Friday, August 8, 2014

Let grass grow under your feet

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?

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27 comments:

  1. I haven't heard of this before, but I know my daughter would have no problems walking barefoot on grass - she is a natural born Floridian and we always have issues keeping shoes on her feet!

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    1. Good morning, Ana Lynn! Okay, I think your daughter and I are cut from the same cloth: Although I'm not a Floridian (The Hubs and I have visited there quite a few times -- and LOVE it), I can't seem ti keep shoes on my feet, either! If not for the hellish winters we have to endure here, why, I'd be barefoot in' it days a year! And, frankly, everyone in this house is the same way...

      Thank you so much for sharing,

      xo

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    2. I meant 365 days a year. Darn phone. Lol

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  2. This is cool, Courtney! I have never heard of grounding before so I love learning something new! I am a little hesitant to walk barefoot in the grass as it brings back some childhood memories. Every summer I would run around barefoot out side.(I was grounding and didn't even realize it!) Anyhoo, I would step on a bee and get stung every year! I swear summer didn't officially start till I would step on a bee and my bro would get poison ivy, something he got every summer too!

    On a side note I FINALLY wrote a post yesterday! Sadly I lost the whole thing so it never got published. I didn't have time to rewrite as I had to go to work but man, did I want to through my laptop out the window after that happened!! Guess I needed a little grounding yesterday!

    xxo

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    1. Dear Lord, Susie. Oh, how I wish you hadn't regaled me on your computer malfunction.
      :-( I am angry at your computer FOR you. Your calm demeanor is refreshing, and is but another characteristic of your awesome personality...

      I''m sorry about the bevy of bees you've endured during your childhood. I got stung only once, and in a similar way: a bee snuck down into my pink Reebok high top during summer camp.

      Please forgive me for rocking pink Reebok high tops.

      #ChildOfThe80s

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  3. I love grass. And like you, I don't put shoes on until it's so cold outside my toes turn blue! (Which is funny because in every other way I am a lizard!) I didn't know it was called grounding, but that totally makes sense. :) I'm the funny mom who is always telling her kid to take OFF his shoes instead of put them on. I remain astounded by the number of children my son knows for whom walking on grass is a novel - even scary - experience!

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    1. Hey, there! Okay, I have to make one more remark about wearing shoes in winter -- because I have a hunch that this may apply to you, too:I gravitate toward boots that one can wear without socks: i.e. Uggs and Bogs. I ABHOR wearing socks -- particularly with my boots. (Hell, it's bad enough that I have to wear boots when I'd rather be barefoot! lol)

      I totally relate to you, as I am the exact same with Scotty and K. I actually have to remind myself to tell them to put shoes on when we go for our walks because we live on a dirt road, so, walking barefoot in the street can be like walking on hot coals sometimes. :-/

      And I feel bad about the kids who don't experience the luxury of walking on grass -- and, yes, I deem it a luxury; a luxury we should all have access to, but a luxury nonetheless...

      xo

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  4. It is a gorgeous day here, and is perfect for just this sort of thing! My feet are already bare so all I need to do is go outside...
    Thanks for this!

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    1. Hi, Allie!!!

      "My feet are already bare."

      ^^^This. That's how I roll around here, too. ;-)

      Enjoy your walk on #NaturesCarpet, my friend! I'm going to join you on the lawn after the little ones get up from their nap...

      Thank you for commenting.

      xo

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  5. I've read something similar, and want to say it was from Yoga Journal. We try our best to get outdoors every day, and as Tycho gets stronger and more sure of himself with walking, so he's been venturing out in the grass, too. It's wonderful for your soul... and sometimes for your sanity. ;)

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    1. That's excellent, Stephanie. I totally agree -- it IS wonderful for your soul, and, ALWAYS for your sanity!!!!

      Thank you for posting.

      xo

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  6. Who knew that grounding was so beneficial!? Loved the openness of your story in carrying Scotty. It is amazing what the body can do despite all odds. When the rain stops, little man and I are headed to play in the grass 😊

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    1. Hi, Rebekah! And welcome! Thank you for leaving such a beautiful comment; I appreciate it. I never mind sharing the experience I had carrying Scotty because it is my hope that I can help calm the nerves of expectant moms who are walking the same path...

      When I first read your comment, I was getting Scotty's dinner on...but now we're on our way outside! Yay!

      Thanks, again, for commenting!

      xo

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  7. Even just looking at your photos is great, I can feel the grass in my toes! I also love walking barefoot on sand, there is nothing else quite like that.
    My youngest still takes his shoes and socks off as soon as he gets in from school. He says he prefers his toes to be exposed and has been like that since he was little (he's 15 now) I don't mind at all except I find socks in odd places round the house!

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    1. Julia, your comment had me rolling!! My son is just shy of three and you would not believe how fast he pulls his shoes and socks off as soon as he enters our home -- and it's not even at my urging. We have hardwood floors throughout, and even in the winter, he NEEDS to be barefoot.

      I hope he won't be that guy that my friends and I all laughed at in college -- the guy who would be walking through campus with his Birkenstocks and cargo shorts on in the dead of winter.

      To be continued.

      Thank you so much for commenting.

      xo

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  8. Hi Courtney, I love walking barefoot on grass or sand. I didn't know there was a name for it or all this science behind it. You learn something new everyday! Stopping by to check you out and so sorry I missed your SITS Day. Hope they had you all surrounded in comment love.

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    1. Hi, Wilma, and thank you! I had an excellent SITS Day. No need to apologize at all -- I know how busy one's days can be, so no worries. I'm simply appreciative of your comment TODAY. :-)

      Now get outside and pamper yourself by walking on some fresh, cool grass!

      xo

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  9. Never heard of grounding, but I will give it a try. My fibroid prevented my from having a vaginal birth. It blocked the birth canal :(

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    1. Yes, try it, Sonya...and tell me what you think after you've done so. I swear it does something...something that you can feel.

      I'm sorry about your fibroid. :-( In retrospect, I actually had it pretty good because my fibroid didn't stand in the way of me getting pregnant like many fibroids do (heck, all Scott had to do was look at me, and I got pregnant), and mine was in no way near the birth canal, so my vaginal birth went off without a hitch. The fibroid only caused me tremendous pain during my pregnancy. So, I was quite fortunate.

      Thank you for commenting.

      xo

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  10. Interesting! I know someone who sings in a band - always barefoot because she says it makes her feel the music more. I wonder if it has something to do with this? Love the baby bare feet! Found this at Saturday Sharefest!

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    1. Hi, Susan! What an excellent point you've shared. Thank You! I reckon there IS indeed a connection between grounding and the spark of creative energy. (Similarly, I am a yoga instructor, and much prefer teaching class outside as opposed to inside the confines of a studio.) Excellent point. :-)

      Thanks for your visit.

      xo

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  11. OMG, funny I am reading this!! I thought I was the only one who felt "something" when I walked on grass!!! I love the feel and peace I get from walking on grass, it really is a soothing healing feeling for me. Great share love the pics xo

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    1. Right???? You feel it too? I'm telling you, Mari, I would mention this to people, and they would look at me like I have five heads, and I can see their eyes glaze over thinking, "Here's Hippie Courtney, again, with her yoga speak..."

      I'm not crazy after all. There is science to support this! lol

      Thank you for visiting and sharing your comment.

      xo

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  12. Oh my, I Love those chubby baby toes on Kennedy. I have a fear of walking barefoot anywhere, especially outside. As a child it never bothered me. I will try to conquer that fear because I love the thought of grounding on the grass which may decrease the anxiety I have about trying grounding on the grass in the first place. ;) Great post!
    Barbara @ www.allmylivesnow.com

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    1. Hi, Barbara! I tend to agree with you about Kennedy's fat feet, which I liken to toasted jumbo marshmallows. I kiss them several times a day...

      Now you've got me intrigued. Will you please be so kind as to keep me updated on Operation Grounding? I'm curious to know your thoughts after you've taken a walk on the grass sans shoes...

      Thank you for not only stopping, but also for commenting.

      xo

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  13. I have never heard of grounding before but since I live in a apartment community that is pet friendly I can't walk in the grass barefooted or I'll have surprises on my feet.

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    1. Ack! Surprises on one's feet? No bueno.

      But perhaps there's a (non doggy) park nearby where you and the girls can experience this splendor?

      xo

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