By Isabella Young

“Forget not that the earth delights to feel your bare feet, and the winds long to play with your hair.” – Khalil Gibran

Our ancestors went barefoot for good reasons, and not because they lacked fashion sense. I watched a life-changing documentary, “The Grounded,” on YouTube, which helped me understand our relationship with the Earth, and why direct contact with the surface of the Earth is vital.

I was shocked to see a graph showing the sharp rise in chronic diseases worldwide correlated with the sharp rise in popularity of rubber-soled sneakers. And I cried a river when an elder, who had been wheelchair bound for almost 30 years, stood and took his first steps on shaking legs, a testimony to his willpower and the healing energy of the Earth.

I learned there is sea of negatively charged electrons across the surface of the Earth. Our bodies need access to these electrons to function optimally. Most people have an electron deficiency because direct contact with the Earth has been lost. This deficiency creates an unbalanced state. In a balanced state, inflammation is a normal, immediate response to injury and infection. When the body has healed, inflammation goes away. In an unbalanced state, inflammation persists and becomes chronic. Inflammation is at the root of all degenerative diseases.

“All things contacting Earth will be balanced.” – Clinton Ober

Walking barefoot on the Earth, also known as Earthing, is the best way to access this essential supply of electrons. When we come into immediate contact with the Earth (or Earth energy from technologies), our bodies undergo physiological changes. Heart rate decreases. Blood circulation improves. We relax. With prolonged and repeated contact with the Earth, pain decreases. Inflammation decreases. Stress levels decrease. Feelings of well-being increase.

Walking on wet grass and wet sand is particularly beneficial. It is advisable to start with a few minutes every day and increase over time. Go gently.

“Walk as if you are kissing the Earth with your feet.” – Thich Nhat Hanh

Our feet have as many nerve endings as our hands. We are designed to have sensory contact with Earth through our feet. When we walk barefoot on the Earth, we become grounded. Grounding means connecting our energy with the energy of the Earth. This is one way all life on Earth is sustained. Grounding establishes a direct connection with Earth’s life-giving energy: life force energy. Chi. Ki. Mana. Prana.

When we are connected to Earth energy, we can experience vitality and clarity. We feel calm, peaceful and clear. Sleep is restful. When we are not grounded, we feel anxious, fearful, and confused. Sleep is disturbed.

Grounding normalizes our physiology, and acts a natural anti-inflammatory and an antioxidant. Grounding synchronizes the right and left sides of the brain, and makes the body electrically stable, so that all functions have the same reference point.

“Synchronous vibration is the key to life.” – Stephen Sinatra

Grounding can be helpful if we feel unclear, unsafe, unstable, confused, stressed, overwhelmed, clumsy or physically unwell. Grounding neutralizes free radicals and protects us from the harmful effects of electropollution. Continuous grounding can build our resilience and help to cushion the stressors of life.

Skin to Earth is grounding. And being in Nature. Walking with bare feet on sand, grass, dirt, gravel, brick, concrete and ceramic tile. Sitting and lying on the ground. Touching a grounded person. Touching trees and plants. Gardening. Holding a crystal. There are essential oils that are grounding. We can eat foods to ground us, like vegetables that grow underground.

We can use meditation:

Close your eyes.

Breathe in and out through your nose, slowly and deeply.

Imagine you have roots of light extending down from your feet, like the roots of a big, old tree.

Feel them going deep down toward the center of the Earth.

Then imagine branches of light extending out from the top of your head and far into the infinite space above you.

Feel yourself as a tree of Light – anchored deep into the Earth and branching ever upward.

Breathe in all that you need.

Breathe out all that is no longer needed.

Give thanks.

Isabella Young

There are grounding devices that can be worn, used in the home and office, and for cars. Shoes with soles made of natural materials are conductive and can be worn while grounding. Children, animals, and indoor plants also need to be grounded for their optimal health and wellbeing.

Caution: Please be advised that grounding can improve our health so that effects of prescription medications can become stronger.

Now that I understand the importance and benefits of being grounded, I go barefoot most of the time and walk on the beach every day. I am grounded and I am going to stay that way. Like my wise ancestors.

  • Isabella Young is a Kaua‘i-based writer and author of “Feeling Better Naturally,” a compendium of ancient and natural medicines supporting optimal health and well being. She can be contacted at