Science proves grounding is good for you
Did you know that the simple act of putting the sole of your bare feet on the earth a few times a week is way you can support yourself to sleep better and live well?
Getting skin-to-skin contact with the surface of the Earth helps our bodies tap into its vast supply of electrons.
This is a practice known as grounding or earthing.
We can bring the health benefits of grounding into our lives by heading to park and choosing to take off our shoes during our lunch break to get our feet in the grass. Or by walking bare foot on the sand. Or swimming in an ocean or river.
Science proves having a regular grounding or earthing practice (ie. doing it a few times a week) can support us to sleep better, reduce physical pain and improve emotional health.
I’ve been actively grounding myself for the last seven years by either walking bare foot, lying in the grass or swimming at least once a week. I notice it most when I stop grounding. I feel out of sorts and unstable in my emotions.
That’s why I’m encouraging you to bring this free healthy practice into your week.
How does grounding work?
It’s all about physics. The Earth is full of electrical charges called positive and negative ions. In our modern day world, we are exposed to more negative ions than humans have ever been before. This is because we tend to live in cities that have a lot of light, noise and air pollution. Thanks to the wonders of technology (which is great, but also a bit of an Achille’s heel), there are more electromagnetic fields (EMFs) that our bodies absorb.
This leads to a build of negative ions in the body. And just like an EV, we need to be re-charged. We need a balance of both negative and positive ions.
That’s how grounding works. When you get direct physical contact with the ground, you can absorb its positive electrical charge.
This supports the body’s natural defences to get a boost (just like an electric car gets a charge). When we get his boost, the electrical connectivity functions in a similar way to eating antioxidant-rich foods. In short, it supports the health of the immune system.
Why is grounding good for me?
Up until recently grounding physics in humans has been an under-researched area in science. But new studies are proving what we know from the experience of grounding.
Physically, it helps to reduce inflammation, protect us from cardiovascular disease by increasing circulation. It also helps alleviate muscle fatigue and chronic pain. It is also an excellent way to support the production of healthy immune cells.
Emotionally, grounding supports our health by helping us to sleep better and experience more regulated moods.
As mentioned earlier, modern lifestyle separates humans from regular contact with the ground. The research suggests that this disconnect may be a major contributor to physiological dysfunction and unwellness. Reconnection with the Earth's electrons has been found to promote intriguing physiological changes and subjective reports of well-being.
How do I practice grounding?
This is the bit we love at Good For You. Grounding is a practice that is totally free. Especially in beautiful Aotearoa, where we are not ever far from a patch of grass or a river or ocean to paddle our feet in.
To absorb positive ions, you just need to get your skin in contact with the ground or the water. I’m lucky enough to live close to the beach so when I take my dogs, I walk bare foot and make a conscious effort to get my toes wet while I’m roaming.
If you don’t sleep well, you can also harness the benefits of grounding indoors. You do this by using earthing or grounding sheets on your bed. These are connected to a conductive system that transfers the electrons from the ground to your body.
Other ways you can practice grounding indoors when you’re working (great if you experience physical pain from sitting at a desk) is to use a grounding mat on your office chair.
What I know to be true from practicing grounding myself is that it’s an easy way to bring my emotions back to equilibrium. Recently, we experienced a really tragic passing of a friend and, during that first week of processing the grief, I made an effort to put my feet on the ground (even when I didn’t feel like doing much at all). This helped me literally get grounded again and to be able to cope with the overwhelming sadness I felt.
There’s no doubt that over the coming years more studies will prove the physiological benefits of grounding.
Next time you’re at the beach, I encourage you to kick your shoes off and go barefoot or eat your lunch in the grass a few times a week.
Five good ways to practice grounding
- Go to the beach – With 15,000km of coastline in New Zealand, most of us have a beach close by that we love to walk on. Next time you go, ditch the shoes at the car and walk barefoot to experience skin-to-skin contact with the sand.
- Paddle in a lake or the ocean – Even if the temperature is freezing, you can still kick off your shoes and give your toes a dip in a lake, river or ocean to absorb positive ions.
- Eat your lunch in the park – When I worked full-time in the city, this was my favourite way to get some grounding a few times a week. I’d head to a patch of grass in Britomart in downtown Auckland, take my socks and shoes off and eat with my feet planted firmly on the ground. It was always a productive afternoon when I practiced this.
- Sleep on earthing sheets – You can buy special grounding sheets that have a wire, which connects your bed to the ground. This is a really beneficial investment if you struggle with insomnia.
- Use a grounding mat on your office chair– Want to experience the benefits of grounding while working? Use a grounding mat on your office chair. It works in a similar way to earthing sheets and is a practical option, if you live in an apartment or city and can’t get into nature often.
Like the healthy tips and tricks you've read in this blog, why not go and check out our book? It's packed full of things that we do or have tried that we hope you will find Good For You.