IT MIGHT be the largest medical experiment ever undertaken, with billions of people unknowingly participating in it every day.
An experiment with such massive, unintended consequences that everyone involved in it — and that is most of us — may not realise how seriously our health is continually being compromised.
Those behind it are by no means the usual suspects: not Big Pharma or the purveyors of GMOs, not the fast-asleep nuclear watchdogs or the industrial polluters of our planet.
No, the culprits are at our very feet — shoes.
It’s only since the Second World War that we have become disconnected from the Earth — literally — by wearing shoes made of synthetic rubber, footwear that very effectively insulates us from the energy of the planet.
Before the war, Man walked on naked feet or wore leather shoes, which conduct electricity. The story of Mankind has mostly been one of a species charged by Earth’s electrical energy, walking barefoot, sleeping on the ground.
We were once truly 'grounded', in harmony with the planet, soaking up the health-giving electrons fired into the Earth by lightning strikes across the face of the planet. (The ancients knew all about the benefits. There’s an old native American Indian adage that goes: “Healthy feet can hear the very heart of Mother Earth.”)
No one really knows what the consequences of insulating ourselves from the Earth have been. As I mentioned, this is a massive experiment with unintended consequences and it is ongoing, but one thing is for sure: since the end of the Second World War, the growth in immune/auto-immune related diseases, especially cancer, has been staggering.
The practice of walking barefoot or barefoot healing could turn back that unhealthy tide.
Also called “earthing” or “grounding”, its discovery (or rather rediscovery) is said to rank “right up there with the discovery of penicillin”. It has been hailed as possibly “the greatest health discovery ever”.
There is nothing fluffy or 'new age' about it. There is solid science behind it and voices from within the orthodox medical profession who speak up for it.
Research shows that by soaking up the electrons (energy) stored on the planet, you can significantly improve your heart health.
The latest study by US scientists at the University of California at Irvine’s department of developmental and cell biology and published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary medicine in February 2013, concluded that grounding appears to be “one of the simplest and yet most profound interventions for helping reduce cardiovascular risk and cardiovascular events (the medical profession’s euphemism for heart attack and stroke)”.
Just as importantly, though, research shows that earthing helps to address a fundamental health challenge facing most of us today: compromised immunity. The flow of electrons into the body from the Earth can neutralise those unstable molecules that cause so much immune system damage: free radicals (natural but toxic byproducts of the body’s metabolic processes.)
A build-up of free radicals over time will wreak havoc with your immunity by causing a cascade of cellular destruction; all because these little molecules are electrically unstable and require a 'donation' of an electron to stop the damage from continuing.
Barefoot healing — tapping into Earth’s energy
You might think you can mostly defend against free radical damage by drenching the body with anti-oxidant rich foods. So you could eat kilos of purple berries, drink gallons of green tea and make mega 'super-food' smoothies to keep those radicals under control.
Or you could just walk barefoot for at least 30 minutes and let the Earth recharge your immune system, and you won’t need to claim against your medical aid either — barefoot healing doesn’t require any medication or expensive equipment. This is definitely a case where less is more.
Earthing or barefoot walking groups are popping up all over the world and, slowly but surely, creeping into South Africa (the best ones are free). There’s a new one Sunday mornings at Marks Park in Emmarentia, Johannesburg, which I sometimes join.
You can also start your own earthing club. The clubs are a marvellous excuse to get off the couch and into the great outdoors. They are the perfect family activity, knowing how much good you do for your offspring simply by getting them to ditch shoes and reconnect with nature.
Barefoot walking is also a great way to slow down. By its nature, it is meditative, not the least because you need to walk mindfully in barefeet to avoid thorns, sharp objects and dog poo in parks.
You can find out more about Earthing from Dr John Briffa in the UK:www.drbriffa.com; from Dr Joseph Mercola in the US: www.mercola.com; or you can read Earthing: The Most Important Health Discovery Ever? (Basic Health Publications) by Clinton Ober, Dr Stephen Sinatra and Martin Zucker.