Your Shoes are Slowly Killing You
Have you ever wondered why it feels so good to walk around barefoot? Perhaps you have heard of the term Earthing (also called Grounding), and likely assumed it was some sort of woo woo hippy practice. You may be surprised to hear that there are several scientific studies supporting the health benefits of connecting your bare feet to the Earth! As our species further disconnects from nature, our health continues to decline but lucky for us something as simple as ditching your shoes can have a profound impact on your health.
What is Earthing?
Earthing is simply the act of connecting to the Earth barefoot… that’s about it. The better question is WHY would one want to connect to the Earth barefoot?
– Reduced inflammation
– Improved energy production
– Better circulation and blood flow
– Less pain
– Deeper sleep
– Decreased stress levels
If this sounds too good to be true, or too simple to have such profound effects, you’re not alone! Let’s dive into how Earthing works and how you can start to harness these benefits to improve your health.
Primer on Electrons
In order to understand the benefits of Earthing, we must first understand the importance of electrons in human physiology.
*Quick highschool chemistry refresher – the elements on the periodic table called atoms contain a nucleus (center) of neutrons and protons as well as negatively charged electrons that orbit around the nucleus.
Electrons play 2 major functions in the body:
1. Energy Production
At the end of the day (or more accurately the end of the Krebs cycle), regardless of what type of food you eat, it will get broken down into protons and electrons that enter the electron transport chain of the mitochondria – the POWERHOUSE OF THE CELL. The electrons are transported from protein to protein releasing the energy that they have obtained from the sun via photosynthesis which ultimately powers the mitochondria to produce energy (ATP) as well as water, CO2 and infrared energy.
2. Neutralizing Free Radicals/ Reducing Inflammation (Oxidative Stress)
By this point you have probably heard about inflammation and how bad it is for you. This is partially misleading as inflammation is a totally necessary and beneficial process in the body, but becomes damaging in excess. Inflammation causes the production of free radicals – atoms or molecules lacking an electron. These are highly reactive substances that are looking to steal electrons from other molecules in order to be stable again. This is what we call oxidative stress. In excess, too much oxidative stress will cause cellular damage and eventually lead to disease. The solution? More electrons to stabilize these reactive free radicals. This can be in the form of antioxidants (compounds that can donate electrons) or free electrons.
Electrons and Earthing
Hopefully you’re still with me…. I mentioned earlier that food gets broken down into electrons which can then be used for energy production. This is true but there is another source that we can obtain electrons from – the EARTH!
The Earth’s surface is an endless supply of free electrons that we can obtain so long as we are connected directly to the ground. Hopefully now you can see how something as simple as taking your shoes off can have profound health effects. When you have more energy and less inflammation this translates into better functioning of your entire body.
From an evolutionary perspective, every animal with the exception of birds is grounded 24/7. Humans fit into this category up until we created rubber-soled shoes which are unfortunately not electrically conductive. Along with artificial light, processed fake foods, and man-made chemicals, shoes are another human invention that is slowly killing us.
*Note: In addition to free electrons, many of the benefits of Earthing can be attributed to other factors such as the Earth’s natural electromagnetic field as well as the production of EZ water. Stay tuned for more on these in the future!
How to Recharge your Batteries
The practical application of Earthing is pretty straight forward – walk on the Earth barefoot as much as possible. This is necessary nutrition for our bodies just like sunlight, clean water, and good quality food.
Here are a few tips to up your Earthing game:
1. The best time to do this is first thing in the morning when there is some dew or moisture on the ground. Water conducts electricity therefore more electrons will flow into your body.
2. The best type of footwear to use are grounded shoes such as Earth Runners, or Moccasins made of animal hides.
3. If you can’t take your shoes off or use electrically conductive footwear, touching trees can provide a similar effect since trees are always grounded with their deep root networks.
4. Oceans and other bodies of water with high mineral content are very rich sources of free electrons. This is part of the reason why you feel so rejuvenated after a dip in the ocean!
5. Earthing mats can be effective tools but it’s best to have them connected directly to the earth with a metal rod rather than into a grounded electrical outlet.
Next time you’re outside take off your shoes and feel your body charge up with electrons. We are designed to be connected to the Earth!
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