With the changing of the seasons comes the desire to go outside and enjoy the beauty of autumn. Thinking about the fall season can bring about some pleasant thoughts. And while it’s common to think about cozy scarves and pumpkin spice lattes, the symbolic meanings of autumn are more profound than you think. Ancient cultures, science and astrology have associated many aspects of this beautiful season to human life. These symbolic associations are powerful reminders that Mother Nature has an incredible influence on our lives.
There are so many ways to welcome the new season. I am personally looking forward to diving into my long list of seasonal recipe ideas and fall craft projects. Of course, I’ll be topping everything off with various activities — going outside and walking barefoot in my garden, running with my coach, Dr. Jack Ward, as we observe the changing autumn leaves and breathing the crisp, clean fall air without the fear of that “Virus.” Talk about a dream come true.
I’ve realized that fall is the best time for self-reflection, awareness and mindfulness. Autumn should remind us that our bodies, minds and surroundings are always developing. As summer morphs into autumn, we exercise self-protection by wearing layers and thicker fabrics. We also tend to focus on our health by boosting our immunity through habits and nutrition. Ultimately, autumn doubles as practice for heightened awareness of your “self” and surroundings.
Speaking of awareness, we should take note that day and night are the same lengths during the autumnal equinox (Wednesday, Sept. 22 at 2:21 p.m. CDT). As a result, ancient cultures have always associated the first day of fall with the concept of balance. The sun also enters Libra, which is symbolized by a pair of balanced scales. Autumn grants us a chance to harmonize with the Earth and tap into the balance within us.
This takes us to the subject at hand…Grounding (or Earthing, both words are interchangeable).
What is Grounding and How Does it Work?
Grounding is a revival of a timeless practice, whereby individuals are put in direct contact with the surface of the Earth. It includes:
- Walking barefoot outdoors
- Swimming in oceans and lakes
- Sleeping, working and relaxing indoors with bare skin in contact with conductive mats, bed sheets, pillows, body bands and patches in order to maintain the body at Earth’s electric potential
As an untapped health resource, grounding or earthing is a therapeutic technique that focuses on realigning our electrical energy by reconnecting to the Earth. Think of it as a “global treatment table.” The research behind grounding has reported benefits for inflammation, pain, mood and more to be discussed. Earthing has become a worldwide phenomenon based on the discovery of its benefits by cable-television industry pioneer, Clint Ober in 2000. There has been crucial work done by a host of researchers, scientists, MDs and Ph.D.’s. from top universities devoted to validating Mr. Ober’s discovery.
For centuries our ancestors knew innately the power planet Earth possesses. They understood they felt better when they walked barefoot and sat upon the ground. Additionally, current subjective reports found in the literature, and in practices of diverse cultures from around the world, reveal walking barefoot on the Earth enhances health and provides feelings of well-being.
Unlike past cultures, most people today, particularly in industrial societies, rarely are in contact with the surface of the Earth. It has only been within the last two centuries that our industrial world has moved off of the ground into homes. Wooden floors and beds were the beginning of the move off of the surface of the Earth, and today’s multi-floor skyscrapers are the norm in large metropolitan cities. As humans are moving off of the Earth’s surfaces, we are also bringing our pets with us….. and they are beginning to suffer as well.
In the 1950s, a modern invention, synthetic/rubber-soled shoes, moved us almost permanently off of the ground. Now, 95 percent of shoes have synthetic soles that insulate/block us from the Earth’s electric charge. Prior to synthetic soles, shoes were made with leather soles. Leather, especially when it gets wet, is a very conductive material. The electrical properties of the Earth are able to pass through the leather into the foot of the wearer.
The Earthing hypothesis states that when direct skin contact is made with the Earth’s surface or a grounded system indoors, the body’s electric potential equalizes with the Earth’s potential. Further, this hypothesis of connecting the body to the Earth enables free electrons from the Earth’s surface to spread over and into the body, where they can have antioxidant effects. This contact with the Earth naturally prevents the buildup of static electric charge on the body. The research is showing that living “connected” is very powerful. The many bioelectrical systems within the human body such as the cardiac, neurological, endocrine and immune systems are all reliant on electrons. So, our bioelectric bodies become stabilized when we are grounded and connected to the Earth, i.e. “electrical roots.” Living disconnected seems to allow the body to be vulnerable and prone to dysfunction, inflammation-related diseases and accelerated aging.
What are the Benefits of Grounding?
You get Vitamin D when your body receives energy from the sun above. The Earth gives you energy as well, from below, that contributes to health in a big way. Think of it as a kind of electric nutrition, or “natural electricity,” or “Vitamin G” as it is sometimes called. This natural planetary charge keeps the bioelectric machinery of global life humming in rhythm and balance/homeostasis. Here is a shortlist of grounding benefits:
- Reduces/eliminates chronic inflammation
- Increases immune response
- Promotes healing from trauma, injuries and sports/exercise activity
- Reduces blood viscosity/thickness (a contributor to cardiovascular disease)
- Improves dynamic blood flow to nourish the entire body
- Improves your vitality (you feel better and look better…age management)
- Increases energy
- Improves sleep
- Decreases anxiety, depression and stress levels (cortisol)
- Reduces muscle tension and headaches
- Reduces hormonal and menstrual symptoms
- Reduces/eliminates pain
- Safely reduces blood pressure (warranting further research)
- Protects against health-disturbing electromagnetic fields (EMF) (a major concern with the introduction of 5G technology)
The research done to date supports the concept that grounding/earthing the human body may be an essential element in the health equation along with sunshine, clean air and water, nutritious foods and physical activity.
How Can One Achieve These Benefits?
One of the easiest ways to ground yourself to the Earth is to walk barefoot outside for a minimum of 30 minutes per day. To increase the amount of contact, lie on the ground or wade into a body of water—lake, creek or ocean. Conduction is much greater if the surfaces are wet; therefore, electrons are more readily absorbed on the beach than walking in the desert.
To ground yourself without going outside (comfort and safety factors), try one of these options:
- Grounding socks and/or shoes
- Grounding mattress covers, pillow covers, sheets and/or blankets/throws
- Grounding mats, including yoga mats
- Grounding bands and/or patches
- Grounding pet beds (our fur babies need this resource)
All these items can be purchased online. My favorite site is https://www.earthing.com/
Earthing and Ground Therapy products from Earthing.com are the only grounding products on the market that are created and developed by the pioneer, Clint Ober and his team. The majority of all proceeds from the sale of Earthing products go toward continued research and advancement in the field of grounding including product development, safety standards and educational outreach.
Weather and schedule permitting, spend a half-hour or so outside barefoot and see what a difference that makes on your pain or stress level. Sit, stand or walk on soil, grass, sand or unsealed concrete and/or brick. These are all conductive surfaces from which our bodies can draw the Earth’s energy. Wood, asphalt and vinyl/plastic are NOT conductive. Also, consider touching plants and living trees (especially with wet bark); drinking water from the ground (well water and/or electrolyzed reduced water) and eating raw fruits and vegetables grown in the ground. Both the aforementioned water and foods are rich in electrons. When groundwater is processed with chemicals and the food is cooked or processed, the electrons are removed so they are no longer a source of electrons for the body.
As with any health strategy, it is more effective to maintain optimal health than to attempt to regain it. Grounding can be a significant part of that strategy for us and our furry companions with no side effects. Earthing is among the most natural and safest things you can do. If you are skeptical, put it to the test by simply sitting, standing or walking with your bare feet on the ground outside. If you have some element of discomfort, anxiety, stress or just plain fatigue, note your level of that symptom at the start and then again after about a half-hour or so. In the end, you should feel better. You’ll realize that there is indeed something marvelous about Mother Earth beneath your feet…something you’ve been missing all these years.
So, in closing, I invite you to watch the documentary, Earthing Movie. This documentary reveals the scientific phenomenon of how we can heal our bodies by doing the simplest thing that a person can do…standing barefoot on the Earth.
Disclaimer: The information presented here is for educational purposes only. It is not intended or implied to be a substitute for the diagnosis, treatment, or advice of a qualified, licensed medical professional. You are encouraged to confirm any information obtained from or through this article with other sources and review all information regarding any medical condition or treatment with your physician.