How to Prevent Arthritis?

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7/24/2021 ~ Someone in the gardening group I just joined was talking about walking barefoot. It reminded me that my Polish grandpa said walking in the wet grass after rain was good for me and would keep me from ever getting arthritis. I was maybe five or six at the time, and remember still.

I’ve kept to his advice for most of my 70 years since, even in times it wasn’t easy. For instance I bought a home with a neglected backyard which contributed to the low price I could afford, just. The neglect had been heaven to goatheads, those vicious little seeds shaped a bit like a goat’s head. If you don’t know them, they are fully capable of flatting bicycle tires.

In real life goatheads are about a third that size, maybe a bit smaller. The fiendish thing is, the plant itself looks charming. I had a lovely artist friend new to New Mexico who saw the little plants and transplanted them to create groundcover between his new flagstone path.

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The deceptively charming goatheads plant… that fooled my friend.

It was a gargantuan task to clear all the goatheads, but in a few weeks I’d done it. They were gone and I planted grass. I remember the trepidation I felt talking off my shoes in preparation for my first step out onto the new grass after a rain. I myself, you see, had first met goatheads when I was new to Santa Fe and being young was always barefoot. On my way to the Plaza, a bit of sidewalk had a beautiful mounded plant with little yellow flowers, which looked as if it would feel cool and lovely on my foot as I stepped into it. LOL. Lesson learned.

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Now I live in an apartment complex with no grass. There are sharp little grey stones for landscaping, dotted here and there with a well chosen flowering plant, like Apache plume. So, I’m not sure how I’ll keep arthritis at bay now.

I found some information on Pinterest about walking barefoot not necessarily after a rain and referred to as “earthing” that was new to me:

Helps release electrical charge and free radicals we carry
Contributes to proper functioning of our bodies
Drains stress and tension
Reduces blood pressure and inflammation
Contributes to a healthy sleep pattern
Helps keep blood sugar levels healthy
Helps us fight disease

Hmmm, while there are no footnote references to verify a scholarly sources, I can see how all in all it’s very possible there’s something behind Grandpa’s advice, besides his belief and experience.

Do you have a place you can walk barefoot in the grass? If so, go and Enjoy!

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