Ever wonder why you feel exhilarated while walking barefoot on the beach?
Maybe it's just the fact you're on vacation in a warm climate. Or maybe it's because you feel so fantastic in that new bathing suit… a new slimmed-down look you worked extra hard to achieve through healthy eating and exercise.
Or, perhaps it's just getting out in nature on a beautiful day... dipping your feet in the water... feeling the sea breeze flow through your hair... All of these things can have positive effects on your frame of mind.
But are there other less obvious reasons you feel better? Are there forces at work here that may elude you?
I certainly believe so now... but that wasn't always the case. For many years, I was quite skeptical… There simply wasn't enough evidence. However, in the last 4 to 5 years, I've made sure to take advantage of this little-understood connection pretty much 24/7. In fact, even when traveling, I go out of my way to make sure to use it as much as possible.
So what swayed my thinking on this entire subject? And why have others recognized its healthful potential?
I'm ready to help you better understand why I now feel this is such a phenomenal discovery. Plus, I'll share with you some of the techniques I use to personally take advantage of this connection. And best of all, I'll show you ways how this could potentially benefit your life like it has mine.
Running the 'Barefoot Trifecta'
Going for a barefoot jog on the beach with your spouse, kids, close friends, or your dog, can provide a "trifecta" of health-boosting benefits.
Let me explain...
If you've been a visitor to my site, you know how strongly I emphasize the importance of proper exercise. The beach is an invigorating place where you can perform all sorts of exercises from stretching… to yoga… to high-intensity Peak Fitness exercises. And I'm sure you can think of more combinations… the list is almost endless.
In addition, while you're at the beach on a sunny day, you expose your skin to the sun's healthful rays which help your body naturally produce vitamin D. The more skin you safely expose to the sun, the better your potential vitamin D production.
Here's the complete beach benefit "trifecta" with a third element most people are unaware of...
- Perfect place to slim-down using a variety of beneficial exercises...
- Fantastic opportunity to help your body naturally produce vitamin D...
- One of the best places to go barefoot and dip your feet into salt water for the potential benefits associated with "connecting" to the Earth...
When you combine all three of these elements, this is the "trifecta" effect I'm talking about. What a great combination of pure enjoyment... while giving your health and energy a boost at the same time.
But what's the big deal about going barefoot and this so-called "connection" to the Earth?
Are Shoes Isolating You From Earthly Benefits?
People have known for quite some time that walking barefoot at the beach or on the ground often makes them feel good...
- In places in the world like Germany, Austria, and Switzerland, communities that have long-standing traditions of getting up early to go for a morning stroll without socks and shoes exist. The KEY here is that they are walking without socks or shoes so they have a direct physical connection with the earth.
- There's a worldwide organization called Society for Barefoot Living, which promotes removing shoes and socks, and walking naturally on the earth.
- In many places in Europe, there are specific grassy areas where people go to walk for a few hours in their bare feet.
A great deal of what has happened to disconnect you from the Earth involves the evolution of the shoes you wear. Prior to the 1950s, most shoes were almost entirely made of leather.
But since that time, synthetic rubber, plastic, and other unnatural materials have found their way into shoe construction. Nearly all of these materials like neoprene and rubber type materials are very effective insulators and prevent you from connecting to the earth.
Leather (processed from hides) is a conductive material when moist, and helps maintain your connection with the Earth through your feet. Leather was the primary material used for shoes, sandals, and simple moccasins dating back more than 14,000 years. Since there is such a long human history of using this material as foot ware, it is likely your biology is well adapted to it.
Unfortunately, predominant soles used in modern shoe construction are synthetic and they play a significant role in isolating your feet and body from the Earth. Let's take a closer look at the forces at play here, and why I believe this Earth connection is so important...
The Electrifying Science Behind It All
The feeling of well-being you experience going barefoot on the Earth may be due to several simple scientific observations....
- Your entire body is controlled and enabled by electrical signals running through your body allowing your cells to communicate with one another.
- Your body is somewhat conductive (contains electrons that can carry electrical energy from cell to cell) because it contains large numbers of charged ions dissolved in water in the form of blood and body fluids… Electrical fields are essential for many systemic and physiological processes within your body.
- In large part due to electrical differences between the upper atmosphere and the ground and lightning, the Earth is a natural (and from your body's perspective, essentially infinite) source of electrons.
- When you walk barefoot on the Earth, there's a transfer of free electrons from the Earth into your body that spread throughout your tissues. The effect is sufficient to maintain your body at the same negatively-charged electrical potential as the Earth. This simple process is called "grounding."
If you constantly wear materials like rubber or "plastic" shoes, which are both very effective insulators, you'll be disconnected from the natural energy that flows from the Earth. You might not have thought of this, but remember that both plastic and rubber are excellent insulators and are frequently used to insulate electric wires to keep the conductors from touching each other and shorting out.
Why Lightning Is So Important
There is a very significant electrical potential difference between the ground and the upper atmosphere that is responsible for generating lightning, which occurs all over the planet to help neutralize this difference.
Even though you may not see any lightning when you glance outside at this very moment, it is important to realize that lightning is striking somewhere on Earth as you are reading this. This helps charge the ground with a large source of electrons.
That's why the Earth's surface is negatively charged, or grounded, and why it's a natural source of electrons for your body.
Could This Be Part of the Ultimate Antioxidant Effect?
How much do you know about free radicals? Basically, free radicals are unbalanced molecules that are missing an electron. The effects from free radicals can be explained in terms of rapid and violent reactions occurring as electrical charges are redistributed amongst the reacting molecules.
There are many ways your body prevents potential damage from free radicals, like eating high-quality organic sprouts and vegetables and even with potent antioxidants like astaxanthin, vitamin E, vitamin C, and many other supplemental antioxidants.
So, what does this have to do with grounding and connecting to the Earth? Well, as you've already learned, when grounded to the Earth, there is a transfer of free electrons into your body from the Earth itself.
Best Ways to Ground Yourself Outside
When you take a dip in the ocean, or even if you just stick your toes in, your feet are surrounded by one of the best natural conductors around, salt water. But even water at the lake will work really well.
But because of all the minerals found in sea water, it's several times more conductive than lake water. And since your body contains mostly water, taking a dip in the sea creates a very good earth connection.
A close second to dipping your toes in invigorating sea water is to go "barefooting" in a grassy area.
A grassy area that is covered with morning dew is especially good. The moistness of the grass can enhance the conductivity between your feet and the ground. As I mentioned above, some Europeans have a custom of doing this for a few hours in the morning.
You can also get grounded by walking barefoot on concrete but it works better if the concrete is wet. However, you will NOT get grounded by walking barefoot on asphalt or wooden decking material as they are insulators and will prevent the transfer of free electrons from the earth.
Grounding Challenges Located Inside Your Home
Here are a few examples of common flooring materials found inside homes that can be very challenging conductors. These materials typically restrict electrons passing through them and are not suitable for barefoot grounding...
- Wood – Insulated material (and often synthetic) that generally does not conduct well
- Vinyl – Synthetic material found in many kitchens and bathrooms tends to be a very poor conductor
- Carpet – A great deal of carpet is synthetic and if the concrete underneath the carpet is sealed, together they create a poor conductor
- Tile floors – Many ceramic tiles are often sealed to protect them from wear and this will restrict electrons passing through. If the concrete underneath the tile is also sealed, this will be a very poor conductor.
- Marble – This all depends on whether the marble is treated with a synthetic chemical and whether the concrete underneath is sealed or not.
So, it's pretty challenging to take advantage of grounding by going barefoot inside your home. By far, your best grounding opportunity is to walk barefoot outside on the Earth.
But as I raised the issue earlier, you may not be able to stroll outside every day… the weather may be lousy and cold… you may not have the time to fit it into your busy schedule… or, walking barefoot outside simply may not be appealing to you.
As promised, I'll share some simple techniques I use that can help you overcome both the inability to regularly go barefoot outside and the insulation challenges you likely face indoors.
Ways to Ground Yourself Pretty Much 24/7
There are some very simple and inexpensive things you can do to stay connected with the Earth… regardless of where you live, work, and play. But in order for these techniques to be effective, the home or building where you work must have grounded electrical outlets.
Due to stringent building codes, most U.S. public and commercial buildings are grounded and do have these types of outlets. However, 40% of homes in the U.S. do not provide grounding capability through their electrical outlets. A grounded outlet is generally identifiable by the fact it's a 3-prong outlet with a ground port (bottom outlet).
Here are some examples of ways you can ground yourself to the Earth indoors using a grounded 3-prong outlet almost regardless of where you live or work...
- Conductive desktop pad – This is a simple conductive pad that can lie flat on your desktop where you work. It can be placed underneath your keyboard and mouse. Connected to the pad is a cord that is plugged into the ground port (bottom outlet) of the nearest 3-prong electrical outlet. Making bare skin connection with the conductive pad ensures you will receive free electrons from the Earth.
- Conductive foot mat – Similar to and often identical to the desktop pad, is a mat to place under your desk to rest your bare feet on. Remember how the ball of your foot is one of the most potent conductivity points on your body? This setup takes advantage of that and the mat is connected to the ground port of an electrical outlet the same as the desktop pad.
- Conductive bed pad – Since you spend pretty much 30% of your life sleeping, your bed affords an excellent opportunity to be grounded to the Earth while you sleep. There are many different variations of conductive devices that can be used at night. They connect to the ground port of the nearest electrical outlet just like the desktop pad and foot mat.
These are just a few of the practical solutions available to help you ground almost 24/7. In many cases, these conductive devices are small enough to easily take along when you travel. I'll have more details coming up on where you can find solutions like these at reasonable prices.
My schedule typically has me flying somewhere at least once a month. When I'm on a plane, I simply take one shoe off and place my foot (still with my sock on) on the metal foot rest underneath the seat in front of me. Since the metal frame of the aircraft is used as the conducting ground for all components on board, this is an easy grounding technique anyone can use while flying.
Why I Highly Recommend Using It in Your Bedroom
Since you spend so much time in your bedroom sleeping, I believe it's one of the most important areas for you to be grounded. Here are a few of the details behind why I highly recommend you sleep grounded...
- Your bedroom is typically loaded up with electrical and radio devices… devices like a lamp... clock radio... charging cell phone... fan... television...
- Most of these devices emit fields from "dirty electricity" to electromagnetic radiation.
- As long as the devices are plugged in (don't even have to be turned on), you're exposed to these fields while you sleep.
- Even if you unplug all the devices in your bedroom (which I strongly recommend), you're still exposed to electromagnetic radiation from the wires running through the walls. The only way to further avoid this is to actually turn off the power to the wiring in your bedroom walls… which is not very practical for most people.
- You can exactly measure electromagnetic fields on your body using a voltmeter (before and during grounding).
Your bedroom is not necessarily the area of your home with the most electromagnetic exposure potential... your kitchen is far worse due to your refrigerator. But the issue with your bedroom is that you spend so many consecutive hours sleeping there every night.
'Do-It-Yourself' Basics – If You're So Inclined
There are a few choices available for indoor grounding that you can use every day. With some work, you can create your own grounding pad.
Here's an example of some of the basic steps to take if you want to go down the do-it-yourself (DIY) path. The materials you'll need can be found at your local hardware store, electrical outlet, and online sources...
- To construct a grounding pad, you'll need to weave some silver conductive thread into or attach it to a sheet or blanket that is not insulated with nonconductive materials.
- Another alternative is to use a silver conductive fabric, which is a soft stretchy fabric that can work very well as part of a pad, or as a pad itself. Plus, the material is machine washable.
- Next, you'll need to install a ground rod or stake outside to which you'll be running insulated wire to from your pad.
- Instead of running insulated wire to the ground stake outside, you can simply purchase what's called a "plug to gator." This wire/plug combination has an alligator clip on one end and a 3-prong plug on the other end. The 3-prong plug looks like any normal electrical 3-prong plug. But in this case, only the round lug that plugs into the bottom (ground) hole on the wall outlet is 'active' and connected to the wiring.
- Connect the alligator clip to the pad you've created so it makes contact with the conductive thread or fabric.
- Connect the other end of the wire to the outside ground stake, or plug it into a 3-prong outlet if you have the 'plug to gator' combination.
- Use a Ground Tester to verify the grounding connection and a Body Voltage meter to determine if you're adequately grounded as well.
If you're real serious about the DIY approach, I would recommend you do a bit more online research and find out more details that might be available. The steps above merely outline the basics of doing it yourself and are by no means complete.
Some folks really enjoy doing things like this themselves. And that's entirely up to you. But if you're like me, you simply don't have the time to spend on this type of project. And that's where a ready-made grounding kit comes in handy and why I've put together some tips on what to look for to save you some time...
What to Look for in a High-Quality Kit
When looking for a ready-made grounding kit, here are a few tips on what to look for...
- Flexibility – Since you may not be entirely sure where and how you will be using a grounding mat, it's best to look for one that can be used in almost any indoor location... where you work, sit, relax, rest, and even sleep.
- Mat size – Make sure the mat is long and wide enough to fit both on the floor (to place your feet on) and on your desktop (to place under your keyboard and mouse). If the mat is too narrow and short in length, you may not be able to have adequate bare skin contact for proper grounding, and most likely won't be able to use it in your bed.
- Adequate cord length – The cord that you use to connect to the 3-prong outlet or ground rod must be long enough to provide location flexibility as well. If the cord is too short, you'll be restricted to grounding activities close to an outlet. This may not always be convenient. Also, as far as connection to the grounding mat, it would be best to have some sort of snap-on type of connector instead of an alligator clip.
- Outlet checker included – As mentioned above, approximately 60% of U.S. homes have grounded (3-prong) outlets available to connect the grounding cord. However, it doesn't mean that all 3-prong outlets in your home are properly grounded. So, look for a kit that provides an outlet checker so you'll know for sure the outlet is grounded.
- Easy to clean – Mats used on both the floor and your desktop will pick up residues and oils from your skin over time. Some of these residues may eventually affect the conductivity of the mat. So, having a mat that you can quickly and easily wash is a must have in my book.
With these key tips in mind, I've saved you some valuable time by finding a grounding kit that I believe is one of the best ones available.
All-in-One Grounding Kit With Fantastic Flexibility
The Earthing Universal Mat with Cover provides you the following convenient features and benefits...
|• 10" x 27" (25 x 69 cm) universal conductive mat
||• Large mat size provides flexibility of use for your desktop, floor, and bed
|• Conductive mat cover
||• Provides a convenient and comfortable option if you use the mat in a bed, and provides an easy way to pack your mat and take it along wherever you go
|• 15 foot (4.57 m) cord
||• Cord length allows more flexibility on where you can locate the mat in relation to the 3-prong power outlet
|• Cord comes with ground plug and snap-on mat connector
||• Provides easy, convenient, and solid connection for grounding (to a 3-prong outlet) and connection to the universal mat... no need to mess with alligator clips
|• Outlet checker
||• Invaluable tool that can save you time by providing visual recognition of whether an outlet is properly grounded or not
|• Easy to clean
||• Simple mild soap and water will clean the mat, and the cover can be machine washed as needed
If you prefer a larger, anti-fatigue mat to use with your Standing Desk, or for work or use in your kitchen while standing, I recommend the Grounded Standing Floor Mat. Its generous 24 by 36-inch surface area provides plenty of room to move around while standing.
This sturdy ½-inch-thick black-on-black carbonized rubber mat provides extra comfort under your feet during standing or sitting. Because it utilizes the same conductivity principles as the Earthing Universal Mat, you can ground to Earth’s energy while you work or play barefooted! Included is a 15-foot cord and outlet checker so you know you are connected.
The Earthing Universal Mat with Cover and the Grounded Standing Floor Mat are great ways to complement any outside "barefooting" you can fit into your busy schedule. A grounded mat offers a quick and easy way for you to get started grounding at home, at work, or almost anywhere you go.
Order today and start enjoying the many potential benefits of grounding from the comfort of your home or office.