Grounding: The Ancient practice, now backed by Science!
Also known as Earthing, Grounding is a simple concept; Skin contact with the earth. Having been used for millennia by diverse cultures across the planet as a tool for healing, in recent years Scientists have actually studied the effects of it and discovered (once again) that the old ways not only work, but are extremely effective!
There are many reasons in our culture and society why you may never or rarely manage to make direct contact with the earth, particularly if you are a city or urban dweller and may not have your own green space in which to bare some skin. For many, time is precious and finding some of it to take your shoes off and walk on the beach, or grass or dirt can be a challenge. For you there are other options for grounding. More on that later.
But for those of us with a back yard, or who live near a green space or beach, get those shoes off and connect with the earth, every day if you can!
The suggestion that the science folk have come up with is that when you place your bare feet, hands or other naked body part on the earth, free electrons that are roaming the earths surface are able to spread over your body and enter where it can, to provide anti-oxidant effects particularly around the site of an injury or inflammation.
In studies conducted among several groups of researchers, they have discovered the positive effects of grounding on pain reduction, normalising the day-night cortisol rhythm improving sleep, reducing pain and stress, speeding up wound healing, reducing blood viscosity (and therefore reducing risk of clotting and possibly reducing blood pressure), increasing parasympathetic nervous system activity and decreasing sympathetic activity (this is a good thing!).
So thats the science-y bit out the way. It works and they have done many experiments to prove it. You don't have to take my word for it - here is a scientific journal entry all about it! Here is another and this one shows the benefits on cardiovascular health using conductive patches and grounding rods! Dr. Mercola also wrote a great article about Grounding earlier this year. Have a read!
But lets not forget the thousands of years that humans roamed the earth with nothing but bare feet! There is something primal about connecting with the earth. Feeling the vibration she gives to us all the time is soothing to the soul as well as the physical body. Stress can be greatly reduced by walking along the beach or sitting on a boulder beside a forest stream and losing yourself in the tranquility. Connecting with the planet is an incredible healer.
So what can you do if you can't directly touch the ground on a regular basis?
There are many products available, such as sheets or mats for your bed, wrist or ankle bands can be worn, conductive patches for the soles of your feet, or you can get grounding rods that are connected to your bed/desk/chair by a wire, that is put into the ground outside. You can even get special shoes that have a special accupressure point in the sole to connect you through your shoes!
As a lifelong lover of Crystals, I adore the grounding benefits that some crystals can offer. They tend to be the black and dark coloured ones like Black Tourmaline, or Black Onyx or Obsidian. Smoky Quartz (like in the picture below) is a beautiful grounding crystal, especially if you are a light sleeper and need a deeper and more restorative sleep pattern (put a piece under your pillow to help with this!). Dark red crystals like Ruby or Garnet are very grounding also, as they resonate with the Base chakra which is the energy centre in our body that connects us with the earth. If you are feeling a bit fizzy and like your head is in the clouds, hold a piece of Black Tourmaline and that feeling will pass really fast! (Ladies, a crystal hot tip is to put a piece of whatever you are using in your bra...just don't forget its there and fling it across the room when you take your bra off!).
Sitting with your behind directly on the grass or dirt or rocks is a wonderful way to connect... but better yet, lie down! Gardening with bare hands is another beautiful connection with the earth, not to mention how rewarding it is to have a garden you are proud of.
If you spend a lot of time in un-natural light and atmosphere (constant air conditioning of an office environment), look at screens a lot, watch a lot of TV or spend too much time talking on your mobile phone, then grounding is essential for you. As often and for as long as you can!
The science has spoken and they have decided that it is beneficial for your health, so what do you have to lose?!
I am a Reiki Master and Crystal Healer, as well as a Naturopath. Reiki and Crystals together will align your chakras, clear your aura of unwanted energies, and improve your sense of wellbeing. To arrange a private Crystal Reiki healing session, send me a message :)