By Nick Polizzi
Guest writer for Wake Up World
Why do so many humans equate relaxation and pleasure with walking barefoot along the beach as the waves roll in? How come my son River’s first instinct is to take his shoes off when he sees a field of green grass?
Is it kooky human behavior that is simply hard-wired into our genetic makeup, or is there something more to this urge to remove footwear?
Historically speaking, it seems like we’re right in step with our forebearers. Long before we had cushiony sneakers, our distant ancestors tended to walk barefoot over rock, rubble, dirt, stick, and thorn. Their feet were strong and nimble, able to sense and react to any surface they encountered. More recent native cultures often chose to walk through nature on their naked soles as well, instead of wearing moccasins or similar leather footwear.
Commonalities like “barefootedness”, that we see repeated among ancient groups, beg for further investigation as to “why?” – especially in cultures where simple foot gear was already an option.
Thankfully, there is good science behind shoelessness and the findings are fascinating.
It turns out that the sensation we feel when our feet make contact with moist sand is more than just a feeling. This therapeutic touch of mother earth is laden with remarkable health benefits, such as reducing inflammation, boosting antioxidants in our body, improving sleep, and perhaps most importantly, promoting healthy blood flow.
The primordial practice of walking barefoot, sometimes referred to as “grounding”, is only just beginning to be studied by modern science, but there have already been a few groundbreaking findings. One of the most promising of these points to the effect that the contact of earth on skin can have on our heart health.
According to a 2013 study published in the Journal of Alternative And Complimentary Medicine, walking barefoot “reduces blood viscosity, which is a major factor in cardiovascular disease”.
Blood viscosity is a term used to describe the “thickness and stickiness of your blood.” The lower the viscosity, the easier your blood flows through your blood vessels, and circulates throughout your body. The higher your blood’s viscosity, or thickness, the slower it moves.
To test the effects of grounding on blood viscosity, a group of subjects had their red blood cells (RBCs) examined under a microscope to determine the number of clumped groups of RBCs in each sample. High instances of aggregation (or clumping) in human blood increases your blood viscosity and can result in cardiovascular disease. This experiment was intended to measure whether grounding the body to the earth’s innate electrical charge would have a positive effect on this blood condition and perhaps help to prevent the deadly disease that is linked to it.
Long story short, walking barefoot substantially lowered the instance of unwanted blood cell clumping in every one of the subjects and promoted healthier circulation.
*A later study in the same journal found that “grounding” or “earthing” may help regulate both the endocrine and nervous systems as well.
We present-day humans live in a sea of electromagnetic waves radiated by mobile phone signals, Wi-Fi, automatic doors etc. This is referred to as “dirty electricity” or “electromagnetic pollution”. Luckily for us, the earth’s surface is rich with electrons that can neutralize this dirty electricity and bring the currents within us back into healthy balance.
This can boost our energy, balance our mood, clarify our thinking, and perhaps even save our lives.
A challenge for you:
Next time you’re in front of an appealing patch of earth, remove your shoes and socks and do the unthinkable… step forth onto said terra firma and feel the sensation that runs through your body. Envision the cells in your bloodstream re-calibrating as you do so, because well, they are.
That’s it. I’d recommend you do this at least a few times a week for better heart health and overall happiness. We’re earth dwellers, why separate ourselves from her with rubber soles?
(I find it’s fun to go foot-naked in odd places in the midst of shoe-wearers who scratch their heads in confusion as they watch… BUT it’s also nice to do in the comfort of your own backyard or the middle of the forest)
The Sacred Science Team
The Sacred Science: An Ancient Healing Path For The Modern World
The new book by Nick Polizzi.
In 2010, Nick Polizzi assembled a group of eight desperately ill patients from around the world and brought them into the heart of the Amazon rainforest to put the mysterious medicines of native shamans to the test. The healing journey that unfolded would change their lives — and his own — forever.
In his new book, ‘The Sacred Science’, Nick explores their primordial traditions further and reveals firsthand what it takes to truly heal ourselves of physical disease and emotional trauma. Part spiritual self-help book and part jungle adventure, ‘The Sacred Science’ is deeply personal and enlightening, and presents us with a bold new way of understanding the health of our mind, body and spirit, and the forgotten ways of a healthier, earth-connected ancestral past.
If you are trying to heal or bring balance to something inside yourself – physical or emotional – this revolutionary new book may be for you. It explains the core pillars of shamanic healing, and more importantly, how we can bring these ancient techniques into our life, right here – right now. You’ll learn practices and principles of native wisdom and gain a new understanding of what it means to heal — all told through a journey of exotic jungle medicines and harrowing rites of passage.
‘The Sacred Science: An Ancient Healing Path For The Modern World’ is available here in digital, paper and audio book formats.
PLUS, for a limited time, it also comes with a bunch of awesome bonuses, including workshops on shamanic dreaming and ancient herbal methods for awakening consciousness.
Recommended articles by Nick Polizzi:
- The Art of Smudging: A Shamanic Cleansing Ritual
- The Science of Ayahuasca
- Sacred Science: A Jungle Healing Technique You Can Use Anywhere
- Wired for Tribe
- 3 Wild Herbs for Lucid Dreaming
- Eye Gazing — An Exercise for Soul Vision
- A Native Smoke Ritual For Renewal and Clarity
- 3 Ancient Medicines That Already Live In Your Home
- A Breathing Exercise to Take You Higher
- The Art of Blessing Your Food
About the author:
Nick Polizzi has spent his career directing and editing feature length documentaries about natural alternatives to conventional medicine. Nick’s current role as director of “The Sacred Science” documentary and author of “The Sacred Science: An Ancient Healing Path For The Modern World” stems from a calling to honor, preserve, and protect the ancient knowledge and rituals of the indigenous peoples of the world.
For more, visit www.thesacredscience.com.