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Grounding, heard it many times growing up, said it a few times myself but what if I told you I am not talking about being in trouble? Before last year, I had no idea what grounding was nor did I know that is in reference to the earth. Grounding may also be called centering or earthing. Although it is under studied, a few scientist have studied the technique and its benefits.
What is Grounding/Earthing?
Grounding is a therapeutic technique that involves doing things that electrically reconnect you with the earth. It is said to be that earthing science and grounding physics explains how an electrical charge from the earth can have positive effects on your body. Although the use of a grounding technique in mental health treatment, this type of grounding/earthing isn't entirely the same!
Already established, electrons from antioxidant molecules neutralize reactive oxygen species (ROS known as Free Radicals) involved in the body's immune and inflammatory responses. When the body touches the Earth directly there is an influx of free electrons being absorb into the body which likely neutralizes ROS, thereby reducing acute and chronic inflammation. According the National Institute of Health, every part of the body could equilibrate with the electrical potential of the Earth, this stabilizes the electrical environment of all organs, tissues and cells.
Throughout history, humans have walk barefoot or with a footwear made from animal skins not to mention sleep on the ground and/or skins. This allowed an abundance of free electrons to enter the body encouraging a more stabilized body. With the modern lifestyle, Earth's electrons are no longer entering the body this proving the increase in chronic illness, immune disorders and inflammatory disease.
Science Backed Benefits of Grounding/Earthing
Even though it may under-researched there is a good amount of scientific research exploring the benefits of grounding for inflammation, cardiovascular disease, muscle damage, chronic pain and mood. Each of studies had a placebo group and a baseline making the study very promising. It was 100% of the placebo group didn't report any changes whereas, up to 90% of the grounding group reported positive changes. Check more about the studies plus view the tables, here.
- Chronic Fatigue - after four weeks of practicing grounding/Earthing, the patients in the study reported a decrease in fatigue.
- Chronic Pain - this study shows great improvement, most patients reported noticed a decrease in pain.
- Anxiety & Depression - a small study showed that even after 1 hour of grounding, patients reported a better mood. After 4 weeks patients reported a better mental health overall.
- Sleep Disorders - after four weeks of practicing grounding/Earthing, the patients in the study reported a decrease in fatigue, improvement in sleep length and reduced sleep disturbances.
- Cardiovascular Disease - after long-term grounding/Earthing, patients with hypertension showed reduced blood pressure levels.
Ways to Ground/Earth
There are a few ways to ground/earth but all of them focus on reconnecting yourself with the earth.
- Being barefoot, this by far is my favorite way to ground. I love touching the ground with me feet, all summer you will find me barefoot and happy :)
- Laying on the ground, this is done by simply laying on the earth. It can be done at in the grass or on sand at the beach. If I lived close to a beach, I wouldn't mind hanging on the beach daily to ground!
- Submersing in water, this is done by wading in a clear lake or swimming in the ocean. Be sure to stay safe when swimming, wear life vest if needed, don't swim alone and enter as long as there is no warnings.
- Grounding Equipment, these are something to look into especially if you live somewhere that doesn't allow you to ground year round due to cold or in a city with little earth exposed. They have grounding mats, sheets, blankets, socks, bands and patches. These can all be found online, I have not personally used any grounding equipment but intent to in the future.