Let me ask: When did you last touch the earth? Was it a couple of minutes ago? An hour ago? A couple of days ago? A couple of weeks ago? Here’s what counts as touching the earth. Walking barefoot on the dirt or sand, yes. Gardening with your hands, yes. Or swimming in the ocean, yes. But it must involve direct skin to earth contact. Or direct skin to a body of water contact.
Now, think again of your initial answer. Was your estimate wrong by several weeks? Walking/running on asphalt or concrete, or sitting/standing inside or outside your house – if you are wearing shoes – does not count. All those steps at work, from your office to a conference room: they also do not count. There is no direct contact with the earth. Why is that fact significant? Because there is the belief that “grounding” with direct skin to earth contact is crucial for your health.
Let me explain free radical damage. Free radicals are a natural by-product of your body’s physiology. Some experts believe that your rate of aging is a direct reflection of your production of free radicals. If those free radicals are not captured and bound together with an electron, they cause damage to your cells. They disrupt chemical processes, leading to inflammation, and causing, as their most obvious landmark, chronic pain. Free radicals exist only for a second, but their damage can last for days and weeks.
Your options for combating free radical damage are limited. Reduce your level of chemicals, toxins, and inflammation in your body by changing your diet to more of plant-based eating style with reduced dairy products and reduced meats. Or make certain you have an ample supply of electrons in your body to quickly absorb and neutralize those free radicals before they can cause damage. For many people, the easiest route, especially during the summer, is the latter – having more elections in your body.
Where can you obtain an ample supply of electrons? From the earth. It’s easy to think of your body as having a continuous flow of chemical interactions, but your body also has a continuous flow of electrical interactions. That is why the earth is crucial for your health. The earth’s surface is negatively charged. The earth can be viewed as a six sextillion (six followed by twenty-one zeroes) metric ton battery. The earth’s negative charge comes from solar radiation, the earth’s molten core, and lightning strikes (five thousand per minute across the entire planet).
Whenever your skin touches the earth, there is an instantaneous flow of electrons into your body. The soles of your feet contain a dense network of nerve endings (1,300 nerve endings per square inch). In addition, since water helps conduction, your feet have more sweat glands than any part of your body except your head and hands. So, your feet are designed for more than just movement; they are designed for the absorption of electrons. They are designed to help keep you alive and healthy – free of disease.
At this point you may have already guessed our challenge. For most of our evolution, we have walked barefoot on the planet, absorbing electrons. In the 1960s there was the advent of sneakers, and 90 percent of the sneakers were made with rubber soles. Rubber does not conduct electrons. That means that humans have become further insulated from touching the earth. Some people don’t touch the earth for weeks and weeks, even months.
At this point, most Americans are electron deficient. For improved health, we need more direct contact with the earth. The minimal recommendation is at least thirty minutes of daily direct contract with the earth. So, whatever your form of exercise, try something that allows some skin to earth contact. Perhaps try it after your usual exercise. Going barefoot is probably the easiest option. Maybe just a walk on the grass in a nearby park. Or a swim in a body of water – not your pool.
What are the health benefits of grounding? With electrons counteracting free radicals, a person should achieve less inflammation, faster healing, a reduction of pain, and a slower rate of aging. Studies have shown that rats, when grounded, are healthier and live longer than rats that are not grounded. Studies document that grounding improves allergies, arthritis, asthma, heart disease, diabetes, intestinal disorders, lupus, multiple sclerosis, psoriasis, eczema, chronic pain, and aging.
Other studies have proclaimed that grounding has a benefit in reducing stress and anxiety, plus reducing the degree of depression. The research on grounding is new (with much work yet to be done), but the general concept, a return to nature, has been around for decades. Again and again, it has been found to lead to better physical health and improved emotional health. Besides, when you think about it, being more down to earth has always been a good thing, yes? There is a lot of sense in those old sayings.
So, take off those shoes …
Try to go barefoot more often …
And start to feel better …