Manataka American Indian Council
Real Healing Power Right Under Your Feet
By Martin Zucker
“The old people came literally to love the soil. They sat on the ground with the feeling of being close to a mothering power. It was good for the skin to touch the Earth, and the old people liked to remove their moccasins and walk with their bare feet on the sacred Earth. The soil was soothing, strengthening, cleansing, and healing.” ― The late Ota Kte (Luther Standing Bear), Lakota Sioux writer, educator, and tribal leader
There’s a growing buzz in the health world these days about a phenomenon called Earthing. It has to do with the natural, gentle electrical charge present on the surface of our planet. You get a dose every time you go outside barefoot. You may feel it as tingling in the feet when walking along the wet sand at the beach or on a dew-moistened lawn. Or as a sensation of warmth rising up through the feet and legs. Or you may not feel anything, yet still receive the energy just the same.
The Earth, you see, is an electrical planet, and you are a bioelectrical being living on an electrical planet. Your body functions electrically. Your heart and nervous system are prime examples.
As strange as it sounds, the very ground beneath your feet may actually be the single-most powerful medicine on the planet, capable of significantly reducing pain and inflammation, improving sleep and energy, and speeding recovery from injuries and exhaustion. Mother Earth grandly provides all living beings – you, me, and the rest of the animal kingdom – with this surprising and overlooked source of health, healing, and recovery: a virtually limitless supply of free electrons that give the ground we walk on its natural, subtle, and negative electrical charge.
To benefit from it, all you need to do is connect with it.
Another way to think of this natural resource is “vitamin G” – G for ground. Just as the sun above creates vitamin D in your body, the ground below provides you with vitamin G, a kind of “electrical nutrition” that restores and stabilizes the bioelectrical circuitry that governs your physiology and organs, recharges your blood and thins it out, and powerfully knocks down inflammation. When these things happen, you are going to feel better in a big way.
These revelations are the subject of an eye-opening book I am proud to have co-authored – Earthing: The Most Important Health Discovery Ever? (Basic Health Publications, 2010). The book contains life-changing research and personal observations from people all over the world, including doctors. In my 35 years writing about health and interviewing physicians I have never come across a health breakthrough so utterly natural, simple, and profound.
The Earthing story is absolutely fascinating. Modern lifestyle has disconnected most humans from many aspects of Nature, including our planet’s healing energy. Except for when we are kids or vacation as adults at the seaside, we rarely venture out barefoot. We no longer use footwear made of hides and leather that allows conduction of the Earth’s energy to our feet. We wear insulating rubber- or plastic- soled shoes. We no longer sleep on the ground as we did in times past. We sleep in elevated beds. Many of us live and work in high rises hundreds of feet above the ground.
The Benefits of Earthing
Earthing research and feedback from individuals throughout the world demonstrate a multitude of benefits. Here is a short list of them:
● Rapid reduction of inflammation.
● Rapid reduction or elimination of chronic pain.
● Dynamic blood flow improvement to better supply the cells and tissues of the body with vital oxygen and nutrition.
● Reduced stress.
● Increased energy.
● Improved sleep.
● Accelerated healing from injuries and surgery without the hot burning inflammatory pain.
This disconnect from the Earth may be a totally overlooked cause of abnormal physiology and contribute to inflammation, pain, fatigue, stress, and poor sleep. By reconnecting to the Earth’s energy, many common symptoms are surprisingly relieved and sometimes even eliminated. People are more energized. They feel better.
The research presented in the book, along with multiple testimonials, provides striking evidence of significant physiological shifts in the direction of a revitalized and healthier functioning body, changes that would put a smile on any doctor’s face and certainly the patients he or she treats. These shifts are generated by reconnecting to the Earth by routinely walking/sitting barefoot outdoors or, while indoors, sleeping on a conductive bed sheet or working/sitting with your feet on a conductive floor mat connected by a wire to the Earth.
Throughout history, many indigenous peoples honored connectedness to the Earth and described the energy of the Earth in different ways. One example is the concept of Earth Qi in Traditional Chinese Medicine. Native Americans utilized Earth Mother’s healing powers in various ways as part of “good medicine” practices.
Until recently, however, the distinct health benefits of this connectedness have remained largely undocumented. Thanks to the curiosity and persistence of Clint Ober, a pioneer of the American cable TV industry, the benefits are now becoming clear.
How to Earth Yourself
● Weather permitting, go barefoot outside for a half-hour or forty minutes and feel the difference it makes on your pain or stress level. Sit, stand, or walk on grass, sand, dirt, or concrete. A wet surface is preferable to dry, for greater conduction of the Earth’s electrons. These are all conductive surfaces from which your body can draw the Earth’s electrons. Wood, asphalt, and vinyl are not conductive.
● Ideally, try to sustain the Earthing experience and make it a part of your daily routine. If routinely going barefoot outside is not appealing or feasible, you may be interested in using indoor Earthing products such as bed sheets, mats, or body bands connected via a wire to a properly grounded electrical outlet inside a home or to a ground rod outside. These systems incorporate conductive silver or carbon to transfer the Earth’s energy and can be used in bed, while watching TV or reading, or while working at the desk.
● The Earthing story and its fascinating discovery can be found in the Earthing book (available through major book vendors such as www.amazon.com and www.barnesandnoble.com
For additional information on Earthing research, observations from clinicians and patients, and medical advisories, please visit www.earthinginstitute.net
In 1998, Mr. Ober discovered he could wean himself off painkillers and sleeping pills by applying a cable television principle to his own problem of chronic back pain. The crisp television images you see on your screen at home are delivered through a shielded cable that prevents signals from leaking out and outside interference from leaking in. The cable consists of an inner copper conductor surrounded by a mesh shield. The shield is electrically connected to the Earth, which prevents the build-up of electrical charges in the system. The electrical potential of the shield equalizes with that of the Earth’s surface, and protects and stabilizes the signals flowing through the conductor. Electrical systems throughout the world are similarly protected (Earthed or grounded) in this way. Mr. Ober discovered, first on himself and then on others, that this same stabilizing influence could improve sleep and lessen pain in humans connected to the Earth. He subsequently set off on a scientific odyssey, working with researchers including biophysicists and electrophysiologists, and developed Earthing systems that people could use indoors.
One of the major discoveries to come out of his efforts is the Earth’s amazing impact on inflammation. In recent years, inflammation has come to the forefront of medical attention and recognized as the leading trigger of chronic pain and most major health disorders, including cardiovascular disease, diabetes, arthritis, Alzheimer’s, and cancer. “All roads to chronic disease lead through inflammation,” researchers say. Bodies are on fire. The Earthing research is showing that the Earth’s energy extinguishes the flames, apparently through the transfer of negatively-charged electrons into the body where they neutralize positively-charged destructive free radicals that stoke chronic inflammation. It is an established, though not widely appreciated fact, that the Earth’s surface possesses a limitless and continuously renewed supply of free electrons. The planet is thus electrically conductive (except in limited ultra-dry areas such as deserts) and its negative potential maintained (that is, its electron supply replenished) by a so-called global atmospheric electrical circuit involving lightning strikes and solar radiation.
“The benefits from the Earth’s energy on the brain, heart, muscles, immune and nervous systems – and in turn the whole body and the aging process – appear to be massive,” says Stephen Sinatra, M.D., an American integrative cardiologist. “Medically, this is a big deal.” Dr. Sinatra, who co-authored the Earthing book with Clint Ober and me, regards Earthing as a profoundly simple, practical, effective, and cost-cutting way to combat common illnesses and pain problems, and make people healthier. In his own field of cardiology, he sees great potential for improving arrhythmias, blood pressure, circulation, and arterial disease. His own research has already begun to unfold the exciting implications.
One of his studies on the electrodynamics of red blood cells indicates that Earthing significantly improves viscosity (blood thickness), inflammation, and flow. The study has been 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 Another study showed how Earthing contributes to a de-stressing and balancing effect on the nervous system, and how that effect protects heart function. The study, published in Integrative Medicine: A Clinician’s Journal, can be read online at http://imjournal.com/pdfarticles/IMCJ10_3_p16_24chevalier.pdf
A full review of Earthing research conducted to date can be found at the online website of the Journal of Environmental Health and Policy at http://www.hindawi.com/journals/jeph/2012/291541/
By scientific standards, Earthing research is in an early stage, but is clearly opening a new and exciting frontier of exploration. The research indicates that reconnecting to the Earth may be a missing link in the health equation, and perhaps right up there with good food and water, sunshine, physical activity, and minimizing stress. In this age of environmental abuse, here is something totally refreshing − a simple way to exploit the Earth for our own well-being without harming it in any way whatsoever.
Biophysicist James Oschman, Ph.D., author of Energy Medicine: The Scientific Basis (Churchill Livingstone, 2000), sums up the Earth connection this way: “The moment your foot touches the Earth, or you connect to the Earth through a wire, your physiology changes. An immediate normalization begins. And an anti-inflammatory switch is turned on. People stay inflamed because they never connect with the Earth, the source of free electrons which can neutralize the free radicals in the body that cause disease and cellular destruction. Earthing is the easiest and most profound lifestyle change anyone can make.”
Earthing influences the physiology in many significant ways. If you take prescription medication, please refer to the Earthing Institute article on Earthing and medication If you are under the care of a physician, consult with your doctor before starting Earthing.
Martin Zucker, co-author of the Earthing book
Earthing influences the physiology in many significant ways. If you take prescription medication, please refer to our article on Earthing and medication If 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.
Health writer Martin Zucker has written or co-authored fifteen books, including Earthing, Move Yourself (Wiley), Reverse Heart Disease Now (Wiley), and Natural Hormone Balance for Women (Atria/Pocket Books). He is a former Associated Press newsman in Europe and the Middle East.
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