Ounce of Prevention | Earthing: Connecting to Mother Earth
Scientists have been researching the health benefits of directly connecting the human body to the Earth, a practice called Earthing or grounding. This simply involves being in contact with the Earth's surface by walking outdoors barefoot. Conductive devices have even been developed to create a similar effect when indoors.
Research has shown that a vast blanket of electrons covers the Earth's surface. Electrons are negatively charged particles,, found in all atoms that are the primary carriers of electrical energy. These electrons can, on contact, be transmitted into the human body, where they act as powerful neutralisers of free radicals, the agents responsible for many disease processes.
Man-made electrical systems worldwide are connected to the Earth's surface and its negative charge to provide stability and safety. These systems, from large grids and power stations to homes, buildings, and factories, electrical machinery and appliances are thus said to be "grounded" or "earthed."
Earthing research suggests that this same electrical charge on the earth's surface nurtures all living things. Consider it as 'electrical nutrition' with the ability to restore, balance, and stabilise the human body's countless electrical systems that run the functions of organs, cells, and biorhythms.
Investigations reveal that when the body is grounded, its electrical potential equalises with the Earth's electrical potential through a transfer of electrons from the Earth to the body. When the body's potential is the same as the Earth's electric potential, it becomes an extension of the entire electrical system of the Earth. This neutralises, reduces, or repels unhealthy electrical fields from the body.
Throughout history, humans either walked barefoot or used semi-conductive natural animal hides for footwear and bedding. We lived in intimate contact with the Earth at all times. But today, we live and work mostly indoors, sometimes high above the ground in multi-storey buildings and wear shoes with synthetic soles made of non-conductive plastic and rubber compounds. Many of us rarely go barefoot outside and have disconnected from mother Earth. Our bodies have become Earth-starved, a state that leaves us more vulnerable to common diseases.
In addition, we are now constantly exposed to harmful electromagnetic radiation from the various electrical gadgets in our homes and work places. This common reality of modern life is referred to as an 'electron deficiency' and scientists think it is an overlooked cause of not only chronic inflammation, but perhaps the ravages of ageing itself.
Earthing can induce many bodily changes of great importance to your health. The list includes reduced pain and inflammation, better sleep, and a blood-thinning effect that rivals that of aspirin and other potentially dangerous blood-thinning drugs. Earthing also promotes a stable heart rate, decreases muscle tension, improves high blood pressure, as well as autoimmune conditions like lupus, multiple sclerosis, and rheumatoid arthritis.
BLOOD SUGAR CONTROL
Earthing may help to control the blood sugar levels. Polish doctors have been actively researching the various effects of grounding on hundreds of people with different conditions, including diabetes, and documented their findings in a 2011 study.
They reported: "We have been able to withdraw insulin from some people because they achieved a reduction in their blood sugar just from walking barefoot. With oral medication, we observed that some people with diabetes could walk barefoot and not need anti-diabetic drugs like Metformin. We found that in some cases the combination of medication and grounding could even push the glucose level too low."
They concluded that further research with more people would be needed to see at what point sustained grounding could achieve a decrease in glucose enough to recommend that a doctor reduce the medication dosage.
If you are diabetic, you may consider seeing what effect going without shoes for an hour or so a day may have on your blood sugar. But be careful to take good care of your feet and not injure them.
CALMING THE NERVOUS SYSTEM
Earthing helps defuse stress. Stress is really a reaction. It is how we respond internally to circumstances and situations around us (stressors). Earthing balances that reaction and calms down the activity of the sympathetic nervous system.
By its calming effect on the nervous system, functions such as heart beat, respiration, and digestion are balanced.
Studies have shown that after earthing, blood pressure, heart rate, breathing pattern, and muscle tension all improve positively. In effect, earthing induces the relaxation response.
Earthing studies and feedback indicate that inflammation decreases substantially, and sometimes dramatically, after earthing. Inflammation is commonly associated with an increased production in the body of potentially dangerous elements called free radicals. The transfer of electrons into the body during earthing allows the free radicals to be neutralised and rendered harmless. This is very important as many common health problems, including heart disease, cancer, and chronic pain are associated with inflammation. Contact with the Earth appears to dynamically boost the body's own self-repair and healing mechanisms.
Many of these benefits have been observed by simply going barefoot for as little as 30 or 40 minutes daily. The take-home message is simple: lifestyle activities like earthing (grounding) the human body, along with sunshine, clean air and water, nutritious food, and physical exercise are very effective natural ways to a healthier life.