The life-changing practice you’ve probably never heard of
At this point in the year, we are all feeling a little off our game, am I right?
Months of social isolation have left us feeling depleted, frustrated, and maybe just a tiny bit crazy. Who knew that not being able to get your hair colored or teeth cleaned for so long would leave you feeling like a lost puppy? These days I can have moments of complete joy and freedom, and then I get triggered, and that can drop me into the black hole of despair. I call this the Rollercoaster Effect. This new rollercoaster normal is intense, and it’s not that easy to navigate. Every day I feel like I am ducking a curveball or putting out some fire.
As we’re all hoping to move on with our lives and transform back into the more civilized versions of ourselves, I’ve been on the hunt for easy and inexpensive ways to help make you (and me) feel just a little bit more “normal.”
Enter earthing. Or grounding if you prefer.
OK Isa, “what the heck is grounding?” you’re probably asking right now.
And I’ll tell you.
It’s just about the most life-changing, health-boosting, absolutely free thing I’ve ever discovered in my life.
Just stick with me a little longer to find out how this amazing practice can rock your world, too.
What is Grounding (or Earthing)?
Earthing, or grounding, is the practice of connecting with the energy of the earth. (1)
You see, the earth has a negative charge. (2,3) And in the process of going about our daily lives, we create a positive charge.
In the early days of man, when we walked around shoeless and slept on the ground, we were able to maintain neutrality in our cells because we were connected to the earth (or grounded).
Problem is, these days, we walk around in rubber-soled shoes. We sleep inside, well away from the earth. And, if we’re being really honest, some days (a lot of days) our feet don’t even make contact with a surface that isn’t concrete. We hop from our house into our car and walk into a store or an office across a parking lot and that’s about it…
And therein lies the problem.
Our disconnection from the earth leaves us with an excess of positive charge in our cells. This can create health issues, like inflammation, depression, fatigue, and ultimately, disease.
How Do You Practice Earthing?
The great news is that earthing can be really, really, simple to do.
For one, you can simply go walk around, outside, barefoot, in the grass, dirt, or sand for 20 minutes or so. That’s it.
Swimming in the ocean, a lake, or laying in the grass counts too.
If you don’t live in an area where you can easily do that, (maybe you live in the concrete jungle, like me) you can do a couple of other easy things to connect with the earth.
- Wear leather-soled shoes, like moccasins. Yes, you can pull these off and make them look cute, especially if it’s in the name of health, right?
- Try grounding equipment. There are a ton of options here. Grounding mats can be placed under your desk or in your chair seat. There are even grounding socks and sheets that you can use to be grounded while you sleep.
Overall, whether you’re earthing inside or outside, the health benefits can be tangible.
What Does Science Say About the Health Benefits?
The best thing about earthing is that it’s free and easy to test for yourself. You can spend some time walking around barefoot every day for a week or so and see if you notice any improvements in your sleep quality, energy levels, and pain.
Since these grounding experiments are so easy to perform, there’s quite a bit of anecdotal evidence that suggests the practice helps with things like:
- Sleep quality
- Energy levels
There’s also scientific evidence to back up the positive claims that many people report from their earthing practices. (4)
One study that focused on sleep quality suggested that females were even more likely to benefit from earthing than men. And after 8 weeks, study participants noted that their pain and stress levels decreased, and sleep improved. (5)
Another randomized, controlled study conducted by the Chopra Center showed the same kind of results for a group of massage therapists who participated. They experienced increased energy and lessened pain and depression after one month into the study. (6)
Research also suggests that grounding can help muscle recovery after working out (7), decrease inflammation, support the immune response, and help treat chronic and autoimmune diseases (8). Clinical research also indicates that grounding improves blood viscosity (9) and blood pressure (10) — two major indicators of heart disease.
My Experience with Earthing
I took a beach vacation with my family and decided to do some research on grounding. I had heard about it before but was skeptical that something so simple would affect the body. I spoke to some friends who confirmed there could be benefits from connecting with the earth periodically.
So I experimented with myself while on the beach vacation. So I walked the beach every day for 30 minutes and then swam for another 10 minutes. I also fully submerged myself in the ocean. I did this for 15 days straight.
My Grounding Results
Much to my surprise, I felt more relaxed and slept better than ever. I felt sexy, confident, and more energized. I also noticed my anxiety had diminished considerably. So now I am an advocate of this simple practice.
I live in New York City, and when I don’t earth myself (contact the earth barefoot), I feel exhausted, drained, and moody. In the winter, it’s more challenging, so I use an earthing blanket and take walks in Prospect Park. So this is one practice that I recommend to everyone.
Do You Really Need An Excuse to Get Out Into Nature?
All this scientific evidence aside, do we really need a reason to get outside and breathe in the fresh air and feel the earth under our feet?
I mean, have you ever been to the ocean and felt worse afterward? Have you found yourself walking through a trail in the woods and wished you hadn’t been there?
Instinctively, I’m betting you know that you feel better when you’re able to spend time in nature. I know I sure do.
Try making a concerted effort this week to get outside in the sunshine and touch some grass with your toes, and be sure to let me know how much better this simple practice makes you feel!
- “Earthing: Health Implications of ….” 12 Jan. 2012, https://www .ncbi.nlm.nih. gov/pmc/articles/PMC3265077/.
- “Earth’s charge and the charges of the Van Allen belts” https:// vixra. org/pdf/1008.0071v1.pdf
- “Representation of Earth’s Invisible Magnetic Field | NASA.” 5 Dec. 2011, https: //www.nasa. gov/mission_pages/sunearth/news/gallery/Earths-magneticfieldlines-dipole.html
- “(grounding): Review of research evidence and clinical ….” https:// www.sciencedirect. com/science/article/pii/S1550830719305476.
- “The Biologic Effects of Grounding the Human Body During Sleep as Measured by Cortisol Levels and Subjective Reporting of Sleep, Pain, and Stress” https://pubmed.ncbi. nlm.nih. gov/15650465/.
- “The Effects of Grounding (Earthing) – ScienceDirect.com.” https://www .sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1550830718302519.
- “Grounding after moderate eccentric contractions … – NCBI.” 21 Sep. 2015, https://www .ncbi.nlm.nih. gov/pmc/articles/PMC4590684/.
- “The effects of grounding (earthing) on ….” 24 Mar. 2015, https://www. ncbi.nlm.nih. gov/pmc/articles/PMC4378297/.
- “Earthing (Grounding) the Human Body Reduces Blood … – NCBI.” https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3576907/.
- “Grounding Patients With Hypertension Improves Blood Pressure.” http: //alternative-therapies.com/openaccess/26-6_Elkin.pdf.