Reconnecting to Mother Nature by Getting Grounded
“Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better” – Albert Einstein
What on earth is Earthing?
Earthing (aka grounding) is the timeless and simple practice of having direct contact with the Earth’s surface by walking barefoot, sitting, or lying on the ground outside.
Note: You must have direct skin contact with the earth.
Our ancestors throughout human history have sat, stood, walked, slept, worked and played on the ground. As we evolved we have lost our connection to the earth, with synthetic rubber soled shoes, sleeping on beds full of insulating material, and living largely indoors. We lack the connection to the earth’s healing power in our modern industrialized world. As this has happened humans have become more and more ill, likely as a result of this disconnection.
Why is it important?
It is well studied that the earth’s surface is a never-ending supply of free electrons. The earth surface therefore is electrically conductive and maintains a negative potential. As humans we are made up of approximately 50-65% water. In that water we have electrolytes like sodium, potassium, calcium, magnesium and more. This creates an inner environment that is able to conduct the free electrons the earth has to offer. We are bioelectric beings; our innate physiology from the beats of our heart to the signals sent by our nervous system depicts this fact.
Earthing reunites us with the naturally occurring electrical signals from the earth that govern all organisms dwelling upon it. It restores the body’s natural internal electrical stability and rhythms, which in turn promotes normal functioning of all body systems, including the cardiovascular, respiratory, digestive, immune and neurological systems. It remedies electron deficiency to reduce inflammation and shifts the nervous system from a sympathetic to parasympathetic state. By reconnecting with the earth we allow the body to return to a normal state of electrical balance, which allows the body to better self heal.
How does this work?
The Earth is constantly being charged by solar radiation, thousands of lightning strikes per minute (~5,ooo per minute!!), and heat from the central molten core.
One underlying cause of many disease states is chronic inflammation – you may have heard of reactive oxygen species or free radicals that lead to oxidative stress within the body and are involved in the inflammatory process.
The electrons from the earth act as potent antioxidants and reduce electrical imbalances within your body and thus reduce oxidative stress and damage to the cells and tissues.
The Earth’s diurnal electrical rhythms are also proposed to set the biological clocks for hormones that regulate sleep and activity. One study showed that grounding while sleeping resynchronized cortisol hormone secretion, regulated circadian rhythm, as well as reduced pain and stress.
- Reduction of inflammation
- Reduction of chronic pain
- Reduction of stress
- Increases energy
- Improves sleep
- Regulates cortisol rhythm
- Improves heart rate variability
- Regulates blood sugar metabolism
- Improves blood flow circulation
- Relieves muscle tension
- Speeds healing process
- Protection from EMFs
- Shifts the autonomic nervous system from a sympathetic (fight or flight) to parasympathetic (rest and heal) state
The Beauty of Reconnection & Grounding:
The earth is always available and always underneath you – you simply have to walk outside! This healing source is available to everyone and even better this is a FREE therapy you can give yourself. There are no harmful side effects and there is no such thing as too much.
Getting outside and grounding also reconnects you to nature – our greatest teacher. The greater whole of nature often times offers us perspective. It connects us to something much larger than ourselves and gives us a sense of purpose and offers us more tools to cope with the chaos of daily life. Connecting to nature provides clearer more attentive minds, uplifted energy, inspiration, and a greater sense of well-being.
Bonus healing tip: Maximize the healing capacity of your grounding practice by visualizing yourself being charged up by all the earth has to offer and offering the earth gratitude in return!
“In every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks” – John Muir
Dr. Taylor Pagano is a Naturopathic Doctor at Richmond Natural Medicine, where she enjoys seeing patients with a variety of conditions. It is her passion to work together with patients, empowering and supporting them on their journey to optimal health. She uses a number of therapies including nutrition and lifestyle medicine, herbal medicine, homeopathy, and biotherapeutic drainage. She received her doctorate from the Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine in Tempe, Arizona.
Resource: Ober, C., Sinatra, S. T., & Zucker, M. (2010). Earthing: the most important health discovery ever? Laguna Beach, CA: Basic Health Publications.