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While there’s a resurgence of interest in the practice of Earthing, it’s not new. In the 1800s, there was an interest in Germany in a back-to-nature movement. While it didn’t catch on with the rest of the world, by the 1920’s the benefit of sleeping on the ground was investigated by Dr. White. It included studies of connecting people to the ground by attaching copper wires to grounded water, radiator or gas pipes. Today, there’s more interest than ever in the potential for receiving benefit from direct contact to the ground to tap into the supply of electrons from the surface of the earth.

Why Earthing, why now?

Man has undergone numerous changes in lifestyle since earlier times. We no longer walk barefoot and for that matter, don’t even have leather soles on our shoes, but often rubber or plastic. Unless you’re a camping enthusiast, you don’t sleep on the ground. Even then, there can be a rubber or foam mat separating you from the ground. The earth supplies a constant free electrons that the body can use if it’s in direct contact with the surface of the earth. Shoes with synthetic soles can block that charge and living inside constantly, does so, too.

Earthing is simple.

Your body is primarily water and minerals. Water conducts electrical energy easily. The body is an electrical machine that receives its energy two ways. It receives a negative charge from the ground. When the sun’s rays hits the ionosphere it’s split into a positive charge and negative charge. The negative charge goes into the ground via lightening and the positive charge stays atop, 60 miles up. When the negative charge is blocked, it interferes with the processes in the body.

Grounding gets the body back to normal and stops inflammation.

Studies show that serious conditions such as heart disease, Alzheimer’s, arthritis and many others are caused by inflammation. It reduces free radicals that can cause cell damage by neutralizing them. It’s such a simple method to help the body and costs absolutely nothing. Simply take off your shoes and walk on the ground barefoot for 15 to 30 minutes a day. While most studies indicate the “vitamin G” from grounding has huge health benefits, even if it doesn’t, you’ll get the pure enjoyment of squiggling your toes in the grass and enjoying Mother Nature.

  • There are pilot studies that show that grounding or earthing, can help reduce pain dramatically. Try it yourself the next time you have achy muscles or even a headache.
  • One study on earthing published in the Journal of Alternative and Complimentary Medicine in 2007, showed it helps improve sleep. Other studies also show it lowers cortisol levels in the body.
  • Earthing can bring immediate relief from jet lag.
  • For pain relief from pulled muscles, TMJ or other conditions, try Earthing for 30 minutes for a week to see if it brings improvement. Most people find it helps the first time they try it.

Get Relief From Back Pain

Whether it’s the upper back, mid back or lower back, back pain can ruin your day. It can interfere with productivity and make you want to can get relief from back pain. One way is to get a massage. A massage not only helps your muscles relax, it also improves circulation, boosts endorphins and relieves stress. Studies show it does more than just help you feel good while you’re getting the massage, it also helps lessen future back pain. If you have access to a heated pool, your body’s buoyancy in water helps relieve the pressure of gravity.

Stretch your muscles for reduced pain.

One of my favorite exercises to reduce lower back pain is extremely simple. Lie on your back with both knees bent, hold a bath size towel with one end in each hand. Lift one foot off the ground and loop the towel around the bottom of the foot then gently pull the leg up, straightening it as you go until it’s directly above your hips perpendicular to the ground. You’ll feel it stretch all your muscles. Lower it and switch legs. This gives me instant relief after sitting in front of a computer screen for a while. Upper back exercises include stretching the arms out to the side and twisting from side to side or turning the head from side to side and attempting to touch the ears to the shoulders.

Go out for a walk in the sun.

Not only will the walk help increase circulation, the rays of the sun will warm your skin and provide you with vitamin D. A study showed that people suffering from constant back pain that didn’t have a specific cause were helped by improving their vitamin D levels. In all studies, those with chronic unexplained back pain had lower vitamin D levels. Increasing vitamin D can reduce the amount of pain without taking a supplement. The walk also increases circulation.

Learn relaxation techniques.

If you have an injury, you can help it heal by practicing relaxation techniques. It’s tough to do when you’re in pain. Start with slow stretches, moving like a cat and then get into your relaxation position. Put a heating pad on your back while you’re meditating, just to help things along a bit. Start doing it for short periods and work your way up to twice a day for 15 minutes.

  • Work with your personal trainer to help build your abdominal muscles and work on back strengthening exercises. If your stomach muscles are weak, they make your back muscles work harder.
  • Drink plenty of water. The water flushes toxins out of your system and also can help reduce stiffness.
  • Get plenty of sleep. Sleep helps the body restore the muscle tissue and allows them to relax. Avoid caffeinated drinks, but enjoy a warm drink, like chamomile tea.
  • Keep a positive attitude. Laughing more is good for relieving pain. It boosts the production of endorphins.

Avoiding The Dirty Dozen

If you want to eliminate the potential for chemicals and toxins in your food, you can do it in a number of ways. One is by avoiding the dirty dozen. The dirty dozen is the name given to produce that contains higher amounts of pesticides and chemicals. Each year, the USDA takes samples of fruits and vegetables found in groceries across the country and tests them for 230 pesticides and the residue left when those pesticides break down. The samples are from produce grown in the conventional manner. The EWG—Environmental Working Group—then uses that list to identify not only the “Dirty Dozen,” those with the most pesticides—even after washing and peeling, but also the “Clean Fifteen,” the least amount of residue.

Why should you be concerned?

Since pesticides are used to kill living organisms, consuming them can’t be that healthy. In fact, they’ve been linked to a number of conditions that include cancer, disorders of the brain and nervous system and hormone disruption. One study showed that women consuming two or more servings of produce with higher pesticide residue reduced their likelihood of a successful pregnancy by 26 percent. Another study using male participants found similar results. Neither study found there was an association to lower fertility if people ate the fruits and vegetables lower in pesticide residue.

A whopping 70 percent of the samples of traditional farming methods were contaminated.

Not all fruits and vegetables need to be organic to be safe. Some make it to the clean 15 for a variety of reasons. Either they have a natural barrier, like a thick skin that isn’t eaten or they don’t use a lot of pesticides, such as onions, which are natural pesticides. Choosing organic when consuming the “dirty dozen” is a strong option. The most contaminated was strawberries, followed by spinach. The rest of the list included apples, nectarines, peaches, grapes, pears, celery, potatoes, tomatoes and sweet bell peppers.

Sticking with safer fruits and vegetables when not buying organic is the way to go.

EWG was thorough in their recommendations. They didn’t stop at telling you what to be wary of if you’re not buying organic. They also included foods you could feel comfortable purchasing whether organic or traditionally grown. That’s the “Clean Fifteen.” The list included foods with thick skins, such as avocados and veggies with their own natural pesticide, like onions. It also included sweet corn, frozen sweet peas, cabbage, pineapple, papaya, asparagus, eggplant, mangoes, honeydew and cantaloupe melons, kiwis, broccoli and cauliflower.

  • Using the list of both the “Dirty Dozen” and “Clean 15” can save you money. Buy organic when shopping for those laden with pesticides and save money by purchasing traditionally grown fruits and vegetables with minimal pesticide content.
  • Strawberries and spinach had the most incidence of pesticides. The average spinach sample had almost two times (1.8) the amount of residue from pesticide when judged by weight, than any other fruit or vegetable.
  • The list does not contain information on GMO produce. If you’re avoiding GMO products, most papayas, some sweet corn, yellow squash and zucchini qualify for the GMO list. Buying the organic alternative for these fruits and vegetables eliminates the problem.
  • The EWG website expanded their criteria to include hot peppers. Toxic pesticides oxamyl, acephate and chlorpyrifos, which have been banned on other vegetables are still allowed for use on hot peppers.