warmer feet and legs in the winter.

Better posture.

We’ve all learned an unhealthy habit, or pronounced pelvic-tilt from a lifetime spent in a traditional shoe. The typical running or walking shoe isn’t just a shoe, it’s a high-heel, sporting a heel of 1-2 inches (if not more) in height. To keep from falling over we’re forced to get our butts back and bend forward at the waist, straining our hamstrings, lower back, upper back, shoulders, and neck. It also puts a lot of force on our hips, knees and feet when we run. Once we’re out of a shoe we can begin to reverse this. By feeling the ground the nerve endings on the bottom of our feet begin to tell us that we’re leaning or tilting forward, or that we’re bending forward at the waist. With practice we run, walk, and even stand with better posture, more like a dancer or a model. Not only do we look better and get taller, but we greatly reduce all of the stress and strain on our bodies. And all without any additional work!

Kids get healthier.

​With childhood diabetes and obesity, kids health is at an all-time low. And health begins with the feet. If you have strong feet you can walk, run, bike and more. But with weak painful feet, there’s no desire to exercise. The American Podiatric Medical Association now recommends keeping kids out of shoes for as long as possible, because they know shoes weaken and deform the feet. Keep them out of shoes and kids stay healthy. Not only that, but the act of feeling the ground strengthens their senses and helps remap the brain. According to Dr. Merzenich, one of the nation’s leading neuroplasticians, barefoot stimulation helps improve memory, focus, concentration, and overall intelligence too!

READ ALSO  Essential Vitamins for African American Men: A Comprehensive Guide

Decreased blood pressure.

​Studies show that by stimulating the nerve endings on the bottom of the feet, we can decrease blood pressure and the parasympathetic (cortisol) fight or flight response of the body. In other words, we decrease stress and inflammation throughout the entire body.

Reduce inflammation.

​Last, but not least, and perhaps most importantly, going barefoot has been shown to reduce inflammation. According to many new studies, inflammation is the number one cause of disease in the 21st century (from allergies to Alzheimers, arthritis to Autism, cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, asthma, anemia, lupus, MS, and more are ALL related to inflammation). One possible solution may be grounding or earthing, the process of reducing inflammation by walking, standing or even sitting barefoot on the ground.

Reflexology benefits.

​Reflexology is the process of stimulating nerves on the bottom of the feet to stimulate the immune system, reduce inflammation & pain, reduce blood pressure, reduce stress and tension, and to stimulate many other healing processes in the body. Studies have shown great reflexology benefits to going barefoot and stimulating the soles of the feet.

It is never too late to explore the benefits of walking barefoot. It’s not a rocket science either – just slip off your shoes and place your bare feet on the ground for a few minutes. In the beginning, you should look for naturally softer grounds like dirt paths, grass, and sand. Once your muscles and joints in your feet and ankles strengthen a bit, you can then switch to a wider variety of surfaces.

READ ALSO  How to Repair Cartilage

The basic idea is to maintain a contact between your bare feet and the surface of the earth. For this, you can even consider wading, walking, or swimming in mineral-rich ocean water because it provides sustained skin contact.

By Evelyn Smith

Evelyn Smith is a passionate advocate for a healthy vegan lifestyle. She is dedicated to promoting plant-based living and sharing her knowledge and experiences with others. Evelyn believes that a vegan lifestyle not only benefits personal health but also contributes to a more sustainable and compassionate world. With a background in nutrition and wellness, she strives to inspire and educate individuals on the benefits of embracing a vegan diet and lifestyle. When she's not busy spreading the vegan message, Evelyn enjoys exploring new vegan recipes, practicing yoga, and connecting with like-minded individuals on her website, Healthy Vegan Style.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *