I have just recently heard about "Earthing." I don't know whether to be happy or sad.
"Earthing" is a new healing technique that involves…wait for it… lying directly on the ground or walking barefoot in order to connect to the healing energies of the Earth.
Apparently naturopathic science is discovering what Pagans and hippies have known for years. The Earth's energy heals us. Having that validation should make me happy, I suppose. Except that I don't need validation for an obvious truth.
What I feel is disgust that people can take a normal human behavior, brand it and market it. I feel the same disgust that we as a culture have grown so far away from our planet that this even needs to be a thing.
Of course New Age marketing geniuses have found a way to monetize Earthing. You can now buy an "Earthing Bed" that has a special cord through which energy supposedly transfers from the Earth to your bed.
Cue even more disgust here. Our planet is not chic yoga pants, shoe-magnets, a high-tech water purifier or a juicer. "Earthing" cannot become just another New Age fad.
I live in a naturist community. I am "barefoot all over" most of the time. I connect with the Earth every day. I go to the beach and lie naked in the sand. Beyond that, I'm a Pagan. It is my religion to connect with the Earth. I am glad, really glad, that people are waking up to the power of the Earth and the travesty of our modern-day disconnection from the Earth. I'm sad that someone had to tell them (or sell them) what they should have innately known.
In 2005, Richard Louv wrote a book, Last Child in the Woods, which hypothesized a modern malady "Nature Deficit Disorder."
Louv suggested that since modern parents are afraid to expose their kids to nature our nation is beginning to suffer a complex collective anxiety disorder.
I hate to think that my kids were the last generation to run through the woods, eat sun-warmed berries off a bush, sleep in a tent and skinny-dip in a lake.
In the 1960s there was a "back to the Earth" movement. As a child those concepts immediately appealed to me. In fact, that movement was probably responsible for forming me into the skyclad hippie witch that I am.
And now it turns out that those who took a different route are suffering, and their prescription is to connect their bodies to the Earth.
I am not looking forward to hearing all the New-Agey fad-followers talking about how they are going to go Earthing after yoga on Tuesday. But the fact is I hope they actually do. They need it, and so does the planet.
I'll do my own bit of marketing here. If you are looking for a great place to go Earthing, try your local naturist park or nude beach. And maybe don't call it Earthing. Maybe just call it going to the beach.