The other day, a post on Facebook caught my eye, which was all about Earthing, otherwise known as grounding. It copped a lot of flack from people who thought it was woo-woo nonsense, but when I did my own research, I found that it has in fact been well researched, and has been shown to help with chronic health issues.
What is Earthing?
Earthing is when we have direct contact with the Earth’s surface, whether it be the soil, sand or water. A review of over 12 peer-reviewed reports, included blinded studies, was aimed at determining the effectiveness of earthing against chronic illness. These studies used conductive bed sheets, desk or floor pads or even electrodes to measure conductivity of energy between the earth and participants. Every study found significant clinical or physical benefits as a result of Earthing.
Why is this important?
Many chronic illnesses, and even the ageing process itself, are at least partly caused by oxidative stress and inflammation.
It is also known that the Earth’s surface is electrically conductive (except for very dry areas such as the desert), and has a continuously renewed supply of free electrons. These electrons, just like those from antioxidants (which are essentially electron donors), can neutralise the free radicals that cause oxidative stress and inflammation.
So essentially, Earthing reduces inflammation and oxidative stress, helping to prevent or possibly reverse chronic disease states.
Now I’m going to talk about a few health issues I commonly see in clinic, and the researched benefits of Earthing for these conditions.
Stress and Adrenal Fatigue
One of the main responses to stress on the body is the release of cortisol. And when there is a dysfunction in cortisol regulation due to chronic stress, this can cause adrenal fatigue.
So, I found a trial that was testing the effects of Earthing on cortisol levels, pain, sleep and stress. Participants were grounded to the Earth during sleep, using a conductive mattress pad for eight weeks.
The result? There was barely any improvement in the control group (ie. the individuals participating in the trial not receiving treatment).
And for the test group (those experiencing Earthing), cortisol levels dropped significantly, with the natural morning peak smaller and the rhythms more normalised. To understand the significance of this, you should know that the presence of larger than normal peaks and crashes in cortisol rhythm is a sign of adrenal fatigue.
All of this means that Earthing may be an effective intervention for stress management and adrenal fatigue, treatment and prevention.
The same study above found that Earthing caused a marked improvement in sleep too.
At least three quarters of test volunteers reported improvement in time to fall asleep; sleep quality; feeling rested on waking; muscle stiffness and pain; joint and back pain; and general wellbeing.
All said they felt rested after waking up, and almost all reported improved sleep quality. How good is that? I am sure we could all do with better quality sleep.
Further trials are needed, but Earthing may also help with thyroid issues, especially in the preclinical stages.
Studies on Earthing have also found that individuals taking medication for under-active thyroid needed to reduce their medication after Earthing treatment, but please only do this under medical supervision.
Give it a try!
This isn’t an exhaustive list of the research, just a few examples. But essentially, contact with the Earth has been shown to benefit our health, so why not give it a try? It’s such a simple strategy, you can easily implement it into your life today. And it’s free!