Way to Make Stress Disappear Without Spending a Penny
The latest trend among local governments is the creation of ‘barefoot walking’ spaces. These are safe paths made of dirt or sand designed to encourage people to spend their leisure time walking barefoot. This trend has emerged in response to the growing number of ‘Earthers’ who enjoy walking barefoot. The term ‘Earthing’ is a combination of the word ‘earth’ which signifies connection with the ground and ‘tribe’. In this article, we aim to discuss everything about Earthing, from why it has become a hot trend and its benefits to precautions that need to be taken.
Understanding the Term ‘Earthing’
The term ‘Earthing’ is derived from ‘earth’. It carries the meaning of walking barefoot on the ground and returning to the natural state of humans. Renowned model Miranda Kerr is known to walk barefoot for jet lag adjustment as soon as she gets off the plane. She ‘Earths’ to adapt to the local area. The practice of Earthing gained significant popularity through a book published in 2010 by electrical engineer Clinton Ober, cardiologist Stephen Sinatra, and natural healing author Martin Zucker.
The Core Principle of Earthing
In their book, the authors explained that when you step on the ground barefoot, free electrons flow into the body and neutralize active oxygen which is the cause of inflammation and chronic diseases. It’s about being connected with the earth by walking barefoot. The term ‘Earthing’ was created from the present progressive form of ‘earth’ for this reason. Those who follow Earthing often remind us that since the beginning of time, humans have walked barefoot so they had no choice but to be in constant contact with the earth.
Benefits of Earthing: Reduction in Inflammation
While it may be dismissed as pseudoscience at first glance walking barefoot or Earthing is described as having various benefits. A key benefit is the reduction of inflammation. Practitioners of Earthing believe that contact with the earth can reduce inflammation and damage to some cells. The earth is struck by lightning about 44 times per second and experiences thunderstorms, and the logic is that one can receive the free electrons of life that come down during this time by walking barefoot.
Actual Benefits Through Acupressure
The effects of neutralization through free electrons and reduction of inflammation are still controversial. However, it is a fact that acupressure can have a positive impact on health. Our feet are balanced with 26 bones, 33 joints, and over 100 ligaments, muscles, and nerves on one side. In traditional Chinese medicine, it is explained that if you walk barefoot and stimulate the acupressure points and sensory nerves of your feet appropriately, the blood flow around the organs can increase and blood circulation can be smooth. Walking barefoot is a recommended exercise for patients with cardiovascular diseases.
Inducing Sleep, Improving Insomnia
Another direct benefit that can be expected from Earthing is improving the quality of sleep. As mentioned earlier, blood circulation becomes smooth due to the acupressure effect, the autonomic nervous system can find balance and this can be particularly beneficial for those suffering from insomnia. In communities that share the benefits of Earthing, there are many active shares of experiences where those who were struggling with insomnia were able to stop taking sleeping pills.
Effects of Posture Correction
Our feet have small muscles that can provide stability when we take a posture. These muscles often referred to as ‘foot core’ have significantly reduced usage in modern times thanks to high-performance shoes. Earthing is described as an activity that can strengthen the underused foot core. By strengthening the small muscles of the foot it can ultimately balance the body, enhance the sensation of the foot, and correct the posture we take.
Relief of Stress
As Earthing gains attention, various mass media outlets have conducted related research and published their results. Looking at the experiment conducted in the TV program ‘The Secret of Longevity and Death: Barefoot Walking’ the biggest benefit that the experimental group experienced through Earthing was a ‘reduction in stress index’. It is explained that feeling the touch of the ground while walking barefoot and naturally relaxing the body leads to a decrease in stress.
How to Practice Earthing
The essence of Earthing is ‘walking’ ‘barefoot’. Unlike other activities, not much preparation is needed to walk barefoot. It is sufficient to walk barefoot outdoors as much as possible, activating the energy points on the soles of the feet. It is more beneficial to practice Earthing on dirt, grass, or sand than on asphalt roads. Using the barefoot walking spaces provided by local governments is also a good way to safely enjoy Earthing.
A Safe Place is Needed
However, that does not mean you should just go outside barefoot without caution. Many sharp objects on the road can hurt your feet. You need to keep your eyes about 3 feet ahead and secure your field of view to avoid getting cut by stones or shards of glass. It can also be helpful to get a tetanus shot in case of emergencies. You should also avoid excessive exercise. If the plantar nerves are pressed due to continuous stimulation, this can also lead to health problems.
Various products have been released that allow you to practice Earthing safely and with high efficiency. A representative example is ‘socks’. These are thick socks with open soles that can ground while preventing too much cold air from seeping in. Not just for walking barefoot, but products such as sleeping pads and pillows designed to receive the energy of the earth are also being released in large quantities. Many items are being distributed not as exercise aids but in other categories so when looking for Earthing products, it is necessary to first determine what you need and examine them.
By. Deok Soo Choi