When we connect barefoot with the earth we ground ourselves, we effectively discharge the build up of positively charged free radicals that build up in our bodies. We are allowing our bodies to heal and repair themselves naturally and come back to balance.
How does taking your shoes and socks off and going barefoot on the grass help bring you back to balance?
Sounds a bit airy fairy, but there is solid science behind this practice known as earthing. It is all to do with nature's most powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory molecules - free electrons. "It can set the biological clock, regulate circadian rhythms, and balance cortisol levels." Journal of Environmental & Public Health.
So firstly, a quick refresher on school physics lessons! Everything is made up of atoms, and atoms are made up of electrons, which are negatively charged particles and protons, which are positively charged. One of each makes them neutral, in balance. Very fitting for my theme of nature bringing us back to balance!
Our body is constantly making free radicals as a by product of pollution, tobacco, alcohol, fried foods, and pesticides. Free radicals are unstable atoms, they only have one electron. They’re effectively out of balance, as electrons prefer to be in pairs. They can cause a lot of harm to us if their levels get too high. They can cause oxidative stress and inflammation and eventually alter our DNA. They can be responsible for ageing us and putting us at risk of cancer, heart disease, autoimmune, inflammatory and central nervous system disorders.
Luckily we have a remedy to fight these nasty free radicals, known as antioxidants. These balanced molecules give up some of their electrons to neutralise the free radical, effectively turning it off.
So antioxidants are basically free electrons that go around pairing up with free radicals and bringing them back to balance, helping prevent disease in the body.
Now for the crazy part, we can actually suffuse every single cell in our body with these healing and restoring molecules by taking off our shoes and socks and connecting with the earth.
This is because the earth’s surface is constantly being charged by these antioxidant negative electrons, mainly through lightning strikes. Incredibly there are about 100 lightning bolts hitting the earth every single second, that’s about 8 million a day!! So there are plenty of these goodies to go around!
When we earth ourselves by connecting barefoot with the earth, we effectively discharge the build up of positively charged free radicals from our bodies. We ground ourselves. At that moment you are sharing the same electrical potential as the earth - zero vaults. Our bodies cannot carry a charge when we are grounded.
Grounding is when we discharge built up static electricity directly into the earth either directly or through a conductor. Earthing is when you do this by your body having direct contact to the earth without a barrier, i.e. shoes.
Being at zero vaults means your body is able to restore and regenerate itself naturally and come back to balance. In years gone by we used to ground ourselves naturally throughout the day but modern life and the advent of rubber soled shoes and well insulated houses has meant we have disconnected from this natural balancing system.
Luckily it is easily rectified. Just go barefoot in nature!
As soon as you connect those toes to the grass your Parasympathetic Nervous System (PNS) is switched on, the system also known as “rest-and-digest”, automatically downgrading the ‘fight-or-flight” mode (ANS). This is instantly calming to body and mind.
There are more benefits to earthing, as if feeling instantly calmer wasn’t enough!
It can also help:
reduce blood pressure
neutralise free radicals
regulate cortisol levels. Regulating this stress hormone means we can recover faster after a stressful event rather than suffering for hours afterwards
thin blood naturally, helping to prevent red blood cells from sticking together and therefore flow more easily
improve efficiency of the cardiovascular, respiratory, circulatory, and nervous systems
keep the PNS switched on for longer, even when you are no longer earthed
“Inflammation is the root cause of all diseases.” Dr. Stephen Sinatra
“If the body is grounded you can’t have inflammation.” Clint Ober
These two sentences powerfully & succinctly sum up the benefits of connecting to the earth, connecting back to nature. By grounding ourselves regularly with these antiinflammatory electrons we are reducing the free radicals in our bodies, which cause inflammation and pain.
If this wasn’t enough for you, just think of the benefits to your little ones from playing barefoot outside- improved sleep, regulating their stress response and cortisol levels, which in turn helps their sleep. Amen to that!!
When you connect to the earth just imagine every cell in your body being suffused with healing energy from the earth. It actually makes your feet tingle and if you do it for a prolonged amount of time, like going for a walk in the woods barefoot (watch where you're going though...) you can feel the buzz in your feet for ages afterwards too. It is an incredible feeling!
I usually say "I release all stuck, stagnant and negative energy and all energy that isn't mine. I realise all that no longer serves me and I realise everything that is holding me back from reaching my full potential." I say this when I earth myself and I say this whenever I am in nature and I also say this when I practice yoga. You can come up with your own words of meaning to you to help you connect in even further.
What are you waiting for....?! Go try it and send me pics! #groundingwiththemagicofbotanicals
If you’d like to read more about earthing check out the links below