Earthing & Grounding | The Health Benefits of Nature

Earthing & Grounding | The Health Benefits of Nature

Earthing, also called grounding, is a simple practice with powerful benefits and results based on the science of electrons. This ancient technique is certainly not a new concept, but the movement has been revitalized over the past few decades as people recognize the importance of Nature and the inherent effect it has on our bodies.

What is earthing and grounding?

To put it simply, it’s making therapeutic skin contact with the earth, whether it be walking barefoot, lying on the ground, or submersing yourself in water, which is believed to have a similar positive effect. Proponents of earthing say it makes their bodies feel recharged and healthier; it boosts mood, relieves depression, lowers high blood pressure in participants with hypertension, reduces inflammation and chronic pain, and restores the body’s natural defenses. If being outdoors isn’t an option, there are products such as electrical grounding mats that can be used as a replacement.

footprint in sand on the beach

How does grounding work?

Spiritually, the core concept of grounding or earthing is centered around the energy of Mother Earth revitalizing our souls and bodies. Scientifically, it revolves around the transfer of electrons. Clint Ober, a longtime leader of the earthing movement, explains in an interview with goop, “Free radicals have an electron imbalance that makes them electrically charged—in their quest to find a free electron and neutralize, they can attach to or steal an electron from a healthy cell, damaging it in the process . . . The earth has an infinite supply of free electrons, so when a person is grounded, those electrons naturally flow between the earth and the body, reducing free radicals and eliminating any static electrical charge. The reason grounding is so powerful is it reduces and prevents inflammation from occurring in the body, which in turn prevents inflammation-related health disorders.”

Does science support grounding?

Although there haven’t been many studies done, the results that have been published have been positive and indicated measurable changes in grounded participants in comparison to control subjects. The Journal of Environmental and Public Health examined the results of indoor grounding tested under controlled conditions that simulate being barefoot outdoors. The charts below illustrate a sampling of their results:

Graph of cortisol secretion before and after grounding

Graph (a) illustrates the variation of patterns among twelve subjects who suffered from sleep dysfunction, pain, and stress prior to grounding, while (b) shows a realignment and normalization trend of patterns after six weeks of sleeping grounded on a conductive mattress.

Graph showing white blood cell count and pain scale for grounding participants

When studying the relationship between grounding and chronic pain, the control subjects expressed greater pain than the grounded subjects. Lower white blood cell counts in the grounded subjects provided supporting evidence, indicating less inflammation.


How can I practice earthing?

The best way is to go outside and connect with Mother Earth directly for at least thirty minutes every day. Walk barefoot in the grass. Kneel or lie on the ground to allow extra skin contact. Wade in a river or lake, or swim in the sea. Meditation is a good way to fully connect in mind, body, and spirit.

Redheaded girl lying in the grass

Grounding yourself indoors requires equipment. An electrical grounding mat is made of carbon-based polyurethane and ideal for you to set your bare feet on, even if it’s under your desk while you’re working. The mat is connected to a wire that’s plugged into the grounding port of a standard electrical outlet. Because carbon is a natural conductor and that pad is connected to the ground via the ground port, you’re accessing the planet’s electrons.

Grounding has a proven positive impact on sleep, which is why you can now find bed pads that fit under your sheet. These are usually made with silver, another natural conductor. You can find other electrical grounding products such as sheets, yoga mats, socks, patches, and bands.


The earth is calling…

Have you ever felt the sudden urge to dip your toes in water or curl them in sand or soil? That may be your body telling you exactly what it needs. The risks involved with earthing are low, as long as you’re using indoor grounding equipment properly. So, if you’re feeling tired, stressed, anxious, depressed, sore, or any number of other ailments, what do you have to lose by giving grounding a try? You might be surprised by how beneficial a little natural electron therapy can be.

Citations:

Chevalier, G., Sinatra, S., Oschman, J., Sokal, K., & Sokal, P. (2012). Earthing: Health implications of reconnecting the human body to the Earth’s surface electrons. Retrieved September 11, 2020, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3265077/

Earthing – What Is Earthing & Can It Improve Your Health? (2020, July 02). Retrieved September 11, 2020, from https://goop.com/wellness/health/earthing-how-walking-barefoot-could-cure-your-insomnia-more/

6 thoughts on “Earthing & Grounding | The Health Benefits of Nature

  1. Thanks a lot for sharing this amazing article, if is always interesting to be able to read through information like this that you don’t get to encounter everyday. It is a good thing to connect with nature, it gives the kind of feeling that we a re part of the earth and we live by connecting with her. It’s nice to read through.

  2. One of the worst parts of having a broken leg is that I couldn’t go outside barefoot, and now that I’m finally starting to walk again and can actually manage on uneven ground, ITS SNOWING. ugh! I can’t wait to start doing things like this again..

    1. Oh no! Glad you’re feeling better, but that’s definitely tough when you can’t get around easily. You might look into a grounding mat, sheets, or socks for the winter until the ground thaws and you can be barefoot outdoors again.

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