Walking Barefoot, Grounding or Earthing

This word “grounding” has meant many things to me over the years but recently (in the last few years) has come to mean a specific and deliberate action to improve health. It is also known as earthing – which makes sense as we are talking about electricity.

We lose sight of the fact that we don’t just live in the world; we are a part of the world. We are influenced by so many things – all our food comes from the earth one way or another, the sunshine (without which, life as we know it, would not exist) creates a valuable nutrient in our skin and determines our circadian rhythm. The menstrual cycle is also governed by the universe – the words month and moon having the same origin.

file7411336412042So, if we accept that we are here courtesy of the world and universe, it makes sense that these entities look after us too or what is the point of existence? This could get deep so I’ll move on!

We are electrical beings. Without electricity our hearts would not beat, our muscles would not contract and our senses would not work. In order to maintain these important functions, we are dependent upon certain minerals that have negative and positive charges – potassium, calcium, sodium and chloride. For various reasons, (radio waves, certain foods, body functions and more) we end up with more positive ions than negative therefore the equilibrium is upset. Excess positive ions can lead to many health problems – both   physical (resulting from inflammation) and mental, such as depression.

Earth – the planet – has a negative charge and if you walk barefoot on the ground, you can absorb huge amounts of negative ions. Think about it; how much better do you feel after a holiday? We are often barefoot much of the time, we also boost our vitamin D levels (possibly less so if you are skiing!) and we relax more. We return feeling revitalised. These ions also have a great anti-inflammatory effect – thus protecting us from many ills.

So – how to do this. Kick off your shoes and wander around in the garden. Damp grass is a good conductor as is sand. Concrete is OK as long as there isn’t a “skin” under it. Leather-soled shoes will keep you in touch even if you are out and about, but rubber soles will not. Wood will not allow the ions through and neither will roads and pavements. If you are wearing leather-soled shoes, cut across the park to work!

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Stress and Inflammation

Long-term stress may be the most damaging single condition to affect our health.

Stress is not just a state of mind but a defence mechanism that evolution has bestowed to get us out of trouble quickly. It is physical. The hormones involved in this make you breathe faster, increase your heart rate, elevate your blood glucose levels, lessen sensitivity of bladder and bowels, remove hunger and much more.These measures may well get you out of trouble (flight or fight), but long term chronic stress is extremely damaging to the body – therefore your overall health.

Stress equals inflammation – caused by the stress hormones and this is what the body cannot tolerate over long periods. Mental stress will do this but so will physical stress. Over-exercising, smoking and eating nutrient-poor foods are examples of this.

Today’s lifestyle brings stress to us all. Learning how to manage it is imperative. You have to eat the correct diet for humans and you have to make time for relaxation – if you want a long life that is.

There are many ways to relax – a good book, a stroll (not a power walk- leave that for exercise!), listening to music, a long lie in the bath and so on.Yoga provides relaxation for the body and the mind. This study shows it.

If you prefer to go-it-alone, I can highly recommend this book: Quiet the Mind by Matthew Johnstone

Don’t feel that you are being indulgent or feel guilty – they just add to the stress. This is a life-lengthener and should be built into all lifestyles. Read my lifestyle guidelines.


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