There are thousands of reasons that have been told for why you should wear shoes. What about the reasons you shouldn’t?
One of these reasons you may not be familiar with which is the practice of Earthing, but if you’ve ever walked barefoot across your front lawn, you’ve tried it. Which is great because our bodies need that sense of touch, one of our most important senses. When we put on shoes, we don’t give a chance to our body to get into contact with Mother Nature. And, according to some, it can be very beneficial to your health.
What is Earthing, exactly?
Earthing (first described by Clint Ober in his book “Earthing: The Most Important Health Discovery Ever?”) is the practice of obtaining the healing properties of the Earth through the simple act of touching it.
How to begin Earthing:
Earthing can be practiced in just about any natural setting. There is know need to go complete bare foot unless you want, but even wearing cloth or natural fabrics is fine is just as beneficial.
Here is a list of benefits of walking barefoot:
1. Improves sleep patterns
Our ancestors had an intimate relationship with the earth. They slept close to it; either on plant-based bedding or the ground itself. Homes were made of stone or some other conductive material. Barefooting regularly can give your body an opportunity to calibrate its physiological rhythms with the earth’s, which can help improve sleep.
2. Balance the Body’s Electrical Systems
Our bodies are made up of about 60 % water, which is great for conducting electricity. Walking barefoot can also help recharge and re-balance our body’s natural internal ‘electrical systems’ as well as promoting an ionic balance within our cells and tissues.
3. Improve Mental/Emotional Health
It is probably not a coincidence that most exercises involving mental concentration are done barefoot such as: martial arts, yoga and tai chi. Walking barefoot and connecting to earth’s energy can help decrease anxiety and depression and increase the levels of those feel good endorphins.
4. Increase Sensory Experiences
There are distinct differences between walking on sand, grass, wood or asphalt. By wearing shoes all the time, we are missing out on the sensory experiences we can pick up with our feet. The world becomes truly three-dimensional when we can sense more with our feet.
5. Develop Here-and-Now Awareness
Quieting the mind chatter can be challenging, unless you are engaged in an activity that requires you to be fully present. It is hard not to pay attention to every step when you’re walking barefoot, you have to be on the look out for sharp rocks and thorns! This helps you focus on the present moment.
6. Improve Your Posture
Poorly developed muscles in the feet can lead to bad posture, which is a major factor in developing back problems. Walking or running barefoot strengthens the muscles in the feet, calves, thighs and hips.
So why not start now if you haven’t already improving your health one barefoot step at a time?