Throughout history humans always had contact with the earth, whether it be through walking barefoot, sleeping on the ground, etc. Nowadays, the modern floors of our houses and soles of our shoes keep us from having that direct connection. If you never step outside barefoot, it's possible to go years without ever actually touching the earth.
It's hard to say exactly how much of an effect earthing really has. The research is rather limited, but initial studies have indicated that it does have anti-inflammatory and stress-reducing effects on the body. Many say that regular earthing helps them to feel better, sleep better, and have more energy. Vasper, a cutting edge, science-based fitness company in California, has added grounded copper plates to their exercise machines to replicate the positive effects of walking barefoot on the ground. NASA is using grounding techniques with their astronauts, as well.
Jay started reading up on earthing a few years ago, and he makes and effort to connect to the earth as much as possible. As an Athletic Trainer, he was especially interested in the anti-inflammatory effects and how it could benefit athletes. He always says, "It could be nothing, but it could be everything!" Since earthing is completely free and harmless, it certainly doesn't hurt anything to give it a try. Plus, it does feel good to ditch the shoes and put your toes in the grass or sand once in a while!
If you don't have too many opportunities to walk around barefoot, you can actually connect to the ground indoors. There are a variety of grounding products available that plug into the bottom hole (the "ground port") of an outlet, which is directly connected to an existing ground rod in your home. Jay has a little mat that he puts his feet on while watching TV or working at the computer. Most recently, he bought us some body bands to wear around our ankles while we sleep. I used it for the first time two nights ago, and putting it on was a little strange - like I was getting shackled to the bed or something. But it really doesn't bother me once it's on, and I've been sleeping like a baby. It makes a lot of sense to be grounded at night, since that's where you spend the most consecutive hours in one place.
Here is a video that Jay helped me put together demonstrating how to check if you're grounded using a multimeter.