If you haven’t walked barefoot on grass or sand before you may be missing out on its incredible health benefits. When I first found out about it I had some reservations, but in this research-backed article I’ll explain and answer the number one question everyone asks – does grounding really work? And what are the benefits of grounding?
You might’ve seen me and Megha walking around barefoot before and trust me, ever since we started doing it our overall health improved. The topic of skin conductance is honestly fascinating.
The studies that back up the claims of grounding improving your well being are credible and research based. It’s not another alternative medicine gimmick to try and question yourself whether or not it works. It really does.
What is Earthing or Grounding?
Although still considered alternative and complementary medicine, grounding is probably the most important health discovery in recent years. Perhaps not even in recent years, but it took a while until the idea of it began to attract more people.
Earthing the human body, which is also called grounding refers to a research-backed discovery that once your skin connects with the Earth’s electric potential it then stabilizes the body’s physiology.
A lot of studies from the area of environmental medicine focus on interactions between people and the environments they come across. Years ago nature was more accessible, therefore grounding used to be something so natural no one really raved about it because it was a part of our everyday living matrix.
Nowadays, most of us are stuck in front of the computer or even if you work manually, you’re probably surrounded by concrete, plastic, always wearing rubber shoes. In modern times, there’s no space for nature and that can have adverse effects on your health.
Speaking of rubber shoes – in the past, most shoes were made out of traditional leather. This is just another example on how with time, humans are becoming separated from the primordial flow of Earth’s electrons.
The idea that the environment and nature in general is detrimental to improved well being is oftentimes overlooked. Not only will your blood oxygenation improve by a simple walk, but grounding specifically without shoes on where your skin is touching the Earth directly has many benefits in disease prevention, health maintenance and clinical therapy.
The surface of our planet is electrically conductive and gets a continuously renewed supply of electrons from the global atmospheric electrical circuit.
What effect does grounding have on the human body?
What does all of that actually mean? In simple terms, walking barefoot on sand or grass, taking a swim in natural waters, or using grounding mats can improve the immune system and even influence blood chemistry.
The idea of grounding dates back to 19th century Germany, where doctors claimed walking barefoot outdoors, whether it’s summer or winter, possessed many health benefits. Much of the research is from Europe and unsurprisingly, if you ask the older generations they will tell you that grounding has been around for years.
I know in the current times we rely much on the fastest solutions to health problems, which is usually taking prescription drugs to alleviate all the symptoms. I’m not saying doctors are bad, absolutely not. I even encourage everyone to have regular check ups at their doctor’s office with full bloodwork done.
What I’m saying is that the solutions to many of the modern day illnesses are in… nature. Decades ago over the counter medicine or prescription drugs were not as available as they were today, yet people found ways to improve their well being using what mother Earth gave them.
In conclusion, grounding can help you to:
- reduce inflammation
- alleviate chronic pain
- decrease stress
- improve body’s immune response
- stabilize blood pressure
- speed up found healing
- increase energy levels
- strengthen overall well being
In this article, I’ve provided you with research and studies that confirm integrative medicine in the form of grounding really works. Alternative and complementary medicine is sometimes frowned upon and I feel it’s imperative to show concrete proof that you can help your body heal naturally.
I didn’t really have to look far to find credible studies – you can find information on grounding human subjects even in the most basic health publications.
Benefits of Grounding
Grounding connects your body to the Earth and allows free electrons absorbed from the surface of the ground to spread directly into the body, which has great antioxidant potential.
Contact with the Earth has tons of health benefits. Read on if you want to find out how to strengthen your immune response wound healing, reduce your chances of getting cardiovascular disease or improve blood pressure naturally.
Better blood flow
Walking or making your skin touch the surface of the earth directly can improve blood viscosity, blood pressure and reduce the possibility of developing cardiovascular disease.
A research study from 2013 asked participants to spend 2 hours on grounding, where they measured the zeta potential electrical charge on RBCs. As a result, they concluded that grounding increased the surface charge on red blood cells and in turn, reduced blood viscosity and clumping.
Another study from the Earthing Institute measured blood markers and blood pressure among patients who were hypertensive and concluded that grounding had a significant modulating effect on improving blood pressure. Thus, it reduced the possibility of chronic illnesses caused by hypertension, such as heart attacks, strokes and kidney diseases.
A study from 2015 concluded that grounding the human body prevents signs of inflammation following injury, including redness, heat, swelling, pain and loss of function. This earthing research was investigated and confirmed in 20 studies using infrared imaging.
Grounding may help you out if you’re suffering from chronic pain and chronic inflammation. Although inflammation is our body’s immune response to something happening inside, it can lead to autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis and other chronic inflammatory diseases such as:
- heart disease
- inflammatory bowel disease (IBS)
- lung diseases including asthma
- many autoimmune diseases
- delayed onset muscle soreness
Some of the most common sleep disorders include insomnia, narcolepsy, sleep apnea and the restless legs syndrome. While this may be caused by stress, it can also have a detrimental effect on the human physiology.
Not getting enough sleep every night may affects not only your well being, but also mental health, school and work performance, weight, relationship and safety. If you constantly can’t get an adequate amount of sleep, what happens when you’re exhausted and you fall asleep behind the wheel?
While this may be a bit of an extreme example, it happens quite often. Sleep problems have a direct correlation with work injuries and accidents.
The “Earthing: Health Implications of Reconnecting the Human Body to the Earth’s Surface Electrons” study concluded that sleeping grounded results not only in improved sleep, but also overall pain reduction.
In a blind study, 60 participants who suffered from sleep issues spent a month sleeping on grounding equipment. As a result, most people said they felt overall improvement in their quality of sleep – 85% of people said it took them less time to fall asleep, and 93% said their quality of sleep was improved.
Ready for an even more mind-blowing result? 100% of test subjects said they finally woke up feeling rested.
Grounding can reduce not only physical and emotional stress but also regulate the autonomic nervous system. A study from 2015 found that even 1 hour of grounding was a major factor in improving people’s mood, helping them relax and elevate their overall well being.
Decreasing stress helps to avoid chronic diseases. Some of the most popular health problems related to stress are:
- heart disease
- gastrointestinal problems
- accelerated aging
- premature death
Although the term “grounding” wasn’t as popular before, have you ever wondered why spending time with the mother Earth was relaxing and always recommended as a powerful tool for stress reduction?
Even therapists and psychologists recommend spending at least 20 minutes, three times a week outdoors to help you lower stress levels as one of their clinical practices. Factor in grounding, and you might be back to normal functioning in no time if you’ve been on the edge for a while.
Improves Cortisol Rhythm
In this study from 2004, researchers asked 12 people who complained of sleep dysfunctions, chronic pain, and constant stress to use conductive mattress pads that stimulate the energy the Earth gives off for 8 weeks during sleep.
They concluded that earthing during sleep reduced night-time levels of cortisol and improved the cortisol hormone secretion balance in alignment with the natural human circadian rhythm.
Why is cortisol rhythm so important?
Chronic stress can lead to chronic fatigue. Cortisol, on the other hand, is the hormone that is primarily responsible for your body’s stress response. There is nothing wrong about it, unless that kind of a stress is constant and your body systems can’t simply handle it after a while.
The overexposure of cortisol puts you at risk for many health problems, such as:
- muscle tension and muscle pain
- cardiovascular issues
- sleeping problems
- memory impairments
- weight gain
How to Start Grounding
There are many different ways you can start grounding and reconnecting the human body with earth. All of this can be done with you touching the ground physically or through indirect contact.
Start walking barefoot
Whether you’re doing this on grass, sand or even muddy areas, this is probably one of the best (and my person favorite!) ways to connect with the earth’s surface electrons.
All you need to do is take off your shoes or socks and let your skin touch the natural ground beneath your feet. Of course, keep in mind to check your surroundings and see if the area you’re walking in is clean.
Depending on your personal pain levels, you may want to find it soothing to walk on rocks also. I’m not a huge fan of that, but many of people I know get used to the feeling of coarser rocks under their feet with time. I guess it’s like getting used to using a prana mat.
Lay down on the ground
You can lay down on the sand on the beach or pick a nice, grassy area. In that way, you’ll be able to increase the contact with the earth’s surface through skin.
Obviously, take precautions when you do this. Watch out for broken glass, bugs and other things that may cause direct injury.
I’m definitely not talking about swimming in a pool full of chlorine here. Take a swim in a lake, river or go out in the ocean. It will work connect you to earth in a similar way laying on the grass or walking barefoot will.
Again, keep in mind to stay safe when you’re swimming. Don’t go into very rough waters that you don’t know well or go too deep into the ocean. Even going knee-deep into water is just fine.
Special grounding equipment
If it isn’t possible for you to go outside and do grounding the natural way, you can always resort to special grounding equipment. I know this may sound absolutely insane to some people, but one of the ways you can ground your body is to connect a metal, ground rod to the Earth and use a wire to connect it to your body.
There’s also other equipment available, which is readily available on Amazon, such as:
- grounding sheets
- grounding blankets
- grounding socks
- grounding mats
- grounding bands
- grounding patches
If you’re wondering how do they work exactly, I’ll explain it to you as simply as I can. Basically, grounding equipment is meant to replace grounding the human body in a natural way with negatively charged objects.
For example, a grounding mat is constructed in a way in which it mimics the electrical charge of the Earth and then transfers that charge onto your body in a process called the electron transfer.
Those who live a modern lifestyle have a more difficult time spending outside and having the opportunity to walk barefoot on grass or sand, so grounding equipment is both convenient and resourceful.
My personal opinion
I’m a fan of natural medicine and natural ways of healing your body from the inside before I decide to dive right into prescription drugs. As I’ve mentioned before in this article, I do encourage everyone to get regular check ups at the doctors office, I do.
I also think a lot of answers to our health issues can be found within nature. Earthing or grounding is one of the ways to help your own body heal from the inside.
As said in one of my favorite studies, two researchers concluded that grounding your body represents a universal regulating factor in nature which influences the bioelectrical, bioenergetic and biochemical processes. It also appears to offer a significant modulating effect on chronic health issues.
Personally, grounding has helped me with sleeping and chronic fatigue. Ever since I started walking without my shoes and socks on grass, I became more energized and well rested. I strongly encourage you to try it as well since it’s so easy to do, yet so powerful!
Have you ever tried grounding?
Let us know in the comments! I’m really curious to find out what you think about it and whether it’s something that you’ve tried or would like to try in the future.