Spa Trends: Earthing

Spa practitioners increasingly find that balanced energy and reduced inflammation may lie right beneath their feet.

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Earthing, or the direct physical contact of the human body with the surface of the earth, is a fast-growing movement recently expedited by studies indicating the power of the earth surface’s electrons to reduce inflammation and cardiovascular disease, as well as stress. Spa pros in particular have latched onto the practice, as they find it helps protect them against “taking on” too many of their clients’ physical, mental and emotional issues.

Two years ago, Maryna Allan, therapist and owner of the Be Energy Center in Woodland Hills, California, suffered debilitating wrist pain caused by years of administering bodywork. She thought her career was over until, she says, Earthing resurrected it. “Once I made it a habit to stand outside barefoot between services, my pain dissipated and I found I was able to maintain better energy throughout the day and see more clients without being drained,” she explains. “I tend to be an empath, which is great for the client, but not necessarily beneficial for me. My sense is that because I am now more ‘grounded,’ I no longer take on their issues. This is my best health discovery to date.”

Katherine Van Hatten, the retired former owner of Brentwood Skin Care & Health in Brentwood, California, began using Earthing techniques after attending a seminar on the topic some 10 years ago. “Earthing immediately helped me to better relax,” she says. “I also learned to stop sleeping with the TV on, and keep electricity use minimal, as it can block the Earth’s healing electrons.” Van Hatten became so fascinated with the “subterranean grid work of natural healing power” that she and her husband, an electrical engineer, devised a unique way to harness the earth’s electrons to better benefit Van Hatten and her clients, even in her second-story treatment room! “We put a rod in a patch of the ground outside, and ran a line from the dirt area, through my walls and attached it to an Earthing pad that I stood on while I worked,” she explains. “The energy would come through my hands and benefit my clients—suddenly they were so relaxed I’d have to wake them up once I was done!”

Even in the concrete jungle, spa pros are getting creative with their Earthing tactics. Alisha Lalji, owner of Vancouver’s E.M. Luxury Spa, employs the following guided meditation to help clients reap Earthing’s benefits: “I ask guests to close their eyes and envision a cord running from the base of their spine—the first chakra—connecting all the way down through the core of the earth. I ask them to feel their stresses and worries being siphoned from their bodies. Afterward, they feel much more physically stable—they’re so rooted I can hardly move them.” Lalji also includes Earthing in her homecare advice. “I encourage my clients to be barefoot on the ground whenever possible, to spend time in their garden, to get back to nature. Eating foods that grow from the ground—beets, ginger, potatoes and carrots, for instance—will also help balance your energy.” Talk about getting down to Earth—literally!

Note: The late 1990s discovery of the Earthing concept is credited to Clint Ober, a former cable TV executive. Today, the company Earth FX owns the Earthing trademark, which is used on specially made Earthing aids such as mats and conductors. For more info, visit earthing.com.