Updated: Mar 29
Sometimes I feel our Neolithic ancestors knew better than us how to live. They were intimately connected with Mother Earth to a degree that we have lost. This modern disconnection has many causes: synthetic-soled soles, our indoor lifestyles, carb-rich and mineral-poor diets, the TV in the corner pulsing with static, man-made carpets, insulated homes, and don’t get me started on EMFs from mobile phones and wifi routers ('cos, you know, I'll never shut up).
Our Western lifestyle disregards one essential feature of our Earthly home – its natural electrical circuitry.
Quick bit of physics then: what scientists call the Global Atmospheric Electrical Circuit is the continuous cycle of electricity from the ionosphere to the ground and back again. Charged particles (ions) fall in rain and lightning strikes, while the ground itself feeds animals, trees and (intermittently) humans with a constant supply of beneficial negative ions to keep them electrically balanced. Each of us is made up of water and minerals which are good conductors. We are polarised with negative ions at our feet and positive ions at our heads.
Physics lesson: Electrons are negatively charged. Protons are positively charged. Neutrons are neutral. Electricity is always seeking to balance positive/negative extremes. So opposites attract - protons attract electrons, and vice versa until balance is achieved. Modern humans tend to be electron deficient, until we ground ourselves.
Any electrician will tell you that an electrical circuit needs grounding, to discharge excess build up in the system. A cable engineer will tell you that grounding TV cables cuts down on interference. A living body is a delicate electrical circuit which powers the heart, the nervous system and other organs. Similarly, without grounding, our cells can become heated and inflammed; and inflammation, doctors agree, is a major cause of illness.
The Earth's electrical field increases from the ground vertically at a rate of about 100 volts per meter. The potential field at the top of our atmosphere is around 400,000 volts. That huge power is harnessed during a storm, as up to a billion volts of lightning seek the ground sending negative ions down to the Earth. This is one of the reasons why before a storm we feel muggy or headachey from the build up of positive ions. Negative ions from the storm clouds literally “clear the air”. After a storm the air feels different. Its electrical properties have been rebalanced.
If humans spend their waking life in rubber soled shoes, or walk around on carpeted or wooden flooring, they are forever disconnected from the negatively charged electrons coming from the Earth which naturally shield us from electrical interference. The beneficial properties of the electrons beneath our feet can only be achieved when the body is connected to the Earth, on grass, on a pavement or concrete surface, or standing in the ripples at the edge of an ocean. You can also achieve this grounding effect by touching the earth with your hands.
Humans suffer from a build up of static charge in their bodies. This can cause chronic inflammation, leading to a slew of illnesses from arthritis and heart disease to cancer and diabetes. Experiments in grounding have shown extraordinary reversals in all of these illnesses. Studies have even shown how grounding can positively affect people on the autistic spectrum. (Earthing, Second Edition, 2014, by Clinton Ober et al).
One of the best ways to ground yourself is to walk barefoot for at least half an hour each day. Earthing yourself in this way evokes what physicist Richard Feynman calls the "Umbrella Effect". If you stand barefoot on the ground you're earthed, which means you are drawing up lovely negative electrons from the earth. This "charging up" causes your body to push away the electrical field at your head giving a shielding - umbrella effect, as in the diagram below. The man on the right is barefooted:
The umbrella effect happens when you wear earthing straps on your shoes, also when you sleep on a grounding sheet or use a grounding pillowcase to earth yourself while sleeping. Conductive silver fibres woven into the cotton are earthed through the plug into a wall socket. So the body is shielded from electrical fields in the house while negative ions from the earth rebalance any electron deficiencies built up during the day. This aids more restful sleep, better melatonin production, which keeps free radicals at bay, and soothes any internal inflammation.
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