Earthing Benefits

Curious about the benefits of earthing?

Earthing impacts the whole body and individuals often report multiple health benefits such as stress reduction, more energy and better sleep.

Too often we put up with pain, constant stress or fatigue as part of daily life. Simple lifestyle changes like regular earthing can have a significant impact on your health and wellbeing.

Earthing Benefits List

Here are some of the health benefits based on scientific research on earthing from the past 15 years:

earthing outdoors

How much time does it take to experience the health benefits of Earthing?

Some people experience benefits from earthing very quickly, while for others it can take more time.

Generally speaking, more noticeable changes are likely if you have pain, stress, poor sleep or a long-standing health issues.

Even if you don’t notice anything, Earthing is still having an impact based on finding from research studies which measured skin conductance, blood chemistry and other physiological changes in groups who were earthing compared to those who were not. See earthing research.

Immediate Changes (within 4 seconds of Earthing)

  • Earthing calms the nervous system
  • Muscles start to relax and return to normal tension

30-120 minutes of Earthing daily

  • Stress reduction
  • Pain relief
  • Reduced inflammation
  • Improved heart rate variability
  • Blood flows more freely aiding circulation
  • Supports cardiovascular system and healthy blood pressure.
  • A more positive, relaxed mood

Earthing Overnight While You Sleep

  • All the benefits listed above
  • Deeper sleep
  • Fall asleep faster
  • Wake up less during the night or return to sleep faster after waking.
  • More energy during the day.
  • Less emotional stress.
  • Reduced pain including musculoskeletal pain, gastrointestinal problems, headaches, menstrual cramps and temporomandibular joint symptoms.
  • Less pain interfering with sleep.
  • Effectively reduce inflammation & free radicals in the body.
  • Shorter recovery time from muscular exertion
woman sleeping while earthing

Earthing Benefits Infographic

better earthing infographic

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Why Fighting Inflammation may be the Number 1 Health Benefit of Earthing

Inflammation is a natural and healthy response by the body to injury or infection. It is triggered by the immune system and plays an important role in the healing process. When you are injured or invaded by pathogens such as bacteria or viruses, your immune system releases molecules known as free radicals. These have the ability to destroy pathogens and help break down damaged tissues to aid the healing process.

This process leads to the classic symptoms of inflammation; redness, heat, swelling and pain. But the effects of inflammation go far beyond this. If inflammation fails to switch off, it can remain in the body long-term. Free radicals can begin to attack healthy tissues and cells which may lead to chronic disease.

In fact, inflammation has now been linked with a number of serious health conditions; obesity, cardiovascular disease, heart attacks, strokes, diabetes, depression and even some forms of cancer.

Earthing (as a natural antioxidant) helps resolve inflammation faster and minimises damage from free radicals.

How Earthing Fights Inflammation

When you connect with the earth, your body receives a dose of what are known as free electrons. These are negatively charged particles are plentiful on the earth’s surface, and are created via atmospheric pressure and lightning strikes all around the globe.

Free radicals are positively charged. They are missing an electron from their surface, and in an effort to become stable (neutral) they “steal” an electron from another molecule. This triggers a chain reaction which is how free radicals cause widespread inflammation, damaging tissues and cells.

When a positively charged free radical meets a negatively charged free electron, they bond to become neutral. This stops the chain reaction in its tracks. This works in much the same way as antioxidants which we can get from dietary sources such as blueberries and green tea.

When the free radicals’ chain reaction is stopped, inflammation reduces. In turn, this may reduce the risk of serious disease.

Earthing Benefits for Sleep

Earthing is known to regulate your natural diurnal rhythms or your sleep-wake cycle. It has been shown to regulate levels of cortisol. This is a hormone which is associated with stress. It also has the function of waking you up in the morning and keeping you alert throughout the day.

Cortisol secretion should be at its peak at 8 am and gradually fall as the day goes on. However, sometimes this natural cycle can be disrupted, often due to chronic stress. This results in high night-time cortisol levels, difficulty falling asleep and waking during the night.

In a 2004 study published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, 12 subjects had their daily cortisol profiles measured before earthing and again after sleeping with an indoor earthing system for six weeks. It found that cortisol levels returned to a more normal 24-hour profile after earthing. The subjects also reported falling asleep more easily and waking fewer times during the night.

Earthing Benefits for your Immune System

The 2011 study Earthing the Human Body Influences Physiologic Processes measured the effects of earthing on a number of physiological functions including the immune system. 32 subjects were given a dose of typhoid vaccine and tetanus toxoid and monitored over the course of four days.

Between days 3 and 4, half of the subjects were earthed overnight, while the other half were sham-earthed. The subjects did not know which group they were assigned to.

After seven hours earthing overnight, the subjects in the earthed group had increased levels of y-globulins, proteins made by the liver and immune system in response to the vaccine, showing a faster immune response.

Earthing Benefits for Pain

The root cause of most types of pain is inflammation. This includes joint pain such as arthritis, back pain, strains and sprains. By reducing inflammation, earthing also has the effect of relieving pain.

In his series of 20 case studies, Dr William Amalu looked at the effects of earthing on inflammation and pain using medical thermography. This technique allows us to view areas of inflammation and poor circulation within the body as an image. The subjects of these case studies had various types of pain ranging from back pain and knee pain to unhealed wounds.

In all cases, earthing reduced areas of inflammation within the subjects’ bodies resulting in a reduction in pain and other symptoms.

Earthing Benefits for Stress

Earthing can reduce stress due to its effects on the central nervous system. It triggers a shift from the sympathetic, “fight or flight” branch of our nervous systems, to the parasympathetic branch which is responsible for rest, relaxation and recuperation.

There have been two published studies that have looked at various measures of central nervous system activity and emotional stress.

The first study, published in Integrative Medicine, used heart rate variability (HRV) as a measure of parasympathetic nervous system activity. It found that just 40 minutes of earthing improved HRV, indicating increased relaxation and decreased stress.

The second study, published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, found that skin conductance (a measure of activity in the sympathetic nervous system) reduced immediately on earthing. It also found that respiratory rate increased during earthing and blood oxygenation decreased after earthing was discontinued. No significant differences were observed for pulse rate or perfusion rate.

The findings on skin conductance are of particular interest as they indicate a shift from sympathetic to parasympathetic activity within just a few seconds of earthing.

Earthing Benefits for Blood Circulation

Earthing has also been shown to reduce blood viscosity and improve circulation. It does this by increasing the negative charge of red blood cells, also known as zeta potential. This negative charge causes red blood cells to repel one another, much like a pair of magnets. This stops them from clumping together, meaning that blood is thinner and flows more easily in the vessels. This, in turn, reduces the risk of conditions such as high blood pressure, heart attacks and strokes.

In a 2013 study published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, 10 healthy subjects had the zeta potential of their red blood cells measured before and after two hours of earthing. After earthing, it was found that the subjects’ blood had more clusters of one or two red blood cells and fewer clusters of three or four. This indicates an improved zeta potential and reduced blood viscosity.

Earthing Benefits for Recovery from Injury and Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness

Earthing can also help to speed up recovery time and relieve DOMs (delayed onset muscle soreness.). DOMs is a common condition which can occur following excessive exercise due to increased levels of inflammation.

The 2010 Pilot Study on the Effect of Grounding on Delayed-Onset Muscle Soreness took eight healthy subjects and exposed them to unfamiliar, vigorous exercise to produce DOMs. Half of the subjects were earthed, both overnight and during the day, and the other half were sham-earthed.

A total of 48 biological markers were tested before and after earthing as a measure of inflammation. The study found consistent differences in 30 of these markers between the two groups following earthing. The earthed subjects also reported reduced pain and faster recovery time compared with those who were sham-earthed.

Jeff Spencer, a chiropractor working with many top athletes also recommends earthing as a tool to help speed up recovery in his clients including competitors in the gruelling Tour de France. He says:

“My observations and feedback enable me to say, without any reservation, that Earthing is an indispensable healing and recovery tool, something even beyond significant, for any treatment or recovery regimen as it relates to injury, surgery, and maximum athletic performance.”

Earthing Benefits for Glucose or Blood Sugar Regulation

Earthing also helps to regulate blood glucose levels as shown in the study Earthing the Human Body Influences Physiologic Processes. 12 patients with type 2 diabetes were either earthed or sham-earthed continuously for 72 hours.

By the end of the trial, the patients in the earthing group had significantly reduced fasting glucose levels indicating better blood sugar regulation. This shows that continuous earthing of the human body decreases blood glucose in patients with diabetes and could be a valuable weapon in the battle against this common disease.

Earthing Benefits for Cardiovascular Function

Earthing can also help to improve cardiovascular function, reducing the risk of heart attacks and strokes. This is due to its ability to reduce inflammation, improve circulation and improve heart rate variability (HRV).

HRV has been strongly linked with cardiovascular disease along with other factors such as obesity, smoking and stress. Poor HRV is indicative of increased activity in the sympathetic branch of the nervous system which can put extra strain on the heart.

A 2013 study published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine found that just 40 minutes of earthing improved HRV significantly. The authors state:

“This study showed a positive trend in HRV that kept improving all the way to the end of the 40-minute period of grounding, suggesting a greater benefit with time.”

Earthing Benefits for Bone Density

Healthy bone density relies on the balance of a number of minerals, especially calcium, within our bodies. If we do not have enough calcium, our bones will become weak and brittle resulting in an increased risk of fractures and conditions such as osteoporosis.

The study Earthing the Human Body Influences Physiologic Processes looked at the effects of earthing on the levels of calcium, phosphorus and iron in the blood. In this experiment, 84 subjects were randomly assigned to two groups – earthing and sham-earthing.

After sleeping earthed for eight hours, those in the earthing group had decreased serum levels of all three minerals. This is thought to be due to a decrease in excretion by the kidneys while earthing overnight.

What Earthing Benefits Might I Experience in the First Week?

Initial benefits may include a feeling of relaxation or less stress. Some people experience tingling feeling or a sensation of warmth. Others may not notice anything at all.

After 4 seconds of earthing, your nervous system is calmed and your muscles begin to relax according to the study ‘Changes in Pulse Rate, Respiratory Rate, Blood Oxygenation, Perfusion Index, Skin Conductance, and Their Variability Induced During and After Grounding Human Subjects for 40 Minutes’.

30 minutes to two hours of daily earthing provides improved circulation (according to one study on blood viscosity), it also helped positive a more positive mood (earthing and mood study).

You may also start to notice a decrease in pain, although this depends upon your individual situation. For more on earthing and pain relief.

What Earthing Benefits am I likely to experience in the first 1-2 Months?

The benefits of earthing longer term are the same as above.

When sleeping while earthed additional benefits can be experienced including the following (taken from the study The biologic effects of grounding the human body during sleep as measured by cortisol levels and subjective reporting of sleep, pain, and stress.):

  • Deeper sleep, falling asleep faster
  • Waking up less during the night or returning to sleep faster after waking
  • More energy during the day
  • Less emotional stress
  • Reduced pain including musculoskeletal pain, gastrointestinal problems, headaches, menstrual cramps and temporomandibular joint symptoms
  • Less pain interfering with sleep

What Benefits Might I Experience After a Year of Regular Earthing?

Although there are currently no longitudinal studies of earthing benefits, anecdotal evidence points to regular, long-term earthing providing:

  • Better ability to cope with stress
  • More energy to pursue goals
  • Continuation of pain relief and improved sleep

You can experience earthing for yourself by simply kicking off your shoes and walking barefoot on the green grass of a park or wet sand at the beach. Or you can bring earthing home with one of our indoor earthing products which provides a convenient solution to daily earthing while you work, rest or sleep.

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