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  • Writer's pictureJan Johnson

Why Walking Barefoot is Good for You

Walking barefoot along a beach
Feel the sand beneath your feet

Take advantage of those warm summer days, kick off your shoes and go barefoot. Give your poor feet their freedom to breathe and they will reward you with benefits to your health and well-being. Of course, there is a time and place but if you are at the beach, a park or in the garden then going barefoot can be good for you.

Throughout history humans mostly walked barefoot. Modern lifestyle has increasingly separated us from the Earth and some researchers have cited this disconnection to a link with an increase in immune disorders and inflammatory diseases. As a Reflexologist I know what amazing sensory beings our feet are. Did you know that the feet contain more nerve-endings per square centimetre than any other part of the body? Think of your hands; how much information from the world around you do you pick up from the sensitivity in your fingers? Well, feet are just the same, if only they are given the chance! Try walking on different surfaces such as soft sand or cool wet grass to see what I mean.

direct skin-to-ground contact allows natural electron energy from the Earth to enter the body
Earth energy - natural electrons
The Earth emits natural energy

Going barefoot is actually a therapy called Earthing also known as Grounding, which focuses on reconnecting with the Earth. This direct skin-to-ground contact allows natural electron energy from the Earth to enter the body which is an excellent conductor, composed mostly of water and minerals. Earthing claims to have positive effects on the body which include improvements in inflammatory disorders, cardiovascular disease, chronic pain, muscle damage, fatigue, stress, depression and sleep. Our modern environment is filled with electromagnetic radiation emitted from mobile phones, computers, TV broadcasts, WIFI, power lines etc. This subtly disrupts electrical communications that are a vital part of the body’s function. By being grounded to the earth, we are effectively shielded by the Earth’s large electrical mass.

Putting scary thoughts of radiation aside, going barefoot is primarily a sensory experience. It connects you to your immediate environment. Through your feet you receive feedback; where you are, the feel of the surface and the temperature. Whatever science may, or may not be associated with Earthing, you’ll know, if you ever run barefoot along a beach, how wonderful it feels!

There are physical benefits of walking barefoot too:

  • Restores the natural walking pattern or gait.

  • Connects with certain muscle groups that strengthen the body.

  • Improves balance and body awareness.

  • Improves movement in the feet.

  • Strengthens leg muscles which support the lower back.

From a reflexology point-of -view, (and I’m doing myself a disservice here), walking barefoot will give you a basic reflexology workout for free! Pressure points all over the feet correspond with the organs and systems within the body. Stimulation of these points improves circulation, reduces stress and restores natural balance. Explore the reflexology foot map above to see why connection with the ground can benefit your whole body.

Woman kicking off her shoe


Set your feet free this summer, reduce your stress and improve your overall wellness. However, you should always be aware of your surroundings and make sure it’s safe to go barefoot.

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