All primates have evolved by walking both barefoot and bareknuckled. Humans are not that different - our prime periods of evolution occurred whilst we walked barefoot and when we were mainly sleeping on the ground. In modern times this contact with the ground has radically reduced, most particularly as a result of the adoption of rubber or plastic soled shoes and with modern building techniques. Could there be significance for our health from this?
Some fascinating recent research suggests that this essential "disconnect" from our earth has actually contributed to much chronic disease - particularly types of chronic illness that were not seen so often by our fore-fathers.
This may seem simplistic, and in truth the theory is a simple one, but it is captivating nonetheless.
The earth itself is known to be slightly negatively charged; the air above it in contrast is slightly positively charged (this positive charge in fact actually increases the higher you are from the surface of the earth).
It is posited therefore that humankind evolved into its natural (healthy) state whilst still in frequent, if not almost constant, contact with this slight negative charge. The modern human, however, has generally cut him or herself off from what is suggested as being a potentially essential "earth" or "ground".
It is further posited that chronic inflammation is also generally positively charged. By not being in good regular contact with the "ground" such inflammation does not naturally resolve as it would have done in the past. Then this electrical imbalance would have been effectively neutralised by millions of tiny negatively charged electrons being imperceptibly absorbed from the natural contact with the ground.
Nearly seventy years ago Doctor Yoshio Manaka developed some different but oddly similar ideas of his own concerning inflammation, specifically relating to his observations of acute burn injuries on soldiers in the Second World War. He posited that the angry and painful inflammation on the surface of a burn actually reflects a localised positive charge at the site of injury - and he further speculated that neutralising it would help the burn to heal. He developed this idea out of necessity, because he found himself with no available treatment and was looking for a possible way of easing suffering with the simple resources he had readily at hand. He tried covering the burn with tin foil, attached a wire to the foil and attached the end of the wire to an acupuncture point at a distal location of the body. The treatment proved very effective (and he later developed his more sophisticated theories from this simple starting point).
A logical extrapolation of his idea in the light of the "earthing" theory suggests that acupuncture points (which, when active, are known to be highly electrically permeable compared to the general skin surface) might be useful locations from which to access the internal positively charged chronic inflammation associated with modern organic disease, and that directly connecting these points to a natural healthy source of electrons (as found in the earth itself) could offer a useful approach to treating what are accepted as being difficult-to-treat conditions.
This is an innovative idea, and I am currently involved in ongoing private research to further investigate the idea's clinical possibilities. Some interesting ideas are developing.