Week 31 | What on Earth is Earthing? Reasons to Hop Outside Barefoot As Much As You Can
--Audio Guide --
Before I moved to New York I lived in LA for 8 years. When I started telling folks of my plans to move to the city, one of my friends, let’s call her Cindy, warned me about my impending coastal change.
Cindy had lived in New York and she went on to explain her weekly existence included waking up in a small corner room she rented downtown that had no windows. Every morning she would make her way to the subway via a tunnel connected with her apartment building and just the same when she got to her office in midtown, an underground walkway took her to her office building where she would ride the elevator up and just in time to sit at her cubicle desk, whose only light was fluorescent. Her body stale from indoor air, CIndy admitted, Monday through Friday, she hardly ever saw the sun, never touched the earth.
What is Earthing?
A study out of NIH explains, “omnipresent throughout the environment is a surprisingly beneficial, yet overlooked global resource for health maintenance, disease prevention, and clinical therapy: the surface of the Earth itself” (NIH)“. The term, earthing is all about humans connecting back to nature and its energy. “The Earth, you see, is an electrical planet, and you are a bioelectrical being. Your body functions electrically. Your heart and nervous system are prime examples”(Heart MD).
Especially if you live in a city, ”nearly every part of our existence today is insulated, synthetic and removed from the earth's natural healing touch” (Mind Body Green). “Throughout history, humans mostly walked barefoot or with footwear made of animal skins. They slept on the ground or on skins. Through direct contact or through perspiration-moistened animal skins used as footwear or sleeping mats, the ground's abundant free electrons were able to enter the body, which is electrically conductive” (NIH). I personally have to actively seek and carve out time to be in nature; Life today is centered around separating humans from the Earth, but even as little as walking barefoot outside for as little as 45mins can allow for several health benefits, including helping to boost your immune system.
The Earth’s Electrons Are The Key to Connection
“Most of us don’t walk barefoot nor do we sleep on the ground as we did in times past” (Heart MD). Unfortunate reveals a study out of NIH, “scientific research has revealed a surprisingly positive and overlooked environmental factor on health: direct physical contact with the vast supply of electrons on the surface of the Earth” (NIH).
The Earth’s electrons are key; “It is an established, though not widely appreciated fact, that the Earth's surface possesses a limitless and continuously renewed supply of free or mobile electrons. The surface of the planet is electrically conductive (except in limited ultradry areas such as deserts), and its negative potential and electron supply is maintained and replenished by the global atmospheric electrical circuit” (NIH).
What Is It About Electrons That Is So Healing?
When one is in regular direct contact with the earth’s surface, “every part of the body can equilibrate with the electrical potential of the Earth, thereby stabilizing the electrical environment of all organs, tissues, and cells. The Earth's negative potential can create a stable internal bioelectrical environment for the normal functioning of all body systems. Moreover, oscillations of the intensity of the Earth's potential may be important for setting the biological clocks regulating body rhythms, such as cortisol secretion” (NIH).
The Health Benefits of Earthing
“Reconnection with the Earth's electrons has been found to promote intriguing physiological changes and subjective reports of well-being. In fact, “in the late 19th century, a back-to-nature movement in Germany claimed many health benefits from being barefoot outdoors, even in cold weather. In the 1920s, a medical doctor, investigated the practice of sleeping grounded after being informed by some individuals that they could not sleep properly 'unless they were on the ground or connected to the ground in some way,' such as with copper wires attached to grounded-to-Earth water, gas, or radiator pipes. He reported improved sleeping using these techniques. However, these ideas never caught on in mainstream society” (NIH).
All it takes is walking barefoot, sitting on the ground outside or even sleeping outdoors, but these practices that facilitate the connection of the body with electrons laden in the Earth’s surface have been shown to::
1. Reduce stress - being in contact with the Earth’s surface helps promote a shift from the sympathetic to parasympathetic nervous system
2. Reduce acute and chronic inflammation
3. Better sleep
4. Reduce pain
5. Increase immunity
Go outside! It’s time to allow for that “primordial flow” of Earth’s electrons.