Earthing and forest bathing…it does a body/mind/spirit good

Here is some science behind my incredible and unstoppable need to walk barefoot upon the earth!! Every day that weather permits I do this.

I’ve mentioned it several times on this blog and it’s part of my larger healing arsenal. On days that I’m not well I simply go into our backyard and walk around on the grass a bit. On good days I’ll do a whole yoga routine out there also with bare feet. My favorite thing to do, when I’m able to leave the house is to walk barefoot in the woods. We’re blessed to have rivers and streams everywhere around here too, so a dip in the river with my bare-feet is not unusual should I make it to the forest!

From the Journal of Environmental and Public Health

Earthing: Health Implications of Reconnecting the Human Body to the Earth’s Surface Electrons

Mounting evidence suggests that the Earth’s negative potential can create a stable internal bioelectrical environment for the normal functioning of all body systems. Moreover, oscillations of the intensity of the Earth’s potential may be important for setting the biological clocks regulating diurnal body rhythms, such as cortisol secretion [3].

It is also 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. The National Library of Medicine’s online resource PubMed lists 7021 studies and 522 review articles from a search of “antioxidant + electron + free radical” [3]. It is assumed that the influx of free electrons absorbed into the body through direct contact with the Earth likely neutralize ROS and thereby reduce acute and chronic inflammation [4]. Throughout history, humans mostly walked barefoot or with footwear made of animal skins. They slept on the ground or on skins. Through direct contact or through perspiration-moistened animal skins used as footwear or sleeping mats, the ground’s abundant free electrons were able to enter the body, which is electrically conductive [5]. Through this mechanism, every part of the body could equilibrate with the electrical potential of the Earth, thereby stabilizing the electrical environment of all organs, tissues, and cells.

Modern lifestyle has increasingly separated humans from the primordial flow of Earth’s electrons. For example, since the 1960s, we have increasingly worn insulating rubber or plastic soled shoes, instead of the traditional leather fashioned from hides. Rossi has lamented that the use of insulating materials in post-World War II shoes has separated us from the Earth’s energy field [6]. Obviously, we no longer sleep on the ground as we did in times past. (read the rest)

I also routinely go outside and simply lay down on the grass and stare at the trees above me. Yes, contact with the Earth is a very important part of my healing medicine.

Being with healing nature has also been referred to as forest bathing.  I “forest bathe” daily in my lovely wooded backyard. I also use the trees in our yard to do stretches. I feel drawn to do this and it’s become part of my practice. Feeling the earth just feels good and healing both:

Tricycle » “Forest bathing” keeps you healthy — Tricycle – Studies show that spending more time in natural settings—forests, parks, and places with trees—improves the immune system. According an article in the New York Times, this is due to both stress reduction and chemicals that plants emit to protect them from rotting and insects called phytoncides. Exposure to phytoncides appears to lower blood pressure, pulse rate, and cortisol (a stress hormone), among other things. read the rest

Other posts where I mention my love of going barefoot on the earth:

●  Non-toxic home-made insect/mosquito repellant that WORKS!

●  Tool box for coping with psychiatric drug withdrawal syndromes (and some chronic pain and/or illness too)

 

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