Have you ever heard of grounding or earthing? Most likely you have not because there is not a lot of information or scientific research done on the subject yet. According to an article published in the Journal of Inflammation Research in 2015, grounding or earthing refers to direct skin contact with the surface of the earth which is done with bare feet or hands1. Direct skin contact with the earth is thought to share the earth’s natural healing powers with people. This may sound a little ‘out there’ or ‘nutty’ to some people, but some believe that grounding can improve your health by reducing inflammation, pain, anxiety, depression, and more.
Researchers of the Journal of Inflammation Research article published in 2015 believe that the electrically conductive contact of the human body with the surface of the earth can produce health benefits related to inflammation, immune responses, wound healing, and autoimmune diseases. According to their research, “grounding reduces or even prevents the cardinal signs of inflammation following injury: redness, heat, swelling, pain, and loss of function” and that grounding is a “simple, natural, and accessible health strategy against chronic inflammation, warranting the serious attention of clinicians and researchers.”1
This technique may seem outlandish, but if you think about it there are many cultures around the world that do not wear shoes and use this technique. A small research study published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine in 2013, found that grounding reduces blood viscosity and clumping which could decrease the risk of adverse cardiovascular events2.
If grounding sounds like something you would like to try it is very simple to get started. The easiest method is to get outside barefoot. You could sit, stand, or walk. The key is to have skin contact with the earth. Remember to make sure the ground that you are using is safe and free from debris that could injure you.
- Oschman JL, Chevalier G, Brown R. The effects of grounding (earthing) on inflammation, the immune response, wound healing, and prevention and treatment of chronic inflammatory and autoimmune diseases. J Inflamm Res. 2015 Mar 24;8:83-96. doi: 10.2147/JIR.S69656. PMID: 25848315; PMCID: PMC4378297.
- Chevalier G, Sinatra ST, Oschman JL, Delany RM. Earthing (grounding) the human body reduces blood viscosity-a major factor in cardiovascular disease. J Altern Complement Med. 2013 Feb;19(2):102-10. doi: 10.1089/acm.2011.0820. Epub 2012 Jul 3. PMID: 22757749; PMCID: PMC3576907.