When was the last time you took off your shoes and socks and walked in the grass? Chances are, not recently enough. Research shows that direct skin contact with the earth, without the barrier of shoes or carpet (earthing) is necessary to our health and well-being.
How does earthing work?
Everything in this world has a net charge that’s either positive or negative. We’re electrical, the world we live in is electrical. At a molecular level, everything we do and touch involves electrical charges. For optimum health and functioning of our bodies, we need a stable internal bioelectrical environment. Makes sense right?
The problem is, daily life builds up a positive charge in our bodies. And we need negative electrons to balance us out. Turns out, the Earth’s surface has a continuously renewed supply of the free negative electrons we need to be healthy. And, when we spend a lot of time in direct contact with the earth, those electrons are transferred to us, bringing us back to neutral.
Top 7 health benefits of earthing
Scientific studies show that earthing has many significant health benefits. Here are the top 7:
- Regulate cortisol. By keeping the body’s main stress hormone in check, you’re able to recover from stress more quickly, and steer clear of the myriad effects of too much cortisol in the body.
- Neutralize free radicals. From the food we eat to the air we breathe, we’re constantly exposed to free radicals. Earthing can help control the damage before the chain reaction starts and disrupts the entire cell.
- Combat inflammation. It’s no big secret that inflammation is can disrupt the immune system and lead to a variety of chronic diseases. Earthing is a simple and natural way to keep inflammation at bay.
- Reduce stress. Earthing is proven to quickly activate the parasympathetic nervous system and deactivate the sympathetic nervous system. Almost immediately triggering feelings of calm.
- Improve sleep. Grounding the body to earth during sleep reduces time to fall asleep and times waking in the night—it also promotes a feeling of being refreshed in the morning.
- Reduce risk factors of cardiovascular disease. Increased blood viscosity influences hypertension, thrombogenesis, ischemia, and arthrogenesis. And while statins effectively decrease blood viscosity, they have serious side-effects. Earthing can help lower blood viscosity—without risk.
- Alleviate pain. Research also suggests that earthing can be an effective means to reduce pain in the body.
Great, but how do we do it?
It’s going to take some effort at this point. We simply don’t connect with the Earth anymore. Think about it. Hundreds of years ago we were out there in nature, walking the land in buckskin shoes and sleeping on the ground without any barriers blocking the electron transfer. But today? We’re lucky to get 2 minutes of fresh air walking from the car into the office, our rubber soles blocking this crucial phenomenon. We work in offices several floors above the ground. We no longer access that natural mechanism of discharging and getting back to neutral. Guys, we’re dangerously disconnected and it’s going to take some effort to make a change.
The best place to start is at your feet. The balls of your feet are highly effective conductors of the earth’s electricity. So take off your shoes, take off your socks, and get outside. Feel the earth under your feet and take note of the importance of that connection.
Don’t leave barefoot walks to those once-a-year trips to the beach. Do them daily. Walk barefoot to get the mail or to take the dog out. Same goes for sleeping on the ground. You don’t need an epic camping trip to make it happen—grab your sleeping bag and hit the back yard. Start there. See how you feel. Not buying the research? Do it anyway. It feels good. And what could it hurt?
There are a lot of people depending on you in this world. You need to bring your A Game every day—to live your best life so you can care for others. Nothing is more important than health. After all, that is why you’re a healthcare professional, isn’t it?
Interested in reading more wellness tips for healthcare professionals? Bankers Healthcare Group is a trusted partner to more than 110,000 healthcare professionals nationwide and is a great source of industry insight.