For many of us, our first reaction upon realizing that we’re suffering from insomnia and/or depression is to seek psychiatric or pharmaceutical help. But the time has come for us to ask ourselves: Why go for those proven treatment methods, when taking off our shoes and walking around barefoot might just do the trick, as Gwyneth Paltrow’s Goop suggests?
The lifestyle website that wants us to drink raw goats’ milk and shove a jade egg up there would also like us to try a new trend called “earthing,” which involves walking around barefoot to connect to the energy of the planet. Although people have been walking around without shoes since before shoes were invented, practicing “earthing” stems from the belief that “access to the abundant supply of free electrons in the (subtly negatively charged) ground can help neutralize free radicals — if only we would take off our shoes and access them.”
Paltrow herself apparently swears by earthing — which is also called “grounding” — and members of the Goop community believe it can help with inflammation, arthritis, insomnia, depression, and more. So, to learn more about the barefoot trend, Goop interviewed Clint Ober, an “earthing-movement leader” who worked in the cable-television industry for 30 years.
According to Ober, the “most natural method” of grounding (or earthing) is to take your shoes off and walk around outdoors on the ground. However, the showbiz veteran noted that “walking barefoot in your home … will not have the same effect.”
Luckily, it turns out you actually can ground yourself indoors — by purchasing one of three kits linked to in the Goop article, each of which comes with a mat and electrical cord and ranges in price from $29.99 to $199.99. But what’s $199.99 if it cures your insomnia?