Could your feet, making contact with the earth by way of a walk in the grass or a wet sandy beach, be the ticket to your health? An article on the Associated Bodywork & Massage Professionals (ABMT) website titled, “Earthing, a New Perspective on the Cause and Prevention of Therapist Burnout,” by James L. Oschman, Ph.D., states that may be the case.
Oschman has written about this topic of Earthing, also known as grounding, since 2004 when he published his book, Energy Medicine: The Scientific Basis. In the article on the ABMT site, published in March/April 2016, he wrote that Earthing may help massage therapists and bodyworkers overcome the stress and fatigue of regularly working with clients who have chronic inflammation, as well as help the clients overcome that inflammation.
Earthing is defined by any direct skin contact with the surface of the earth, whether via bare feet, hands or through a grounding system. Scientific testing is revealing that sustained contact with the earth has measureable benefits, especially with regard to chronic inflammation (the origin of all pain), wound repair and autoimmune diseases.
It’s All About the Electrons
With the No. 1 cause of death in the U.S. being chronic diseases, the current approach of treating only symptoms has taken us down a costly path. In an article in the Journal of Alternative and Complimentary Medicine, doctors Pawel and Karol Sokal, who were looking for a universal regulating factor in nature, found that Earthing or grounding during sleep notably effected changes in concentration levels of minerals and electrolytes in the blood serum of test subjects, and in one night, lowered the main indicators of osteoporosis.
To understand how and why this works requires us to see just how electrons affect us. They are a vital and necessary component to energy, as they play the main role in the cellular mitochondria’s production of energy by way of adenosine triphosphate (ATP). ATP is our energy currency of the body, and fuels nerve conduction, digestion, excretion, muscle contractions and all cellular processes for tissue and injury repair.
Through medical thermographic images, inflammation is reduced when electrons are flooded into injured tissue. These electrons can come from the earth or through person-to-person contact. Electron loss can reduce immune system function along with increasing the chances of acute and chronic disorders. The good news is that these losses can be neutralized and prevented by grounding.
As Related to Acupuncture
In the book Earthing: The Most Important Health Discovery Ever! by Stephen Sinatra, M.D.; Clinton Ober; and Martin Zucker, the authors state that Earthing energizes major acupuncture channels. In traditional Chinese medicine, the main point and entryway for the Earth’s energy is the K1 point or kidney 1 (located below the second and third toes at the ball of foot). This connects further up in the body with the UB or urinary bladder meridian, reaching main organs like the liver, heart, lungs and brain.
Their studies concluded that this highway of electron transfer through this mainline water conductive path can impact inflammation and increase parasympathetic activity in the autonomic nervous system. This is a huge dividend from Earthing, as the calming effects of being grounded neutralize stress and the fight-or-flight patterns day to day.
Within this book, the pictures of healing pre- and post-grounding are impressive, along with testimonials of reduced pain, lowered blood pressure, improved sleep and even lessened snoring.
Practical means of Earthing for health, healing and restoration are to simply walk on the earth barefoot; sit in a chair with your feet on the earth, adding a bit of water on the grass for conductivity; or put your hands and legs on the grass or wet sand for 30 or 40 minutes.
The ocean offers a fun way to get grounded, as saltwater is rich in minerals and more conductive than freshwater. Quite possibly that is why so many are drawn to the shores of beaches, to receive that soothing, gentle re-charge of the earth.
Sleeping on a pad plugged into the ground port of an outlet is also an option. On Amazon, for example, you can get items such as a pad with a wire for connecting to the outlet plus a wrist band.
A soothing dose of Nature’s frequency — the Earth’s healing energy — might help to restore and harmonize your bioelectrical body.
Linda Penkala, LMT, is a wellness educator & catalyst at Optimum Health for Life LLC. She can be found at 301-317-9161.