Have we become disconnected from the earth – and could it be having a negative impact on our overall health?
A growing body of research says “yes.” And health practitioners are proposing a solution that could make a huge difference for those of us with aches and pains, chronic health conditions, and fatigue.
This new movement is called earthing, or grounding, and it’s a simple way to reconnect with the planet — and possibly live a more healthful life in the process!
What Is Earthing?
When was the last time you walked barefoot outside, and really felt the dirt, sand, or grass between your toes? Recently, going barefoot has become a major health trend, with researchers arguing that walking or running barefoot puts less strain on the body than wearing restrictive, rubber-soled shoes. After all, this is what our ancestors were doing generations ago.
Earthing is rooted in some of the same ideas. Specifically, earthing — also called grounding — is the idea that putting your skin in direct contact with the earth can come with a whole host of health benefits.
Earthing.com explains it this way:
“Earthing is a fast-growing movement based upon the discovery that connecting to the Earth’s natural energy is foundational for vibrant health . . . When we make direct contact with the surface of the Earth our bodies receive a charge of energy that makes us feel better, fast.”
The Principles of Earthing
The concept is rooted in a growing body of research that focuses on electrical energy and the way our bodies react with it. The writers of the book Earthing: The Most Important Health Discovery Ever explained the idea in a recent blog post for Chopra:
“You are a bioelectrical being living on an electrical planet. Your body operates electrically. All of your cells transmit multiple frequencies that run, for example, your heart, immune system, muscles, and nervous system . . . For many decades, people have increasingly been wearing rubber and plastic-soled shoes that act as a barrier to the Earth’s energy, insulating them from electrical contact with the Earth. People also generally don’t sleep on the ground anymore, as many cultures have done throughout history. They live and work above the ground, even far above the ground in high-rises.
The truth is, you’re disconnected. You’re ungrounded. You are not in touch with the Earth.”
Health and wellness writer Noelle Cellini explores this idea in even more depth in this post. As she explains, we are consistently being bombarded by positive ions from electronic devices, WiFi signals, and other sources. Exposure to these positive ions, she writes, can cause our immune system to go into overdrive, causing damage to otherwise healthy cells — and lead to a whole host of chronic health issues.
Grounding yourself with the earth helps expose your body to negative ions, providing balance and allowing your body’s systems to function more normally.
As she puts it: “It is natural to be connected to the earth. It is unnatural not to be connected.”
What Are Some of the Reported Benefits of Earthing?
Today, more people are experiencing stress, depression, and anxiety than ever before. At the same time, rates of chronic disease and health conditions are on the rise worldwide. Could “grounding” be a way to help reverse this trend?
A growing, significant body of research indicates that the practice could help! Research has linked grounding to:
- Inflammation relief
- Significant reductions in back and joint pain
- Fewer symptoms of stress, anxiety, and depression
- Feelings of comfort, security, and balance
- More restful and refreshing sleep patterns
- Improved circulation
How Can You Get Started With Earthing?
The principles of earthing are all about centering yourself through contact with the ground. So, what’s the modern city-dweller to do? There are many different methods you can use to get grounded.
One easy way to start earthing? Go barefoot! As the writers of the Chopra blog explain:
“Weather and schedule permitting, go barefoot for a half-hour or so outside and see what a difference that makes on your pain or stress level. Sit, stand, or walk on soil, grass, sand, or concrete. These are all conductive surfaces from which your body can draw the earth’s energy.”
Even just a half hour could make a difference! But going outside isn’t the only way to reconnect with the earth. There are also a variety of products you can use in the home and office that offer you the chance to connect with those negative ions.
Most of these grounding products actually plug into your electrical outlets. They go into the third “plug” on the outlet (the “mouth” of the outlet, if you think of it like a face). This is the “grounded” part of the outlet. As Cellini explains it, plugging into this part of the outlet allows you to transfer “the energy that is naturally radiating from the surface of the earth” into your grounding product.
You can find a list of these products here. They include:
- Sleep mats
- Grounding sheets and blankets
- Desk mats
- Floor mats
As long as your skin makes contact with these grounding devices, you will be earthing — and you may possibly see some positive changes for your health!
What Works for You?
Do you have any experience with earthing or grounding for your health? Are you an avid barefoot runner? Are there any other methods you’ve used to reconnect with the earth? Whatever your story, the Enrollment Specialists would love to hear from you! Join our community on Facebook to keep the health and wellness conversation going!
And remember, when you’re ready to talk all things health and life insurance, our own Matt Peebles is here to help! Matt will get to know you and help customize the health and life insurance plan that will work best for your needs. With the Enrollment Specialists, you’ll always be able to say, “I’ve Got A Guy!” for all things health insurance. Drop us a line today to get started for free!