If you think vitamin D is the only nutrient you can get from just being outside, guess again. Lie in the grass, squish your toes in the sand, let your hands dig into the dirt - that’s where you’ll find your daily dose of vitamin G. The “G” stands for ground and Buddhist yogi Alexis Irias writes that “emerging science reveals that direct contact with the ground allows you to receive an energy infusion.”
If you hadn’t already arrived at this on your own, listen up!
The emerging science she references, by Stephen Sinatra, MD and team in 2012, calls out that our contemporary lifestyle has removed us from the “primordial flow of Earth's electrons,” and in that disconnect has yielded many of the aches, pains, exhaustion, and general sense of unwellness that most Americans feel. Seems obvious when you think about it, right?
Our bodies are intrinsically, even electronically, connected to the Earth, given that our earliest ancestors interacted with its surface daily. But these days, some people don’t even get a daily breath of fresh air, much less a little “skin to skin” time with the yard.
Because we “rarely touch the source that creates every cell in our bodies,” that can have a not-so-surprising effect on our health, per Rodale Wellness. They report that some 90 percent of doctor’s visits are related to stress and inflammation…two things inextricably tied to most ailments.
The list of what’s not related to inflammation is shorter, but a snapshot includes asthma, arthritis, Crohn’s, diabetes, heart disease, migraines, obesity, and even dental health. It’s possible that getting in touch with the ground may have greater benefits and resolution than getting in touch with your pharmacist.
Sinatra, a renowned cardiologist and bestselling author, notes that the “Flow of electrons from the earth to the body has been documented." This “grounding” introduces negatively charged antioxidant electrons into the body which then neutralize positively charged free radicals in the body. Ultimately, this reduces inflammation.
Participants in the study recorded better sleep, reduced pain, and reduced cortisol levels as a result of grounding exercises and sleep methods.
Grounding, or earthing, restores our direct physical contact with the Earth -- think walking barefoot, sitting in the grass, working or sleeping on the ground, gardening. There are even ways to sleep indoors that connect you to conductive systems that transfer the Earth's electrons into the body. Although a night under the stars could achieve the same.
“In the spring, at the end of the day, you should smell like dirt,” says poet Margaret Atwood. We find it hard to argue with that.