Introduction to Grounding or Earthing

Table of Contents

 
 

What is Grounding, a.k.a Earthing?

Published by: Team Vital Reaction

 
Grounding girl on ground

 

Essentially, being grounded means you are physically touching the Earth without any barriers between your skin and the ground.

 

Earthing, or grounding, is simple: it’s the practice of being in direct contact with the earth [1]. This can be achieved in many ways: swimming outdoors (excluding man-made pools), walking barefoot on the surface of the Earth, practicing yoga directly on grass, sleeping outdoors on the ground, etc.

Essentially, being grounded means you are physically touching the Earth without any barriers between your skin and the ground.

In the past, most people operated with this lifestyle, but many modern cultures now prefer to wear synthetic, rubber shoes for foot protection and support.

I know, I know, it sounds like something hippies in the 70s would tote (along with some other things….), but there’s some science behind it.

Trust me.


 

The Science of Grounding

Grounding is based on the principle of electricity and how electromagnetic fields surround the earth at all times. The Earth maintains a constant negative electrical field [2], likely due to lightning strikes, solar radiation, and/or the crazy intense pressure and heat in the inner core of the Earth. Essentially, the Earth contains millions upon millions free electrons, which are negatively charged atomic particles.

Modern technology often relies on this negative electrical charge to maintain electrical systems, like large power grids for supplying electricity to homes and workplaces (this is where the term grounded comes from when talking about power grids). This is sometimes called grounding electricity.

When insulated from the Earth, however, the human body gains a more positive electrical potential compared to the Earth because these free electrons can’t be conducted into the human body [3]. But when we are in direct contact with the Earth, then free electrons can travel through the body and match the Earth’s electrical potential.

Remember earlier when I mentioned oxidative stress and free radicals? Do you remember the electrical charge of free radicals? That’s right!

They’re positively charged!

So what do you think would happen if the negatively charged free electrons from the Earth came into contact with the positively charged free radicals in the body?

They could potentially join together and effectively neutralize one another.

Some would even argue that this neutral electricity grounding state is the human body’s preferred natural bioelectrical environment [3]. Regardless, the main idea is harmful free radicals are toast. They have been eliminated. See ya suckers!



Benefits of Grounding

This all might sound interesting and a little mystical, but what’s the point? I definitely would be thinking, “So what? Why should I care? Why should I invest any more time into reading this?

Great questions, we think so much alike. ????

Subjectively, most of us would say that we’ve experienced at least one of the following:

  • Complete relaxation and peace of mind after a stroll along the beach barefoot
  • Having a sense calmness after a yoga session using soft, fluffy green grass as a mat
  • Feeling the day’s stresses and worries melt away when you finally get home and get to circle around a backyard fire pit with your closest friends and family

While there are certainly many factors at play with each of these scenarios, there is also a common factor: you and the Earth have a direct connection with each other.

Data from several research studies suggests that grounding* has a multitude of benefits, and grounding for health is especially important.

Potential benefits of Earthing include [4]:

  • Better quality of sleep
  • Decreased levels of elevated cortisol (stress hormone)
  • Better blood sugar control
  • Pain reduction
  • Stress reduction
  • Stronger immune system
  • Improved blood flow to the face (thought to prevent premature aging and wrinkles)
  • Improved thyroid function

*If you search the literature for Grounding or Earthing, it is sometimes called Ground Therapy.


How Do I Ground Myself

Now that we’ve covered what it means to be grounded and the science of grounding, let’s slide into another topic: how does grounding work? How do I ground myself?

As I mentioned earlier, there are several ways of naturally grounding yourself to the Earth. If you live near an ocean or lake, just dipping your toes in the water will create a very strong connection between you and the Earth8. Because of all the minerals found in natural bodies of water, it is thought that these are the best source of grounding.

But don’t worry if you don’t live near water, there are plenty of other great options!

Walking barefoot in soft, fluffy green grass is also another great way to ground yourself. If walking in grass isn’t your thing, meet up with a friend for a refreshing yoga, Tai Chi, or cardio session. There are plenty of YouTube videos and online tutorials if you’re struggling to come up with your own workout routine.

Standing or sitting on concrete isn’t quite as effective compared to the previous two options, but it’s still a great option! Note: standing on asphalt or a wooden deck is NOT effective due to their insulating properties.

Laying down directly on the ground is also a great alternative if none of the other options sound appealing to you. Aka, giving yourself the opportunity to enjoy the warm sunshine on your face while taking a nice long nap.

You do you though! Get creative with it!

You know your home better than anyone else, so try to come up with ways to ground yourself that work for you and for your schedule.

But let’s be honest: sometimes, things just aren’t feasible.

Depending on where you live, there could be potentially shards of glass on your sidewalk, especially if you live near a busy street. Definitely don’t want to walk there. Or you may not live near a lake or pond that allows swimming, so scratch that. Or if you live somewhere like Seattle, where It. Rains. All. The. Time. So that’s a nope.

A summary: your work schedule, where you live, or your current health may prevent you from grounding yourself to the Earth naturally.

And that’s fine.

Frankly, sometimes it’s just not convenient. Most of us already have too many things to check off on our to-do list as it is, so adding an inconvenient task is not on our radar. So are there any other options?

Why yes there are. (I was hoping you’d ask.)

Introducing the Grounding Mat.

How to Ground Yourself with A Grounding Mat

This grounding mat, also called an Earthing mat, allows you to enjoy all the benefits of grounding from within your own home. If you do a lot of computer work at your desk like me, this is the perfect product for you.

No matter where you live, work, or play, the grounding mat can work for you.

Grounding mats are typically made of a mixture of rubber and carbon fibers, which allow for conduction of electricity9, although some products are made with conductive silver threading instead of carbon fibers.

Vital Reaction’s grounding mat can plug into ANY electrical outlet, instantly connecting you with the Earth’s negative electrical potential AND its benefits. Our grounding mats can even be used as a grounding therapy sleeping mat on your bed or as a grounding pillow.

Grounding, according to Roy Carpenter, Jr., Chief Engineer for NASA, stated that grounding, “Is the art of making an electrical connection to the earth.” [7]

Essentially, grounding is an art of science; it takes creativity to make it work for you. So put those creative juices to work and get after it!

VR Grounding Mat

“Vital Reaction’s grounding mat can plug into ANY electrical outlet, instantly connecting you with the Earth’s negative electrical potential AND its benefits.

Our grounding mats can even be used as a grounding therapy sleeping mat on your bed or as a grounding pillow.”

 
 

Signs you’re Not Grounded

Much like being grounded mentally, there are some signs that you could be in need of a recharge (Get it, because grounding and electricity? #BadJokes????)

  • General feelings of unwellness
  • Feeling spacey or unable to focus on tasks
  • Waking up drained even after a full night’s sleep
  • Feeling physically or emotionally drained
  • Your heart randomly starts heavily beating or you feel your blood pressure suddenly drop


Dangers and Side-Effects

Now, while evidence points to the benefits of grounding and earthing mats, there are some earthing mat dangers.

  • It is unknown what grounding could do to a developing fetus, so ladies, stay away if you’re pregnant.
  • If you have a pacemaker, ICD, or any permanent electric device in you, consult your doctor before trying a grounding mat.
  • And of course, there’s a risk of electrocution with any electric device, so be mindful and follow all directions to avoid electrical shock.
  • There are no known earthing mat side effects, but if you have any abnormal changes after using a grounding mat, stop immediately and contact your doctor.

References

  1. https://www.scirp.org/html/1-1050269_51326.htm
  2. https://agupubs.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1029/2009JD012539
  3. https://www.aipro.info/wp/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/earthing_human_physiology-PT2.pdf
  4. https://products.mercola.com/earthing-mat/
  5. https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/pdf/10.2466/06.PR0.116k21w5?casa_token=vOt5pKdrVDgAAAAA:oI3IRMXvClk4c4lIpIZLxVOkpe81LY3MV41usJ-LwAxsa6gEx6sAugTsLIfVdySnaUgjFE62QznOyQ
  6. https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/14e2/50b98b9c138ccfd6658a9cfdb9dd4dd41b25.pdf
 
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