Why Putting Our Bare Feet on the Earth is Medicine

May 22, 2019 at 5:08 pm

“Earthing” or “grounding” eliminates inflammation, boosts immunity, speeds wound healing, lowers blood pressure and stress, and improves autoimmune disease symptoms, studies show

Rubber-soled shoes have separated us from an energy source essential for optimal health — the electricity of the earth.

For millions of years, humans have walked barefoot on the earth, absorbing the free electrons that continually bounce off of it.

Disconnecting ourselves from this source of energy — via shoes, buildings, asphalt, tires, etc. — is wreaking havoc on our health, scientists are learning.

Emerging research explains why it’s vital to “ground” ourselves, from time to time, by sitting, lying or walking barefoot on the soil.

Researchers from the University of California and the University of Oregon have published a series of peer-reviewed studies on the surprising health benefits of doing so:

A 2007 study used infrared medical imaging to show incredible reductions in inflammation as a result of earthing.

“Our main hypothesis is that connecting the body to the Earth enables free electrons from the Earth’s surface to spread over and into the body, where they can have antioxidant effects,” write the study’s authors.

Somehow, the electrons act as antioxidants, they explain:

“Antioxidants are electron donors, and the best electron donor, we strongly believe, is right under our feet.

Electrons from the Earth may in fact be the best antioxidants, with zero negative side effects.”

The electrons neutralize positively charged free radicals that are “the hallmark of chronic inflammation, the culprit behind almost every modern chronic illness,” the authors add.

Another 2007 study demonstrates that grounding essentially eliminates the ambient voltage induced on the body from common electricity power sources.

A 2010 study found that grounding the human body neutralized bio-electrical stress from static electricity and EMFs.

60 subjects who suffered from sleep disturbances and chronic muscle and joint pain slept on conductive carbon fiber mattress pads. Half the pads were connected to the ground outside each subject’s bedroom window, while the other half were “sham” grounded—not connected to the Earth.

Grounded subjects reported significant relief from asthmatic and respiratory conditions, rheumatoid arthritis, PMS, sleep apnea, and hypertension, while participants in the placebo group did not.

Another 2010 study found earthing significantly shortened recovery from muscle soreness after exercise and improved white blood cell counts.

A 2011 Polish study found earthing may be the primary factor regulating our endocrine and nervous systems, after connecting participants to the Earth using conductive bed pads, mats and electrode patches.

Another 2011 study showed earthing can significantly reduce stress as demonstrated by rapid shifts from sympathetic to parasympathetic nervous system, improvement in heart rate variability, and normalization of muscle tension.

A 2013 study found that earthing significantly reduces blood viscosity, a major factor in cardiovascular diseases and diabetes, and circulation in general.

A 2015 study demonstrates the impressive restorative effects of earthing, or grounding, on patients with autoimmune disease.

The Earth’s surface possesses a limitless and continuously replenished supply of free, or mobile, electrons, except in ultra-dry areas such as deserts, explains Gaétan Chevalier, a cellular biologist from the University of California Irvine.

Our bodies appear to “require occasional recharging by conductive contact with the Earth’s surface – the battery for all planetary life,” he says.

“Modern lifestyles separate humans from such contact.”

Throughout history, humans mostly walked barefoot or with footwear made of animal skins, he points out. They also slept on the ground or on skins, equiliberating the electrical environment of the body with the Earth.

Since the 1950s, we have switched from leather soles to soles made of rubber or plastic.  And, obviously, most of us no longer sleep on the ground.

“We suggest that the process of killing pathogens and clearing debris (free radicals) from the body evolved to take advantage of … this virtually limitless source of mobile electrons,” Chevalier writes.

“The disconnection from the Earth may be an important, insidious, and overlooked contribution to physiological dysfunction and to the alarming global rise in non-communicable, inflammatory-related chronic diseases.”

For people who don’t get much “skin to skin” time with the earth during the day, the researchers suggest “grounded” sleep systems —  cotton sheets or mats with conductive carbon or silver threads woven into them.

The threads connect to a wire that leads out the bedroom window, or through a wall, to a metal rod inserted into the Earth, near a healthy plant… or, to the ground terminal of an electrical outlet.

The sleep systems reportedly produce similar effects to walking barefoot.