What Is Earthing and How Does It Work + 5 Reasons to Try It Today
7 minute read
Does the idea of being healthier and improving your body’s ability to ward off disease sound appealing to you? What if you were told that you could do that very easily, without changing your diet or taking any medications or supplements?
Suddenly it starts to sound like it’s a little bit too good to be true. Believe it or not, you can have all those benefits by “earthing.”
What is Earthing?
Earthing, which sometimes referred to as grounding, is the idea of walking barefoot outside, so your body is in direct contact with the surface of the earth. That’s right, it’s basically just running around outside barefoot.
Regularly connecting yourself to the earth’s natural energy has been a practice for ages, whether formally in ceremonial practice, during forest bathing, or informally by people who enjoy sitting in the grass or going camping.
While this sounds simple and enjoyable, it certainly doesn’t sound like something that is going to make you more resilient to disease or a practice that will boost your health. But it can, and now there’s research that proves that earthing can be good for your body and soul.
Benefits of Earthing
Whether the concept of earthing makes total sense to you or you’re a little skeptical, it doesn’t hurt to give it a try. If you do decide to spend some time outside and connected to the earth, you might discover some of the following benefits:
1. Better Sleep
Sleep problems are widespread in the United States, so getting a better night’s sleep is essential for health and mental well-being.
A study looking at grounding and sleep discovered that people who were grounded during sleep experienced a level of protection from static electricity and radiated electrical fields. They reported better sleep and some other health benefits that were not expected.
2. Reduced Inflammation
The extra free electrons from the earth’s surface help neutralize free radicals, which can contribute to chronic inflammation problems and accelerated aging.
As an added benefit, chronic inflammation is often a cause of pain for people, so a reduction in inflammation can also reduce pain levels.
3. Lowered Cortisol Levels
Cortisol is the stress hormone, reducing cortisol can reduce the levels of stress experienced. Subjects in a stress and grounding study had their cortisol levels measured every four hours during an 8-week period of grounded sleeping. The majority of participants experienced a reduction in cortisol production.
4. Heart Rate Variability
A small study looked at heart rate variability during grounding sessions and sham-grounding sessions. The results were surprisingly significant and went beyond recognized relaxation results.
5. More Energy
If you experience ongoing fatigue or a lack of energy, grounding can help in several ways. With a reduction in cortisol, your body has more energy in reserve. Better sleep leads to more restful nights and greater energy throughout the day.
How Does Earthing Work?
The Journal of Environmental and Public Health takes a deeper look at earthing and suggests that instead of looking at the negative impact of environmental factors, we look at the positive ones. Through this refocusing, it’s been revealed that there are benefits to the human body that the environment is providing.
♦ Normalizing functions: The earth’s surface puts out free or mobile electrons continuously, which can create a stable internal bioelectrical environment in the human body. This aligns the body’s systems for regulating circadian rhythms, balancing cortisol, and setting the biological clock.
♦ Skin is a conductor: By placing your feet or other bare skin onto the earth’s surface, you can receive electricity from the earth.
♦ Electricity then chemistry: The human body depends on electricity to function, there are electrical signals that control the brain, heart, and neurotransmitter activity. Then the body’s chemistry comes into play.
How You Can Practice Earthing
If you’re ready to give earthing a try, and why not since it’s free and fairly easy, the following methods can put you on the path to a greater connection to the planet and better health.
♦ Walking outside barefoot
♦ Jump in a lake or the ocean and go swimming
♦ Reading a book while sitting on the ground
♦ Sleeping outdoors in a floorless tent
♦ Try gardening
♦ Use an earthing device: blankets, mattress pads, body bands, clothing and more
While these outdoor activities seem relatively easy and intuitive, they might also spark other ideas for you that speak to your personal interests and hobbies. As long as you’re connecting physically with your skin on the ground, you’re earthing.
| Related: 7 Ways to Heal in Nature for Amazing Health Benefits |
The earthing devices are a little more interesting. They have conductive systems that claim to transfer the earth’s electrons from the ground into your body. These products are designed to keep you connected to the earth longer, and they give you the option of earthing even when you’re asleep. A number of studies cited used earthing mats for sleep testing.
If you’re wondering how much earthing you need, the rule of thumb is that there’s never too much. So, spend as much time as you can outside enjoying nature and your connection to the earth.
The Bottom Line
While the idea of getting outside to relieve stress, breathe some fresh air, and connect with nature seems valid and important to most people, the idea of earthing or grounding is rather new. These concepts run parallel to each other and actually pair nicely together.
Earthing is connecting your body to the ground directly with skin to earth contact to promote the absorption of free electrons in the human body. The earth is constantly giving off these electrons, and the body’s skin is a great receptor, allowing you to absorb this added electricity and soak up the benefits.
Studies have proven that there are significant benefits to be gained when earthing including less stress, better sleep, a decrease in inflammation, reduction in pain, more energy, and a boost to your heart health. If that’s not enough reason to try earthing, it’s free, easy, and gives you a chance to simply relax or play outside.