Thursday, October 21, 2010

Earthing, Health, Weston A. Price and Francis Pottenger

I truly believe what Weston A. Price, DDS and Francis M. Pottenger, Jr., MD 'discovered' about nutrition is of prime importance today, even though I don't think either one had the all the answers for optimal health. What they realized and promoted, first and foremost was the importance to our health of eating real, unprocessed nutritious foods. That remains true especially now, even though it is almost impossible for most people to eat only unprocessed foods in any industrialized country.

Pottenger's cats (more than 900 over 10 years of research) showed optimal health on a balanced, raw diet. Of course that would not work for me since I no longer have any real teeth for tearing and shredding raw meats and vegetables. I have to agree however, that most nutrients are destroyed by heat, and eating raw foods make sense. I eat some raw foods in the form of fruit, juice smoothies and salads, and hope that I still get some nutrients in rare/medium-rare beef and lightly-steamed vegetables. I cook pork and fish until fully done, though.

Most of what I know about Price's dietary ideas comes via Sally Fallon and the Foundation she started. (Plus her books, of course.) I agree with many food preparation methods she recommends, like raw lacto-fermented vegetables, and nuts/grains/beans that have been soaked overnight in aciduated water to remove as much of the phytates as possible. However, even doing that soaking process still leaves me with an unpleasant feeling in my system from eating those foods after cooking. I know it doesn't seem to affect everyone that way... and suffice it to say my doctor still has me off most of those foods for now anyway.

The 'grounding' of humans by Earthing is just as logical to me. I suspect Dr. Price probably never gave thought to connections between the vitality he was discovering and how many of the people he studied were barefoot... or that it might be related to health equally as much as the unadulterated foods they ate. People worldwide went barefoot all the time back then... who would have thought it might have any connection to health?

I can tell you I worked outside barefoot 5+ hours yesterday doing fall clean-up, felt energetic the whole time, and slept soundly. When I think about my deep sleep, though, I must acknowledge I was quite physically tired. (What 70-year-old wouldn't be, working hard after 2 months of being a couch-potato?) Again today I worked outside barefoot for 6-7 hours and although I'm not quite so tired, I also feel more energized. I will continue to be aware and monitor my contact with the earth... although winter is coming with snow and ice, which will put a dent in going barefoot!

One of the reasons I can so readily believe the earth-effect on humans is from reading Phillip S. Callahan and his work on paramagnetism (low-frequency forces in nature) and and the amazing effects it has upon soils, plants and people. The works of Rudolph Steiner (on Biodynamics) are also very impressive although I understand very little of it. (I'm told we don't really have to understand it ... it is based on the interconnectedness of the living network of earth energies and they work, given the right environment, whether we understand them or not.) 

We humans have severed almost all direct connection to the Earth and to our food in the last hundred years. Have you ever tasted the dirt to see if it is sweet enough to grow vegetables? When is the last time you or your children went barefoot, played in the dirt or made mudpies? Natural disease immunity is down because we don't get "dirty" anymore, and instantly reach for an antiseptic body-wash if we do happen to get a smudge. Many of the dedicated gardeners I know never go barefoot; plus they always wear garden gloves (to protect manicured hands?), and sit on a low stool rather than kneel on the dirt to plant bulbs.

We get our weather forecast from the weather channel, and haven't many clues about the current moon phase unless we happen to glimpse a gorgeous full moon, or it's very dark outside at night. When is the last time you gazed up at the stars for more than a minute or three? How many constellations can you identify? Can you tell the time (or the season) just by their positions in the night sky?

Kill and pluck one of those chickens we just bought and keep in the backyard for eggs? You gotta be kidding. Chicken comes from the store, cooked and kept warm in a little domed package!

If something raises the "hackles" on our necks (yes, our fine neck hairs work just like hackles), we are most likely to ignore it (unless we live in an urban, crime-ridden city). Same denial goes for a sixth sense, intuition, ESP, or any other subtle energetic perceptions that might make their way into our conscious minds.

Is it any wonder we assume folks like Steiner and Callahan to be out on left field and steeped in a belief in alchemy?? Yet, their ideas have proven over and over to provide positive results working with Nature. 

Wasn't it Albert Einstein who said, "Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." ???


  1. Re: winter & earthing... I'm wondering if the traditional Native American winter moccasin might work to maintain contact w/subtle earth energies?

  2. I wondered about those myself, but my research said leather is an insulator.

    However, I am reminded of when I worked in an operating room years ago. Our shoes had to be conductive, and most of us had little copper grommets punched through the shoe sole touching the ball of the foot. Some of the surgeons had surgical boots with a composite sole that was conductive.

  3. I'd think leather is an insulator only when it's dry... which wouldn't be long between ground & foot moisture.

  4. You may be right... but I'd hate cold AND wet feet!

  5. Wool socks! =0)
    I think, too, that there are some benefits from the acupressure points being stimulated by bare-footedness, so even if conductivity was reduced, the random stimulation would continue... not as acute, but still...

  6. I know very little about acupressure points, but your speculation may be right on.

    Wool socks, of course, are excellent insulators, esp. of heat.

  7. Even when wet! =0)
    As I understand it, several important acupuncture meridians have points on the soles of the feet, and all those little rocks & things are going to be randomly pressing & stimulating them...

    Of course, I don't know that I'd want to run around all day in just moccasins, but for a few chores, seems like it might be OK.


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