Whether you’re working to meet your deadlines or busy managing your family, it’s sometimes hard to take time out to go to the gym or take a yoga class. This eventually leads to a buildup of stress and fatigue which sets the stage for diseases and chronic ailments. However, there is an easy way to de-stress and it costs practically nothing. No matter how busy you are, you definitely can spare a minute to do the simple practice of grounding or earthing every day.
What Is Earthing?
The earth is like a huge battery that contains a natural, subtle electric charge. Modern lifestyles have disconnected humans completely from the earth and its healing effect. You walk with shoes when you’re outdoors and the floors are usually insulated and covered with carpets. Holistic health practitioners believe that reconnecting with the earth can allow you to benefit from the natural subtle charge at the earth’s surface.
While people are aware that machines need electricity to work, they don’t realize the human body also runs on bioelectricity which is usually generated through chemical reactions. The earth’s surface possesses a limitless and continuously renewed supply of free or mobile electrons.1 When you come into direct contact with the earth, your body absorbs these electrons and, in a sense, charges your body.
How To Practice Earthing
This practice is usually called earthing or grounding or barefoot grounding and you don’t need an instructor or register for a class to do it. All you need to do is take off your shoes and spend some time connected directly with the earth’s surface. It could be rocks, sand, grass, or just a bare natural surface.
Walk barefoot for a minute or two every day either in the morning or after you get back from work. While you’re doing it, try to feel the sensation in the soles of your feet and visualize your connection with the earth that feeds, nourishes, and sustains all life on this planet. Over time, you will begin to feel the benefits of this simple practice.
Health Benefits Of Earthing
1. Reduces Inflammation
Inflammation is believed to be the underlying cause of several diseases like cardiovascular disease, metabolic syndrome, hypertension, diabetes, and hyperlipidemia. The effects of inflammation become increasingly prominent as you age as a consequence of decades of unhealthy lifestyle choices. 2
Chronic inflammation happens when your body sends an inflammatory response to a perceived internal threat that does not require an inflammatory response. This leads to an excess of harmful free radicals in your body. It is believed that the free or mobile electrons from the earth can resolve chronic inflammation by serving as natural antioxidants. They cancel out free radicals and prevent them from causing damage to the body.
2. Improves Quality Of Sleep
Getting a good night’s sleep has become a rarity in today’s times. Hectic work schedules and unhealthy lifestyles choices make it difficult for your body to get into a state of rest at night. But the simple practice of earthing might be able to help you sleep well. In a 2004 study, 12 participants with complaints of sleep dysfunction, pain, and stress were grounded to earth during sleep for 8 weeks in their own beds using a conductive mattress pad.
Researchers found that grounding the human body to earth during sleep reduces night-time levels of cortisol (a hormone that regulates metabolism) and resynchronizes cortisol hormone secretion more in alignment with the natural 24-hour circadian rhythm. The participants reported better sleep and reduced pain and stress.3
3. Helps Reduce Stress
One of the major factors affecting health and the quality of your life is the stress that you experience every day. By spending some time in nature, you can keep feelings of stress and anxiety at bay. A double-blind study that investigated the effects of earthing on 58 healthy adults used conductive adhesive patches placed on the sole of each participant’s foot to read their electrical signals.4
The subjects were exposed to 28 minutes in the unearthed condition followed by 28 minutes with the earthing wire connected. Abrupt changes in brainwave patterns were shown in approximately half of those tested. Researchers believe that these changes signify positive changes and lower stress reactions.
4. Increases Energy
People who practice earthing regularly have reported that they feel more energetic and find that it helps reduce fatigue. This could be because earthing helps you sleep better or as the research above points out, earthing reduces cortisol levels in your body.
It has been found that stress and sleeplessness can increase your cortisol levels. The converse is also true, meaning an increase in cortisol levels can leave you feeling stressed.5 Because earthing can regulate cortisol and improve sleep quality, it could help you feel more energetic and active.
5. Lowers Pain
Earthing has a multifold effect on your system and one of many ways it can help is by reducing pain and inflammation. In 2010 pilot study, eight participants were made to undergo rigorous exercise that caused delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS). Four participants were grounded with electrode patches to find out if grounding had any effect.6
The results showed that grounding the body to the earth altered measures of immune system activity and pain. The grounded participants experienced less inflammation and shorter recovery times. While this was a pilot study, it does prove that grounding might benefit people dealing with chronic pain. People suffering from conditions like rheumatoid arthritis or joint aches may be able to find some relief with this simple practice.
Earthing is a safe and simple practice that can be done by almost anyone. Even if you’re bound to a wheelchair due to health conditions, you can benefit by simply placing your feet on a natural surface. So take a minute from your schedule to reconnect with the earth and bring a positive change in your health.
|↑1||Chevalier, Gaétan, Stephen T. Sinatra, James L. Oschman, Karol Sokal, and Pawel Sokal. “Earthing: health implications of reconnecting the human body to the earth’s surface electrons.” Journal of environmental and public health 2012 (2012).|
|↑2||Edwards, Tanya. “Inflammation, pain, and chronic disease: an integrative approach to treatment and prevention.” Alternative therapies in health and medicine 11, no. 6 (2005): 20.|
|↑3||Ghaly, Maurice, and Dale Teplitz. “The biologic effects of grounding the human body during sleep as measured by cortisol levels and subjective reporting of sleep, pain, and stress.” Journal of Alternative & Complementary Medicine 10, no. 5 (2004): 767-776.|
|↑4||Chevalier, Gaétan, Kazuhito Mori, and James L. Oschman. “The effect of earthing (grounding) on human physiology.” European Biology and Bioelectromagnetics 2, no. 1 (2006): 600-621.|
|↑5||Vangelova, Katia K. “Variations of cortisol, fatigue and sleep disturbances in sound engineers: effect of job task and fast backward-rotating shifts.” Reviews on environmental health 23, no. 1 (2008): 83-89.|
|↑6||Brown, Dick, Gaétan Chevalier, and Michael Hill. “Pilot study on the effect of grounding on delayed-onset muscle soreness.” The Journal of Alternative and complementary Medicine 16, no. 3 (2010): 265-273.|