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No shoes? No problem! `Earthing' gains ground

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Next time you are out for a hike, don't be alarmed by people walking sans shoes. The practice, known as "earthing," is said to positively impact health. Ttangmoesan Red Clay Trail is popular with earthers. 

 An increasing number of health-conscious individuals are walking barefoot outdoors, a practice known as "earthing" or "grounding." Practitioners believe doing so has several health benefits thanks to electrons that cover the ground. Adherents believe these electrons dissipate static electricity from the body, which has been linked to various health conditions. At the same time, the electrons spread over and into the body, where they can have antioxidant effects.

 Whether on grass, sand, or dirt, allowing your skin to touch the natural ground can provide grounding energy, which practitioners believe eases physical and emotional stress and pain. Advocates claim earthing is a "cure-all" remedy that provides enhanced immunity, anti-inflammatory effects, anti-aging effects, improved blood flow, acupressure effects, stronger foot muscles, better sleep and improved mental health. Some even believe earthing can cure cancer.

 The centuries-old practice of walking barefoot outside has gone viral as the latest wellness trend sweeping social media. In the never-ending quest for better physical and mental health, people have picked up earthing as an easy and effective way to practice self-care.

 Thanks to the city's mild weather, outdoor spaces and well-maintained walking trails, Busan is a haven to practice earthing year-round.

 However, before you kick off your socks and step outside, here are some tips to ensure your earthing experience is as pleasant as can be. Stick to safer surfaces, like mud or sand, to avoid unexpected hazards. Walking on forest trails, which might have sharp objects like rocks or broken glass, may lead to injury. Individuals with diabetes or foot wounds should consult their doctor before walking barefoot outdoors. Finally, socks with holes cut out of the bottom can provide the same benefits while keeping toes warm when earthing in the winter. 

■ Where to go barefoot in Busan

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Ttangmoesan Trail is part of the Galmaet-gil Trail network. 

◎Ttangmoesan Red Clay Trail

 The 2-kilometer round-trip trail winds between a dense cypress forest and an endless clear lake, providing visitors with a beautiful landscape to enjoy while walking or earthing. No matter the weather, the trail's red clay soothes weary soles.

 The course also has foot-washing facilities and places to sit and relax. If 2 kilometers isn't enough, the trail is connected to Galmaet-gil Trail section 1 of course no. 8 to Millakgyo Bridge.

• Address: 355-2, Oryun-dong, Geumjeong-gu

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Earthers walking along the salty shores of Songjeong Beach. 

◎Beaches across the city

 Busan's beaches are excellent places to go earthing. Ocean water is the best bet for successful grounding due to its high salt content. The salty water serves as an excellent conductor of electrons and helps the body become replenished with vital minerals. Plus, the serenity of the ocean and its idyllic scenery are sure to ease tension and take  relaxation to the next level. 

 Songjeong, Gwangalli and Dadaepo beaches offer feet-washing stations. If you want to continue walking the Galmaet-gil Trails, take course 1 from Songjeong, course 2 from Haeundae or Gwangalli and section 3 of course 4 from Dadaepo Beach.

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The sand field at Busan Citizens Park. 

◎Busan Citizens Park

 Busan Citizens Park in Busanjin-gu District offers three earthing courses: A 300-meter clay road from South Gate 1 to North Gate 1, a 150-meter red clay forest path between North Gate 2 and South Gate, and a sandy path between the music fountain and water playground. All three earthing zones in the park provide feet-washing stations for visitor's convenience.

•Address: 73 Simingongwon-ro Busanjin-gu

<Voca Spotlight>

sans shoes: 신발 없이

barefoot: 맨발

inflammatory: 염증

acupressure: 지압

Red Clay: 황토, 적토


replenish: 보충하다