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Let’s Go “Earthing”

At one time or another we have all felt the exhilaration of kicking off our shoes and standing in a mountain stream, the ocean or walking on the grass or sandy beach.  Letting our skin touch the earth’s skin feels good, help reconnects us with nature and does so much more.  Connecting with the earth in this way is known as Earthing or grounding.  It is a simple concept that can have a profound effect on your health.  Unfortunately, the modern habit of wearing shoes with rubber or plastic soles and living in highly developed areas has resulted in a disconnect between our bodies and the Earth’s vital energy.  Contributing to higher incidences of chronic disease and poor overall health.

Traditionally grounding has occurred when our bare skin came into contact with the Earth when we slept on the earth or walked barefoot.  When we come into contact with the Earth there is a physical transfer of electrical energy or free electrons into our body. These negatively charged electrons are potent antioxidants, helping to quench free radicals formed during injury, inflammation, breathing and from the food we eat.  Maintaining a healthy balance of antioxidant electrons in your body helps to control inflammation, limit DNA damage, and help protect against diseases like cancer and diabetes.  Our bodies have the ability to store these electrons so they are available to us any time we are injured or when a free radical forms.   Saving negatively charged electrons so that they are available at a later time is like putting money in the bank for a rainy day!

Clint Ober, a retired cable TV executive, first proposed the concept of Earthing.  You may wonder what the connection between cable TV and human health is – certainly it has nothing to do with sitting and watching the television!!  The real answer has to do with how the cable signal is delivered to the television.  To produce a clear, crisp image a copper wire transfers the signal to your television and a shield is used to prevent the signal from leaking out or disturbances from leaking in.  This shield is electrically connected or grounded to the Earth.  The Earth can then deliver or absorb electrons, protecting and stabilizing the signal.  Think about your nervous system (brain, spinal cord and all the other nerves) like the copper wire.  Remember that nerves control all your body’s functions like contracting muscles or releasing hormones.  Your skin and other specialized organs act like the shield that protects those nerves or signals.  Just like the copper conducts best when its shield is grounded to the Earth, your nervous system and body will work optimally when your skin is grounded to the Earth.

To achieve the benefits of grounding the easiest way is to walk barefoot outside.  In Germany, Austria and Switzerland there are communities where the getting up in the morning and walking barefoot is part of the traditional way of life and health optimization.  However, it is not always safe or easy to walk outside barefoot if you live in a city, in an area with soil bound parasites or with lots of snow.  In Montana during the warmer months you can walk barefoot in the grass or dip you toes into a lovely stream while on a hike.  This will help ground and invigorate you.  Exercising barefoot will also help your muscle heal quicker and ease that post-exercise pain.  If you need to wear shoes outside a moccasin style shoe with a leather sole is best.  During the colder months when walking barefoot or in your moccasin shoes in 2 feet of snow is not advised, there are devices you can use indoors to help with grounding.  Read more about these devices and more about Earthing at www.earthinginstitute.net.

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