Holistic Lifestyle with Leigh Ann Lindsey

Grounding/Earthing

An increasing number of research studies are showing that grounding provides a range of tangible benefits: reduced inflammation, reduced cortisol levels, improved sleep, increased energy and more. Learn the definition of grounding, the benefits and how to ground daily in your own backyard!

what is grounding?

Grounding, also known as “earthing” is the process of putting your body into contact with the electrical impulses of the Earth’s surface. This can be done by touching the Earth’s surface directly (soil, sand, grass) or by coming into contact with a surface that can conduct the Earth’s electricity (water, concrete).

The idea is that by putting our bodies into contact with the natural charges of the Earth’s surface through grounding, we can receive a variety of benefits that can help heal and/or prevent disease.

Why Electricity Is So Important

“The Earth is like a gigantic battery that contains a natural, subtle electrical charge—a special kind of energy present in the ground. With the exception of humans living in industrialized societies, all living things on our planet are connected to the ground’s electric energy.” (source).

At our most micro level, our cells are made up of electrical charges: protons (positive charge), electrons (negative charge) and neutrons (no charge). These charges play a critical role in the regulation of different processes throughout the human body: heart beat, immune response, nervous system, muscular movement, etc.

How Our Internal Electricity Is Disrupted

In today’s modern society, many of these electrical impulses throughout our bodies can become disrupted by the electrical impulses of technology. This disruption can lead to poor communication within the body resulting in pain, poor sleep, illness and/or disease.

“Electromagnetic fields (EMFs), also known as electromagnetic radiation, consist of photons in an electric field and a magnetic field that run perpendicular to each other. These fields travel together in an invisible waveform. There are two forms of EMFs:

Low-frequency EMF radiation – This non-ionizing radiation has lower frequencies than visible light. Examples include EMFs from microwave ovens, computers, visible light, smart meters, Wi-Fi, cell phones, Bluetooth, power lines, and MRIs.

High-frequency EMF radiation – These frequencies are ionizing radiation and are a higher frequency than visible light. Examples include ultraviolet (UV) light, X-rays, and gamma rays.” (source)

I could write an entire article on EMF’s alone, but for now, here is a great article that breaks down EMFs.

Benefits of Grounding

  • Reducing inflammation
  • Improved blood circulation
  • Reducing chronic pain
  • Improving sleep
  • Increasing energy
  • Lowering stress and promoting calmness by reducing stress hormones.
  • Normalizing biological rhythms including circadian rhythm
  • Normalizing blood pressure and blood flow
  • Relieving muscle tension and headache
  • Improving menstrual and female hormone symptoms
  • Speeds healing
  • Reducing jet lag
  • Protecting the body from effects of EMFs
  • Shortening recovery time from injury or athletic activity
  • Reducing  snoring
  • Helping  support adrenal health

“The following images show a 44-year-old woman with chronic back pain, as monitored by thermography, a commonly used imaging method in medicine. The left image was taken before grounding. The red patterns represent “hot” areas of pain and inflammation. The right image shows a sharp reduction in inflammation after four nights of sleeping grounded” (source).

Image: chopra.com

 

“When grounded, the diurnal rhythm of the stress hormone, cortisol, begins to normalize. Cortisol is connected to your body’s stress response and helps control blood sugar levels, regulates metabolism, helps reduce inflammation, and assists with memory formulation. The figure below shows the results of a study that examined the effects of being grounded while sleeping over the course of eight weeks” (source).

Image: chopra.com

 

“When you are grounded, your circulation improves, aiding in the delivery of oxygen and nutrients to the tissues in your body, including better blood flow to your face. The image below, taken with a laser contrast camera, shows significant facial blood flow improvement within a half-hour of grounding” (source).

Image: chopra.com

How to Ground

Expose your bare skin to a surface that is able to conduct the Earth’s electricity for 20-30 minutes a day. This can include walking, sitting, standing or even swimming. The key is that you must not be wearing rubber sole shoes which prevent the conductivity of electricity. Technically speaking, you can wear socks if you like, but why not just go barefoot to embrace the experience entirely? As a plus, you are exposing your body to the good bacteria of the earth which helps strengthen the body’s immunity.

conductive surfaces include:

  • Soil
  • Grass
  • Sand
  • Concrete
  • Natural Body of Water

Non-Conductive Surfaces:

  • Wood
  • Asphalt
  • Vinyl

Some Examples of Grounding Practices

  • Sitting outside in the morning on your concrete patio
  • Going to your neighborhood park and walking or sitting in the grass
  • Walking on the beach
  • Swimming in the ocean or a lake

Taking time to ground can also create space to enjoy other peaceful activities like meditation, breath-work, yoga, stretching, listening to music or a podcast, reading a book; all activities that you can partake in while grounding.

And one of the best perks of grounding? It gets you outside in the sun! Adequate sun exposure is something that is missing from the majority of our lives and we are suffering significantly for it. Statistics show that 80-85% of individuals are deficient in Vitamin D from lack of sun exposure. To read more about the many benefits of sun exposure read here.

While research still has a ways to go when it comes to really looking at the effects of grounding, the evidence available so far is encouraging and at the very least, grounding is a safe practice that can come with the added benefit of sun exposure and some alone time!

Sources
  • Brown R, et al. (2015). Grounding after moderate eccentric contractions reduces muscle damage.
    ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4590684/
  • Chevalier G. (2015). The effect of grounding the human body on mood. DOI:
    10.2466/06.PR0.116k21w5
  • Chevalier G, et al. (2012). Earthing: Health implications of reconnecting the human body to the Earth’s surface electrons. DOI:
    10.1155/2012/291541
  • Chevalier G, et al. (2013). Earthing (grounding) the human body reduces blood viscosity—a major factor in cardiovascular disease. DOI:
    10.1089/acm.2011.0820
  • Chevalier G, et al. (2019). The effects of grounding (Earthing) on bodyworkers’ pain and overall quality of life: A randomized controlled trial. DOI:
    10.1016/j.explore.2018.10.001
  • Elkin HK, et al. (2018). Grounding patients with hypertension improves blood pressure: A case history series study.
    ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30982019
  • Oschman JL, et al. (2015). The effects of grounding (earthing) on inflammation, the immune response, wound healing, and prevention and treatment of chronic inflammatory and autoimmune diseases.
    ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4378297/

Comments (4)

[…] tension and bring about an overall sense of relaxation. On a personal note, I make sure I am grounding myself outside throughout the day and have started to end each workday with a solid 30-minute […]

Thank you for spreading the message about Earthing. Many people are still unaware of the healing powers Mother Earth has to offer. The simple act of walking barefoot allows us to tap into a source of intelligence that even current science can not fully comprehend.

Jack, thank you so much for the comment! I have been astounded with the benefits I have witnessed just in my own daily earthing practice and am so glad there is a body of research out there to solidify these benefits. And I completely agree, there is an essence to Mother Nature that we still are not able to fully comprehend 🙂

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