To put it simply, ‘grounding’ is where one has their body directly in contact with the earth, say your feet. It’s part of a whole series of ‘nature therapy’ or eco-therapy, in which being close to nature is part of the healing process for the individual. In this modern day and age, grounding happens much less frequently given the usage of footwear or sleeping arrangements (i.e. we use mattresses instead of lying on the floor).
Without delving too much into the scientific angle (yes it has been scientifically researched and explored), simply put, everything is made of atoms and has a net charge that’s either positive, negative, or neutral. Every chemical reaction involves electrical charges. When your body’s overall charge isn’t quite right, reactions happen that shouldn’t or, they don’t happen when they should.
The earth is a massive reservoir of negatively charged free electrons which we can connect to. We humans, throughout the day, have a build up of positive charges that we need to offset to get back to neutral. If we have our bodies directly in contact in some way to the ground, this allows our positive charges to be neutralised by the negative charges of the earth.
Grounding can also mean being fully present in your body and/or feeling connected to the earth.
The great thing about this form of therapy is that, everyone has free access to it whenever they so desire. You just need to slip off your shoes and head outside to sink your toes into grass, soil or take a stroll through some woodland area. It also works with water — natural lakes or the ocean, for example.
But how does it help your health, specifically? Whilst unable to be medically proven, health benefits have been observed, such as:
- Regulates cortisol — the stress hormone
- Improvement of blood circulation
- Accelerates recovery of injuries to the body
- Aids sleep and relaxation
- Reduces any inflammation
- Aids digestion and gut issues
- Neutralizes free radicals
- Reduces any bodily pains
These are just a handful of the benefits to your physical and mental health that going outside and kicking off your shoes will offer. We all know already that going for walks outside in the fresh air, surrounded by nature, brings a level of relaxation and happiness into your life.
So why not take that a step further and do it minus your sandals? This sort of mindful walking will recharge your energy, calm your emotions and quiet your mind. Even if you’re sceptical, what do you have to lose?
By Nicola Watson