Every modern method of alternative medicine talks about "energy", although they may use different words to describe it. But what is this "energy" you keep hearing about?
The concept of Earthing, or grounding, has turned up some very interesting and compelling information about how the energy from the Earth can help you live a healthier life. Simply stated, Earthing is the act of walking barefoot, grounding your body to the Earth.
People have always known that walking barefoot feels good. However there is now scientific groundwork for understanding what actually occurs when you walk barefoot:
Your skin in general is a very good conductor, and for acupuncturists in particular, there is an especially potent part of the body that is right in the middle of the ball of your foot, known as Kidney 1 (K1). This spot conductively connects to all o the acupuncture meridians, which in turn connect to every nook and cranny of your body. When you're grounded there's a transfer of free electrons from the Earth into your body, and these free electrons are probably the most potent antioxidants known to man.
Dr. James Oschman – an expert in the field of energy medicine, with a Bachelor's Degree in Biophysics and a PhD in Biology from the University of Pittsburgh, has provided the basis of the studies of Earthing for the purpose of this article.
"Even the slightest bump can cause the immune system immediately to respond by sending white blood cells to the place of injury… Inflammation, which in medicine is considered an important part of the healing process, is really an artifact caused by lack of electrons in your tissues," explains Dr. Oschman.
This "grounding" research has discovered that if you place your bare feet on the ground after an injury, electrons will migrate into your body and spread through your tissues. Any free radicals that leak into the healthy tissue will be immediately electrically neutralized. This occurs because the electrons are negative, while the free radicals are positive: cancelling each other out.
Dr. Oschman continues, "So really what is happening with grounding or Earthing, is that you're protecting your body from collateral damage – damage that takes place because we have disconnected ourselves from the Earth by putting rubber and plastic on the bottoms of our shoes."
The many benefits of Earthing
One of the theories on aging is that it occurs because of accumulative damage to your body caused by free radicals; when you get an injury, chronic inflammation, from the food you eat, from breathing poluted air, etc. The body has been proven to collect and store electrons, so that if you go barefoot you will take in electrons and your body will have them available at any point in time where you might have an injury or begin with disease.
Earthing has the capability of thinning out your blood, making it less viscous, which has a profound impact on cardiovascular disease. Through a method called "zeta potential", it has been determined that when you ground to the Earth your zeta potential rises, which means your red blood cells have more charge on their surface, forcing them apart from each other and thus causing your blood to thin and flow easier. It also causes your blood pressure to drop!
The ideal location to walk barefoot is the beach, on or in the water, as sea water is a great conductor. Also, since your body contains mostly water, it creates a good connection.
A close second would be a grassy area, especially if it's covered with fresh morning dew. According to Dr. Oschman, concrete is a good conductor as well, for those city or urban dwellers surrounded by asphalt and concrete, as long as the concrete has not been sealed or painted.
Exercising barefoot outdoors is one of the most inexpensive and powerful ways of incorporating Earthing into your daily life, and will also help speed up tissue repair and ease muscle pain.
There are also many products specifically designed to help you practice Earthing while driving, at work or even while you sleep.
A little about the products: There are many Earthing Products that can help you get grounded. The Universal Mat and Cover is great for in home and office use. As the name applies, you can use it practically anywhere you wish. The Earthing Half sheet is used for getting grounded while you sleep, leading to a much more restful and deeper sleep. There are also the Earthing Bands and Patches that help with more specific areas of inflammation.
The Earthing products are very simple to use; just plug them in to the "Ground Port" of your outlet and make bare skin contact. This allows the Earths energy to flow freely into your body.
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For more information on this topic and related Earthing products visit www.earthinginstitute.net
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