In my 7/12/13 blog I highlighted the health benefits of going barefoot, but I skipped an important barrier. Many of us do not have the time or the environment that lends itself to walking barefoot. Let me use myself as an example. When I was convinced of the health benefit of increased contact with the earth, I made a concerted effort to try to be barefoot each day for 30 minutes. My attempt at going barefoot proved to be disastrous. Can you guess what I tried to do?

Working from homeWhen I would get home from work I would grab a lounge chair from the backyard, which was mostly concrete, I would carry the lounge chair to the front yard, sit down, take off my shoes and socks, roll up my pants until right below the knees, and then sit down, planting my feet firmly into the grass for 30 minutes. The problem? Our next-door neighbor was trying to sell his house. Every time I sat outside, looking like some deranged mannequin with work clothes and bare feet, a real estate agent would drive by with a car packed with parents and kids.

Asian Kids on a Road TripYou can imagine the result. Not only did I receive strange stares from each member of the family, I actually heard one little boy, stepping out of the car, ask his dad, “Hey, were not living next to that guy, are we?” Eventually, the next door neighbor came over and said, “Bill, you’ve been a great neighbor, but I am sorry to say: You are lowering the value of my house!” And he was probably right. For the month that I tried this approach, the house did not sell and the price progressively dropped. So, I stopped sitting outside my house in my work clothes and bare feet.

So, what were my options? I purchased a special bed sheet for grounding, called “The Earthing Starting Kit.” (Available here on Amazon)You place the sheet on the top of your bottom sheet in your bed. This special sheet only covers the lower half of the bed; and it has thin wires running through its length. You plug the sheet into the lower grounding prong of the three-prong wall socket and voila … you have electrons flowing through that sheet and into your body (if you let bare skin touch the sheet) all night long.

Why did I spend the money and attempt this trial? After years of daily jogging, I had developed a chronic hip pain. Not severe enough for treatment, but sufficiently chronic to create mild discomfort with exercise. Well, one anecdote does not constitute a research finding. But around the two–month period of sleeping with this sheet I realized that my pain was completely gone. Gone for the first time in well over a decade. My wife, who had some chronic pain from her exercise, also found her pain finally gone. So, do I think “grounding” works? Yes. And, whether it’s going barefoot or sleeping with an earthing sheet, I think it is worth a try for anyone who has chronic aches, pains, and areas of inflammation.