What Exactly is Earthing?
The tenets are simple, when you earth a piece of electrical equipment, you connect it to the ground so any excess charge can run off harmlessly.
The theory behind the ‘New Age way’ of earthing is that you can ‘earth’ your body in the same way, allowing excess positively-charged particles to run off into the ground.
In more mystic words, earthing (or grounding) is meant to equalize your energetic frequency with that of Mother Earth.
This is usually done by walking barefoot, touching the earth with your bare hands, or sleeping on a special bed sheet or sitting on a conductive grounding system such as a mat.
According to proponents, earthing essentially means:
“coupling your body to the Earth’s surface energy by walking, sitting or sleeping outside in direct contact with the Earth or using a device that creates the same response while indoors”.
Must be something to it right?
I have to admit, in a way, it sounds plausible yet at the same time it has a whiff of quackery.
Maybe I’m pliable. I’m a sucker for walking barefoot. I run on my bare feet in the woods, stroll the beach without shoes when most people still wear shoes, and take up any occasion to take of my shoes, which is why friends call me ‘the barefoot walker’.
Native peoples often walked barefoot, not because they simply had no shoes but because there are various proven benefits.
Connecting with nature?
There’s no doubt about it, spending time in nature is rewarding in various ways. Nature has a therapeutic effect on us.
Taking a walk on the beach, a swim in the ocean, or sit around the campfire enclosed by trees, a rippling stream nearby in nature is rejuvenating and relaxes us. We tend to sleep better and have more energy when out in nature.
The Chinese, the Greeks, and the Romans all believed that it was healthy to spend time outside, and decades of modern scientific research back that up.
Walking barefoot on soft ground is the way humans evolved to move, and according to WebMD, is better for your body than wearing highly-cushioned shoes which change your gait. But this does not say anything about earthing.
Why on earth do we need grounding?
In ancient times, people were connected to the ground at all times – walking barefoot, working in agriculture, dwelling in huts with mud floors, sleeping on beds of rushes and so on.
Our ancestors’ bodies would naturally have achieved a balanced state, with energy from the earth constantly flowing through them.
Nowadays, people spend little time outdoors and wear rubber-soled shoes, which insulate them from the Earth’s current.
TV, computers, electronic gadgets, refined carbohydrates, and chairs are three examples of human inventions which make us temporarily comfortable at the expense of our long-term health.
But none of that is because your TV is pumping positive ions into the air. It’s because humans have evolved in close contact with nature, and 300 years of industrialization can’t undo that
Two reasons for earthing?
So what’s the problem? Two things according to earthing enthusiasts;
“We have essentially lost our electrical roots”. We’re disconnected from the earth’s electrical rhythms and free electrons. This leads to a build-up of positive ions in the body, which can cause health problems in the long term.
Present-day man lives in an ocean of electromagnetic waves radiated by mobile phone signals, Wi-Fi, automatic doors etc. This is referred to as “dirty electricity” or “electromagnetic pollution”. Our modern world is said to cause a build-up an excess of positive electrons in the cells of our bodies.
The solution is, obviously that;
By connecting to the earth, you allow negatively-charged electrons to flow into your body, which returns your body to optimum health.
Purported earthing health benefits
The main claim for earthing is that it fights inflammation by reducing free radicals, which are positively charged.
Knock-on effects are said to include alleviated (chronic) pain, improved sleep, and normalizing circadian rhythms.
Current biomedical research has led to an inflammation hypothesis that is establishing chronic inflammation as the culprit behind almost every modern chronic illness. PubMed.
Other purported health benefits:
Reduce inflammation by reducing excess positive electrons
Enhance disturbed biological rhythms i
Improve blood flow and pressure
Relieve muscle tension and headaches
Lessen menstrual and female hormone symptoms
Support adrenal health
Boost the healing process
Protect the body from EMFs
Shorten recovery time after athletic activity / from injury
Reduce or stop snoring
Eliminate jet lag
How does it work?
Earthing or grounding, a.k.a.“reconnecting to the earth’s limitless natural healing energy” has everything to do with negative ions.
Ions are molecules that have gained or lost an electrical charge. They are generated as air molecules break apart due to radiation, sunlight, and moving water and air.
In nature, negative ions are created by crashing water. These are especially abundant on the beach, the ocean surf, forests, mountains, around waterfalls and other streaming water, and after a thunderstorm. As such they may remove excess positive electrons.
“The action of the pounding surf creates negative air ions and we also see it immediately after spring thunderstorms when people report lightened moods,” says ion researcher Michael Terman, PhD, of Columbia University in New York on WebMD.
So, positive ions are bad, negative ions are good, and contact with the earth is beneficial. So far, this all seems to support the idea of grounding.The facts behind earthing and groundingWhen it comes to the science of positive and negative charge, according to many scientists, grounding is one of those fads which uses correct science to support an irrational idea.What is true is that;The Earth itself is negatively charged, with an abundance of free electrons floating through the ground.The atmosphere is positively charged, due to ionization by the sun’s rays.You cannot protect yourself from the Earth’s electrical field: it’s flowing through the air you breathe.
More ways how positive and negative ions influence usThere is good evidence that a temporary build-up of positive ions in the local atmosphere will lead to health problems. In nature, this is usually caused by the weather, for example a thunderstorm or extremely hot weather.If you work with animals or young children, you’ll have noticed how they get skittish when there’s a storm brewing.
Crime goes up during a heatwave. Sudden changes in atmospheric ionization, such as stormy weather, are linked to increased mortality rates and influence mood.What’s more, there is plenty of evidence that negative ions are beneficial to health – exposure to a concentrated source of negative ions has been proven to treat seasonal depression (SAD), and linked tentatively to other health benefits such as improved blood flow.
Generally speaking, negative ions increase the flow of oxygen to the brain; resulting in higher alertness, decreased drowsiness, and more mental energy,” says Pierce J. Howard, PhD, author of The Owners Manual for the Brain: Everyday Applications from Mind Brain Research and director of research at the Center for Applied Cognitive Sciences in Charlotte, N.C. Crucial caveat: this does not mean that earthing causes these beneficial effects.
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