Actually, no thanks to a process called Earthing or Grounding. And what is that?
The good folks at www.orgonlighthealth.com define Earthing as “the practice of having skin contact with some part of the Earth.” This is usually accomplished by walking or standing outside barefoot for 15 – 20 minutes. It can be on dirt, grass, sand, or even concrete.
First of all, the Earth has an electrical field similar to the electrical field in the human body. And when you ground yourself to the Earth, your body absorbs negative ions from the Earth's electrical field. Consequently, your body comes into balance with the negative potential of the Earth's electrical field, improving the flow of electricity in your body. This is possible because your body is made up of mostly water and minerals, making it a good conductor of electricity.
Since trees are already grounded to the Earth, you can achieve the same benefits by touching your hands to a tree. Hugging a tree puts your whole body in contact with it.
In addition to other benefits, grounding helps to balance and support your nervous system thus reducing symptoms of stress. It has a positive effect on heart rate variability (HRV). Since negative emotions such as panic, depression, anxiety, and hostility are all associated with reduced HRV, these conditions are improved when HRV is improved.
The negative ions absorbed from the Earth's surface also act as antioxidants. They neutralize free radicals which cause inflammation. Research shows that chronic inflammation is the route cause of many of our diseases and health issues.
Therefore grounding and hugging trees can have a serious impact on your overall health and wellness. Hug a tree and you can:
- reduce inflammation
- reduce chronic pain
- promote wound healing
- improve heart rate variability
- balance circadian rhythm for better sleep
- boost the immune system
- reduce stress
Since health issues are a major cause of stress, improvements in these areas will further reduce stress levels.
In addition, studies also show that just being out in nature can significantly reduce stress. According to Dr. Joe Dispenza, one of the scientists, researchers, and teachers featured in the award-winning film What the Bleep Do We Know?, 2 hours of nature sounds a day significantly reduces stress hormones up to 800%. It also activates 500-600 DNA segments known for healing and repairing the body.
Wow! And since you have to be outside in nature to hug trees, it's a win-win.
A tree hugger probably doesn't know he is receiving these specific benefits. He just does it because he knows it makes him feel good. So next time you see a tree hugger applaud him for his efforts to improve his health instead of calling him a weirdo. Try this method to reduce your own stress. It costs nothing and has significant health benefits. Go out and hug a tree today. And don't worry about what your neighbors will think since that only adds more stress. Most of all, relax and enjoy.
Article – The effects of grounding (earthing) on inflammation, the immune response, wound healing, and prevention and treatment of chronic inflammatory and autoimmune diseases, by James L. Oschman, Gaetan Chevalier, and Richard Brown, Journal of Inflammation Research.
Article – Emotional Stress, Heart Rate Variability, Grounding, and Improved Autonomic Tone: Clinical Applications, by Gaetan Chevalier, PhD; Stephen T. Sinatra, MD, FACC, FACN, CNS