Manataka American Indian Council
By Stephen T. Sinatra, M.D., F.A.C.C.
For years, my lower legs and elbows used to break out with psoriasis, a common inflammatory condition of the skin. I had always noticed that whenever I would go bone fishing in Florida the psoriasis would virtually disappear for weeks afterward. I attributed it to being out in the sun, the vitamin D, the minerals in the salt water, and time off from the daily stresses of a busy cardiology practice.
I now realized that there was another reason for the improvement of the psoriasis. I was “grounded,” barefoot in salt water that is highly conductive. As I was fishing, I was simultaneously giving myself a treatment.
I had a similar revelation related to patients coming back to their homes in Connecticut, where I practiced, after snowbirding in Florida over the winter months. These patients were taking the blood thinner Coumadin and after their return I would have to typically reduce their dosage. Their blood coagulability had improved, meaning their blood had become thinner.
I had always thought the change was simply a result of going from warm weather to cold weather. I was wrong.
Later, I realized that the reason for the change was because these patients were going barefoot for many hours during the day and swimming in the ocean or in concrete pools. They were grounding themselves! They were absorbing the Earth’s energy.
The Earth as Medicine
During my decades in medical practice I have witnessed remarkable advances in technology that give physicians ever greater ability to save lives. However, if you were to ask what I regarded as the most impressive breakthrough I would give you a very surprising, low-tech answer: the very Earth we live on, literally, the ground beneath our feet.
The Earth may just be the most single important medicine available to humans to keep us healthy and heal us.
It is an established, though not widely appreciated fact, that the Earth’s surface possesses a limitless and continuously renewed supply of free electrons, and this reservoir of electrons gives the Earth a negative charge. This natural electrical source has been exploited by humans in the electrical world as so-called “ground,” a stabilizing factor for all electrical systems. You’ve no doubt heard electricians refer to a grounded house, a grounded outlet, or a grounded appliance.
Emerging evidence now indicates that this very same ground energy can create a stable internal bioelectrical environment for the normal functioning of all body systems. It stabilizes your physiology.
In biology, it is well established that electrons from antioxidant molecules neutralize reactive oxygen species (ROS, or in popular terms, free radicals) involved in the body’s immune and inflammatory responses. Too much free radical activity generates chronic inflammation that in turn is now being described by the medical research world as a primary cause of many of the chronic ills of man.
The Earth Effect on Inflammation
For more than a decade I have been involved in the Earthing Project. Earthing (also known as grounding), as you read last month, refers to contact with the Earth’s surface electrons by walking barefoot outside or sitting, working, or sleeping indoors connected to comfortable conductive sheets, mats, and bands that facilitate the transfer of the Earth’s electrons from the ground into the body. In 2010, I co-authored a book introducing the concept of Earthing. It has been translated into a dozen languages.
We assume that the influx of free electrons absorbed into the body through direct contact with the Earth likely neutralizes free radicals and thereby reduces chronic inflammation.
Today, people who have been disconnected from the Earth and who start Earthing, whether inside or outside, commonly report reduced pain and symptoms of inflammation, and often a rapid decrease. Since pain is associated with inflammation, reduction in pain suggests the Earth’s energy has a powerful impact on inflammation.
To see the effect graphically of Earthing on inflammation, take a look at the dramatic thermographic images that were part of an early Earthing study. Thermography, also known as infrared imaging, is a widely used clinical technique that utilizes sophisticated computerized technology to translate skin temperature data and produce an image that is then evaluated for signs of possible disease or injury.
Medically – This is a Big Deal
Earthing not only reduces pain, it reduces stress and calms the nervous system, improves sleep and energy, and, as I and my colleagues documented in one pilot study, appears to have a healthy blood thinning effect. In the study, we demonstrated the positive effects of the Earth’s energy on the electrodynamics (zeta potential) of blood cells. We showed that Earthing significantly improves blood viscosity (blood thickness) and flow. The study was published by the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine and can be read online at http://online.liebertpub.com/doi/pdf/10.1089/acm.2011.0820
At this point, I have seen clear indications that individuals with cardiovascular disease, arrhythmias, high blood pressure, and diabetes may benefit greatly from Earthing, both preventively and therapeutically. I will talk more about this in a future article.
Earthing is a big deal medically. As a medical doctor, I see it as a profoundly simple, practical, effective, and cost-cutting way to combat common illnesses and pain problems, and make people healthier.
Although the science behind Earthing is only dozen or so years old, there’s nothing really new about Earthing. It is something very old, a practice followed by cultures throughout the world throughout virtually all of history. In the past, people routinely walked barefoot or used conductive animal skins for footwear and bedding. They were grounded. Unlike modern society that uses insulating, synthetic soled shoes, and no longer sleeps on the ground, the peoples of the past were in contact with the Earth’s energy and it helped keep them healthy and prevent inflammatory disorders.
A major theme of the Earthing theory is that chronic illness today is so rampant because we have cut ourselves off from the Earth. We’re disconnected. The remedy is to reconnect with the Earth. Just as you would plug a dormant appliance into an electrical outlet, when you connect yourself to Mother Earth’s surface energy field your bioelectrical body becomes charged and enlivened. You experience multiple benefits, significant for most people, and nothing less than amazing for many.
Our research to date has just scratched the surface of a truly exciting frontier in health and healing. This is a huge healing bounty from Nature. You’ll be hearing a lot about Earthing in the future!
(Dr. Sinatra is an integrative Connecticut cardiologist with nearly forty years of clinical experience. He lectures widely on integrative cardiology, and the advantages of using both conventional medical treatments and complementary nutritional, anti-aging, and psychological therapies. He is the author of a dozen books, including the current best-seller “The Great Cholesterol Myth,” and is host of the heartmdinstitute.com website)
Earthing influences the physiology in many significant ways. If you take prescription medication, please refer to the Earthing Institute article on Earthing and medicationIf you are under the care of a physician, consult with your doctor before starting Earthing.
For additional information, please refer to the Earthing book, frequently asked questions (FAQs), and our Earthing Reports. To receive periodic Earthing updates,
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