Have you ever heard of “Earthing”? Up until 2 days ago, I had not. I happened to notice a link to an article as I scrolled through my Twitter feed. Turns out, it is basically the practice of connecting with the Earth, and feeling better. Sounds pretty simple, right? Admittedly, when time and weather permit, and I get to spend time in my back yard, sitting on the ground under my favorite tree, I do feel happier, calmer, more relaxed. And naps under said tree, well, they are the best. I got to wondering if there might be any evidence to back up the article I had read, and I did uncover some interesting reading. I tried to provide links to full text articles, so you could read for yourselves if you so desired.
This is a link to a pdf of an introductory article on Earthing co-authored by Dr Oschman.
”Earthing reduces every measure of stress we have used in our studies.”
’The most important health benefit of Earthing is providing the body with abundant electrons from the Earth. The scientific research and hypotheses related to Earthing point to a major impact on the inflammatory process as a result of this electron transfer.”
“We do not describe Earthing as a "treatment" or a "cure" for any disease or disorder. Instead, it can be said without any equivocation that the human body evolved in contact with the Earth and needs to maintain this natural contact in order to function properly.”
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3576907/ Links to a study which you can read for free on Pub Med Central that states there “were measurable decreases in cardiovascular risk factors after 2 hours of grounding.” However, for you science minded folks, the sample size for this study was 10.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15650465 “Results indicate that grounding the human body to earth ("earthing") during sleep reduces night-time levels of cortisol and resynchronizes cortisol hormone secretion more in alignment with the natural 24-hour circadian rhythm profile. Changes were most apparent in females. Furthermore, subjective reporting indicates that grounding the human body to earth during sleep improves sleep and reduces pain and stress.”
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3265077/ A pretty comprehensive review article on the subject, not terribly long and the full text is available for free. The conclusion --- “The research done to date supports the concept that grounding or Earthing the human body may be an essential element in the health equation along with sunshine, clean air and water, nutritious food, and physical activity.”
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21856083 “Earthing generates immediate changes in electroencephalography (EEG), surface electromyography (SEMG), and somato-sensory evoked potentials …..Earthing significantly influences on the electrical activity of the brain. “
I think the statement that struck me most was this:
“the human body evolved in contact with the Earth and needs to maintain this natural contact in order to function properly”
Seems so simple and so true. Naturally, there is a commercial element that has cropped up to help “promote” this practice. Earthing shoes, sheets, chairs, matts, etc. To me, adding more “stuff” seems to defeat the whole idea, which seems pretty simple – Go out and connect with the Earth!
I am glad that I clicked on that link in my Twitter feed J I think I know a little more than I did a couple days ago. And the next time I nap under my favorite tree, I will feel a little less guilty when I wake up.