Earthing, or simply touching your body to the bare Earth, is the best medicine you’ve never heard of (but always known).
Welcome! For my first blog post (not about Infinite Love Healing), I am going to write about an incredibly profound yet simple concept that anybody could benefit from but to this day few are aware of. The modern day market for medicine and pain relief is huge: according to a Time magazine article people in the U.S. in 2014 bought 4.3 billion prescriptions at a monetary value of almost 374 billion dollars (this is on average over 1000$ per person). Many of these medications are for pain relief or to reduce inflammation in the body. However, what if one of the most effective treatments for a wide range of conditions, ranging from arthritis to diabetes to Alzheimer’s, has been right under our feet and we don’t even realize it? Even more, unlike the U.S. prescription market, it’s free of cost financially, and free of all the numerous side effects many drugs on the market are notorious for.
What is Earthing? Earthing, or grounding, is a very simple and now scientifically proven concept. The Earth has basically a virtually limitless source of free electrons that pulsate through it. The stress in our body, also known as free radicals or toxins, has the opposite (positive) charge. So when we make contact with bare skin (or clothes that can easily conduct the electrons of the Earth) then we start to neutralize the stress and toxins in our bodies that cause stress, inflammation, and disease.
However, the benefits to Earthing don’t stop there. In addition to the free electrons (who knew electrons could be so positive?) that the Earth supplies, it also has a main frequency which was discovered in experiments by scientist Winifred Schuman back in the 1950s. The Earth’s electromagnetic frequency vibrates at a dominant frequency of approximately 7.83 Hertz/second (also known as the Schuman Resonance). This frequency just happens to correspond to the border between theta and alpha brain wave frequencies. If you know a bit about brainwave frequencies, then you know that the alpha brain wave state is associated with a state of deep relaxation yet being simultaneously alert. Alpha waves are responsible for an increased sense of well-being as well as increased performance in a range of endeavors ranging from creativity to performance in physical exercise and sports. Theta brainwaves are indicative of sleep when we dream and also deep meditative states of profound insight. It is also of the five major types of brainwaves we have the one which is most supportive of our body and mind’s natural healing abilities. This means accessing and utilizing Theta wave states can heal not only our bodies, but also is the easiest place from which we can most easily heal and change the subconscious mind. So when we make contact with the Earth (or Earthing conductive products) we are actually attuning ourselves to this frequency range of well-being, health, and increased capabilities.
What are some of the (now scientifically proven) benefits of Earthing? Straight from the Earthing Institute here are some of the main proven benefits of Earthing:
- Eliminates or substantially reduces inflammation and pain
- Better Sleep
- Improves energy
- Increases production of melatonin
- Normalizes secretion of the hormone cortisol (linked to stress)
- Decreases stress
- Improves functioning of the nervous system
- Improves the mood
- Reduces blood viscosity
- Improves regulation of blood flow in the torso, extremities, and face
- Improves glucose (blood sugar) regulation and levels
- Prevents calcium and bone density loss
- Reduces indicators of osteoporosis
- Improves kidney function
- Gives a grounding point to the body’s bioelectrical circuits making them work optimally (similarly to how we ground our electrical systems to stabilize them)
- Increases metabolic rate
- Influences thyroid gland function
If you go on the Earthing Institute website, they have a link to numerous published studies on the benefits of Earthing.
Ever wondered why you generally feel so much more relaxed after a day or two or longer at a beach vacation? The beach is one of the few places people go regularly in modern society where they are grounded. For most of human history, humans were regularly grounded to the Earth throughout the day and slept grounded at night. However, today people wear synthetic rubber shoes which block this connection to the Earth. We spend most of the days indoors also insulated from direct contact or flow from the Earth. Much of society today is living in a constantly ungrounded state and is hardly ever making direct contact with the Earth on a daily basis. So while modern day improvements in crucial factors have helped people live longer (like vastly improved sanitation and lower childhood and infancy mortality rates) , we also have an unprecedentedly large number of people living with chronic conditions of one sort of another which they live with for many cases in decades. Our modern society and medicine is just potent (and sterile) enough to keep people alive, but not health oriented enough to allow most of us to thrive.
Fortunately, we are moving into a new age where information that once would have taken a researcher maybe years and years of intensive research to find (if they were lucky) is now readily available to everybody to change their lives. All people need to do is take the time and effort to actively use it and take the time needed to improve their own lives. As enough people do this, the way people interact with themselves, each other and the world will dramatically change for the better.
So what does this mean for you? Well, first of all, obviously if you get a chance to get outside and get your feet on the grass (or dirt or sand) during the course of your day you can take it. Even just 15 or 20 minutes a day over the course of months or years can make a substantially positive impact on your life. But, what if you have a desk job that keeps you inside almost all day and you wish you could get out more (or live in rural Alaska where it’s too cold to go lay outside for months out of the year)?
Fortunately, various companies have come up with a creative solution for this. For instance, at Earthing.com they sell Earthing pads and bed sheets among other products. These products, either through properly grounded outlets (they provide a special plug to check if an outlet is properly grounded or not) or through long cords with conductive metal stakes that go through your window directly into the ground outside conduct the electromagnetic flow of the Earth outside into the products, thus serving as extensions of the Earth and providing many of the benefits of Earthing.
While I am not quite of the belief that the Earthing products give you 100% benefits of just going out and touching the bare earth (maybe some of the Schumann Resonance benefits get lost as well as some of the benefits of being out in nature in open air), they certainly based on evidence seem to give you a good amount of the benefits and Earthing products have the distinct advantage of being able to be used in any weather and inside. The average person spends 7 or 8 hours a day sleeping, and if you have an Earthing bed sheet all of this time you can receive the healing benefits of Earthing through the bedsheet without having to do anything (other than sleep!). Also, with the spread of Lyme disease (which can be quite difficult for people if it becomes chronic and not adequately treated) in much of the Northeast United States and parts of the Midwest, it might not be a great idea if you are in a high-risk area for this to just go outside and lie down on the grass for hours on end every day. Thus, Earthing products can fill an important role.
While I have read a few people who are worried about the effects of plugging a grounding rod into their home’s electricity (citing the fear of dirty electricity), I would say that based off the evidence I have found from various scientific studies I came across, the documentary The Grounded, and my own personal experience, I would say grounding using your own electrical outlet (provided it passes the test of being properly grounded using the test plug that is provided) is significantly better than nothing. But if this is a concern for you at all the Earthing products at Earthing.com all come with Earthing rods that can be staked directly into the Earth through your window if you are probably on the third floor or lower of wherever you live.
My personal experience with the Earthing products has been very positive. In 2012, I was very sick with a chronic mold infection, chronic fatigue, and what was never formally diagnosed but almost certainly PTSD among other things. At its low point I was having a very difficult time sleeping (which is important especially when you’re quite sick). That was when I found out about Earthing, and I noticed a near immediate increase in my ability to stay asleep for longer periods and wake up feeling less tired and better overall.
Fast forward four years later to the summer of last year, 2016. I had just gotten back to the U.S. for the first time in over two years after travelling and studying and practicing yoga and spirituality in India and Nepal. During my time in India and Nepal I had done Earthing when I could the old fashioned way but had not used any Earthing products when I slept as the outlets are different and I had not brought an Earthing rod. Anyways, one of the first nights back in the United States I was looking forward to sleeping Earthed once again and so I took out an old Earthing mat I had bought years ago. The mat was only long enough to reach a little onto my side of the bed as the rest was on my fiance’s side of the bed (who was getting to try Earthing products for the first time since we met at the beginning of our time in India) and so I had one leg on the mat and one leg off of it as I slept. Earlier that evening I had done a yoga sequence where I was holding positions for a long time, so I felt some soreness in my legs as I went to sleep. When I woke up in the morning, I was amazed. The leg that had been on the grounding mat and my other leg felt like they were part of two different sets of legs. The right leg (which was grounded) was not sore at all and felt completely loose and great. My left leg was still quite sore (as you might expect after a decent workout). The difference between the two legs was not subtle, and convinced me more than I already was of the great benefits of Earthing.
From a spiritual perspective, Earthing is more than just a physical health benefit. Earthing represents our connection to Mother Earth and all of life itself. When we Earth, we are grounding our whole energetic body into greater resonance with the Earth. We are rooting and attuning ourselves to the source of all physical life (on this planet), and with this we are anchoring ourselves further into our own physical bodies so that we can really be more fully present and here, not just in our heads lost in thought. As we inhabit our bodies and get in greater touch with them we begin to really be able to gauge better and better what it is our body needs and wants to stay healthy, we are able to better get in touch with our intuition, and we are able to enjoy our existence on this planet as embodied beings. By taking the stress out of our bodies via electrons and helping our brainwaves slowdown via the Schumann Resonance, the whole pace of our lives can begin to slow down, we start to really relax and rather than constantly trying to get somewhere else we can settle progressively into enjoying what is right in front of us in the present moment. We begin to attune more to the intelligence of Life itself and the harmony that can bring us.
When there is a big storm or hurricane, all the other animals know it is coming before humans do (unless they have been watching the local weather forecast) and run for shelter. How is this possible? Well, given that humans are maybe the only species that are routinely not Earthed or grounded, maybe it is possible that these other species are picking up information and feedback from the very Earth herself. Maybe they can sense a subtle change in her currents as these storms are on the way, and this guides them to be able to run for safety. No matter, whether or not us humans can collectively start to gain that sort of instinct again is besides the point. The important thing is that by connecting with the Earth we can almost certainly learn to live more in “flow” and harmony with things than we currently are collectively as a species.
For a more in-depth look at the potential benefits of Earthing I would highly recommend watching two videos when you get the chance. The first is the 1 hour documentary named The Grounded, which is all about how Earthing unexpectedly became an overnight miraculous phenomenon for a small Alaskan village, the journey of the man who discovered it there, Stuart Mitchell, and his attempt to uncover (and spread) the good news under our feet. The second video is just seven minutes long, and is a quick summary by Doctor Laura Koniver which describes the myriad health benefits of Earthing that have been scientifically proven and how long it takes each of these changes to actually take place (i.e. the benefits of Earthing that are instantaneous, the benefits of Earthing for 20 minutes, for 2 hours, or for months, and the benefits of Earthing regularly for years).
Here are the two videos. Enjoy!
The two infrared photos and text come from page 69 of the following book:
Earthing: The Most Important Health Discovery Ever? by Clinton Ober, Stephen T. Sinatra, M.D., and Martin Zuker (2010)