What Is Grounding? And How To Use It To Improve Health 

by Lucas Bertie

If you’ve been hearing the terms “grounding” or “earthing” in recent years you’re not alone. This practice has been gaining popularity as a therapeutic technique that could be helpful in treating things like inflammation, chronic pain, depression, even some autoimmune issues.

What is Grounding or Earthing?

If you’re an electrician, you’ll already know what the concept of grounding. For example, houses these days are required to be “grounded” when they are built, meaning the electrical system has a safe current back to the earth (in the case of any malfunctions, short circuits etc).

Many appliances also have grounding systems for safety.

But what about our bodies? Believe it or not, our bodies also have their own internal electricity. In earlier times, it was normal for us to walk the earth barefoot, which means our internal electrical systems were grounded for many hours per day. But nowadays, we never leave home without shoes on, in fact, sometimes we even wear shoes in the home too. These rubber soled shoes insulate our body’s electrical system from the earth. It’s not uncommon for a child from the moment he or she is born, to not walk outside barefoot at all during its first years of life. We used to be grounded from birth, now, almost never at all.

Does this affect us?

Clint Ober is one of the pioneers of the grounding movement. In fact, here is his initial study of his thesis, which showed improved sleep and improved pain in grounded test subjects. He subsequently discovered many other interesting observations, such as when he grounded himself properly, the static reading in his body went to zero. Then he observed cortisol levels going from erratic to stable readings after grounding.

These early studies led him to believe grounding the human body has the potential to optimise all of our internal bodily systems

Likewise, he theorised not grounding our body does the opposite – it means the electrical currents within our body are insulated and cause things like pain, depression, inflammation and so on. Only when we give these currents are safe passive back to the earth can our bodies start to work normally again.

What does the research say?

While grounding is still very under-researched and the studies available are few, there has been some great progress and the subject is explored further every year.

The few studies that have been done are promising.

  • This study showed evidence that grounding had the potential to improve the immune system by revitalising the “matrix” between our cells.
  • This study showed evidence that grounding could reduce red blood cell clumping, which would lead to cardiovascular health benefits.
  • This study showed improvements in muscle damage by using grounding therapy after workouts.
  • This study showed a significant decrease in stress, depression and fatigue among all studied participants.
  • This study was a double blind study that showed improved inflammation and blood flow in grounded subjects.

As you can see there is much progress in the research in grounding which is only expanding as the practice becomes more popular.

However, the best thing about grounding is that, if you want to try it, it’s costs nothing and has zero risk of side effects. It’s as easy as going outside without your shoes on!

How To Practice Grounding

Walking barefoot on the earth

This is the easiest and most natural way to ground your body. In fact, it’s probably the way most of our ancestors stayed grounded before the age of Nike and Crocs.

It’s important to remember that you want contact with the earth, so aim to walk on grass, sand, dirt, and avoid things like pavement and concrete. The sand at the beach is ideal, so if you live near the water make this your regular grounding spot.

Swim in the ocean

This is the most effective way to ground your body, because being the ocean will ground your body’s current instantly, and will do so better than just walking barefoot on the earth. This is because your entire body has contact with the ocean. Notice how surfers always have that glow to them? Maybe spending hours in the ocean at a time has something to do with it…

Grounding equipment

Nowadays there are many products that will ground your body without you having to go outside. Many of these work by connecting to your house’s electrical system, and assuming your house has been grounded, connecting yourself to this system will ground you too.

Grounding equipment comes in many forms, such as grounding mats, sheets, desk pads, blankets, even special types of grounding shoes.

Try adding some grounding time into your day, and let us know how it goes!

About the author 

Lucas Bertie

Lucas is the combat sports editor at The Fit Brit. He has been training in MMA for over 10 years, in several gyms in the UK and Thailand. He is currently based in Bangkok.

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