Earthing 101: Grounding Benefits & Techniques
Earthing is one of the best all-natural antioxidants and it is completely free! Earthing enables us to receive electrons from the earth which can help fight free radicals. Keep reading to discover all the different grounding benefits and techniques to help you implement it into your every day life.
Grounding Benefits & Techniques
When I first heard about earthing, I honestly thought it was too good to be true. I completely dismissed it. I mean how could something so simple be such an amazing healing modality.
But the more I looked into it and the science behind it, the more it really began to make sense to me. And I considered the sun and what a powerful healing modality sunshine can be (which is also completely free and natural) and decided to go ahead and give it a try.
After about a month of consistent grounding, I couldn’t help but notice that my sleep, my energy levels, and my mood had significantly improved.
And I’ve been convinced of the health benefits ever since.
What is Earthing?
Earthing (also known as grounding) is simply the act of connecting your bare skin (typically your feet) to the earth’s surface for an extended period of time. This is believed to transfer the energy from the ground into the body.
Earthing vs Grounding
Earthing and grounding are the same exact thing. Both refer to the therapeutic technique of electrically reconnecting your body to the earth.
Science Behind Grounding
Unfortunately, there hasn’t been very much scientific research into grounding. But according to this study done in 2012 the gist of it is this – there is a vast supply of electrons covering the earth’s surface, the body is electrically conductive, when the body connects with the ground the free electrons that cover it are able to enter the body.
This is believed to stabilize the electrical environment of all organs, tissues, and cells inside the body. It is also believed that the influx of free electrons absorbed into the body through direct contact with the earth likely neutralizes reactive oxygen species.
Reactive oxygen species are free radicals. A build-up of ROS in cells can cause damage to DNA, RNA, and proteins, and can cause cell death.
History of Grounding
Our ancestors were in constant contact with the earth. They slept on the floor and they were constantly out in nature.
Rubber or plastic soled shoes weren’t popularized until the 1960s. Prior to that shoes were traditionally made with leather. Its believed that shoes made from animal skin still allow electrons to enter the body unlike rubber or plastic soled shoes.
Modern society is separated from nature more than ever before. We’re not getting anywhere near the amount of direct contact with the earth that our ancestors did.
Some believe this is a major contributor to the increase in chronic illness and overall unwellness.
Many people report experiencing positive health benefits when they consistently reconnect with the earth’s electrons.
Benefits of Grounding
As I mentioned earlier, there haven’t been very many scientific studies into the health benefits of grounding. Many of the health benefits are based on anecdotal evidence.
But surprisingly, I was able to find studies for all the health benefits below.
This study concluded that grounding while sleeping can help reduce cortisol levels which can help you sleep better. The subjects of this study slept in their own beds using a conductive mattress pad.
I personally have experienced better sleep simply by grounding outside during the day not necessarily by grounding during sleep.
This double-blinded study seems to suggest that grounding can actually help to improve your mood. Some participants of the study were grounded and others were not, but both were told they were being grounded.
All of the participants of the study relaxed in comfy reclining chairs. But only the participants that were actually grounded experienced improved moods.
The study concluded that 1 hour contact with the earth improved mood more than just by relaxation alone.
This study suggests grounding can reduce overall stress levels. It was a double-blind placebo study where the participants had a conductive adhesive patch placed on the sole of each foot.
An earthing cord led outdoors to a rod driven into the earth. Their electrophysiological and physiological parameters were recorded using a biofeedback system.
Earthing decreased blood volume pulse in the majority of the participants.
This study suggests grounding can reduce inflammation in the human body.
Thermal imaging cameras were used to record tiny changes in the skin temperature of the participants.
The photos taken with the thermal imaging camera showed a reduction in inflammation from sleeping grounded.
You can check out the thermal image photos here.
Reduces Chronic Pain
Participants in the study above regarding inflammation, also experienced mild reduction in chronic pain after just 30 minutes of grounding. After 6 days of grounding, there was a reported 50% reduction in pain.
And after about 12 weeks of grounding, there was a 90% reduction in pain!
I personally don’t 100% trust in scientific studies. I think they are important. But in most circumstances, for every study you find proving something, you can find another study disproving it.
So I tend to take studies with a grain of salt. But I definitely think that the studies in combination with anecdotal evidence confirm the potential health benefits of grounding.
The easiest way to incorporate grounding into your daily life is simply by walking barefoot in the dirt, grass, sand, or even concrete.
Lay on the Ground
If you don’t feel like walking you could also just lay down on the grass or sand. Just be sure your skin is in direct contact with the earth
How To Ground Yourself Indoors
If you don’t have easy access to dirt, grass, sand, or concrete, there are a few different ways that you can ground yourself indoors.
If you have a concrete or ceramic tile floor in your home you can use that for grounding as long as it is not resting on plywood or other types of insulators.
If you don’t have concrete or ceramic tile floor you have a few other options below.
Grounding bed sheets are basically like a recharging station for your body. These grounding bedsheets from MitoLife are made from 100% cotton and imbued with conductive silver threads.
They can actually help drop your body voltage.
I have not tried grounding sheets yet. But you best bet they are on my wish list!
A grounding mat is a great alternative to direct contact with the earth. It basically mimics the electric current of the earth.
Grounding mats typically connect via a wire to the ground port of an electrical outlet. Because of this there is a potential danger of drawing current from other sources which could potentially cause electrical shock.
So I am personally not a huge fan of the mats. I think the grounding sheets are a safer more effective option.
But with that being said, some people really love the mats. Amazon has a large selection of grounding mats that you can check out here.
Grounding shoes are basically any type of soft-soled shoe that is made with natural leather, natural latex, or cork material.
Remember most shoes are made of rubber and rubber acts as an insulator and protects against electrical currents
Obviously the best option is to just be barefoot when you are outside. But that is not always ideal.
Grounding shoes are perfect for going on walks or hikes when you may not want to be completely barefoot.
There are many different types of grounding shoes.
Birkenstocks are one of my favorites. They are made of cork and natural latex.
Earth Runners are another great option. They are made with conductive materials. They are marketed as adventure sandals and would be a much better option for hiking than Birkenstocks.
How Long Should You Ground A Day
There are no known side effects or downsides to grounding. So the more time you can spend grounding the better. But I would recommend at minimum around 30 minutes a day.
I hope you enjoyed learning about all the different grounding benefits and techniques. If you want to learn more about earthing, I highly recommend this book and this documentary.