Our ancestors had a grounding, intimate connection with the Earth’s surface that has been lost in recent generations. We surround ourselves with artificial materials, placing several barriers between our skin and the ground; from wearing shoes to flooring our homes, we have separated our bodies from the nature that our species has known since its origin.

Becoming Neutral Through Nature

All electronics are connected in some way to the Earth for stability and safety, a process known as “earthing”. It only makes sense that we too, as conductive beings, can gain increased safety and stability (a.k.a. ‘health’) from being physically connected to the Earth.

 As we go about our lives, we build up a positive electrical charge in our bodies through movement and contact. When you were a child, you may have tried to give someone an electric shock by touching them after rubbing your feet on the carpet whilst wearing socks. The Earth, on the other hand, has a natural negative electric charge. Connecting ourselves to the Earth’s conductive materials such as soil, grass, sand or stone, can rebalance the charge of our bodies.

aetla magazine grounding yourself woman yoga outdoors

Nature’s Medicine: Anti-Inflammatory

Why is it important that we ensure our bodies are neutrally charged, and how does this create physical benefits that we can see and feel?

The Science Behind It

You may or may not be aware that all pain in the body is caused by inflammation. Inflammation itself is caused by molecules known as ‘Free Radicals’, which we naturally produce in the billions every day. These are unstable molecules that strip our healthy tissues of electrons (negatively-charged particles), leaving us with a positive electrical charge that causes damage (inflammation).

Unfortunately, inflamed tissue causes us to produce even more of these Free Radicals, which creates a vicious circle that can lead to chronic inflammation, pain and disease. Grounding can help us break this circle by flooding our body with electrons (freely available from the negatively-charged earth) to counteract the work of the Free Radicals. A reduction of inflammation equals a reduction of pain.

Fighting Disease

A number of peer-reviewed studies have shown ‘grounding’ to have significant healing effects, and many are calling for it to be integrated into the toolbelt of health practitioners as a prescribed treatment for many issues.

The benefits of grounding have been shown to improve numerous areas of wellbeing, including but not limited to:

– Increased blood flow and the alleviation of issues caused by circulatory problems (e.g. high blood pressure, erectile dysfunction, lymphatic drainage)

– Faster healing of wounds

– Reduced symptoms of depression and anxiety

– Improved sleep and lowered cortisol (stress hormone) levels

– Healing of skin conditions such as eczema

– Better digestion and gut health

Rekindling Our Relationship With The Earth

The best thing about this practice is that it’s completely free and so easy to do. You don’t need incredible willpower to stick to it, and you don’t need to have a particular set of skills to take part. All you need to do is take a moment to feel the ground on your skin.

So go ahead and slip off your shoes once in a while whilst walking. Sit in a chair with your bare feet on the grass or, even better, sit directly on the grass. Play in the dirt with your children, or lay on the ground and watch the clouds pass by.

For best results, physicians advise 20-30 minutes of grounding per day. This might not be feasible for everyone, as life can get in the way. The main thing is that we take the first step (on the ground) in starting to explore that long, lost connection with the Earth. Who knows? It just might develop into a lasting, healthy relationship.