Grounding For Health And Well-Being
Ever feel really good after walking barefoot in the park or along the beach, or after lying in the grass? Have you noticed how a dip in the ocean or sitting beneath a tree can rejuvenate your body and mind, and transform that feeling of being “burned out” or “wired” into one of calm and balance? The common factor between all of these activities is an exchange of electrical charges with the Earth, called grounding or “earthing” by the alternative health community, and it can be a powerful agent for healing.
The reason we feel so good after engaging nature with our bare feet, hands, and bodies, is that there is an exchange of electrons – of negatively charged particles - that freely flow into us from the Earth and balance our over-abundance of positively charged particles. Having a positive charge, despite sounding so, is not positive. You see, modern life skews our bodies towards having an abundance of molecules with a positive charge (called free radicals). Even our very cells can acquire a positive charge, and this causes a number of negative results in the body, including premature aging, slow healing, and the clumping of red blood cells, which can also lead to issues like stroke and damage to blood vessels.
Thankfully, nature, and the Earth itself, is a giant reservoir of negatively charged particles (called electrons) just waiting to neutralize our positive charge, but when we don’t actually get out into nature, we aren’t taking advantage of this healing effect. Our lives, walled off from nature by concrete, asphalt, brick and mortar, literally keep us from the healing energy of the Earth. By getting into a natural setting and actually touching the Earth (or plants and trees with their roots in the Earth) we encourage the exchange of particles that bring us back into balance. Immersing ourselves in salt water can do the same, which explains the power of the ocean to help us feel grounded and healthy.
The results of grounding are striking. After grounding, red blood cells that were previously clumped together by their positive charge, have been shown to repel each other, effectively thinning the blood. As well, free radicals are neutralized, and healing becomes rapid. Sleep improves, stress is reduced, and energy is increased.
Here are my recommendations: if you want to increase the body’s ability to heal, and prevent diseases of aging – not to mention just feel great! – then get into nature and contact it with bare feet, hands, and body when possible. Take a dip in the ocean, lay in the grass, walk barefoot on the moist earth (moist earth will exchange a charge with us much more readily than dry earth), practice yoga outside, hug a tree or meditate with your back against one. Even more convenient: the front or back yard is sufficient to neutralize your charge! Do this as often as you can, because the more time you can spend grounding, the greater the effect, but any amount is better than none - even five minutes. So get out into nature and begin healing yourself.
May You Be Happy and Well,
Craig Swogger, L.Ac.