I’d heard about earthing (also known as grounding) before, especially after my son’s girlfriend did a video on it a few years ago:
The idea behind grounding is that there are potentially multiple benefits of direct physical contact with the vast supply of electrons on the surface of the Earth. Such physical contact can be achieved by walking barefoot outside or sitting, working, or sleeping indoors connected to conductive systems that transfer the Earth’s electrons from the ground into the body.
I hadn’t thought much about grounding after having watched the video a few years ago, but then today I came across a story in Quartzy, “IF YOU’RE FEELING UNGROUNDED, TRY “EARTHING”, by Rosie Spinks, and it rekindled my interest in the topic.
The story provided a link to an article in the Journal of Environmental and Public Health from 2012, which shared the results of multiple research studies on the benefits of grounding.
I’ll just briefly summarize those benefits; for more details you can click on the link to the journal article.
- One study looked at individuals who had self-reported sleep disturbances and chronic muscle and joint pain for at least six months. The results of the experiment found that most grounded subjects described symptomatic improvement while most in the control group did not. In addition, some subjects reported significant relief from asthmatic and respiratory conditions, rheumatoid arthritis, PMS, sleep apnea, and hypertension while sleeping grounded. These results indicated that the effects of earthing go beyond reduction of pain and improvements in sleep.
- Another study that looked at the effect of grounding on cortisol levels found that grounding the body at night during sleep appeared to positively affect morning fatigue levels, daytime energy, and nighttime pain levels. In addition, Eleven of 12 participants reported falling asleep more quickly, and all 12 reported waking up fewer times at night.
- Another study demonstrates that grounding essentially eliminates the potentially harmful ambient voltage induced on the body from common electricity power sources.
- Another study suggests grounding leads to reductions in overall stress levels and tensions.
- Another study looked at the impact of grounding on recovery from intense exercise. The results show that grounded men had only a slight decrease in white blood cells, indicating scant inflammation, and, for the first time ever observed, a shorter recovery time.
- Another study suggested that simple grounding techniques be utilized as a basic integrative strategy in supporting the cardiovascular system.
- Another study found that grounding led to reduction of primary indicators of osteoporosis, improvement of glucose regulation, and immune response.
- The results of another study strongly suggest that earthing is a natural solution for patients with excessive blood viscosity, an option of great interest not just for cardiologists, but also for any physician concerned about the relationship of blood viscosity, clotting, and inflammation.
That’s a lot of benefits from something as simple as walking outside in your bare feet.
It should be pointed out that the some of the studies noted above did not have large sample sizes, so some of the results could be called into question.
But as Spinks suggests, just try it. Even if the documentable health benefits turn out to be minimal, so is the effort involved.
I’d like to say I’m going to give this a try, but right now I’m at the other end of the spectrum. I wear shoes all day, even around my house. If I step outside in my bare feet, it looks like I’m walking on hot coals. I’m always jealous when I see people walking down the street in their bare feet.
So maybe I just need to toughen up my feet a little. Perhaps I’ll start by going outside with my socks on (really thick ones), and then build up to going bare footed.
The benefits are just too enticing to pass up because of me having wimpy feet.
*image from grounded.com, which has a wealth of information and products related to grounding