Earthing: What is it and how can it improve your health?

Earthing? No, not earthling….Earthing.

Earthing is a growing movement in the holistic health scene that believes that when we reconnect with the earth, it helps to energize us and can improve our health.

Remember the last time you were barefoot outside? Perhaps you were on the beach, or maybe you just flipped off your shoes at an outdoor concert.

How good did that feel? I can almost smell the sea breeze or feel the grass between my toes.

Its proponents say that part of the reason you feel so good out in nature is that the earth has potent healing and stress-reducing properties that can be harnessed simply by touching or grounding yourself to the earth’s surface.

barefoot earthing on grass

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What is Earthing?

Earthing is also called grounding. Some people even refer to it as “Vitamin G” for the “G” in ground.

Earthing therapy draws on the assumption that connecting to the earth and its energy is healthy for our souls and bodies.

It makes sense on a basic level. Don’t you feel so much better after being outdoors, swimming in the ocean, walking on the beach?

To begin, simply sit, stand or walk with your bare feet on the ground outside. Even leaning against a tree is considered earthing.

If this sounds too woo woo and New-Age for you, read on.

Earthing Science

If you have read any of my posts, you know that while I do get a little New-Age at times, I really do like understanding the science behind things.

Research into earthing is very new, so all the research only dates from the 1990s.

From a science standpoint, here’s the theory:

The earth’s surface is negatively charged, meaning it has an abundance of electrons. Proponents of earthing believe that any time we touch the earth, those electrons get transferred from the ground into our bodies.

These free electrons act as antioxidants which neutralize the inflammation causing free-radicals in our bodies.

We eat anti-oxidant foods to protect us from free radical damage. Why not harness the power of the earth as well?

And since so many diseases are rooted in inflammation, earthing could be a way to boost the self-healing and self-regulating processes in our bodies.

A lot of the earthing studies evidence so far is more anecdotal than scientific, but it’s interesting nonetheless.

It couldn’t hurt, right? People spend so much time indoors, especially in cities, with their shoes on, away from the natural world.

I don’t know about you, but I’m ready to harness the power of the earth by spending more time in nature. Preferably barefoot.

Two barefoot children running

Electricity and the Body

Humans are a complex system humming with electricity.

Our brain and heart all rely on electrical signals to function. Just think about the EEGs and EKGs used to measure the heart’s and brain’s performance.

Electricity is used by our nervous system to send signals throughout the body and to the brain, making it possible for us to think, move, and feel.

Because of this, our body is naturally able to absorb the electrical charge from the earth because our bare skin acts as a conductor.

Throughout history, humans walked barefoot on the earth or made shoes out of animal skin, which is also able to conduct the earth’s electricity. But now, so many of us wear shoes from sunup to sundown, live in cities, and rarely go barefoot.

Simply by walking barefoot outside, the body can recalibrate its electrical environment to that of the earth.

Benefits of Vitamin G

The good news is it doesn’t take much time to benefit from earthing, and you can do it anywhere you can access the ground.

It takes about half an hour of exposure to the ground to access significant health benefits.

Some reported benefits from grounding include:

You can’t OD on earthing. So kick off your shoes and soak up the vitamin G.

Barefoot in sand

Earthing in the News

While earthing isn’t quite the accepted mainstream treatment, it is starting to get some positive press.

Dr. Oz did a segment on his show with Dr. Mercola, a leading alternative health doctor. Dr. Oz seemed to agree that there was probably something to the theory behind the benefits of walking barefoot on the earth.

The super die-hard Tour de France athletes used grounding to help them recover from their punishing daily rides and heal from injuries.

How To Do Earthing

Anytime your body is making contact with the earth – whether it be grass, sand, dirt, or plain concrete, your body is earthing.

Here are some other ways to be earthed:

  • Swim in lakes, streams, rivers or the ocean
  • Garden with your bare hands
  • Lean up against a tree
  • Sleep on the ground when camping
  • Lie down on the grass
  • Wear leather soled shoes instead of shoes with synthetic rubber soles.
  • Next time you go out for your daily walk, try kicking off your shoes for a stroll on the grass, or if you’re lucky enough, the beach.

Earthing at Home: Getting that Vitamin G Indoors

So what can you do if you’re a city dweller, or work inside an office building all day without any access to the outdoors?

You can get the results of earthing by using various products designed to be used indoors:

  • An earthing mat can be used under your desk at work, or under your feet when you sleep.
  • Make your bed with earthing sheets so you can get your vitamin G while you sleep.
  • Earthing patches can be applied to parts of the body experiencing pain
  • The leather soles of earthing boots make better contact with the ground’s surface.
  • Straps you can wear inside your sneakers when you can’t go barefoot.

Barefoot Just Feels Better

When I was a kid, one of my favorite things about summer was going barefoot. Weeks on end without even putting on a sock.

I can’t tell you how many times I stubbed a toe. But I didn’t care, because it felt like freedom.

Every night my mom would make us wash our feet in the bathroom sink before she’d let us get into bed.

And I always felt stress-free, happy and slept like a rock.

Coincidence? We’ll never know.

I like to think it was my daily dose of vitamin G.

Want to remember this amazing post on Earthing, grounding and Vitamin G? Pin it to your favorite health board and pass it on!

Barefoot girl walking away on grass