You may have heard either the term “earthing” or the term “grounding” from your fellow earth-loving friends. You may see them – bizarrely – walking barefoot up a rock-hewn trail in the mountains and think, why on earth would you be hiking barefoot? It turns out, there’s a really good reason some people enjoy being barefoot outdoors. They do it for their mental and spiritual health, and also for the physical health benefits of earthing.
Note: We’ll use the terms earthing and grounding interchangeably in this article. You can use whichever term you prefer.
What Is Earthing?
Earthing or grounding is a technique humans use to get more connected with the earth. The idea is that the electrons present in Earth’s surface stabilize the human body in some pretty cool ways.
We’ve become, as a human population, largely disconnected from this natural source of energy. Modern lifestyle separates humans from the Earth in simple ways that all add up – beginning with the invention of shoes and beds and other things that keep us disconnected from the Earth’s surface. We wear non-conductive shoes, and sleep on surfaces rather than connected to Earth’s surfaces. We rarely go barefoot or sit on the ground outdoors.
This disconnection is a major factor of emotional stress and depressed immune system responses to free radicals. Free radicals are molecules that cause damage to our cells and speed up aging. In short, we are denied the energies the Earth has to offer us – simply because we are out of touch.
Hence, the practice of grounding or earthing. As a way to reestablish our connection to the Earth and as a way to stabilize our own internal biological functions.
How to Practice Grounding
Grounding can be done by direct physical contact with Earth’s surfaces – walking with bare feet outdoors, sleeping on the ground outdoors – or by using grounding mats, sometimes called an “earthing sheet,” that are connected with conductive materials to outdoor ground surfaces. A grounding mat is connected with conductive wiring that transfers the energy of the Earth to you as you sleep, sit at your desk, or even watch TV.
The Earth’s surface provides free or mobile electrons. These free electrons pass into our bodies through direct contact with earth surfaces like grass, soil, or sand.
“Bodily contact with the Earth’s natural electric charge stabilizes the physiology at the deepest levels, reduces inflammation, pain, and stress, improves blood flow, energy, and sleep, and generates greater well-being. Such effects are profound, systemic, and foundational, and often develop rapidly.” — Integrative and lifestyle medicine strategies should include Earthing (grounding): Review of research evidence and clinical observations, Science Direct
Allowing ourselves regular direct contact with Earth’s healing energy gives us a continuously renewed supply of Earth’s electrons, Earth’s energy, which has some significant health benefits. We spend direct-contact time with the living matrix of Mother Earth to provide a more stable internal bioelectrical environment within our bodies and in doing so we equip our bodies with a natural way to neutralize free radicals.
Pretty cool stuff, right?
Benefits of Earthing (Grounding)
Grounding has a myriad of benefits for your health:
- Reduced inflammation
- Reduced pain and soreness
- Decreased stress response
- Improved sleep
- Reduced muscle damage
- Better function of our endocrine and nervous systems
- Improved cortisol rhythm
- Improved wound healing
- Reduced blood viscosity
- Improved mental health
- Increased immune response and neutralization of free radicals
Consider the following data.
The above Table 1, which is published by NCBI’s report “Earthing: Health Implications of Reconnecting the Human Body to the Earth’s Surface Electrons” demonstrates some clear medical arguments for the benefits of grounding, both by direct contact with the Earth and by using conductive grounding techniques.
The blind study took “60 subjects (22 males and 28 females) who suffered from self-described sleep disturbances and chronic muscle and joint pain for at least six months” and divided them into two groups:
- Group one (the test subjects) slept on conductive carbon fiber mattress pads that were grounded to the earth.
- Group two ( the control subjects) slept on conductive carbon fiber mattress pads that were not grounded to the earth.
Just look at the difference the test subjects largely reported:
- Quicker times to falling asleep
- Improved quality of sleep
- Waking feeling refreshed
- Improved muscle stiffness and pain, improved back pain, improved joint pain
- Improved feelings of well-being
This is some pretty impressive research support for the practice of earthing and what it can do for your health.
How to Develop a Grounding Practice
If you want to practice earthing, it’s pretty simple. Get outdoors for a few minutes each day and place your bare feet directly on the Earth’s surface – grass, soil, sand, moss, and other softly comforting surfaces. Note how you feel after grounding sessions. A regular practice could help you to feel more stabilized and energized so you can live a life more centered in wellness and rooted to the Earth’s calming gifts.
You can also purchase a grounding mat to use at your desk or in your bed. These are connected to your home’s grounding electrical circuit. They are relatively inexpensive and easy to use for when you simply cannot get outdoors.
Also, consider camping. Sleeping on the ground is a great way to tap into nature’s energy sources, sop up some of those free electrons, and enjoy the downtime you need to get re-connected with yourself and with the inner peace that comes from spending time in nature.
For More Information
Remember that even though earthing research is promising, this article isn’t meant to take the place of professional medical advice. Talk with your doctor about how a grounding practice could help you improve your overall health.
To learn more about grounding techniques or how CBD can help your grounding practice by promoting inner stabilization of your bodily systems follow our educational blog or shop our CBD store for all your wellness needs.