Unusual Activity Fights Stress, Hypertension
Do you recall those warm summer days when you were a kid, playing outdoors with friends and siblings? Remember how good it felt walking barefoot through neighborhood backyards or running across a sandy beach? There was something about being barefoot that felt somehow soothing.
Aside from how free it felt to have the earth against your bare feet, it turns out there are scientific reasons why it felt so good. As often happens, our bodies were trying to tell us something. Recent studies have shown that walking barefoot provides some surprising health benefits.
What’s So Great about Walking Barefoot?
For starters, it’s been show to provide protection against stress and high blood pressure. It also increases your body’s antioxidants, which reduces inflammation and leads to cardiovascular health.
But there’s more to it than that. Read on and I’ll explain how you can reap the health benefits of this wonderful childhood activity.
“Earthing”, or “grounding”, are the terms scientists have given to the activity of walking barefoot on grass, sand, or soil. In other words, any natural, non man-made surface.
Studies show that health benefits come directly from the Earth’s electrical charge. Your body constantly produces a tiny electrical charge. But the Earth has a greater negative charge than you do. This causes you to absorb its electrons, provided your bare feet are in direct contact with the Earth’s surface.
The electrons from the Earth help to neutralize free radicals and lower inflammation. In essence your body absorbs one of the most powerful antioxidants available. These antioxidants have a potent anti-inflammatory effect on your body.
Recent ‘Earthing’ Research Shows Surprising Benefits
One recent earthing study showed that it changed the brain’s electrical activity. It also improved glucose regulation, reduced stress, and boosted immunity.
Another study found that earthing increased the surface charge of the body’s red blood cells. This caused the cells to stop clumping, which reduced blood viscosity. It’s this excessive viscosity that is a major factor in cardiovascular and heart disease. That’s why so many people take blood thinners.
Still another study showed that earthing helps regulate both the nervous and endocrine systems. A review of earthing research by the Journal of Environmental and Public Health highlighted its impact on health. It was found to deliver benefits for the following conditions:
- Sleep disturbances and sleep apnea
- Stress levels
- Respiratory ailments including asthma
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Heart rate variability
- Muscle and joint pain
- Immune system disorders
Earthing Protects Us from Today’s Electromagnetic Fields
When your body is grounded with the Earth, it equalizes electrically through a transfer of electrons from the Earth into your body. Studies show that this provides protection against the electromagnetic fields that are being generated in our environment. These include fields generated by computers, cell phones, cell towers, microwaves, and other devices.
When your body is grounded with the Earth it becomes an extension of the Earth’s enormous electrical system. It is this giant system that cancels or deflects electromagnetic fields from your body.
How Do You Practice Earthing?
The effects of earthing seem to be amazing. So much so that researchers suggest that people get as much time outside walking barefoot as possible. This is a pretty straightforward process. All you have to do is get rid of the shoes and socks and just go for it. You can walk barefoot on any grassy area, a sandy beach, or wherever you can come into direct contact with the Earth.
Studies show that you can achieve benefits like stress reduction and pain relief by walking barefoot for just 30 minutes each day.
If you don’t have a backyard or a nearby lawn you can simply head to the nearest park, lakeside, or other appropriate area. Then just get yourself barefoot and start walking.
Many companies are now selling products that claim to provide the benefits of earthing without having to actually go barefoot on the earth. These may be very appealing for those living in urban environments, but their effectiveness isn’t proven yet. So while it is certainly possible that they may be of benefit, their effectiveness isn’t known. And I recommend the simple, free, and proven solution instead for now.
You might want to include earthing as part of a plan to fight stress and hypertension. Other benefits include protection against nervous system dysfunction, pain, and sleeplessness. Earthing also helps fight inflammation-related disorders like heart and cardiovascular disease.
My advice is to get outside as often as possible and walk barefoot on grass, sand or any other natural ground covering. Give it a try and see if you don’t start feeling like you have more energy and less stress. Not to mention it will probably put a smile on your face!