The building blocks of good health are very well-known: a healthy diet, plenty of physical activity, enough good sleep, and lots of mental calisthenics (e.g., reading a book, answering a crossword puzzle, etc.). Aside from this, connecting to nature is also a good way to boost your health.
Indeed, the researchers from the University of East Anglia have confirmed that going outside has a lot of health-related benefits, as it can reduce your risk of cardiovascular diseases, stress, and even premature death.
And while you’re enjoying the great outdoors, you might also want to try earthing.
What is earthing and how does it work?
Earthing dates back to 1998, when TV personality Clint Ober observed that using footwear kept people from being in contact with the Earth. Ober wondered about the possible effects of grounding the human body (similar to grounding electrical cables) to the Earth, and this is where he found out that the effect was positive.
Two decades later, earthing is starting to get widespread attention, all thanks to Ober’s book entitled Earthing. But what exactly is it? Also known as grounding, Parsley Health writer Carly Graf explains that earthing involves going outdoors and walking barefoot to promote physical contact with the Earth’s electrons.
This physical contact is said to be good for your health, as the ground can purportedly “neutralize electrical potential.”
In essence, earthing systematically impacts the body’s natural bioelectrical function by reconnecting it to Earth’s “natural and subtle surface electric charge.” This electrical charge is created by the flow of liquid iron in Earth’s core, which then creates electric currents that create the planet’s massive magnetic field. Such reconnection causes physiological stabilization; reduces pain, inflammation, and stress; improves sleep and blood flow; and enhances one’s overall wellbeing. It can also make you feel and look healthier and younger. A review of research evidence on grounding published on Science Direct notes that it is an overlooked strategy despite its positive impact on health and healing. Even so some health practitioners are using it to help their patients.
How to do it
There are two common ways to do earthing. The first one is all-natural and free: Spend time outdoors walking or staying in contact with natural conductive surfaces such as grass, soil, sand, stone, and gravel. You can even do it while gardening, which in itself is already beneficial. Our ‘4 Reasons to Start a Garden in 2018’ post details how this outdoor activity is also a great calorie burner and stress reliever that promotes healthy eating and family bonding. Doing it barefoot lets you practice earthing as well, and that makes gardening even more beneficial (just make sure to be careful with every single step).
The other way involves the use of earthing systems such as conductive mats, pads, body bands, and patches. These replicate Earth’s electric current, thereby allowing you to connect to the Earth without having to walk barefoot on natural surfaces (or even while indoors). This is best for those who live far away from nature (deep in the city). If you are using these systems, however, make sure that there are no underground electrical sources nearby. This is because earthing products can draw additional electricity from these sources, and put you at some risk of electrocution.
Regardless of the method, earthing is something you ought to try. You will you feel connected to the Earth and boost your health at the same time.