Grounding and its Benefits
Grounding also called earthing, is a therapeutic technique that involves doing activities that “ground” or electrically reconnect you to the earth.
This practice relies on earthing science and grounding physics to explain how electrical charges from the earth can have positive effects on your body. This type of grounding therapy isn’t entirely the same as the technique that is used in mental health treatment.
The Earth is a huge battery that contains a natural, subtle electrical charge—a special kind of energy present in the ground. For safety and stability, almost everything in the electrical world is connected to it, whether it is an electric power plant or your refrigerator. That’s what the term “grounded” means.
Grounding is currently an under-researched topic and there are very few scientific studies on the benefits. However, the most recent scientific research has explored grounding for inflammation, cardiovascular disease, muscle damage, chronic pain, and mood.
Types of grounding or earthing
There are many types of grounding. All of them focus on reconnecting yourself to the earth. This can be done through either direct or indirect contact with the earth.
Have you ever been outside on a warm summer day and felt the urge to run barefoot in the grass? One of the easiest ways to ground yourself to the earth is to walk barefoot.
Whether this is on grass, sand, or even mud, allowing your skin to touch the natural ground can provide you with grounding energy.
Lying on the ground
You can increase your skin-to-earth contact by lying on the ground. You can do it in the grass by the park or on the sand at the beach.
If you’re going to ground yourself in this way, be sure to take the proper precautions and never lie somewhere you could be injured.
Submersing in water
According to advocates for grounding, water may be used to ground in the same way the physical earth is used for grounding.
They suggest simply wading in a clear lake or swimming in the ocean as a way to ground yourself. As always, be sure to stay safe when swimming, especially in murky or deep waters.
Using grounding equipment
When going outside to ground yourself isn’t an option, there are alternatives. One method of earthing involves connecting a metal rod to the ground outside and then connecting the rod to your body through a wire.
If you’re not comfortable using a metal rod to ground yourself, there’s other grounding equipment available. This equipment is an effective way to incorporate earthing therapy into your daily life and includes:
- grounding mats
- grounding sheets or blankets
- grounding socks
- grounding bands and patches
Why use grounding?
There’s not much research on the benefits of grounding. However, people have reported improvement for conditions such as:
Chronic fatigue. In the study on massage therapists, many reported a decrease in their fatigue levels after four weeks of treatment with grounding mats.
Chronic pain. The study on grounding for exercise recovery found that those who used grounding patches reported lower pain levels.
Anxiety and depression. In one small study, it was shown that even 1 hour of grounding therapy can significantly improve mood.
Sleep disorders. The massage therapists also experienced an improvement in sleep length and reduce sleep disturbances with grounding therapy.
Cardiovascular disease. Results of one treatment study found that long-term self-administered grounding therapy helped to reduce blood pressure levels in participants with hypertension.
How to practice Grounding
Grounding can be performed both outdoors and indoors, depending on the technique you choose to use.
- Outdoors. When you’re outside, you can easily ground yourself by allowing the bottoms of your feet, palms of your hands, or entire body to touch the earth. Walk in the grass, lay in the sand, or swim in the sea. These are all easy ways to naturally reconnect.
- Indoors. When you’re inside, grounding yourself requires a bit more effort and in most cases, equipment. Use a grounding sheet or socks while you sleep. Use a grounding mat in your home office chair. This equipment has been thought to help ground you throughout the day.
Sources: healthline; chopra
Further Science Research: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3265077/