Human beings evolved in connection with the earth’s energy. We walked barefoot and we slept in contact with the earth, never realizing that its surface contained limitless, natural, healing energy. Earthing or grounding is the act of bringing the earth’s free electrons into your body and it has many health benefits. Here’s how it works and how it can benefit you.
You can think of the earth as being like a giant battery that supports life on this planet. The earth’s surface has a subtle, negative electrical charge due to lightning strikes and atmospheric pressure. On an atomic level, it is full of free electrons, the smallest unit of negative charge. Connecting to Mother Earth helps us re-energize and rebalance our body’s systems, which are by nature bioelectrical. The earth’s negative charge can create a stable internal bioelectrical environment for our bodies.
Here’s how and why earthing works. The earth possesses a limitless and continuously renewed supply of electrons that make the surface of the planet electrically conductive (except in limited ultra-dry areas like deserts). And humans are also electrically charged beings. It only makes sense that the latest research on earthing suggests that these two forces sync to help create a more stable internal biological environment, helping our entire system function more efficiently.
The problem? Modern lifestyle inherently separates humans from such contact with the earth. Think about it: Instead of walking barefoot or using traditional leather-soled shoes, we wear thick rubber-soled shoes. Instead of sleeping on the earth in huts or log cabins, we are in high rises or elevated houses. Instead of foraging all day, walking the earth, we sit in office buildings or cars.
Human beings function optimally when we have a slight negative charge, the same to that of earth, which happens naturally when we connect electrically with the earth via grounding. When we are disconnected from the earth, our bioelectric potential and immune system become deficient. This happens more rapidly with exposure to man made electromagnetic frequencies (cell phones, wifi, refrigerators, smart meters, etc.) because this man made forms of EMF affect tissue repair processes and disturb immune functions through the stimulation of various allergic and inflammatory responses.
Some of the ways that earthing / grounding helps include:
- Improved sleep
- Stress reduction
- Pain relief
- Better blood flow & circulation
- Immune support
- Balanced cortisol levels, especially at night
- Improved cardiovascular function
- Reduced inflammation
- Decreased muscle tension
- Faster recovery from muscular strain
- Increased levels of energy during the day
- Reduced free radicals in the body
Earthing for Inflammation:
Inflammation is primarily caused by neutrophils, which are a type of white blood cell the body releases when it detects a pathogen or damaged cell. Neutrophils are sent to the site where the pathogen or damaged cell is located. The neutrophils encapsulate the pathogen, then release reactive, electron deficient oxygen molecules.
When a neutrophil does its job to destroy the pathogen or damaged cell, there are leftover reactive electron starved oxygen molecule byproducts. If there are not enough electrons in the body, within seconds these reactive molecules are going to steal an electron from a healthy cell. Free electron deficiency is common in those who live an unnatural lifestyle and lack a whole foods diet and regular connection with natural environments.
When electrons are stolen from healthy cells, due to a deficiency in free electrons, the immune system is then triggered that there is more damage and sends more neutrophils to remediate the newly damaged cells, and so begins a chain reaction. Silent, chronic inflammation that can continue for years. To prevent this inflammatory domino effect, get grounded.
When you are electrically grounded to the earth, free electrons spread throughout the body, which has a resulting antioxidant effect. After the neutrophils release their oxidative burst and seek out electrons, the electrons from earthing are there to neutralize the situation by offering electrons, which prevents neutrophils from stealing electrons from healthy cells, warding off the inflammation cascade.
Earthing for Circulation and Heart Health:
Earthing has been shown to increase the surface charge of red blood cells, thereby reducing blood viscosity and clumping. The red blood cells maintain separation as a result of their surface charge, allowing for a more orderly single file flow into the capillaries. Grounding appears to be one of the simplest and most profound interventions for helping reduce risk of cardiovascular events. The circulatory benefits of earthing increase the health and recovery of our body’s tissue by improving the delivery of oxygen and nutrients throughout the body.
Further studies have shown earthing’s effectiveness in improving heart rate variability (HRV). Variability in one’s heart rate is linked with reduced stress and greater calmness. HRV is a widely accepted indicator of health and yet another reason why earthing is a powerful tool to use to minimize risk of a cardiovascular event.
Earthing for Pain Reduction and Improved Would Healing:
Earthing after injury can reduce or even prevent the hallmark signs of inflammation: redness, heat, swelling, pain, and loss of function. Researchers have confirmed expedited recovery of painful chronic inflammation using medical infrared imaging.
Pain reduction from earthing helps both newly formed wounds, as well as the many types of chronic pain, such as arthritis. By producing measurable differences in the concentrations of white blood cells, cytokines and other molecules, earthing benefits the inflammatory response.
Grounding after exercise is helpful in the speed of recovery. One study monitored pain and immune response and pain in response to injury employed delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) of participants who wore grounding patches and slept on earthing sheets versus a placebo group. The grounded participants not only reported less pain, their immune system and healing process showed less inflammatory markers.
Earthing for Better Sleep:
Earthing yields quantifiable changes in diurnal circadian cortisol secretion levels that improve sleep. Grounding’s regulating effect on circadian rhythm prepares your body for sleep hormonally, while its stress reduction qualities lower anxiety and other symptoms that can make it hard to fall or stay asleep. Earthing helps prevent insomnia, quickens sleep onset and results in a deeper, more restorative night’s sleep.
Earthing for Cognitive Function:
If your body is experiencing chronic inflammation, one of the first functions to be affected is cognition. All too common results of this are brain fog, fatigue, irritability and problems with mood, memory and mental processing. The antioxidant and anti-inflammatory mechanisms of electrons via grounding make earthing a potent way to maintain normalized function in the brain.
Earthing has significant influence on the electrical activity of the brain, generating an immediate change in brain scan results via electroencephalography (EEG), surface electromyography (SEMG) and somato-sensory evoked potentials (SSEPs). The normalizing effect of earthing on the brain, as indicated by the tests performed in this study, indicates that grounding may play a primary role in regulating neurological and nervous system function.
Earthing is really easy to do too. You can walk barefoot on the grass, sand or dirt. You can lie on the ground. You can sit in a chair, with your bare feet touching the ground. You can submerge your feet in water at the edge of a lake, stream or the ocean.
If it’s too cold or you have health issues that prevent you, there are other options. You can wear grounding shoes. There are some shoes that have copper plugs on the soles that actually help you ground to the earth on a near constant basis. Or you can use grounding sheets, grounding mats, grounding socks or even grounding patches. All of these products can be ordered online and can be used on a regular basis.
Regardless of how you choose to ground, all you need is 20 minutes a day to start seeing and feeling some of the benefits. And you don’t have to beat yourself up if you miss a day, because studies show that just 1 session can have positive effects that may last for up to a week. So get out there and get grounded!!