Going back a few hundred of years, we would be able to venture off into the forest and pick a plant to help us heal whatever aliment we may be facing at the time. There are some places in the world where humans are still in tune with this knowledge and our instincts. But in the Western World, we have become so disconnected with this planet that gives us life. It may take a lot of time to figure out what plants are edible and have medicinal properties, but we can begin to reconnect with the Earth in another way and use it to help prevent and heal our aliments. A way that is as simple as kicking your shoes off (literally) and is known to have probably as many healing benefits as your entire medicine cabinet combined.
What is this secret healing technique? I’m tempted to keep you guessing a little longer but I’ll just give it up. Its Earthing! Literature throughout the history of different cultures around the world has reported that walking on the Earth barefoot “enhances health and provides feelings of well-being.”2 How can such a simple task help us so much? Let’s dive in a little deeper and figure it out…
What is earthing and what are the benefits of this practice?
Earthing (also known as grounding), is being in direct contact with the ground or earth. The easiest way to practice Earthing is to walk barefoot on soil, grass, sand or rock, but there are other systems that can be used when this is not practical. These other methods include earthing sleep systems, earthing patches, uninsulated footwear, and other conductive systems (such as sheets, mats and wrist and ankle bands).2
There are many different studies now that have been conducted to show the benefits of earthing, and these benefits are wide ranged and almost endless. Here are just a few…
Earthing helps to…
…normalizing daily cortisol rhythm and in turn improve sleep1
…reduce pain and inflammation1
…reduce overall stress levels and tension in the body1
Since earthing has been proven to reduce inflammation, this means that it can be used to heal and prevent almost every issue of chronic pain and illness. How is this so? It sounds too good to be true, I know. But inflammation is the main culprit for and the earliest stage of most chronic diseases, illnesses and chronic pain “involving almost every human organ system.”1
Dr. Jeffery Spencer was also able to find a direct an almost immediate correlation between Earthing techniques and “reduction of pain, less pain medication, better sleep, faster healing, less sickness, better oral health, better ability to handle stress, more stable psychological disposition, more energy, feeling more rested, improved range of motion, less tension, less scarring, great strength and endurance, no jet lag, and less stiffness and soreness.”1 And a study conducted on 20 patients using the earthing patch, “showed immediate and permanent reductions in pain, improved overall health and return to normal lifestyle” in all of the patients.1
When we are in direct contact with the earth we are able to receive it’s electrons that flow endlessly. This is the most natural form of antioxidants which fight free radicals that lead to inflammation and the beginning stages of chronic illnesses. We are also able to receive Earth’s diurnal electrical rhythms, which “set the biological clocks for hormones that regulate sleep and activity.” 1
The way these electrons are passed through the body is believed to be through acupuncture points in the skin and mucous membranes. Earthing is also believed to have anti-aging effects by “delivering antioxidant electrons to sites where tissue integrity might be compromised by reactive oxidants from any source.” 2
How Can You Practice Earthing?
In the Western World it is not always practical to to walk barefoot on the Earth. Whenever possible, kick your shoes off and practice it this way. If this is not practical you can look into the other methods of earthing including conductive systems and uninsulated shoes. It is important to note that in order to achieve these benefits and maintain them there must be sustained contact with the Earth.
“…the very fabric of the body, appears to serve as one of our primary antioxidant defense systems… it is a system requiring occasional recharging by conductive contact with the Earth’s surface – the “battery” for all planetary life – to be optimally effective.”2
1 Oschman, James L. “Can Electrons Act as Antioxidants? A Review and Commentary.” The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, vol. 13, no. 9, 2007, pp. 955–967., doi:10.1089/acm.2007.7048.
2 Oschman, James, et al. “The Effects of Grounding (Earthing) on Inflammation, the Immune Response, Wound Healing, and Prevention and Treatment of Chronic Inflammatory and Autoimmune Diseases.” Journal of Inflammation Research, 2015, p. 83., doi:10.2147/jir.s69656.