Friday, February 7, 2014

Is it the best kept secret to better health?

It is rare to get "fired up" these days when I come across something new.  The general reaction is more of an "aha" moment...but this one is slowly beginning to have me scratching my head (in a good way).  I have always been a big fan of DaVinci's quote "simplicity is the ultimate sophistication"...and this one definitely seems to manifest this elegant principle.

What is it exactly?  I am still in the middle (more accurately, at the beginning) of some vigourous investigation, but this "new" concept is called:

Grounding or Earthing

As per the Earthing website:

Earthing, or grounding as it is often called, simply means connecting to the Earth’s natural, negative surface charge by being barefoot outside or in bare skin contact with conductive systems indoors while you sleep, relax, or work.  A simple concept, yes.  But one with profound impact on the physiology.  Connection with the Earth restores a lost electrical signal to the body that seems to stabilize the complicated circuitry of our essentially-electrical body.  Our built-in self-regulating and self-healing mechanisms become more effective.  There are head-to-toe improvements.  Better blood flow.  Less pain and inflammation.  More energy.  Deeper sleep.  For many people the effect is dramatic, like charging a failing battery.  For others, the effect is gradual and subtle.

I would typically cast this off as "hokum", but there are some very interesting recent scientific studies that seem to indicate that this is far from simple balderdash and actually demonstrates positive results in many cases.   One of the most interesting studies even makes links to reducing emotional stress, heart rate variability, and improved autonomic tone;  

Emotional Stress, Heart Rate Variability, Grounding, and
Improved Autonomic Tone: Clinical Applications
GaĆ©tan Chevalier, PhD; Stephen T. Sinatra, MD, FACC, FACN, CNS 

Rather than attempt to deliver an intelligent explanation of a concept that I am still in the process of integrating, I will leave it to the Earthing Institute themsleves to present the general philosophy:  

The research indicates that Earthing transfers negatively charged free electrons into the body that are present in a virtually limitless and continuously renewed supply on the surface of the Earth.  The existence of this unseen electron “reservoir” has been established by science. Maintaining contact with the ground allows your body to naturally receive and become charged with these electrons. When thus “grounded,” any electron deficiencies and free radical excesses in the body are corrected.  A natural electrical state is restored. 
Why is this so important?
Electrons are the “object of affection,” so to speak, of positively charged free radicals, the biochemical agents that cause oxidation in the body.  Electrons are the source of antioxidant power.  We believe this influx of electrons from the ground serves to potently neutralize or quench free radicals that would otherwise steal electrons from healthy tissue, activity resulting in tissue damage and chronic inflammation at the basis of many common and serious diseases.  
Here, seemingly, is a simple, natural, and yet astonishingly profound remedy for chronic inflammation.

This is most definitely worthy of some in-depth empirical study (who wouldn't like to have a prescription written that says "play in the grass and walk in the sand")...but in the meantime, as I gradually collect some empirical data, I will certainly be neck deep in some of these interesting findings.  Stay tuned!  


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