“Earth's crammed with heaven, And every common bush afire with God: But only he who sees takes off his shoes..."
-Elizabeth Barrett Browning
This is just too big and too new to me for me to try to explain on my own. But this super-easy activity is gaining attention because it apparently works for many. I came across this new-old method of treatment through my husband who came across it via our natureopathic doctor. I had never heard of it and was reluctant to even look in that direction...It all sounded too simple and too weird at the same time. In fact, my husband, who isn't keen on research, was the first to start studying it. What he found led me to look more, and when I found Dr. Mercola advocating it, I had to at least listen.
I lean toward skepticism so let me say that if you have a problem with this, I totally understand. I still can't say that taking a walk in the fresh air and sunshine doesn't play at least part of the role in our feeling well in this activity. But the concept of 'grounding' or as many call it, 'earthing', and as I call it, 'barefooting', rings some good bells when I listen open-mindedly as proven non-quacks teach about it.
Dr. Joseph Mercola is highly respected within whole food consumer, herbalistic, natureopathic, holistic and yes, even modern medicine circles. As I said, this is too big for me to do it justice, but I am certainly willing to give the 'stand-in-the-grass' part a try. It's free and can't hurt and I get painful swelling which is helped by eating particular foods and good foods, but it's never quite GONE. If all I need do is go barefoot in the grass or on the beach...Baby, I'm in.
I found several sites that discussed this phenomenal, age-old 'remedy', but I chose to share this one because the others, although most seemed quite sincere, would give you the education, but also had products you can buy to help in the 'grounding' process. In the broadcast I am going to share with you, there is conversation of certain aides, which one may or may not opt to seek out, but what I am most interested in your hearing is the reasons why 'barefooting' works. From what I understand, the aids are helpful, but not mandatory. This is why I am sharing the one I feel teaches the most and the best without trying to sell us anything other than an idea that science seems to be proving correct.
I do hope you will listen. I am just starting to try to spend some time each day, shoes off, in the grass or on the nearby beach. It's just too easy to do and I don't mind using myself, in this, as a guinea pig. I understand even walking on concrete works. Rubber, wood and synthetic soles, no. It makes perfect sense to me that one would go walking 'barefoot in the park', so to speak, and come back feeling refreshed, but according to what I'm finding, there's more to it than sunshine and fresh air. While I don't think I can be swayed to believe these factors are moot in regard to increased well-being after walking, shoes on or off, I do have to admit, shoes off seems better.
I don't have to lean on 'Mother Earth' religiosity and paranormal science to believe that God knew what He was doing when He first created this earth and then the rest of nature and mankind to inhabit it. It doesn't shock me to discover that there are electromagnetic currents running through both this earth and our bodies. I've been learning tidbits about this over past years, so it may surprise me less than others and then again, more than some others, as well. Lightening doesn't start from the sky as we all believed in our youth, but actually, starts from the earth. And we each have hearts that beat. beat. beat. We can't make it happen, it just does...an electric current. Nerves and tingles and zings. We've all experienced them. We don't disclaim them, and most of us can't explain them- we just accept them. And somehow, their best functioning, according to this new research, is inter-related with the electro-magnetic forces of this created world. I don't see that concept interfering with my faith. I see it as just one more aspect that says God is bigger and greater and a whole lot smarter than I.
Curious? I was, too. Here ya go:
Dr. Joeseph Mercola interviews Dr. James Oschman
In winding up, I have to say, there are just a few things about the promotion of 'barefooting' that I think warrant warning. When I wrote earlier, "barefoot in the park", the truth is, I'd be particular about what park I walked barefoot in...If the grass is picture-perfect and everything is manicured to the nth degree, I would wonder about chemically treated grass and soil. That might not be something we want to soak up with our feet.
Also, even though as a country kid, I sometimes plundered into a cowpie when racing through fields without thinking, I would highly recommend that where there are animals, use caution for that very reason. Beaches seem to be pretty safe, although one wouldn't want to be barefooting in areas where known partying takes place. The safest and happiest place to barefoot just might be our own yards. Yes, I know we run the risk of splinters and dirty feet, but it's life, people. It's life. If you're really afraid of what might happen, take the easiest approach and just sit in a chair on a patch of grass and let your feet 'soak' there.
If nothing else, you will surely feel a sense of freedom as your feet leave the confines of shoes, socks, sandals and flip-flops to truly get in touch with the great out-of-doors.