City living will, to a certain degree, always be a popular form of living. But the lack of environmental connection slowly affects one’s psychological and physiological well-being. To fight against the cons of urban living, “earthing” or “grounding” techniques are on the rise. Which is why you should learn more about the science behind grounding, and why you need to keep yourself grounded.
The idea of using the Earth’s natural energy or incorporating nature as part of your treatment plan isn’t a new thing. People have been using the earth for their recovery for millions of years, and in return, nature heals in a way that modern science cannot.
What Is Grounding?
Grounding, or earthing, is the therapeutic technique of directly connecting one’s body with the Earth and utilizing its natural electric charges for stabilizing their well-being. In its essence, the practice works by allowing the ground to heal you by walking or standing barefoot outdoors. It can also work when using indoor grounding systems while you sit or sleep. Whenever practicing grounding, you restore the connection between your body and the Earth’s electrical currents.
People call grounding a self-soothing skill to help alleviate stress, overwhelming feelings, and severe anxiety, and many find it a new, unexplored practice. Despite its rising popularity, earthing is a technique that’s been around for thousands of years.
In ancient China, earthing works with Qi, a vital energy filling the universe. Ancient Chinese philosophers like Ge Hong stated that such power is inside every person and other living things. Qi is essential for everyone to live and thrive. Other medical experts and scientists in the 19th century also believed in the existence and use of the Earth’s natural energies and how it helps with healing and recovery.
“Earthing restores a primordial electric connection to the Earth lost over time because of human lifestyle.” – Dr. Wendy Menigoz, DN, Naprapathic Physician, Owner, Naprapathic Healing Center
The Science of Earthing
Many ancient civilizations and indigenous groups use grounding practices for healing and recovery, but there aren’t many modern scientific studies to back up the science behind it. Despite that, several research studies have found its effects on cardiovascular diseases, inflammation, muscle damage, and mood. In addition, psychology-based research also noted its benefits on one’s mental health.
Another study shows how grounding helps the heart by examining the participants’ blood measurements before and after the practice. The results showed that earthing techniques lessen the clumping of red blood cells, which is beneficial for a healthy cardiovascular system.
Besides these modern studies, the psychological orientation of biophilia also backs up the science of earthing. Biophilia is the attraction to all that is alive and vital. In addition, it also describes the traits that allow people to develop a mental link with nature and the living world. For many decades, many scientists and health experts believed that people innately depend on nature for healing by feeling or being surrounded by it.
“Modern lifestyle separates humans from such contact. This disconnect may be a major contributor to physiological dysfunction and unwellness. Reconnection with the Earth’s electrons has been found to promote intriguing physiological changes and subjective reports of well-being.” – Dr. Gaétan Chevalier, Engineering Physicist, Professor, Lead Faculty, California Institute for Human Science
The Practice of Grounding: Techniques, Health Benefits, and Risks
There are several ways a person can reconnect themselves to the earth. Although direct contact with your feet on the ground is the best way to get the earth’s natural energy, there are indirect methods that you can also consider. In addition, grounding practices have notable health benefits for people’s general well-being.
Direct Grounding Techniques
Direct grounding practices utilize the natural grounds, whether grassy, sandy, or muddy. Whatever type of earth is available, you can practice earthing or grounding so long as your skin makes direct contact with it.
Walking barefoot is the easiest and preferred method, but here are other techniques you can consider.
- Lying on the ground
- Submersing your feet in water or swimming
Experts also encourage kids to play in the dirt as a grounding practice. Digging into the ground and having soil between their fingers can help children reconnect with nature while restoring their natural energy.
Indirect Grounding Techniques
One of the problems encountered when grounding is the lack of nature within your living area. Big cities and concrete jungles rarely have open spaces of grass or mud to practice earthing. The best alternative is to use grounding mats, blankets, patches, or socks instead.
The Health Benefits and Risks of Grounding
Many studies reported an improvement in participants’ physiological and psychological health. Grounding practices help lessen the fatigue and pain levels of people suffering from chronic fatigue and chronic pain. In addition, long-term earthing therapy reduces the blood pressure levels of people with hypertension and helps prevent other cardiovascular diseases.
Another health benefit of grounding is mood improvement, which helps alleviate and balance the overwhelming emotions of those suffering from anxiety disorders and depression. Besides the mood, grounding practices also lessen sleep disturbances and provide people with better sleeping cycles.
Although grounding has notable benefits, there are still risks when performing earthing techniques outdoors. Before taking grounding therapy, always visit your doctor and get their input if they’re a better addition to your treatment plan. It’s also best to perform direct grounding in safe areas, especially when swimming.
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