Last month I received a text from an old friend of mine telling me to, “Google ‘Earthing’ and then do it.” This friend of mine I’ve known for half of my life. He can at times be a little overly enthusiastic when it comes to government conspiracies, holistic medicine and government conspiracies to cover up the healing powers of holistic medicines.
Visual approximation of my friend.
Despite those facts, I again have known him for half of my time on this planet and consider him one of my closet friends and decided to at least humor him. What I found when I searched the inter webs was an idea so simple, so mind boggling easy, that it caught my attention. I had to find out more. But before I go any further, I want to play it safe so here’s a disclaimer.
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My legal department
Earthing, also known as Grounding, is a concept in which one connects the human body to the Earth via conductive material such as grass, wet sand, dirt or bodies of water and it’s as simple as taking off your socks and shoes and walking around. The idea behind it is that our bodies generate a positive voltage that is bad for our health if not neutralized in some way or another. The Earth’s surface is just teaming with free electrons from lightning strikes and solar radiation from the Sun and when one makes physical contact with it, their bodies will absorb these free electrons and in turn, eliminate the negative effects of the positive voltage our bodies produce. Wet surfaces are supposed to be better than dry and even unfinished or unsealed concrete is also conductive enough for the healing properties of this idea. So is there anything to it?
I rest my case…
It turns out there is some science behind it. The human body generates what is commonly referred to as ‘free radicals’ during the normal processes of metabolism. Free radicals appear to have some beneficial effects in that they can and do destroy nasties in our bodies such as bacteria and viruses. But, as the old saying goes, there is such thing as too much of a good thing. And too many free radicals can be very damaging. They are linked to chronic pain, disease and even ageing. Well, the process of aging. They are linked to inflammation as well, which, from what I gathered, is part of the healing process but also can be damaging if not within the right amount. ‘Low grade’ inflammation however can lead to aches and pains throughout muscles and joints in the body. They are believed to be an integral part in chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes and heart disease amongst others.
So where does Earthing come into play? Remember when I said that the earth’s surface is just teeming with those free electrons from lighting and solar radiation. The free electrons are the bit of energy that the radicals lack. By providing a positively charged body with these free electrons, these free radicals and the damaging effects of inflammation can be neutralized. Now you can attain these electrons through such means as ‘polyphenols’ which are plant substances contained in chocolate, black tea, fruits and veggies amongst other sources such as nutrients from vitamins A, C and E and in theory, Earthing can provide these free electrons as well.
I don’t think these count…
There have been studies into the subject including one done in 2012 that was published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine about how Earthing can reduce blood viscosity and cardiovascular risk factors. There seems to be endless benefits to Earthing. But from the other side, I have read that there have been blind and double blind studies on Earthing with the results that would suggest that the healing properties are more than just a placebo effect, but have yet to actually find any. It’s easy to get swept into the idea of something so cheap and easy to have wonderful effects on one’s health. There is a small industry that has sprung up around the concept of Earthing. You can buy Earthing mats, shoes, books, sheets, patches and kits. Are these claims just to make a profit, an evil ploy to get you to unsuspectingly step on legos, or is there something actually to it? The answer is a simple as kicking off your shoes and going for a walk, which I plan to do… once it warms up.
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