We all know that taking care of ourselves in every way should be a top priority. Rather than rely on pharmaceutical remedies and medications or expensive treatments promising life-changing results to help alleviate various health issues, more people are looking for more natural (yet effective) and less costly means to find relief and lasting solutions—methods that work.
What could be better than using the earth itself as a natural agent for comfort? This is the philosophy behind grounding. The practice has been around for decades—one could say since the first-time humans touched the earth.
However, the scientific and medical communities have only recently started to take a more in-depth look and study the potential health benefits of grounding, also known as earthing. A growing number of peer-reviewed and published studies have concluded grounding is not far-fetched nor a hollow promise.
First, a quick review of what grounding is and how it affects the body. Grounding is the practice of connecting with the earth’s electrical field through direct bodily contact.
Touching a rock, walking in our grounding shoes on grass or sand, or working in your garden with much of your skin exposed to the soil are all forms of grounding. And yes, hugging a tree does ground you.
When inside, taking a shower or sitting in a bubble bath or Epsom salt soother with the water left dripping from the faucet is grounding. This direct contact with the earth brings your body back to a natural state of homeostasis; this is a balance between your physical and chemical bodily makeup.
Studies show how grounding can benefit not only persistent conditions but also chronic illnesses. Some of the most significant findings include reduced inflammation, increased circulation, relief from insomnia, anxiety, and even improved cardiovascular health.
Below is a closer look at some of these conditions and the results of scientific studies showing positive outcomes related to grounding.
Heart disease and stroke remain top in the news these days and are major health concerns in the United States. According to the American Heart Association’s website, someone dies of cardiovascular disease every 37 seconds in the United States, and someone has a stroke every 40 seconds.
With alarming statistics like these, everyone should make heart health a top priority, even if not top of mind and even if no family history hints at the disease. Grounding is becoming a fast, inexpensive, and effortless way to help support heart health.
Health practitioners have explained that in individuals with no heart disease, their blood has the consistency of red wine. People with heart disease have thicker blood, some reporting it is having a consistency like ketchup.
A 2013 article in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine focused on a clinical trial where participants wore conductive patches on the palms of their hands and soles of their feet. In this study, the patches’ wires were attached to stainless steel rods implanted in the earth. Small blood samples were taken from each participant as controls. After two hours, the second batch of blood samples was taken and compared to the first batch. The consistency of blood in the second group of samples had thinned considerably.
Dr. Stephen Sinatra is a board-certified cardiologist and a longtime advocate of grounding as a method to help heart disease. He has written extensively on this topic and says walking barefoot in the grass, sand, or dirt for as little as 30 to 40 minutes can have a tremendously positive effect on our heart health.
He also is a fan of grounding footwear and wrote the forward to Barefoot Wisdom: Better Health through Grounding, co-authored by HARMONY783’s co-founder Sharon Whiteley, along with Dr. Ann Marie Chiasson, an allopathic and integrative medical practitioner – “and quite a shaman” adds, Sharon.
The Earth contains an infinite number of electrons that are naturally replenished by occurrences like lightning strikes. Our bodies absorb these electrons through direct contact with natural surfaces, such as water, dirt, sand, and grass.
These electrons have a natural anti-inflammatory effect on our bodies; the less direct contact we have with the earth, the greater the odds of developing inflammation and pain. A 2015 article in the Journal of Inflammation Research published the results of a study that measured the effects of grounding on inflammation and wound healing.
The study included photos of an 84-year-old diabetic woman with an 8-month-old non-healing wound. After undergoing several treatments at a wound center that showed no improvement, she completed 30-minute grounding treatments for two weeks that improved the wound by approximately 80 percent. We recommend taking a read through.
Everyone has had the occasional sleepless night. However, many people suffer from chronic insomnia. Grounding has been recommended as an aid for this common condition. The practice is reported to not only ease you to sleep—it improves the quality of your slumber, as well. There are two ways to practice grounding as a sleep aid:
- Sleep outside with a bare body part touching the ground to get the full effect of grounding.
- Use a grounding product to do this practice indoors.
Science is taking a particularly close look at grounding and how it can help sleeplessness. Grounding is said to regulate the levels of cortisol, a chemical that can be high in folks who experience chronic insomnia.
One clinical trial featured in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine evaluated the biological effects of grounding on cortisol levels during sleep. Twelve subjects slept on grounding mattress pads in their beds for eight weeks. The results indicated the subjects’ night-time cortisol levels were significantly reduced as they slept.
There are several grounding products available specifically for improving sleep. Try a specially designed mattress pad or grounding sheets on your bed or a multipurpose grounding mat, which you can sleep, sit, or stand upon to get the maximum effects of the practice. There are many sources for these products; we imagine new products will keep being developed as grounding becomes mainstream.
Science is showing more evidence that the practice of grounding has many positive health benefits. It is an inexpensive and effective way to reset your internal rhythm and alleviate several physical and mental health conditions as well. Why not give it a try to see how it works for you? We highly recommend it!