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September 21, 2011
Walking barefoot on the grass or on a sandy beach feels
good. And now growing evidence reveals why — direct physical
contact with the earth is good for our health. I am
fascinated by this new concept in healing, which is called
earthing or grounding.
Theory: Direct contact with the earth puts us in touch with
the natural electrical energy of the earth’s surface.
(Wearing shoes that separate you from the ground doesn’t
count, nor does sleeping in a sleeping bag.)
Research by electrophysiologists and other medical experts
suggests that the earth’s electrical energy may help protect
and stabilise our body’s own electrical system, recharging,
replenishing and, ultimately, healing us.
ELECTRONS — THE MISSING LINK
The concept of earthing is gaining momentum today because of
the efforts of Stephen Sinatra, MD, a holistic cardiologist,
and Clinton Ober and Martin Zucker, coauthors of Earthing
(Basic Health), a new book about the health benefits of
grounding. Dr. Sinatra has this to say about earthing.
Earthing is the most important health discovery made in his
40 years of practicing medicine. He believes that modern
life has disconnected us from the earth in many ways. We
live and work in multistory buildings high off the ground…
and spend our nights on thick mattresses far from the earth.
This separation from the surface of the earth reduces our
connection to its charge, which has resulted in our bodies
being deficient in electrons, says Dr. Sinatra.
Connect barefoot with the earth
At the same time, modern life has brought with it a host of
medical conditions associated with chronic inflammation,
including heart disease, diabetes, arthritis and cancer. As
Dr. Sinatra and his colleagues see it, inflammation in the
body is out of control mainly because we have lost contact
with the earth.
HOW CONNECTING TO THE EARTH CAN HELP
The earth’s surface is negatively charged and has an
unlimited supply of “free” electrons. If your body has lots
of positively charged free radicals (creating inflammation),
the earth’s free electrons can help to neutralise them. When
our feet or our bodies touch the ground, electrons naturally
flow from the place where they are plentiful (the earth) to
where they are not (our bodies). Many people find that this
connection with the earth immediately produces a warm,
tingling sensation or a sense of well-being. This contact
can trigger health benefits, often within minutes. These
benefits include relieving muscle tension, headaches and
menstrual symptoms. Earthing also can boost the immune
system… combat inflammation… reduce stress hormones… and
improve blood pressure. For people who are ill — and
therefore have the most free radicals — the benefits can be
dramatic. Those who are healthy usually sleep better and
have more energy.
Research has been under way since 2000 to explore the
mechanics of these benefits.
Example: The relationship between earthing and inflammation
was documented in a series of thermography (infrared
imaging) studies in 2004 and 2005. These studies showed how
skin surface temperatures change, and inflammation was
reduced after grounding. In a 2010 study, researchers from
the University of California at Irvine measured
physiological changes in participants who were seated in
recliners and connected to the earth via wires attached to a
grounding rod in the earth. Earthing was found to reduce
nervous system arousal and improve blood oxygenation.
HOW TO GET GROUNDED
To benefit from earthing, walk barefoot or sit in a chair
with your shoes off and your feet planted on the ground for
30 minutes. You can also wade or swim in the ocean, which is
rich in minerals and highly conductive, more so than lakes.
You must have direct, sustained skin contact (any part of
your body will do) with the surface of the earth to benefit.
Gardening, for example, which involves putting your hands in
and out of the earth, does not provide the same benefit.
I’ve just been over the road to a local park and spent 20
minutes walking and sitting on the grass, barefoot (but I
kept my pants on ). And I feel great!!!
Try earthing for yourself — and see how you feel. With
Spring in the air in the Southern hemisphere, now is the
time to go outside, lay on the grass in a park, or on the
sand at the beach and enjoy the many benefits of grounding.
Learn More about Earthing & Grounding
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