When you think about what it means to "be grounded," you probably envision someone meditating while barefooted in the middle of nature. Truth be told, there's so much more to grounding. In fact, the ultimate grounding experience involves all five senses, not merely the touching of your feet to the ground.
If you're new to the science of grounding, no worries. We'll give a basic overview and easy tips and tricks to help you get started. You'll also learn the differences between grounding with and without shoes, as well as how to choose the right shoe for you. But first, what exactly is grounding?
What Is Grounding?
Grounding was made popular by several pioneers credited for providing scientific evidence of its health benefits in the 1990s, namely Clint Ober, a former executive in the American cable industry, who teamed up with Polish doctors Karol and Pawel Sokal. Also commonly known as earthing, grounding is based on the fact that the Earth provides free electrons that can balance the energy of the human body.
It's believed that the transfer of electrons from the ground to the body effectively boosts the body's self-healing and self-regulating mechanisms. Inflammation and other medical conditions are caused by free radicals, which electrons can neutralize from various sources such as antioxidants. Grounding has been shown to have similar health benefits.
Grounding Offers Many Health Benefits
According to Clint Ober's personal story, his pursuit of grounding studies stemmed from his childhood influences growing up on a farm and the experiences of friends who lived on a Native American reservation. Many of their practices seemed odd, like taking shoes off because they make you sick and placing an ill person in the dirt to make them well. As an adult, he realized that his friends' parents had a greater knowledge of Nature.
Over the past 20+ years, additional scientists have conducted research studies on grounding, confirming numerous health benefits. Some of these benefits include improving various conditions related to chronic pain, sleep, stress, heart rate, blood pressure, digestion, bones, skin, aging, and many more—it even helps the nervous system of premature babies. Grounding has also enhanced several health and wellness practices such as meditation, massage, and yoga.
Many companies have created products designed to help people tap into those benefits in response to these promising study results. Some of these products literally plug you into Earth's electrical charge. For example, a grounding bed mat has a grounding cable that plugs into the wall, providing a transfer of electrons while you sleep. Products like these eliminate the constant need to go barefoot or lie on the ground, which isn't always practical or feasible.
Tips and Tricks for the Best Grounding Experiences
If you're new to grounding, all of this information can be overwhelming. Pages and pages of studies provide insight into ways to use grounding in the healthcare field and for personal use. We realize that most people aren't interested in digging through everything to find what relates to them. Most of those articles are difficult to decipher. So, we took a deep dive into the results to help make your grounding experiences the best. Making connections with Earth can be done anytime and anywhere, whether mental grounding, physical grounding, or both.
Here's a list of grounding technique tips and tricks:
Go barefoot often. Being barefoot on the ground puts you in direct contact with the Earth's free electrons. Skin to Earth contact is a free and easy way to be grounded. When you can't go barefoot, wear specially made grounding shoes. Rubber-soled shoes block the flow of electrons to the human body and prevent grounding.
Connect with conductive surfaces. Not every surface you walk, sit, or lie on will facilitate a healthy transfer of electrons. Some products and surface areas can actually block electrical charges like rubber, plastic, asphalt, wood and other synthetic materials. The best conductive surfaces include grass, dirt, water, copper, sand, trees, metal, concrete, rocks, and brick. (Note: While living trees are conductive, wood floors or decks are not.)
Stay in the present. Grounding is a great way to relieve negative thoughts and stress, boosting your overall mood. It might be easier said than done. But, it helps to focus only on the present and your immediate surroundings rather than the past or future.
You can ground anywhere, anytime. The practice of grounding doesn't mean you plant your bare feet on the ground and stand there in silence. It can also be done while hiking, working, running errands, playing, bathing, and so on. The key is to allow a conductive connection with the Earth while enjoying your activity.
Remember to drink plenty of water. It's always essential to keep your body hydrated by drinking plenty of water every day. Not only does water keep you healthy, but dehydration can limit the grounding effect. After all, we all know that more than half of our bodies consist of water.
Best Shoes for Grounding
Skin-to-earth contact offers the best electrical conductivity. However, we realize that you can't walk around barefoot every place you go. In that case, we've got some valuable advice because the kind of shoes you wear matters in a huge way. As a matter of fact, one of the things that led Clint Ober to study grounding was the observation that so many people were wearing thick rubber or plastic soled shoes. Indeed, they weren't reaping any or minimal benefits from the beneficial electrical charge of Earth's surface.
As mentioned previously, rubber and synthetic materials are not conductive. Unfortunately, most shoes today are made with soles using these materials. In addition to not grounding, these materials are also not eco-friendly. That's why it's vital to be selective about the shoes you wear daily or when you desire to be grounded. Make sure your shoes are made with conductive soles and other natural materials.
Start Grounding Today!
There are many health benefits of grounding, so it makes sense that it's all the rage. It's far from a fad—multiple research studies have demonstrated various potential health benefits and have provided plenty of evidence. While the practice of grounding is growing among the health conscious, you don’t have to be a health and wellness guru to start making better connections with the Earth. All it takes is a basic understanding along with a few tips and techniques…including the right grounding shoes.
Check out our variety of grounding shoes for both men and women so you can start grounding wherever you go!