Since I was a young girl, I have always had a fascination with crystals, with rock, and earth. Throughout my life, I have felt this longing and magnetic pull, to the arid landscape and mystical dusty lands of the desert. It has summoned me for years, asking me to commune with its cayenne colored earth, silver blue big skies, whipping winds, and tingly other worldly stillness. After thirty-five years, I packed my bags and answered the call.
I believe that we all have this connection and dynamic relationship with Mother Earth. For my mom, it is collecting conch, starfish, and driftwood. Growing up, our townhouse was full of pictures of lighthouses, coastal landscapes, and salt water fishtanks. For my little sister, it is riding horses. She would come home after hours at the stable sweaty and happy. For my other sister, it is Austin, Texas; the rolling hills, baby blue skies, and watching her little girls traipsing through the spring time bluebonnets and Indian paintbrushes. My stepmother loves to be up to her elbows in soil planting flowers and gardening; as little girls, we always wore fresh cut hibiscus in our hair in the summertime.
What is Your Earth Medicine? I ask you dear reader- what makes you feel connected to the earth? In what landscape and element do you feel at home, and calm, and renewed? Spending time in your element not only helps to restore a sense of balance, but there are also tremendous health benefits.
According to the Huffington Post article “Here’s Proof Going Outside Makes you Healthier” written by Abigail Wise (2014), Vitamin D can be a tricky nutrient to get enough of strictly from foods. Few of us naturally carry it; most of us soak up between 80 to 90 percent of our vitamin D from those golden rays says Dr. Michael F. Holick, M.D., Ph.D., in this article. And while we all know to protect ourselves from the sun to avoid skin cancer, we also need vitamin D for bone growth; cell growth; inflammation reduction; and neuromuscular and immune function. Unfortunately, your skin can only drink in the D from unprotected exposure. That’s why Dr. Holick suggests what he calls “sensible sun exposure.” This means only going out in the sun for about one third to one half of the amount of time it would take your skin to mildly burn, or roughly 10 to 15 minutes for many. After you’ve gotten a bit of vitamin D, reach for the sunscreen, grease up, and continue your exploration of the great outdoors.
Is Going Outdoors Anti-Aging?
The outdoors may even help us age gracefully. In an article published in the Journal of Aging Health entitled “Going outdoors daily predicts long-term functional and health benefits among ambulatory older people” Jacobs et. al (2008), the research shows that getting outside on a daily basis may help older people stay healthy and function longer. Aged 70-year-old participants in the study who spent time outdoors every day showed fewer complaints of aching bones or sleep problems, among other health-related problems. And at age 77, they had similar advantages over those who did not head outside each day.
A Grounding Electromagnetic Field
There is a grounding electromagnetic field of the earth. It can be sensed when one is grounding during rock climbing, or through other activities outdoors. This sensation is the result of direct barefoot contact with the surface of the Earth, which brims with natural, subtle energy.
The Earth, you see, is an electrical planet, and you are a bioelectrical being living on an electrical planet. Your body functions electrically. This is why scientists such as those at UC Berkley can measure brain activity during napping (Anwar, 2010). It is charted through electroencephalogram tests which measure electrical activity in the brain. To read more about the fascinating ways that our brain is electric, click here.
Emerging science reveals that direct contact with the ground allows you to receive an energy infusion, compliments of Mother Earth. Think of it as vitamin G (G for ground). Just as the sun above creates vitamin D in your body, the ground below provides you with vitamin G, a kind of electrical nutrition. This energy infusion is powerful stuff.
This energy can restore and stabilize the bioelectrical circuitry that governs your physiology and organs; harmonize your basic biological rhythms; boost self-healing mechanisms; reduce inflammation and pain; and improve your sleep and feelings of calmness. When these things happen, you feel better in a big way.
My Experiences with Grounding
I practiced earthing and grounding on a regular basis in the desert. There are so many benefits that I have personally experienced. They happen when you simply putting your sweet feet on the earth. These advantages include the following: Reduction of inflammation, Better sleep at night, Less stress hormones, also helps in minimizing pain by an increase of endorphins, and so much more.
Earth Medicine and Chronic Illness
When we begin to restore our connection to the Mother Earth, we feel supported by a loving presence larger than ourselves. This experience opens our bodies and beings up for tremendous wellness and vitality.
Spending time outside is one of the most potent forms of vitality. Where do you feel it? The ocean, the river, in the mountains, on horseback, the forest, the water, or in building a fire? Wherever your element is, be with it, be in it, and listen to it. Feel it, look at it, smell it, breath it in. Let it hold you and let yourself be held by it. Allow the great mother to be there for you and share her ancient wisdom and her life giving earth medicine.
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