Last week I posted a photo with a story on my Instagram feed regarding one of my favourite regenerative routines: earthing. I got so many great questions and comments I thought it would be of value to dedicate an article to it and combine some background knowledge with personal experience and practical tips how to implement this practice.
I use ‘practice’ for a lack of better words but I understand it makes this vital part of life sound like a hobby. I’d like to emphasize that it’s not a hobby, nor is it a liberal green hippy fad. It doesn’t care which political party you support. Earthing is what we have always done. It is our natural state. It is one of our biggest biological needs, as animals residing on this globe called Earth.
In this article I will explain what earthing is, why it is so important to our health, how you can ground yourself to the extend that is essential to you, how long you need to ground and how to practically give it shape when you don’t have a yard, experience cold winters and live a city life.
Are you ready to dive on in?
Enjoy the read and the ‘practice’ ; )
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WHAT EARTHING IS
There is a phenomenal healer. A medicine free to all. Available 24/7. And so powerful, so vast, we can’t yet wrap our minds around it. Have you heard of her? She is called Earth.
The Earth is laden with energy: an unseen and limitless amount of sub-atomic particles called electrons. This charge is constantly replenished by the sun, by lightning and by the molton core. These electrons vibrate at different frequencies and give our lands and oceans a subtle negative charge. This natural planetary charge is essential to keeping life synced and in balance. For everything that lives on the land or in the sea, animals as well as plants, has a constant electric connection with the earth. And thus with each other.
When we walk, swim or lay down on the earth we receive this electric nutrition and it literally grounds us. This electric nutrition facilitates internal and external (micro and macro) connections. It enables our organs and cells to communicate with one another. It make it possible for us to live in tune with the seasons. It allows us to connect with our instict. It sets the foundations to be in loving relationship with our self, our surroundings and our fellow inhabitants. Since we are a herd animal, connections are everything.
Now, how many of us spend most of our time outdoors, bare foot, sitting or laying down on the soil and swimming in the ocean? Most do not. We live in condos, work behind the computer all day and when we walk outdoors we wear plastic soled shoes, walk on asphalt and are permanently attached to our smart devices. We are the only animal that’s not (electrically) grounded anymore, and it brings forth problems. The result of this disconnect has many faces.
WHY EARTHING IS HELPFUL
We know from research that a grounded body simply can not be inflammed. This is a revolutionary finding as inflammation is at the root of all modern day diseases such as cardiovascular disease, chronic respiratory diseases, cancer, diabetes, auto-immune diseases and all ailments ending with -itis. A whopping half of all adult americans suffer from cardiovascular disease, a result of chronic inflammation. One in ten has diabetes, also a result of chronic inflammation. For all these inflammatory diseases we take many medications. Pills that suppress the symptoms but do not heal the root of the problem.
If we know a grounded body can’t be inflammed, should we not –instead of merely surpressing the symptoms with costly medications- heal the sick by grounding them to the earth, free of cost? And should we not prevent the already staggering amount of patients from rising further by grounding to the earth, free of cost?
The answer is yes! And the smartest wat to go about it is by taking the initiative and start grounding yourself now, as grounding can not only prevent and heal inflammation but also prevent and heal the following complaints.
Earthing plays a role in preventing and healing:
-hormonal and menstrual problems
-weakened or disturbed immune response
-slow healing of wounds and injuries
Some personal ideas
On top of the proven medical benefits of earthing I’d like to add another idea to the mix. As a naturopath and generally inquisitive person, I have come to the realisation that all problems (medical, social, political, economical, nutritional, racial, sustainable) stem from DISCONNECT, to ourselves, the earth and its fellow beings. You see, a healthy cell communicates (connects!) with fellow cells in a harmonious way. When it does not, dis-ease arises. When we put elderly in special homes they tatter. When every race has its own neighbourhood we forget we are all one. When we seperate infants from mothers they wither. When we segregrate one crop from another, farm in monocultures, we lose resilience and healthy ecosystems. When we segregate and isolate, it results in trouble.
I invite you to take any sort of (global) crisis and look at it from this perspective. What do you see? And what would happen if we reignited our deep connection to the earth. What would it mean for our own health? And what would it mean for the health of our relationships and communities, the animal kingdom, our agriculture, our flora and our planet at large?
HOW TO START EARTHING
To keep our bodies functioning well and to prevent dis-ease we -as we do by nourishing ourselves with fresh whole foods or exercize – need to get Down to Earth. We need to stand on the grass, dig the soil to plant the seeds, dance barefoot during a rainstorm and play with the waves.
For grounding to happen your body needs to make contact with the earth. You can do this by standing bare foot, sitting or laying down on grass, soil, sand or salty water. If the grass, soil or sand is wet it conducts electricy better. When water contains a lot of minerals it conducts better. That’s why the salty sea is more grounding than a lake or river. Snow is void of minerals and will be a poor conductor. Mineral hot springs are rich in minerals and naturally wet. It is not a coincidence they are known for their healing effects. It might well be the grounding thats so beneficial not so much the ‘absorbtion’ of minerals as previously thought.
For earthing to have any kind of effect we need to do it for at least 30 minutes per day. Take off your shoes and plant your feet on the earth in your backyard. Or, if you live in a top apartment like me, remove your shoes at the kids playground are go bare foot. And what about taking your book out to the park to read and sit on the grass, while you lean against a tree.
I have found that after 20 minutes of earthing my body starts to relax and ‘sink’. It then takes a further 10 minutes to really get down and be fully rooted or connected. Any amount of time I can stay after those first 30 minutes is beneficial as at that point the body will start to speed up healing. For those whose focus is healing not prevention at least 2 hours per day is advised. This might be difficult to reach, especially during northern winters or for those suffering for chronic illness. For that a range of products has been developed. These products (such as sheets, mats and pads) help to ground you, also indoors. There are even earthing shoes, for those who feel self-conscious when taking off their shoes but would still like to ground. I have heard many positive reviews -from both friends as well as colleagues- to these products, but I have never tried them myself. I am looking into buying one of the mats and will give you an update once I’ve tried it out.
(Good to know: synthetic fabrics prevent you from grounding as they do not conduct the earths electricity. So instead of using a plastic picnic blanket, wearing polyester clothing, sleeping in a synthetic tent in a synthetic sleeping bag and/or wearing plastic or rubber soled shoes, try wearing and using thin natural materials such as cotton, linen, wool or leather. Of course the best yet is to have skin contact with the earth, or be fully submerged in salty sea water)
Please feel free to leave a comment how your experience with earthing has been and what it has brought you. Your review might help others find motivation, direction and inspiration to (re)connect.
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