Last week my little boy and I were exploring our local beach as we regularly do, and we finally saw that first glimmer of lemony sunshine and felt the gentle warmth of Spring. He asked me if he could take his boots off and I agreed, as it was finally warm enough that he wouldn’t get frostbite (we visit the beach all year round, regardless of weather).
As he removed his boots and his tiny pink tootsies hit the sand, he said “ooh mummy, it tickles and feels SO yummy”. You could see by his body language and huge grin that feeling the earth under his bare feet for the first time in ages was filling him with pleasure and energy – the way he ran around that beach once he removed his boots was a sight to see!
Witnessing the complete joy when my son’s bare feet felt the ground beneath his feet was a delight, and so I was intrigued to find out more about the phenomenon known as ‘grounding’, to explore its benefits, discover what grounding is, and how it can help us in day-to-day life. Here’s what I found out…
What is Grounding?
Grounding (or “earthing” as it’s sometimes known) is a term referring to centring your body as it reconnects with the earth when your bare feet touch the ground. When you feel dewy grass underfoot or kick off your shoes at the end of a long day, have you ever felt a slight tingling in your feet, or a sense of warmth or well-being rising up into your body? Most of us expel a blissful sigh and close our eyes to experience the pleasure which goes hand-in-hand with being barefoot. That sensation is the result of direct barefoot contact with the surface of the Earth, which brims with natural energy and negatively charged free electrons. Without a connection to this reservoir of electrons, the cells in our body are unable to balance the positive charge which results from things like electron-deficient free radicals. By grounding ourselves, we can find inner balance, peace, and even proven health benefits.
Grounding Throughout History
Since time began, humans have walked barefoot or with footwear made of animal skins. They hunted with bare feet, lived barefoot, and even slept on the ground at night. Through this constant direct contact with the earth, they left their bodies open to receive the abundant free electrons from the earth. As a result, every part of the body could equilibrate with the electrical potential of the earth which, in turn, would stabilise the electrical environment of all organs, tissues, and cells.
Since the 1960s, we have increasingly worn insulating rubber or plastic-soled shoes, instead of the traditional leather made from hides. Synthetic shoes insulate our feet from the ground, and we live in houses made of stone with carpets made of synthetic insulating materials. People no longer sleep on the ground either, and modern life has progressively separated humans from the primordial flow of earth’s electrons. This means we have less opportunities for grounding than ever before. We drive cars and seldom walk (let alone walk barefoot!) so the western world is becoming increasingly disconnected with the earth which grounds us.
What is the Science Behind Grounding?
Dr Stephen Sinatra of the Heart MD Institute , an expert on the subject of grounding, describes how grounding works by explaining how we are all bio-electrical beings living on an electrical planet. Our bodies functions electrically (our hearts and nervous system are prime example) and so need ‘charging’ to retain their energy.
Explaining the science behind the phenomenon of grounding he says, “Emerging science reveals that direct contact with the ground allows us to receive an energy infusion, complements of Mother Earth. Grounding can restore and stabilise the bio-electrical circuitry that governs your physiology and organs, harmonise your basic biological rhythms, boost self-healing mechanisms, reduce inflammation and pain, and improve your sleep and feeling of calmness. When these things happen, you feel better in a big way”.
If you are feeling anxious or disconnected, grounding yourself can also help you to re-discover an inner peace. Direct physical contact with the vast supply of electrons on the surface of the Earth can truly help us, but modern life separates humans from such contact. Emerging research suggests that this disconnect may be a major contributor to physiological dysfunction and unwellness.
Health Benefits of Grounding
Clinton Ober and Dr Stephen Sinatra M.D wrote a best-selling book entitled ‘Earthing, The Most Important Health Discovery Ever!”. They say that the health benefits of grounding are vast because of the well-established link between chronic inflammation and all chronic diseases. The book explores how living in contact with the Earth’s natural surface charge – being grounded – naturally discharges and prevents chronic inflammation in the body.
- Improved immune function
- Improved digestion
- Improved sleep
- Rapid healing of injuries
- Improved blood circulation
- Harmonisation and stabilisation of the body’s basic biological rhythms
- Accelerated recovery from intense athletic activity
- Reduction of inflammation
- Reduced stress / anxiety / irritability
- Reduced electro sensitivity
Much like taking a cold shower, reconnection with the Earth’s electrons has been found to promote intriguing physiological changes and well-being. Walking barefoot outside or sitting, working, or sleeping indoors connected to conductive systems that transfer the Earth’s electrons from the ground into the body can really give you a lifeboost and improve health.
The Cure Right Under Our Feet
De Flora et al. wrote in the FASEB Journal: “Since the late 20th century, chronic degenerative diseases have overcome infectious disease as the major causes of death in the 21st century, so an increase in human longevity will depend on finding an intervention that inhibits the development of these diseases and slows their progress”
Could such an intervention be located right beneath our feet?
Emerging evidence shows that contact with the earth—whether being outside barefoot or indoors connected to grounding products which increase conductivity — may be a simple, natural, and yet profoundly effective environmental strategy against chronic stress, ANS dysfunction, inflammation, pain, poor sleep, disturbed HRV, hypercoagulable blood, and many common health disorders, including cardiovascular disease.
Watch this grounding experiment which demonstrates how sunflowers thrive and bloom when grounding rods are inserted into their water…
How Can I Experience Healthful Grounding in Day-to-Day Life?
Quite simply – take your shoes off! Walking, working and sitting barefoot is the best way to connect with the earth and benefit from the vibrations and healing electrons which Mother Earth gifts us. The simplest way to be grounded is to go outside and place your bare feet or hands on some grass or earth, or to immerse yourself in a body of conductive water such as the sea or a mineral-rich lake.
Grounding is about reconnecting with nature and the healing power of the earth. Your vivacity and aliveness will return and flow inside of you when you ground to the earth. For those who find it difficult to ground to the earth in day-to-day life, you can simulate an earth connection indoors by driving a metal rod into the ground outside, running a wire from the rod, and then connecting it to ourselves.
Products to Assist Grounding
Bare skin contact with grounding products such as conductive mats, bed sheets, body bands, and patches simulates being barefoot outdoors and can increase the conductivity of the body, encouraging the health benefits associated with grounding. People who notice negative effects from using computers or other electrical equipment report a reduction or elimination of these effects when grounded.
My little boy’s reaction to feeling the sand under his feet was evidently rather astute and intuitive. I think that he and I will most definitely be walking barefoot more often, our health and well-being depends on it!
What is grounding for you, and how do you like to ground yourself? What do you think about the benefits of grounding? Let us know and join our vibrant community over on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. We can’t wait to welcome you!
Thanks to The Mojo Lab for the feature image!