AN INTRODUCTION TO EARTHING BY CHIVA-SOM FOR EARTH DAY 2022
In honour of Earth Day 2022, wellness experts at Thailand's internationally renowned wellness resort Chiva-Som and Zulal Wellness Resort by Chiva-Som share their tips for bringing one's self into harmony with the natural world and benefitting from its healing powers through the practice of Earthing; the art of walking barefoot. Celebrated annually on 22 April, Earth Day - also known as International Mother Earth Day - aims to remind everyone that the Earth and its ecosystems provide life and sustenance. It also recognises a collective responsibility to promote harmony with nature and the Earth to achieve a balance among the economic, social, and environmental needs of present and future generations.
As urban environments continue to grow and more people move into cities, it's become less common to engage in barefoot walking on a regular basis, particularly as people have become accustomed to wearing rubber-soled shoes that block elemental contact. Earthing, also known as grounding, rests on the belief that when connecting to the earth's surface, there is a transfer of electrons between individuals and the planet, which acts as a reservoir for these negatively charged particles. Earthing is as simple as routinely walking barefoot outdoors to stimulate circulation and/or using grounding systems indoors while sleeping or sitting using specialised mats, bed pads, metal plates, electrode patches and even footwear for grounding. Cumulative research suggests that the Earth's negative charge can promote a stable internal environment and normal functioning of the body. It has been shown to decrease pain, enhance sleep quality, lower blood pressure, improve blood flow and energy, and generate greater wellbeing*.
Dr. Jason Culp, Research & Development Director at Chiva-Som, shares some key benefits to the practice of Earthing:
Getting back to nature can have a profound healing effect on the body. Fresh air, sunlight and natural sounds can regenerate the mind, replenish the body and empower the spirit. It's also a great way to escape from enclosed offices, virtual meetings and conference calls, and regain admiration and appreciation for the planet.
Removing shoes and walking barefoot can be a practice of mindfulness - remaining in the present moment as individuals feel the warm, textured earth. Mindfulness is a great way to promote the relaxation response, which subsequently lowers blood pressure, reduces pain, enhances sleep and reduces inflammation.
Earthing exposes feet to the soil microbiome, which not only means a transfer of electrons to the body, but also a host of friendly microbes. Research shows how the environment's microbes play a major role in shaping individuals' microbiome, improving immune function and digestive health, and supporting all other systems in the body.
THE SCIENCE BEHIND EARTHING
By Dr. Purnima Siddhanta, Holistic Manager at Zulal Wellness Resort by Chiva-Som
One of the pioneers of modern Earthing is Clint Ober, who wrote Earthing: The Most Important Health Discovery Ever? in 2010. A former cable television executive, Ober observed the similarities between the human body and the cables used to transmit television signals. When the body is not in contact with the earth, it is bombarded with electromagnetic fields and static electricity – just as when a cable is not grounded, there is interference in the signal.
What started as an observation turned into experimentation, and what Ober found was that sleeping while grounded improved the quality of sleep and reduced aches and pains. Finding research in the scientific community lacking, he then went on to fund his own research, which was published in the ESD Journal in 2000**.
In 2004, Dr. William Amalu of the International Academy of Clinical Thermography began studying the effects of Earthing on inflammation and pain. Subjects were grounded using either bed pads or conductive electrode patches. Before and after thermal images showed significantly reduced or even eliminated inflammation after only 2-4 days of sleeping while grounded or 30 minutes while wearing electrode patches***.
The science behind it is as follows: free electrons on the earth’s surface are transferred to the human body during grounding. These free electrons are bonded to free radicals, thereby reducing the oxidative and inflammatory effects of these free radicals on the body. In other words, Earthing helps prevent free radicals from attacking and damaging healthy tissues which often leads to inflammation and pain.
For more wellness articles by Chiva-Som, please visit www.chivasom.com/about-blog
* Chevalier G, Sinatra ST, Oschman JL, Sokal K, Sokal P. 'Earthing: health implications of reconnecting the human body to the Earth's surface electrons'. J Environ Public Health. 2012. Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3265077/
** Ober C. 'Grounding the Human Body to Neutralise Bioelectrical Stress From Static Electricity and EMFs'. ESD Journal. 2000. Available at: http://www.esdjournal.com/articles/cober/ground.htm
*** Amalu W. 'Medical Thermography Case Studies'. Clinical Earthing Application in 20 Case Studies. 2004. Available at: https://www.ultimatelongevity.com/docs/grounding-medical-thermographics.pdf
DR. JASON CULP
RESEARCH & DEVELOPMENT DIRECTOR, CHIVA-SOM
For the past decade, Dr. Culp has held the position of senior naturopathic physician at Chiva-Som in Hua Hin, where he conducts natural wellness consultations with guests. In addition to his role as a naturopath, he is the founder and director of the Research & Development department, with the primary objective of evaluating and exploring the use of evidence-based natural therapies in a holistic wellness setting.
Dr. Culp lectures internationally on the topic of wellness. His philosophy is that in order to create sustainable health, guests must fully engage and play an active participatory role in their own wellness process. The empowerment of the individual and the guest’s authentic understanding of their wellness goals, intentions, and motivations take precedence in health and healing. In this way, each guest leaves with the feeling that they are the most powerful advocate in their own wellness journey.
DR. PURNIMA SIDDHANTA
HOLISTIC MANAGER, ZULAL WELLNESS RESORT BY CHIVA-SOM
Dr. Siddhanta has almost two decades of experience as an Ayurvedic practitioner at some of the world’s leading hospitals and wellness institutes. She holds an M.D. in Alternative Medicine, has specialised in chronic illness and is a certified counsellor. Dr. Siddhanta is passionate about introducing wellness practices into guests’ daily lives and helping them reach their health goals.
For more than 26 years, the award-winning Chiva-Som has pioneered transformative wellness practices to global acclaim. Its commitment to an innovative, holistic approach which expertly balances mind, body and spirit continues to this day with its flagship resort in Hua Hin, Thailand.
Optimal, bespoke wellness lies at the heart of each Chiva-Som experience. With its unique synergy of indigenous traditions and evidence-based wellness, Chiva-Som partners with guests on highly personalised wellness journeys focused on complete lifestyle transformation. At the new Zulal Wellness Resort, these extend to the entire family. Guests are motivated throughout their journey by knowledgeable and caring staff, who address their goals with the unique heart of Chiva-Som hospitality.
Chiva-Som’s approach to wellness extends to the wider community, with educational opportunities and global sustainability initiatives at the core of everything we do.
ABOUT ZULAL WELLNESS RESORT BY CHIVA-SOM
Zulal Wellness Resort by Chiva-Som is a unique haven for wellbeing, brought to life by Qatar’s premier master developers, Msheireb Properties. The Middle East’s first wellness resort offers guests unique services and treatments which are based upon Arabic & Islamic wellness principles and use ingredients indigenous to the region. Located in Khasooma, a private coastal location in the north of Qatar, Zulal Wellness Resort brings visitors a luxurious experience, offering the highest international standards that are inclusive of local family values.
Zulal, meaning ‘pure natural water’ in Arabic, offers two exclusive zones for health and wellbeing. Adults can access a wide range of therapeutic and lifestyle enhancement treatments at Zulal Serenity. The family resort, Zulal Discovery, enables families to enjoy positive wellness experiences together, inspiring young children and their parents with fun, interactive activities that help them learn more about adopting a healthy lifestyle.