WTF Wellness: Grounding

A few months ago it seemed like everyone was throwing around their most trendy wellness tips, and one of the most popular, especially according to Hollywood, was grounding. No, it’s not the kind we used to get as disobedient kids, but rather, exactly as it sounds: creating balance via the ground. Grounding, or Earthing, is using the ground and it’s natural electrical current to balance out your body. It made me super curious because we didn’t really talk about that in Earth Science so I decided to do a little research on Grounding.

What is Grounding?

Earth has a naturally occurring mild negative charge, and our bodies contain a positive charge. We collect more electromagnetic properties from all of the technology we use daily (wifi, cell phones, computers, etc) which leads to an increase in positive electrons. Increasing contact with the Earth, and its negative charge, levels out our positive charge leading to a more neutral state. Direct contact with the Earth and it’s elements removes those excess electrons which are believed to contribute to our modern health problems.


What are the Benefits? 

There is a list of benefits a mile long which would be really boring to list. Many of them help control or decrease the problems associated with inflammation. It claims to improve sleep, increase energy, and help biological rhythms. Grounding can help remove muscle tension, reduce headaches, and lower stress. It’s even believed to help lessen menstrual and female hormone systems. It is quite hard to track the benefits because they occur on an individual basis. What grounding does for one person it might not do for another.

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How Do You Practice Grounding?

It’s simple. You place the body in direct contact with the Earth. This means uninterrupted so no shoes, fabrics, or surfaces (i.e. carpet) blocking the current. Skin must make direct contact with sand, soil, or water. The easiest (and cheapest) way to do this? Walk around barefoot outside. Swimming in the ocean or other natural body of water is also suggested. As if anyone needed another reason to hit the beach, grounding is excellent there because of the combination of sand and salt water. Grounding can be done indoors with the purchase of an “earthing mat.”


Will I Try Grounding? 

Probably not. Through my research I couldn’t really find a justifiable reason to walk around barefoot (hello, germs are gross). Arizona is warm nearly all the time and soil surfaces are sometimes really hard to come by. I don’t really want to seek out fresh grass at parks randomly. Plus if you are sensitive to grass (like I am) it’s not really plausible. There’s also lack of evidence it does anything at all. Sure, we all feel great after a day at the beach but that could just be relaxing or an overload of vitamin D. We probably sleep better after going to the beach because we are just dang tired after all that sun. Grounding in a city proves difficult because underneath the layers of cement are actual grounded wires that our modern lives run on. Pretty counter intuitive. In order to fully “ground” according to experts you’d have to avoid those areas which means even more research to find where they are. After researching earthing mats, it seemed incredibly complicated to use one considering you have to plug it in and make sure it is properly grounded. The instructions scared me more than burning my feet on the hot ground outside. Grounding just isn’t for me I guess.

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