Sun And Earth: On Grounding and Getting Tan

One thing that my clients often hear from me is that I want their “bare feet on the ground and bare body in the sun.” This article explains some simple reasons why.

I have come to find that many of us are Sun and Earth deficient. We simply don’t spend enough time in the Sun or on the ground.

Grounding

For the cost of taking your shoes off and standing outside, you have access to the most powerful anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant “drug” on Earth – the Earth itself. Our planet is a repository for a practically infinite number of free electrons. The negative charge of the electron is why it feels so good to breathe the ocean air or the air during a thunderstorm. It is why we put salt lamps in our homes. It is why we enjoy long, hot showers. It plays a part in the healing power of stones like amethyst and tourmaline. The healing properties of these things come from negative ions (in this case, electrons) neutralizing the positive charge of the inflammation in our bodies. Oxidative damage from stress, toxicity, and aging is fundamentally the result of positive charge in our bodies without the negative charge to neutralize the free radicals that cause oxidative damage. The instant your feet touch the ground, the positive charge in your body is neutralized and your bodies electrical imbalance is brought into harmony with the charge of the Earth.

  • While your feet are on the ground, there is virtually no inflammation present in your body. [1]
  • Being grounded activates the parasympathetic nervous system, reduces cortisol, and synchronizes the left and right hemispheres of the brain. [2]
  • When you are grounded it thins the blood (by lowering the zeta potential) and allows the red blood cells to communicate more effectively and find resonance with one another rather than clumping together. This improves circulation tremendously. [1]
  • Your feet are designed to be maximally conductive to the Earth’s negative charge! (Especially given the very special acupuncture point on the bottom of the foot: Kidney 1 Yongquan – one of my favorite points)

The effects of grounding/Earthing on the body and the mind are numerous and profound. Taking time to get grounded is an integral part of my everyday life and it is essential to my longevity and wellbeing. Anyone who chooses to make it a part of their lifestyle will soon feel the same way.

Here’s a video of Dr. Mercola interviewing one of the leaders in Earthing research:


Getting Tan

Many of us avoid the Sun because we have been brought to believe it is bad for our health. Sunscreen use and shoes with plastic soles that insulate us from the Earth are ubiquitous. We have been taught that the Sun causes cancer and wrinkles the skin. This has been shown to be true, but there are confounding factors at play. I believe that the Sun only causes this kind of damage under three conditions: 1) when the body is toxic and overburdened by stress and oxidative damage. 2) when we aren’t used to the Sun and get it only in spurts rather than purposefully maintaining a tan. 3) when we aren’t grounded while in the Sun.

When you get in the Sun it recalibrates your body to its natural circadian rhythm! This normalizes your leptin response and regulates appetite (more strongly than any “appetite suppressant” out there). The light from the Sun is what tells your body what hormones to produce and when. Getting morning and afternoon Sun tells your body to make growth hormone and sex hormones. Midday Sun tells your body to work hard and focus on producing neurotrasmitters to get the job done.

Two of the most powerful anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory chemicals in your body are made in the Sun: melatonin and Vitamin D. Melatonin has shown numerous anti-cancer and anti-aging benefits in studies. It is the “master of sleep” and amazingly it is produced in the eye and in the skin – during the day!

For more information on these topics, check out this article.

Vitamin D controls the expression of over 5% of the human genome and is implicated in cancer and many chronic conditions. Most don’t know that Vitamin D isn’t actually a vitamin – it’s a hormone and is necessary for life! It is so powerful that it binds directly to DNA to control their expression. It’s not enough to take supplemental Vitamin D –  you must get it from the Sun if you really want enough! Your body even has special built in mechanisms to shut off Vitamin D production when you’ve had just the right amount.

How could the Sun be bad for you when we must have it to produce these important chemicals? I believe it is because the level of oxidative damage from other causes can outweigh our bodies ability to use the potential of the Sun. This is another reason why it’s important to increase your Sun exposure gradually but also to be grounded. You literally become a solar panel when you are in the Sun – you make electricity! The best way to safely balance this extra power (so you don’t fry your mitochondria) is to simply have your body touching the ground while you are in the Sun. I like to have my feet flat on the ground and “plug” my fingertips into the Earth.

A tan is a sign of good health. The more tan you are, the less likely you are to be damaged by the Sun and the more likely you are to utilize the Sun’s health-giving rays. When you have a tan (also known as a solar callous), you actually absorb more of the sunlight and use it for energy and for photochemical reactions (making Vitamin D, melatonin, etc.). A tan comes from the increased melanin your body puts out in order to make use of the sunlight. We now know that melanin is a superconductor and is being used in high-level electronics development. It is worth 400$ per gram. A gram of gold is only worth around 50$!

Being in the Sun also burns fat and benefits circulation. Your mitochondria thrive while operating off of sunlight. Being in the Sun is the equivalent of being in an infrared sauna (42% of the Sun’s rays are infrared), which promotes the detoxification of plastics along with many other benefits.

In my practice I encourage people to get back in touch with the Sun and the Earth. I am sure you will reap the benefits if you take this information to heart and proceed carefully. Go get your feet on the ground! Get some sunlight! Your body will thank you.

This is Your Body on Plastic

“When Conner lead me through the process of coming off artificial fragrances, the following month I had the easiest period I could remember. I had no noticeable symptoms or mood changes. I now have fewer migraines and I’m sleeping through the night. I’m blown away by how these chemicals were effecting me and how quickly my body changed.”
– Rebecca, Asheville

We are becoming plastic at the cellular level.

Plastics are ubiquitous. Using plastic utensils, food and drinking containers, and (most importantly) cosmetic products that contain plasticisers has become a normal part of everyday life.

I believe it is imperative, if you want to achieve better health (especially hormonal health), to take seriously the following.

Your body has a hard time telling the difference between certain plastic compounds and it’s own natural hormones. This means that the more of these chemicals you are exposed to, the more plastic you actually become. The two most notable of these compounds are phthalates and bisphenols, which are plasticisers – meaning they are added to plastic to make it both more durable and more flexible. The bisphenol with the most attention is bisphenol A or BPA. However, buying something that is “BPA Free” often means it has higher amounts of other bisphenols, like BPB, and may not be safer after all.

Compounds like phthalates and bisphenols are referred to as EDC’s in the literature (endocrine disrupting compounds). Their affects on fertility, reproduction, development, and oxidative stress have been studied and are undeniable [1, 2, 3, 4]. These compounds disrupt thyroid function [1, 2, 4], mitochondrial function [2], cholesterol metabolism [2], growth hormone production [1], sperm quality [3], and increase oxidation of fatty acids and therefore increases oxidative stress that leads to inflammation and aging. [2]

Many people are concerned about the xenoestrogenic effects of soy products (meaning they contain compounds that are recognized as estrogen but don’t naturally occur in the body). However, phthalates, bisphenols, and other plastics bind to hormone receptors with such great affinity that they are being implicated in the prevalence of estrogen dominance, thyroid disorders, and other hormonal dysfunction around the world.

One way to make an impact on a man is to tell him: “You are shrinking your testicles by wearing that cologne.” …or to a woman: “Your perfume is making your periods worse.

So how do we get away from all these plastics? Where are they found? Unfortunately, they are everywhere.

Air fresheners
Plastic mesh teabags
Perfumes, colognes, bodysprays
Soaps, shampoos, conditioners
Lotions, hairgels, etc.
Makeup
Fake essential oils (esp. lavender)
Plastic water bottles
Receipts (don’t crinkle them up!)
Sea salt (contains plastic microparticles – use Redmond’s or Himalayan)
Plastic bags
Lining of cans
Plastic containers (don’t heat your food in these!)
PVC pipes, water tubing
Breast implants [5, 6]
Other cosmetics and packaging

The things on this list are ubiquitous. Once you eliminate artificial fragrances and other EDC exposure from your life you are bound to notice a difference. When you do, you will become increasingly sensitive to the disruptive power of these compounds and hopefully feel inspired to tell those you know (or those you don’t know). Unfortunately, we can’t keep others from spraying whatever they want on themselves.

This is bound to be an unpopular opinion: the prevalence and strength of the perfumes and colognes that individuals wear is a public health hazard. By simply smelling another person’s artificial fragrance, your natural hormonal processing is being disrupted and your body is forced to deal with the oxidative stress. What is it doing when we spray it on our skin?

One of the simplest and most powerful steps you can take in cleansing plastics from your body is to drink (organic) green or white tea daily. When tea from the leaves of camelia sinensis are consumed regularly, your urine contains more plastics (as well as more heavy metals). This means they are being excreted.

One of the other best ways to detoxify plastics from the body is to sweat. Hmm, I’m thinking of the giant infrared sauna in the sky.

My objective is not to encourage my readers to wear tin foils hats (although really, by all means, I won’t stop you). However I think the more we extricate ourselves from the toxicity of the world we live in, the more our bodies and our families and our future selves will be happy and healthy.

Brainwave Entrainment & Bilateral Stimulation

Brainwave entrainment and bilateral stimulation can help reduce the symptoms of:

  • Stress
  • Fatigue, bodily or mental
  • Mental overwork, overthinking
  • Stuck emotions or thought-patterns needing to be processed
  • Bodily or mental-emotional trauma

“Brainwave entrainment” is the use an external stimulus to synchronize brainwave oscillations in ways that are measurable in QEEG. Auditory entrainment is the use of specific sound frequencies and combinations of auditory stimuli to alter brainwave activity. If you’ve ever heard of “binaural beats”, these are a subset of the fascinating technology known as brainwave entrainment or BWE. The form of BWE that will discussed here and which is employed at Source is auditory entrainment.

Just to toot my own horn a little, in 2012 I wrote my Bachelors thesis (in Psychology) on “Brainwave Entrainment: An Impetus for the Future of Medicine”, a lofty and lengthy meta-analysis of all of the scientific literature on BWE to date. At that time, there were only a total of 30 published research articles on the phenomenon of BWE. Now, a quick Google Scholar search of the term “brainwave entrainment” pulls up over 800 results.

I have been experimenting with binaural beats, isochronic tones, and other forms of BWE for ten years. Soon after beginning using alpha and beta brainwaves while reading, I realized that this was a technology that would have change the course of my childhood had I known about it sooner. Focused attention while reading was always something I struggled with growing up. BWE gave me the ability to read with focus and clarity like I’d never experienced in my life. I knew then that this was something I should take seriously, so I went on to study it academically while in my undergraduate program and continue to study it to this day.

How does it work?

 If I were to clap my hands while standing next to you, a certain portion of the temporal lobe of your brain would “light up” in response to the neural input coming in through your auditory sense. If I were to clap my hands at a specific rate, say six times per second (6Hz), then your brain would be “lighting up” at the rate at which I’m clapping my hands (on top of the “light show” that is all the rest of your neural activity).

Neurons fire. They fire at a range of different rates based on what they’re processing. These neural firings are collectively and colloquially known as “brainwaves”. When you look at the range of frequencies produced by the firing of the neurons in the brain, certain patterns begin to emerge. We now know that certain states of consciousness are associated with brainwave patterns that fall into certain frequency ranges. For instance, if you are reading this it means you are awake and that the dominant range of brainwaves in your noggin are in what’s called the Beta range, which ranges from 16-31Hz (depending on who you ask). It’s important to note that none of these delineations are hard-fast and that it’s more helpful to think of these things as existing on a spectrum. If you want to know more about brainwave frequencies, check this out or just ask me.

In the entrainment literature there is something called a “frequency following response” where the entrained frequency is induced in nearby neurons and spreads to other areas of the brain – like synchronous fireflies. If more of your neurons are firing within a given frequency range, then you are more likely to experience the states of consciousness that are associated with that brainwave frequency range. It is really that simple.

There is an old axiom from the early days of neuropsychology that goes: “Neurons that fire together, wire together.” Think about the implications of this regarding what your mind is processing while a majority of your neurons are all dancing to the beat of the same drum.

Bilateral Stimulation

I have been experimenting with home-made BWE for ten years, but it wasn’t until recently that I discovered the magic of bilateral stimulation. “Bilateral stimulation” simply a means of facilitating harmony between the left and right hemispheres of the brain by stimulating one side of the body (and thereby the brain) and then the other, alternating back and forth. This could be as simple as tapping your feet from left to right.

This technique is employed in therapies like EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization & Reprogramming) and EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique, “Tapping”) to facilitate communication between the hemispheres. Elevated states of consciousness during prayer or meditation are often associated with a balanced synchrony between the left and right. When the left and right hemispheres are talking appropriately, there is a sense of balance and of peace.

The sounds I use for BWE with bilateral stimulation phase from left to right to encourage this cross-talk. They also employ Pythagorean intervals in an A Major chord (A=216Hz) (more on my fascination with Pythagorean intervals on my sound healing page, or go straight to the Geesink & Meijer meta-analysis here). This particular set of intervals entrains the brain to a set of Gamma frequencies. Gamma brainwaves are used in high-level cognitive processing and frontal-lobe activity in general. It has been demonstrated in EEG studies that frequent meditators have higher base-level Gamma power in their brains.

In effect, what the BWE sounds I use do is encourage the left and right hemispheres to process information at a deep level. In sessions with me there is often a sense of peace and relaxation – some experience deep states of meditation or spontaneous visualizations. Many clients fall asleep. This is encouraged! They often wake up feeling refreshed and alert.

Ready to try it for yourself?