WEEK 5 - The Compassionists
Cultivate Love and Compassion to Connect with Yourself and with Others
Positive Health Principle #35
Enter Vulnerability Zone
In today's class you will learn:
1. What is grounding and why you need it
2. Why walking barefoot is part of your positive health journey
3. What health benefits you may expect from barefoot sessions
When you finish today's class, click the golden button below and take another extra small action!
REFLECT: What is your understanding of vulnerability?
“Vulnerability sounds like truth and feels like courage. Truth and courage aren't always comfortable, but they're never weakness.”
TODAY'S DOSE OF POSITIVE HEALTH
“And forget not that the earth delights to feel your bare feet and the winds long to play with
your hair” Kahlil Gibran
We live in the best time in human history. Constant innovations in medicine and technology help us enjoy better health and a quality life. We no longer need to sleep on the floor or walk barefoot, as our ancestors did.
Our modern life, however, has increasingly separated us from the connection with nature. Since humans started wearing shoes about 40,000 years ago, we have gradually removed ourselves from the natural flow of the planet’s energy, and we are far less grounded.
In the late 19th century, the German back-to-nature movement affirmed many health benefits from walking barefoot in a natural environment. In the 1920s, an American medical doctor, George White, reported that patients who were during sleep connected to the ground by copper wires attached to water or radiator pipes had an improved quality of sleep and increased energy level. At the end of the 20th century, experiments carried out independently by American and Polish scientists showed physiological benefits from using conductive bed mats and ECG-type electrode patches, connected indoors to the ground outside.
An American researcher Clint Ober noticed that when all electrical systems are stabilised by grounding to the Earth, any interference is eliminated from the signal. Two Polish doctors, a father and son Sokal, discovered that grounding the human body influences biochemical, bioelectrical and bioenergetic processes and may help manage chronic illnesses.
What is grounding and why walking without shoes may be good for us?
Grounding refers to any form of contact with the Earth's surface by walking barefoot outside or sitting, working, or sleeping indoors and being connected to conductive systems that transfer the energy from the ground into the body.
The idea of putting our bare feet on the ground is that by connecting with the planet, we soak up the electrons that act as natural antioxidants. Our body is mostly water, which makes it a good conductor of electricity. In result, grounding brings us back to a natural state of balance.
Let’s take a closer look at the scientific evidence of grounding.
In published a few years ago observational study, researchers were looking at how grounding may be associated with cortisol levels in relation to changes in sleep, pain, and stress. All participants were asked to sleep in their beds with conductive mattresses simulating a direct contact with Earth’s surface. After eight weeks, eleven of twelve participants reported falling asleep more quickly, and all twelve reported waking up fewer times at night. Grounding the body during sleep also appeared to improve daytime energy, and decrease both morning fatigue levels, and nighttime pain levels.
The study, however, showed an association, not causation, and had many limitations like a very small group of people involved. So, let’s review a few randomised clinical trials.
A recent randomised controlled trial enroled 58 adults to investigate earthing effects on our physiology, particularly on stress levels and tension. All participants were wearing conductive adhesive patches placed on the sole of each foot for an hour while a monitoring system was recording electrophysiological data. The study concluded that earthing had significant effects on electrophysiological properties of the brain and muscles decreasing overall levels of stress and tension.
Another clinical trial was looking to answer the a question whether grounding may also improve so-called heart rate variability, a measurement of the heart's response to autonomic nervous system regulation that plays an important part in supporting the cardiovascular system. The study enroled 27 people who were asked to sit in a reclining chair with four adhesive electrode patches placed on the sole of each foot and each palm. The researchers have reported that during the two-hour grounding sessions, all participants had significant improvements in heart rate variability, which went way beyond basic relaxation results.
An interesting data comes from the largest randomised clinical series of experiments to date. Researchers were looking at whether the natural electric charge on the surface of the planet has any influence on our cardiovascular, endocrine and nervous system. All participants were grounded with a small copper plate placed on the foot. The plate was then connected with a wire to a larger plate placed outside. In one experiment, a single night of grounding caused significant changes in thyroid hormones suggesting that earthing may have an impact on hepatic, hypothalamus, and pituitary link to the thyroid function.
In another experiment, the researchers observed significant changes in blood minerals and electrolytes levels like iron, calcium, sodium, potassium, and magnesium and also a decreased levels of urinary calcium and phosphorus, both directly related to osteoporosis. Further experiments have shown that grounding has the potential to lower blood pressure, decrease blood sugar levels, reduce inflammation, regulate autoimmune conditions like lupus, multiple sclerosis, and rheumatoid arthritis and increase the levels of gamma globulins suggesting a greater response from the immune system.
Grounding may be important, but overlooked factor contributing to our health and wellbeing. Emerging scientific research supports the idea that walking barefoot and connecting with the planet generates some physiological changes of clinical significance. However, more data is needed to prove that earthing may play as essential part in positive health as nutritious food and physical activity.
Going barefoot for half an hour a day is a great way to connect, to ground and simply relax. If you free your mind, and your feet, you may find yourself walking with an inner landscape of beauty, grace and gratitude. So give it a try and let your joy rise to the surface.
Earthing - The Barefoot Pilgrimage
TODAY'S INSPIRED ACTION
Take your shoes off and walk barefoot for 3 minutes
YOUR WEEKLY SESSION
Get ready for your weekly session.
In your fourth session you will explore the benefits of practicing self-compassion and set the following intentions:
1. Gain more clarity around the concept of self-compassion
2. Find three simple ways to practice self-compassion daily
3. Start your self-compassion journal
Answer the questions in the Self-Compassion test (download No1), and go through the exercises (download No2) before your next session. Evaluate your session in the Self-Evaluation Worksheet (download No3).
1. Please make sure that you choose a convenient time and a quiet place for your Skype conversations.
2. Let the members of your household know when you need time for yourself, so you are not being interrupted.
3. Check your wifi connection and show up on time.
4. If you are unable to attend, you can still reschedule within the next few days before the Monday of the following week, if your guide has a free time slot.
5. Your one-to-one sessions are an integral part of the Grace School curriculum. It is, therefore, fundamental that each session is in synchrony with the weekly Grace School module.
YOUR WEEKLY DOWNLOADS
All files attached below have been created to support and enhance your learning experience.
These are available for download for the next 7 days. Please make sure that you create your account to answer the questions in the Self-Compassion test (No1), and do the exercises (No2) before your next session.
Use the Self-Evaluation Worksheet (No3) after your session. At the end of the week reflect on your experiences and challenges. Summarise your week with the Self-Reflection Worksheet (No4).
Your WEEK 5 Downloads:
1. Self-Compassion test - identify your level of self-compassion (approx. time 5 minutes)
2. Exercise Worksheet - do the exercises before your next session (approx time 10 minutes)
3. Self-Evaluation Worksheet - evaluate your session and learn from your experience (approx time 10-15 minutes)
4. Self-Reflection Worksheet - at the end of the week reflect on your experiences and challenges (approx time 10-20 minutes)
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