Did you know that connecting to the Earth with bare skin may offer a host of health benefits – including healing the tired, stressed, and holiday-weary? This practice of connecting with nature is called ‘grounding,’ or ‘earthing,’ and it should be tried by everyone.
Do you remember running in green grass at the park with bare feet? Or sitting in mud or sand piles building castles? Even walking around on an earthen floor can electromagnetically ‘ground’ us, causing our bodies to absorb negatively charged atoms from the Earth. Since our bodies are naturally positively charged, the negative ions ‘neutralize’ disease and strain. This might be why gardeners feel so good! They are always re-charging their bodies with negative ions form the Earth.
Adrenal fatigue is caused by the ever-presence of stress, causing our adrenal glands to be overloaded. It can arise after prolonged periods of emotional crisis, but also after physical illnesses like the flu or pneumonia.
In the most serious cases of adrenal fatigue, the activity of the adrenal glands is so impaired that you may have difficulty getting out of bed for more than a few hours per day. With each increment of reduction in adrenal function, every organ and system in your body is profoundly affected.
This means that our ‘fight or flight’ system, which is largely comprised of the adrenal glands, is switched to a constant ‘on’ with no ‘off’ switch easily accessible.
The adrenals sit right on top of your kidneys, and are made up of two distinct parts:
- The adrenal cortex, which produces vital hormones like cortisol (which helps regulate metabolism and helps your body respond to stress) and aldosterone (which helps control blood pressure).
- The adrenal medulla, which produces nonessential hormones, such as adrenaline and norepinephrine (which help your body react to stress).
Too much cortisol, norepinephrine, and adrenaline can also cause you to be in a forever-stressed state. You won’t sleep well, eat well, or do anything really, with much ease, if these hormones are not balanced.
One article published in the Journal of Complimentary Medicine states that:
“. . . grounding the human body results in [positive] changes in sleep, pain, and stress (anxiety, depression, irritability).”
They measured cortisol levels, specifically in patients who participated in their grounding study.
“[The adrenal system] normally works very efficiently for overt threats . . .such as in the face of a prowling predator, an accident or medical emergency. Yet unfortunately the HPA Axis responds not only to these actual, embodied stressors, but also to those that are anticipated and perceived – our looming worries and fears. The HPA system is helpless in differentiating between psychosocial stressors like getting stuck in traffic or planning a dinner party, and physical threats such as dodging wooly predators.
Thus in our far-from-perfect bustling modern world, where stressors are everywhere and worry is rampant, the HPA alarm is almost constantly stuck in the glowing red ON position. Cortisol levels soar in an unruly and destructive manner at bizarre times of the day and night, and suddenly small tasks such as packing a lunch or responding to an email, morph into treacherous evil threats that we feel like we just can’t handle.”
There is no refuting the potential benefits of connecting with nature and the Earth. Grounding is one of the simplest, most effective ways of allowing the body to right itself.
Christina Sarich is a humanitarian and freelance writer helping you to Wake up Your Sleepy Little Head, and See the Big Picture. Her blog is Yoga for the New World. Her latest book is Pharma Sutra: Healing the Body And Mind Through the Art of Yoga.