people walking barefoot in the water's edge on the beach 

Image by Michaela from Pixabay

The Earth has the ability to transform lives. The raw physical beauty of its landscapes automatically recalibrate your sense of wonder as they recharge and restore your energy. Touch it and more miraculous things happen, healing body, mind, and soul with an abundance of natural resources as old as time itself.

The ancients knew about Earth’s powers long before science did, of course, naturally benefitting from its nourishment by their simple lifestyles alone. They lived as one with the Earth, sleeping on the ground, bathing in its oceans, rivers, lakes, and streams, walking barefoot or clad in animal-hide shoes, and hand-planting and handpicking herbs, vegetables, and fruits directly from their soil-rooted sources.

Restoring the Natural Flow

Early humans lived according to nature’s calendar, going about their daily lives in synchronicity with the intrinsic rhythms of the Earth. They woke at dawn and slept when it was dark, instinctively staying in concert with the circadian rhythm that occurs as the Earth turns on its axis on any given day. They tuned into the seasonal rhythm of the Earth by necessity, taking their cues from the Earth’s orbit around the sun, staying warm and gathering food in summer, storing provisions and seeking shelter in caves and huts during the cold winter months.

Each activity kept them in direct contact with the Earth, nourishing them with the natural energy that was always underfoot 24/7. They spent their days grounding, although they didn’t know it at the time. People who live off the grid today, who live as one with nature, experience the same sort of health benefits people around the world did millennia ago.

Dr. Sinatra met a woman in the Bahamas who described herself as a bush Indian. She was a healer, a woman who had grown up learning about natural healing techniques that were passed down from her ancestors through the generations. We started talking about herbal medicine and holistic healing modal­ities, and it led to stories about how she used the outgoing tide as a way of healing the body. She said, “when you are standing in the waves on the seashore, gravity brings the blood down to your feet. The ebbing tide pulls against the body and discharges toxins through your feet, cleansing the body of harmful elements naturally.”

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Coincidentally, I had just finished reviewing a book written by cardiovascular surgeon Dr. Gerry Lamole about keeping the lymph system healthy. The lymphatic system serves as our body’s maintenance department, harvesting toxins taken from the bloodstream and internal organs, and it has a direct effect on our cardiovascular, neurological, and immune systems. If we keep the lymph flow going, it can help eliminate toxins from our body.

Eliminating Toxins from our Body 

How can we do that? One of the best ways of keeping the flow moving, believe it or not, is to bounce around on a trampoline, discharging the sludge physically. You can also go to a sauna and sweat out these impurities, which is what Native Americans have done for hundreds of years in sweat lodges.

A lot of the toxins that harm your body lie just beneath the surface of the skin, including mercury, insecticides, and pesticides, and are easily released from the body through sweating. There are also herbal remedies you can use to help move lymph flow as well as certain maneuvers you can do, including the up and down arm movements employed by conductors during orchestral performances.

Interestingly there are more classical music conductors who lived to be over 100 years old than any other segment of the population, and it’s difficult not to think that constantly keeping their lymph systems moving is one of the reasons why. Their arm movements are extremely effective in mobilizing body fluids.

Healthy Mind in a Healthy Body

The ancient Greeks embraced the concept of a healthy mind in a healthy body, and their view of medicine incorporated both physical and mental well-being. Ancient Greece also gave rise to the Olympics, one of the biggest sporting events in the modern world. Godlike in stature and nature, the first Olympians showcased their indomitable athletic physiques in outdoor games played barefoot and in the buff, gaining strength and energy from their own training regimens and, in our opinion, their constant skin-to-soil contact with the Earth.

Their training included total-body workouts and various running exercises, including high-resistance running in sand to improve lower body fitness and aerobic performance—discharging toxins along the way. In addition to repetitive exercises, training also encompassed daily physical activities believed to enhance conditioning, such as digging, walking, hunting, and fishing, grounding activities we recommend today to keep your body bal­anced and in your health in top form.

When the athletes were not training, they rested, as this was part of a total regime that called for repose and sleep. They slept on animal hides or straw mattresses on the ground, materials that allow the transfer of Earth’s energy into the body, and anointed themselves with plenty of olive oil to soothe the skin.

Olive oil is a natural high-vibrational food that promotes good health while raising your body’s energy, working in tandem with the energy of the Earth. Their diets were naturally organic, with whole grains and freshly picked fruits, nuts, and seeds, along with fresh fish and animal protein.

Sunbathing was similarly recommended, not only to build endurance against the sun when they were performing in outdoor competitions, but also because solar rays were seen as beneficial to health. Energy from the sun is the original source of most of the energy found on Earth.

The Therapeutic Effects of Water

Soaking in the salt water, natural springs, and rivers was also part of their daily regimen, not only for cleaning but also for sooth­ing tired muscles and inducing euphoria in the athlete: a kind of rejuvenating spa. Thermal baths in natural hot springs continue to be regarded today for their therapeutic properties, having been discovered and popular since the beginning of time.

The bottom line, according to historians, was that the ancient Greek athletes were healthy and did not get sick easily. They stayed youthful into old age, which is evidence of the nutrients and grounding they enjoyed throughout their lives.

For centuries people looked to the sand and surf as a fully stocked pharmacy. As industrialization and city life took hold in 18th-century Europe, residents began to suffer from a mess of maladies, including diges­tive complaints and melancholia.

A dip in cold seawater was often recommended for a number of ailments, as was a soak in thermally heated springs, which is among the most effective ways to immerse in the healing bene­fits of the Earth. Not surprisingly, grounding once again makes it appearance in medical annals of the past.

A Body Out-of-Balance = Disease

Eastern healing theory deems that disease occurs when the body is out of balance. Energy, if not flowing properly through the human body, will store negative patterns within it that can cause blockages. These blockages disrupt health, affect emotions, increase anxiety, deplete energy, invite pain, and trigger many other stressors that influence and lead to disease. Instead of treat­ing the disease as is typical in traditional Western medicine today, Chinese medical practitioners, then and now, looked at the body as a whole rather than as individual symptoms. They strived to prevent disease before it began.

They did it—and still do—through ancient practices like Qigong and Tai Chi, both of which allow the body to balance itself for optimal health. Qigong typically involves moving meditation, coordinating slow, flowing movement, deep rhythmic breathing, and a calm meditative state of mind. Tai Chi, a meditation in motion, was originally a form of mar­tial arts. Today it is practiced as a form of whole-body movement that stimulates natural healing. By following age-old regimens like these, the body naturally rids itself of unwanted imbalances to efficiently function in harmony.

Chinese medical practitioners also incorporate treatments like acupuncture to stimulate the flow of energy through the body by placing needles at specific points along pathways called meridians. By stimulating these points, the body’s qi, or vital energy, rebalances and restores the flow of energy.

Grounding activates and strengthens the Kidney energy—in traditional Chinese medicine this is thought to be the “root” or “core” energy for good health. Kidney energy correlates to and represents the life force. When the Kidney energy is weak, it can lead to common physical health conditions such as painful backs or shoulders, arthritic or rheumatoid conditions, as well as more complex internal health problems.

The first point of the Kidney Meridian, the entry point for qi, is located in the middle of the sole of your feet, a few inches below your toes, giving you direct access to the Earth’s energy every time you walk on Earth, whether you are barefoot or wearing footwear that is conducive to the energy exchange of grounding.

Grounding: The Power of the Earth 

Native Americans have always recognized the power of the land. We asked Lewis Mehl-Madrona, MD, PhD, of Cherokee and Lakota heritage, the author of several books and a practicing physician with more than twenty years’ experience in clinical, teaching, and research, what the Native American Indians knew about grounding.

He laughed at the notion of having to coin a phrase for this natural act. “We never had a term for it. No one talked about it. It’s elemental. We just did it. I think you have to be non-grounded to think about grounding.”

“Our ancestors in all Indigenous cultures knew that we belong to the Earth, as much as any rabbit or deer. Even our movements, our footsteps, honor the Earth. And the Earth honors us back. We are changed by a power that is not our own, an energy that tran­scends and understands us and engulfs us in its blessing. When we are in harmony with the Earth, our cells are in harmony with us. Harmony is the music of healing.

“Disharmony produced cellular degeneration, viral infection, and disease—AIDS, cancer, and so on. Never have we been so removed from the harmony of nature as today.”

Native Americans also naturally loved the soil. They sat or reclined on the ground with a feeling of being close to a mothering power. It was good for their skin to touch the earth. They wore leather hides and moccasins or walked with bare feet on the sacred earth. They built their teepees on the earth, and their altars were made of earth. This is why the old Native American still sits upon the earth instead of propping himself up and away from its life-giving forces.

Other civilizations worshipped Mother Earth as well. The Earth has been recognized throughout time for her sacrosanct life-giving powers. You’ll find references to Earth’s sacred ground in the Bible in passages that instruct Moses and Joshua to “Remove your san­dals from off your feet, for the place on which you are standing is holy ground” (Exodus 3 and Joshua 5:15).

Dr. Mehl-Madrona told us, explaining that it’s a long-held belief of Native American culture that when you maintain a close connection to the Earth and live in harmony with the environment, you can achieve an ideal state of well-being and health.

Without artificial plastics, rubbers, and other synthetics used in footwear today, all of which has insulated us from the natu­ral energy constantly emanating from the Earth, the ancients received a continuous gift of buzzing electrons that worked to revitalize every cell in their bodies. Whether they were searching for a better cave, hunting, gathering, planting, or simply sitting on the earth around the community fire, their bodies were constantly being replenished. This is part of our design, as natural as breath­ing, and it is available to all of us, anytime and everywhere. Syn­thetic soles on shoes today block us from Earth’s healing energy.

Shoes can make you sick. And from what we know now about grounding and health, this is just the beginning.

Copyright ©2023. All Rights Reserved.
Adapted with permission of the publisher,
Hampton  Roads Publishing Company.

Article Source:

Get Grounded, Get Well: Connect to the Earth to Improve Your Health, Well-Being, and Energy
by Stephen Sinatra, Sharon Whiteley, Step Sinatra

book cover of Get Grounded, Get Well by Stephen Sinatra, Sharon Whiteley, Step SinatraDiscover the secret to better health and a better life through grounding. Let nature and Dr. Sinatra be your guide to a happier, healthier life. Recent scientific findings and clinical studies link grounding with relief for a variety of health issues: Heart disease, Sleep disorders, Inflammatory conditions, Depression & anxiety, Attention disorders.
Grounding, the simple act of connecting to the always abundant, nourishing energy of the earth’s surface, has been scientifically and medically proven through numerous studies to have significant positive effects on our physiology. 

Click here for more info and/or to order this paperback book. Also available as an Audiobook and a Kindle edition.

About the Author

photo of Stephen T. Sinatra, M.D., F.A.C.C.Stephen T. Sinatra, M.D., F.A.C.C., is a board-certified cardiologist and certified psychotherapist with forty years of clinical experience treating, preventing and reversing heart disease. He is also certified in anti-aging medicine and nutrition.

In his practice, Dr. Sinatra’s focus has been integrating conventional medical treatments for heart disease with complementary nutritional, anti-aging, and psychological therapies to counteract the inflammation and plaque processes that cause heart attacks and strokes. He is a Fellow of the American College of Cardiology, an Assistant Clinical Professor of Medicine at the University of Connecticut School of Medicine, and a former chief of cardiology and medical education at Manchester (Connecticut) Memorial Hospital.

More Books by the author.