Walking barefoot on earth is now a practice called “earthing” or “grounding” that is becoming increasingly popular as ground itself becomes more and more rare in urban environments. Even when we are outdoors, we wear shoes made of insulating materials that block this vital earth energy from coursing through our bodies.
Who hasn’t heard those “good old day” stories when kids went outdoors to play after school and on weekends, with no electronic devices for distraction? I happen to have been one of those children whose mother would indeed say, “Don’t come back inside until I call you for dinner.”
While outside, we youngsters did all sorts of immune-building things, primarily getting dirty.
Believe it or not, researchers are now claiming that the ground itself has therapeutic properties and the ability to heal what ails you. The human body changes measurably after bare flesh is pressed against the ground while sitting, lying down, walking or standing.
The underlying theory behind earthing is that our human bodies build up a positive electric voltage charge over time. The Earth’s magnetic field produces mild, negative voltage. You may recall from your high school classes that positive cancels out negative – where electromagnetism is concerned. Thus, earthing is thought to neutralize a person’s harmful positive field to allow natural healing to occur unimpeded.
Dr. Briffa also explains how earthing can balance levels of free radicals, which, although they kill undesirable bacteria and viruses, can actually cause disease when the body produces too many of them.
“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.”
We pick up electron-free radicals – they have no charge whatsoever – from the environment around us, and from what we eat and drink. This is actually good news since the electrons supplied by nutrients like vitamins A, C, and E, as well as chemical compounds found in plants called polyphenols (from tea, coffee, cocoa and apples, to name a few) can neutralize excessive free radicals in the body.
It is known that free radicals are related to inflammation, and that inflammation is linked to many chronic diseases – notably heart conditions.
The list of potential benefits from simply planting your bare feet on the bare ground, according to Wellness Mama include:
• Reducing inflammation
• Reducing chronic pain
• Improving Sleep (I can vouch strongly for this!)
• Increasing Energy (I noticed this also)
• Lowering stress and promoting calmness by reducing stress hormones.
• Normalizing biological rhythms including circadian rhythm
• Normalizing blood pressure and blood flow
• Relieving muscle tension and headache (I noticed this)
• Improving menstrual and female hormone symptoms
• Speeds healing- used in some places to prevent bed sores
• Reducing jet lag
• Protecting the body from effects of EMFs
• Shortening recovery time from injury or athletic activity
• Reducing snoring
• Helping support adrenal health
The idea behind earthing is not at all far-fetched. An article from The Chokra Center puts it simply:
“You are a bioelectrical being living on an electrical planet. Your body operates electrically. All of your cells transmit multiple frequencies that run, for example, your heart, immune system, muscles, and nervous system.”
University of California at Irvine study titled “Grounding the Human Body Improves Facial Blood Flow Regulation: Results of a Randomized, Placebo-Controlled Pilot Study” showed that 60 minutes of earthing increased blood flow regulation to the face. This helps skin tissue repair itself and enhances the appearance of the face.
“The results demonstrate, for the first time, that even one-hour contact with the earth restores blood flow regulation to the face suggesting enhanced skin tissue repair and improved facial appearance with possible implications for overall health.”
Scientific Research Publishing shows before – and after-earthing views from a Speckle Contrast Laser Imager (where dark blue indicates the least oxygen-bearing blood circulation and dark red represents the most circulation). The subject experienced 20 minutes of grounding before producing the image below:
The researcher Gaétan Chevalier concluded:
“Further studies, using larger comparison groups, longer monitoring times, and more measuring methods, are warranted to confirm the novel influence of the Earth as a protector of skin health and appearance.”
The Journal of Environmental and Public Health released a study titled “Earthing: Health Implications of Reconnecting the Human Body to the Earth’s Surface Electrons” which tested the premise:
“Modern lifestyle separates humans from such contact. The research suggests that this disconnect may be a major contributor to physiological dysfunction and unwellness.”
The results of that testing indicated that earthing was effective in treating poor sleep, stress, tension, and pain; balancing the autonomic nervous system (ANS); and reducing inflammation:
“The research done to date supports the concept that grounding or earthing the human body may be an essential element in the health equation along with sunshine, clean air and water, nutritious food, and physical activity.”
In another study led by Chevalier titled “Earthing (Grounding) the Human Body Reduces Blood Viscosity — a Major Factor in Cardiovascular Disease,” the test subjects had reduced blood viscosity (thinner blood) and less clumping (clotting) after two hours of earthing. Doctors believe that thick blood that clots quickly is a key risk factor for cardiovascular disease.
What is really interesting in the above case is that the participants did not actually touch the ground itself. Instead, they were “grounded with conductive patches on the soles of their feet and palms of their hands. Wires connected the patches to a stainless-steel rod inserted in the earth outdoors.”
Even with a remote connection to the earth, the scientists concluded:
“Grounding increases the surface charge on [red blood cells] RBCs and thereby reduces blood viscosity and clumping. Grounding appears to be one of the simplest and yet most profound interventions for helping reduce cardiovascular risk and cardiovascular events.”
Speckle Contrast Laser Imager (dark blue = least blood circulation and dark red = the most blood circulation)
Stop and think for a moment: when was the last time your feet made direct contact with Earth? Has it been years? If so, try earthing and notice how you feel. Did you experience a burst of energy?
“Keep your eyes on the stars, but remember to keep your feet on the ground.”
~ Theodore Roosevelt