We’ve all felt the benefits of getting away from the hustle and bustle of our daily, often city-based, lives. A week in the sun away from it all has the power to recharge and rejuvenate. We experience a great sense of ease from relaxing at the beach for a few days.
I always attributed this heightened sense of wellbeing to simply being away from work, away from daily responsibilities, and actually having some time to relax and do nothing – in the sunshine! That’s obviously a part of it, but what if there’s another powerful force at play? Something that you don’t need to travel to some exotic beach on the other side of the planet to experience. Something you could actually get in your own back garden.
How it works
Earthing is the practice of making direct contact with the earth we live on. Think barefeet on that sandy beach, or, equally effective, on the grass in your back garden. Soil would work too, although less appealing. Even some types of concrete might convey some of the benefits.
Turns out the earth itself is a great, big, ball of healing energy. The earth’s electromagnetic field is an infinite reservoir of free electrons. Most of us, thanks to the modern lifestyles that completely disconnect us from the earth, have an electron deficiency. We’re not getting enough vitamin-G (grounding)!
I know, it sounds a bit woowoo. I mean really? But there is actually some science behind this. The earth does have a negative electric charge. We humans do conduct electrical energy. You’ve probably experienced an electric shock in the past where you’ve maybe been caught up in a bit of static and then touched a door handle. That’s the electric current of the static grounding through you. So we conduct electric. Nothing woowoo about that.
When you look at how much our lifestyles have changed over the last few hundred years, compared to the much longer timeframe of hundreds of thousands of years that our human physiology has been co-evolving on the planet, it’s easy to see how our physiology may not be well adapted to our very modern lifestyle.
We evolved, like other species on the planet, over many eons, to be in direct contact with the earth. All of a sudden (in evolutionary terms) we’ve almost completely unplugged from the earth that sustains us. We used to sleep and walk outside, making direct contact with the earth constantly. Now we live in insulated houses, we drive around in cars, we wear shoes with rubber soles that insulate our feet from the earth’s healing energy. A ‘normal’ person living in a city (i.e. not your ‘barefoot-hippy-type’) may never make contact with the earth except on those brief summer holidays where they might hit the beach.
Think about it, how often do you come into direct contact with the earth? When was the last time?
So what are the benefits? One of the main things that earthing seems to do is reduce inflammation in the body. Inflammation isn’t all bad. It’s the body’s way of healing itself. The problem comes when it’s overactive. When the inflammatory response has done it’s job but continues working beyond what was needed.
I had a traumatic haircut when I was five. I went in for what I thought was a trim, the hairdresser cut my butt-long locks up above eye-level. Devastating. That’s kinda what inflammation does when it outstays its welcome. It helps, and then it sticks around and starts hacking away at good tissue. I just wanted the split-ends chopped off!
Earthing appears to provide a release for the free radicals associated with inflammation. When we make direct contact with the earth we experience a rush of free electrons galloping up our legs and into our body. The hungry free radicals that cause inflammation are neutralised by these healing free electrons. We experience wellness again, less pain.
Inflammation is the root cause of so many modern diseases. So many autoimmune diseases are heavy on the inflammation and these are on the increase. Could the solution be as simple as plugging ourselves back into the earth?
People have reported many other benefits: improved sleep, disappearance of skin rashes or skin conditions, decreased pain, rapid recovery from injuries, a reduction in stress and anxiety. It seems that earthing helps to harmonise our physiology, so whatever ails you can be helped with this simple practice.
My partner has experienced a massive reduction in his anxiety levels in the last few weeks that he’s been practising this, and he also healed from a dislocated shoulder injury in a matter of days. It’s practically magic.
How to do it
Given how easy and completely free this is, you’d be crazy not to test it out for yourself. If you have a garden you can simply go stand on the grass for a few minutes. Notice. Even if you don’t have a garden, there are patches of grass around that most of us have access to, a local park maybe.
A friend and I were talking about earthing recently and how he’d tried it on a patch of grass near his office. It being a rather formal environment he joked about taking furtive sideway glances to check if any colleagues were around before slipping his shoes off. Being a health deviant means embracing the occasional strange look – the payoff is worth it – you’re a health pioneer!
Try to find a trigger to remind yourself to do this every day for a week so you can experiment. I use my lunch break at work. Now the weather is nice I’ve been taking my lunch outside to eat on the grass. This is an easy opportunity to sit making direct contact with the earth.
I don’t have any major health concerns but I’ve noticed the benefits of this on a more subtle level. I was recently sitting in my living room doing some coursework on my laptop and finding myself getting overwhelmed. Overwhelmed with how much I needed to do to get to my next goal. Overwhelmed comparing myself to all the amazing people on the internet (ha!). I was trying to work through my current piece of work but just feeling blocked and contracted.
I went and earthed.
I simply stepped out onto the grass and took a few breaths. Almost instantly the contraction turned into an expansion. I felt at ease, instantly plugged into a much bigger, more real, biorhythm. With the expansion all the worries dropped away and a sense of clarity arose, and in that clarity I had an idea of what to do next. I had shifted from overwhelm to contented excitement. This all happened in the space of a couple of minutes!
Conclusion: MOTHER EARTH IS FRICKING POWERFUL! Go get some vitamin-G.