by Dr. Emily Splichal, DPM MS
Grounding, also known as earthing, is one of the simplest ways to support the natural health and healing response of the body.
Dating back thousands of years and represented in various cultures, grounding taps into the conductive charge of the Earth and has documented benefits ranging from improved sleep to faster wound healing.
Our Disconnected Bodies
From the synthetic shoes we wear to the high-rise buildings we live in, a lot of our modern day amenities are actually disconnecting us from ourselves and from the Earth.
Just like the appliances in our home need to be grounded, so too does the bioelectrical charge of our bodies. Research has shown that when our electrical field is imbalanced, inflammation increases, and the aging process is accelerated.
What is Grounding?
Grounding refers to the direct skin contact with the surface of the Earth, such as with your bare feet or with various grounding systems. This direct contact with the Earth’s surface restores an essential electric connection which is lost over time because of modern footwear and urban living.
Grounding is as simple as walking barefoot on grass, dirt or concrete for 15 minutes as day.
Benefits of Grounding
The benefits of grounding are vast but these are some of the most common benefits demonstrated through various research studies.
Benefit #1 - Reduces chronic inflammation
Chronic inflammation is a causative factor of pain and an accelerant of the aging process. Grounding reduces or even prevents the cardinal signs of inflammation following injury: redness, heat, swelling, pain, and loss of function.
Benefit #2 - Reduces pain
Most pain is due to or associated with increased inflammation, and typically responds rapidly to grounding.
Benefit #3 - Improves sleep and balances circadian rhythms
Grounding has been associated with increased melatonin production while normalizing cortisol levels, both of which reduce sleep disturbances.
Benefit #4 - Improves blood flow and reduces blood viscosity (stickiness)
Higher blood viscosity (that is, thicker, sludgy blood) often correlates with diabetes and cardiovascular disorders. Studies found that grounding significantly reduces blood viscosity, thus potentially improving red blood cell spacing (thinning them out).
Benefit #5 - Accelerates healing from trauma
Accelerated wound healing, whether involving injury, surgery, or burn, may result from a combination of reduced inflammation as well as improved circulation carrying healing factors to the site.
Getting Your Vitamin G
If you are skeptical about the benefits of grounding, put it to the test! Simply sit, stand, or walk with your bare feet on the grass, dirt or concrete outside for at least 15 minutes a day.
After consistently connecting to the Earth notice how you feel. It may be a subtle tingling in your feet, or a calmer demeanor.If being outside is not accessible due to your environment or weather, there are grounding mats that are available that can create a similar effect.