How Can Grounding or Earthing Improve Your Health?

by Weik, BS, CSCS, CPT, CSN

To be with nature is to be at peace. Grounding (also commonly referred to as earthing) refers to the therapeutic methods that connect our body to the natural electrical properties of the Earth for many health benefits. It may sound too philosophical at first, but the science behind grounding is quite exciting and logical.

The Earth is full of free electrons (negatively charged), and when that connects to your body, it neutralizes free radicals, which provide antioxidant and immune-boosting properties.

“Heaven is under our feet as well as over our heads.”
—Henry David Thoreau

Grounding is a therapeutic technique that depends on earthing science and grounding physics to show how electrical charges from the Earth can have useful effects on your body.

In this article, we will discuss the science behind grounding and earthing and help uncover the many health benefits you may experience through its use. While this may seem a little too good to be true for something so simple, a quick search online will showcase more than enough people who swear by it enough to make you want to give it a try (and all it costs is your time).

Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes and is not meant to treat or diagnose any condition. It is recommended that you speak with your doctor before adding any health or fitness tools to your regimen to ensure they are safe for you to use.

What is Grounding?

Grounding, in the most literal sense, means you are grounded in nature. It is the direct contact of the skin on our hands or our bare feet on the surface of the Earth. We are all living beings on this planet, and it is fascinating that people around the world, from various cultures and countries, are connecting their bodies to the natural electrical charge of the Earth. That makes us all equal and connected to our Mother Earth.

It can be as simple as regularly walking barefoot outdoors, swimming in natural bodies of water, and lying on a beach reading a good book.

You can also practice earthing and grounding indoors with the use of inexpensive grounding systems, which include pads, patches, and sheets that connect to the grounding socket of our household electrical circuit. Besides the “connect to nature” aspect, there are many science-backed benefits of grounding or earthing that you should know.

The Health Benefits of Grounding or Earthing

Let’s step into the science-backed benefits of grounding and earthing to better understand how this practice can improve your overall health.

1.      Grounding helps you sleep better

Grounding helps you sleep better at night as it aids in normalizing stress hormones, and it can even reduce hot flashes.

According to a study in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, participants with sleep disorders slept under a cotton sheet with conductive carbon threads woven into it. The cotton sheet was connected to a wire that led to a metal rod set into the ground/earth outside. The participants slept better when grounded and were shown to have less pain and stress.

2.      Improved cardiovascular health

Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death around the world. In recent years, grounding has gained some popularity as a natural remedy for improving cardiac health, especially heart rate variability.

According to a study, 10 healthy participants were grounded with patches on the palms of their hands and soles of their feet. Blood measurements were taken before and after the experiment to determine any changes in red blood fluidity, which plays an important role in cardiac health. The results from the grounding study showed significantly less red blood cell clumping post the experiment, which indicates benefits for cardiovascular health.

3.      Grounding reduces pain

Grounding after any injury can lower or even prevent the hallmark signs of inflammation, such as heat, redness, pain, swelling, and loss of function. Researchers have stated expedited recovery of painful chronic inflammation with the use of medical infrared imaging. Earthing after working out also helps you to speed up the recovery process.

Exercising causes acute inflammation that can turn chronic if uncontrolled. The good news for those who work out is that grounding can aid in faster recovery.

In a study, participants who used grounding patches and slept on earthing sheets experienced less pain and inflammation compared to a placebo group. Moreover, their immune system and healing process showed improvements with reduced inflammatory markers.

4.      Improves mood

When the body experiences chronic inflammation, it can directly impact cognition. This often leads to brain fog, fatigue, irritability, and difficulties with mood, memory, and mental processing. Grounding or earthing can be a powerful method to combat this issue.

By utilizing the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of electrons through grounding, it helps maintain normal brain function. Regular earthing can help reduce chronic systemic inflammation, leading to a life with fewer neurological impairments and improved overall well-being.

Recent research on grounding has shown promising results in pain reduction and mood improvement. The study involved 16 massage therapists who alternated between periods of grounding and no grounding.

Before the grounding therapy, massage therapists commonly experienced physical and emotional stress, along with pain, due to the demanding nature of their work. However, after participating in earthing therapy, the participants reported significant reductions in pain, stress, depression, and fatigue. This indicates that grounding can be an effective tool to alleviate these common side effects of physically demanding jobs, providing potential benefits for overall well-being and mental health.