How Earthing Could Restore + Maintain Your Health in One Simple Habit
Ever seen someone walking barefoot in public and wondered what the deal is?
We’re so disconnected from the earth that we think it’s weird to walk barefoot outside unless we’re at the beach or happen to forget our shoes inside.
How did we get here? Where connecting with the planet we live on feels strange or embarrassing?
In honor of Earth Day and harnessing its healing power for overall health and wellness, we wanted to pause and pay our respects to the ancestral wisdom we so often forget. Earth itself holds a revolutionary solution many of us have been looking for in the search for a wildly vibrant + healthy life.
Yet, it’s not complex. Healing is quite literally waiting right outside your door.
And it happens through a simple act called earthing.
What Is Earthing?
At a fundamental level, earthing is the concept of putting your bare feet (or your body) in direct contact with the earth.
Not through concrete, not through the shoes under your feet.
Not by sitting outside and enjoying a breeze on the porch.
We’re talking about direct, uninterrupted contact with soil, grass, sand, or any surface of the earth you can access where you live. That is earthing. Our ancestors knew this practice well.
→ So why do we need earthing as part of our daily routine?
We’re constantly being “charged” by all the radiation (aka positive electricity) emitted from our devices. We’re continuously surrounded by harmful EMF (Electromagnetic Frequency) in all different forms. And even when we get outside, we usually have our phones with us.
We need contact with the negatively-charged earth to put our bodies back in balance. In the past, this would happen naturally, but now it’s not happening nearly enough. It’s not part of our culture. We spend our days inside and don’t live in tune with the earth as our ancestors did.
Over the years, many intelligent researchers and professionals have realized earthing is such an important practice that there are whole books and documentaries devoted to it. In The Earthing Movie, they point out that almost all inflammation and disease can be attributed to this disconnect from our earth.1
Pretty powerful stuff.
So if most of us know + agree that being in nature is healing, having direct contact with the earth (aka earthing) is like the next level, elevated.
With earthing, you get the benefits of nature’s:
- Soothing scents
- Relaxing sounds
- Stimulating sensations
But you also get the electrical “resetting” that comes with sticking your feet in the grass or soil.
As Stephen Sinatra, MD, puts it in The Earthing Movie:1
“Mother earth is endowed with electrons. And these electrons are literally absorbed through your feet – it’s like taking handfuls of antioxidants, but you’re getting it through your feet.”
Earthing restores our sense of self, reconnects us to our origins, and physically heals our body from within for less inflammation, less pain, and a brighter outlook on life.
As Laura Koniver, MD, says: “It [earthing] supports organ systems down to tissues and the cellular function of the entire body.”
How This Concept Was Discovered
Clint Ober is the founder of the “grounding (or earthing)” movement. Grounding is just another term used for earthing, but they refer to the same thing. It refers to the way the earth “grounds” our bodies, similar to how electric wires need to be “grounded” by the earth’s negative charge. In electric work, the earth attracts any extra positive charge that could be dangerous in wires and outlets.
Clint’s background in cabling and electricity gave him the idea. With the knowledge that grounding was necessary for electric wires and knowing we are surrounded by “positive” electricity constantly, he wondered if humans might benefit from grounding too.
He realized that, yes, the earth has a natural system to ground our bodies too. From there, it took off. He spent years trying to convince people to believe him until he finally had someone agree to do a study – hoping to prove him wrong. Turns out he proved THEM wrong, and after word got out, the benefits of earthing were suddenly supported by many studies!
He also wrote a book called “Earthing” that explains all the principles behind this discovery and how he was able to confirm it.
But Clint’s discovery was just the beginning. Since then, many earth enthusiasts, scientists, and respected doctors have discovered the profound power of earthing to heal your body + live a fuller life.
The Science Behind Earthing
There have been plenty of legitimate scientific studies on the validity of grounding our bodies through earthing to restore and maintain health.
How It Works – The Basics
We loved the way The Earthing Movie explained why the surface of the earth is charged negatively. The sun naturally spews electrons that charge our atmosphere. Periodically the atmosphere releases electrons through lightning bolts. And as you probably know, lightning is absorbed into the ground – hence the negatively charged ground.1
Clint’s website earthing.com does a wonderful job of explaining how this can heal + reset our bodies:2
“The earth’s surface has a virtually limitless supply of mobile electrons that gives the ground we walk on (as well as lakes and oceans) a natural negative electric charge. When you touch your body to the ground, it dissipates static electricity and extraneous environmental electrical charges that are on you. At the same time, you receive a charge of energy in the form of free electrons and your body synchronizes with the natural frequencies of the earth.”
Syncing our bodies with the natural frequencies of the earth includes biological rhythms like our infradian rhythm and circadian rhythm. These are all essential building blocks of our health. The Earthing Movie points out that at a fundamental level, all we’re doing with earthing is restoring these rhythms and aligning them with our earth.1
One study even went so far as to call the earth our “battery” for life to be optimally effective.3 It also deemed earthing:3
“A simple, natural, and accessible health strategy against chronic inflammation, warranting the serious attention of clinicians and researchers.”
Now that you’ve got the basics on how the practice of grounding your body with the earth works, let’s unpack all the crazy health benefits of earthing.
These benefits speak for themselves. Take a look at all the benefits of spending regular time in contact with the earth:
- Less inflammation in the body, which we know is the root of all disease
- Stronger immune response3
- Improves wound healing3
- Prevents + treats chronic inflammatory and autoimmune disease3
- Activates your parasympathetic system which is powerfully able to:
- Restore adrenal function (which is also a precursor to many diseases)
- Provide a sense of calmness
- Lower blood pressure
- Reduces muscle damage and pain after exercise4
- Positively affects mood5
- Improves heart health, like lower viscosity blood volume and clumping6
- Significantly reduces cortisol (stress hormone) when grounding during sleep, which reduces or eliminates:7
- Sleep dysfunction
- Resynchronizes cortisol hormone secretion more in alignment with the natural 24-hour circadian rhythm profile7
You may be thinking, Well sure, this all sounds great, but I can’t practice earthing all the time. Is it worth even trying?
Will I be able to make a difference with the time I have available to be connected to the earth?
And how would I practice earthing during sleep without sleeping outside on the ground?
The answer: practicing earthing throughout the day is not as hard as you’d think. ;)
How to Stay Grounded in Today’s Culture
Of course, being outside and having your feet (or body) on the ground 24/7 isn’t an option for most of us. Besides the issues of climate, weather, bugs, and lack of time/freedom, there are plenty of ways to still stay grounded – even inside!
Make Time Outside a Priority
Of course, the best way to do it is to get outside as much as possible. There are SO many additional benefits from nature that compound over time. Being outside more is an excellent way to prioritize wellness for you and your family.
Here are a few ideas to spend more time outdoors to practice earthing:
- Invest in outdoor furniture. Having a pretty + functional setup in your yard or outdoor space makes it more enjoyable to spend time outside.
- Start a bi-weekly ritual to eat outside. Free from distractions, you’ll spend more time savoring flavors + the richness of nutrition.
- Meet friends barefoot in the park. Why not make it a social event? Outdoor spaces that are well-maintained + free to access are great for earthing with friends. Lay out a blanket and stick those toes in the grass!
- Try combining forest bathing AND earthing for the ultimate zen-filled outing.
Earthing is possible in a variety of textures + environments, including:2
- Grass, Sand, Dirt + Soil
- Plants + Living Trees (Especially With Wet Bark)
- Gravel + Rock (That Is Touching The Earth)
- Unsealed Concrete (Or Coated With A Water-based Sealant)
- Unsealed Brick (Or Coated With A Water-based Sealant)
- Bodies Of Water (Like Oceans, Lakes, + Streams)
Wherever you are, it’s worth your time. But how much time should you spend earthing?
Try to Spend 30 min or More Each Day
It’s important to consider the fact that our ancestors were “grounded” 24/7, without excess positive charge from devices or technology. Any time you can practice earthing is beneficial, but the more you can do, the better.2
→ So, based on the science + what we know, how long should you spend grounded each day? Experts like Clint Ober say 30 minutes is the preferred minimum to see results.
Like all things in life – even if you can’t accommodate the full 30 min per day, do what you can! Every little bit counts. And even when you can’t make it outside, you’ve still got options. ;)
How to Practice Grounding Indoors
Sometimes technology can play to our advantage! There are a variety of innovative products that enable you to live your everyday life but still benefit from grounding and earthing practices. Win-win.
- Purchase a pair of earthing shoes. Yep, they exist! These shoes are made with natural materials that don’t block the negative charge of the earth. We love Raum’s selection of beautifully crafted grounding shoes.
Tip: Tied to your favorite shoes? Earth Runners makes a shoe syncing kit that you can install into your shoes to convert them into grounding shoes!
- Purchase an earthing grounding mat for your desk, bed, or chairs at home. This is a great option for someone who lives in cold weather most of the year or for the winter months when you can’t get outside barefoot.
Lessen Your Exposure to Positive Electric Charge
Holistic health is often about finding proactive ways to prevent sickness or inflammation. Since we know our bodies are exposed to an excess of positive electrical charge and radiation, you can find ways to lessen your exposure. Here are a few simple practices:
- Sleep with your phone in another room – or at least 8ft away.
- Wind down at night with a relaxing bath and a book instead of a TV show.
- Purchase EMF-blocking devices to minimize exposure (we love + trust Bon Charge products!)
See? Earthing IS possible, even with our cultural barriers. Sometimes technology and scientific advances are a blessing. We love that there are multiple ways to ground yourself to the earth.
Are You Ready to Get Grounded?
Fuller health + a vibrant life is less complicated than we make it out to be. We can’t help but find gratitude for all the ways the earth constantly provides us with healing modalities. And beyond the long list of medical benefits, the practice of earthing will pull you back into “you.” It realigns you with your most authentic self in every sense.
Earthing truly is an incredible way to care for yourself + your loved ones. Plus, it just makes you feel good to have more contact with the earth.
Enough talk about earthing – go experience the magic for yourself.
Get outside and see how you feel. We can almost guarantee your body will thank you.
- The Earthing Movie | Josh and Rebecca Tickell | A Big Picture Ranch Production | 2018
- Earthing.com | What is Earthing
- National Library of Medicine | The Effects of Grounding (Earthing) On Inflammation, the Immune Response, Wound Healing, and Prevention and Treatment of Chronic Inflammatory and Autoimmune Diseases
- National Library of Medicine | Grounding After Moderate Eccentric Contractions Reduces Muscle Damage
- National Library of Medicine | The Effects of Grounding (Earthing) on Bodyworkers’ Pain and Overall Quality of Life: A Randomized Controlled Trial
- National Library of Medicine | Earthing (Grounding) the Human Body Reduces Blood Viscosity—a Major Factor in Cardiovascular Disease
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