On a cellular level, our bodies are in a continuous process of creation, renewal, regeneration, recovery, as well as repair, defense, and vigilance against both external and internal attacks. We are also in the unending process of dying. We persistently and relentlessly wear out our cells and have to replace them. We trade in the old lining of our gut for a new one every two to three days. We replace our skin every six weeks, and our liver every eight weeks. Even brain cells grow a new (contrary to the experts’ understanding from a mere 20 years ago that brain cells only die after birth).

On a cellular level, we are beings of energy or voltage. We emit energy, we harbor energy, holding on to it as our life depends upon it (which it does), and we absorb energy from external sources. Energy, both bodily and psychological, is why we are sick and, as well, why we are healthy.

But when we don’t have enough energy/voltage in our bodies (I am using the words “voltage” and “energy” interchangeably), we can neither repair old cells, nor make new ones. This is the beginning of a death spiral because sick cells remain sick, and eventually become burdensome dead debris within our bodies. Low bodily voltage means that either sick cells are not being repaired, or new cells are not being created to replace the sick ones. Ill health is an inevitable consequence of this state of low energy/voltage.

It is an important assessment of our state of health to know our energetic levels. These are entirely determined by what our electrons are doing. Wherever a cell in our body has a surplus of electrons, these cells function as “electron donors.” They have the power to activate the various cellular repair mechanisms of the body. Alternatively, when the number of electrons for a cell is deficient, that cell, then, becomes an “electron stealer.” If we are deficient in voltage, we have more electron stealers than electron donors circulating throughout our body. And that is not a good state to be in.

Unfortunately, because of the degradation of our environment (our denatured foods, the depletion of our soil of necessary minerals, the pollution of earth, water and air, and so on—you know the drill of the sorry state of today’s earth ecosystem), many of us are in poor health precisely and specifically because we are low in voltage (too many electron stealers selfishly pilfering from our generous good-Samaritan electron donors). While the contributory factors of polluted food, water and air are well-known, there is one factor affecting our energy levels that you may not have thought of: the amount of concrete that has been poured over so much of Earth’s surface. On any given day, as a New Yorker who walks to most places, I am stepping on a massive amount of concrete each day. One NYC-raised child who I spoke with recently at a park, where I was taking a welcome temporary reprieve from the concrete jungle I live in, explained to me that until she was five, she thought concrete was what was natural and grass was put down artificially.

Because of living so much on a coating of earth (that we call sidewalks, roads, floors, bridges, railroad tracks, etc), and wearing yet another insulation barrier between us and earth (that we call shoes and socks), the natural energies of earth that are emitted from its surface are not absorbed by our bodies. Those of us living in high-rise apartments exist day-to-day, every moment we are comfortably relaxing in our homes, away from earth’s essential energies. Many of us, and especially those who live in urban environments, suffer from what I call the sickness of Earth-Energy Deprivation.

The modern awareness of the importance of being exposed, on a continuous basis, to Earth-Energy came with the first travel into space. History buffs, and those of us who are old enough, will remember the Space War. Like the political wars that have been fought from time immemorial, or the unending War on Cancer, the Space War was a competition to see who was going to be victorious, and the battle was between the US and Russia. The Russians won. In 1961, Russian cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin became the first man to be shot out of earth’s atmosphere, and he circled around earth for a brief but fateful 48 minutes. When he descended back to earth, he was near death; many of his metabolic functions had been severely compromised. In spite of having had sufficient water, food and oxygen, he had severe bone loss, muscle degeneration, loss of perception and disorientation, as well as debilitating depression.

The Russians decided they wouldn’t send any other men into space until they could determine what had caused Yuri’s ill health. They came to understand that being separated from earth’s gravitational pull, as well as losing the energies of her pulsating magnetic field, have severe negative health consequences on the human body.

Since Yuri Gagarin’s first foray into space, every other manned space flight has had a pulsed magnetic device on board: thus, problem solved for space travel and consequent ill health. Unfortunately, Mr. Gagarin never recovered from his short, ultimately unfortunate departure from earth. The damage was irreversible; his depression never left him, and he committed suicide at the age of 37.

Mr. Gagarin’s story is apocryphal for us. So many of us today suffer from the same condition, perhaps on a less severe level, but nevertheless debilitating for us to live with. Like him, we move through our lives without sufficient energy, without feeling really good. We don’t deliberately commit suicide, as Yuri Gagarin did, but our life-styles lead us to be, as he was, separated from Earth’s bountiful energies, and we remain, as was he, too listless, too tired to enjoy our all-too-brief excursion on this plane of earthly existence.

Since the Russians, and then the US space program, developed the first pulsed magnetic devices, these machines have become affordable, and widely used in holistic health facilities—though less in the US than in Europe. In Germany, every holistic cancer clinic begins each therapy with a pulsed magnetic treatment (PEMF: Pulsed Electro-Magnetic Field). They have found that whatever therapy is administered subsequently will be better absorbed and better utilized by the body when the body first receives the revitalization of the pulsed magnetic energy. In the US, in spite of FDA approval of PEMF for treatment of brain cancer and repair of bone fractures, the treatment is still relatively unknown and under-used here.

I personally use the PEMF device on most days, and my wellness center, La Casa Spa & Wellness Center, is, I believe, the only center in NY that offers this treatment. The other device I use regularly is the BioModulator, which not only confers energy, but has the additional capability of measuring voltage of the body. Both devices can be applied anywhere on the body as well as directly onto the head for brain stimulation and cognitive rejuvenation. Also, both serve as valuable tools in sleep disorders and run-of-the-mill insomnia. PEMF devices cost anywhere from $3300 to $22,000 (depending on whether you get a personal or professional unit). The BioModulator sells for between $2500 and $8000 (depending on whether you get a personal or professional unit).

But there are three other “therapies” that are fun, equally effective, and free of cost:

• walking barefoot

• hanging out with trees

• cuddling with a dog.

Walking Barefoot:

When we walk barefoot, we absorb through our feet, all of the various known energies of earth. Of course, lying on the beach ON the sand (not on a towel IN the sand) does the same thing. But, the feet are an ideal part of the body with which to absorb the life-giving energies because feet have the largest pores in the body, and they are connected to many other parts of the body. So, walk on the beach barefoot. Lie on the beach and rub sand all over your body, but especially on your feet.

Hanging Out With Trees

Hanging out with trees (even hugging a tree) is a powerful way of increasing Earth-Energy in the body/brain. Both history, as well as modern science, tells us that trees have powerful effects on us. Historically, we have evidence that trees can help us think better: Plato and Aristotle did their best thinking in the olive groves around Athens; Buddha found enlightenment beneath a Bodhi tree; Isaac Newton discovered the theory of gravity sitting under a tree, watching an apple fall.

As with human beings (and all other living beings), trees have an energy frequency. Because trees stand very still, the specific vibrations of trees are slow and steady. Their roots dig deep into the earth, and their branches reach skyward, and thus, they absorb the energies of the earth as well as the universal forces of the atmosphere and sky. When our own energy connects with trees, we respond with mind, body and spirit.

The Japanese actually have a word for tree-hanging out: Shinrin-yoku. A rough translation is Forest-Bathing.

Science has validated that just looking at trees has beneficial health effects. Studies have shown that hospitalized patients recover more quickly with a ‘green view.’ Mount Sinai Hospital in New York has redesigned its interior so that recovery rooms now have a view of Central Park. Research documents that just looking at a forest view (even on paper) for 20 minutes lowers the amount of the stress hormone cortisol by 13%.

Qing Li, from the Tokyo Medical School, tested blood and urine samples of people while they were Forest-Bathing. The results showed that the level of natural killer cells was significantly higher on the Forest-Bathing days. Natural killer cells release an anti-cancer protein that attacks tumors and cells infected by pathogens.  The study showed that the levels stayed elevated for a full 30 days after the trip to the forest. In addition, the levels of adrenaline in the urine were reduced.

The therapy of Forest-Bathing is now practiced in England as a treatment for anxiety, depression and stress. Physicians in Doncaster and Camden (North London) have been sending patients to “Green Gyms.”

Dog Cuddling:

If your dog scampers around outside on your lawn, or garden—anywhere there is earth—then the dog is absorbing the energy of the earth—because (s)he is barefoot. When you hold your dog, the electrons from your dog travel over from him/her to you. Your dog is donating electrons to you, and this confers energy to you, making you healthier and less susceptible to illness. (And your dog benefits from the contact with you, even if your voltage is lower than your dog’s because petting is an important stimulation to the dog’s immune system, as it is for humans as well.)

Because I am an oncological psychoanalyst (a psychoanalyst who specializes in working with cancer patients), I am interested in cancer statistics. It is interesting to me that cancer is rare in primitive tribes as well as in animals who live in the wild. Both of these animal and human populations live in a way that brings them continuously in tactile contact with earth. Cancer has been called a disease of civilization with good reason. It is my belief that we will eventually discover an untold number of other energies, beyond gravitational and magnetic that our first mother, Mother Earth, emits.

Jane G. Goldberg, Ph.D. has been a practicing psychoanalyst for over 45 years, and is one of the nation’s leading authorities in the fields of psychological oncology and mind/body health. She is the founder of three holistic spas and wellness centers, including New York City’s first, since 1993, La Casa Spa & Wellness Center. Her holistic center, in he rain forest of Puerto Rico, has undergone extensive renovation, and will be open in the Fall of 2017. Dr. Godberg is a prolific writer in the fields of psychoanalysis and holistic health, having published numerous scholarly articles and authored eight published books, including her latest, My Mother, My Daughter, My Self. She is a frequent speaker at conventions and conferences nationwide, both professional and lay. In addition, she is often called as a guest on television and radio. Dr. Goldberg is a mother, as well as an avid runner, yoga practitioner, swimmer and holds a Black Belt in Tae Kwon Do.