Earthing also commonly referred to as ‘grounding’ is a technique based on reconnecting to the earth’s surface with a view to improving overall health and well-being.
While this may sound odd at first glance, there is now more evidence than ever to suggest that direct contact with the earth has multiple long-term physical and mental benefits.
We have all felt the instant calming effect of stepping out on fresh grass in our bare feet - but is there really a science behind this phenomenon and can it serve to enhance our overall health and protect us from disease?
In short - yes!
The earth's surface is negatively charged with an infinite supply of electrons. Because the human body is primarily comprised of water and minerals, we easily conduct the earth's electrical energy and absorb it into our system.
Once absorbed, the earth's negative charge has a powerful antioxidant-like effect on the body. The earth's natural frequency neutralises electrons present in the body and promotes healing, prevention of chronic illness and general physical and mental well-being.
So, could casting our shoes aside once and a while really lead to a healthier you? Below we explore some of the most groundbreaking health benefits associated with an earthing practice.
Step out barefoot and notice that your mind starts to quiet and you feel more present in your body. Walk on the Earth as though each step is a prayer. Studies have shown that earthing, contacting the earth directly with your feet—in the soil, grass, sand, moss, anything—can help reduce inflammation and chronic pain, reduce stress, improve energy, and improve sleep. Earthing is a cure-all. The two hundred thousand nerve endings on the sole of each foot pick up the electrons transferred from the earth. Walking barefoot will calm your nervous system and help your body return to an optimal electrical state, from which you’re better able to self-regulate and self-heal.” ― Julia Plevin, The Healing Magic of Forest Bathing: Finding Calm, Creativity, and Connection in the Natural World
Emerging evidence strongly indicates that the more disconnected we are from nature - the more detrimental our lifestyle is to our overall health. Exploring the benefits of earthing is a great example of how a simple reconnecting with nature can transform our lives.
The earth’s energy is scientifically proven to provide immediate and long-term improvements to wellbeing. The stressors associated with modern life are beginning to take their toll- eventually leading to mental and physical ailments.
Earthing is just one way we can stay on top of our health game for the long term.
Here are a handful of benefits to earthing:
This powerful impact of grounding on the body can be linked back to one main thing - inflammation.
When we examine increasing rates of chronic illness in our population - much of the root cause can be traced back to some form of inflammation in the body. The great news is - the earth's electrons act as natural anti-inflammatory and prevent the occurrence of inflammation in the body. They also serve to alleviate existing inflammation from causing disease.
Shorter Healing Time
Earthing promotes a shorter healing time for existing wounds or cuts and can even lead to a shorter recovery time from strenuous exercise. This is great news for those engaging in onerous exercise such as weightlifting, and training for a marathon or professional athletes.
Improves Circulation, Blood Pressure, Fatigue
The evidence indicates that a grounding practice can improve circulation and reduce blood pressure in the body. It can leave us feeling more revitalised thereby boosting our energy levels.
Hormone imbalance can too often leave us feeling completely out of whack. This occurs when we have too much or too little of a given hormone in our bodies. Women are more vulnerable to the effects of hormone imbalance with a longer hormone cycle lasting on average 28-30 days. Hormone imbalance is also prevalent in women experiencing menopause. Just a few moments spent reconnecting with the earth can have a powerful impact on hormone levels and help get you back to the best and most balanced version of yourself.
Besides the physical benefits associated with a consistent grounding practice - there are also strong links between grounding and improved mental well-being. This includes the management and prevention of mood disorders. Fostering a connection with the earth controls cortisol levels in the body.
The production of cortisol is essentially how the body responds to stress. It is an important hormone but the overproduction of cortisol in the body can wreak havoc on our health. As a modern society, it is no secret that we are suffering from a stress epidemic, so learning how to reduce cortisol levels naturally is key to realising a whole host of health benefits.
High cortisol levels have been linked to anxiety, depression, and other mood disorders. A reduction in cortisol can also improve your quality of sleep allowing you to feel more rejuvenated.
Best of all - earthing can be completely free. It is important to look at the therapeutic impacts of reconnecting with nature as a long-term solution to many of today’s stress and lifestyle-induced illnesses. It is far from the latest craze or a ‘quick fix’ but with consistency and devotion to this powerful ritual, we can really transform our health and our lives.
How can I harness the Earth's infinite healing powers?
We spend more time than ever before indoors, some estimating it can be as much as 90% of our day. This shift indoors however is having a detrimental impact on our health and wellbeing by cutting us off from nature's profound healing powers. Nature promotes the regular functioning of our bodily systems while also improving our psychological wellbeing.
By cutting ourselves off from nature, we are cutting ourselves off from a higher quality of life.
When is the last time you stood outdoors in your bare feet or made direct contact with the earth? For many of us, it might be longer than we care to remember. But not to worry - there is no better time to begin our journey back to nature with a steady grounding ritual.
It can be difficult to know where to start with a practice like grounding - that is why we always recommend starting small and gradually building up to a longer or more consistent practice.
Common grounding rituals involve walking on the grass or earth barefoot. Going for an ocean swim, laying down on the earth's surface or placing the palms of your hands on the ground.
It is recommended that you engage in your grounding practice for a minimum of 30 minutes - but if this is not achievable given your current routine -(or let’s face it it might be the middle of winter) try starting with a 5 - 10-minute practice.
Many reports suggest that even after a few minutes spent earthing you can begin to reap its many benefits.
Speaking of winter, various devices have been created to allow you to harness the earth's natural energy from the comfort of your own home. Indoor earthing products such as mats, blankets, pads, bands, patches and even earthing footwear are now widely available. This is a great option for people who may have to spend extended periods of time indoors but still want to maintain a connection with the earth.
Track your progress
Tracking your progress is a great way to keep up the momentum when starting any healthy habit. Keeping an earthing journal to monitor the length of each practice and how you feel before and after can allow you to maintain a focus on your reason for starting the practice and assess your results.
The Bottom Line
Looking towards nature to heal us is not a new phenomenon, but in recent years nature has been overlooked in the mainstream - however, this is a trend that again appears to be shifting. There is an overwhelming appetite to leverage nature's innate powers to manage our health and prevent disease.
Of course - earthing should be adopted as part of an overall healthy lifestyle that includes a balanced diet, regular exercise and good mindfulness practice that works for you.
Untapping the earth’s electrical properties with a grounding practice couldn't be simpler - so why not try it out for yourself today?