Everyone needs to try ‘Earthing’

Courtesy of Pexels.com

Courtesy of Pexels.com

Addie Adkins, Columnist

When was the last time you walked barefoot outside? I’m not talking about a quick jaunt out to the mailbox, or a run to the garbage bin and back, but walking barefoot intent on feeling the texture of damp grass, or the grainy feel of wet sand or the cool slickness of hard ice. 

A therapeutic technique, earthing, also called grounding, involves activities which allow for the body to be electrically reconnected to the earth, according to Healthline. Now, before you stop reading, I have a question for you. Have you ever wondered why childhood seems so much happier than adulthood or why children hate wearing shoes?

I can’t prove that it has to do with walking or running around barefoot, but the correlation is surely there. 

The Science Behind Earthing

There have been several studies on how earthing works and the science behind why it works. According to a paper published by the Journal of Environmental and Public Health in 2012, the Earth’s surface constantly produces free or mobile electrons, which causes the surface to be electrically conductive. When passed to humans through direct contact, these electrons are assumed to neutralize free radicals in the body, and therefore stabilize organs, tissues and cells. 

The paper reminds us that throughout history, humans have walked the earth either barefoot or with foot coverings made of animal skins, slept on the ground or on ground mats made of plants or skins. Due to this, electrons were freely absorbed by our ancestors. 

Why You Should Try Earthing

I recently added intentional earthing to my self-care routines. I’ve found on days I actually get outside and connect myself to the earth, I have better sleep and more energy that day, and overall I have less muscle and joint pain, and have been able to increase my flexibility because my muscles aren’t as stiff. 

Clinton Ober conducted studies showing many of the same benefits in the participants. Ober, a retired cable executive who formed the largest provider of cable installation services in the U.S., knew the importance of proper grounding when it came to cable installations. After retiring, he became interested in whether people would benefit from being naturally grounded to the Earth, and the results of his various studies provided compelling evidence that they do. 

In a blinded study, 60 people with chronic muscle and joint pain and low sleep quality slept on conductive carbon fiber mattress pads, where half of them were grounded to the Earth and half were not. The results showed the majority of the test group felt their symptoms had improved while the majority of the control group felt their symptoms were the same. 

Healthline agrees, and states people report an improvement in chronic fatigue, chronic pain, anxiety and depression, sleep disorders and cardiovascular disease after adding earthing to their self-care routines.

How To Go About Earthing

Earthing is incredibly simple to do, all you really need to do is go take a walk barefoot. However, there are other options to try if you’d rather keep your shoes on. 

Healthline also suggests laying on the ground, such as in the park or on the beach, or submerging yourself in a natural water source such as a pond, lake or ocean. Avoid risky locations such as fast-moving, deep or murky water. 

If you’d rather avoid the great outdoors, there are indoor grounding methods as well, however these involve additional equipment. The equipment can be as simple as installing a metal rod outside and connecting yourself to it with a wire, or there are specialty mats, sheets, blankets, socks, bands and patches which provide electrical currents intended to naturalize the free radicals in your body. 

No matter how you choose to do it, earthing or grounding is not only a great way to improve your physical or mental health, but as you can see, it’s also a great excuse to get outside or take a vacation. I don’t know about you, but earthing in Hawaii is officially on my bucket list.