Did you know the simple act of walking barefoot has immense health benefits?
- Reduced inflammation
- Immune system modulation
- Prevention and treatment of autoimmune diseases
- Increase in mood
And the list goes on. Earthing or grounding is recently gaining attention. Yet, it is still not a widely known or being given as medical advice even though the health benefits have been widely documented here, here, here, here, here & here.
So how does it work? The earth has a limitless supply of free electrons due to the global atmospheric electron circuit. When your body is exposed to the earth it connects with the earth’s electrical rhythms and free electrons. The earths rhythms regulate our biological clocks for hormone production and thus regulates our sleep and activity cycles. The free electrons flow into the body and neutralize free radicals.
Want to read more about energy flow in our bodies? Check out my post on EMFs, here.
Lets get scientific for a second. So we know that earthing is helpful because of the free electrons, right? But what effect do these free electrons actually have on our bodies? How do these free electrons results in the health benefits I listed above? Lets find out.
Less Red Blood Cell Aggregation
What the heck does that mean? Well, it means that it reduces the stickiness (yes, that is the scientific term) of your blood. Our blood gets thick and sticky for a slew of reasons. Infections, heavy metals, environmental toxins can all cause it. You can test yours by doing a Live Blood Analysis. Or take a look at this list of symptoms that tend to occur when your blood is too thick:
- Nutritional or Hormonal deficiencies
- Having a chronic condition such as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Candida, Irritable Bowel Syndrome. Thick blood is also very common in Autism
- Slow to bleed with you are cut
- Difficulty treating viral, bacterial, fungal or parasitic infections
What does having thick blood mean for your body? Every step in a healing process is just going to be that much harder. Thick blood creates an oxygen depleted environment that is perfect for pathogens to thrive. That has an effect on your immune system as well as causes chronic inflammation (Vitamin D also helps reduce inflammation, so earth during prime Vitamin D production hours. You can read more about Vitamin D, here). Thick blood also causes additional strain on your cardiovascular system. Also, the lack of oxygen impairs your nutrient delivery system and reduces oxygen delivery to the brain. So all the healthy food you’re eating, those expensive supplements all just went down in effectiveness. Bummer. But hey, you’ve got a simple solution to get you back on the right path to healing right here. Have you started thinking about how you can incorporate some barefoot outside time in your life yet? If not, keep reading and you might change your mind.
Mitochondria, please be happy. You are responsible for so much and without you functioning properly, health improvements may be at a standstill. If you aren’t familiar with mitochondria, they are like tiny power plants in our cells. A cell with huge energy needs like in the heart, may have thousands of mitochondria. Other cells that don’t require as much energy may only have a few. Our mitochondria produce ATP (adenosine triphosphate) which is the energy source to power the cell. Sounds pretty important, huh?
Mitochondria produce energy by transferring free electrons through the Electron Transport Chain which ultimately results in ATP formation. The electrons are carried by NADH and FADH2 which are produced in the Citric Acid Cycle. The citric acid cycle is just one of many enzymatic processes in our bodies but it ultimatly takes the energy we eat in food to produce NADH and FADH2 to bring electrons to the electron transport chain which results in ATP/energy production.
Are you still with me? This is where it gets interesting. When our mitochondria aren’t functioning properly (common in autism) they can not burn fat for energy as effectively(called beta oxidation), resulting in increased inflammation. This forces the body to lean on the citric acid cycle heavily for energy production. This is not efficient and leads to not enough energy in the cell which can result in epigenetic changes… I’m talking to you, MTHFR people. The lack of energy produced causes people to crave carbs (sound familiar?) and perpetuates the cycle. Another by product of this cycle over working is in an increase in blood glutamate and glucose levels because they are part of the cycle. The longer this cycle is maintained the more damage it does to the body and ultimately leads to autoimmunity issues.
The good news is that earthing helps offset the energy deficit! The free electrons that enter our bodies while earthing bypass the citric acid cycle and go right to the electron transport chain for ATP production. This gives our bodies the necessary energy to function at optimal levels. It also allows our citric acid cycle to function as it should for optimal energy break down. Eventually, with you giving your mitochondria a break by providing extra electrons they can begin to function more appropriately.
The health benefits for something that is both easy and FREE are vast. I discussed two big factors here but there are many more. If you want some more information, take a look at the links earlier in this post.
If spending at least 30 minutes per day outside barefoot isn’t feasible for you, don’t panic. You do have some options.
There are commercial products available that produce similar effects to earthing naturally. At our house, we spend as much time outside barefoot as possible but also have an earthing mat in the house. Sleeping with one puts you in such a deep restful sleep and allows for healing and a reduction in inflammation all night. For kids you can put it on their pillow or just have them sit on it (bare legs touching the mat) whenever is convenient. It has a super long cord and comes with a checker to make sure the outlet you’re using is grounded so you get the benefits!