When was the last time you kicked off your shoes and walked barefoot on the grass in a park or the sand on a beach? Even if it wasn’t yesterday, you probably remember how amazing that felt. There is something hugely grounding and refreshing about being in direct contact with earth.
And there is a good reason for it scientists are finding out.
‘Grounding’ or what is known as ‘earthing’ is when skin comes into direct contact with the ground and the human body soaks up all the negatively charged electrons from earth.
Just like everything else in the universe, all our cells are made up of atoms which can be positively or negatively charged. Healthy atoms have a negative charge because they possess more electrons; however, these atoms can lose their electrons either due to inflammation, infection, trauma, stress or toxic environments. In this state, they are called free radicals. Free radicals infiltrate cells and tissues and damage them, forcing our immune system to respond to the threat constantly. An overactive immune system begins to hurt the body instead of helping it.
The only way to stop this is by supplying the body with neutralizing antioxidants or a large dose of negative electrons, which is easily done through grounding.
Our nervous system works by sending electrical impulses up and down the body. An influx of negative electrons from the earth has been shown to calm the nervous system by shifting the autonomic nervous system from the sympathetic, ‘fight-or-flight’ mode to the parasympathetic ‘rest-and-digest’ mode.
Grounding helps normalise cortisol levels in the body. High cortisol levels are directly linked to continued stress, inflammation and chronic illness.
Grounding reduces stress and improves sleep, vital for managing pain and chronic health conditions.
Too many free radicals, unstable charges from the environment, inflammation and immune activation are responsible for some of our most threatening chronic conditions such as cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, chronic pain syndromes, and autoimmunity.
Grounding is a simple, inexpensive way by which most of us can combat these destructive forces. Nobel Prize winner Richard Feynman described an umbrella effect created when we “earth.” He claimed that grounding equalized the electric potential between the body and the earth, so the body becomes an extension of the earth’s magnetic field. This potential “cancels, reduces, and pushes away electrical fields from the body.”
There are many ways to ground ourselves. Many grounding materials from sheets to shoes exist in the market today. However, the most simple and inexpensive way for everyone to ground is to simply walk bare feet on the ground
Moisture is a great conductor and therefore, wet grass, dirt, a beach or lake provides the best grounding experience. Leather, metal, cotton, and non-stained concrete are all conductive materials. However, pavement, wood, plastic, rubber, synthetic or insulated materials will block the healthful negative charges from the earth.
Our ancestors walked barefoot for most of their lives. I remember my grandparents routinely going barefoot to the temples or while doing their daily chores. One of the reasons probably why they lived such healthy, long lives.
1. The effects of grounding (earthing) on inflammation, the immune response, wound healing, and prevention and treatment of chronic inflammatory and autoimmune diseases by
James L Oschman, Gaétan Chevalier, and Richard Brown