Grounding the human body
Have we lost our connection with the earths energy?
Can we recharge our battery?
Can grounding, or earthing as it is often referred to, really help our physical and mental wellbeing?
Grounding can refer to the redistribution of energy internally within the body or from externally often known as Earthing, which refers to connecting directly with the earth.
The earth is like a battery that contains a natural, subtle charge and when we connect our body directly with it, it is said to connect us to the earth natural energy and have many mental and physical benefits.
Overtime we have become disconnected with the earths energy, we have become ungrounded which may (or may not) have contributed to many of todays illnesses and anxieties. Grounded people are said to be strong, balanced, centred, where as ungrounded people are said to be materialistic, self centred, anxious, lost touch of real importance in life.
There is much controversy over the scientific evidence surrounding grounding but there really is something special about walking barefoot across sand or in the grass and being out in the open air with nature.
And we certainly have come along way from our ancestors who slept on the earth and ran bare foot through nature. We wear rubber shoes that act as a barrier to the earths energy, we live indoors and for many office workers spend no more than a few minutes outside each day . Many people believe this disconnection contributes to many illnesses in todays society.
The science part
In short, the idea is that the earth has a mild negative charge to it. Over time, especially in modern life, our bodies build up a positive charge. Direct contact with the earth can even out this positive charge and return the body to a neutral state.
I won't pretend to be a science expert so here is a more detailed explanation:-
"During the normal processes of metabolism the body generates what are called ‘reactive oxygen species’ which are commonly referred to as ‘free radicals’. These compounds appear to be important, at least in part because they have the ability to attack and destroy unwanted things within the body including bacteria and viruses. However, too many free radicals are a bad thing, and have been implicated in chronic disease and well as the very process of aging. Free radicals are involved in the process known as inflammation, which is part of the healing process. However, low-grade inflammation throughout the body may lead to pain and other problems in the muscles and joints, and is also believed to be a key driving factor in many chronic diseases including heart disease and type 2 diabetes. In short, we want free radicals, but not too many. Free radicals lack sparks of energy known as ‘electrons’. One way to quell them is to give them electrons, and these can be supplied by nutrients such as vitamins A, C and E, and plant substances known as ‘polyphenols’ (found in, among other things, tea, coffee, cocoa and apples). However, substances we eat and drink are not the only way to get electrons into the body: earthing does this too. If the body has a positive charge on it, earthing allows electrons to flow into the body where, in theory, they can neutralize overblown free radical and inflammatory damage. Carrying a positive charge may well affect the body in lots of different ways, which means that earthing may offer a range of wellbeing benefits" Dr John Briffa - ‘Earthing’ – important discovery or mumbo-jumbo?.
Although controversial, and debated by many, there is some great emerging studies
showing some outstanding effects of grounding / earthing on the human body and mind.
- Reducing chronic pain
- Reducing inflammation
- Lowering stress
- Normalising blood pressure
- Increasing energy
- Improving sleep
- Relieving muscle tension
- Speeds recovery time for injuries
.........and many more
the skeptics say the evidence isn't there but mainly this is because of small scale studies, the correlation arguement, but for something so easy and free to do, that generally lifts your mood is it not worth giving it a try.
How to ground yourself
Grounding internally can be achieved in many ways, here is a couple of techniques / approaches
- Yoga, meditation, mindfulness
- Follow your breath
- Stand like a tree
- A cold shower
The more controversial approach of earthing is much more fun and the health and wellbeing benefits emerging are impressive.
Earthing involves being directly in contact with the earth, skin touching and preferable two points for the energy current.
The simplest way is to go barefoot
Take your socks and shoes off, go outside and walk, stand, lie in the grass, soil, sand, or even concrete, all of which are conductive surfaces where we can draw from the earths energy.
Ideally you want to sustain the energy by making earthing a part of your daily routine,- ideally 30 minutes a day, but if all you can manage is 10 minutes in your break then that a good start.
Give it a try, you may just get hooked!