Greetings earthlings and happy Earth Day! I wish much health and happiness to all of you and to your beloved planet. I come from far away to join you in this special celebration and appreciation of your wonderful world. It’s a noble cause and absolutely makes sense to support and to work for a cleaner, greener home environment. When the Earth is healthier, you earthlings are healthier too. In fact, increased direct skin contact with dirt, grass, sand, and sea, adds to your potential for good, grounded health. In case you’re wondering what the heck I’m talking about, I’m referring to earthing or grounding which is something anyone may do any time of year.
Earthing – Nuts & Bolts
Hey folks, I’m back to being fellow earthling Susan again and I’d like to continue our down-to-earth discussion. If you think about it, way back when and throughout time actually, human beings, like all mammals, have always had a lot of up close, skin-to-skin contact with the Earth. Whether sitting, standing, squatting, resting, playing, hunting, walking, running, or sleeping, just about everything we did and how we lived meant being in direct contact with the Earth every day. “Okay, right and, so what?” you ask.
Fact: We are all bioelectrical beings living on an electrical planet.1 Overtime, our body develops a positive charge that is slowly dispelled when we touch or make direct contact with the Earth which is negatively charged. The negative electrons of the Earth passing through the bottoms of our feet or other body part help to balance the positive electrons in our body. So, when we’re disconnected from the earth, the positive charge in our body builds excessively and this ultimately depletes our energy, and promotes inflammation and disease.2
In fact, Mark Sisson, in his wonderful book, The Primal Connection, reports thermograghy images and blood samples from patients who responded poorly to conventional medications and therapies revealed a surprising reduction in inflammation and improved blood viscosity after 30 minutes of earthing – sitting, walking, or standing on conducive surfaces such as grass, sand, and dirt.3 (FYI: Earthing does not work on wood, asphalt, or vinyl surfaces.)
Said another way, back in the day, the ordinary contact we had with the Earth day-in and day-out actually served as a conduit for transferring the Earth’s gentle negative charge underfoot (barefoot or even while wearing deerskin moccasins) into our body. Truth be told, modern life has in fact disconnected us from our beautiful, healing planet. (Who doesn’t wear shoes every single day of their lives?) This disconnect renders us more vulnerable to inflammation, pain, stress, poor sleep, and illness.
Reconnecting with the Earth instead upholds the electrophysiology or electrical stability of our body and thereby serves as a foundation for vitality, health, circadian rhythm, and healing. Earthing even helps to reduce extra cortisol in our body which allows for greater relaxation and fat reduction. Also, bear in mind that earthing is dose related; the longer we are able to ground ourselves with the earth, the more stable, energetic, and robust our body functions and the greater our ability to heal.4
How Should One Earth?
It’s fairly easy. Go outside and take off your shoes. Lie down or take a walk on your lawn or the beach, (walking on the sand with our feet in the water is especially conducive to taking in the Earth’s negative electrons). Sit in a park and let your arms, hands, feet, legs, etc. make contact with the grass and dirt. Even if you spread out a blanket and lie down, have some skin overhang with the Earth. Garden without gloves. Make some good, old-fashioned, outdoor mud pies with your kids. Participate in a Tough Mudder event or watch one bare foot. We can even earth while walking on a concrete sidewalk, as long as it’s not painted over, since all of the ingredients – water, sand, stones, gravel, limestone, or granite and cement are natural and derived from the Earth. (Reminder - Asphalt is not conducive and will not ground you.)
“But, I can’t possibly walk on the sidewalk barefoot,” you declare, “and especially not in the cold or very hot weather!” You’re right and actually you don’t have to. There are some convenient walking, sleeping, and sitting options available which make earthing a heck of a lot easier.
If you go on-line there are several earthing accessories to check out. With regard to shoes, I’ve used Juil Earthing shoes, but there are others on the market. In addition, good, old fashioned leather-soled moccasins work great especially if your feet are perspired! (If you buy a pair of moccasins make sure they aren’t rubber-soled.) I have also purchased sleeping sheets, pillow cases, and foot mats from the Earthing Institute. Heck, I’ve even gotten a floor mat or 2 for my pets!
My spouse and I experience very deep sleep when using earthing sheets, (they simply plug into an outlet). Moreover, Dave Asprey, well-noted biohacker and author of The Bulletproof Diet, notes that sleeping with an earthing mat has virtually cured his jet lag, (he carries one with him for travel as well as has a set of earthing sheets at home.)
It’s wonderful to celebrate and to be grateful for our beloved planet! Likewise, supporting the Earth’s cleanliness and health is without a doubt a worthwhile and noble gesture. I propose though as we honor our beautiful world that we truly embrace it with the best of intentions and renewed intimacy. It’s time to become re-acquainted with our planet and to reap the healing energies it offers. Through on-going studies, science is exploring the good things that happen inside our bodies when we connect with the Earth. It is indeed a marvelous time to kick off our shoes and welcome back Mother Earth. It’s how it all began.
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1 G. Chevalier, PhD, A New Health And Healing Frontier, Director, Earthing Institute, www.earthinginstitute.net
2 D. Asprey, The Bullet Proof Diet, (New York, NY: Rodale, Inc., 2014)
3 M.Sisson, The Primal Connection: Follow your genetic blueprint to health and happiness, (Malibu, CA: Primal Blueprint Publishing, 2013)
4 C. Ober, S. Sinatra, MD, and M. Zucker, Earthing: The most important health discovery ever? (Laguna Beach, CA: Basic Health Publications, Inc. 2010)