In the Spring, raw vegetable salads are so delicious! (More on that next week!) It’s so much easier to exercise outside when it’s lighter and warmer. And, even in the North (above approximately 40 degree latitude – think Richmond, VA), vitamin D is more available on sunny days starting in April, according to the Newsletter of the Harvard Medical School.
Today, I want to tell you about something really cool. It’s called Earthing (or grounding.) The principle is that historically humans were in contact with the Earth’s surface. Therefore, we had physical access to the free electrons available on the Earth’s surface to literally ground us biochemically. One day, a retired cable TV exec, named Clint Ober, was just watching some tourists go by in Scottsdale, AZ. And, he realized that they were all wearing rubber-soled shoes. (So was he.) Eventually, he and a physician scientist named Dr. Stephen Sinatra started a research institute to look at how being grounded to the Earth could impact human health. One such study, reviewed in The Journal of Environmental and Public Health, showed that cortisol (stress hormone) levels could be improved, and that sleep curves normalized after sleeping on grounding mattress pads for several weeks. While I have yet to try the grounding mattress pad, it sounds like a fantastic idea!
Even better, I love the idea of physically connecting to the Earth. Surely there is more evidence to be gathered before Earthing becomes a treatment of choice. But, I can’t see any harm in walking barefoot on the sand, in the grass, or in the dirt as an opportunity to improve our sleep quality. Surely gardeners and beach lovers have understood this for years. When you get outside and connect… literally on your hands, knees and bare feet to the Earth, you can actually sleep better and lower your stress hormones.
Both good sleep and low stress levels are key ingredients to lower inflammation, and lower inflammation protects your heart, lowers your risk for cancer, improves the glow in your skin, helps you to lose weight around your middle, and even slows the aging process.
This week… get outside! Play in the dirt! Plant some leafy greens or flowers. Walk barefoot in the grass or on the sand. And, tuck in for a good night’s sleep. Ahhhh Spring!
Have you tried Earthing? Have you heard of it? Are you a gardener or beach comber that has intuitively known this all along? I would love to hear your opinions on Earthing in the comments below. Thanks!