You may already know of the term “grounding”. Or, it may be something you instinctively do without knowing it has a scientific name. For those left wondering, grounding is direct contact between your skin and the earth’s surface. For example, walking or standing barefoot on grass, sand, dirt etc. It can also be referred to as “earthing”.
For some, the mere thought of going barefoot outside may bring up a lot of emotions; the hassle of getting dirty feet, the fear of societal judgement, the chance it may increase already existing foot pain, the possibility of stepping on something sharp…which for people with peripheral neuropathy (nerve damage) can cause significant problems.
These are all valid reasons, which typically originate from our upbringing, social conditioning, or via advice from medical professionals. However, whether you choose to engage in the practice of grounding or not, there’s a lot of interesting research that is starting to emerge about it’s benefits.
These benefits include:
- Reduced inflammation
- Improved immune function
- Faster recovery time following exercise
- Improved wound healing
- Improved sleep
- Improved cardiovascular health
- Improved regulation of the endocrine system
- Shift from sympathetic nervous system activation (flight, fight, freeze) to parasympathetic nervous system activation (cue rest and digest)
The research suggests that spending as little as 30 minutes a day with your bare feet connected to the earth could help improve your health and wellbeing. Obviously, we encourage you to use your discretion as to whether your environment is safe to stand or walk barefoot. So, if your curiosity is piqued, why not give the practice of grounding a go? Think of it as your time to “recharge” and the earth, your battery!