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“Barefoot in the Park”

I used this title simply because I thought that with many of you it may ring a bell. It was an early Hollywood classic movie. But my subject is really much different from Hollywood’s focus. I want to talk about some health benefits to be derived from walking barefoot. Of course, it matters when and even where you’re walking barefoot. By many medical practitioners, it is referred to as “grounding”.

One doctor’s article said that it was as simple as restoring our natural walking pattern from the changes we’ve made since learning to walk and putting on shoes. He also addresses better control of foot positioning, improved balance, better foot mechanics and less pain, a better range of motion in your ankle and foot joints, and stronger leg muscles.

Called “earthing,” another doctor said that drawing electrons from the earth could induce better sleep and less pain. He also gave an example when they claimed it changed electrical activity in the brain, improved skin conductivity, moderated heart rate variability, improved glucose regulation, reduced stress, and supported immune function (decreasing white blood cell counts while increasing red blood cell counts).

Other cited health benefits were a reduced risk of heart disease, decreases anxiety and stress, loosen tense muscles and eliminate headaches by grounding the body and reducing free radicals, boost energy levels by immersing yourself in the natural world and picking up higher energy frequencies emitted from nature, and protecting the body from dangerous electromagnetic fields.

Quoting from an internet article by Carrie Dennett, “If you think back to the last time you took a science class, you may remember that everything, including humans, is made up of atoms. These microscopic particles contain equal numbers of negatively charges electrons, which come in pairs, and positively charged protons, so an atom is neutral – unless it loses an electron. When an atom has an unpaired electron, it becomes a “free radical” with a positive charge, capable of damaging our cells and contributing to chronic inflammation, cancer, and other diseases. In this case, “positive” is not a good thing.”

The underlying premise is that when we are barefoot on grass, soil, or sand, we can discharge the negative electrons – “free radicals” and use our electricity more beneficially within our bodies.

Sports enthusiasts also find additional benefits of being barefoot on the sand, or at a beach. They get better strength training; burn more calories; gain more perception of body position, motion and equilibrium; they relax more; they get natural skin exfoliation aiding in skin functioning; and a vitamin and mineral boost from the environment.

I had a teacher in one of my Naturopathic Doctor classes who said she had encountered many of her clients who had sleep disorders that she was able to help with the effects of walking in the grass barefoot. She said she had them go out into their grassy back yards just at sunset and walk in the grass while watching the sunset. This action restored their circadian rhythms to the point that they fell asleep faster and rested better.

While researching this article, I found literally dozens of examples of significantly improved health and vitality that was the outflow and simply walking slowly and quietly in many venues where your bare feet were in contact with the earth – grass, soil, or sand. Try making it a part of your health practice routine.