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Holistic Health Notebook: Walking in the sand

By Staff | Oct 6, 2010

Have you walked on the beach lately? Dug your toes into the warm sand and let the salt water wash over your ankles?

Everyone notices that they feel better on the beach and attribute those feelings to negative ions or the relaxing ambience of the sea.

It could go deeper than that, however. Ever heard of “Earthing” or “grounding?” That new term speaks to the issue of physically connecting to the earth, allowing the electrical energy of the earth to restore the natural electrical rhythms of the body. It simply feels good, but the benefits go far beyond the emotional experience.

Dr. Stephen Sinatra, world-renowned cardiologist, writes that: “Earthing…may be the greatest health discovery of our time.”

Hyperbole? Perhaps not.

One of the best benefits of connecting to the earth may be its effect on inflammation. Inflammation is associated with virtually every disease condition we talk about, including cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer, arthritis, osteoporosis, obesity…well, every condition appears to have its roots in inappropriate inflammation. There are many contributors to inflammation, including the Standard American Diet (SAD), stress, lack of exercise, and environmental pollution. But we’ll toss another one into the conversation: exposure to artificial electro-magnetic fields and lack of exposure to the earth’s natural electro-magnetic fields. This separation from earth may be the most significant.

Let me quote freely from Dr. Sinatra’s newsletter: “The Earth’s own energy — specifically the free electrons in its surface — provides a uniquely natural and powerful anti-inflammatory.

“Electrically speaking, electrons have a negative charge, while free radicals have a positive charge. Because of their positive charge, free radicals are constantly in search of electrons to which they can attach themselves — and they will strip them from molecules in healthy tissue if necessary, causing tissue damage. However, Earthing allows for the transfer of free electrons into the body where they can be absorbed by free radicals before the free radicals have a chance to cause damage and inflammation. The net results, as our observations and research show, is that Earthing can prevent or reduce chronic inflammation. It’s good news for people who regularly deal with pain (which is often accompanied or aggravated by inflammation) or are looking for a speedier recovery from injuries.”

What are some practical ideas for you to introduce Earthing into your life? Walk on the beach and dig your toes into the salty sand. Salt water is an excellent conductor of electricity. Build an Earthing station at your home by either planting soft grass or mounding clean sand on the bare dirt. Make it large enough that you can sit in it (preferably in your bathing suit so your bare skin is in the sand) or sit in a chair so your feet rest in the sand. Every day walk on the natural ground (grass, dirt, sand, or even untreated cement).

Carol is a certified lifestyle educator. She can be reached at the Island Nutrition Center on Sanibel, at 472-4499 or at www.carolsimontacchionline.com.