The Astounding Effects of Grounding
So what is grounding? Grounding, also known as earthing, is a form of alternative medicine that will quite literally ground you to the earth. This simply boils down to having direct contact with the earth’s surface. The most common way you can ground is to walk or stand in your yard or in a park without shoes on. Sounds simple right? It is! It is not difficult to do, but consider how many times your bare feet touch the ground. For some, it might be more than 2 or 3 times per day, but for many, these are rare occasions. A big part of this is because of our shoes and way of life. Almost every shoe made today has a sole made out of rubber or even plastic, which disrupts the grounding process between the earth and our body. If you look back through history, our ancestors did not have rubber-soled shoes, rather soles made of animal skins or no shoes at all. We also used to sleep on the ground, not on mattresses and pillows. This modern transition may have sacrificed a vital natural interaction.
So what's the science behind grounding? When we make uninterrupted contact with the ground, we make contact with the earth’s seemingly endless supply of electrons. Why is electricity so important? Our body is made up of a vast array of electrical activity, from our brain to our heart. Clint Ober, a grounding pioneer featured in The Earthing Movie, compared this relationship to cable television wires. Ober was a cable television executive who set up the cable lines for consumers and wondered if humans could ground the same way cables do. If a cable is not grounded to the earth, the television quality usually wasn't that great and could suffer from interference. This naturally led him to wonder if the same profound effect could take place with humans. His research concluded that when we are grounded, our bodies become much more stable than before we are grounded. There has been a steady increase in research that verifies the basic science of grounding, and its effects are quite interesting. The most widespread and supported effect grounding has become known for is its increase in blood circulation. This allows for slow-moving or clotted blood to break apart, become looser, and move much more freely. You might be wondering what this actually means for us. It may not seem like something critical, but in reality, it brings numerous health benefits. One of the most well-known effects in the grounding community is that it is anti-inflammatory, a direct result of increased circulation. For people with chronic pain or inflammation, grounding can provide relief in as little as 30 minutes. Another effect of this increased circulation is a healthier cardiovascular system. A study found that after grounding, the participants had significantly less red blood cell clumping, and their blood flow was improved. The increased circulation will also help your muscles function properly as well as recover faster. The body will also be able to cycle through the blood faster, which means that you will export more waste and bring in more nutrients more efficiently than before. Your immune system will see great improvements as well. Studies have shown that white blood cells are better at fighting off infections and diseases after grounding. The next major benefit of grounding involves your cortisol levels. Your cortisol levels can also play a part in reducing inflammation and fighting off infection, among other benefits. One of the most common claims from people who ground often is that they experience much better sleep. They don't wake up in the middle of the night restless or with pain. Many also claim to be able to fall asleep much faster than before. Studies from Dr. Christy Weston, an earthing advocate, shows that participants in her cortisol study show a 54% reduction in cortisol levels around midnight after grounding, which means that the participants were sleeping better. The same study by Dr. Weston showed a 34% increase in cortisol levels around 8 am, which means the participants had more energy waking up. There have not been any large scale studies on grounding as of yet, but more and more research is being conducted.
A popular way of grounding is using patented earthing products. Earthing products have a goal of grounding you to the earth without necessarily having to stand outside barefoot. These come in a variety of products, such as mats, mattresses, and patches. These products are built with a ground connecting to them, and all you have to do is plug the wire into the wall, and you are then grounded. People can sleep all night while simultaneously being grounded. You can place a mat under your feet while you work at the table or desk, and be totally grounded. These alternatives are an easy convenient way to still ground with the earth and benefit from it. Grounding still has a lot of evidence to bear, but so far, the decades-long concept has been faring well in the field of alternative medicine.