The Health Benefits of Barefoot Walking
By Rippan Sandhu
Walking barefoot on soil, grass, sand or any other natural surface, lets us connect directly to the earth and its magnetic field. Called “earthing”, it’s widely believed that the relationship between our bodies and the earth’s natural charge is an important one, providing us with a number of remarkable health benefits.
Scientific studies show that “earthing” helps regulate our body’s endocrine and nervous systems; reducing inflammation and stress, increasing antioxidants, and improving sleep, to name just a few of the benefits. "To quickly experience Earthing yourself, just walk or sit barefoot on grass, sand, gravel, or unpainted concrete – ground surfaces that conduct energy. Wood, asphalt, and plastic do not conduct. Stay for at least a half hour or so and at the end of that time you will notice you are calmer, and if you had pain to begin with, it will be less, or maybe even gone." - Martin Zucker
Leader in the research of “earthing”, Martin Zucker, notes that it isn’t just being barefoot that is important, but rather the type of earth element you conduct negative ions through. He quotes some of the main benefits of “earthing” as anti-inflammatory and calming, in essence Pitta/Vata disorders.
Of the three doshas, Vata is the most fragile, falling out of balance quickly and lacking the natural immunity a Kapha body type might have. To balance the cold nature of Vata, spend a little time in the sun, allowing its light and warmth to permeate you; a warm environment and softer surface is preferable in connecting with the earth.
A cool, moist environment best suits Pitta. Walk slowly along a natural body of water to help with deep healing. Allow the water’s cooling influence to calm and soothe you; a walk on the beach in the water or an early morning walk in the wet grass.
Kapha benefits from moving muscles and increasing circulation, letting the stones and sticks beneath their feet invigorate them. Take a brisk walk through a tough terrain or go for a barefoot run in the park, while inhaling the life force of your surrounds.