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Is it time you looked into earthing/grounding? This therapeutic technique could have many health benefits. The following guide explains exactly what is earthing or grounding.
Just what is earthing or grounding?
Earthing (or grounding as it is scientifically referred to) involves creating an electric connection with the earth.
In electrical engineering, buildings are often grounded as a way to get rid of harmful excess electricity. If there is a lightning strike or a power surge, a circuit breaker is activated and electricity is redirected down a grounding wire into the earth. If this excess current was allowed to circulate around the building, it could destroy outlets and appliances, and possibly cause fires and electric shocks.
Grounding a human being has similar benefits but on a smaller scale. It cannot protect you from a lightning strike, but it can help to get rid of potentially damaging excess electricity already within your body. What many people do not realise is that we have electricity within our bodies – the nervous system is in fact made up of electrical signals that help us move, think and feel. Just as a building can get harmful power surges, so can the human body. In fact, when we are stressed, the nervous system can act erratically creating too many electrical signals.
Connecting yourself with the earth may be a simple way to get rid of these excess electrical signals, as well as introducing much needed negative electrons into our body. This in turn could have all kinds of benefits to your health.
What are the health benefits of earthing?
An imbalance of electrons within our body can wear it down. It is believed that grounding can help restore a healthy balance within our bodies and in turn reduce/prevent many health problems.
Some of the health benefits that studies have looked into are included below.
Earthing could be a technique used to help provide relief from chronic pain. One study found that participants experienced reduced stress levels and pain after practising grounding. This is not surprising given that stress causes electrical signals to become erratic, and that our sense of pain is produced by these electrical signals.
An imbalance of electrical signals may also trigger inflammation around the body. This in turn can slow down wound healing and contribute to pain. Earthing is believed to help reduce inflammation, and in turn could help improve healing.
Improved cardiovascular health
There is research to suggest that grounding could be very healthy for our cardiovascular system. It is already known that the risk of cardiovascular disease can be increased if blood is very viscous. Earthing may help to reduce blood viscosity – one study found that grounding helped reduce blood cell clumping in participants. All in all, it could be a simple way to help protect your heart as you get older.
Better sleep quality
In the same study that measured reduced pain relief in participants after grounding, improved sleep quality was found to also be a positive outcome. Stress and pain are known to be major causes of poor sleep quality. Earthing is believed to help reduce this stress and pain, which in turn could result in a better night’s sleep. If you suffer from insomnia, consider whether it could be worth trying grounding.
Reduced anxiety and depression
Earthing may also have a positive impact on our mental health. A study on earthing found that it could have a significant impact on our mood – participants who were unknowingly grounded for just an hour reported feeling more relaxed than participants who were not grounded for an hour. It is possible that grounding could therefore be a great form of therapy for when we are feeling anxious or depressed.
What are different ways to ground yourself?
Many of us spend a significant amount of our day ‘ungrounded’. By exploring different methods of earthing, you can help reconnect with the earth. There are a few different ways in which you can do this. A few examples are included below.
Walking barefoot outdoors
A simple way to practice earthing is to walk barefoot outdoors. Walking barefoot outdoors helps to physically connect the soles of your feet with the ground so that electricity can pass between your body and the earth. This is something you can do in your garden or at the park. In order for this to be effective, try to walk outside barefoot for at least 20 minutes.
Wearing grounding socks
When wearing regular socks, your feet can become highly conductive. This is because socks cause our feet to sweat, and this moisture attracts current. Grounding socks are designed to help repel moisture onto the outside of the sock, transferring electricity into the ground. This isn’t the only benefit they have though – these socks are also antibacterial, helping to protect your feet from bacterial infections.
Using a grounding mat
When you can’t get outdoors, but want to practice some grounding, there is another solution. This solution is to use a grounding mat. The mat can be plugged into outlets in your home, helping to essentially ground you by connecting your body to your home’s grounding wire. Such mats can be placed anywhere in your home or office – you can put them on the floor below a sofa, on the floor below a desk or even perform exercises like yoga on them. All you need to do is place your bare feet on them, whether you’re sitting or standing.
Using grounding sheets or blankets
Those wanting to explore the sleep benefits of grounding could consider using grounding bedsheets or a grounding blanket. These work much like grounding mats in that they are connected to an outlet. Contact with your bare skin can help to keep you grounded as you sleep, restoring healthy electron levels in your body and potentially leading to a less disturbed sleep. Earthing bed sheets are the most popular option, but there are other forms of bedding that you can look into including earthing pillows.