With five minutes a day of walking barefoot – Earthing, as the politically correct might say – your entire body will feel the changes this creates. One of the most important things to understand when you consider the benefits of walking barefoot is just how much of our body’s natural energies run through our feet. Everything from PMS to hypertension to sleep apnea is connected to specific points along our feet.
Our feet are designed to be walked on. There are over 200,000 nerve endings in a human foot, and so they are built to be as sensitive as our hands. As a result, even five to ten minutes of walking outside barefoot will stimulate the senses as thoroughly as if you had spent an entire lifetime wearing gloves, then took those gloves off and finally could learn what those things truly felt like.
Ever since we gave up walking on all fours, our legs and feet have evolved to meet our needs. Consider the difference between walking barefoot and walking with shoes. When you have shoes on, the padded heels strike the ground and then the foot comes down flat before the leg lifts the foot up again. It is rough and unnatural. Take off the shoes and your feet will come down more gently, with your knee bent, until the balls of your feet are splayed, gripping the ground, before pushing off again. It is a subtle difference which drastically changes the mechanics of our body’s motion.
That difference also causes many injuries, which can be reduced once you liberate your feet from constantly walking in shoes. When our feet know they are striking the ground, a series of biomechanical relays immediately act to soften the blows echoing up the leg and reduce the amount of pressure put on knees and joints. Shoes, especially insulated or athletic shoes, have the opposite effect. By padding down the foot and exaggerating the heel, we prevent that natural absorption from ever taking place and researchers have found padded shoes can create up to 12 times the amount of stress on our bodies.
Another benefit of walking barefoot each day is the extra energies we can pick up from the surface of the Earth itself. Since the sixties, we have been walking with rubber or plastic soled shoes, literally insulating ourselves from the natural electrons flowing along the Earth’s surface.