First Tenet of the Shin Dao Philosophy
Have you heard this suggestion to Connect with the Earth before? How about, “Touch the Earth”?
“Wait a second,” you say. “Unless I have this whole gravity thing all wrong, I am touching the earth!”
Well, you are, but not like you need to be. It just so happens that humans are actually meant to touch the earth with bare skin, and doing so may be as fundamentally healthy for you as any other health-promoting habits you’ve learned along the way.
This fact may come as a surprise to you. Traditional healthcare systems like Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine have promoted the health benefits of skin-to-skin contact with the earth for thousands of years. And now, a growing body of evidence-based research is proving what those wise physicians knew all along.
When you touch the earth with your skin (or through material that doesn’t insulate you from its energy field), you literally absorb electrons from its surface into your body. This process of walking barefoot on the ground is called ‘earthing’ and has many powerful effects on you, as we have only recently begun to understand.
Here are three of the most important reasons why connecting with the earth every day keeps the doctor away…
1. Touching the earth is calming, reduces the effects of stress and can help you sleep.
Have you ever arrived at your favorite park or beach, taken your shoes off and felt a seemingly instantaneous sense of calm overtake you? You’ve probably never even thought twice about it. Being at the beach or in a park is just nice, so of course you feel calmer, right? Well, there may be something more to it than that.
Recent research into the effects of touching the earth with bare skin shows that ‘grounding’, or ‘earthing’, leads to an increase in parasympathetic (calming) nervous system activity, and reduces sympathetic (stress-response) activity. The end result of this effect is that your entire body (not just your mind) calms down.
Beyond that, additional research into other parameters of stress has shown that grounding normalizes both cortisol secretion, a hallmark of stress activity in the body, and melatonin secretion, which is crucial for a good night’s sleep.
2. Touching the earth is anti-inflammatory.
Chronic inflammation is now understood to be a primary, causative factor in seven of the top ten leading causes of mortality in the United States. It is beyond the scope of this article to review the details of chronic inflammation, how and why it happens, but it is important to realize that chronic inflammation is not a good thing, and grounding yourself may be a simple way to reduce it, whatever the cause may be.
An inflammatory response in your body begins with the production of free radicals (electrically charged particles) in an injured area, which help prevent infection and stimulate the healing process. However, when an inflammatory response becomes chronic, the excessive free radical activity begins to damage healthy tissue in the surrounding area. Depending on the tissue in question, this process could result in cancer, cardiovascular disease, arthritis or one of many other types of chronic disease.
Grounding yourself, which saturates the healthy tissue in your body with negative electrons, creates a barrier through which these free radicals cannot pass, in turn protecting you from the outlying damage they would otherwise cause.
3. Touching the earth helps keeps your blood flowing.
For blood to flow well through your veins, arteries and capillaries, the cells need to move freely amongst each other, and not get stuck together. To aid in this process, the surface of your red blood cells all have a negative charge to them, known as a zeta potential, literally causing them to repel each other. The greater the negative charge is around your blood cells, the greater the zeta potential, and the better your blood will flow. The electrons you absorb from the earth’s surface are negatively charged and lead to a greater zeta potential, which is why touching the earth helps naturally thin your blood. This discovery has far-reaching implications for the field of cardiology, and some of the most cutting edge, brightest minds in the cardiology field have begun to take notice.
The Scientific Benefits of Connecting with the Earth
The main claim for ‘earthing’ is that it fights inflammation by reducing free radicals, which are positively charged, and also reduces inflammation by reducing excess positive electrons.
Knock-off effects of reducing inflammation include alleviated (chronic) pain, improved sleep, and normalized circadian rhythms.
Other health benefits of earthing:
· Increase energy
· Lower stress
· Promote calmness
· Enhance disturbed biological rhythms
· 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 (Electro Magnetic Fields)
· Shorten recovery time after athletic activity / from injury
· Reduce or stop snoring
· Eliminate jet lag.
What do you do when you can’t connect to the earth with bare skin?