When you meet me outside in nature, I am that girl that is walking barefoot. I prefer sitting on the ground over sitting on a chair. At home I hardly ever wear shoes, not even slippers or socks. Long time I didn’t know why I was doing like this. My answer to questions always was “I just like it, it feels more comfortable, more natural.”. With this article I would like to inspire you to give your feet a break every now and then. Your whole body-mind-soul-system will thank you for it.
Use your feet for what they were designed for
I believe that who- or whatever created life, it equipped all living beings with everything they need. More specific, I believe that every plant, every animal and every human being gets born with what they need to master this world. Did you ever see a baby coming out of the womb with shoes? I guess not. Human beings are the only beings on our earth that protect their feet with shoes. We sometimes need to because the world today is more of an unnatural concrete jungle than woods and meadows. But let’s face it, shoes are graves for our feet and we start to bury our physical health at very young age. Our feet are full of tiny but oh so important muscels and best way to train them is to walk barefoot. Easy as that. The overuse of footwear leads to deformation of the feet, flat foot, splayfoot, ingrown toenail and so on. Furthermore, wearing shoes all the time (high-heels are killer literally) can lead to bad posture, problems with the knees, hips and the spine. A whole list of not so pleasant things. So from the physical viewpoint, you can just benefit from walking barefoot. To train your muscels it already helps to walk without any shoes at home. Besides of training your footmuscels and therefore improving your posture there are other physical benefits. Maybe you already heard of “foot reflexology”. By walking barefoot, you bring stimulation to those pressure points and you activate reflex arcs of your neuronal system and other connectivities. Activating these circuits is a benefit to your whole physical system. Lower blood-pressure, strengthening of the cardiovascualar system, boosting the body’s defences. But there are so much more benefits, let’s see what happens when we take our bare feet outside.
We come from nature, it’s our charging station
It is not so much for its beauty that the forest makes a claim upon men’s hearts, as for that subtle something, that quality of air that emanation from old trees, that so wonderfully changes and renews a weary spirit. – Robert Louis Stevenson
It’s commonly known that when you go out for a walk, you better walk in nature than in the city. In the cities there is just concrete under your feet and toxines from traffic in the air. You choose intuitively woods in favour of your lungs. A positive side effect of breathing that fresh air in the woods or country is the plants there produce various substances and release them into the air. By breathing the air you automatically inhale those substances. Recent studies show those substances can help to boost the immune system of the human body. But that’s again physical aspects. Other general effects of time spent in nature are feeling more peaceful or quiet, the monkey mind slows down.
Walking barefoot in nature
So far, so good, but this article is about walking barefoot. Why is it good for you to free your feet when your outside?
The earth and the atmosphere are full of electromagnetic particles, protons and electrons. Humans are also electromagnetic beings. Our neuronal system relies on little electrical impulses to transfer information. Moreover, we are surrounded by many positive particles from the earth’s atmosphere (negative particles are on the surface) and there is this thing, known as “free radicals” which affect our bodies. The positive particles cause a static charge of the body. Free radicals are a natural phenomenon. Normally the body can remove them naturally, but our environmental influences are causing an overload. The free radicals are lacking one electron and they wanna have it so bad. So they start to “steal” those electrons from healthy cells in your bodies causing you harm step by step.
This is the theoretical framework for a phenomenon called grounding or earthing. We all know that phrase “feeling grounded” and here is your scientific explanation: When your skin gets in contact with the natural surface of nature (sunbathing without lying on a towel, gardening work, walking barefoot outside, swimming in the ocean etc.) there is an exchange of particles between you and the earth. There is an intake of free electrons from the earth. Those greedy free radicals get naturally removed by being filled up with a free electron and cells can heal. Furthermore, the static charge gets neutralized.
Bringing it all together
So how can you benefit the most from a barefoot walk? Well, like I explained earlier, you train your foot muscles, thereby you improve your posture and prevent deformation. When you take the factor nature in the equation, your body can heal by breathing fresh air. To bring it back to the grounding: walking barefoot over natural surfaces not only causes your cells to heal through that exchange of electromagnetic particles, but you also start to feel your environment. You get connected, you can literally feel your roots. The skin is our largest organ with the ability to feel, yet we explore feeling rarely with our feet. The key is to walk mindfully. To be aware where you place your foot. A little trick from our ancestors: Try walking by placing the ball of the foot first instead of the heel. Like this it’s more easy to feel if you can place your foot safely on the ground and not into something spiky.
There are so many options to walk barefoot. In your garden, if you have a walk in the woods, nowadays you can find barefoot trails which offer various surfaces in one trail and so on. Just keep your eyes open, then you will find opportunities.
If you try these things regularly you can improve your health conditions and by getting in touch with nature you can calm your thoughts, stop overthinking, gain happiness and cultivate a sense of being connected to this earth, to be part of this fragile ecosystem. A feeling of unity and connectedness. A feeling of being home, safe and happy. And a feeling that everything is possible for you.
Happy barefoot walking!
Peace and Love, Jane