Barefoot Movement

For many people, it may not be practical or possible to connect barefoot or bare-skinned with the Earth. The weather may be lousy and the prospect of freezing one’s tootsies is hardly appealing. Or if the weather is good, contemporary living is so fast-paced that a meaningful hookup with the Earth may not be possible. There may not be time for a “barefoot break” during the daily routine. Or the thought of going barefoot may just not be appealing.

You would be surprised to know, however, that there is something of a “barefoot” movement going on. A lot of people are thumbing their noses at convention and going unshod for significant portions of their daily life.

A 2009 article in the Toronto Globe and Mail said that shoeless is catching on- big time. Jennifer Yang wrote that “the Facebook fan page ‘Being Barefoot’ boasts more than two million fans, and . .. is one of the fastest-growing pages on the social networking site, according to a trend-tracking website, Inside Facebook. Across the Internet the ‘bare-foot lifestyle is booming, with adherents turning to websites such as the Society for Barefoot Living , with more than 1,200 members.”

As far as the winter is concerned, one barefooter whom Ms. Yang interviewed was a sixty-four-year-old retired autoworker from southern (that’s an important climate distinction in Canada) Ontario who has been mostly shoeless for fifteen years. “He even pads around barefoot during the winter,” she wrote, “though he draws the line at temperatures below minus 18” That’s zero Fahrenheit, and at that point, “he reluctantly slips on flip-flops.” He, like most of the other shoeless converts, says that shoeless feels more natural and healthier.

Comfort and naturalness aside, what’s interesting about the current barefoot boom is that before the Earthing book was published in 2010 most of these unshod enthusiasts were unaware that they were picking up healing energy from the Earth. Since the book, its translation into multiple languages around the world, along with the publication of many articles and blogs about Earthing, these same individuals and a growing number of new enthusiasts are going out barefoot precisely for health rea-sons. Many of them have told us in words of this nature: “It felt great to be barefoot when I was a kid, and it feels great to do it again as an adult, but now I know why.”

In the past, we all sat, stood, walked, and slept with conductive contact to the Earth. It was part of ordinary, daily living. Now, nobody in our industrialized society except Scouts, soldiers, backpackers, and backyard pajama-partyers sleep on the ground anymore.

One way to address the personal energy deficit that clearly exists as a result of our physical separation from Earth is to develop methods capable of being used while sleeping and sitting for prolonged periods.


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