It's nearly impossible to end a long day spent in the trees, at the beach, or on a peak without radiating good vibes. No really, science suggests that the relaxing and rejuvenating effects nature-goers experience after exploring the great outdoors could actually be the result of earth's electricity. Wild. I know.
When I first stumbled upon the idea of "grounding" or "earthing", my constant crave for the ocean suddenly made sense. I always wondered why I found myself exponentially happier after a paddle or an afternoon baking in the sand. I mean, I've always known that the outdoors is good for the soul, but an actual chemical reaction? No way. That couldn't be real.
Before we get any further, let's turn to a recent article by the Washington Post to refresh our grade school chemistry, shall we? I know I need it.
We're all made up of atoms – the whole world is made up of atoms – and each atom has an equal number of protons and electrons. When atoms lose electrons, they become free radicals with a positive charge, and when these free radicals are in our bodies, they can damage our cells and contribute to horrible diseases like cancer and depression.
Okay, bringing it back. Earth is naturally negative, meaning that it has electrons to spare. So, (are you ready?) by simply walking on dirt, grass, sand, you name it, you're picking up electrons that could neutralize free radicals in your body. This often results in better sleep, reduced pain, and elevates your overall well-being. Earthing is also tied to regulated autonomic nervous systems and synced up circadian rhythms. HOW COOL IS THAT? These electrons literally act as natural antioxidants. Anyone else shook?
Full disclosure: This idea of "earthing" is still technically a theory, but many clinical studies have seen favorable results. So in the end, it's up to you whether or not you want to believe in earth's natural healing powers. For me? It just makes sense!
So now you're thinking, "That's cool, but what am I supposed to do, show up to the grocery store barefoot? To my job?" Please don't do that. I'm cringing just thinking about it. Good news is, a groundbreaking team well-trodden in the footwear industry spent two years coming up with a SICK pair of shoes that protects your soles without cutting off your invaluable connection to the earth. Raum shoes have a tiny copper plug planted into each water buffalo-tanned sole that allows earth's electrons to flow freely between the ground and your body while you're out and about.
Everything about this shoe is sustainable. They're hand-sewn by Raum employees in a fair wage-paying small village in Turkey (10 percent of which are Syrian refugees). The leather used in each shoe is a bi-product of the food industry with no scrap going to waste and there are no harmful chemicals or synthetic materials used in the process.
They're comfortable, cute, flexible, and they molded to my feet after just a few wears. And I love knowing that I can be grounded even on the days I can't make it out to a trail.
By Eva Seelye