What is Earthing?
Earthing involves making direct contact with the Earth’s surface by methods of walking barefoot, sleeping on the ground, wearing specific shoes, or investing in modern technology like conductive chairs, mats, or bands that can be applied to the body (1).
Think of how intentional we are about exposure to the sun, a planet that is 93 million miles away, to receive the Vitamin D that is necessary for our overall health. Why are many of us far less intentional about our exposure to and connection with the very planet we are living on? The one that is right beneath our feet!
Research provides clear evidence that the Earth offers incredible healing benefits and many of us are missing out because our modern lifestyle includes wearing shoes that block Earth conductivity, sleeping on synthetic beds that are raised way above the ground, and living and working in high-rise buildings (1).
Earthing can most certainly include a focused meditation practice of sitting with your toes in the dirt or sand for ten minutes each day, however, it can also exist in forms that are more accessible and convenient for different lifestyles. Earthing can be done while simply sitting, standing, or sleeping and it requires very little effort. Earthing technology now exists so that even those who have a difficult time getting out into nature every day can enjoy the health benefits of this planet from the comfort of their homes, offices, or on the go.
Why is Earthing Beneficial?
Because human bodies are constantly interacting with positive electrons in the form of free radicals from our phones, computers, microwaves, etc. (4) in addition to the millions of free radicals produced naturally by each of our cells (1), we need a way to balance out the excess of positive electrons so that our bodies can function to the best of their abilities. Through natural events, the Earth is being replenished and renewed with free electrons that support its negative electric charge (1). When our bodies are not given the opportunity to interact with the negatively charged electrons in the Earth, the positive electrons build up and healthy tissues will suffer from trying to balance charge internally. As a result, the body flares up with inflammation and this can lead to a myriad of chronic diseases, pain, and discomfort (2).
Therefore, the answer to achieving a healthy internal electrical environment within our bodies is to directly interact with the negative electrons found right below our feet on the Earth!
Imagine yourself, filled up to the brim with “+” signs, standing in a field of beautiful flowers, plants, and dirt — and, as you inhale, an abundance of “-” signs from the ground rise up into your body and neutralize the “+” signs so that you become balanced and stabilized.
“Earthing restores your body’s natural internal electrical stability and rhythms. It shifts the nervous system from a stress-dominated mode to one of calmness and you sleep better. By reconnecting, you enable your body to return to its normal electrical state, better able to self-regulate and self-heal.” – Clint Ober – ‘Earthing: The Most Important Health Discovery Ever!’ (3)
What are the Known Benefits of Earthing?
- Balances the Autonomic Nervous System: Deeper Sleep
- Benefits the respiratory system, hormonal balance, and reduces stress
- Benefits the bones, joints, muscles, immune system, and prevents headaches and chronic diseases
- Improves Blood Circulation
- Benefits the heart, respiratory system, face
Earthing to Balance the Autonomic Nervous System and Achieve Deeper Sleep
One reason why people typically have trouble sleeping is because of inflammation somewhere in the body. If you toss and turn because of any pain or discomfort, find yourself having to get up and use the restroom in the middle of the night, or are told by your sleeping partner that your snoring is becoming a serious problem (even if they tell you politely *which is rare!*) then you may be suffering from inflammation. As discovered by researchers, inflammation can be caused by the imbalance of electrical charge in the body (2). Meaning that if you engage in some Earthing activities or even sleep on an Earthing device or mattress – you may just save yourself (and your partner) from a sleepless night!
Another big sleep issue is stress. When stress is high, our minds often play out future scenarios, run through a to-do list of tasks for the next day, or ruminate on past events. It can be very difficult to “ground” ourselves in the present moment of sleep. High levels of cortisol, the stress hormone that also regulates the circadian rhythm, is often what is responsible for these bouts of anxiety right as we are trying to fall asleep. Lucky for you – Earthing is yet again a great solution for this problem! Earthing has been found to help the body release cortisol so that it can re-stabilize and get your circadian rhythm back on track. Earthing can also encourage the pineal gland in the brain to release more melatonin, which is a hormone that helps us fall into a deeper sleep (2).
After adjusting to a new Earthing routine or incorporating an Earthing device in your life – you may be able to sleep better without the help of nose strips or melatonin pills!
Anti-Inflammatory Properties of Earthing
As we connect directly with the Earth, the Earth’s electrons not only neutralize the positive free radicals in the body, they also make it possible for the body to stop its alternatively adapted method of stripping electrons from its own healthy tissue. This adaptation, which the body has developed in response to a modern lifestyle that omits Earthing practices, can cause serious damage through increased inflammation. Chronic inflammation is a known cause and aggravator of chronic pain and illness (1).
And with 20 years of research showing that Earthing substantially reduces and eliminates inflammation in the human body, it makes sense why Science Direct is calling this very planet “the original painkiller” (1). It has been observed that people who have conditions involving local pain such as bursitis, arthritis, and tendonitis have reported less pain since using Earthing bands that are applied to the affected area. Additionally, people with fibromyalgia, which is a condition involving more widespread pain throughout the body, have reported a dramatic drop in pain levels since using Earthing products and spending more time with their feet on the ground (1).
Fig. 1. These thermal images, of a patient with pain in the area of both knees, were taken a half-hour apart − before (left) and after Earthing (right). Tissue damage generates heat, represented by the hot colors on the left. The difference shows a clear and rapid resolution of inflammation.
Improved Blood Circulation from Earthing
Earthing infuses the body with antioxidants, which help us in many ways, including preventing free radicals from disrupting the blood. Additionally, Earthing thins out the blood to improve blood fluidity and blood pressure (4). Earthing is a technique that rapidly improve blood flow in the face – which helps to nourish and repair the skin! This means it has great anti-aging and aesthetic benefits. Additionally, Earthing has been found to improve lymph circulation. The lymph system is something we are passionate about at Body R-N-R. Please refer to our early blog about the lymph system and lymphedema. In additon, Body R-N-R offers lymphatic massage with a unique device called the BallancerPro. BallancerPro treatments would be a nice compliment to earthing practices as the BallancerPro improves vagal tone and moves lymphatic fluid, as well as many other benefits.
Fig. 3. Improved facial circulation (right image) of a female, 55, after 20 min of Earthing, as documented by Speckle Contrast Laser Imager (dark blue = lowest circulation; dark red = highest circulation). (For interpretation of the references to color in this figure legend, the reader is referred to the web version of this article.)
Suggestions for Incorporating Earthing Into Your Life
One way to go about Earthing is to simply ditch your shoes and walk barefoot on the dirt, sand, stone, or grass (1). You can close your eyes and really pay attention to the texture of the Earth beneath you and you may choose to imagine the negative electrons being pulled up into your body to help neutralize you. You can sit or lay down in a natural setting as well or move your hands through grass and sand. You can remove your gloves while gardening and work directly with the Earth.
You can also look into purchasing an Earthing device that best suits your lifestyle. If you’d prefer to be Earthing while you sleep, there are sleeping mats that can be applied to the top of your mattress, sleeping bags, and Earthing sheets. There are many companies that offer Earthing products and they can be easily found on Amazon. There are also specially designed mats that can rest on chair cushions while you sit or even on the floor while you’re standing and cooking in the kitchen, working at a standing desk, or even doing yoga.
Earthing is Essential
In Summary, earthing is an important part of staying healthy that unfortunately is no longer done without consciousness as we now wear shoes, work in buildings, and may not be campers or beach goers. Thus, individuals need to incorporate outdoor time actually touching the earth, preferably daily, but at least a few times per week. An alternative to outdoor time is to use one or more of the grounding products now readily available with a quick google search. Earthing is an important part of a healthy lifestyle as it helps balance all body systems.
Body R-N-R does not diagnose diseases nor offer medical advice. None of the information in this blog is to be considered medical advice. Please confer with your health practitioner.