Getting Down to Earth

03/3/2013

In a time long, long ago, when Southeast Queensland was not experiencing perpetual, relentless and torrential rain for days on end, I had begun the endeavour of ‘earthing’ myself every day. I can’t recall how the concept came in to my awareness, but it seemed like a really easy and simple way to bring more calmness in to my life. So I had been doing it pretty much every day, until the rains came and decided to stay. And although it now seems more likely that Noah is going to come and pick me up in his Ark before I get to lie on the ground any time soon, I think it’s worth sharing a little bit about the concept.

We all know how great a walk by the ocean feels, the sand between our toes, breathing in the salty sea, fresh air and yummy negative ions soothing our stress-thrummed heads.

But it turns out there could be another reason why we feel so recharged, refreshed and calm when we’re in nature, and it’s because we’re likely engaged with actively ‘grounding or ‘earthing’ ourselves in the process.

Earthing is literally plugging ourselves in to the earth, something which our ancestors did a lot of when they walked barefoot or wore leather sandals. Our current (western) lifestyles, however, separate us from the earth so frequently that we can go days and days at a time without actually earthing ourselves.

Earthing

But I walk along the pavement on the way to work or the shops!”, you say. Striding along the pavement on the way to work may seem like you’re connecting with the ground, but this does not necessarily mean you’re earthing yourself. Earthing is not possible when we wear synthetic soles on our shoes, so walking in our sneakers or havaianas with rubber soles will insulate us and prevent our bodies from plugging in. Walk barefoot on the pavement however, and you will be earthing as concrete is a conductive surface. The key in this is that your skin has to touch the ‘skin’ of the earth.

The theory is that as per the need for electrical systems to be grounded (through the green or sometimes green/yellow wire in electricity cables) the body also receives an electrical signal from the earth, which stabilises and calms the many intricate systems contained within our bodies. The body literally soaks up the negatively charged free electrons, scattered all over the earth’s surface, and these neutralise positively charged electron-seeking free radical nasties which can cause inflammation and disease within our bodies.

The website earthing.com says the best conductive surfaces from which your body can draw the earth’s energy are: grass, sand, dirt or concrete. Asphalt, vinyl, plastic, and rubber will not allow earthing as these are not conductive surfaces.

David Wolfe, a wellness guru and leading authority on raw foods and superfoods has this to say about earthing, and the research he’s been doing with Clint Ober:

The studies indicate we can just touch the earth with our bare feet or our bare skin; sit down on the grass, and the earth actually releases anti-inflammatory electromagnetic radiation. This helps to draw out inflammation, in particular of your lower extremities: your feet, your ankles, knees, and hips.”

According to David, it does not take very long for the free electrons from the earth to reach your blood stream and transform your blood (even a few minutes is beneficial). David has demonstrated the biological effects during a conference: “We showed, within an hour and twenty minutes, how people’s blood profiles changed and improved just based on being grounded.”

Which means that if this is the case, the earth is one of the most powerful anti-oxidents on, well, earth.

After learning about earthing, I began to notice that despite the fact that I live in a house with a garden, I can easily go the entire day without connecting to the earth.

So prior to Brisbane’s most recent big wet, I’d been deliberately having skin to ‘earth skin’ contact every day, whether it’s just a quick sprint down my backstairs to stand in the backyard for a minute or two, for 20 minutes while I’m chatting on the phone, or a long and languid hour lying on the ground reading on the weekend (bliss). And you know what? I think it’s been making a difference. I truly notice how much more centred, calm and collected I feel after connecting to the ground for an extended period, far more so than say, having a nap on my bed.

What I love about the earthing practice the most is that it’s free! Stunning Mother Nature is always there in all her glory, waiting to welcome us back every day, and she doesn’t demand a cent. The benefits of earthing also gives me plenty of reasons to frequent the beach and the bush far more than I currently do.

For people who are unable to get much earthing done every day, and who live in high rise apartments, there are apparently ‘earthing mats’ which can be used to sleep on or lie on within your own home, just plug it in and it earths you! Neat and convenient.

And I may need to invest in one soon if this weather doesn’t let up.

 

What do you think about the concept of earthing? Make sense? Do you think you manage to earth yourself every day?

 

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