As I have been healing myself, I have also come across information about lunar and solar cycles. Yes, the moon effects the oceans and numerous other cycles but what about effects of the sun? In my experience, the energy the solar system brings, directly effects my life. When I take a break at the office, to step outside for a minute or two, I notice that I feel somewhat recharged and more ready to focus. Some might say, this is due to the “mental pause”, but I think there is more to it. I wanted to know if this was an actual phenomenon or if it was just me.
During some reading, I came across the terms “earthing” or “grounding”. Earthing is “contact with the Earth’s surface electrons by walking barefoot outside or sitting, working, or sleeping indoors connected to conductive systems….that transfer the energy from the ground into the body” (Chevalier et al., 2012). This showed me that there was a name for what I was doing.
This study by Chevalier et al., highlighted the healing effects of grounding and the practice of environmental healing; environmental healing focuses on the interaction between the environment and human health. So now, I knew I had been experiencing a true natural phenomenon and that it was, in fact, very beneficial! In 2012, after reviewing numerous research studies Chevalier et al. confirmed their earlier hypothesis that contact with the Earth through grounding can and does have healing effects.
You’re probably wondering how walking around barefoot could have any effect on your body, so let me tell you. Grounding is physiologically significant because it helps stabilize your internal bioelectrical or biomagnetic environment. We know that the Earth is a giant magnet. However, we often forget that our bodies are extensions of the Earth’s bioelectrical field and energies. In order for our trillions of cells function and fire properly, they produce various electric activities; the electricity created, is what makes up your personal magnetic field. Grounding will give you direct contact with the colossal supply of electrons of the Earth. Having contact with the Earth’s abundance of electrons is important because. Lack of contact with the Earth can create a buildup of electrical gradients along cell membranes and tissue surfaces. Thus, making it difficult for your cells to function properly and communicate with one another, leading to various disease. Furthermore, changes in one’s electrical environment can also alter the pH of bodily fluids and the charge distribution of molecules.
If you suffer from diabetes, cardiovascular disease(s) and/or poor circulation, this practice can help you heal! It has been found that earthing significantly reduces blood viscosity and allows for greater oxygen flow, thus greatly improves circulation and reducing swelling. If you are experiencing physical pain or inflammation, earthing can also help with that and has been known to “recharge” the body. Further empirical evidence supports the belief that the Earth’s electrons produces clinically significant, physiological changes; including improved sleep, reduced pain, and decreasing anxiety by causing a rapid shift within the autonomic nervous system (ANS) from sympathetic to parasympathetic tones (Ober et al., 2010). For context, the sympathetic nervous system is activated during fight or flight triggers. While, the parasympathetic system is referred to as the “rest and digest system”; this sympathetic system conserves energy by slowing down the heart rate, increasing intestinal and glad activity and relaxing sphincter muscles within the gastrointestinal (GI) tract, during times of stress or excitement. Grounding can make major improvements on your stress levels by affecting your ANS, improving heart rate variability and normalizing muscle tension. Over twenty years of studies also support that regular earthing (30-40 minutes daily) also helps to improve blood pressure, multiple sclerosis, cardiovascular arrhythmia, rheumatoid arthritis, and autoimmune diseases like lupus.
I find that grounding helps me feel more stable, more self assured, more in control, and more within alignment. Sometimes life can get really hectic and when I get caught up in my daily activities I sometimes feel less in control, or less present within myself. In these times, I find it helpful to stop what I am doing and connect to the Earth. Spending time with my plants or sitting outside to relax and/or read are actions that I to constantly heal and renew myself. I view this practice as a type of body maintenance; something I do regularly to promote great health. It is amazing to feel the life underneath me and literally surging into me. Moments like this ground me physically and spiritually; I am reminded of how abundant life is, how minuscule I am in the universe and how much I have to be grateful for.
Between the sunshine recharging my melaninated cells and connecting with the Earth’s electronic force, being outside completely replenishes my body. In the colder months, when it is too cold to be barefoot in Michigan, I feel the difference and have to compensate with other methods. Some of my go to grounding techniques during the winter include wearing grounding crystals, doing grounding meditations and of course through the foods I eat; especially root vegetables like potatoes, pumpkins, turnips and beets. With autumn already here, this is a great time to get in some grounding before the ground is covered in snow. However, there are still plenty of ways for you to connect with Earth during those colder months!
Suggestions for wintertime items/activities to continue your grounding practice include: raking leaves, try earthing footwear or shoes that have copper plates within them for electron conductivity, use grounding sheets, pot some indoor plants or have an indoor garden, light your fireplace or candles, spend time in your basement (non-treated concrete is conductive, painted concrete is semi-conductive), try grounding patches, go outside and play in the snow-try skiing if you’re interested, or take a bath infused with Epsom or Himalayan salt, essential oils and herbs. Sometimes, this practice is just standing outside for a few minutes during work. Other times, I am able to take 15 mins to an hour sitting outside, in the grass. Whatever it is, do it and keep doing it.
Chevalier G, Sinatra ST, Oschman JL, Sokal K, Sokal P. Earthing: Health Implications of Reconnecting the Human Body to the Earth’s Surface Electrons. Journal of Environmental and Public Health. 2012;2012:291541. doi:10.1155/2012/291541.
Ober C, Sinatra ST, Zucker M. Earthing: The Most Important Health Discovery Ever? Laguna Beach, Calif, USA: Basic Health Publications; 2010.
Oschman, J. L., Chevalier, G., & Brown, R. (2015). The effects of grounding (earthing) on inflammation, the immune response, wound healing, and prevention and treatment of chronic inflammatory and autoimmune diseases. Journal of Inflammation Research, 8, 83–96. http://doi.org/10.2147/JIR.S69656