My parents LOVE the beach. There isn’t a weekend that goes by where they aren’t spending hours on end enjoying the sun, wind, and water. One day I’ll remember to take a photo of all of their beach gear because it’s truly inspiring. They claim that the beach recharges them in a way that nothing else can. I thought of my parents recently when I came across an article on Earthing. Grounding or Earthing is the idea that when we have a direct connection to the Earth (i.e. walking barefoot) the exchange of electrons between us and the Earth neutralize damaging free radicals in the body and in turn reduce disease-related chronic or acute inflammation.
A few studies suggest that some of the health benefits from Grounding/Earthing include better sleep, less pain, reduced stress and tension, and better immune function. Basically, when we connect with nature, our bodies are positively affected. Which probably explains why my parents have this feeling of euphoria each weekend from spending hours barefoot on the sand. I just got back from an amazing vacation in Oregon (which I’ll write about soon) and I spent a lot of time Earthing. I made sure to touch trees and flowers and walked barefoot as much as I could.
So what are the best surfaces for Grounding? According to Dr. James Oschman, ‘the ideal location for walking barefoot is the beach, close to or in the water, as sea water is a great conductor. Your body also contains mostly water, so it creates a good connection. A close second would be a grassy area, especially if it's covered with dew, which is what you'd find if you walk early in the morning.’
How can you incorporate Grounding into your life? Go to a local park and go barefoot. Maybe take a walk in the grass or play with your kids. Get to the beach. Even if you don’t go in the water, take a stroll on the sand barefoot. Do some gardening and ditch the gloves. Connect with the soil and plants.
The moral of the story is to get outside more. Whatever your preferred method, I encourage you to do your own scientific research and see how you feel Grounding/Earthing.