The human being has walked barefoot for millions of years having a contact at all times with the earth. Nowadays shoes, asphalt, and urban buildings prevent that connection. We tell you the benefits of recovering that link with the earth and how you can achieve it.
We live perched on the heels, running on the sneakers or walking with our favorite shoes, putting a barrier between our body and the earth, to this we must add a layer of soil that prevents us from getting in physical contact with the earth. A healthy diet, a good rest and exercise are fundamental elements to maintain good health, but another factor to keep in mind to maintain a full and healthier life is the reconnection with the earth. We tell you what is Earthing (also called grounding) or the benefits of reconnecting with mother earth.
What is earthing
Earthing or grounding is the tendency to recover the healthy ancestral habit of connecting with the earth and that today has almost been lost by the lifestyle that prevails in the cities. Walking in the woods, walking barefoot in the garden or on the sand of the beach is a gesture that fills the body with energy and charges the batteries, improving overall health.
Marcos Vázquez of Fitness Fitness explains in his book Wild Health that “we evolve in a wild environment, and our genes benefit from reconnecting with their natural habitat. Urban environments certainly have many benefits, but we must understand that their design affects our health. We suffer what some call nature deficit disorder, and this lack is only cured with vitamin N. N of nature. We need more trees and less asphalt, more grass and fewer shopping centers, more plants and fewer screens. ”
What are forest baths?
In the shinrin-yoku or forest bath program launched by the Japanese forestry agency in the 80s, it was shown that walking forty minutes through the forest reduced stress levels and increased the activation of alpha waves in greater proportion than a walk Similar time in the city. The explanation that nature would enhance the health benefits of physical activity focused on the amygdala, the gland that puts us on alert for danger. By not perceiving this, no threat in a natural environment tends to relax and in an urban context, it remains in a state of tension that increases the risk of anxiety, stress, and depression.
Taking a forest bath or having contact with nature regularly helps to maintain relaxation and relieve the stress we are subjected to in the city. In his book, Wild Health Vázquez states that “several studies show that natural sounds, from birds or streams, produce brain changes indicative of a state of relaxation, while modern noises, such as cars or planes, produce the opposite effect, even with equal decibels. ” Also, chemistry comes into play to improve health because, as he explains,“ trees and plants release volatile substances, called phytoncides, which we absorb through the olfactory system. When they reach the brain they produce an immediate reduction of stress hormones, also raising the blood concentration of NK (natural English killer) cells, a type of white blood cell that prevents infections and attacks cancer cells. ”
Reconnecting with the earth has many benefits such as improving mood, improving blood flow and circulation levels. It has also been shown to strengthen the immune system, reduce inflammation and help regulate blood pressure, in addition to generating a positive effect on brain activity and improving the quality of sleep by reducing cortisol levels and therefore stress and anxiety.
How to reconnect with the earth
To reconnect with the earth, try to walk barefoot whenever you can, in the garden, the park, the beach or the forest. If your feet are in contact with the earth you will already be able to benefit from all the power of earth, the more skin surface you have touched the ground the better, even immersing yourself in the sea or the waters of a river will cause that beneficial effect for health by making an electron recharge that also has a relaxing effect.
If you have no option of having regular contact with nature you can look for alternatives to absorb electrons as your body would do when coming into contact with the earth, thus neutralizing free radicals and improving your health. These options do not replace real contact with nature but they are a good option if you do not have the possibility of having that connection frequently. Some fabrics simulate the earth’s surface, sheets or mats with a technology that allows you to take advantage of the benefits of connecting with the earth artificially.
Ideally, you can take frequent Japanese-style forest baths but modern life does not leave much space for this connection. Enjoy whenever you can a walk in the countryside, walking barefoot in the park or on the sand of the beach, bathe in the sea or put your feet in a stream, you will be filled with energy, you will say goodbye to stress and your body and your mind will thank you. It’s time for you to put your feet back on the floor.