SEVEN BENEFITS TO GROUNDING
- Decrease Inflammation
- Realign Cortisol Rhythms
- Increase Energy
- Improve Sleeping and Fall Asleep Faster
- Improve Blood Flow Throughout the Body
- Heal from Injuries Faster
- Improve Mood and Decrease Negative Emotions
“I feel so grounded!” Have you ever heard someone say that? What the heck does that even mean? Is there a science behind it? Is it just an artsy way of saying you feel balanced and good about life? Why do people feel so rejuvenated after a vacation on the beach or being in touch with nature? Grounding, or popularly known as Earthing, is a verb. It is something you can easily do every day. In fact, it is a very common health practice that has been around for hundreds of years. It is simply being in direct contact with Earth. Your bare feet or skin touching the Earth’s surface will ground you. There is a science and an explanation to what it is and why it works. To understand why the act of grounding or Earthing works, you need to understand electricity and a little bit about your own bioelectrical systems.
God made you so well, surprise surprise huh? Did you know that you are an electrical being living in an electrical world? The Earth has electrical potential that rises and falls based on the position of the sun. This flux in electrical energy and stimulation ties into your circadian rhythms and effects your biological, peripheral, clocks. Your body is a giant conductor of electricity. The way your body interacts with Earth’s electrical energy is very therapeutic. Everyone has their own unique electrical frequency, just like you have your own specific DNA. Your body provides you with electrical input, output, and responds to other electrical frequencies around you. Your brain, nervous system, immune system, endocrine system, and muscles (such as the heart), are controlled, respond, and adapt to electrical or lack of electrical stimulus.
Imagine a person’s heart being shocked with defibrillation paddles. The electrical shock delivered from the paddles helps restart or reset the rhythm of the heart muscle. That is just one practical example of how your body can respond to electrical input. The act of grounding is your body connecting with Earth’s constant flow of electrons and gaining them. Being electron rich increases your redox potential which increases your health and immunity.
Quick chemistry and biology lesson for y’all:
An electron is one of the three main components that make up an atom. Electrons have a negative charge. Electrons are responsible for the energy state of an atom or being. Electrons are responsible for numerous aspects of health including cellular energy. Electrons are your friends. The greater number of electrons you harvest the greater your redox potential is. Think of your redox potential as very accurate marker of wellness and how well your body will react to a stressor, pathogen, poor environment, etc. A low redox potential is indicative of a weak-charged environment. (Kruse, 2013) Electrons are key in the Electron Transport Chain (ETC). The ETC is responsible for energy production in our cells. Electron’s affect the biochemistry of all life forms. (Kruse, 2014)
Like the body, Earth is an electrical planet that has natural and native frequencies. These frequencies are healing, restorative, and essential for your optimal well-being. The Earth contains waves of energy potential, electrons. Remember, electrons have a negative charge. These electrical waves are continually being replenished by solar radiation, lightning, and heat from its deep-down molten core. Think of Earth also as a giant conductor. Earth is equivalent to a six sextillion (that’s six followed by twenty-one zeroes) metric ton battery. (Ober, Sinatra, & Zucker, 2014) When your skin touches the Earth’s skin you absorb the flow of these electrons. This essentially is the definition of grounding and Earthing.
When you are in a grounded state with Earth you are organically protecting yourself from other static electricity and interference that you would encounter. You may know that many of your appliances, cables, certain outlets, etc. at home are by code “grounded” for them to function properly. This prevents interference from other electromagnetic fields surrounding it. As humans, living in an environment with a lot of interference can “steal” your electrons and decrease your redox potential. The more electrons you lose the faster you age and the more prone you are to disease, especially auto-immune disorders. You too need to be grounded so the “interference” surrounding you does not alter your bioelectrical circuits.
Over the past 100+ years there has been an increasing disconnect between living life grounded. Today there are a multitude of examples showing electrical disconnect. Shoes are a great example. Most shoes are made of insulating materials like rubber or plastic. This blocks any connection to Earth. Sleeping used to occur directly on Earth’s surface, as close to the ground as possible. Now beds are elevated far off the ground. It is common for people to live and sleep on the second or third floor, even farther from the Earth’s electromagnetic field. In general, life used to occur outside a lot more than it typically does today.
This missing electrical connection deprives your body of the internal electrical stability and rhythm your biological processes need to function optimally.
The same way that you ground your appliances you can also “ground” yourself even when indoors. We have Clint Ober to thank for that! Ober developed grounding mats, pads, sheets, blankets, and patches! His invention works to elongate the electrical connection from Earth’s surface to your body even if you are unable to be directly in contact with Earth’s skin. He incorporated conductive materials into fabrics and mats that you can sleep on, place your feet on when you are working from a desk, lounging around, etc. These conductive surfaces are connected through an insulated Earthing cord and then inserted into a grounded outlet spoke. They key is making sure the outlet you are using is grounded, which is easy to test.
Connecting skin to skin with Earth is the cheapest therapy that you will ever come across.
Ground yourself directly to earth for a free and natural therapy.
If you find it challenging to spend time outside consistently, invest in an Earthing pad to better your health and connection to Earth! Grounding provides a multitude of health benefits. What are these benefits, you ask?
- By absorbing the flow of electrons from Earth, you directly have a positive effect on inflammation. Grounding decreases inflammation. Grounding produces measurable differences in the concentrations of white blood cells, cytokines, and other molecules involved in the inflammatory process. (Oschman, Chevalier, & Brown, 2015)
- Grounding realigns your natural cortisol rhythms. Grounding the body during sleep causes changes in circadian cortisol (stress hormone) secretion levels. (Oschman, Chevalier, & Brown, 2015) In a six-week study, cortisol levels were measured at 12 midnight and 8am. On average the nighttime cortisol levels of participants dropped 53.7%!! The participants whose cortisol was low in the morning pre-grounding had an average increase of 34.3%! The participants whose cortisol was abnormally high in the morning pre-grounding had a decrease on average of 38% which brought them back into a normal rhythm. (Ghaly & Teplitz, 2004). Normal cortisol levels should be higher in the morning and decrease throughout the day and be the lowest at night. This helps you fall asleep and stay asleep. When your sleep starts to be affected the rest of your health will suffer as a by-product.
- Grounding increases energy. Within a grounded sleep study, nine of 12 participants reported having more energy throughout the day when sleeping grounded. (Ghaly & Teplitz, 2004)
- Grounding improves sleeping and allows you to fall asleep faster. In a grounded sleep study that took place over eight weeks 11 of the 12 participants reported it took them less time to fall asleep when grounded. All participants reported waking up fewer times throughout the night. 75% of participants felt less fatigued and more refreshed when sleeping grounded. (Ghaly & Teplitz, 2004)
- Grounding improves blood flow supply to cells and tissues. In a double-blind randomized pilot study, thermal imaging showed improved circulation of fluids throughout the torso and the head of the participants that were indeed grounded. These results were conclusive after just one hour. Earthing and grounding has shown to promote significant autonomic nervous system control of body fluids and peripheral blood flow that may improve blood circulation throughout one’s body. (Chevalier, Melvin, & Barsotti, 2015)
- Grounding allows for decreased healing time from injuries. Grounding produces measurable differences in the concentrations of white blood cells, cytokines, and other molecules involved in the inflammatory process. (Oschman, Chevalier, & Brown, 2015)
- When grounded, people reported a decrease in negative emotions. Nine of the 12 participants also reported feeling less emotional stress such as anxiety, depression, and irritability when grounded. (Ghaly & Teplitz, 2004) Grounding allows one’s sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous system to balance. This is your fight or flight response. In a study utilizing heart rate variability (HRV), participants who experienced panic, depression, anxiety, emotional stress, fear, headaches, cardiac palpitations, and dizziness all had measurable decreases within 20-40 minutes of grounding. (Chevalier & Sinatra, 2011)
Chevalier, G., Melvin, G. and Barsotti, T. (2015) One-Hour Contact with the Earth’s Surface (Grounding) Improves Inflammation and Blood Flow—A Randomized, Double-Blind, Pilot Study. Health, 7, 1022-1059. http://dx.doi.org/10.4236/health.2015.78119
Chevalier, G., & Sinatra, S. T. (2011). Emotional Stress, Heart Rate Variability, Grounding, and Improved Autonomic Tone: Clinical Applications . Integrative Medicine, 10(3). Retrieved December 05, 2016, from http://www.earthinginstitute.net/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/Chevalier-Sinatra-HRV-Paper-2011.pdf
Ghaly, M., & Teplitz, D. (2004). The Biologic Effects of Grounding the Human Body During Sleep as Measured by Cortisol Levels and Subjective Reporting of Sleep, Pain, and Stress. The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, 10(5), 767-776. doi:10.1089/acm.2004.10.767
Kruse, J. (2014, February 13). The Redox Rx: How to Improve Your Redox Potential. Retrieved August 20, 2016, from https://www.jackkruse.com/?s=redox%2Bpotential
Ober, C., Sinatra, S. T., & Zucker, M. (2014). Earthing: the most important health discovery ever! (2nd ed.). Laguna Beach, CA: Basic Health Publications.
Oschman, J. L., Chevalier, G., & Brown, R. (2015, March 24). The effects of grounding (earthing) on inflammation, the immune respon | JIR. Retrieved August 25, 2016, from https://www.dovepress.com/the-effects-of-grounding-earthing-on-inflammation-the-immune-response–peer-reviewed-article-JIR