What is Earthing or Grounding and How Does It Work?
When did you last walk barefoot on the beach or on green grass? Can you recall the feeling sensation of warmth or wellbeing?
That’s the earth’s subtle, natural energy flowing up through the soles of your feet.
What is Earthing?
Earthing or grounding is being in conductive contact with the earth’s surface. The subtle negative energy can rebalance our body’s systems.
It is a surprisingly powerful way to reduce pain and inflammation, sleep better, improve circulation and normalise blood pressure.
The health benefits can be far-reaching because earthing supports your body’s ability to heal itself.
It enhances immune response, reduces inflammation and speeds recovery from injury.
Download our ebook pdf to find out more.
Why Try Earthing or Grounding?
There is a 20-year body of research including 18 studies and 3 review articles in peer-reviewed journals. Many of these studies are double-blind. They use objective tests to measure the participant’s physical response .
These studies show positive results for:
- Improved sleep
- Stress reduction
- Pain relief
- Better blood circulation
- Immune support
- Balanced cortisol levels, especially at night
- Improved cardiovascular function
- Reduced inflammation
- Normalised muscle tension
- Faster recovery from muscular strain
- Increased levels of energy during the day
- Reduced free radicals in the body
Earthing has always been around, and yet we’ve overlooked it.
Many ancient peoples believe in the healing power of the earth – including Egyptians, Indigenous Australians, and Native American Indians. In the 19th century, German physiotherapist and naturalist Sebastian Kneipp argued that walking barefoot could help avoid disease.
How Does Earthing Work?
You can think of the Earth as being like a giant battery that supports life on this planet.
Connecting to mother earth helps us top up on energy and rebalance our body’s systems, which are by nature bioelectrical.
The earth’s surface has a subtle, negative electrical charge due to lightning strikes and atmospheric pressure. On an atomic level, it is full of free electrons – the smallest unit of negative charge.
According to a report in the Journal of Environmental and Public Health:
“It is an established, though not widely appreciated fact that the Earth’s surface possesses a limitless and continuously renewed supply of free or mobile electrons. The Earth’s negative charge can create a stable internal bioelectrical environment for the normal functioning of all body systems which may be important for setting the biological clock, regulating circadian rhythms, and balancing cortisol levels.”
It can help keep our body’s bioelectrical systems functioning smoothly.
We rarely think of our bodies as being electrical, but they are. Your heartbeat and your nervous system rely on electrical impulses.
Our heartbeat starts as an impulse or electrical signal in specialised cells called the SA node. This electrical impulse spreads along the walls of the atrium, causing it to contract and let blood into the chamber of the heart.
This is just one of many bioelectrical processes that are happening in your body right now. Just by reading this the nerve endings in your eyes are sending electrical signals to your brain. All the while, your lungs are breathing, your heart is beating and your food is digesting!
Earthing is grounding your body to the surface of the earth. When you are in conductive contact with the earth, its natural, gentle electrical energy stabilises your body’s bioelectrical systems. The benefits are far-reaching due to the reduction of inflammation and free radicals associated with disease.
Grounding, Inflammation and Free Radicals
You have likely heard of free radicals in relation to disease or toxins in our environment or disease.
Actually, all your body’s normal processes – breathing, pumping blood around your body, digesting – create free radicals. That’s why free radicals have been linked to ageing.
Negative energy from the earth (in the form of free electrons) may counter the accumulation of free radicals in our body according to a report in the Journal of Environmental and Public Health.
Free radicals lack an electron and are on a constant lookout for free electrons to nullify their positive charge. Read more in our article on earthing and antioxidants explained.
Sadly, your body cannot eliminate all the free radicals by itself. You can help it out with by eating antioxidant foods like blueberries or by taking supplements like Vitamin E. However, it is hard to keep up with the rapid production of free radicals inside your body.
When your body is in conductive contact with the earth, excess positive free radicals are neutralised by negatively charged free electrons. Positive + negative = neutral.
This gently stabilises your body’s systems.
Almost all modern diseases now linked to inflammation, Arthritis, Alzheimer’s, Asthama, Cardiovascular Disease, Cancer, Diabetes, Dementia, Depression, Eczema and more. So it is more important than ever to adopt a healthy lifestyle that minimizes inflammation.
Planet earth is a huge natural, anti-inflammatory.
Being in contact with the earth may be as important as sunshine or clean air for our health.
What Grounding is Not
Grounding is not a fad nor a magic remedy.
It is not a medicine or a supplement that you have to remember to take or swallow every day for months before you notice any effect.
Earthing is a safe and healthy lifestyle practice that can have a transformative effect on your health.
If you have a medical condition and are on blood-thinning medication, consult with your doctor before starting earthing regularly. earthing is a natural blood thinner and it may be necessary to reduce your medication dosage.
Grounding for Health – The Missing Link
Our earliest ancestors were grounded as they walked, sat, and slept. They walked barefoot. They slept on animal hides. They used natural conductive materials like leather, clay, metal, animal skins and stone.
Our modern lifestyle has taken us away from the earth.
Today we live in high-rise buildings. We wear rubber-soled shoes (instead of leather). We are surrounded by insulating materials such as plastics, synthetics, tar, asphalt that disconnect us from the earth.
We deprived ourselves of the free electrons in the earth’s natural electric field, the nourishment that is right beneath our feet.
More and more we are exposed to EMF radiation from wifi, mobile phones, household appliances, electrical substations and more.
Researchers have repeatedly linked the rise in diseases in recent years to environmental factors. Could our disconnect from the earth be the cause?
How Do I Get Started?
The easiest way is to simply kick off your shoes and walk barefoot outside.
Green grass or moist sand at the beach is perfect. Moist ground is more conductive than dry sand or dry dirt. The beach is one of the best places to ground yourself as the combination of sand and saltwater is highly conductive.
Ceramic tiles, unpainted concrete and brick (when laid directly on the earth) are also conductive surfaces. They also allow the human body to earth effectively.
Research suggests that your body experiences changes within four seconds of grounding. Tense muscles relax and the nervous system calms down. After 30-minutes, you may feel less stress, less pain. You may also experience more warmth in your hands and feet caused by better blood circulation. Take a look at other physical effects of earthing.
You can ground yourself indoors (either at home or at the office) using an especially designed product.
This is just as effective as grounding outdoors. And it is much easier to get more hours of earthing this way.
You can ground for eight hours overnight as you sleep or seven hours work in the office within an indoor product.
This is especially convenient during cooler months when the weather is too cool for walking barefoot outdoors. You can choose products for your bed, sofa or office or start with our versatile earthing pad that you can use in all three.
How Do Indoor Earthing Grounding Products Work?
Made using conductive materials, indoor earthing products connect to the ground outside via a cord or lead in one of two ways.
1/ You can use a grounding rod or metal stake planted in the dirt outside. We supply a 15metre UV resistant outdoor lead with our grounding rod kits. You can use a splitter to connect multiple products to a single rod. However, this may not be convenient if you live in an apartment or multi-storey home.
2/ An easier option is to use our specially designed earthing adapter and lead. The adapter has a metal pin that fits into the third ‘earth’ port of your power point. It conducts earth, not electricity. It allows free electrons from the earth to flow right up through the grounding wire into your earthing product.
Common questions people ask about earthing indoors.
1) Is it safe to ground myself via the power point?
Yes, it is but only if you are using an especially designed earthing adapter.
Better Earthing adapters have two plastic prongs at the top so no electrical current can pass through. Only the third ‘earth’ pin is metal to allow free electrons to pass through.
Furthermore, Better Earthing adapter and leads have built-in safety resistors totalling 60,000 ohms. This means barely a mosquito bite of electricity could pass through, even in the event of a power surge.
2) Does the power need to be switched on?
No, earthing products work perfectly with the power point turned off. That’s because they only conduct free electrons from the earth. However, you can have the power point switched on if you wish to share the socket with an electrical appliance. You can even use a double adapter or powerboard.
A Closer Look at Electricity in the Home
You may have heard of grounding in relation to electricity, where it is a safety mechanism.
In Australia and New Zealand, all buildings including grounding by law. Every power point has three wires — one positive, one neutral (on the top two ports) and one for grounding (third port).
The positive wire is where the electricity flows to the breaker and to the transmission pole and transformer. The neutral wire is where the electric current will flow to the metal bar in the breaker panel. It then flows to the same transmission pole and transformer.
No electricity flows through the ground wire. The ground wire is connected to the ground bar in the breaker panel. This wire is also connected to a neutral bar and wired to a ground rod outside.
In the case of an electrical surge or wiring fault, the excess electrical current goes immediately to the circuit breaker. It then gets sent back to the earth. It is not possible for that excess current to go up the grounding port of the power point.
Say there was a power surge up the earth wiring (this is highly unlikely). The built-in safety resistors in the lead and adapter (totalling 60,000 ohms) stop any electricity from coming into your product. Barely a mosquito bite of electricity could pass through. You can rest easy knowing that these products are safe to use.
How to Know if Your Indoor Earthing Grounding Products are Working Properly?
The best way to test if you are properly grounded is to use a multimeter. You can use this tool to measure your body voltage. It can determine how much electric current is being induced on you while sitting or standing. This charge decreases when you are earthing.
Watch Peter, Better Earthing founder and owner, doing a multimeter test.
Does Earthing Indoors Increase your Exposure to EMFs or Dirty Electricity?
One of the most concerns people have about using earthing products is that it may increase our exposure to EMFs or dirty electricity.
Short for electromagnetic fields, EMFs are energy areas around electronic devices, wiring, powerlines, mobile phones, solar transducers and more.
The human body is bioelectrical. Our heart, brain and other organs in the body function via tiny electrical impulses. Excessive exposure to EMFs can interfere with our body’s normal functioning. Symptoms can appear, such as fatigue, sleep disturbances, pains, depression, and even cellular damage.
One way to protect yourself from this toxic onslaught is Earthing.
Research shows that earthing shields the body from low-frequency A/C electrical EMFs. These include EMFs from your air conditioner, fridge, hairdryer, computer and more. When you are earthing, the levels of A/C electrical EMFs in homes are too low to produce negative effects on the human body.
The most important benefit of earthing is that it supports your body’s innate healing systems. So that you can thrive in our increasingly urban and EMF dense world.
All of the research on earthing has been done in urban environments, where the participants were surrounded by EMFs. This includes the medical testing equipment that was directly placed on the subject. For example, the electrode patches used in ECG monitoring.
And yet, as Dr Laura Koniver has recently argued, in these EMF laden research environments, these participants experienced better blood circulation, less pain, improved mood, reduced muscle tension. In time, hormones can rebalance, blood sugars stabilises, and quality of sleep improves.
These experiences have been echoed in the countless reviews and testimonials from people living in suburban, rural and city environments around the globe.
Earthing your body is a smart practice and could help give you an edge on healing.
How to Make Earthing Grounding Part of a Healthy Lifestyle
If you enjoy walking outdoors, just skip the footwear and go barefoot.
Or choose the convenience of an indoor product that you can use at your desk, or on your sofa or in bed. That way, you can ground yourself while working, relaxing or sleeping.
Having the earth’s healing energy as part of your daily life can help with a raft of health problems, whether serious or mild. The more you do it, the more benefits you are likely to feel. Try it for yourself and see if Mother Earth boosts your health and wellbeing.