Barefoot wisdom

Our guest author this week is Wendy Lee, a TAMU-CC undergraduate student volunteering with the BlueValue team. Please enjoy!

When I take a moment and reflect on times in my life I have felt at peace, walking along Stinson Beach in Northern California is one of the first memories to come to mind. In my head, I see the mountains on my right and the ocean on my left. I can feel the sand between my toes, and I can hear the Pacific Ocean roaring next to me as I make conversation with my father, who accompanied me to Stinson Beach each trip. 

Moving back in time, one conversation with my father stands out to me. Years have passed by now, but I remember my dad telling me about how walking barefoot passes electrons from the Earth through your body, allowing for an energy exchange between yourself and the Earth. While I had never heard anything like that before, I wondered if it could be true? This was nothing like what I had read or learned about in school, but every time I walk along the beach with my feet in connection with the Earth, I feel mentally and physically better than I did before. 

Returning to the present, I hold on to this idea that walking barefoot in connection with the ground of the Earth has benefits. When I looked more into the idea that free electrons from the Earth’s surface can have a benefit on the mental and physical wellbeing of humans, I was surprised to see that so many benefits exist. The scientific data showed that there is a correlation between the two, commonly referred to as ‘Grounding,’ or ‘Earthing.’ Defined, Earthing is the contact with the surface electrons of the Earth by walking barefoot outside. It also includes the transfer of these electrons into the human body. 

In fact, studies have shown that if you are connected to the electrical current of the earth in some form or fashion, you experience positive benefits. The Earth’s electrical current flows on and beneath the surface of the Earth. To test the extent of how far grounding can go, copper wire was used to connect test subjects to Earth’s surface electrons in an indoor environment. The benefits of being naturally connected to the Earth in some way matched the benefits of being connected to the copper wire providing a new way for grounding and its benefits to be used. From prevention of autoimmune diseases to improving sleep, grounding has the potential to create a healthier community through direct contact with nature.

My Dad was right. Each time I went to Stinson Beach or walked along the shores here along the Gulf Coast, I was making a grounding connection with the Earth, creating a physically and mentally healthier self. Each time after I take a walk along the beach, I leave feeling happier than when I arrived. The beach is my happy place, but could I create other ‘happy places’ in my own backyard? 

Walking along the beach isn’t the only option when looking to become grounded. Swimming in the ocean, running through grass, lying down gazing at the stars in your backyard, and potentially being in contact with the Surface of the Earth through conductive metals, there are endless ways to ground yourself with the Earth and the benefits it provides. Take advantage of local, state, and national parks that might be near you. Spend 10 minutes a day reading in your own backyard. Go for a walk with your friends or family. How will you ground yourself in nature?  

Stinson Beach, California. Photo by Wendy Lee

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