“Earthing”: it’s feet, pray, love

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Editor’s Note: Lisa Monique Kent is the reference & instruction librarian for the Willey Library.

In my youth, I chased fireflies and played kick-the-can barefoot, made tents out of blankets and lay on the ground for hours. As I got older, I played competitive volleyball barefoot in grassroots doubles. I walked the surf during every trip to the ocean. But when Lyme Disease came into Vermont, I stopped. Even though it felt really good to be shoeless.

Perhaps you also avoid the ground, maybe because of ticks, or because carpet feels better, or simply because shoes are more comfortable. But according to Clinton Ober, we’ve taken a wrong turn. Earthing is curative. It is energizing. It is necessary for wellness. And it’s free.

Here’s how he defines it: “living in contact with the Earth’s natural surface charge—being grounded—which naturally discharges and prevents chronic inflammation in the body.”

Ober isn’t introducing anything new. In fact, most of our ancestors went barefoot out of necessity. But Ober is introducing the science behind the benefits of earthing, and that is new.

If you read “Earthing,” you’ll get a good foundation in how our earth conducts electricity. (Ober’s background is marketing and installing cable.) You’ll also get a good foundation in how our bodies conduct electricity, thanks to co-writer and cardiologist Stephen Sinatra. Both authors, along with writer Martin Zucker, a natural healing expert, explain how grounding heals, eases, or improves all kinds of conditions—from arthritis and insomnia to anxiety and headaches. This book is full of positive personal stories regarding this phenomenon, starting off with Ober’s own story of healing thanks to the earth, a grounding wire, and a rod.

Though Ober designs and sells several kinds of earthing substitutes, like bedsheets, patches, and foot mats, his main focus is on getting us outside with our bare feet on the ground, something most all of us can do, with no cost.

What’s the take away? The book’s sound science and anecdotal stories have convinced me to give it a try, and they may convince you as well. To get my bare feet on the ground again, I might need the interim step of moccasins; they’re good conductors and will protect my feet from bites. Also, I think I’ll get an earthing foot mat and try it out both at home and at work. This book is a good read, and an easy one. Come on over and pick it up. It may change your health, and your life story.