Earth Therapy: The Pleasure and Benefits of Barefoot Walking

Contact with nature has always had a beneficial effect on humans, but we rarely consider how this can extend all the way to our toes. Walking barefoot, especially on mountain or countryside trails, can offer both physical and psychological benefits.

From a physical standpoint, walking barefoot allows the muscles, tendons, and joints of the feet to move freely, improving balance and proprioception—the body’s perception of itself in space. This leads to increased foot muscle strength and greater joint mobility.

For children, in particular, walking barefoot can have beneficial effects on foot formation. Their spontaneous and unrestricted walking, unencumbered by the rigidity of shoes, helps preserve the natural mobility of the foot joints.

Beyond the physical benefits, walking barefoot can also have positive effects on our mental health. Feeling the earth, grass, stones, or stream water underfoot can foster a deep sense of connection with nature, reducing stress and promoting an overall sense of well-being.

It’s a return to our origins, to the freedom to explore the world without constraints—something that comes naturally in our early years and which we tend to forget over time. A simple activity that can turn into a genuine path of discovery and reclamation of one’s body and one’s place in the world.

This “earth therapy,” as it’s called in some circles, can help us restore balance, rediscover a more authentic contact with ourselves and the environment that surrounds us. And last but not least, rediscover the pleasure of such a simple and spontaneous act, yet one rich in meaning.

Of course, when embarking on this practice, caution should be exercised due to potential hazards: uneven terrain, sharp objects, insects. But with the proper precautions, walking barefoot can become a pleasurable and healthy practice—a return to our origins that brings us back in touch with the earth and ourselves.

So, the next time you have the opportunity to take a walk in nature, why not remove your shoes and let your feet touch the ground directly? It could prove to be one of the most rewarding and invigorating experiences you’ve ever had.

By Marco Mattiuzzi

A multifaceted artist, former teacher and communicator, he has dedicated years to art and communication. He taught classical guitar, exhibited photos and wrote in magazines. In the book sector, he promoted photography and art through HF Distribuzione, a company specialized in mail-order sales. He currently owns CYBERSPAZIO WEB & STREAMING HOSTING. In 2018, he created the Facebook group "Art Pills" with over 65,000 members and manages CYBERSPAZIO WEB RADIO dedicated to classical music. He collaborates with several cultural organizations in Vercelli, including Amici dei Musei and Artes Liberales.
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