You may not have heard of it — or maybe just not by this particular name — but, earthing has been around for a long time. In fact, you probably did it as a kid without intending to. That’s because, in its most basic form, ‘earthing’ is done by simply walking barefoot on the ground. But, we’ve also come up with all sorts of other fancy ways to do earthing as well, from mats that you stand or sleep on to wrist straps, all of which plug into the grounded part of a standard wall outlet. Earthing essentially works by equalizing of the body’s electrical potential with that of the Earth’s. In other words, it brings us back into harmony with the earth in a very real and physical sense.
This simple technique may lower one’s risk for heart disease by lowering the viscosity of the blood. The viscosity of the blood can figuratively be thought of as the ‘thickness’ of the blood and may be part of the cause of high blood pressure and other heart and vascular problems. One way that the blood viscosity increases is when the repulsive electrical charge surrounding red blood cells (a.k.a. the zeta potential) is decreased. A decreased repulsive charge surrounding red blood cells will lead to cells clumping together more readily. As you can imagine, this is the opposite of what we normally want our blood cells to be doing in our arteries and veins. After all, when blood cells are clumped together, they are not flowing freely and therefore not doing their primary job of delivering oxygen to our tissues.
In a study by Chevalier et al., they found that 2 hours of earthing caused a significant increase in the repulsive electrical charge surrounding red blood cells. Therefore, indicating that the viscosity of the participants’ blood was lowered. By these results, regular earthing may be helpful for high blood pressure, arteriosclerosis and heart disease in general.
But, that’s not all earthing is good for. It may also help to normalize sleep patterns (via normalization of daily cortisol rhythms), decrease anxiety and decrease inflammation. Earthing may be one of the simplest and most natural things you can do to improve your health. So, next time you’re out for a walk in the grass, take your shoes and socks off, put your bare feet on the ground and reconnect with the earth. Your blood cells will thank you.