I always thought that I just liked being barefoot because I grew up on the beach. Until a few years ago I had no idea that there is actual science behind it.

Let’s all be honest with ourselves modern society has us totally disconnected from the earth. As adults we spend most of our time in our homes, the buildings that we work in, and driving around from place to place that we rarely feel the sand between our toes. Even kids aren’t spending nearly as much time outdoors as they used to. With the little time that we do spend time in nature, our feet are separated from the ground by the soles of our shoes.

This is where earthing, or grounding comes into play. It’s all about making any kind of direct skin contact with the earth’s surface. (Yes, there is a term for this.) Grounding allows for you to reconnect the earth and reap a ton of healthy benefits.

The Science

If you’ve ever indulged in any “woo-woo” practices or attended 5th grade science you already know that our bodies and everything else in the world are made up of atoms. Yes, positively charged protons, negatively charged electrons, and neutrally charged neutrons are floating around inside of us and whatever it is that you are standing on right now. Unfortunately, exposure to free radicals from modern technology, toxins, and stress also take up space in our bodies. These free radicals have been linked to premature aging, inflammation (which seems to be the root cause of just about everything these days), and disease.

When we make contact with the ground, negative ions from the earth’s surface make their way into our bodies and release the free radicals that we’ve been collecting and holding on to helping us come back to our neutral state, providing a stronger sense of well being, and benefiting us in so many other ways.

Not to mention that just being in nature in general has been shown to release feel good chemicals in the brain like dopamine. You can literally build a happier and healthier you just by stepping outside.

The Benefits

We don’t even know all of the great stuff that it can do yet. Scientists are constantly discovering new benefits of earthing and the benefits that we do know about are powerful.

Grounding has been shown to reduce inflammation which can help improve everything from chronic pain to premature aging including stiffness, swelling, redness. One night of grounding has even been proven to help improve bone health by reducing the risk of osteoporosis according to a recent study. It’s been shown to ward off heart disease and boost circulation by reducing the viscosity (thickness) of our blood.

Even the idea of connecting with the earth and consciously thinking about grounding ourselves promotes a sense of steady, stable, support that allows us to calm down, reconnect with ourselves. When we are calm the prefrontal cortex of our brain turns on and we are able to make better decisions, express ourselves positively, plan our next steps, and socialize better with others.

That’s not all. It’s been shown to help relax muscles, improve mood, speed up immune responses, protect against toxins, improve sleep, reduce stress, and so much more.

The Bottom Line

Our bodies and cells literally need the sun, the moon, the dirt, the sounds of birds and bugs, crisp air, salt water, and a light breeze to help us reset from days spent on our phones and computers inside with the air conditioning in our homes or the florescent lighting in our work spaces.

So take your shoes off and head outside, feel the ground under your feet, and connect to the earth.

** Can’t make it outside? There are lot’s of Earthing products out there like this mat that can provide similar benefits while remaining inside.