What is Earthing or Grounding?
In short, earthing or grounding is putting the body in direct and uninterrupted contact with the earth. This means that skin needs to touch soil, sand, water, or a conductive surface that is in contact with the earth.
From a scientific perspective, the idea is that the earth has a mild negative charge to it. Over time, especially in modern life, our bodies build up a positive charge. Direct contact with the earth can even out this positive charge and return the body to a neutral state.
Many people don’t have this contact with the earth anymore, and some experts wonder if this is a contributor to the (many) rising health problems we face today.
As a population, we wear rubber shoes and live indoors. In theory, many of us could go years without directly touching the earth at all, even if we’re outside.
Over time, the theory is that this positive charge builds and can lead to health problems.
During the normal processes of metabolism the body generates what are called ‘reactive oxygen species’ which are commonly referred to as ‘free radicals’. These compounds appear to be important, at least in part because they have the ability to attack and destroy unwanted things within the body including bacteria and viruses.
However, too many free radicals are a bad thing, and have been implicated in chronic disease and well as the very process of aging.
Free radicals are involved in the process known as inflammation, which is part of the healing process. However, low-grade inflammation throughout the body may lead to pain and other problems in the muscles and joints, and is also believed to be a key driving factor in many chronic diseases including heart disease and type 2 diabetes. In short, we want free radicals, but not too many.
Free radicals lack sparks of energy known as ‘electrons’. One way to quell them is to give them electrons, and these can be supplied by nutrients such as vitamins A, C and E, and plant substances known as ‘polyphenols’ (found in, among other things, tea, coffee, cocoa and apples).
However, substances we eat and drink are not the only way to get electrons into the body: earthing does this too.
If the body has a positive charge on it, earthing allows electrons to flow into the body where, in theory, they can neutralize overblown free radical and inflammatory damage.
Carrying a positive charge may well affect the body in lots of different ways, which means that earthing may offer a range of wellbeing benefits.
Benefits of Earthing & Grounding
According to emerging research, earthing may be beneficial in:
- Reducing inflammation
- Reducing chronic pain
- Improving Sleep (I can vouch strongly for this!)
- Increasing Energy (I noticed this also)
- Lowering stress and promoting calmness by reducing stress hormones.
- Normalizing biological rhythms including circadian rhythm
- Normalizing blood pressure and blood flow
- Relieving muscle tension and headache (I noticed this)
- Improving menstrual and female hormone symptoms
- Speeds healing- used in some places to prevent bed sores
- Reducing jet lag
- Protecting the body from effects of EMFs
- Shortening recovery time from injury or athletic activity
- Reducing snoring
- Helping support adrenal health