Earthing and Grounding refers to the idea that our bodies are meant to come into contact with the Earth in its natural state on a regular basis. Positive electrons in the form of free radicals can build up in our bodies and direct contact with the Earth, which is a negative charge, balances this out. Our bodies and cells have electrical energy, and with the high prevalence of electromagnetic waves, Wi-Fi and mobile phones, it becomes easy to have a high amount of positive electrons build up in our bodies. As human beings, we are designed to spend time outdoors, and again, this has changed significantly over the last several decades. We tend to spend a great deal of time indoors and in shoes, rarely getting out into nature barefoot. While the modern world exposes us to unhealthy free radicals which erodes our body’s natural energy, when we are by the sea, we feel energised and relaxed at the same time as our body delights in its natural environment.

In his book Earthing: The Most Important Health Discovery Ever? author Clint Ober tells a remarkable story of an elderly man who went from being completely bedridden with advanced rheumatoid arthritis to up and walking around in a matter of days. The only difference? He spent his nights sleeping connected to the Earth. The man continued to experience improvements, regaining basic abilities like being able to do household chores by himself.

It sounds like science fiction, but physically connecting your body to the Earth has real healing benefits, even the ability to heal chronic disease. This is called earthing, or grounding. And the story above is just one of hundreds of people that have improved their health by reconnecting to the ground.

Earthing, also called grounding, is the process of putting your body in direct contact with the earth — grass, soil, sand, bodies of water,  to achieve certain health benefits.

The idea is that humans are inherently electrical beings — we need electricity to beat our hearts, pump blood, and perform countless chemical reactions throughout the body. Being mostly water and minerals, we also make excellent conductors. And fortunately for us, we happen to be sitting on a massive source of electrical energy tuned to the exact frequency we need to remain calm, content, and healthy — the Earth.

Earth holds billions of free electrons that we are free to absorb as long as we are physically connected to the ground via skin contact. The Earth generates this electrical energy through thousands of lightning strikes, solar radiation, and deep energy generated from the inner core of the planet. The electrical intensity of the planet rises and falls with the sun, as do our energy levels.

Ancient civilizations, though they knew nothing about electrons, always recognized the healing power of the Earth. They were aware that human health coexisted with the cycles and resources of the planet. Qi (Chinese) and prana (Indian) are two energy sources that partially embody this idea.

When we are connected to nature, we often feel a sense of contentment and well-being that we rarely find anywhere else. That’s what receiving energy from the Earth feels like.

Earthing and Grounding Benefits

Earthing has real, research-backed benefits that include:

  • Reducing inflammation

  • Reducing pain, including chronic pain

  • Regulating the nervous system and cortisol levels

  • Protecting the body from disruptive electromagnetic fields (EMF)

  • Improving circulation

  • Improving blood flow

  • Restoring energy

  • Improving sleep

  • Faster wound healing

  • Regulating immunity

  • Improving mood

  • Reducing blood viscosity (lowering the risk of blood clots).

The one requirement to achieve these benefits is prolonged skin contact with the Earth. (Though thin layers of natural clothing, such as 100% cotton socks, don’t seem to hinder the connection much.) A recent study on the potential of carbon fibre plate shoes, aka “grounding shoes,” to improve running performance showed that runners experienced no difference in physiological or perceptual markers with the grounding shoes vs. regular training shoes.

This suggests that the brief moments of contact with the ground while running are not enough to stimulate the effects of grounding on the human body, even over a run time of 20 minutes. 

Prolonged skin contact with the Earth is necessary, typically at least a period of 15-20 minutes before you begin to experience noticeable benefits such as relaxation and pain relief. Typically, the longer you are connected, the more benefits you will experience, but everyone is different. Either way, those free electrons are going to work in your body as soon as you step onto the grass in your backyard.


Grounding with Water:

Ocean Meditation and the ‘Blue Mind’ Wallace J. Nichols, a marine biologist, has done extensive research on the ocean’s unique ability to induce a state of what he calls the “Blue Mind” in human beings. Blue Mind is a mildly meditative state characterized by calmness, peacefulness, unity, and a sense of general happiness and satisfaction with life in the moment. Nichols states that our brains are hardwired to react positively to water and that being near it can calm and connect us, increase innovation and insight, and heal us on a deep level.  The ocean gently lures and seduces us into a mildly meditative state of calm focus and awareness. When we are by the water, our brains are held in a state of what Nichols calls a “soft fascination;” the brain is relaxed but focused. This unique state of mindfulness has been proven to have a number of benefits from lowering stress levels to offering relief from mild anxiety, pain and depression, improving mental clarity and focus, and improving sleep quality.

Seawater has been used since antiquity for therapeutic purposes.

In 1838, the marine cure was recognized as therapeutic by the Academy of Medicine. Later, the French biologist René Quinton defended seawater as a major therapeutic agent and presented a new use, in subcutaneous injection. He was at the origin of what is now called Quinton’s plasma or marine plasma or Quinton’s water.

René Quinton is a biologist and physiologist who throughout his career sought to demonstrate that seawater and blood plasma display similarities in terms of trace elements and minerals. According to him the constitution of sea water is the same as that of our internal environment. The only difference is in the concentration of seawater, about 33g/L of total salts, while that of our blood and internal environment is 9g/L.



So whether you are walking on sand, swimming in the sea of sitting in your garden with your bare feet touching the earth, the healing effects are abundant and free. 


Blog based on an article by Bodybio

Photos by Isaac Taylor, Matt Hardy, and Edward Eyer from Pexels.