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It’s 100° in the shade in my neck of the woods. Just thinking about going outside makes me sweat. Yet my kids don’t seem at all fazed by the heat and they want to be out running in the grass every waking hour…sans shoes of course. I have to remind myself that they are intuitive little beings and they know on an unexplainable level that absorbing direct sunlight, breathing fresh air and making contact with the earth are essential to our well-being. They are unaffected by socials mores, weather and even safety. It feels good, so they want to do it.
Earthing (or erf-ing to those 4 and under) is simply making contact to the earth with your skin. A relatively new word, but certainly not a new concept. Our primal ancestors wore no shoes and they slept on the ground. They made contact with the earth 24/7. Now, we live in insulated homes, wear insulated shoes, drive insulated cars, and work in insulated offices. If we’re lucky we get a week at the beach to get grounded each summer.
When we touch the earth we absorb trillions of negatively charged ions into our body and research has shown many benefits of Earthing including
- Powerful antioxidant effects
- Anti-inflammatory effects
- Shifts autonomic nervous system to parasympathetic “mode” ( this is the calming, “rest & digest” part)
- Reduces stress
- Thins blood by reducing blood viscosity
- Normalizes cortisol rhythm and melatonin secretion (improves sleep)
- Speeds healing time
Dr. Daniel Chong reports that his patients have less pain, increased healing and better sleep when they Earth regularly.
So next time your little one asks to take off her shoes and run in the grass keep in mind the importance of touching the earth and how much we have to learn from those little cavemen that run around our house.