Also called “Earthing”, “grounding” is a therapeutic technique that involves doing activities that “ground” or electrically reconnect you to the earth. This practice relies on earthing science and grounding physics to explain how electrical charges from the earth can have positive effects on your body. So, kicking off your shoes and literally connecting with Mother Earth has health benefits, such as boosting immunity, regulating sleep, and reducing stress.
How does it work? One research review suggests the earth is a living matrix with a central connection to all living cells. This matrix is held together by electrical conductivity, which acts as an immune system defense (sort of like antioxidants). The body restores its natural defenses by connecting to the matrix through grounding. Another more recent study further examined the pain relief and mood boosting properties of grounding. This study looked at 16 massage therapists who rotated between periods of grounding and no grounding. Due to their physically demanding jobs, they’d all complained of chronic pain and physical and emotional stress. After receiving grounding therapy, all participants reported a decrease in pain, stress, depression, and fatigue. While there is still more research needed, connecting with Mother Nature is always healthy!
People have reported many benefits of regularly practicing grounding:
- Chronic fatigue. In the study on massage therapists, many reported a decrease in their fatigue levels after four weeks of treatment with grounding mats.
- Chronic pain. The study on grounding for exercise recovery found that those who used grounding patches reported lower pain levels.
- Anxiety and depression. In one small study, it was shown that even 1 hour of grounding therapy can significantly improve mood.
- Sleep disorders. The massage therapists also experienced an improvement in sleep length and reduce sleep disturbances with grounding therapy.
- Cardiovascular disease. Results of one treatment study found that long-term self-administered grounding therapy helped to reduce blood pressure levels in participants with hypertension.
How do you do it? There are many simple ways to practice grounding. If you can get outside, try one of these:
WALKING BAREFOOT: As a kid, I remember running around during the summer without shoes – to me, that’s still one of the best parts of summer! Walking on grass, sand, mud – you name it, any of these can provide you with grounding energy.
LYING ON THE GROUND: Again, when I was younger I would constantly be lying in my yard looking up at the clouds during the day or the stars at night. This is another easy way to reconnect with the earth’s energy.
SUBMERGE IN WATER: I’m fortunate enough to live on a lake, and the water is a constantly moving source of natural energy. It’s so therapeutic being on and in the water! Simply wading in a stream, lake, ocean, (or even a mud puddle) is a great way to ground yourself.
What if you can’t get outside? There are numerous types of grounding equipment on the market to help you incorporate grounding in your daily life. These include grounding mats, sheets, blankets, socks, and bands.
Give grounding a try – and see if you feel any improvements to your mind and body!