Why I Walk Without Shoes
"When we think of nature as a healer we usually think of fresh air, natural food, clean water and sunshine. We also need to realise that the earth itself is a powerful healer"
As you'll notice from my Youtube videos and Instagram pictures I love to walk and train barefoot, outside in the fresh air with my feet rooted in the grass or sand.
I often take my Kettebells, Indian Clubs and Bulgarian Bag onto my lawn and swing them around to nourish the body and mind. Willing clients also get the same treatment and often prefer it to training inside, depending on English weather of course.
Instinctively I have always liked walking bare foot simply for how it feels on my feet. I also noticed how a walk in the New Forest or swim in the sea will make me feel so much better even after the hardest day. A couple of years ago I started to research further into the reasons for this. I wasn’t too surprised to find piles of research over the last 10 years about what some medical professionals call the latest health discovery, Earthing.
At the world famous Max Planck institute in Germany during the 1960’s and 1970’s researchers isolated volunteers for months at a time in underground rooms which were shielded from the rhythms in the earths electric field. As a result it was found that the volunteer’s body patterns were interrupted. Sleep, temperature, urinary function with other physiological activities went chaotic and out of sync. When the electrical shielding was removed the volunteers body rhythms returned to normal.
This was likely to be the first western science experiment which showed that the biological clock of the body needs to be constantly calibrated to the earth as it does with all life on this planet. Of course many cultures around the world all ready know this. North American Indians honored the connection to the earth and sleep in holes in the ground when feeling unwell to get a recharge.
The latest research has been initiated by Clinton Ober. He stumbled upon the idea during his travels of America after a health scare. He found that sleeping on a custom made bed sheet which had a wire linking it to the earth made him sleep better and feel better. He suggested his friends and family try it who also reported the same benefits. The word spread with more and more success stories.
When he finally convinced respected doctors and scientists to take his findings seriously and carry out their own clinical trails they were also amazed.
Cardiologist Steve Sinatra found that damaging free radicals in the body are positively charged. The earth gives out negativity charged electrons which counteract the free radical damage. It’s this free radical damage which is at the core of the modern health problem of inflammation. Inflammation has been found to lead to heart disease, cancer, diabetes, arthritis, Alzheimer’s, anemia, asthma, fibrobyalgia, M.S, eczema and chronic pain. By making direct contact with the surface of the earth with our skin we connect with the earth and refill our body’s electron levels helping to fight the effects of aging and inflammation.
There is a very good reason why our body’s work this way and it’s that we are designed to be outside. Over the 2.5 million years on this planet it’s only relatively recently that we have lost this connection. By wearing thick rubber soled shoes, working in doors all day on computers and sleeping upstairs on synthetic materials we have lost connection with the earth.
Hollywood A list nutritionist David Wolfe thinks that the common rubber soled shoe is one of the worst inventions for mankind as it separates us from the healing energy of the earth.
This is one of the reason why National Geographic author Dan Buettner found that gardeners can live up to 14 years longer. Gardeners are effectively grounding themselves by getting their hands dirty in the earth.
How to get the benefits
"As little as 20 minutes per day offers great results"
You can think of our current connectivity with the earth as a flickering light bulb with a loose connection. Solving this problem is very simple get connected.
Walk barefoot outside, sit and read outside with your feet on the grass, or my favorite swing a kettlebell or Indian clubs about barefoot. Swimming in the sea also has the same earthing effect as the minerals are a great conductor. The more earthing you do the better but you can get great benefits from just 20 minuets per day.
Dr. James Oshman believes that the moment your barefoot touches the earth your physiology changes. The anti inflammatory switch is turned on so more the better but some is better than nothing.
To get some outdoor training and the earthing effect contact Stuart Ward from Nourishing Moves. Stuart offers personal training and group classes around the Bournemouth and New Forest area.