What on Earth is Earthing?

by AngelaJohnson

Do you ever take your shoes off and walk on a grass lawn, a sandy beach, or wiggle your feet in the mud? If not, you might want to learn about Earthing.

Earthing (also called grounding) is a new health practice that encourages people to use the earth's natural energy (the ground) to improve their health. According to earthing theory, our bodies (skin) need to touch the earth rather than only touching carpet, rubber, foam, plastic, and other synthetic materials.

Earthing has only been studied about 20 years. That's not a long time when you consider other health practices such as yoga, t'ai chi or QiGong. But small studies show participants get better sleep, have less pain, reduced stress and tension, and better immune function compared to those who weren't grounded.

It's easy to practice earthing; just walk barefoot outdoors whenever possible. If you can't do that, you can use grounded earthing sheets or mats to have contact with your bare skin.

Feet in mud
Feet in mud

About Earthing / Grounding

The terms "earthing" and "grounding" are interchangeable

The Earth Provides Us With Healthful Electrons

Our homes and offices today are filled with electronic devices, wireless connections, microwaves, fluorescent bulbs, microwaves, cell phones and cell towers, power lines, domestic wiring, and electrical appliances, which makes our bodies have a positive charge.

And many of us live and work in high-rise apartments and offices. With more distance between us and the earth, our body carries an even higher charge. 

New research shows that the lack of electrons in our bodies may be what's causing an increase in chronic pain, inflammation and other modern health issues.  

The earth’s surface is negatively charged, full of free electrons we can absorb by earthing.

EARTHING is the practice of touching your skin to the earth, such as grass, sand, dirt, mud, a river, lake, or ocean.

DIFFERENT WAYS TO EARTH:

Garden - Take your gardening gloves off (unless you're working with something prickly).  Planting and moving the dirt around will help you earth.  If the ground is smooth with no stickers, garden barefoot.  You might even create a special earthing garden; somewhere to walk barefoot or even just a bench to sit on with your feet on the ground.

Trees - as long as the tree is growing from the ground and not in a pot, you can use it to earth  Lean against a tree, hold onto the branches or hug the trunk with your bare hands or arms.  

Beaches - Walk barefoot or lie directly on the sand.  Walking in wet sand is even better. 

Grass lawns - Walk barefoot or lie in the grass (some part of your skin needs to be bare.  Again, wet grass is better; I love walking in the grass early in the morning when dew is still on the ground. 

Clay - One person on the Earthing Forum says he keeps a small tub of real clay on hand when he can't walk barefoot outdoors. He pulls out some clay, kneading it over and over again, adding water as needed.  Whether this works as an earthing method or not, it certainly would be therapeutic. 

If you can't find any clay from the ground, you might have a hard time finding any "real" clay to buy.  I've spent some time looking at art supply companies online and all I can find are synthetic clays. Perhaps you can dig some dirt out of your yard, put it in a bucket, add water, and create mud.   

walking along beach
walking along beach

What Surfaces Will Ground You Properly?

(Earthing is also called Grounding)

Some good grounding surfaces:

  • A sandy beach
  • Grass (moist or wet is best)
  • Bare soil and mud
  • Concrete and brick (as long as it's not painted or sealed)
  • Ceramic tile
  • Rocks and gravel

 

Surfaces that WON'T ground you:

  • Asphalt
  • Wood
  • Rubber and plastic vinyl
  • Tar or tarmac

Other ways to ground yourself:

  • Swimming in the ocean, lakes, or streams 
  • Stop using gloves and garden with bare hands
  • Lay on the ground, making sure to expose some skin
  • Hug a tree with bare arms
  • Wear natural leather-soled shoes or moccasins instead of shoes with synthetic shoes
  • Wear conductive-soled shoes
  • Use conductive Earthing sheets and mats indoors

A Book that Explains Earthing (Grounding)

(I've read this book and it's quite interesting).
Earthing: The Most Important Health Discovery Ever! - 2nd edition
$19.95  $9.00

The Barefoot Revolution

In this video, Dr. Sinatra discusses "grounding," or "Earthing," the direct and indirect means of improving health by absorbing the earth's natural, electromagnetic energy.

Earthing / Grounding Products

New Earthing Starter Kit

The popular new starter kit features a money-saving combination of Earthing throw to use on your bed when you sleep, an Earthing universal mat for use elsewhere in your home or ...

Only $199.99

View on Amazon

Ground Smart Earthing Mat - Black Technology (With Free Body Band); Universal Earthing Grounding ...

The Problem The simple act of touching your bare feet to the ground outdoors is enough to give you the amazing benefits of earthing. However, unless you have a primitive lifesty...

$69.99  $59.99

View on Amazon

Earthing Universal Mat with Cover Kit

The Earthing universal mat can be used on top of a desk under your keyboard and mouse, or under your desk with bare feet contact. Package contains the following: Conductive Eart...

Only $59.99

View on Amazon

Feet Have More Nerve Endings per Square Inch Than Any Other Part of Our Body

feet
feet

Walking on the Earth

barefoot girl walking in water

If you're not used to walking barefoot, the bottoms of your feet will be tender.  You could start by setting up a folding chair and wiggle your feet in the grass or earth (pour some water on the ground for a better effect).  

Then try standing up and taking a few steps.  If the bottoms of your feet hurt, sit back down and move your feet through the grass / earth some more.  If that's boring, "march" your feet up and down while sitting still to get a little more exercise and acclimate your feet to the earth.

 

Can Pets Benefit From Earthing?

Have you ever seen dogs roll in the grass as soon as you let them outdoors?  This obviously feels good and perhaps they instinctively know it's good for them.

If your pet doesn't have access to grass, perhaps it could benefit from an earthing mat.

Dog rolling in grass
Dog rolling in grass

A Few Cautions About Earthing

People react differently to earthing; some even feeling WORSE. This may be similar to when someone detoxes.  Stop earthing for a while and try again.

Dr. Stephen Sinatra (prominent cardiologist) doesn't recommend earthing for patients taking the drug, Coumadin. This article explains his views on earthing (grounding).    

If you walk barefoot outdoors, make sure you walk in a safe environment and the ground is free of broken glass or other contaminants. Also watch out for thorns, rocks, acorns, dog feces, fire ants, scorpions, and other small stinging critters. 

Just because an electrical outlet has a three-prong plug doesn't automatically mean that it was properly installed. Use a circuit checker to find out if the outlet is properly grounded.  

Some people state that you shouldn't plug in an earthing mat into the same electrical outlet or power strip as your computer.

A grounding mat or sheet needs to touch clean, bare skin. Don't apply body lotions prior to earthing.  Wash your mat occasionally with mild soap and water.  If your mat has a cover, you can hand or machine wash it.  Don't use liquid fabric softeners or dryer sheets; you can also air dry it. 

Earthing doesn't last forever. For instance, when you stop exercising, you lose muscle and energy.  When you stop connecting with the earth, you also lose the benefits.

Other Holistic Health Practices You May Want to Explore

BodyWisdom Media: Tai Chi for Beginners

TAI CHI FOR BEGINNERS is the perfect way to explore and experience the numerous benefits of Tai Chi, no matter what shape you are in. This ancient, physical & meditative practic...

View on Amazon

Qi Gong For Beginners

QI GONG FOR BEGINNERS/ is the perfect way to explore and experience the numerous benefits of Qi Gong. Used for thousands of years in China to build energy, improve & maintain he...

View on Amazon

Light on Yoga: Yoga Dipika

The definitive guide to the philosophy and practice of Yoga--the ancient healing discipline for body and mind--by its greatest living teacher. Light on Yoga provides complete de...

View on Amazon

The Spark in the Machine: How the Science of Acupuncture Explains the Mysteries of Western Medicine

Why can salamanders grow new legs, and young children grow new finger tips, but adult humans can't regenerate? What is the electricity that flows through the human body? Is it t...

View on Amazon

Updated: 09/11/2016, AngelaJohnson
 
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Have You Heard of Earthing?


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WriterArtist on 02/19/2016

Jain monks in India walk bare footed. They do it as a part of non-violence, however; touching the earth is a great way to connect to our roots. I love to walk on a grass lawn and wet my feet in the beach or a shallow river. The experience is unique and I want to do it again and again. When I tend my garden, my hands touch the mud, even though the hands become quite messy, I really don't mind. For some people, it might be difficult though.

frankbeswick on 02/06/2016

You might like the ideas of the ancient Celtic church that found the sacred in nature.

AngelaJohnson on 02/06/2016

frankbeswick - I believe we all need to connect to the earth; the ground, sunshine, and breathe fresh air. We all have to work to make sure our environment doesn't become polluted, though. It's a struggle against manufacturing and big business practices.

frankbeswick on 02/06/2016

Angela, you may have touched upon a real mystery: what is really happening when we sense the world around us. What is really happening to our souls when we touch, see and hear? Maybe something more than physical might be happening in some cases. What is happening when we commune with nature?

frankbeswick on 02/06/2016

Wood is a dead piece of a tree and so the living energy has gone from it. A tree is connected to the life of the Earth. This may account for the difference.

Josh on 02/06/2016

My only confusion is why trees are good for earthing but wood is not? Are they not the same thing?

AngelaJohnson on 02/05/2016

When I walk out in the yard barefoot or just sit in a lawn chair with my feet on the ground, I just feel good. And I feel even better when the sun is shining. There aren't too many days that I don't go outdoors.

frankbeswick on 02/05/2016

There is a tendency in many people to seek a physical cause for everything, in this case electrons. I wonder, though, whether any benefits of earthing lie in a spiritual connection with nature. Just as people benefit from seeing greenery, so maybe working with the Earth is similarly beneficial. As a gardener I am aware that what I do is psychologically beneficial. I do not garden barefoot, but I touch soil and plants very often.

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