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When was the last time you walked barefoot in the sand, grass, or in a forest? For most people, this doesn’t happen very often. But we’re now learning that there might be more of a reason for you to start making these types of activities a priority.

A movement known as “grounding” or “earthing” is sweeping the holistic health scene. Walking barefoot outside, with the soles of your feet free to directly connect with the surface of the earth, is the main activity that’s a part of the earthing or grounding practice. While it might sound strange at first — ditching your shoes and digging your toes into the dirt or sand, or strolling across some pesticide-free grass — there’s evidence that this can be greatly beneficial for health by lowering free radical damage(also called “oxidative stress”), stress, inflammation and pain.

How Does Earthing or Grounding Work?

Regularly connecting to the earth’s natural, powerful energy is now known to be healing and vital for all people. This is why “reconnection” — with both the earth itself and our body’s own innate healing abilities — is the focus of earthing. The best part about earthing or grounding is that it’s super simple, completely free and can be done anywhere, at any time. It requires nothing but your bare body and willingness to try something that might seem “a bit out there.”

You might be a bit skeptical about this phenomenon, so let me explain more about the basics of how earthing works:

1. Your body runs through a type of electrical current. As the Journal of Environmental and Public Health states:

It is an established, though not widely appreciated fact, that the Earth’s surface possesses a limitless and continuously renewed supply of free or mobile electrons. The Earth’s negative charges can create a stable internal bioelectrical environment for the normal functioning of all body systems which may be important for setting the biological clock, regulating circadian rhythms, and balancing cortisol levels.

2. Your body is naturally able to absorb electrical charges from the earth since your skin acts like a “conductor.” Your feet, specifically certain points in the balls of your feet, are believed to especially be good at receiving the earth’s electricity.

But because of our modern way of living — for example, always wearing shoes and living most of our lives above ground in our homes or offices that are located several floors up in tall buildings — we’re losing touch with the earth’s natural “electrical” force.

3. The human body is electrical first and chemical second,” according to earthing expert Clint Ober. Our brain, heart beat and neurotransmitter activity, for example, all rely on electrical signals, so when our electricity if off, so can be certain aspects of our health.

The idea is that by being in touch with the planet, the electrical force coming off the earth is able to help lower inflammation and fight free radicals. In fact, the term “earthing” has even earned a patent as a natural method for reducing disease-causing inflammation.

Vitamin G: The Key to Earthing!

Just like our body needs direct exposure to sunlight to produce adequate amounts of the vital nutrient called vitamin D, we also require a certain level of direct exposure with our home planet to produce something that some holistic practitioners call “Vitamin G.”

You might be familiar with vitamin D deficiency and related symptoms, but likely you’re brand new to vitamin G. Being directly in touch with the earth, our body’s own electricity becomes more stable and in line with that of the earth. Think of it this way: You know the relaxing, healing feeling of spending time outdoors in the sun? Well, you can also get a surge of healthy compounds flooding your system by walking in your bare feet on the earth’s soil or sand.

How did I first come to learn about “vitamin G”? While out at Beyond Organic Ranch in Missouri, of which I am part-owner,  I was walking barefoot with two of my good friends, Jordan Rubin and Dr. Dave Jockers. Dave said to us, “You know we are getting a lot of vitamin G right now.” We said, “vitamin what!?”  He said, “You know, we are grounding and walking on the earth, and I like to call it vitamin G.” “Oh,” we replied, “we like that; we will start using it.” And that is where vitamin G was birthed!


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