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The health benefits of walking barefoot

The health benefits of walking barefoot

A warm Earthmonk welcomes back to our resident expert Stuart Ward, from Nourishing Moves


In last week’s blog, Stuart showed you how to improve the strength and health of your feet as well as how to prepare them for walking barefoot.  This week Stuart is going to show you how can draw on the natural healing properties of the earth and maximise your well being through your feet. So kick off your shoes and settle down for a fascinating read…

At the world-famous Max Planck institute in Germany during the 1960s and 1970s researchers isolated volunteers for months at a time in underground rooms which were shielded from the rhythms in the Earth’s electric field. As a result, it was found that the volunteer’s body patterns were interrupted. Sleep, temperature, urinary function with other physiological activities went chaotic and out of sync. When the electrical shielding was removed the volunteer’s body rhythms returned to normal.

This was likely to be the first western science experiment which showed that the biological clock of the body needs to be constantly calibrated to the earth as it does with all life on this planet. Of course, many cultures around the world already know this. North American Indians honoured the connection to the earth and sleep in holes in the ground when feeling unwell to get a recharge.

The latest research has been initiated by Clinton Ober. He stumbled upon the idea during his travels of America after a health scare. He found that sleeping on a custom made bed sheet which had a wire linking it to the earth made him sleep better and feel better. He suggested his friends and family try it who also reported the same benefits. The word spread with more and more success stories.

When he finally convinced respected doctors and scientists to take his findings seriously and carry out their own clinical trials they were also amazed.

Cardiologist Steve Sinatra found that damaging free radicals in the body are positively charged. The earth gives out negativity charged electrons which counteract the free radical damage. It’s this free radical damage which is at the core of the modern health problem of inflammation. Inflammation has been found to lead to heart disease, cancer, diabetes, arthritis, Alzheimer’s, anaemia, asthma, fibrobyalgia, M.S, eczema and chronic pain. By making direct contact with the surface of the earth with our skin we connect with the earth and refill our body’s electron levels helping to fight the effects of ageing and inflammation.

There is a very good reason why our body’s work this way and it’s that we are designed to be outside. Over the 2.5 million years on this planet, it’s only relatively recently that we have lost this connection. By wearing thick rubber-soled shoes, working indoors all day on computers and sleeping upstairs on synthetic materials we have lost connection with the earth.

Hollywood A list nutritionist David Wolfe thinks that the common rubber-soled shoe is one of the worst inventions for mankind as it separates us from the healing energy of the earth.

This is one of the reasons why National Geographic author Dan Buettner found that gardeners can live up to 14 years longer. Gardeners are effectively grounding themselves by getting their hands dirty in the earth.



“As little as 20 minutes per day offers great results”

You can think of our current connectivity with the earth as a flickering light bulb with a loose connection. Solving this problem is very simple get connected.

Walk barefoot outside, sit and read outside with your feet on the grass, or my favourite swing a kettlebell or Indian clubs about barefoot. Swimming in the sea also has the same earthing effect as the minerals are a great conductor. The more earthing you do the better but you can get great benefits from just 20 minutes per day.

Dr James Oshman believes that the moment your barefoot touches the earth your physiology changes. The anti-inflammatory switch is turned on so more the better but some is better than nothing.

So whether it’s in your lunch break or at the weekend – free your feet and enjoy the connection to be had sinking them into the earth.

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