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H 2Have you ever noticed how your stress literally evaporates as you sink your toes in the soft and silky beach sand, inhale the salty ocean air as you soak up some vitamin D from the sun’s healing rays? An emerging body of research attributes this to ‘Earthing Science’ – a belief that an early morning walk on any natural surface – be it soil, shale, sand or grass – enhances your well-being by restoring your body’s electron balance.A recent study published in the Journal of Environmental and Public Health explained the underlying principle at work. The Earth’s surface has a limitless supply of free electrons; when our feet – which have a rich and intricate nerve network – come in contact with the Earth’s surface, electron energy flows from the Earth into our bodies, restoring the body to its optimal state of health. This is because the electrons counter the production of free radicals in our bodies that cause cellular damage leading to chronic pain and stress, Autonomic Nervous System Dysfunction (ANS), joint inflammation and insomnia.

There is also good news for cardiovascular patients or people at risk of heart disease. A research study published in The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine revealed that ‘Earthing’ increases the surface charge of red blood cells. This decreases blood viscosity (thickness) and prevents cells from clumping together and blocking the arteries – the most common precursor to strokes and heart attacks. As a result, cardiologists are recommending a 15 to 20 minute barefoot walk on natural surfaces to improve blood oxygenation and circulation.

Therefore, given the increasing body of evidence in favour of earthing, make the effort to walk barefoot in your garden, the park or the beach every morning; breathe in the fresh air and indulge in a few quiet minutes of peace before you begin your day.

– Dr Waqar Saeed
The writer is a general physician.

First published in the Health Advertiser of the DAWN National Weekend Advertiser on February 22, 2015.