Recently I’ve become interested in grounding…and not the kind where you send your teen to his room with no supper. Grounded meditation is meditation where you make direct contact with the earth. Sometimes it is also called earthing.
The easiest way to achieve this is through making contact with the earth’s surface with bare feet or hands. However, grounded meditation studios, chairs pads, and blankets are becoming more widely available.
Why consider grounding? I’ll explain in layperson’s terms, and then we will dive into some of the medical literature.
The earth has a natural, subtle electrical charge. This is why electrical circuits are often connected to the earth through a grounding wire for safety, which allows an alternate path for electricity to flow back to the earth in the case of a short-circuit. When a circuit is “grounded”, it is safe.
Being grounded applies to people as well. Our bodies are full of electrical circuitry, containing trillions of cells which transmit information at multiple frequencies to maintain function of the heart, muscles, nervous system, etc.
Grounded meditation allows for the electrical system of the body to reconnect to the earth to reset.
What happens when you make direct contact with the earth? One theory is that excited and mobile electrons from the earth’s surface are able to spread over the body and enter the body where they can have antioxidant effects.
Grounding has many benefits, such as decreasing inflammation, reducing pain, normalizing sleep, improving the immune response and reducing stress, to name a few.
So…is this just a bunch of woo woo, or is there scientific evidence that this works?
Scientists have shown measurable changes in human physiology from grounding. For instance, when studying grounding’s effect on inflammation, they have studied chronic wounds and can see visible decrease in the inflammatory signs of redness, warmth and swelling.
Thermal imaging camera data has also been collected showing the effects of sleeping grounded on reducing full body inflammation.
Furthermore, studies have shown that sleeping grounded for 8 weeks normalizes the stress hormone cortisol and improves pain. The participants reported better sleep and less pain.
Additional studies have been done on electrophysiology, heart rate variability, and the immune response.
If you are interested in reading an excellent medical review on this subject, click here.
In this modern day, our lifestyle has led to less direct contact with the earth, and this disconnect may be a major contributor to unwellness.
It is quite possible that your path to wellness is right under your feet.