Earthing: The Real Health Benefits of Planting Your Feet on Mother Earth
In his book Earthing: The Most Important Health Discovery Ever? author Clint Ober tells a remarkable story of an elderly man who went from being completely bedridden with advanced rheumatoid arthritis to up and walking around in a matter of days. The only difference? He spent his nights sleeping grounded, connected to the Earth. The man continued to experience improvements, regaining basic abilities like being able to do household chores by himself.
It sounds like science fiction, but physically connecting your body to the Earth has real healing benefits, even the ability to heal chronic disease. This is called earthing, or grounding. And the story above is just one of hundreds of people that have improved their health by reconnecting to the ground.
In this article, we’ll dive deeper into earthing, what it is, earthing benefits, how to ground, and more.
Table of Contents:
- What is Earthing or Grounding?
- Earthing Benefits
- Earthing Products
- Earthing Mat
- Are There Any Negative Side Effects of Earthing?
- Earth Healing: Grounding May Be Essential
What is Earthing or Grounding?
Earthing, also called grounding, is the process of putting your body in direct contact with the earth — grass, soil, sand, bodies of water, and even concrete — to achieve certain health benefits.
The idea is that humans are inherently electrical beings — we need electricity to beat our hearts, pump blood, and perform countless chemical reactions throughout the body. Being mostly water and minerals, we also make excellent conductors. And fortunately for us, we happen to be sitting on a massive source of electrical energy tuned to the exact frequency we need to remain calm, content, and healthy — the Earth.
Earth holds billions of free electrons that we are free to absorb as long as we are physically connected to the ground via skin contact. The Earth generates this electrical energy through thousands of lightning strikes, solar radiation, and deep energy generated from the inner core of the planet. The electrical intensity of the planet rises and falls with the sun, as do our energy levels.
Ancient civilizations, though they knew nothing about electrons, always recognized the healing power of the Earth. They were aware that human health coexisted with the cycles and resources of the planet. Qi (Chinese) and prana (Indian) are two energy sources that partially embody this idea.
If this is all sounding a bit out there, think about how you feel walking barefoot on the beach, or running around the backyard with your dog, or swimming in the ocean. When we are connected to nature, we often feel a sense of contentment and wellbeing that we rarely find anywhere else. That’s what receiving energy from the Earth feels like.
Earthing has real, research-backed benefits that include:
- Reducing inflammation
- Reducing pain, including chronic pain
- Regulating the nervous system and cortisol levels
- Protecting the body from disruptive electromagnetic fields (EMF)
- Reducing jet lag
- Improving blood flow
- Restoring energy
- Improving sleep
- Faster wound healing
- Regulating immunity
- Improving mood
- Reducing blood viscosity (lowering risk of blood clots).
The one requirement to achieve these benefits is prolonged skin contact with the Earth. (Though thin layers of natural clothing, such as 100% cotton socks, don’t seem to hinder the connection much.) A recent study on the potential of carbon fiber plate shoes, aka “grounding shoes,” to improve running performance showed that runners experienced no difference in physiological or perceptual markers with the grounding shoes vs. regular training shoes.
This suggests that the brief moments of contact with the ground while running are not enough to stimulate the effects of grounding on the human body, even over a run time of 20 minutes.
Prolonged skin contact with the Earth is necessary, typically at least a period of 15-20 minutes before you begin to experience noticeable benefits such as relaxation and pain relief. Typically, the longer you are connected, the more benefits you will experience, but everyone is different. Either way, those free electrons are going to work in your body as soon as you step onto the grass in your backyard.
Earthing is a wonderful habit to get into, even if only for a short amount of time each day. (If you practice earthing in the morning along with getting some morning sunshine, you’re feeding two birds with one scone, so to speak.) But the consistent benefits come from consistent contact, ideally for hours at a time.
Therein lies our problem in our modern, busy lives. How many of us actually have the time to spend with our toes in the sand (or grass, or soil) for hours a day? And while camping may be a fun excursion every now and then, we aren’t likely to be sleeping on the ground every night.
This is why Clint Ober, cable TV pioneer turned grounding expert and advocate, developed the first earthing products. He began with a simple grid of conductive tape that he applied to friends’ beds, connected to a wire and a grounding rod stuck in the Earth outside. This expanded into earthing mats for standing, sitting, or putting on the surface of a desk or counter, sheet sets, a sleeping bag of sorts intended for athletes on the go, and other innovations.
These products simply plug into a grounded outlet and carry the energy of the Earth to you, whether you’re working at your computer, watching TV, or sleeping. Many people have found them immensely beneficial for maintaining their contact with the Earth and reaping the anti-inflammatory, pain relieving, and mood boosting benefits throughout the day.
The earthing mat is probably the easiest (and most cost effective) earthing product to try. It’s also handy for traveling and can be moved around to different parts of your home, as long as you have access to a grounded outlet.
If you spend a lot of time on the road, there’s even an auto seat mat option for on the go grounding.
Are There Any Negative Side Effects of Earthing?
Earthing is totally safe and is probably the most natural healing modality you can get your hands (or feet) on.
Earthing products are also safe as long as they are connected to a grounded electrical outlet. You should receive a testing device with your grounding product to gauge this.
While earthing, you are not being shocked or electrocuted in any way. Earthing represents a very subtle transfer of energy from the ground to you. Grounding also protects you from EMF and other harmful radiation from our interconnected world.
Earth Healing: Grounding May Be Essential for a Healthy Mind, Body, and Spirit
It’s tempting to always look for the newest innovations in science and medicine to improve our health, and we certainly aren’t opposed to that type of progress. But sometimes there’s a solution literally right beneath your feet, and you don’t realize it. For issues like chronic pain, mood imbalances, and even conditions like diabetes and heart disease, simply connecting to the Earth each day can play a huge role in restoring health and wellbeing.
Have you tried Earthing and experienced its benefits? Come join our community group on Facebook and tell us about your experience!
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