Have you heard of Grounding or Earthing yet? You might have noticed our lack of shoes in the office this week. Rest assured we aren’t being lazy this summer, but actually doing a little experiment that we would love to share with you.
There is a growing body of research to support the practice of grounding which is showing positive results for decreasing blood viscosity, increasing heart rate variability, reducing inflammation, stabilising cortisol dynamics, improving sleep quality, improving Autonomic Nervous System balance and reducing stress. And the easiest way to ground yourself to get these benefits? Just spend time outside barefoot!
The theory goes like this: Over time while living life, using computers and mobile phones and sitting in traffic and breathing pollution and stressing and eating chemical filled food we build up positive electrons, AKA free radicals. Most people have heard of these and their negative effects on the body (if you haven’t then scroll down and have a quick read of what free radicals are and how they work). And there is a raft of good advice out there about superfoods and anti-oxidant rich foods that we can consume to counteract them. However another way to counteract them is simply by grounding. As it is known in science circles that the earth has a negative electrical potential, Grounding therefore works by the transference of electrons from the earths surface into our bodies, thereby balancing out those nasty free radicals and bringing us to the same electrical charge as the earth.
Throughout history humans have been in contact with the earth while hunting, farming, working and playing, so free radical build up was never a problem. Keep in mind you just have to contact the earth which could mean using your hands to garden, having a nap on the grass, going for a swim at the beach. It’s only been in the last 100 years or so that technological advances have exposed us to more free radical causing pollution and electromagnetic radiation. Add to that the popularity of rubber soled shoes, living in houses with tiled or carpeted floors and its easy to see just how little contact with the earth an average human can have.
Yet look at old photos or populations who still have a large interaction with the earth and you will often see that they look younger, have much more mobility later in life and appear generally happier and less stressed despite working long hard hours to look after their families. How do your children feel after a day cooped up inside vs a day playing outdoors? And of course everyone knows its easier to feel relaxed and sleep better when you’re on a holiday at the beach. Perhaps there is something more to it than just the holiday from work?
So this week we are having a barefoot practice to test out this theory of grounding and we encourage you too as well. Just 20 mins a day is reported to make a difference. And really, what have you got to lose from walking barefoot outside for just a few minutes a day?
According to emerging research Grounding can help with:
Reducing inflammation by diffusing excess positive electrons (free radicals)
Reducing chronic pain (often caused by inflammation)
Lowering the circulating levels of stress hormones
Normailising biological rhythms including circadian rhythms
Improving blood pressure and blood flow
Releiving muscle tension and headaches
Lessens menstrual and female hormone related symptoms
Can eliminate jet lag
Protects the body from EMFs (Electro Magnetic Frequencies)
Shortens recovery time from injury and athletic activity
Reduces or eliminates snoring
Helps support adrenal health
Free Radicals: What are they and how do they work?
Atoms are composed of protons, neurons and most importantly electrons which orbit the nucleus. Most atoms strive for a stable state with a set number of electrons. Chemical bonds occur when electrons joint together to share or swap electrons with the end goal always being a steady state. However when weak bonds split there is an unstable number of electrons which is when free radicals are formed. Free radicals are very unstable and react quickly with other compounds, trying to capture the needed electron to gain stability. Generally, free radicals attack the nearest stable molecule, “stealing” its electron. When the “attacked” molecule loses its electron, it becomes a free radical itself, beginning a chain reaction. Once the process is started, it can cascade, finally resulting in the disruption of a living cell. Some free radicals arise normally during metabolism. Sometimes the bodies immune system cells purposefully create them to neutralize viruses and bacteria. However, environmental factors such as pollution, radiation, cigarette smoke and herbicides can also spawn free radicals.
Normally, the body can handle free radicals, but if antioxidants are unavailable, or if the free-radical production becomes excessive, damage can occur. Of particular importance is that free radical damage accumulates with age.
Taken from: https://www.healthchecksystems.com/antioxid.htm as they can explain it far better than I can