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 Earthing

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Oliver

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PostSubject: Earthing   Fri May 24, 2013 11:21 pm

I've been going barefoot for about four years now, but not so much during the winter. A few years ago I begun having problems in my knees and foot, specially after lifting some weight and wearing certain kinds of shoes. I used to limp pretty bad and occasionally I had to sit down and enjoy the pain in my foot. It was very painful to walk.
I went to the doctor and he told me that I had a couple of bones rubbing against each other in my foot. He gave an injection of cortisone and gave a prescription for some very expensive insoles. Things got better for a while, but the pain eventually came back. I was buying the most comfortable shoes, but since I walk all day long and the shoes get wet all the time, they didn't last very long...it was getting quite expensive and since I never liked shoes very much I started wearing flip-flops most of the time. The problem with flip-flops is walking when it is wet. They stick to the ground and when you lift your foot the strap comes out....I fucking hate that....I got pissed and went barefoot. My biggest fear is stepping on shit on the ground like nails, glass, thorns and real shit. I used to get them through my flip-flops very often, but amazingly I don't get much into my feet. I realized that when I walk barefoot, I walk differently. I pay more attention to the ground and don't step so hard, consequently my foot pain is pretty much gone.
Of course I get people asking me all the time: where are your shoes?
I normally answer: I cannot afford shoes or I had to trade them for gas.


After thinking for a while, I realized that perhaps I was into something important. We are all born barefoot and we are the only species that "need" to wear shoes....something seems fucked up....true that under freezing conditions we need protection from the cold, but other than that...not really.
Anyway, there are a few cool articles about the benefits of going barefoot.
Quote :
Remember the guy in college who went barefoot everywhere? He may have seemed eccentric, but it turns out he was on to something.

Walking barefoot, also known as "earthing," has gone from being a kooky counter-culture trend, to a scientifically-researched practice with a number of remarkable health advantages, such as increasing antioxidants, reducing inflammation, and improving sleep.

Earthing means walking barefoot on soil, grass or sand (meaning: any natural surface). So we’ll have to get off the sidewalk. Early studies are showing that the health benefits come from the relationship between our bodies and the electrons in the earth. The planet has its own natural charge, and we seem to do better when we’re in direct contact with it.

Why should you walk barefoot?

A review published in the Journal of Environmental and Public Health looked at a number of studies that highlight how drawing electrons from the earth improves health. In one, chronic pain patients using grounded carbon fiber mattresses slept better and experienced less pain.

Another study found that earthing changed the electrical activity in the brain, as measured by electroencephalograms. Still other research found that grounding benefitted skin conductivity, moderated heart rate variability, improved glucose regulation, reduced stress and boosted immunity.

One particularly compelling investigation, published in The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, found that earthing increases the surface charge of red blood cells. As a result, the cells avoid clumping, which decreases blood viscosity. High viscosity is a significant factor in heart disease, which is why so many people take blood thinning aspirin each day to improve their heart health. Another study in the same journal found that earthing may help regulate both the endocrine and nervous systems.

OK, I'm sold. What's next?

Even if there were no proven benefits to walking barefoot, I'd still recommend taking frequent walks in nature. Regular walking, as little as half an hour a day, can reduce cancer risk, improve cardiovascular health, moderate weight and prevent diabetes. In addition, walking improves blood oxygenation, circulation, and immune response, removes toxins, and relieves stress.

True, we can get many of these exercise benefits by using an indoor treadmill at the local gym. But without being outdoors in a natural environment, we miss out on many of the mental health benefits that are proven to increase when we spend time in nature.

For one thing, even if we enjoy it, going to the gym tends to be a chore. It’s just something we have to cross off our list. On the other hand, walking in nature is about being in the moment, rather than trying to achieve something. Even more importantly, we are surrounded by fresh oxygen-rich air and beautiful scenery, rather than gym smell and flatscreen TVs. And there’s no membership fee.

Walking also creates physical and emotional rhythms. Unlike running, which is by definition rushed and high impact, walking is gentle, nourishing and gives us space. We have an opportunity to work through the day’s events. In addition, even a light stroll releases endorphins. Most importantly, we breathe deeply.

As we walk, our breathing starts to synchronize with our motion. We experience a sense of expansion and freedom. Ultimately, walking becomes more than just exercise; it becomes a form of healing, removing our stress and replacing it with wellbeing on every level.

I think we would be hard-pressed to find a better win-win situation. By walking, we exercise our muscles and cardiovascular system, improve our mental health, reduce stress and support our overall wellness. Simply taking our shoes off seems to multiply those benefits by allowing us to synchronize with the earth’s natural electric charge. On an evolutionary level, this all makes complete sense. We evolved close to the earth, and it’s only relatively recently that we have been so keen to remove ourselves from nature.

Perhaps it’s time to take a step back, barefooted.

http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-9099/the-surprising-health-benefits-of-going-barefoot.html

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Oliver

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PostSubject: Re: Earthing   Fri May 24, 2013 11:29 pm

Quote :
7 Health Benefits of Going Barefoot Outside
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Comments BY STEPHANIE SLON
MARCH 29, 2012 12:10 PM EDT
Even though we've come to think of them as a vital part of our lives, only 20 percent of the world's population today wears shoes. Although in western society, shoes are necessary in certain situations, now that spring is here, and summer is on its way, there’s nothing stopping you from finding a park or beach, taking your shoes off and going for a barefoot stroll. The benefits might surprise you.

1. Clear Your Mind

It’s hard not to pay attention to every step when you’re walking barefoot. You have to be on the look out for sharp rocks and thorns. Awareness of what’s in front of you in this moment quiets your inner chatter and clears your mind and helps you focus on the here and now.

2. It’s Free Foot Yoga

Walking barefoot strengthens and stretches the muscles, tendons and ligaments in your feet, ankles and calves. This helps prevent injury, knee strain and back problems. Not only that, but because it works muscles not used when you’re wearing shoes, it strengthens and stretches your core, helping keep your posture upright, and your balance spot on.

3. It’s a Free Reflexology Session.

There are reflex points to every part of your body in your feet. Every little bump and rock in the road helps to stimulate all these little reflex points. If it hurts at first – especially in specific areas, this means your feet need the stimulation they’re getting by being barefoot. Over time, these sensitivities will go away, and the areas the tenderness corresponds to will be rejuvenated, helping decrease the symptoms of whatever it is that ails you.

4. Decrease Anxiety & Depression.

Walking barefoot in the grass can help decrease anxiety and depression by 62 percent, and increases the levels of those feel good endorphins. Awesome!

5. Get a Good Night's Sleep.

The ancients believed that walking barefoot in the grass was the best cure for insomnia, and many people still swear by it today.

6. It’s Grounding. Literally.

Our bodies are made up of about 60 percent water, which is great for conducting electricity. The earth has a negative ionic charge. Going barefoot grounds our bodies to that charge. Negative Ions have been proven to detoxify, calm, reduce inflammation, synchronise your internal clocks, hormonal cycles and physiological rhythms. The best places to get some negative ions through your feet are by the water. Everyone knows how good it feels to be barefoot on the beach – now we know why!

7. Get Back to What Matters.

To be barefoot outside doesn’t just involve your feet – the rest of you has to be outside too. You get to connect with Mother Nature all around. Feel the sunshine on your face; hear the wind in the trees. It’s easier to connect to a higher power when you’re in touch with Nature; it’s easier to put things into perspective.

Who knew something as simple as a barefoot walk could be so good for you – mind, body and soul.
http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-4369/7-Health-Benefits-of-Going-Barefoot-Outside.html

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