Why Nature is a Health Essential


Africa view

View on safari in Kenya

By 2040 two thirds of the world’s population will be urbanised. Perhaps you’re one of them. We seek natural environments, by the sea and in the mountains, for our holidays. Somehow, being in nature rejuvenates us. Why?

There are a few possible explanations which is why I’ve been making sanctuaries, in South Wales and on the carless island of Lamu , Kenya, to help people rejuvenate and reconnect with the essence of life:

  • Clean air, with more negative ions
  • Less light pollution
  • Earthing
  • Synchronising brain waves with that of the Earth

egative ions have long been known to have numerous health benefits. They are present by the ocean, the sea, in mountainous areas, and less present with certain wind patterns, such as Mistrals in the south of France.

There is so much background light in cities it is hard to appreciate total darkness, and really see the stars at night. There is something so wonderful to be surrounded by a canopy of stars and really see the Milky Way. The ebb and flow of the moon becomes something you really notice. In Lamu, and on safari in the middle of nowhere, we also have nightly shooting stars.

Gaba Gaba House

Gaba Gaba House in Lamu

Lamu is 5 hours from civilisation and has no cars. So, the quality of air, blowing in from the Indian Ocean, as well as the lack of noise from engines, and the need to walk to get around, soon has an effect. I always lose weight and feel healthier.

As we generate energy and discharge our ‘exhaust fumes’ as oxidants, the by-product of making mitochondrial ATP, the unit of energy that powers all cells, we become more positively charged. The Accumulating evidence shows that we actually need ‘earthing’.

If you think about it, all electrical devices are ‘earthed’, which allows an exchange of electrical charge in the form of charged particles, known as negative ions or electrons, with the Earth. We need this connection too. Every day the Earth receives something like 50,000 lightning strikes and consequently has a supply of ‘free’ electrons that will change the electrical charge of our body if we make contact with it for long enough. Our ancestors would have been ‘grounded’ naturally all day long, because they would have either walked barefoot or worn leather shoes, and both allow the exchange of charged particles. Today we wear shoes with rubber or plastic soles, neither of which allow this exchange to happen.

The Earth is a rich source of negative ions, while we, especially in disease states, have more positive ions. So, could it be that the exchange of ions that takes place when we are connected to the Earth has a direct effect on health? In my book The Chemistry of Connection I review several studies, on people with diabetes, cardiovascular concerns, sleeping problems and arthritis, all of which have been helped by earthing.

On a practical note I like to walk barefoot, or at least lie down on the grass, or sit on a rock, whenever I can. Wood doesn’t conduct so our patio in Wales is stone, not wood, for that purpose. The best of all is to swim in the sea.

Welsh Retreat

Black Mountain Retreat in South Wales

Synchronising with the Earth

The Earth also has a natural frequency, that is, an electromagnetic vibration, to which our body naturally synchronizes if we spend enough time earthed in a natural environment. In a deeply relaxed, or meditative state, our body literally vibrates at about 8 cycles per second (known as Hertz, or Hz). At the same time, our brainwaves shift from their everyday beta range (13 to 40Hz) into the same 8Hz deep alpha range.

When this occurs, it creates an electromagnetic field around the head and the heart. The heart’s electromagnetic field actually extends for several metres. The Earth’s electromagnetic field also has a frequency of around 8Hz. When we are in nature, without any other interfering signal and hopefully no phone signal, it changes our brainwave pattern. So, it’s best to turn your phone off when you go for a long walk in a wild environment.

In the Black Mountains of Wales you can walk all day and barely see anyone and mobile reception is few and far between. After an hour or so in such a wilderness we become in sync with the Earth, crossing into the theta...

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