Have you ever heard of “earthing?” It’s similar to the common term “grounding.”
And today we’re going to explore this incredibly interesting phenomenon. We’ll also discuss its potential benefits for people of all ages — as well as some techniques you can try at home.
Walking Barefoot: What On Earth Is Grounding?
The concept of being in connection with the earth is known as “earthing,” or “grounding.” See, our ancestors were born to walk barefoot.
As a result, they had direct contact with the earth from day one. But with the invention of shoes, paved roads and paths, and flooring – this physical contact with the earth was lost.
But what if humans actually need to be connected to the earth for their health and wellness? What if this modern disconnect is actually contributing to some of our contemporary health issues?
This somewhat controversial topic is now the focus of some major research studies. And growing research suggests that direct contact with the earth may have positive benefits on human health.
Let’s take a look.
It’s Electrical: Electrons And The Earth’s Surface
The Earth’s surface has an electrically negative charge. That means it’s constantly generating negative ions (electrons.) And researchers theorize that those electrons may actually help to neutralize “free radicals.”1
What are free radicals?
Turns out, the body is under constant attack from oxidative stress from the environment and various man-made electromagnetic fields.
When oxidative stress happens, oxygen splits into single atoms with an unpaired electron. These single electrons are what’s known as “free radicals.” And just like most humans, those electrons would really prefer to have a mate.
So free radicals scavenge the body to seek another electron to pair with. In doing, so they cause damage to cells, proteins, and DNA in the process. Which in turn, may contribute to the aging process as well as certain health issues.2
But if you’re “earthing” you might be helping those lonely electrons find a mate!.
Earthing Benefits: Are There Any Therapeutic Or Health Benefits To Earthing?
You may have heard of antioxidant foods. These are foods that help neutralize free radicals. And they’re constantly praised for being extremely good for your health.
But what if the electrical energy of the earth is the greatest antioxidant of all?
Well studies on earthing show grounding your body to Earth’s electrical charge might:
- Support healthy blood sugar levels
- Support healthy stress levels
- Support nervous system health
- Support healthy levels of stress hormones
- Support heart health
- Encourage better sleeping habits 3,4
The Benefits Of Grounding: Earthing And Sleep
Speaking of better sleep and a healthier heart, in one pilot study, researchers found “grounded subjects” improved heart rate variability… a big contributor to restful sleep.
They outlined that heart rate variability (time between heartbeats) is controlled by the autonomic nervous system, which regulates important bodily functions like heart rate, blood flow, breathing, and digestion. As well as your parasympathetic nervous system. Which controls your fight-or-flight mechanism.
The study found that a calmer autonomic nervous system can also help regulate circadian rhythms, supporting healthy cortisol levels and restful sleep. 5
Regulating your circadian rhythms may also be an asset for getting over jet lag. It might help you return to a good night’s sleep to restore energy. 6
It’s Only Natural: Earthing Techniques
So, the obvious question is – “How do I do it?”
Well, it’s actually very simple.
To “earth yourself,” simply go outside and let your bare skin come into contact with the earth!
For example, You could walk or stand barefoot on a small patch of grass, sand, or soil — just check for sharp debris beforehand.
Or you could also lean against a tree trunk or tend to a garden without gloves.
However, you choose to connect, try to be present in your body and about how it feels to be connected to mother earth.
Walking, standing, or sitting on natural conductive materials will also allow you to “ground” yourself. Even if you’re not in direct skin-to-skin contact with the earth.
There are also naturally conductive materials that can help with these earthing goals. They don’t block the earth’s natural electrical charge like many man-made substances (often used for shoes, clothing, and flooring).
- Clothing made of cotton, wool or any natural fiber
- Concrete – Surprisingly concrete is a good earth conductor because it’s made of water and minerals. And it sits right on the earth and retains moisture. 7
Are There Any Negatives Effects To Earthing?
Potential dangers when it comes to grounding relate to our modern world. A world where we are surrounded by environmental waste that threatens the safety of our feet.
So, just be smart. Think carefully about the surface on which you’ll take your shoes off. And always watch where you’re stepping.
Your own yard is often the most ideal space. Even if you have only a very small patch of grass, you’ll still be getting those “earthing” electrical benefits in.
Positive Earthing Benefits For A Natural Electrical Recharge
With these interesting findings, it’s hard to not want to run outside and bury your feet in the dirt immediately! It’s a very natural instinct. After all, walking barefoot is innately human.
So, take those shoes off and step outside barefoot for a moment. All research studies aside, you may be surprised at just how quickly you feel human again.