I tried earth walking again when I was in Joshua Tree National Park. We were on a well-marked trail and I walked at least a quarter of a mile barefoot. Again, that rush of endorphins at the end was wild.
Day 5: Earthing (31 Notes from Nature)
More importantly, do you remember how you felt when you did it? Were you paying attention?
There’s a practice called “earthing” that invites people to remove their shoes and walk barefoot in the dirt, sand, grass (or on any natural substrate).
This practice allows you to ground and center yourself.
And studies are pointing to an incredible number of benefits, including sleeping more soundly, calming anxiety, and reducing inflammation.
Studies are also proving that our bodies interact with the electrons in the earth. The more they interact, the better it is for our bodies (it makes our blood less “sticky,” reduces our stress hormones, and boosts our immunity).
Stick with me here. This may sound like a whole lotta woo-woo mumbo-jumbo. BUT/AND I would really encourage you to try “earthing” for yourself.
Slip your footwear off. Find some soft grass or soft sand and just walk in small circles. Walk in bigger circles if you feel comfortable. Go for a long walk if you’re feeling super brave.
I walk barefoot my home all the time. And at the beach, I have no problems being barefoot constantly. I’ve also walked a number of labyrinths barefooted, but they were grass, sand, or tiny pebbles.
But, I tried walking barefoot during a Shinrin-Yoku (forest bathing) experience with a client (I’ll speak more about Shinrin-Yoku in another Note). My client was ahead of me, doing her thing, and I was giving her plenty of space. As I was walking, I heard Nature simply request that I remove my shoes. “Really?” I thought. “Here? Now?” I looked up the rocky path doubtfully. “This is gonna hurt a little,” my brain said.
I slipped off my shoes and started walking. Yep, it did hurt. It hurt until I got myself acclimated and balanced to what I was walking on. Until I really felt my feet. Once I got centered, it no longer hurt. I was wildly focused on my walking, looking where I stepped, paying attention to how and where I placed my feet. Earthing was an AWESOME experience and I had such a rush of endorphins by the end of this earthing experience. It was incredible.
So, gentle reader, I invite you to try earthing the next time you see a particularly lovely bit of green grass or some soft looking sand. Pay attention to how you FEEL before, during, and after.
There just might be something to that body/earthing/electron thing.