What is Grounding?

Most of us have heard the expression “keep your feet on the ground.” While it’s meant to be figurative as a reminder to be practical, it may actually have a literal meaning as well. Grounding, also known as earthing, is what kids do naturally. Every time we stand barefoot in the grass or on a sandy beach, we’re engaging in the practice of reconnecting the body with the healing properties of our planet.

The science of grounding proposes that direct physical contact with electrons on the planet’s surface may enhance wellbeing. We can accomplish this in many ways, such as walking barefoot, swimming in a natural body of water, or lying directly on the sand or grass. There is also equipment we can purchase—like grounding mats, beds, shoes, and socks—to help us connect to the earth’s electrical currents. However, the simplest and safest way to practice grounding is via direct skin-to-earth contact.

People using these techniques have reported pain and stress reduction as well as improvement in quality of sleep. Studies have also shown lowered blood pressure following long-term grounding. As little as an hour of grounding may even help alleviate some depression and anxiety. Of course, it’s not the entire answer, but grounding has been shown to help people suffering from these issues.

While planet earth generates the electrons, many of our modern electronic devices disrupt the body’s natural communication with the earth. This is why simply walking barefoot or using the grounding mats, beds, or shoes can help us reconnect to the electrons flowing freely beneath our feet. Touching hands to the soil while gardening may also give a beneficial boost. Natural fibers, such as cotton and leather, don’t interfere with grounding. On the other hand, rubber, plastic, synthetic fabrics, asphalt, carpets, and vinyl tend to block this energy.

Since our planet’s surface emits a negative charge, these electrons may neutralize harmful free radicals within the body. Just as we consume antioxidants to maintain a healthy body, we may also gain positive effects through direct contact with the earth itself. Walking barefoot on dirt, grass, and sand seems to work best. Experiment for yourself. While spending more time in direct contact with the earth may prove addictive, it’s undoubtedly a great habit to form.