One of the best things about the advent of spring is that I find more and more opportunities to walk barefoot. I love the feeling of grass under my feet and sand between my toes. I love feeling connected to the planet, especially after long months of raw, bitter, wet, isolating cold.

In particular, I love the grass out west. It’s soft and smooth, like the grass of my Connecticut childhood. In the South, one is forced to live with St. Augustine grass, which is actually lumpy and painful to walk on. That, and you have to watch out for fire ants and snakes and scorpions and hostile plant life. It’s not the same experience at all. (But I do miss walking on Southern beaches! Warm sand, not painful rocks!)

But walking barefoot, or “earthing”, is now being scientifically studied. It comes as no surprise to me that people are discovering that there are actual health benefits to the practice. I know I feel calmer and happier and much more centered when I’m barefoot.

According to this article, scientists are discovering that earthing improves sleep, reduces inflammation, and increases antioxidants. It has something to do with having direct contact with the electrons that the planet produces. It also reduces stress, regulates glucose and heartbeat, and increases immunity. According to this article, walking barefoot also helps loosen tense muscles, relieves headaches, reduces menstrual cramps, and boosts energy levels.

Whether or not these studies stand up to further investigation, I just know, instinctively, that I feel better when I can feel the earth beneath my feet. After all, we evolved to live upon it. Our very existence depends on it. We are meant to be connected to it. I find it sad that our idea of “progress” is removing us more and more from the natural world.

So get out there and wiggle your toes!


An attitude of gratitude is what you need to get along. Read my book!

5 thoughts on “Earthing

  1. lyn sutton

    Wiccans do this as part of their grounding practices. Some marathon distance runners prefer going barefooted. And then there’s barefoot hiking which may be risky around poisonous snakes and wildlife scat but you just need to watch your step and carry a pooper scooper. 🙂

  2. lyn sutton

    As for personal experience with earthing, I abhor wearing shoes and have risked foot injuries walking barefoot down graveled glass and nail strewn alleyways when the urban patches of grass ran out. Puddles, dirt, mud and grass are best experienced barefoot. I’ve even walked barefoot in the snow. Haven’t tried walking on hot coals yet. Might be my limit.

    If you’re looking for sandy beaches, try the Southern Californian coast and maybe let your feet check out the Northern redwoods on your way down. 🙂

  3. Pingback: Tactile – The View from a Drawbridge

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