- Grounding – or earthing – is a centuries old meditative practice.
- The health benefits of grounding are fairly extensive, especially over prolonged periods.
- Increase your circulatory health, natural sleep cycle, and more with this simple addition to your routine.
The earth is like a battery for all living things. Besides the many implications of electric charges and natural fossil fuels, this living, breathing organism is a mechanism that keeps everything running. Think about it. When was the last time you were sitting on the beach, your toes getting lapped up by the waves, feeling stressed? Have you felt panic on an evening stroll, or breathing in fresh mountain air? While we may have dismissed the magic associated with the earth in early childhood memories and pop culture, there is overwhelming evidence to support that Mother Earth does, indeed, have some sort of integral connection to – and influence over – all living cells.
Incorporating outdoor activities into your routine can optimize your body’s function with access to fresh air, sunshine, plants, animals, and other environmental factors. Earthing – or grounding – is a relaxing technique that allows you to connect with the earth in a tangible, precise, and natural way. Unlike electrical currents, earthing and grounding are used interchangeably in this meditative practice, which simply involves physical touch with the earth’s surface at some capacity.
So how strongly can an individual benefit from connecting with Mother Earth a little more? What are the benefits of grounding, and what does a successful grounding practice look like? Here are 3 earthing benefits and some ways to get started.
1. Earth’s electrons are a natural anti-inflammatory
Electrons are necessary for the bonding of individual atoms. In many ways, they act as the oil to our tin man bodies, helping atoms to interact with each other and function seamlessly. Scientists share “Emerging scientific research supports the concept that the Earth’s electrons induce multiple physiological changes of clinical significance,” notes a study published in the US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health. Connecting with these electrons is proven to aid sleep, reduce pain, and even shift your autonomic nervous system to a more relaxing threshold from sympathetic to parasympathetic.
Those electrons are also responsible for fighting the free radicals that are produced in natural biochemical processes. Earthing allows bulk amounts of earth-stimulated free electrons to travel into the human body. There is significant evidence to support that they neutralize free radicals. Free radicals are great when they are in balance, but exposure to too many – which is the case for many people these days – can damage tissue and lead to oxidative stress, which has its own host of negative impacts and implications.
2. Earthing speeds wound healing
As a direct result of the anti-inflammatory impact of the earth on our bodies, earthing can actually speed up the healing process for open wounds. According to a research review published by Science Direct:
One of the most powerful effects of Earthing, as documented over nearly 20 years of research, along with feedback from thousands of individuals around the world, is reduction and even elimination of chronic inflammation, a common cause or aggravating factor for chronic and aging-related diseases, as well as pain.
Indeed, patients worldwide have reported pain reduction after their first 30-minute grounding session, with many seeing complete pain elimination within weeks. Studies demonstrated remarkable improvement in months-old wounds and sores within a matter of days of establishing a grounding practice.
3. Earthing benefits cardiovascular health
Not only does grounding increase respiratory rate and function through the breath, but it can significantly impact cardiovascular health. A study published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine concluded that “grounding increases the surface charge on [red blood cells] and thereby reduces blood viscosity and clumping.” Blood viscosity is used to determine risk of morbidity in a number of diseases, and many people aim to decrease their blood viscosity through diet alone. Having a measurable – and immediately impactful – way to help lower blood viscosity at your disposal could be the difference between life and death. The fact that it doesn’t revolve around food can help reduce stress around everyday pleasures, like indulging in your senses.
So, what are some easy ways to get started when it comes to earthing? Next time you are outside, allow your skin to interact with the earth. Whether you take your shoes off and wiggle your toes in the grass, swim in a lake, pond, or ocean, or plant your hands in the sand, physical, no-holds-barred touch is the central notion of this practice. Even if you aren’t focusing on a specific amount of time with this connection, integrating it regularly can work wonders.
Another way to take your earthing practice to the next level is to sleep on the ground outdoors when you can. Although natural landscape can be tough on the back, several studies have found that prolonged earthing plays a fantastic role in actively reducing inflammation at a noticeable level. Connecting with the earth during sleep has also been proven to enhance cortisol rhythm, boosting sleep quality.
For individuals who are looking to increase their health benefits, connecting with the earth at certain times of day can enhance the human circadian rhythm, among other things. If you have the privilege of being a morning person, or are able to be up with the sunrise, it is suggested to get sun exposure early in the day. This helps your brain acknowledge the natural start to the day with light, and will aid you in developing normal sleeping patterns. If you have the capacity to try some grounding yoga poses, this will help improve your muscle flexibility, joint function, and encourage gentle movement to start your day.
Check out TheSwellScore for more vital wellness information and fun ways to complement your current health routine.