Grounding – Is it the Gateway to Increased Well-being?
Think back to the last time you stood with your bare feet on the earth. I bet its been a while since you stood with the grass, sand, dirt or rock under your feet? When I thought about it I realised that I can go for weeks without my feet touching the earth!
I literally have something on my feet from when I get up in the morning until I go to bed at night.
The science says our health can be markedly improved if we connect to the earth. So grounding could be the gateway to increased well-being.
What is ‘grounding’?
The earth’s surface has a subtle electrical charge with an unlimited source of free electrons. Our bodies are bioelectrical – our heart, brain, digestive processes etc are reliant on electrical signals to work properly. Interference with this can be detrimental for your health.
When we stand on the earth we absorb the free electrons. As a result we are able to neutralise excess free radicals within our body.
What are free radicals?
I’m no scientist but basically most atoms, ions or molecules in our bodies have paired electrons. Free radicals have an unpaired electron and this makes them unstable and highly reactive.
To balance this electron free radicals spend their time looking for electrons to steal from other atoms, ions and molecules. This is called oxidisation. Oxidisation can cause damage to our cells as well as creating more free radicals.
Free radicals are naturally produced in our body. They are kept in check with the antioxidants we produce. Antioxidants are able to neutralise free radicals by giving them an electron without damaging themselves.
Our modern lifestyles can produce more free radicals through pollution, pesticides, excess stress, excess alcohol and smoking etc than we can balance out. Excessive free radicals can cause oxidative stress which may lead to degenerative illnesses, heart disease and inflammatory diseases.
So where does ‘grounding’ fit in to all of this? As mentioned before the earth’s surface has an unlimited supply of free electrons. When we stand on the earth in bare feet the electrons we absorb are able to pair with the unpaired electrons of the free radicals so they become neutral within us. The earth is like one big antioxidant!
So how have we become disconnected?
For thousands of years we have walked in bare feet or wore footwear that did not block the earth’s energy. We used to sleep on the the ground, foraged for food and in most cases we washed ourselves in rivers, waterholes or the ocean – we were constantly connected to the earth.
Now we live mostly indoors as a result of our society becoming more industrialised. When we are outside we are often on unnatural surfaces such as bitumen or concrete. We also tend to wear shoes for protection of our feet.
Traditionally shoes had leather soles but during the 1900’s rubber soled shoes became more and more popular. Today the vast majority of shoes have rubber or plastic soles. This means that even when we are in nature, we aren’t getting the ‘earthing’ benefit.
Grounding/Earthing can be beneficial on so many levels. Some reported benefits are:
- Improved sleep
- Help reduce stress hormones
- Reduced pain
- Improved circulation
- increased energy
So what can you do?
The easiest thing to do is put your feet on the earth for 20 – 40 minutes a day. I sit with a cup of tea and a book and the time goes remarkably fast. If you don’t have time to ‘ground’ outside or access to natural surfaces there are ‘earthing mats’ that can be used indoors. You can even get ‘earthing’ mats for your bed so you can ‘ground’ while you sleep!
So give grounding a go and once you have got your feet working well going barefoot can be a whole lot easier too.
We would love to hear about your experiences if you decide to give ‘grounding’ a try – so let us know below.
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