If you think this term sounds like something out of a science fiction film or whispered in a hippie commune, you wouldn’t be the only one. However, if you’re an electrician you might know the term as the process of grounding electrical currents to the Earth. Earthing, sometimes called Grounding, is just like this. Grounding techniques are found in almost every meditation practice because, just like electrical currents, without grounding our mind would struggle to find focus and purpose. You may find that you naturally ground yourself very frequently—taking a deep breath when you’re frustrated, taking a break from work when you’re overwhelmed. Earthing takes this awareness a step further. Gundersen Health says, “Earthing, also referred to as grounding, is an age-old practice that involves connecting your body, mind and spirit to the planet. You can practice earthing by standing barefoot or laying in the grass—anything that allows your body to connect directly with the ground.” Earthing comes so naturally to us because of how connected the human body is to nature. Here are four ways Earthing could balance your body:
1. Healing Inflammation
There are many reports that Earthing helps to heal inflammation in the body. A report published in 2015 discovered, “Grounding reduces or even prevents the cardinal signs of inflammation following injury: redness, heat, swelling, pain, and loss of function. Rapid resolution of painful chronic inflammation was confirmed in 20 case studies using medical infrared imaging.” Another study in 2012 reported results beyond the initial research for joint inflammation relief. Further relief of asthmatic symptoms, PMS, and hypertension were reported by the researchers, leading them to conclude that “[The] results indicated that the effects of earthing go beyond reduction of pain and improvements in sleep.” The researchers were right; it’s not just inflammation that Earthing can improve!
2. Improved Sleep
Our body has a natural sleep rhythm called a circadian rhythm. When this rhythm is disrupted by stressors it leads to poor sleep. Earthing helps to improve our sleep by reducing our stressors. Furthermore, “It’s proposed that the earth’s “diurnal electrical rhythms” set the biological clocks for hormones that regulate sleep and activity.” Jillian Levy, CHHC, writes, “After earthing, about half the subjects showed “an abrupt, almost instantaneous change in root mean square (rms) values of electroencephalograms (EEGs) from the left hemisphere of the brain.” These changes are believed to signify positive changes and lower stress reactions.” An extensive study on Earthing reports, “Eleven of 12 participants reported falling asleep more quickly, and all 12 reported waking up fewer times at night. Grounding the body at night during sleep also appears to positively affect morning fatigue levels, daytime energy, and nighttime pain levels.” Once again the results for Earthing exceed researchers’ expectations!
Healing in the body is a very long process that involves a lot of patience and care. Earthing may be able to increase the productivity of the healing process in the body. A study focusing on post-exercise muscle repair reviewed the blood given by those exercising and found indications of “reduced muscle damage and pain in participants. This suggests that grounding may influence healing abilities.” A study published in 2018 supports these findings. The researchers of that study observed “significant increases in physical function and energy and significant decreases in fatigue, depressed mood, tiredness and pain while grounded as compared to not being grounded. At one-month following the study, physical function was also increased and depressed mood and fatigue were decreased.” Earlier research focused on creatine kinase (CK) results and discovered, “grounding significantly reduced the loss of CK from the injured muscles indicating reduced muscle damage.” This is incredible research in the field of self-healing and speaks volumes about the human body’s connection to the Earth.
4. Heart Health
Heart health is of course incredibly vital to our quality of life as human beings. Research between the benefits of grounding on heart health provides some of the most fascinating results. Heart MD Institute says, “One of the most profound effects researchers have observed in people who ground is thinner blood, or reduced blood viscosity. Thin blood circulates faster to deliver oxygen and nutrients to cells all over the body, as well as remove toxins from them. Thick, sticky blood, on the other hand, tends to clot, which places people at greater risk of cardiovascular events.” This means that Earthing can actually help prevent heart attacks or strokes! Conclusive research in 2013 also reports this phenomenon, claiming, “Grounding increases the surface charge on RBCs and thereby reduces blood viscosity and clumping. Grounding appears to be one of the simplest and yet most profound interventions for helping reduce cardiovascular risk and cardiovascular events.”
Earthing provides incredible benefits to the body—balancing us internally, healing our body and mind, and preventing possible harm. Earthing is free, easy, and completely natural. Walk barefoot on the grass if you are able, garden, go camping, swim in a natural body of water, meditate outside with your hands and feet touching the earth, sleep outside. Humans are made to connect with nature. Reconnect for a few minutes consistently everyday for a week and discover for yourself.