What is earthing? Here’s why going barefoot benefits your body:

Before we get into what it all means, here’s a basic framework that helps it all make more sense: you, and all people, animals, plants, and inanimate objects are electrical beings living in an electrical world. Everything that has atoms (all matter) has a net charge that’s either positive, negative, or neutral.

Every chemical reaction involves electrical charges, attraction, and repulsion. Without atoms’ strong attraction to each other through energetic bonds, you and the device you’re using to read this would dissipate into particles. Crazy right?

So, when your body’s overall charge is off (more on this in a bit) chemical reactions happen that shouldn’t, and reactions fail to happen when they should. A growing body of evidence shows that disruption of the body’s charge is a health concern, and doctors should start paying attention.[1]

Why you should ground yourself: the benefits of earthing

Your normal, daily routine build up a positive charge in the body. Until the last few hundred years, people spent a lot of time in contact with the earth - either walking or sleeping on the ground without objects blocking the transfer of electrons (i.e your bed). That was a natural mechanism for getting back to neutral throughout the day and while they slept.

We don’t get that these days. Things like wearing shoes and walking around in buildings prevents you from discharging the charge you’ve built up into the ground.

The Benefits

So, why is earthing so beneficial? Some of the science-backed benefits of grounding include:

  • Regulates cortisol, your body’s main stress hormone[3] (better regulation means you recover from stress quickly, instead of having feeling anxious long after the stressful event)

  • Neutralizes free radicals,[4] which are highly reactive molecules that damage cells

  • Reduces inflammation[5]

  • Reduces stress[6]

  • Improves sleep[7]

  • Reduces some risk factors of cardiovascular disease[8]

  • Reduces pain[9]

  • Shifts the body from the stressed fight-or-flight mode to the restorative rest-and-digest mode[10]

The best way to ground yourself? GO OUTIDE AND PLAY! Be child-like and walk outside in the dirt or sand barefoot. One of the benefits of living in the San Francisco Marina (minus the negative “marina girl” stigma hah) is the beautiful spread of grass right outside my apartment. On a sunny day after work, I head straight to the greenery facing the Palace of Fine Arts, take my shoes off, and dig my toes into the dirt…you might even see me doing some downward dog poses if I’m not in my work dress haha It’s the BEST feeling and completely de-stresses me…especially during that time of the month when I feel more tense than usual.

If you have a concrete or ceramic tile floor in your basement, that works too as long as it’s sitting on a concrete slab or other insulators. If you want a little extra earthing action, or live in a big city where soil is scarce, you can purchase earthing shoes (not the most fashion forward, but it gets the job done), an earthing sheet, or an earthing mat.

Let me know what you think!