Benefits of Grounding: Health and Happiness
Our modern lifestyle has us pretty much cooped up indoors, sitting throughout most of the day. We are disconnected from our planet more than ever before. We wear thick, factory-made rubber-soled shoes (which we start wearing as infants), we have hard floors and desks. We are keeping our body off the earth, when touching the earth, aka grounding, has absolutely amazing health benefits.
Earthing reconnects us with our natural earth environment, through a transfer of electrons from the earth, into our physical body. The earth’s surface possesses a limitless and continuously renewed supply of electrons. Does this all seem too ‘woo woo’ to you?
Research is proving, grounding is legit.
Grounding Keeps Us Happy
Grounding possesses amazing health benefits, and it’s free of cost! Connecting with the earth decreases feelings of depression and anxiety, decreased pain, improved immune health, cardiovascular health, and sleep. Earthing shifts the body from a sympathetic (fight or flight) to a parasympathetic (relaxed) state. The only requirement? Go outside and walk barefoot.
Grounding Regulates Our Sleep Cycle
Grounding also helps with getting adequate sleep. Many people have a difficult time falling asleep and staying asleep, and modern stress is a huge reason for this. The sleep medication industry makes a fortune in sleep aids. The earth’s negative electrons help to create an internal rhythm within our body, which in turn helps to set our circadian rhythm, or sleep cycle, telling our body when to appropriately secrete specific hormones like cortisol/melatonin.
In one study, measurable improvements in diurnal cortisol profiles were observed with grounding, with cortisol levels significantly reduced during night-time sleep. Grounding during sleep not only reduced cortisol but also re-synchronized the participant’s hormone secretions to align with a more natural 24-hour circadian rhythm. The subjects also reported reduced pain and stress! One great way to ground at night is to use grounding mats or sheets with your bed.
Less cortisol = better sleep = better overall mood.
Grounding Fights Inflammation
The earth’s electrons have also been shown to neutralize free radicals and boost the health of our immune system. Our ancestors not only walked barefoot or wore animal skins (which the earth electrons are absorbed through), often times they slept with their body directly on the earth. This contact with the earth while sleeping neutralizes free radicals, and stabilizes all of our organs, tissues, and cells.
Grounding also reduces inflammation in the body. These anti-inflammatory effects are due to negatively charged antioxidant electrons from the earth, entering the body and neutralizing positively charged free radicals, thereby reducing overall inflammation in the body. This is great news for people struggling with modern inflammatory conditions such as autoimmune disorders. Earthing also accelerated the immune response to vaccinations.
Grounding Supports Our Heart Health
Grounding the body might be the primary modulator of the endocrine and nervous system. In a double-blind pilot study, A biofeedback system recorded the electrophysiological and physiological parameters of 30 healthy control subjects. Upon earthing, about half of the subjects showed an abrupt change in EEG. Grounding changed the electrophysiological properties of the participant’s brains and musculature, for the better. There were overall reductions in stress and tension, and a shift in the autonomic nervous system immediately upon earthing. Grounding also improved heart rate variability, supporting cardiovascular health, improving all the way to the end of a 40 minute grounding period. This suggests that earthing has a greater heart rate variability benefit with increased time.
Grounding Relaxes Us
In patients who experience anxiety, emotional stress, panic, fear, and/or symptoms of autonomic dystonia, including headaches, cardiac palpitations, and dizziness, grounding could be a very realistic therapy. These patients may see positive effects most likely within 20 to 30 minutes and in almost all cases in 40 minutes. Depression and anxiety symptoms such as panic, sadness, hostility, etc all affect heart rate variability. Depression and anxiety are linked to cardiovascular disease. Earthing helps to switch the body into a parasympathetic or relaxed state, balancing the autonomic nervous system, thus decreasing depression, further decreasing risks of cardiovascular events for depressed patients with cardiovascular disease.
Connecting with the earth showed significant changes in minerals and electrolytes in blood serum, (in just one night!). The observed reductions in calcium and phosphorus were directly related to osteoporosis. A single night of grounding can help reduce some primary indicators for osteoporosis.
Grounding and Thyroid Function
Connecting with the earth also shows promising help for thyroid function! One night of grounding produces a significant decrease in thyroid stimulating hormones. Many individuals taking thyroid medication found that grounding with medication actually increased hyperthyroid symptoms, thus needing to work with their doctor and adjust their medication downward. The thyroid is the master gland affecting all physiological processes in the body. Earthing just may be the primary modulator for our endocrine health!
Grounding Helps with Recovery
In a pilot study, earthing decreased delayed muscle soreness (DOMS) in participants. In another study, healthy men ages 20–23 were put through a similar routine of toe raises while carrying on their shoulders a barbell equal to one-third of their body weight. Researchers grounded half the participants and tested their blood chemistry and pain levels. The researchers concluded that grounding the body to the Earth alters measures of immune system activity and pain. The ungrounded participants experienced a strong increase in white blood cells (associated with decreased inflammatory response) at the stage when DOMS is known to reach its peak and greater perception of pain. The grounded men, however, had only a slight decrease in white blood cells, indicating scant inflammation, and a shorter recovery time. Therefore, simply by connecting with the earth, we can recover more quickly from our body’s innate response to muscle trauma!
Getting outside and connecting with the earth for as little as a half hour per day can have a significant positive impact on our overall physical and mental health! Plus, it doesn’t cost anything. Granted it is more difficult to get outside and ground in the colder months, especially for those living in colder climates. However, there are special conductive shoes that can be worn outside. Unlike synthetic factory-made shoes, animal skin moccasins, as our ancestors wore, are also conducive to the earth’s electrons. So get outside, play outside, walk barefoot, work outside when you can, and sleep on the earth. The more you can, the better you will feel. Cheers to earthing and good health!