Sam explores the benefit of
Earthing: The missing piece of the optimal health puzzle
Environmental medicine is a progressive system of healthcare that aims to determine how, and in what ways, our interactions with the environment around us can either prevent or promote optimal health and well-being, disease risk factors and longevity.
Without a doubt, the most exciting new development to arise from this field of medicine is that of “earthing,” a concept which has exploded into the public health arena like few things before it and one that can revolutionise public health initiatives.
Earthing, as a medical model, is based upon the fact that the surface of the Earth possesses a limitless and continuously renewed supply of free electrons. Likewise, the surface of the Earth is electrically conductive, and its electron supply is continuously replenished by the electrical activity of the larger atmosphere around and above us. These are all undeniable scientific facts.
However, never before have these facts been applied to the sphere of human health. So what is the link? A large, rigorous and growing foundation of clinical evidence is showing that when humans connect to the abundance of free electrons found on the surface of the Earth, it optimises the bio-electrical environment within the body which in turn optimises the functioning of every organ system in the body. In other words, it provides a fast-track means of inducing optimal and collective health within the body at large.
In this sense, the research is ground-breaking and in many ways reminds me of the collective astonishment of the medical community when the first wave of meditation research began filtering through 15 years ago. Connecting to the limitless supply of free electrons on the Earth’s surface has been clinically proven to:
Reduce the prevalence and severity of chronic pain conditions
Optimise cardiac functioning
Optimise sleep quality and quantity
Regulate the level of cortisol and other stress hormones being secreted by the body
Effectively switch the body from a sympathetic nervous system (fight or flight) to a para-sympathetic nervous system (rest, heal and digest) overdrive
Increase the effectiveness and functioning of the immune system
Reduce global inflammation in the body
Optimised blood glucose regulation
The list goes on!!
In our natural state, these are benefits we would have obtained on a daily basis by default; historically, humans spent almost 100% of their lives connected to the Earth’s abundant supply of free electrons; we walked barefoot and slept on the floor. This meant that for the entire duration of our lives, the bio-electrical energy of our body and the functioning of our organ systems were optimally regulated. This is still the case for many indigenous cultures around the world; indeed current evidence is suggesting that the reason many indigenous cultures have such astonishingly high levels of physical and emotional health may be largely due to this fact.
However, our progression to easier and more comfortable lives have almost entirety isolated us from the benefits of earthing. We sleep in beds in insulated houses, get up and wear insulated rubber-soled shoes, drive to work in insulated cars with rubber types, work all day in insulated buildings, drive home, go to bed and repeat. As a result, current estimates suggest that in the Developed World, most of us are insulated from the health-enhancing benefits of the Earth’s free electrons for over 95% of each year.
In such cases, and irrespective of other health optimisation approaches we may be implemented such as diet, meditation or exercise, it is almost impossible for us to experience perfect health. Thus many public health experts are suggesting that earthing may be the missing piece in the puzzle for those looking for a renewed and revitalised state of health and well-being and one that I would personally agree with. There is nothing better than plunging your feet into soft grass, or running sand through your fingers is there? We all resonate with experiences like this, and I'm sure you will agree that it makes perfect sense.
As an aside I would make a plea to all the teachers out there to embrace the sunshine and warmth and teach outside on the grass, I'm sure the change in your students would be remarkable!
Moreover, the best bit is the simplicity of earthing; all that is required is that we take off our shoes and spend at least 20 minutes (ideally longer) each day in direct contact with the surface of the Earth. This could be in the garden, walking on the beach, cleaning the car, it doesn’t matter, but regarding gain for effort, there are few approaches that are simpler, more effective and more powerful than earthing.
So get out into this beautiful Spring weather we are experiencing here in the UK, take your shoes off and reap all of the benefits that are abundantly waiting for us on the surface of the ground beneath us!