Grounding: Barefoot healing the doctor didn’t order
The core belief of grounding: Electrons absorbed from the bottom of bare feet move throughout the body neutralizing free radicals
Photo by Jaslyn Fellows
From the Ground Up: How a practice called ‘earthing’ or ‘grounding’ has become a factor in health and healing
The First Root of America, the Native indigenous knew about Mother Earth’s miraculous curative powers— the miracle of “Grounding.”
They knew that to harness the energy of the Earth, all they had to do was touch it.
“It was good for the skin to touch the bare Earth, and the old people liked to remove their moccasins and walk with their bare feet on the sacred Earth. They sat on the ground with the feeling of being close to a mothering power. The soil was soothing, strengthening, cleansing, and healing” — Luther Standing Bear, Sioux Tribal Leader, 1868-1939
The Native Americans knew that to be truly alive, they had to be connected to the rhythms and patterns of the Earth, a giant resource of immense power and energy. What they have done naturally throughout their existence, contemporary society is only beginning to re-discover, understand and embrace.
Growing adherents to this free, natural holistic healing modality know it as grounding, or “earthing” — simply removing shoes and touching bare feet to the surface of the earth. For most people, this doesn’t happen very often, except, maybe during the summer with excursions to the beach.
But word is spreading that there might be an enormously healthy impetus to make grounding a priority.
Growing evidence through expanding research reveals that grounding can be greatly beneficial for health by lowering free radical damage (also called “oxidative stress”), stress, inflammation, and pain.
What does Mother Earth offer?
The Earth is constantly infused with energy from the sun’s rays, lightning, and heat from the Earth’s core. According to the Journal of Environmental and Public Health, the Earth’s surface possesses a limitless and continuously renewed supply of free or mobile electrons. The Earth’s negative charges can create a stable internal bioelectrical environment for the normal functioning of all body systems which may be important for setting the biological clock, regulating circadian rhythms, and balancing cortisol levels.
Our bodies, which run through a type of electrical current are naturally able to absorb electrical charges from the earth since the skin acts like a “conductor,” according to the Journal. Our feet, specifically certain points in the balls of the foot, are believed to be precise at receiving the earth’s electricity.
In urban areas where most people live and work, surrounded by concrete and asphalt, our bodies rarely, if ever, come in contact with soil, sand, and grass. Due to contemporary living norms — for example, wearing shoes and spending the majority our lives above ground in our homes and apartments or offices — we are out of touch with the earth’s natural “electrical” force.
This norm even pertains to school children who spend hours in a classroom with vinyl and wooden floors, then more time during recess on asphalt playgrounds.
According to grounding expert Clint Ober, generally credited with re-discovering grounding in 2010, “The human body is electrical first and chemical second. Our brain, heartbeat and neurotransmitter activity, for example, all rely on electrical signals, so when our electricity if off, so can be certain aspects of our health.”
The idea is that by being in touch with the planet, the electrical force coming off the earth is able to neutralize free radicals in the body, which cause inflammation, a direct link to sickness and disease. In fact, the term “grounding” has even earned a patent as a natural method for reducing disease-causing inflammation.
According to a report published in Alternate Therapies in Health and Medicine, “Inflammation is now recognized as an overwhelming burden to the healthcare status of our population and the underlying basis of a significant number of diseases. The elderly generally bear the burden of morbidity and mortality, which may be reflective of elevated markers of inflammation resulting from decades of lifestyle choices.”
Grounding helps stop inflammation
Inflammation, which triggers disease for so many people, is largely believed to be caused by a lack of electrons in your tissues. When your body senses that you’re “under attack” or sick, it delivers reactive oxygen species (ROS) to the site of injury, which is another way of saying that it triggers an inflammatory response in an attempt to heal and defend you. When this takes place, some free radicals can leak into surrounding tissue and damage otherwise healthy parts of your body by increasing swelling, pain, heat and redness.
Simply walking barefoot on the ground, sand, or in the grass infuses the body with electrons and anti-oxidants — life-giving properties that freely flow from the Earth. This natural property of Mother Earth is how living things like crops, plants, flowers, and trees are sustained; they are connected, rooted to the Earth. When plants, flowers, and trees are removed or disconnected from the ground, they soon wither and die.
This helps explain why healthy nutrition experts advocate the regular consumption of high-antioxidant foods, which to a lesser degree replicates grounding. Antioxidant electrons in the body help ensure that damage from free radicals doesn’t swirl out of control and lead to high levels of inflammation and faster ageing. Basically, the free or mobile electrons from the earth can resolve chronic inflammation by serving as natural antioxidants
The core belief of grounding is that electrons absorbed from the bottom of bare feet, move throughout the body where free radicals have formed, neutralizes them, and stops damage in various forms of free radical oxidative stress.
Medical researchers consider oxidative stress central to the development of ADHD, cancer, Parkinson’s disease, Lafora’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, atherosclerosis, myocardial infarction, heart failure, fragile X syndrome, sickle cell disease, lichen planus, vitiligo, autism, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, and depression.
In a time when hospital and healthcare costs, doctor visits, pharmaceuticals, medicine, and health insurance are skyrocketing, a healing modality like grounding.
Not only that — it’s also free.
Grounding: Barefoot healing the doctor didn’t order,” part one in a series.