Friday, August 24, 2012
The Ultimate Earthing Bed or Ultimate Bed Bug Bed?
Thanks to Claus Henriksen in Denmark for bringing this creative down-to-Earth bed to our attention.
Posted on 08/24 at 11:21 PM
Friday, August 17, 2012
Shifting Lives with Earthing – A Psychiatrist’s Perspective
Tracy Latz, M.D.
I love digging in the dirt and feeling my connection to the Earth. I find walking barefoot in the grass to be a great stress reducer. As a young girl, I used to run around barefoot with my siblings during the warm summer days, and recall how free and wonderful it felt. My father, a rural doctor, would always yell at us about the danger of cutting our feet or stepping on a nail. We would just laugh it off and continue romping barefoot.
In my psychiatric practice, I often recommend Earthing to patients as part of an integrative approach to healing. In my mind, it is in alignment with the ancient medical doctrine of “Primum non nocere” – which means “First, do no harm.” Some of my patients are open to the concept of Earthing. Others aren’t. Some will say, “I don’t have enough time to stand or walk outside barefoot” or “I don’t want to pay for an Earthing mat or sheet.” Patients who do follow my recommendation to “Earth,” and there have been dozens of them, tend to have good responses. They are individuals with a wide variety of emotional, mental, and physical problems, and often combinations of problems. They often tell me afterward they feel much better.
One of the first things patients tell me after they start Earthing is that they sleep so much better at night. This is a big deal for many of my patients. I recall two recent patients who came in to see me a day apart. Both had been on vacation with their families and found that they didn’t need to take their usual sleeping pills or over-the-counter melatonin when away from home, but then slept poorly again once they returned to their home. I asked both of them where they had been. Both had been at the beach, where they had been walking barefoot, sitting on the sand, and dipping in the ocean water. They said they slept so well, and their mood and pain was so much better when at the beach. This, of course, happens often on seaside vacations, but people rarely connect it to being barefoot or in the water.
In my practice, I have noted that Earthing can help psychiatric patients in the following ways:
● For those with anxiety (post-traumatic stress disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, etc.), reconnecting with the Earth can assist with an improved sense of safety. By improving sleep architecture, Earthing can help normalize serotonin levels in the brain as it decreases cortisol (an anxiety-inducing hormone). When cortisol levels are high, there is a tendency to go into ‘fight-or-flight’/panic responses to stressful situations and become more easily angered or irritable. As cortisol levels decrease and stabilize, we become more centered, peaceful and calm. In short, we get more easily into our heart and have more compassion for our self as well as for others.
● For those with depression, Earthing can assist with stabilizing serotonin levels as noted above. Serotonin assists with decreasing crying spells, near-tearfulness, and obsessive/repetitive negative thoughts. When depressive symptoms decrease, energy levels improve and tolerance to stressful situations, pain, or discomfort improves.
I have had many chronic pain patients referred to me from pain management doctors. Many have not responded well to, or are resistant to, taking medication. With Earthing, they often have decreased inflammatory problems overall. I’ve seen a lot of people with gluten intolerance and irritable bowel symptoms who have significantly improved by connecting to the Earth. While they may not be completely cured, their GI and stomach issues are better. Their pain is better and so is their anxiety. Some patients, I have found, stop Earthing after their anxiety gets better, and I have to remind them about what helped them get better.
I recommend Earthing to anyone with an auto-immune condition. Two patients with systemic lupus erythematosis are feeling much better after they began Earthing. Their primary doctors attribute their improvement to “a calm period” in their disease process. Another patient developed a rare form of lupus – anticardiolipin antibody – that can cause a narrowing and irregularity of the blood vessels, blood clots, and the potential for stroke or heart attack. Previously, she had experienced symptoms of fibromyalgia and an assortment of problems that doctors had a hard time figuring out. She’s been labeled in the past with depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress, and bipolar disorder. This obviously is not a woman in good shape. Although she gets fatigued, she’s doing much better now after Earthing and her doctors can’t believe she’s as active as she is. She has five horses and in the early evening after it cools off, she will go out and feed her horses barefoot, and then sit or lay for a few hours on the Earth. Weather permitting, of course. She’s been doing this for a year or two and says she feels much better, calmer, more peaceful, and quiet in regards to her anxious mind chatter. This practice of hers I strongly believe has prevented her condition from progressing.
I see many patients with chronic fatigue, people who have exhausted their adrenal hormones. Most of these people have a history of intense stress. With Earthing, they are much less fatigued and calmer. As their sleep cycle improves, the adrenal issues start improving, and they start to pick back up in their energy level and feel better.
One of my friends is a computer systems programmer for a major bank. He works with multiple computer screens around him for up to 10 hours a day 6 or 7 days per week and is always under pressure answering SOS calls and fixing this or that glitch in the nationwide system. He’s so busy that he hardly has any time to relax. The pace is wearing him down and aging him at an alarming rate. One day I brought him a present – an Earthing mat. I told him to place it under his bare feet at his desk since that’s where he spends the biggest chunk of his time. He called me the next day. This is how the conversation went:
“I just wanted to tell you that I love my ‘fizzy feet,” he said.
“Yeah, I can feel the fizzies in my feet and coming up my legs,” he explained. “I really feel good for the first time in a long time. And I slept so well.”
My friend is sticking with it, and enjoying his ‘fizzies’ and feeling good.
As far as my own Earthing experience is concerned, I immediately slept more soundly and deeply on the Earthing sheet that I started using in 2011. I have also experienced much less pain in my left knee that had been intermittently nagging at me for a dozen years after I chipped a divot of bone out of my femur in a freak accident. Now I only get rare slight twinges when the weather gets real cold suddenly or there are abrupt changes in atmospheric pressure.
I sent my mother an Earthing sheet for her fibromyalgia-like and chronic pain symptoms. She was able to work in the garden for the first time in three years. She now sleeps through the night, which she wasn’t doing before, and can walk down stairs normally instead of one step at a time.
My three teenagers each sleep with an Earthing sheet because they are very active. My eldest is a musician and had previously reported chronic neck and should muscle tension from holding a trombone or large cymbals at attention out in front of her during either marching band or indoor drumline competitions. My two sons are athletes – playing high school football and lacrosse. All three report they rest better, have less muscle inflammation, and more rapid recovery from injuries since Earthing.
(Tracy Latz, M.D., M.S., is an integrative psychiatrist in private practice in Mooresville, a suburb of Charlotte, NC. She has worked in state, county, and community psychiatric and mental illness facilities in the past. She specializes in shifting lives that are stuck in relationships, circumstances, and illness.)
Posted on 08/17 at 05:57 PM
Tuesday, August 14, 2012
Rapid Benefits: An Earthing 1-Hour “Time Trial”
A 2012 women’s wellness conference in Southern California was the setting for an informal experiment to measure how fast Earthing could influence the experience of vitality.
About 100 women in attendance filled out questionnaires before and after a one-hour talk on Earthing. The questionnaire covered individual assessments of about energy, pain, stress/irritability, mood, circulation, and flexibility. About half the audience was familiar with Earthing.
Here’s how the experiment was set up. When the women entered the hotel conference room, they received a “goody bag” containing the questionnaire, a pen, an Earthing patch and cord, and a pocket mirror that lights up. Why the mirror? So they could easily view themselves before and after the talk, and see how they looked. Once seated, they filled out the “before” section of the questionnaire asking for their subjective impressions on how they felt, using a 1-10 scale.
Prior to the presentation, an Earthing wiring system had been laid out throughout the room that allowed each seated attendee to place the patch on the bottom of one foot, and then connect the cord to the room-wide system. The system was connected to grounded wall outlets. At the end of the talk, everyone filled out the “after” section of the questionnaire.
The results were “phenomenal,” demonstrating just how rapidly Earthing can enhance a woman’s vitality, and “likely a man’s as well, although guys being guys they might be more reluctant to admit it,”
said Christy Westen, D.C., who gave the talk on Earthing.
Here are the questions that were asked and the results:
● Question # 1 Energy
Before (or after) Earthing, my energy levels are: a numerical range from Horrible, to OK, to Magnificent.
78% reported more energy, on average an increase of about 40%.
● Question # 2 Pain
The level of pain in my body before (or after) Earthing is: a numerical range from Extremely painful, to OK, to I am pain-free.
60% of those with pain said they had less pain at the end, and an average decrease of about 30%
● Question # 3 Stress
My level of stress and irritability before (or after) Earthing is: a numerical range from Terrible, I am extremely stressed, to OK, to I feel calm/centered.
77% reported less stress, on average about 50% better.
● Question # 4 Mood
My overall mood before (or after) Earthing is: a numerical range from Terrible, I feel extremely low, to OK, to My mood is wonderful.
82% said their mood had improved, with an average of 40%.
● Question # 5 Complexion
Before (or after) Earthing, when I look into the mirror, my face looks: a numerical range from Dull & Pale, to OK, to Vibrant & full of color.
73% thought they looked better, with an average improvement of 38 percent. We attributed the change to improved circulation and more calmness, even from just an hour of Earthing.
● Question # 6 Circulation
Before (or after) Earthing, the temperature of my hands/feet are: a numerical range from Poor – my hands/feet are ice, to OK, to Great – my hands/feet are warm.
65% stated that their circulation had improved , and on average by 32%.
● Question # 7 Flexibility
Before (or after) Earthing, if I reach down to touch my toes, my flexibility is: a numerical range from Poor, I am extremely stiff, to OK, to Excellent, I feel very flexible.
62% reported improvement, with about a 23 percent improvement.
Keep in mind that these changes occurred within an hour of being seated on typically hard, uncomfortable conference chairs next to people you don’t know.
Dr. Westen summed up the experience thusly: “Most people think that creating more vitality in life requires a ton of time, effort, and sacrifice. We have to sweat it out in the gym, strenuously try to eat the perfect diet, and offload as much stress as possible. To be sure, these are essential ingredients in a healthy lifestyle recipe, but often not so easy to accomplish. Earthing, on the other hand, requires no strain whatsoever and is, in fact, one of the easiest things you can do for your health. Until now it’s been the missing ingredient in the recipe. But now, it’s here, and scientific research is confirming its effectiveness. Just reconnect to the Earth, and even in one single hour you can feel a difference, sometimes profoundly so, and without any side effects! Make it a routine part of your life, and wow, you really put yourself on a direct path to becoming simply vibrant!”
Posted on 08/14 at 12:50 PM
How to Optimize the Lifespan of Your Earthing Sheet
We frequently receive inquiries from people fretting about the longevity and condition of their Earthing sheets. They may have had the sheet for a year or two and are concerned that it may be losing conductivity and no longer carrying the Earth’s healing energy through the silver fibers embedded in the fabric. Some people say that they haven’t washed their sheet at all, or only seldom, out of fear of ruining the conductivity.
We can’t give you a precise lifespan for your sheet. Every situation is different. What we can say is that that no sheet lasts forever. When a sheet does lose its conductivity, it needs to be replaced. We have heard from folks describing the “sudden death” of sheets and from others saying their sheet gradually lost conductivity over time. By comparison, we have some Earthing sheets in use for over five years and they are still going strong. However, there is no guarantee that any particular sheet will last as long.
So what can you do to protect your sheet? Here are some “anti-aging” tips to enhance its longevity:
● If you use your sheet routinely, wash it routinely – every week or two. If you don’t wash the sheet regularly, sweat, wastes, and a variety of organic compounds excreted through your skin can build up and create a film on the sheet that can impair conductivity. Such substances could oxidize and permanently damage the silver fibers as well.
● Wash your sheet in warm water. Set wash cycle to ‘gentle.’ Do not pour detergent directly on the sheet. Let the detergent dissolve in water first, or put the detergent in the designated machine dispenser, and then place your sheet in machine. Tumble dry on ‘low’ or ‘no heat’ setting. Remove sheet from dryer promptly. Fold to minimize wrinkles.
● Never use bleach. Bleach instantly destroys the conductivity of the silver fibers, and is typically what has happened when somebody reports “sudden sheet death.”
● We have tested many commercial detergents, even soaked sheets in them for a week, and they do not harm the conductivity. Make sure the detergent contains no bleach or fabric softener.
● Don’t use any fabric softener or any drying sheets. They won’t kill the silver in one stroke, but over time they might contribute to loss of conductivity because of their chemical content.
● Do not dry clean your sheet.
● Some people like to iron their sheets. If you do it, set the iron to low heat.
● Avoid applying creams, lotions, and essential oils before bedtime to any areas of your skin that will be in contact with the sheet. The oils contained in these products become absorbed into the fabric of the sheets and can reduce or damage conductivity. Please use such body products at an earlier time.
The Bottom Line
Periodically test your connected sheet with the conductivity tester. If you use the tester very often, the battery will wear out more rapidly. The green light will become dim. When that happens, screw open the tester, remove the battery, and replace it. Replacements are available in most stores selling electronics and phones.
If you suddenly realize – like from one day to the next – that the sheet isn’t giving the benefits it had been giving all along, the cause could be bleach…or the cord got disconnected from the ground source (the outlet or a ground rod cord)…or maybe an animal chewed up the cord.
Posted on 08/14 at 12:22 PM
Sunday, August 05, 2012
MenopauseTransformation – A Case History
Laura Koniver, M.D.
I have seen over and over how simply touching the Earth dramatically changes lives, but a recent patient of mine may have had the most dramatic transformation I’ve seen yet. She is a 53-year-old menopausal female who came to me because she was anxious, tired, and burnt out, unable to sleep, moody, and unmotivated. She had tried everything from hormone therapy to antidepressants to raw food and juicing. Nothing seemed to really make her feel like herself again. She felt very frustrated with conventional medicine and disappointed with alternative medicine.
She turned to me for an intuitive reading on what was going on with her body. I found that her mind was overworking and overanalyzing everything in her life without pause, effectively preventing creative and comforting energy to arise and flow through her body.
My prescription was grounding. Simple as that. She just absolutely needed to be in a state that would promote and allow a transition. I believe there is nothing more powerful than the Earth for this. The great transition of menopause is only truly navigable if you are supported by the Earth. Women are meant to be intimately tied to the Earth and there is no time in a woman’s life where this becomes more obvious than during the hormonal upheaval of menopause. The Earth is a woman’s comfort, healing, and salvation as the winds of menopause blast through. Without grounding, women can feel wired, frazzled, unsupported, depressed, and anxious. With the Earth firmly anchoring our bodies, relieving the inflammation and stabilizing our hormones as we make this transition, the journey through becomes deeper and more meaningful, filled with inspiration and power.
Two months of daily grounding literally transformed my patient from an exhausted anxious and despairing woman to a powerful, centered, grounded woman who began uncovering her passion and commitment for the second half of her life. She touched the Earth barefoot or sat right down on it while she read a book for at least 20 minutes every day, and this was enough to change her life.
Grounding to the Earth decreased her hormone swings, made her hot flashes disappear, lifted her mood, increased the quality of her sleep, and comforted her in a way she had never been comforted before. Research and scientific data can explain the anti-aging/anti-inflammatory effects of Earthing on her body and the metabolism boost, blood sugar stabilization, and higher quality sleep she is enjoying. But I know that energetically Earthing goes well beyond what we can measure.
My patient is fortified in a way far beyond just fixing an imbalance or decreasing stress on the body. She has literally reconnected to the Earth and found herself again. She has found her passion, her reason for being, and her future. She is radiant in a way that just a few months ago she would not have thought possible. She has now been able to replace her hormone prescription with Earthing and herbal supplements. She has replaced her sleeping pills with Earthing and nightly meditation. She has replaced her antidepressant with Earthing and finding meaning in her life again. She credits Earthing with getting her life back. I credit her with having the commitment to connect to the Earth and make it a daily routine. I am so impressed with what Earthing has been able to accomplish in such a short period of time and the prescriptions she has been able to stop taking and the joy I hear in her voice when she talks. She is an inspiration to me and I wanted to share her story with you here! Thank you so much to Earthing Institute for raising awareness over this miraculous resource that is otherwise overlooked in our society.
(Laura Koniver, M.D., combines intuition with conventional and alternative medicine to detect the deeper meaning behind disease. She practices general medicine in Charleston, SC.)
Posted on 08/05 at 06:47 PM
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