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Walking around barefoot is healthy for a number of reasons – but have you heard about Earthing, aka Grounding? This is a hugely overlooked health factor and some even say it’s as important as getting clean air and water. And it is as simple as touching the ground.

It might sound a bit too easy to be true, but when you really understand what’s going on, it makes so much sense.

I’ve read just about all the books and medical studies (yes, it’s heavy reading) – and listened to a bunch of skeptics. Now I’ve put it all into an easily digestible, visual article that’ll help you understand what earthing means and why it might be good for you and your family.

What does earthing mean?

Earthing (grounding) means to electrically connect with the earth’s surface charge. We are bio-electrical beings and we all play to the same tune of natural energy. Being connected restores and balances your natural bodily systems which aid in healing illnesses. Let’s have a look at the science!

If you’ve already got a pretty good idea of what earthing means and would like to know more about the benefits, I’ll recommend you jump to my other article; What is the purpose of grounding yourself?

Earth battery recharged by sun and lightning.

You are an electrical being in an electrical world

We live on a planet that is alive, fueled by energy. Our earth is like a natural battery being replenished by solar radiation, lightning and heat from the core. 

We are bioelectrical beings and the rhythmic pulsation of natural energy maintains the order of our own frequencies. We call this our circadian rythm.

Trillions of cells constantly transmit and receive energy. This is by some scientists referred to as the living matrix and it explains how we all have dynamic electrical circuits. 

The biological machinery of global life is running in rhythm and balance – everything from people and animals to plants, bacteria and viruses.  

Why is earthing important?

If this connection is happening naturally, you might wonder why it’s important and necessary to actively ground yourself. The answer lies in how our lifestyle has evolved in recent years.

We’ve become disconnected

Most of us in developed societies live disconnected from the earth’s surface and our bare feet rarely touch the ground.

Imagine a light bulb with a bad connection. It’s flickering or not lighting up at all, and a lot of people go through life with a flickering health. 

Earth battery. Mrs shoes VS. mrs barefoot

Electrical grounding – We ground our houses but not ourselves

When building modern houses – houses with electricity, that is – it is standard practice to connect them with Earth’s natural electrical field.

It is called grounding and it facilitates a physical connection between the ground and the electrical equipment and appliances in your home.

Earth has a negative electrical charge, which allows it to neutralize positively charged electricity.

The purpose of grounding our houses is to allow excess and unstable electricity to discharge through the ground. Without this, any instability in the electricity will either discharge through us humans or through our electrical appliances, causing severe damage either way.  

It seems silly to me, that we have this completely standard practice of grounding everything in our modern electrical world – and at the same time we keep our bio-electrical bodies disconnected for most of our lives. Leaving us little chance to balance and discharge our own system through Earth’s electrical field.

You have to wonder what all the consequences are…

When fashion takes hold over function

For most of human existence, everyone was barefoot – it’s how we come into this world. But since we started wearing shoes, some 40.000 years ago, they’ve evolved from being helpful tools into – in some cases extremely – damaging footwear.

The problems arise when appearance takes hold over functionality and becomes the culturally accepted fashion. Have you heard of the Chinese foot-binding tradition? I’ll leave you with a few notes and some pictures if you haven’t.

Basically, it was a fashion trend that emerged in the tenth century when a court dancer performed for the emperor with tiny bound-up feet. Gradually, court ladies with time, void and money on their hand took up foot-binding, making it a status symbol. It’s taken more than a millennial to shake this horrific fashion tradition off.

The so-called
The so-called "lily feet" contrasted with the natural feet of Chinese women. Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C. 20540 USA http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/pp.print

Just like the Chinese lotus shoes, our modern-day shoe fashion is gradually drifting away from the natural shape of our feet. But a more invisible health risk was thrown into the mix when the rubber sole was invented some 100 years ago, and the trend really kicked off with Industrialization and the invention of mass production.

The trouble with rubber soles is, that rubber is not conductive, meaning it doesn’t allow a flow of electrical current.


I guess my point is; It’s very easy to think of your thick-soled sneakers and pointy sandals as the most normal thing in the world, and that because everyone else around you is wearing them, it can’t be that bad. I hope I’m helping you gain some perspective.


Grounding as a health practice in different cultures

Clearly, fashion and social status have always played significant roles in the design of our footwear, throughout history. But being healthy is luckily also important, and the practice of walking barefoot to connect with Earth’s energy is known in different ages and cultures, worldwide.


Earth Qi in ancient China

The word “Qi” (chee) means “energy”, more precisely the energy or natural force that fills our universe. The main distinctions are Heaven Qi, Earth Qi and Human Qi. Human Qi is always seeking balance through Earth and Heaven Qi, thus making it important to be connected with the Earth’s surface. The ancient Chinese practice of Qigong uses the Earth’s energy to cultivate harmony and balance within.


Native American’s close relationship with Mother Nature

It is widely known, how Native Americans live in close relation to Mother Nature. A characteristic of their religion is an overwhelming feeling of gratitude, love, and thankfulness for the gifts of the Creator. They are thankful to the Great Spirit for Mother Earth and everything she provides for them and believe everything created is connected through energy and spirit.

Walking barefoot is a very common practice to relieve stress and tension, and the Earth’s energy has a healing effect – combined with the body’s natural ability to heal.


Australian Aborigins 

The ancient culture believes that health and healing come from the act of being in harmony with oneself and the earth. When you attune yourself to nature – eg. by walking barefoot – nature will nurture you.

“Health comes from acknowledging the interconnectedness between yourself and every living thing” – Anne Warren, Aboriginal medicine woman


Bare feet in major religions

All the major religions seem to mention the importance of bare feet in some way. Sometimes it’s for spiritual health, sometimes for physical. A few of them are outlined below.

Old Testament

In the old testament walking barefoot is mentioned several times. For instance, God commanded Moses, as he approached the burning bush, to “Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy ground.” (Exodus 3). From that day he began to walk barefoot, as everything God has created is holy ground.



In Islam, it is recommended (sunnah) to occasionally walk barefoot. Though it is not directly explained why, the Prophet (PBOH) used to command his followers to go barefoot sometimes. A well-known early Sufi, went barefoot the day his heart opened to the knowledge of God and never put on shoes again. He explained;

“The earth is God’s carpet and I think it wrong to tread on His carpet while there is anything between me and His carpet.” – Bishr al Haafi

Muslims believe they are stewards of the earth and God has made them responsible for respecting and maintaining all natural processes, as He created them.

“On Judgement Day, the earth will yield up her burdens and tell her tales, and each individual will be shown their deeds.” – Quran (translated)



In Hinduism, going barefoot is also extremely important. When entering a temple, it is a sign of humility, respect, and submissiveness.

Going barefoot also signifies respect for the earth upon which people walk.

“The foot is the body part that touches the earth – the sacred mother of all. The earth is imbued with generative powers and the foot is thought of as the conduit through which the vital energy of the earth travels through humans unto the cosmos.” –


Visionaries throughout time have recognized the importance and healing power of Earth. Adolf Just, the founder of naturopathy in 1800s wrote in his book Return to Nature:

 “The feet are in a certain sense for man what the roots are for plants. Man draws vital energy and strength out of the Earth through his feet.” – Adolf Just


We used to wear leather shoes, sleep on the ground and cultivate our land with our bare hands. This meant we connected and balanced our systems numerous times during the day. In modern societies, this is no longer the case, which makes it important to incorporate this health practice into our daily routine.

Bottom line – Why is earthing important?

The list of benefits of Earthing is long. With our insulated modern lifestyle in highrise buildings and rubber-soled shoes, it becomes essential to actively connect with earth – to ground.

Grounding helps with numerous diseases and disorders

Does earthing (grounding) actually work?

It’s all quite plausible in theory but does it actually make a difference?

The benefits of grounding the human body

Several studies and anecdotal reports show a long list of benefits, including;

  • Reduces inflammation
  • Reduces stress
  • Improves sleep
  • Reduces blood viscosity
  • Calms symptoms of colic
  • Decreases pain
  • Reduces PMS and menses symptoms


And fellow mamas, let me remind you; all these benefits apply to your children as well!

And no, you don’t have to put your newborn down on the ground, if you feel the grass is too cold and wet. All you have to do is hold your little one with some kind of skin-to-skin contact and then kick off your own shoes. And voilà – You are both grounded! Try it out next time your baby is fussy and won’t calm down.

Now let me outline just a few of the key benefits.

Grounding regulates stress, aka fight/flight mode

We are designed to react in dangerous situations – we go into fight-or-flight mode. This means your body pauses all the other functions and systems to focus on the immediate danger. We can measure our level of stress by measuring a hormone called cortisol.

Even though we humans no longer fear for lion attacks, we still have multiple stress factors during the day, that put us in this survival-mode. Checking your mail for bills, the alarm clock ringing or your baby crying are all causing stress.

It’s perfectly natural but if we are not able to regulate our cortisol levels afterward, we become chronically stressed.

Scientists are now discovering how the electrical field of the Earth plays a significant role in regulating this hormone. Several scientific studies show how cortisol levels drop when the human body is grounded. We become aligned with our natural circadian rhythm which also improves sleep.

Grounding reduces inflammation

Another huge health benefit is Earthing’s ability to reduce inflammation. We are still studying how it works, but it definitely works. Wounds heal faster with no red, inflamed area surrounding it. This also means faster recovery after workouts and top athletes around the world routinely earth themselves.


So – does it actually work? Though further studies are warranted, the initial results are intriguing. We know, that a body in balance has the ability to heal itself. This is exactly why the list of benefits from Earthing seems never-ending.

Bottom line – Does earthing (grounding) actually work?

Being grounded doesn’t cure you – it restores all your electrical bodily systems, such as the cardiovascular, digestive, and respiratory systems and more importantly the immune system. This allows your body to self-regulate and self-heal.

Check out my article on the purpose of grounding yourself and learn more about all the health benefits of kicking off your shoes.

Experiment with grounded VS. ungrounded sunflower

Test it with a flower and see the difference

Through a simple science experiment, you can put grounding to the test. It’s a great way to visually demonstrate the impact of being grounded.

You start with two cut flowers in each their own vase with water. The vases must be placed together to ensure the same conditions. Then you place a ground rod with a grounding cord in one of the vases. It’s plugged into the earth port on the wall outlet.

You can take pictures every day and note the changes in grounded vs. non-grounded flowers.

Earthing Institute has developed a thorough guide as well as an Earthing Plant Experiment Kit (a basic outlet checker to test the ground of a wall outlet, and an Earthing cord attached to a stainless steel ground rod). The guide also includes several more experiments on plant growth, check it out to see more results.

Let me know if you try this too and we can share the result!

Test of flower growth with vs. without grounding.
Test of flower growth with vs. without grounding.

Include and educate your children

I hope you have a pretty good idea about what earthing – or grounding – means. I’ve simplified the matter to help my kids understand and my 4-yo son seems to get it.

He knows that we need “charge” of several kinds to have the power to play. This is first food, water and sleep. But I’ve explained to him, that we get energy from the Earth as well. All we have to do is touch it with our bare skin.

Now he notices if I’m deliberately putting my hand on the ground, and asks curiously if I need some extra energy. Or If he’s struggling with something, he gets the idea to recharge by earthing for a second. And we talk about how grateful we are for this wonderful gift, the healing and replenishing world around us. These little moments of seeing my child happily connect with nature are so precious to me.

If you give Earthing a try; let me know some differences you notice, and how you include your little ones!

I will make a follow-up article on how to get started and probably test a bunch of everyday surfaces to see how we can get the most grounded during the day. Stay tuned for this!

Mamabel and son earthing in grass