When is the last time you stepped onto the plush green grass, feeling the soil between your toes? Or walked across the sandy beach as the waves crash up against your feet and water trickles through your toes? If your answer is “I can’t remember the last time,” then it’s time to change that! Usually we hear about all the environmental factors are harmful to human health from pollution to hazardous substances in the air, soil, or water, but for once let’s talk about how the environment potentially has healing effects!
You may or may not have heard of the increasingly popular topic of “grounding,” also called “earthing.” To some may seem like a fad, to others may seem like a topic that has much potential for human health. Something that seems so simple actually may be so complex. With the drastic rise in chronic illness the past few years, and projected for years to come, physicians and scientists try and find the why. What was different decades ago, when inflammation wasn’t the most popular topic being that it’s the underlying trigger of many, many diseases. Could it be that humans have changed the way they live over the years?
Grounding is very simple, walk outside barefoot. It is your body in direct contact with the Earth, whether it be soil, water, sand, any surface that is “Earth.” The nitty gritty of this is that over time our bodies build up a slight positive charge, while the earth holds a slight negative charge. The idea is that being in direct contact with the earth brings you back to a neutral charge. Think of it as energy infusing into your body from the earth. Our bodies like to be in a neutral state, constantly carrying a positive charge theoretically can lead to health problems.
Reconnecting with Earth is said to be extremely powerful and has the ability to restore, boost self-healing mechanisms, balance our basic biological rhythms as well as:
· Reduce inflammation
· Reduce chronic pain
· Improve sleep
· Increase energy
· Reduce stress and promote calmness.
· Normalize blood flow
· Relieve muscle tension and headache
· Help support adrenal health
· Speeds up healing
· Reducing jet lag
Does this really work?
In a study done in 2013, it was concluded that grounding indeed reduces risks for cardiovascular disease. A risk factor for cardiovascular disease often overlooked, is increased blood viscosity. The study consisted of participants grounding for 2 hours, and was looking at the affect of grounding on electrical charge of red blood cells and the extent of red blood cell clumping. Results showed that grounding increased the surface charge on the blood cells, therefore reducing blood viscosity and clumping.
Another study done was to see how grounding affected the participants’ heart rate variability (the variation in the time interval between consecutive heart beats averaged over time). The hypothesis was that grounding would improve it. Indeed, grounding showed that participants HRV had most definitely improved after grounding. In the same article, it was said that patients who suffer from anxiety, emotional stress, panic, fear, headaches, and dizziness utilizing grounding may be a realistic therapy in which they could see a difference in a matter of 20-40 minutes.
Another supporting article states, “Earthing research, observations, and related theories raise an intriguing possibility about the Earth’s surface electrons as an untapped health resource- the Earth as a “global treatment table.” Connecting with the Earth, a simple and natural process, may be the best therapy yet for improving chronic stress, inflammation, pain, sleep, and many other health problems.
Such a simple technique that can be added in your day to support health. Put the technology down, step outside, and let the Earth charge you.