My discovery of earthing came about because I was introduced to a pair of sandals.

A pair of Earth Runner Alpha X sandals, to be exact. Michael Dally of Earth Runners offered me a pair to review, and I took him up on it. I’m glad I did.

In the course of testing the Alpha Xs for my review, I became intrigued about earthing. First, I looked at the earthing section of the Earth Runners website (which I recommend you do too). Then I checked out some earthing-related videos on YouTube, and I did more research.

I’ll admit that at first I was sceptical. The corner was turned when I saw this video of how earthing products were used by the Discovery Channel Tour de France team from 2003 to 2005 and again in 2007:

I then purchased an earthing mat from the website.

Put simply, Earthing means connecting yourself to the Earth’s natural, negative surface charge by being barefoot outside or in bare skin contact with conductive systems indoors while you sleep, relax, or work. It’s a simple concept, but one with profound consequences.

Connecting with the Earth restores a lost electrical signal to the body that seems to stabilize the complicated circuitry of our essentially-electrical body. When you ground to the electron-enriched earth, an improved balance of the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous system occurs. Your self-regulating and self-healing mechanisms become more effective. There’s better blood flow. Less pain and inflammation. More energy. Deeper sleep.

Even after a little less than a week of using the mat, the effects were dramatic. For the first time in years, I slept straight through the night (numerous radiation treatments for prostate cancer over the past eight years have played havoc with my sleep and urinary patterns), and also lost some chronic pain in a thumb joint.

I noticed a marked reduction in my stress levels. Shortly before starting to use the earthing mat, we started an extensive house renovation, which meant that we had to empty the house, relocate to a condo, and board our two dogs and four cats. That would have been enough to unhinge anyone, but was especially tough on me. I have Aspergers Syndrome, and, like most Aspies, find any change in routine extremely harrowing. Being earthed made a really big difference in my ability to cope with the changes.

I feel like I’ve begun a whole new chapter in life education as I learn more about earthing.

I recently read Earthing, by Clint Ober, Stephen Sinatra, and Martin Zucker. It’s been a fascinating read, especially the more technical appendices at the end of the book.

I sleep on the earthing mat every night, and I also have it under my feet as much as possible during the day (for at least a couple of hours each day). I’m still sleeping soundly, and I’m still managing stress better. Not just day-to-day stress during the house renovation, but also acute stress – one of our greyhounds died a few weeks ago, and I don’t think I’d have made it through that difficult time very well without the help of earthing.

I also find that my recovery from long or intense runs is much faster and more complete.

I plan to buy a full earthing bed sheet in the near future, and probably also a set of earthing patches. And, when the warmer weather arrives, I’ll order a pair of fully conductive Earth Runner Circadians. Earthing makes so much sense as a way of optimizing my health and well-being that I’d be foolish not to.

I urge you to give earthing serious consideration. It may be one of the best things you’ll ever do.

Note: A slightly different version of this post previously appeared on the Earth Runners blog.

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