Getting outside does the body good. There are scores of scientific studies that confirm just how good! But “earthing” takes a walk outside to another, deeper, more healing level.
What Is Earthing?
Also called “grounding,” earthing simply means walking barefoot on a natural surface like grass, soil, or sand. It’s important to remember that it is different than just walking outside, although that, too, is beneficial in so many ways. Making direct physical contact with the ground—and that doesn’t mean concrete or other man-made surfaces—is what it’s all about.
The prominence of the element carbon is what designates something as organic matter—and I don’t mean “organic” like your groceries! All living things are carbon-based. If you do any gardening or backyard composting, you’ll probably recognize that term, “carbon-based,” as the “green” stuff you put in your compost: leaves, grass trimmings, veggie cast-offs.
Earthing is also different from forest bathing, or shinrin-yoku, which is the Japanese practice of fully immersing oneself in nature.
How Earthing Works in Your Body
There are so many studies that confirm how beneficial earthing is for our bodies and minds. A research review led by Gaétan Chevalier of multiple studies published in the Journal of Environmental and Public Health illustrates how earthing has been shown to reduce stress, support immunity, help moderate heart rate and glucose levels, and even help wounds heal faster.
While there is still a lot to learn about how connecting physically with Earth affects our bodies, research shows that it has a lot to do with electrons and electromagnetic charge. Walking barefoot on organic surfaces actually changes the electrical activity of our brain.
It can even produce “measurable differences in the concentrations of white blood cells, cytokines, and other molecules involved in the inflammatory response,” according to the review by Chevalier.
Amazingly, this presence of carbon seems to be what makes carbon-fiber mattresses so helpful for better sleep and pain relief!
According to a study in The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, earthing may even help improve the function of red blood cells, a major factor in heart disease. Another study shows that earthing may help regulate both the endocrine and nervous systems.
Earthing is an amazing addition to your wellness care routine, just like regular acupuncture visits. Let’s schedule you for a spring tune-up to make sure you’re as healthy as you can be!
Earthing: Health Implications of Reconnecting the Human Body to the Earth's Surface Electrons, Gaétan Chevalier, Stephen T. Sinatra, James L. Oschman, Karol Sokal, Pawel Sokal: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3265077/
The effects of grounding (earthing) on inflammation, the immune response, wound healing, and prevention and treatment of chronic inflammatory and autoimmune diseases, James L Oschman, Gaétan Chevalier, and Richard Brown: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4378297/
Earthing the Human Body Influences Physiologic Processes, Karol Sokal, MD, PhD, and Pawel Sokal, MD, PhD: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3154031
Rebecca M H Kitzerow is a Licensed Acupuncturist practicing in La Center, Washington. With over a decade of experience she has won 10 Nattie consumer choice awards from Natural Awakenings Magazine since 2014.