Posted on April 22, 2013 - 1 Comment
Back when I first started studying the Japanese health system known as Macrobiotics, I was curious about one of their health recommendations for health and vitality. The suggestion was to walk barefoot in the dewy grass first thing in the morning for at least 10 minutes and recently I have found out why it was a valid concept.
Humans have walked barefoot (or protected only by leather) and slept on the ground, throughout the majority of history. This has kept us directly in contact with the magnetic field of the earth. Now that we no longer sleep on the ground, and use insulating rubber or plastic-soled shoes, we have been disconnected from the Earth’s energy field. The recent rise of the concept of “Earthing” raises the possibility that this disconnection may be directly linked with chronic pain, extreme fatigue, and the poor sleeping patterns, that are prevalent in modern life.
Every living creature is a collection of electrical circuits, with all of our cells transmitting and receiving energy by way of essential biochemical reactions. Electric fields regulate the movement of nutrients and water into the cells and all our actions, behaviors and movements are dependent on these electrical exchanges. When the body is connected to the Earth it receives an electric signal that normalizes and stabilizes its bio-electrical systems.
Currently, the widespread electromagnetic pollution that we are subject to, from cell phone towers, electronic equipment, smart meters and wireless signals, is playing havoc with our body’s normal bioelectrical field. This constant invisible assault is linked to many ailments, contrary to what the authorities would have us believe.
Recently (June 2012,) doctors at the Toronto Women’s College Hospital have been diagnosing patients with environmental sensitivities that include electromagnetic hypersensitivity (EMS). Their Medical Director, Dr. Riina Bray, said, “We need to create more awareness about this condition. Health-care practitioners need to better understand EMS so they can help their patients prevent and manage their symptoms. The public needs to know how to protect themselves from the broad range of health impacts electromagnetic fields have on their minds and bodies.”
The Earthing concept suggests that there is a partial solution to this constant exposure to electro-pollution that will help us to feel better, sleep better and have more balanced energy. The simple approach is to sit or walk barefoot on the earth whenever possible. The more modern and convenient approach is to sleep, work, and/ or relax, indoors in contact with conductive sheets or mats that are grounded to the earth. These grounding devices both discharge the unhealthy voltage that we carry in our bodies from the electromagnetic pollution, and transfer the energy of the Earth into our bodies.
In the West, the concept of Earthing has been brought to the fore mostly due to the pioneering work of Clint Ober, and his book on the subject: “Earthing: The Most Important Health Discovery Ever?” (by Clinton Ober, Stephen T. Sinatra, M.D. and Martin Zucker).
One day, while Clint was simply observing a passing parade of people he noticed that almost everybody was wearing synthetic-soled shoes. At that point he began to wonder if this synthetic footwear, having almost exclusively replaced leather since could be having a negative effect on health because we were now insulated from the electrical surface charge of the Earth.
Clint’s previous employment in cable TV lead his train of thoughts to how, before cable, TV images often were contaminated with flecks of static (“snow,”) or lines across the screen due to electromagnetic interference. Cable system are now grounded and shielded to prevent outside signals and fields from interfering with the transmission of TV signals that are carried through the cable. This cable shield is connected to the Earth via a grounding rod, as are the electrical systems found in homes, buildings, and industry, in order to provide electrical stability.
Clint suspected that this energy field might also protect the human body from the dangers of electromagnetic pollution. Since he already knew that the body conducts electricity, he decided to try a simple experiment on himself. He attached an alligator clip to a copper grid, connected a wire to it, ran the wire out the window and attached it to a ground rod set in the earth outside. Then he measured the voltage on his body with a voltage meter and found that when he was “grounded,” the Electro-magnetic fields (EMF’s) registering on his body had disappeared, providing his body with the same voltage level as the surface of the Earth.
Clint slept on the grounding grid and by morning he found that he had fallen asleep and slept soundly for the first time a long time, and without the painkillers he usually needed to sleep through the night. Clint repeated the experiment every night for a week with the same positive results, and as well he noticed a significant decrease in his pain levels. Next, he started trying the system out on friends and acquaintances, who also found that their sleep patterns improved and their pain levels dropped.
He went on to organize studies with scientists that validated his initial observations of improved sleep and reduced pain levels. As he worked over the next decade to validate his theories he also further developed and refined his indoor Earthing system for use in the studies and to make the system available to people who needed it.
We know that many modern diseases share the same root cause, that of chronic inflammation. When inflammation continues after the healing process, sometimes for years, tissue damage occurs and the body exhausts its energy levels and immune functions dealing with it.
Inflammation is due in part to the positively-charged molecules called free radicals. The Earth is putting off negatively-charged electrons which, when they are absorbed into our body, neutralize the free radicals, thus reducing inflammation. The Earthing theory is supported by both research and feedback from countless people who have used the technique and/or the grounding products to reduce inflammation in the body.
Ever since the use of rubber and plastic-soled shoes became widespread, replacing the old fashioned leather soles, which conduct the Earth’s energy, most people spend almost no time in actual contact with the Earth. Add to that the non-conductive flooring of our buildings and the amount of time we spend in vehicles, and we find that most of us seldom touch the Earth, except on tropical vacations or the occasional trip to the beach in the summer.
Being now insulated from the natural magnetic frequency of the Earth leaves us ‘electron deficient’ which in turn leads to an excess of free radicals in the body, resulting in chronic inflammation, which is linked to many diseases including cancer and heart disease.
When we have an adequate supply of negatively-charged electrons in our bodies, there occurs an anti-oxidant effect that keeps our immune system functioning, and that protects our body from inflammation and free radical damage.
According to the website www.earthingcanada.ca (the Canadian distributor for the aforementioned products) research and testimonials indicate that Earthing can offer the following benefits.
-Better sleep patterns, including falling asleep easier and not waking up frequently during the night, and feeling more rested in the morning.
-Reduction or elimination of muscle stiffness and back and joint pain.
-A more balanced mood with less anxiety, depression and irritability, and improved energy throughout the day.
-Reduced gastrointestinal symptoms.
-Reduction in symptoms of menopause and PMS.
-Elimination of jet-lag.
There have been some actual studies done on Earthing a few of which are to be found under the following link: Study
One was to study Sleep and Chronic Pain and was a blinded study based on 60 subjects who had chronic sleep disorders along with consistent joint and muscle pain. The patients who were grounded showed relief from these health problems while the majority of the control group did not show relief.
The conclusion of this study was as follows: “Emerging evidence shows that contact with the Earth—whether being outside barefoot or indoors connected to grounded conductive systems—may be a simple, natural, and yet profoundly effective environmental strategy against chronic stress, ANS dysfunction, inflammation, pain, poor sleep, disturbed HRV, hypercoagulable blood, and many common health disorders, including cardiovascular disease. The research done to date supports the concept that grounding or Earthing the human body may be an essential element in the health equation along with sunshine, clean air and water, nutritious food, and physical activity.” (Study)
To try Earthing for yourself, simply go outside and stand, walk, sit and/or lay on the grass, ground or beach for at least half an hour, and see what kind of difference it makes on your pain or stress levels. Bare flesh on the ground is the best but the ions will also transfer through natural fabric. Feet will conduct through socks better than sitting on the ground with pants on will, because the feet tend to be moister due to perspiration, and moisture allows for an easier transfer of electrons. Having your hands in direct contact with the earth is also highly effective.
Because the body is mostly water and minerals it is a good conductor of electricity (electrons). The free electrons on the surface of the Earth are easily transferred to the human body. As long as there is direct contact with the Earth the negative electrons on the surface of the planet will easily transfer into the body. When there is water the transfer is even easier and faster, so having contact with damp grass, soil or sand, is more effective than when these surfaces are totally dry. Of course swimming or putting your feet into the ocean, lake or river is also an excellent way to practice Earthing.
Leather-soled shoes are not quite as good as bare feet for grounding, but are certainly better than standard rubber or plastic soles. Even though leather itself is not conductive, perspiration from the foot allows the energy from the Earth to conduct up through the leather and into the body.
Wood, asphalt, plastic, rubber and vinyl are not conductive surfaces, so you will not receive the benefits from time spent on them. However, concrete is a conductive material (if it is not painted or sealed) since it is made of water and minerals and it rests on the Earth and holds moisture.
Some individuals report feeling a strange buzzing energy when they start grounding, especially those who are hyper-sensitive. Usually this temporary feeling dissipates as their body becomes adjusted to the Earth’s energy field. If you should have this response and it is too uncomfortable, start by only spending 5 to 15 minutes grounded (whether outside or with the devices), gradually increasing your exposure as you become more comfortable with it. It is suggested that people who are highly electro-sensitive should use the grounding rod (which is planted directly into the ground) version of Earthing devices rather than the grounding port plugged into a 3-prong electrical outlet.
Even though we can derive both protection and health benefits from grounding and Earthing, it would be foolish to think that it is sufficient to combat all electro-magnetic pollution. I have a friend who was living in a rent-controlled apartment and needed to move out due to the installation of about 20 cell phone towers on the roof, one floor over her head. Add to this the 12 smart meters installed (for the entire floor) in the electrical room right next to her kitchen, and her home became a nightmare to live in, with constant anxiety, heart palpitations, shortness of breath and inflammation occurring. And of course, no one in authority would even acknowledge any potential danger from these technologies.
The Earthing sheet and pad offered her some slight relief in that circumstance, but the constant waves of electro-pollution was too much for the grounding to compensate for, necessitating a move. So the Earthing concept has value, but for many of us there may be other approaches to minimizing the damage that we will have to incorporate. For more information on devices that can help you to cope with electromagnetic pollution visit www.lessEMF.com