What is it?
Earthing (AKA grounding) refers to connecting with the surface of the Earth by touching it with bare skin. When bare feet or skin come into contact with the Earth, electrons are taken up into the body and are known to help neutralize excess free radicals- which is a leading cause of inflammation and disease in the body. Indigenous societies in history have used Earthing as a powerful healing method. For example, in traditional Chinese medicine, the Earth provides “Qi” which is defined as the essential life force which resides within the Earth and within the people.
Why should we Earth?
Modern lifestyle has made us increasingly disconnected from nature. This has separated humans from the primordial flow with the Earth. There is no coincidence that the rise of chronic illness, immune disorders, and inflammatory diseases have emerged in recent decades. The development of rubber or plastic soled shoes (instead of traditional leathers) has separated us from the Earth’s energy field. We also no longer sleep on the ground as our ancestors did. Currently, plastics, carpets, vinyl, asphalt, and synthetic fabrics- all keep us disconnected from the Earth. Additionally, we are exposed to radiation from household appliances (like microwaves), wi-fi, cell phones, cell phone towers, airports, and media players (like earbuds). We are continuously disconnected from Earth while concurrently bathing in man-made electronic radiation. We can detox and neutralize some of these effects by simply sitting in the grass. What more simple way is there to improve health and vitality while reducing the likelihood of future chronic illness?
What are the benefits?
There are multiple studies proving that the Earth’s negative potential can create an electron balance within the body. The electron shift generates a stable internal environment by neutralizing the positively charged free radicals (which are the hallmark of chronic inflammation). The studies conducted have proved improved sleep, chronic pain levels, post-workout muscle soreness, immunity, heart rate variability, and glucose regulation. Regularly connecting to the Earth’s surface can regulate the body’s biological clock which improves the sleep cycle by normalizing cortisol variability. Earthing has also been shown to activate the parasympathetic nervous system (known as the “rest and digest” state) and reduce overall blood viscosity- which prevents cardiovascular complications. Overall, Earthing is protective, preventative, and regulating.
How do I Earth?
All you have to do is walk barefoot or lie with your skin touching the grass, sand, dirt, or concrete. These are conductive surfaces that the Earth’s energy can flow through and into your body. Vinyl, wood, or asphalt are not conductive. You may start with Earthing for 5-10 minutes per day for some benefit. Scientific research suggests that 20-30 minutes per day will show more significant internal changes within the blood and more likely have a significant impact on pain reduction. With long-standing physical ailments, it may take several weeks for improvement to become apparent. Since each individual is different, benefits may occur at different times. Overall, regular Earthing will reduce free radical damage and improve overall quality of life, vitality, and wellness.
To improve the efficacy of Earthing, here are some suggestions. Focus on breathing exercises while you are Earthing. Do not use electrical devices during this time. Avoid Earthing on treated soils or grass with pesticides. Avoid Earthing near cell phone towers. Remember you can do Earthing right in your own yard!
1. Chevalier G, Sinatra ST, Oschman JL, Sokal K, Sokal P. Earthing: health implications of reconnecting the human body to the Earth's surface electrons. J Environ Public Health. 2012;2012:291541. doi: 10.1155/2012/291541. Epub 2012 Jan 12. PMID: 22291721; PMCID: PMC3265077.
2. Oschman JL, Chevalier G, Brown R. The effects of grounding (earthing) on inflammation, the immune response, wound healing, and prevention and treatment of chronic inflammatory and autoimmune diseases. J Inflamm Res. 2015 Mar 24;8:83-96. doi: 10.2147/JIR.S69656. PMID: 25848315; PMCID: PMC4378297.
3. Oschman JL. Perspective: assume a spherical cow: the role of free or mobile electrons in bodywork, energetic and movement therapies. J Bodyw Mov Ther. 2008 Jan;12(1):40-57. doi: 10.1016/j.jbmt.2007.08.002. Epub 2007 Dec 3. PMID: 19083655.