There are several accounts on who came up with the first shoe. Most say it was the Romans, which we all know proudly wore sandals. Since then, footwear has gone from necessity and protection to fashion and an actual mark of status. Some people have been robbed for the shoes on their feet.
Little does our shoe-addicted society know that, while we are protecting our feet from all the nasty and painful items they might find while walking this Earth of ours, taking time to walk around with no shoes is quite good for you.
We do recommend you take your shoes off in the safety of your yard or some type of park or forest preserve. In no way are we saying that you should abandon shoes and head to the local grocery store.
Why go barefoot? If you have the luxury of being able to sink your bare feet onto some portion of the undisturbed ground like grass at home for twenty minutes every day then here’s what the practice can do for you.
You Will Become Grounded
To become “grounded” is to be “in the moment” as they say. What does that mean? To be grounded is to not be feeling guilty of past failures, proud of past achievements nor are you concerned with the uncertainty of the future. When you are grounded you are aware of this moment in time and all that surrounds you.
When you put your bare feet to the ground you make a connection to the Earth that some call “grounding” or “Earthing”. It is believed that the direct connection of your feet on the ground allows us to absorb health benefiting electrons, which we will get to later.
For now, can you think of a better way to feel in the moment then having your bare feet in the grass with all the rocks and bugs and other species who we share the Earth? Even if you don’t believe in that stuff, having your feet in some wet mud will bring anyone into the moment.
A Reduction In Some Pain and Inflammation
Pain and inflammation go hand in hand and these terms can refer to everything from a sore throat to a broken leg. Walking outside barefoot with a broken leg will not heal you or reduce your pain. If you are supposed to stay off your feet then be sure to follow the doctor’s orders.
There are some instigators of pain and inflammation that have been proven to be dominated when sufferers spent time sleeping on conductive mattress pads. These pads were created to mimic the effects that one would get if sleeping on the ground.
One patient, who had complained about fibromyalgia pain reported having almost no pain after the study. Another subject reported that their lower back and arm pain had “lessened” while other pains had been greatly diminished.
A Boost in Immunity
We are at the mercy of our immune systems. Anyone suffering from a disorder like systemic lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, type 1 diabetes, or psoriasis could attest to that statement. Let’s not forget all the cancer patients that endure chemotherapy treatments who suddenly find themselves low in white blood cells, which are one of the most powerful tools of this system.
Without a strong functioning immune system, our bodies are susceptible to any virus, bacteria, and pathogen that comes our way. There are wonderful ways to naturally boost your immunity, and it turns out that walking barefoot is one of them
A study reported in the Journal of Environmental and Public Health in 2012 showed that subjects who walked barefoot can drastically change the direction of your blood cell count, which is imperative to immunity.
You’ll Get Better Sleep
It’s difficult to dispute the statement that a good night’s sleep is a way toward overall health and well-being. When it comes to getting our zees, sleeping is essential for mental and physical health, as well as our quality of life. Adults over eighteen years of age should get anywhere from seven to eight hours a day.
Disorders like heart disease, heart failure, diabetes, high blood pressure, and stroke have all been linked to sleeping problems, which can affect anyone, anywhere, at any time. No one in this world is immune to insomnia, but some people know natural ways to battle it.
Science has shown that among the many physiological benefits having barefoot contact with the Earth improved sleep is one of them. Maintaining a healthy sleep pattern is important, and if you can achieve it naturally, that’s a win-win situation.
Helps Ease Stress & Anxiety
Anxiety disorders affect nearly three-hundred million people worldwide, which means that if you don’t suffer from anxiety then it has probably struck someone you know. Stress is different than an anxiety disorder. Stress is a type of anxiousness that everyone in our society deals with on one level or another.
Daily pressures are unavoidable at times. The key to managing stress isn’t only avoiding triggers but knowing how to control your response. One example is traffic. The majority of us are subjected to it and traffic can cause all kinds of anxiety, anger, and even bring people to road rage.
While we aren’t saying walking barefoot on your front lawn will stop all your anger toward incompetent drivers but you might find that you tolerate them with much more ease. Anyone who has spent any time outdoors can attest that it eases your stress levels even if you aren’t barefoot.
No studies are showing the link between being barefoot and anxiety relief, but, if gardening is stress-reducing due to digging your hands in the dirt, putting your feet there should have the same results.
Regulates the Autonomic Nervous System
Blood pressure, hormone secretion, and body temperature are all regulated by our autonomic nervous system, and when these functions fall out of whack it can lead to a series of medical issues that can cause serious damage and sometimes even death.
According to the South China Morning Post, research has shown that direct contact with the surface of the Earth has been shown to help regulate the autonomic nervous system. While studies on this have been done indoors with grounding mats, this publication suggests going outside and giving it a try. We couldn’t agree more.
Helps with Heart Disease
Many heart conditions fall under the title of heart disease. This can include disease that affects the blood vessels, defects of the heart, coronary heart disease, and many others. The importance of heart health on our overall well-being can’t be stated enough. Without heart health, we will die.
The Journal of Alternative And Complementary Medicine published a study in 2013 that showed a direct correlation with walking barefoot and the reduction of blood viscosity, which is a big component in heart disease. This is great news when you realize that an easy remedy is just outside your door.
Reconnects You with The Earth
The Earth is full of electromagnetic fields, which are a wonderful resource for all living beings on this planet. When we connect our bare feet to the ground where nothing has been built, like grass or in the woods, you are letting your body connect to these magnetic waves, which connects us to the Earth and nature around us.
Science has shown that spending time outside is good for you and can give you an unmatchable list of health benefits. As you feel the ground beneath your feet you are touching the face of your home. You are giving your energy to our Earth and it is returning energy to you. Shoes cut all of that off and create barriers.
Massages Your Feet
Who doesn’t love a great massage? All of us do, but they can get expensive and sometimes you need some relief and it can’t wait. When it comes to cramps in the feet and sore soles from long hours of working on your feet, there are few remedies as beneficial as walking outside barefoot.
When your feet are massaged you gain improved blood pressure, relaxation, better sleep, relief of body pain, and a boost in mood. Do any of these sound familiar? Many of them are advantages we’ve already discussed, which proves that walking barefoot is the next best thing to having someone rub your feet. Standing in mud is the next best thing and great therapy for your feet.
When was the last time you did something completely silly and childlike? As adults who have children, we forget that sometimes being juvenile and having the guts to step outside of the box we built for ourselves. What do you think your neighbors would say if you walked outside right now and took off your shoes to feel the grass on your feet?
They may not notice. If your area is experiencing rain or snowstorm then they might think you’ve lost your mind. In all seriousness though, walking around without shoes on, whether it’s indoors or outdoors, opens us up to our fun side, which is always a good thing overall, not just for your feet.
If you made it this far then now you know why everyone is going barefoot and we predict that you’ll be doing it too. We don’t recommend you do it everywhere but taking short walks is a good place to start.
Remember to be aware of where you are walking before you take off your shoes. If you have dogs you might find a few surprises it might be best to clean it up before you start digging your toes in.
You need to be aware of rocks, glass, and other sharp objects that could cut your foot but, if you stick to your yard, a nice park, or a public forest preserve you should be okay. Just keep your eyes open and your shoes off.
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