Grounding or ‘earthing’ refers to the human body being in contact with the surface of the earth either by barefoot exposure outdoors or using special indoor systems (like mats) connected to the Earth. Previous studies have showed multiple beneficial effects as a result of such contact, including better sleep, normalization of cortisol, reduced inflammation, pain and stress, and better blood flow. The research done to date supports the concept that grounding or earthing the human body may be an essential element in the health equation along with sunshine, clean air and water, nutritious food, and physical activity.
In a study published in 2015, an infrared imaging camera was used to measure changes in blood flow and temperature. Thermal imaging showed improved circulation of fluids (including blood) throughout the torso, which in turn, translates into enhanced delivery of blood to the head and improved blood circulation in the face as well.
The results of this study demonstrate that even one-hour contact with the earth appears to significantly promote autonomic nervous system control of body fluids and peripheral blood flow that may improve blood circulation in the torso and face, facial tissue repair, skin health and vitality.
Most people today, particularly in industrial societies, rarely walk barefoot besides holidays at the beach. They wear shoes with synthetic soles (especially runners!) that insulate them from the earth’s natural electric charge. The earthing hypothesis states that when direct skin contact is made with the earth’s surface, an influx of electrons enters the body and equalizes the body’s electric potential with that of the Earth.
The sole of your foot has over 200.000 nerve endings in it. Your feet are among the most nerve-rich parts of your body. When standing and walking, the soles of your feet are the only part of your body in direct contact with the environment. Sensory information from the foot is used to protect the foot itself from injury, but it’s also used by the brain to make subtle adjustments in your gait to protect bones and joints all the way up your body and to maximize the efficiency of your movements.
So next time you go out for a run or walk, remember this. Wearing shoes means you’re not only missing out on natural biofeedback, you’re missing out on some natural healing from planet earth too.
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