Take off your socks and shoes and get out into nature to try Earthing – a simple holistic therapy that offers a variety of health benefits. Not only does it improve our physical and mental health, it is also the perfect way to feel connected to Earth.
What is Earthing
So, all you need to do, is make a direct skin contact with the Earth’s surface – by walking barefoot (in a forest, a meadow, a field, on the beach), sitting or laying down on the ground, or even touching the elements of nature, such as flowers, trees and rocks, with your hands. For most benefits, Earthing should be done for an hour every day.
A Look In the Past
Today, our busy lives get us carried away and we end up spending less time outside. Furthermore, when we do get out in the nature, “we’re often more concerned with protecting ourselves from the elements than making direct contact with them” (source). Shoes, tall buildings, beds, pavements – it all works as a shield between us and the Earth.
Benefits of Earthing
- Decreased inflammation and chronic pain
- Improved sleep
- Increased energy
- Improved blood flow and blood pressure
- Lowered stress and anxiety
- Accelerated healing of wounds and injury
- Relieved muscle tension
- Relieved headache
- Stimulated trauma recovery
- Reduced hormonal symptoms
- Increased immune function
The Science Behind It
In 2000, there was a study to see how grounding improves the symptoms of sleep disturbances and chronic muscle and joint pain. Test subjects were divided in two groups – one slept on mattress pads that were designed to replicate the ground plane of the Earth, the other slept on mattress pads that were not connected to an Earth ground. During the 30-day test, the subjects of group 1 showed the results of improved sleep, relaxed muscles, subsided back and joint pain and improved general health. (source)
Where to Start
Here’s what to do next:
- Find a small patch of ground where you can be still and quiet (like a garden or local park) and take off your socks and shoes
- To make this a more mindful, stress-reducing activity, focus your thoughts on the sensations in your feet
- If walking barefoot isn’t for you, look for shoes with natural soles (not plastic or rubber)
- Try lying down on the ground to feel Earth holding you
- You can also use your hands to connect with Earth by gardening and touching trees, ground and stones
As for me, I use every chance to take off my shoes and feel the different textures of the ground beneath me, and every year when winter comes to an end, I’m excited to have long walks, to touch trees and to sit in the forest and feel how my mind calms and fills with creative ideas.
Will you try Earthing? Do you have a favourite way of connecting with Earth? Share your experiences below!
Visit Earthing Institute to learn more.
Photos by Ilze Millere.