Have you ever noticed how well you sleep on the beach? Aren’t those best naps? Or maybe when you go camping and sleep very close to the forest floor. Recent research explains why this happens, why we feel better when we are in direct contact with the earth. To function optimally our immune systems need an adequate supply of electrons.
These are easily and naturally obtained by barefoot contact with the Earth. Electrons from the Earth have anti-oxidant effects that can protect the body from inflammation and its health consequences. In this article I will briefly go through a few of the research papers out there to give an idea of what it means for us humans to not be in contact with the Earth, like we’ve been for millions of years.
The concept of Earthing (grounding or Electron Transfer Technology) is defined as placing one’s bare feet on the ground (especially when humid or wet), whether it be dirt, grass, sand or concrete. Earthing can be done in direct skin to earth contact or through patches attached to the human feet and/or palms of hands and an earthing cord led outdoors to a rod driven into the earth. In some studies a conductive mattress pad was used instead.RELATED: RECOMMENDED PLANS FOR YOU
Until recently humans lived and slept in direct contact with the surface of the Earth. We have spent millions of years living like this and now we wear plastic shoes and sleep way above the ground level, locked in concrete boxes and surrounded by all sorts of frequencies which prevent the Earth’s electromagnetic field reaching us. No doubt life is much better now.
We do not have to hunt for food or fear of becoming someone else’s food. However, we have gone to the other extreme. From daily contact with the Earth to no contact at all, not even spending one hour a day outdoors for many of us. There is no balance. Research suggests that this disconnect may be a major contributor to physiological dysfunction and general unwellness.
Reconnection with the Earth’s electrons has been found to promote intriguing physiological changes and subjective reports of well-being.
WARNING: It is important to follow your doctor’s instructions. You may use earthing in addition to your planned medical care if you wish but do not replace it.
Effect of Earthing on Muscle Soreness or DOMS
Free radical damage is associated with oxidative damage, which happens when we exercise. This is counteracted by antioxidants, such as bilirubin, which help control free radicals. When you are in contact with the Earth directly or indirectly through patches you receive an additional source of electrons which are accessed more easily and quicker and so your body is able to deal with free radicals and oxidative damage faster and more efficiently. Research has shown that Earthing can help us fight free radicals and oxidative damage and reduces creatine kinase in the body, thus reducing muscular damage and helping with recovery.
Earthing and Waste Products during exercise
This study involved connecting cyclists to the ground through a metal conductor while training and resting. Cyclists did not know when they were connected to the ground and when not. When we exercise, there are waste products, such as carbon dioxide and urea, which must be removed from the body. If not they will increase in concentration and may interfere with chemical reactions or damage cells.
It was discovered that Earthing during exercise lowers blood urea concentrations and may inhibit hepatic protein catabolism (breakdown) or increase renal urea excretion. Through Earthing and a healthy lifestyle we can eliminate the waste products from our body through a natural and organic process and help our body to function at an optimal level.
Earthing, Sleeping and Recovery
I think we all agree on the importance of sleeping and its benefits. Sleeping is the only time our can body recover and heal itself. So we need good quality sleep. If you sleep heavily but wake up very tired that was a poor quality sleep. Cortisol is a hormone associated with psychological and physical stress, inflammation, and sleep dysfunction in humans.
Chronic elevation of cortisol can result in disruption of circadian rhythms, which, in turn, is a contributor to a multitude of adverse health conditions, including sleep disorders, hypertension and cardiovascular disease, stroke, decreased bone density, decreased immune response, mood disturbances, autoimmune disease and abnormal glucose levels.
A study examined the biologic effects of grounding the human body to earth during sleep, as measured by cortisol levels and subjective reporting of sleep dysfunction, pain and stress. Results of this study indicate that connecting the human body to earth during sleep reduces night-time levels of cortisol. This, in turn, contributes to our overall wellbeing.
Furthermore connecting the body to the earth at night during sleep could also affect morning fatigue levels and daytime energy.
Earthing and Mental Health
Earthing is the oldest and most basic form of natural bioelectric potential that supports physiological and electrophysiological changes in the body. The ANS (autonomic nervous system) is linked to the stress response. Investigations showed that grounded subjects experience a reduction in stress and a normalization of the ANS function.
Earthing and Cardiovascular Disease
Earthing can reduce blood viscosity which is a major factor which is a major factor in hypertension and other cardiovascular pathologies, including myocardial infarction, according to this particular study. Grounding increases the surface charge on RBCs (red blood cells) and thereby reduces blood viscosity and clumping. Grounding appears to be one of the simplest and yet most profound interventions for helping reduce cardiovascular risk and cardiovascular events.
In patients who experience anxiety, emotional stress, panic, fear and/or symptoms of autonomic dystonia, including headaches, cardiac palpitations and dizziness, grounding could be a very realistic therapy. These patients may see positive effects most likely within 20 to 30 minutes and in almost all cases in 40 minutes. Since depression and increased risk of cardiovascular events have been repeatedly observed in both the healthy population and patients with established cardiovascular disease this information is essential.
Earthing and Diabetes
The continuous earthing of the human body has shown to decrease blood glucose in patients with diabetes. The experiments have shown Earthing the human body during relaxation and during physical activity is responsible for the increasing glucose utilization by the cells in NIDDM (non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus) Lack of contact with the Earth may cause opposite effects and may be the reason for several disorders (diabetes, obesity, and hypertension).
Ways to connect with the Earth
Of course we will not go and sleep in the garden just because it contributes to our wellbeing. And we cannot just move out of the city either. However there is a solution for this situation. Certain companies such as Nikken, have created products which produce a pattern of magnetic flow similar to the Earth. They have soles to put in your shoes, magnets, mattresses, bracelets and more.