As a doctor, I rarely go Earthing. Or fishing or running. I just don’t get out often enough to have that kind of fun. I do get close to meditating, especially after a rough day in the hood. And, I’m usually dancing between patients in one practice, or laughing with others in another, who just need extra time to explain their situation.
I’m not complaining, because no one said the practice of medicine would be easy. So when my colleague, Dr. Stephen Sinatra, told me about Earthing, my first comment was “Steve has left the planet”
But, after a great conversation with Dr. Sinatra, cardiologist, on Conversations with Dr. Shelby-Lane, and of course, walking barefooted on the beach in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, I GOT it.
In essence, the human body is filled with free radicals, which are capable of doing a lot of damage if left unchecked. Yeah, you can take antioxidants. But Earthing, that’s correct, is an important tactic for neutralizing free radicals. And, it’s simple. No devices needed.
Earthing, also known as grounding, is caveman medicine. It means that you literally go walking barefoot on the earth, sand, or grass. Concrete is okay, but not asphalt. Slate is okay, and so is ceramic tile, if it’s been laid on top of concrete or gravel. The important thing is to walk barefoot, which allows you to take in the electrons from the earth.
Lightning strikes the earth thousands of times per second, especially around the equator. As a result, the earth’s surface is a plethora of electrons. We know that the human body is full of free radicals. They are enormously abundant in our bodies from the air we breathe, the heavy metals, the mercury, the Trans fats, the insecticides, the pesticides, the radiation, the sugars, and many other things in our environment.
So, the human body is a sea of chemicals and free radicals, and we need electrons to neutralize them. You can take all the good antioxidants in the world, such as CoQ10, zinc, beta carotene, lycopene, or lutein, but that may not be enough. You need more than just antioxidants to combat the effects of all the chemicals and free radicals. If you ground, you’re going to be soaking up these electrons, which will in turn neutralize free radicals.
Experiments have shown that grounding has several effects on the human body. The autonomic motor system calms down. There is a lot of influence on the vagus nerve, so there’s more parasympathetic stimulation. Cortisol dynamics improve. People sleep better. Inflammation improves, as does the thickness of the blood. Heart rate variability, which means irregular heartbeats, also improve. For the cardiovascular system, grounding is like a panacea. It does everything right.
Think about people who take a vacation at the beach. (Me) They lie in the sun and walk on the beach, getting direct contact with the sand and the water. When they get home, they feel refreshed, alive, and calm. They also say that they slept better while they were away. This isn’t actually due to the time away or the lack of stress; it’s because of the grounding. Grounding (aka Earthing) really does make you feel better. You can sleep grounded. You can walk grounded. It’s absolutely free, and it makes a huge difference.
As Dr. Sinatra suggests, limit cell phone use (you can change your lifestyle or figure out a way NOT to put the cell phone to your head, or use the speaker phone feature, etc.), do not use a cordless phone, walk barefoot as much as possible, and get grounded. My friend, Roselli, says he knows what Earthing is. “That’s when somebody gets whacked and you put them in the earth.” So much for humor.
“Earthing reduced inflammation in the body and restores natural internal electrical stability and rhythms, providing benefits and improvements any doctor would applaud.” ~Dr. Sinatra
My Prescription: Learn two good jokes and go walking “barefoot”. Of course, you can also get Dr. Sinatra’s book: Earthing.
Dr. Cynthia Shelby-Lane, MD is a board certified anti-aging, functional and metabolic medicine specialist, emergency physician, comedienne and talk show host who believes “laughter is good medicine”. Dr. Shelby-Lane has been seen and heard on local, state and national television and radio talk shows, educating Americans on a variety of medical issues. She completed her fellowship in Functional and Metabolic Medicine and she is currently completing her master's degree at the University of South Florida. She is also an oral board examiner for the American Board of Anti-Aging and Functional Medicine, helping to certify qualified anti-aging specialists worldwide.
She has her own private practice in Anti-Aging & Longevity medicine, which incorporates alternative and complementary treatment modalities. Her practice addresses bio-identical hormone replacement therapy, cardiovascular and diabetic concerns, weight loss, chronic fatigue, anti-aging assessments via consultation, both online and in the office, detoxification, and co-cancer management. She also provides consultations via a comprehensive online functional medicine questionnaire helping to guide a person to the best health decisions and follow up.
Shelby-Lane is also a professional health coach, helping people to change their health outcome through a model for change, motivation and accountability.
Shelby Lane MD is currently the producer and host of a health teleseries called Conversations with Dr. Shelby-Lane, interviewing the best health experts on the planet.
ON ONE HAND, Dr. Shelby-Lane is a graduate of the University of Michigan Medical School in Ann Arbor. ON THE OTHER HAND, she is also a graduate of The Second City Comedy School in Chicago, successfully combining a career in medicine and comedy: "DOCTOR BY DAY, COMEDIAN BY NIGHT". She is a Clinical Assistant Professor in the Department of Community Medicine at Wayne State University, the Medical Director of the Laugh Factory because she believes, “Laughter is Good Medicine”, laughing out loud and living longer!