The Purpose of Walking Barefoot

The Purpose of Walking Barefoot

By Alexandra Merisoiu

Earthing (grounding or Electron Transfer Technology) refers to placing one’s skin on the ground (especially when humid or wet), whether it be dirt, grass, sand, or concrete. Earthing can be done in direct skin contact to earth or through patches attached to the human feet and/or palms of hands and an earthing cord leading to the outdoors to a rod driven into the earth.

 

 

 What is Earthing

Earthing (grounding or Electron Transfer Technology) means placing one’s skin
on the ground (especially when humid or wet), such as dirt, grass, sand or concrete. Earthing can be done directly as a skin - earth contact or indirectly through patches attached to feet and/or palms and an earthing cord grounding to the earth. 

 

About cardiovascular diseases

According to the British Heart Foundation, cardiovascular disease includes all the diseases of the heart and circulation such as coronary heart disease (angina and heart attack) congenital heart disease and stroke. It's also known as heart and circulatory disease. Coronary heart disease and stroke are often caused by atherosclerosis. This happens when the arteries narrow due to a build up of fatty material on the arterial wall. Over time the arteries may narrow so much that they can't send enough oxygenated blood to the heart. This may cause angina, a chest pain. 

 

Pieces of the fatty material detached from an artery may block a coronary artery cutting off the supply of oxygen-rich blood to the heart muscle which is known as a heart attack. At this point the heart muscle may become permanently damaged. When a blood clot blocks the artery that carries blood to the brain, it can cut off the blood supply to part of the brain causing a stroke.

 

So what does Earthing have to do with all this?

Increased blood viscosity in the general population may be a predictor of cardiovascular events.

Grounding or earthing the body is virtually harmless.

 

Reduced Blood Viscosity

A study on grounding and viscosity has shown that blood viscosity and aggregation are major contributing factors in hypertension and other cardiovascular diseases including myocardial infarction.

Researchers have found that grounding reduces blood viscosity and clumping by increasing the surface charge on red blood cells. A number of clinical studies on the physiologic effects of grounding the human body have indicated improvements in various cardiovascular and heart-related parameters.

 

Video Clip from 2013 Study on Earthing and Blood Viscosity

 

 

Increased Heart Rate Variability

HRV (heart rate variability) is an indicator of the status of balance and stress on the cardiovascular system. A decrease in HRV is a predictor of the severity of progression of coronary artery disease. Subsequent research has repeatedly confirmed the positive effects of grounding on the autonomic nervous system, including increased in parasympathetic activity and, most recently, increased in heart rate variability (HRV). The positive effects of grounding on HRV suggest that something as simple as grounding can be used as a basic strategy for supporting cardiovascular system, especially during situations of heightened autonomic tone and/or hypertension.

 

Reducing Inflammation

Grounding is a suitable intervention for both reducing blood viscosity and reducing inflammation simultaneously. 

Imaging tomography scans have been used to document cases of rapid improvement in acute inflammation after grounding.

A pilot study on the effect of grounding on delayed-onset muscle soreness demonstrated a remarkable reduction of inflammation, including a reduction in white blood cell count (lymphocytes, neutrophils, and eosinophils). Attenuating inflammation and reducing blood viscosity may help physicians address primary and secondary prevention issues. Blood viscosity can be modified through a number of recognised primary prevention strategies. Moderate exercise, dietary adjustments, smoking cessation and blood donation all have a positive impact on viscosity as do specific blood viscosity - supplements, such as omega 3 essential fatty acids and medical tablets such as statins.

Grounding to the soil represents yet another intervention that lowers blood viscosity.

Viscosity and Cardiovascular Disease

 

  

How does Earthing or Grounding work

According to a study on earthing, the Earth’s surface is electrically conductive and is maintained at a negative potential by a global electrical circuit. This circuit has three main generators; the solar wind entering the magnetosphere, the ionospheric wind and thunderstorms. An estimated 1000–2000 thunderstorms are continually active around the globe, emitting thousands of lightening strikes per minute. This creates a constant current of thousands of amperes transferring positive charge to the upper atmosphere and negative charge to the surface of the Earth.

 

The Earth’s surface is therefore an abundant source of free electrons. As soil’s electrons are conducted to the human body, the grounded body assumes favourable physiological and electrophysiological changes. The most recent findings show attenuation of the inflammatory response and a positive impact on blood viscosity and red blood cells aggregation.

 

How long does it take for Earthing to have effect

Most studies recommend between 20 - 40mins of daily connection with the Earth's surface. Nowadays that may be challenging unless you have a back garden to spend time barefoot outdoors. Another option is to take physical exercise outdoors. That's over 1 hour of Earthing over week. The more the better. Companies, such as Nikken, have developed technologies (mattresses, magnets and shoe pads) which mimic the Earth's electromagnetic field. 

 

Earthing may be a real solution, however, it is important to follow your doctor's advice. Earthing must not be replaced with a professional medical treatment. 

 

If you have any questions please email at alexandra@urbanwomenfitness.com

 

References:

1. The Earthing Institute

2. National Health Services NHS

3. British Heart Foundation BHF

4. American Heart Association

 

Research Papers:

1. Earthing (Grounding) the Human Body Reduces Blood Viscosity—a Major Factor in Cardiovascular Disease / Gae´tan Chevalier, PhD,Stephen T. Sinatra, MD, FACC, FACN,

James L. Oschman, PhD, and Richard M. Delany, MD, FACC

2. Pilot Study on the Effect of Grounding on Delayed-Onset Muscle Soreness / Dick Brown, Ph.D.,Gae´tan Chevalier, Ph.D., and Michael Hill, B.S.

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