Many moons ago, I wrote a post about how kicking off your shoes and going barefoot can have health benefits! And hey.. summer is right around the corner my friends. I think it’s nigh time that we let our feet get re-acquainted with mother earth (cuz it feels sooo goood :D).
It turns out that most shoes actually are not very good for your feet or spine. With the heel raised and the foot wrapped in thick padding… this is an unnatural way to walk and can inevitably lead to back and foot problems for many people.
Plus, getting connected with the earth may have another secret health benefit, and it’s called grounding.
If a building or appliance is “grounded” that means that its electricity can be transferred to the earth in order to prevent an electrical buildup and the damage that can come along with power surges.
All living things have low levels of electrical activity running through them, so this concept is applied to our own bodies as well. When we step onto the ground without the insulating factor of shoes, our free radicals (those bad things that promote aging by scooting around in your body and causing damage to cells) can diffuse out into the earth and we can gain a flow of healing electrons in return – instantly giving your body a healthy boost.
Anyway… just read the article if you want more info-mation. Earthing allegedly produces a very calming effect on your nervous system and is able to diffuse stress hormones (which could have a very positive effect on your skin).
How Do We Get Grounded?
You hit your sister and pull her hair.
So what can you do to help out your poor spine and also get the benefits of grounding without walking around barefoot everywhere all the time?
Well, for the spine thingy, they have what they call “minimalist” shoes (many people swear by these that they fixed their foot and back problems), and now they have come out with something even better…. minimalist GROUNDING shoes. Well, sandals anyway.
So yeah, the popular minimalist shoes are called Vibram Fivefingers. They’re like gloves for your feet. I bought a pair a couple years ago, and I will admit, they allowed me to run way faster than before. And I enjoyed the minimalist sensation – as close to barefoot as possible, but with protection.
However, I have to admit… they’re pretty dang fugly. And unfortunately my pair gave me blisters on one of my heels, even though I tried to rationalize with myself that I could fix it with a little piece of sock tucked in the back. But alas, I was kidding myself, and I had to quit wearing them in the end.
Here’s my old video about my Vibram Fivefingers. This video has a huge amount of views on Youtube but – LOL – the commenters on this video made fun of me so bad when I talked about the electron/free radical thing. I guess it sounds too much like witchcraft voodoo for some people (and who knows? Maybe it is, but I do feel more ‘grounded’ when I’m barefoot on the earth, and that’s all I know):
Anyway, I’m back on the bandwagon after I discovered these sandals called Earth Runners. They’re minimalist (so they’re good for your feet and spine), and they have copper connectors that go through the sandal from your foot to the earth. Apparently it’s the next best thing to actually being barefoot. This video demonstrates the conduction rate compared to normal shoes and being totally barefoot:
Plus they’re about a hundred times more attractive than Vibrams, and in my opinion, way more comfortable once you get the straps adjusted to your foot. I’ve been wearing them hiking and bike riding – comfy and functional. Even that cynical Matt Stone guy is wearing them!
Anyway, if you want to try a pair, they make them custom for your foot, which is pretty cool. I have the Quantum ones, which apparently have a little bit more protection than the Ultralites, which are true minimalist sandals. Check out their website, and blog if you want to know more about earthing.
ALSO REALLY GOOD NEWS: If you want to get a pair of earthing sandals from Earthrunners.com, you can get a pair 15% off if you use the discount code TheLoveVitamin when you check out!
Happy summer 🙂