Dirt Under Your Nails (and Feet) Can Stay Depression and Increase Health
"...now science is proving through experiments that there are actual microorganism[s] in the soil that affect our sense of wellbeing."
Just in time for long days barefoot in the field or delightful gleaning between rows in the garden, new (and very old) research is pointing to the broad and intuitive benefits of direct contact with the Earth... and with actual earth.
A recent article, "Science finds Soil can Help Depression" (http://upliftconnect.com/science-finds-soil-help-depression/), and another from 2011, "Barefoot Healing" (http://spiritualityhealth.com/articles/barefoot-healing), make good companion reading - as if we need more excuse to kick off our shoes and play in the dirt. Their points are different but complementary.
The former lifts up the presence of microbes in soil that look to play a role in helping fight depression. The latter theorizes that the electric charge of the earth "grounds" us (metaphorically and literally) and offers health benefits through exposure to negative ions. The science behind both ideas is still... "cutting-edge" shall we say. But they are both worth a read.
For my part, their research bears out in my own experience. But I hardly need convincing to lose my sandals or dig around in the garden by hand. It might be, after all, just what the doctor (should have) ordered.