Searching the internet for answers to my gardening questions, I came across an interesting article about grounding with the earth and it’s impact on our bodies. I have heard my yoga teachers speak of grounding the body in a meditative sense before but I have not seen scientific evidence pointing towards the important benefits of of physically grounding your body to the earth.
The term grounding, also commonly referred to as earthing is a relatively new concept and is a study pioneered by Clint Ober. This retired cable TV executive and electronics expert is looking closely at how the earth helps to heal our bodies and our minds through contact with one another. The basis of his findings is that our earth is an electrical mass and we are all bioelectrical beings. Our bodies and the earth together function in a very electric and important way. Through grounding techniques you can find out how to improve your health and wellness.
What is Grounding?
You are probably thinking, what in the name of all hippy dippy fluff is this all about?
I know it may sound strange and out of this world yet there is very exciting scientific and medical research being done around grounding our bodies with the earth. What Clint and scientists of grounding have noticed is that the earth, which holds a negative charge, can help reset our overly charged bodies and improve our health. In the past we used to be much more connected to the earth. We would sleep on the earth, walk bare foot and use our hands to plant and harvest in the soil. Now we wear rubber insole shoes, sleep in elevated beds off of the ground and are surrounded by technology and high rises.
In our fast paced world of technology, synthetic materials and modern transportation, what scientists are finding is that we are absorbing and storing too many positive charges in our bodies. These excess charges can lead to increased inflammation and stress as free radicals roam freely in our bodies, causing illnesses and discomfort.
Ask Michael Dally from Earth Runners shares with us, living indoors not only disconnects us from our natural electric state but also hinders our bodies ability to tell time.
The electrical exchange between the earth and the ionosphere are constantly excited by lightning discharges, creating a global electromagnetic resonance called the Schumann resonance frequency. As we have evolved here on Earth the circadian clock of our brain has tuned to not only the light and dark cycle, but the frequency of the Schumann resonance has become ingrained into our biology. The brain uses this natural resonance along with light and dark to tell time. The master controller of all life is time, and when our internal timing is off, a myriad of missed biochemical reactions result in inflammation.
The connection that we used to share with the earth provided many benefits to our bodies and we had an interconnected way of supporting one another. Much like how the sun provides very important vitamin D, our earth is providing important benefits for our bodies.
Martin Zucker, co-author of the book Earthing, shared with us this explanation:
“The surface of the Earth teems with natural, subtle energy. Earthing, also known as grounding, refers to the discovery of significant health benefits resulting from contact with this energy by walking barefoot outside, as humans have done throughout history, or sitting, working, or sleeping indoors connected to conductive sheets and mats that transfer the energy from the ground into the body.
Emerging research is showing that this overlooked natural resource offers surprising benefits for health and healing, including reduction of inflammation and pain, improved sleep and mood, and better circulation.”
Still don’t believe we carry electrical charges?
Think of our earth as a battery that keeps regenerating itself through lightening, solar radiation and the heat from our earths core. These planetary activities are all exchanges of energy.
Have you ever felt a shock or got shocked by touching another person or object at home? One way to get rid of a static charge is to step on the earth. Just try standing outside with your bare feet and try to create static with a ballon on your head and then try doing the same thing once you are indoors. What you should notice is that creating static while in contact with the ground will not work.
Another way of looking at these charges is to think about what we are encouraged to do when we are outside in a lightening storm. If you are not able to go indoors, you should get in a car because the rubber wheels block the electromagnetic connection. This is similar to the barrier we create when wearing our rubber soled shoes.
The Health Benefits of Grounding
According to a study in 2012 published by the Journal of Environmental and Public Health, grounding can help:
- Reduce or prevent inflammation, especially after a recent injury
- Improve sleep
- Reduce pain
- Reduce stress
- Shift the autonomic nervous system from sympathetic toward parasympathetic activation
- Increase heart rate variability
- Speed wound healing
- Reduce blood viscosity
- Lessen headaches
Earthing: Grounding Techniques
It’s really pretty simple. Ready for this…..
Just put your bare feet or hands on the ground or lay directly on the earth. When you do this, your body begins to soak up millions of electrons which get to work to counteract the free radicals in our bodies. The earth acts as an electron donor and our bodies have adapted overtime to utilize these electors as antioxidants.
Try this. Close your eyes. Think about a time that you were in direct contact with the earth. Was it gardening? Laying in the grass at a park? Sleeping on the ground during a camping trip? How about a walk along the beach?
Think about how that made you feel. Do you remember feeling any energizing sensations or feeling relieved? What outdoor activity does that for you?
So maybe you are not an outdoor person. That’s okay there are many other grounding techniques and products which can be utilized. I was amazed to see just how many products have emerged in the marketplace to help you get grounded while in your own home. Products on the market include:
- Bed sheets both full and half sheets
- These sheets have a conductive carbon or silver thread woven into the fabric. The sheet is then connected to a wire that is plugged into a grounded outlet. It has been reported that people have had improved sleep and reduced aches and pains.
- Recovery Bags
- Lance Armstrong used these during his resting time while in Tour De France.
- Yoga Mats
Whatever you may think about grounding, it can’t hurt to have an excuse to take your shoes off and step outside. It’s an activity that can be done for free and anyone can do it. It can’t hurt to give it a try!