Have you walked barefoot on grass today?
About two weeks ago, I published a post entitled 8 Crunchy Products I Love, and I'm just going to cut to the chase now and let you know that you can file this post under the same category.
It's called grounding, my friends, and the information I'm about to share with you regarding this topic is, trust me, about as crunchy as it comes, but hear me out because I truly put stock into it...
Several years ago – about four to be exact – while I was studying to earn my yoga teaching certification, I read somewhere (Yoga Journal, I think) that there are health benefits to be had by spending time everyday walking on grass with one's bare feet. This act, which, again, is called grounding, has been said to actually help decrease anxiety and depression while simultaneously increasing the levels of endorphins – the chemical released by the brain that works as our own private narcotic. Endorphins are responsible for our feelings of excitement or satisfaction and can be triggered by all sorts of things including sex, exercise, and even hot peppers.
Yes, hot peppers. That one leaves me scratching my head.
But back to bare feet and grass.
The most eloquent and easily-understood description of grounding I was able to find comes from a site called MindBodyGreen:
"Our bodies are made up of about 60 percent water, which is great for conducting electricity. The earth has a negative ionic charge. Going barefoot grounds our bodies to that charge. Negative Ions have been proven to detoxify, calm, reduce inflammation, synchronise your internal clocks, hormonal cycles and physiological rhythms."
Six months after learning about grounding, I became pregnant with Scotty. And without regaling you on the long, sordid details, I was put on modified bed rest during my second trimester after a fibroid tumor in the muscle lining of my uterus grew to a whopping 17 centimeters – way bigger than a large grapefruit. My lowest point was when the fibroid began to battle Scotty for blood supply and lost – a process that's called degeneration.
The important thing is that while my OB was unsure of my ability to carry Scotty to full-term (I did) or deliver him vaginally (again, I did), I was thankfully never at risk of losing him. That said, the physical pain I endured from this experience made my labor and delivery feel like a paper cut. And what felt arguably as bad was my inability to practice yoga during my bed-rest: I went from doing sun salutations and headstands everyday to, at times, not being able to walk to the kitchen without help.
Grounding became my yoga. Sometimes I wondered if it was worth the effort, but I made a point to walk on our lawn every chance I could until the day I delivered Scotty.
I'm no doctor, of course. I can't tangibly measure what benefits – if any – I gained from grounding. But I believe it did something for me.
So I make an effort to practice grounding to this day, and I bring Scotty and Kennedy – whose fat feet you see in the collage above – on our lawn with me.
And so I ask you: Have you walked on grass today?
Courtney Conover is a mom of two and wife of an ex-NFL player. She has more Legos, hair products, and NFL memorabilia than she knows what to do with. She blogs at The Brown Girl with Long Hair