Grounding (Earthing) and its role in reducing inflammation and healing the body.

Grounding or Earthing is the act of connecting with the earth. When we walk bare feet or get our body in direct contact with the earth (sand, soil, dirt, water or any conductive surface that is in contact with the earth), we can experience numerous health benefits. The earth is known to carry a negative charge and is rich in antioxidant, free radical busting electrons. When we touch the earth, we absorb large amounts of these negative electrons into our body.

One of the main health benefits of grounding is its antioxidant effect. It helps reduce inflammation throughout our body.

We live in a modern time where we are constantly bombarded with free radical stress from exposure to pollution, insecticides, pesticides, trans fats, and radiation (cell phones, computers, wi-fi) and this is known to continuously deplete our body of electrons. Over time, our bodies build up a positive charge. By getting outside barefoot and touching the earth, we are able to even out this positive charge and return the body to a neutral state. When we provide our body with a constant source of free electrons through grounding (or diet), we are not only reducing inflammation but also helping fight chronic disease.

According to research, Grounding has numerous health benefits:

  • Reduces fatigue and improves energy (I have personally experienced this)
  • Reduces pain and inflammation (I have personally experienced this)
  • Calms the sympathetic nervous system and helps reduces stress and anxiety (I have personally experienced this)
  • Improves sleep (I have personally experienced this)
  • Speeds wound healing and recovery
  • Can improve immune function

For the most part of my life I grew up in a culture where going barefoot was quite the norm. I practically lived barefoot and I thoroughly enjoyed it. As I grew up and moved countries I have had to adapt to cultural changes. Nowadays going barefoot is really a privilege for me and if I’m lucky, it’s something I get to do once a week. I love to get my feet dirty. I always find it nourishing and highly therapeutic to spend the day outdoors in nature. Especially in today’s modern, technology-driven world, getting out more and connecting with the earth is something we should all be doing more of but in reality, end up doing very little of. A visit to a sandy beach, exploring a nature trail or simply getting your hands dirty in your own back garden can easily become a daily mindful practice that’s calming and healing. If you find the traditional cross-legged meditation a bore, why not try this instead to relax and heal?

If for some reason you are not able to go barefoot, no worries! Leather soles are also known to work. Now you can find shoes that allow you to stay grounded without actually going barefoot.

A few things to keep in mind –

  • Synthetic rubber /plastic soles disconnect you from the earth. Leather soles do not.
  • Like with a lot of detoxes, when you start to ground on a regular basis, you may notice your health getting worse first before it gets better.
  • If you are on any blood thinning medication, it is best to work with your doctor.

If you are interested to learn more about this wonderfully simple and healing practice that can enhance your health, you might want to check out the documentary film Grounded.

I hope my post will encourage you to kick off your shoes more often and soak up the nourishing energy of the earth. Happy Grounding!


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Holistic Yoga with Ray