There's a reason we're drawn to walking barefoot on the beach, plunging our hands into damp soil gardening, or simply falling asleep on the grass... it's why yoga is practiced with bare feet and Qi Gong is practiced outdoors... and it all has to do with a concept called Earthing, or, grounding.
The Benefits of Earthing
Essentially, if you're too busy to read through the forthcoming explanation, go outside and stand barefoot or lie down in your grass for ten minutes and you'll notice you feel much, much better! In fact, scientific research shows innumerable benefits from Earthing including:
- Normalization of cortisol rhythm and melatonin secretion (aka increased daytime energy and ability to sleep at night)
- Incredibly powerful antioxidant effect
- Reduction in blood viscosity
- Improved circulation
- Reduction in stress
- Balancing of nervous system
- Lowered cortisol
- Reduced pain & chronic inflammation (thereby allowing our bodies to heal faster)
- Reduced Anxiety
- Increased energy
- And more... all with no side effects (though in certain cases medications for thyroid/blood thinning/pain etc. may need to be reduced/eliminated as a result, therefore consult with your doctor prior to implementing an Earthing program)
How Earthing Works
Our bodies benefit tremendously from direct contact (walking, sitting or laying down, particularly when humid or wet) with the earth's negatively charged surface. During such Earthing activities as walking barefoot on the grass, the earth's surface supplies a never-ending source of ions which are conducted through our bare skin and absorbed by the trillions. As electrons travel from the feet throughout the body via its conductive systems, an antioxidant* effect occurs which helps to optimize the immune system. It is proposed that these free or mobile electrons from the earth neutralize the positively charged free radicals (free radicals being what antioxidants scavenge out of the body) which are the hallmark of chronic inflammation and root of most disease... thus illustrating how these free mobile electrons serve as natural antioxidants. Food based antioxidants from plants, fruits, vegetables and supplements such as astaxanthin also supply antioxidants, however, the regular supply of electrons from the earth are free! *Read the short explanation below on the relationship between antioxidants and free radicals for an even better understanding.
Why isn't Earthing More Well Known?
Why haven't you heard about Earthing til now? Funding drives what gets researched and since Earthing is free... need I say more? For example, Earthing has been proven repeatedly in solid scientific studies to have the same effect on our blood as aspirin, reducing clumping and thinning the blood, which is outstanding. Something totally free (Earthing) has the exact health benefit of aspirin but less risk. Yet, Bayer reports annual sales of over 1.1 Billion dollars per year.
Bottom line, often that which is not considered "mainstream" is deemed rubbish, yet before one falls for a belief in "scientific proof" or triple-blind studies as a means to "prove" validity or safety, consider how completely manipulated everything can be starting with who's funding the studies, research, resulting statistics and science.
How to practice Earthing
In modern times we've become quite separated from the earth. We spend most our time in insulated boxes, or travelling - once again in a box - from one to another. More recently we've transitioned from conductive leather or hide-soled shoes to thick, synthetic soled shoes incapable of transmitting Earth's free electrons. And, in just the last two decades we've been impacted by an unprecedented flood of electromagnetic waves, or, EMF pollution. Alas, don't fret! We need not live barefoot in caves in the middle of who-knows-where! Simply employ any of the following measures to bring our bodies back into a state of homeostasis, health and well being:
- Standing/Walking barefoot on the beach
- Standing/Walking barefoot on the grass
- Standing/Walking barefoot on your concrete basement floor
- Taking your shoes off for 10 minutes while golfing
- Swimming in the ocean
- Ground by resting (shoeless) feet on steel studs while flying (offsetting EMF)
- Walking in thin leather/hide soled shoes...
- Or walking/running in Earthing Shoes such as these by Juil (love their styles & hope they create more vegan options) or these earthing shoes (love to try them too!)
- Outdoor meditation has been used for thousands of years by advanced spiritual masters who understood the magnifying and synergistic effect of combining grounding with meditation.
Additionally, there are earthing products such as sheets, blankets and computer mats on the market which, admittedly, I do find rather intriguing. However, they're too pricy for me so I'll personally be spending as much time as possible in nature barefoot, meditating on the grass and eating an antioxidant-rich diet :)
* Antioxidants and Free radicals: "Antioxidants are intimately involved in the prevention of cellular damage - the common pathway for cancer, aging, and a variety of diseases. Free radicals are atoms or groups of atoms with an odd (unpaired) number of electrons which can be formed when oxygen interacts with certain molecules. Once formed these highly reactive radicals can start a chain reaction, like dominoes. Their chief danger comes from the damage they can do when they react with important cellular components such as DNA, or the cell membrane. Cells may function poorly or die if this occurs. To prevent free radical damage the body has a defense system of antioxidants. Antioxidants are molecules which can safely interact with free radicals and terminate the chain reaction before vital molecules are damaged. Although there are several enzyme systems within the body that scavenge free radicals, the principle micronutrient (vitamin) antioxidants are vitamin E, beta-carotene, vitamin C..." as well as selenium, a trace metal. The body cannot manufacture these micronutrients so they must be supplied in the diet (or from earthing) 1. http://www.rice.edu/~jenky/sports/antiox.html
Please do your own research and come to your own conclusions. Here are a few additional resources:
How familiar are you with Earthing? Do you/how do you practice it?
What are your thoughts on the subject?