What is Grounding?
Grounding, or Earthing, is the act of connecting directly with the Earth. Very rarely in our day to day lives do our naked feet actually touch the Earth anymore, we now opt instead to wear shoes and sleep on beds that separate us from the ground. Thousands of years ago we would stride barefoot across the lands all day, swim in the oceans and rivers, and sleep on the ground. Grounding is one of the many ways we can ‘rewild’ ourselves, and improve our overall health and happiness.
How does Grounding work?
The human body is electrical in nature, our muscles and brains function through the use of electrical impulses. The increased use of electricity and electromagnetic fields (EMFs), such as WiFi and 5g networks, by modern society, means our physical bodies are absorbing a greater amount of electrical charge than has ever been experienced before, positively charging our bodies.
This excess positive charge can potentially affect our health, causing low-level inflammation, affecting nerve function, and making us feel more fatigued than we should amongst a variety of other things.
Luckily, the Earth is a huge ball of negatively charged free electrons. In the past, we had a near-constant connection to this great ball of negative charge, so any excess positive charge that is built up in the body would be balanced out and neutralised by the Earth’s negative charge. However, now we rarely create this opportunity to rebalance our electrical charge, which is where Grounding comes in.
What are the benefits of Grounding?
Over the last 100 years, we have become more and more domesticated, and it’s one of the biggest reasons for the growing epidemic of chronic illness. Learning to habitually Ground every day can be a great way to improve overall health, and for those with a current chronic illness, the effects may be very noticeable.
The benefits have been summarised below, and grouped by the mechanism under which they function:
- Lower inflammation, reduce pain and enhance immunity
The build-up of positive charge in the body acts like free radicals, and a connection with the Earth acts as an antioxidant. This can help tip the scale, reducing the number of free radicals circulating the body causing inflammation. Grounding also alters the numbers of circulating neutrophils and lymphocytes in the body. Pain issues can be the result of chronic inflammation, and since Grounding lowers inflammation, it also improves pain as a side benefit.
- Improve sleep, lower stress, and balance hormones
Grounding the physical body reduces night-time levels of cortisol and resynchronises cortisol hormone secretion more in alignment with the natural 24-hour circadian rhythm profile. Earthing during night rest also decreases free tri-iodothyronine and increases free thyroxine and thyroid-stimulating hormone, meaning those with thyroid problems may see an improvement in their condition.
- Improve blood pressure, blood glucose, and diabetic neuropathy
Grounding increases the surface charge on RBCs and thereby reduces blood viscosity and clumping, which can improve cardiovascular-related outcomes. On top of this, continuous earthing of the body also appears to decrease blood glucose in patients with diabetes, and it has been observed by doctors that diabetic patients with neuropathy have regained feeling in their feet.
How can I start Grounding?
The quickest way is to simply get your naked skin connected directly to the Earth, this could be in a park, on the beach, swimming in the ocean/mineral-rich lake, or even on concrete, making sure that these sources all have a direct connection to the Earth i.e. not elevated.
Of course in our modern day lives, it is not so simple to achieve a continuous connection with the Earth. This is where companies like groundology.co.uk step in to help us achieve near 24 hour grounding. These products connect to the earthing port in plug sockets, channeling any charge out into the ground. Here is a list of the products I recommend:
- Grounding mat
- Grounding sheets
- Grounding pillow cases
- Grounding shoes
The idea is to be Grounding as much as you can, especially when using electrical devices like computers. If you can, start with 45 minutes, and slowly build your way up to being Grounded 24 hours a day. The more the better, we would’ve been constantly Grounded in the past, this is just a return to normal.
What are the side effects of Grounding?
There are no negative side effects of Grounding as such, it is one of the most natural things to the human body, but problems can occur whilst the body is ‘detoxing’ its positive charge and rebalancing itself. As seen in the ‘benefits of Grounding’ section, there can be many physiological effects to the body when we first start Grounding, so there are some things we need to be conscious of as we begin:
- Lowering of blood pressure
If you are taking blood pressure-lowering medication, it is important to make sure your doctor is aware before you start Grounding. The combination of medication and grounding could send your blood pressure too low.
- Taking too much thyroid medication
If you are taking thyroid medication, it is important to make sure your doctor is aware before you start Grounding. The combination of medication and grounding could affect your thyroid function.
- Taking too much insulin
If you are taking insulin, it is important to make sure your doctor is aware before you start Grounding. The combination of medication and grounding could send your blood glucose levels too low.
If you fit into any of these categories, it is important to start Grounding slow, starting at 45 minutes and increasing by an hour each day whilst being monitored by your doctor.
The research on Grounding is still quite new, but there appear to be real benefits happening for many people. The effects are likely to be more noticeable for those who currently have a chronic illness, but that doesn’t mean it’s not still beneficial for everyone to do. I would recommend starting with a Grounding mat from groundology.co.uk and using it while you work, if you can, and eventually add the bedsheets so you can be grounded during our most restorative period, sleep.
The effects of grounding (earthing) on inflammation, the immune response, wound healing, and prevention and treatment of chronic inflammatory and autoimmune diseases
Earthing the Human Body Influences Physiologic Processes
Earthing (Grounding) the Human Body Reduces Blood Viscosity—a Major Factor in Cardiovascular Disease
Earthing Institute – New Hope for Diabetes