“Earthing” - The Expanding Hotel Spa Wellness Movement
By Emily McConnell Spa Director, Dana Hotel and Spa | July 06, 2014
In today's culture it is easy to become far removed from Earth's natural elements. With a fast-paced society and high tech gadgets, we tend to make time for everyone and everything but ourselves which causes an increased risk for illness and a more stressful lifestyle. With the expansion of the wellness movement in hotels and spas, earthing emerges as one of the new spa trends.
Considered a foundation for vibrant health, earthing is the direct physical contact of the human body with the surface of the earth. People are constantly generating positive electrons that build up in their bodies and if they are not stabilized with negative electrons, they become free radicals. The Earth on the other hand is also constantly generating an abundance of negative electrons and omitting them through very subtle vibrations. When a person has direct contact with the Earth, they accept the negative electrons that help keep us calm and centered. This balances out the extra positive electrons with the negative electrons to change the free radicals into healthy molecules. The result is a healthier, more peaceful individual. The use of smart phones and other high tech devices have increased the amount of positive electrons running throughout one's body. So finding ways to get close to the Earth is now important more than ever.
Let's take a closer look at free radicals and how they affect us. It's essential that our bodies have oxygen to metabolize our cells. However, that process causes a byproduct called a free radical. Not all free radicals are bad for us. In fact, the ones caused by our immune system actually help us fight off viruses and bacteria. But the majority of free radicals can be harmful causing acceleration in the aging process and various diseases. In an effort to balance itself, a free radical can become unstable and aggressively attack other important elements of our bodies like proteins, carbohydrates and cholesterol. They steal other electrons from healthy cells leaving that cell unhealthy and so on causing a chain reaction. Environmental factors such as sun damage, pollution and cigarette smoking can spawn free radicals as well. It's a catch twenty-two, we need oxygen to survive, but the byproduct causes free radicals, which are known to initiate the weakening of the skin's structural support, decrease our elasticity, resilience and suppleness of skin. They can also be the cause of more harmful tumors or diseases.
In order to prevent this chain reaction from spiraling out of control, we need antioxidants. Antioxidants are molecules that reduce or stop the weathering of other molecules; examples include vitamins A, C and E, beta-carotene or zinc. People can absorb antioxidants by the foods we eat, skin care products we use or by having direct contact with the Earth. An antioxidant can repair the free radical and offset the damage that it has caused by releasing an electron to the radical neutralizing it. So, they can essentially diminish or correct damage and to a great degree prevent future conditions and diseases from forming in our skin and bodies. Since the Earth is constantly generating negative electrons, earthing gives us unlimited access to free electrons to help balance our free radicals. So in spa terms, earthing is the ultimate antioxidant.
Spas are known to continuously offer ways to relax and heal the body with traditional methods of wellness that have been sustained for years. However, spas are now discovering the benefits of earthing and realizing the importance of incorporating this concept into the treatments offered. Studies show that when people come in contact with nature there is an improvement in blood flow, sleep habits, a decrease in pain and inflammation, and an increase in overall energy. Since physically touching the Earth is known to ground and calm us, the ingredients that are incorporated into the spa services are invaluable.
Minerals like sulfur, boron, magnesium, potassium and sodium all offer multiple healing benefits. Sulfur has been known as "nature's beauty mineral" for centuries; not only does is ground us, it eases skin conditions, joint pain and strengthens our hair, skin and nails. Magnesium will also promote healthy skin and can convert blood sugar into energy. Think about how you feel after going into a hot steam and then plunging into a cold-water bath. You feel clarity, alertness and overall energized. That is what boron can offer by boosting our brain activity, increasing our muscle mass and strengthening our bones. Potassium helps to eliminate toxins, reduce blood pressure and assists in normalizing our heart rhythms leaving us in a tranquil state of mind. Sodium is known to stimulate the body's lymphatic system and alleviate arthritic symptoms, which can be helpful to so many. All are derived from the Earth's core to help aid in wellness and go hand in hand with the spa industry's Earthing movement.
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