I want to talk about how to be grounded and why it's good for you
Grounding, also known as earthing, is a practice that involves connecting your body to the earth's natural electric charge. Because the earth has a negative charge, when we make direct contact with the ground, we absorb its electrons and these can have a range of health benefits including: improving sleep, reducing stress and anxiety, improving mood, improving circulation, reducing pain, boosting the immune system and reducing the effects of electromagnetic radiation, now electromagnetic radiation comes from things like microwaves , mobile phones etc. and this form of radiation can cause headaches, anxiety, depression and fatigue.
Grounding also reduces inflammation . It's this one that is potentially the most life changing as many medics now belief that all illness is caused by inflammation. When disease is identified, there are usually inflamed cells in the area of the illness and it's the same with any kind of injury
Grounding is also a self soothing strategy for when you have had a bad day or are feeling over stimulated. It helps bring you back to the present moment so that you can self regulate and find balance again.
Clint Ober founded the grounding movement in 1998. He had grown up on farms and had friends who were native Americans. His friend's mother had often told him to take off his shoes because they were killing him but he never gave it much credence until this friend's sister became very ill and her family dug her a pit in the earth near a fire where she lay for a few days and soon began to recover.
This had impressed him and one day he noticed a group of tourists go by and realised that they were all wearing synthetic shoes which insulated them from the ground.
It them kind of clicked and he realised that maybe there was something here. His background was in TV and cable and he became fascinated in helping people to reconnect with the earth for their health and wellbeing. After testing his theory out on himself and his friends he funded his own research which proved the benefits of grounding on the body and mind. Since then , there have been 22 independent studies done which all confirm his findings.
It's Clint's belief that for optimum benefit, we should walk barefoot on the earth for 20 mins each day. Now I love to walk barefoot and spend most of my summer without shoes and love to feel that connection with the earth.
Here are 10 ways to get grounded.
1. Walking barefoot as I have said or you can place your hands on the ground or even lie on it.
2. You can swim in natural bodies of water: Natural bodies of water such as lakes and oceans are excellent conductors of electrons and open swimming is becoming more popular so finding safe places to swim outside of a pool is becoming easier
3.Hug a tree: Trees are great conductors of electrons. Hug a tree or lean against it to ground yourself. I do this regularly and it's amazing how calming it is. If you hug it for long enough, you can feel your heartbeat really slow down. You might want to do this in a secluded place or be prepared for the weirdo comments that might come your way.
4.Gardening: Digging in the soil while gardening is an excellent way to connect with the earth's natural charge and you have the added bonus of growing something to eat or admire.
5.Yoga: Certain yoga poses such as tree pose, mountain pose, happy baby and corpse pose can help you connect with the earth's energy.
6.Meditation: Visualization techniques can help you connect with the earth's energy. Try imaging roots flowing from your feet deep into the earth or the one that I prefer is that a beautiful white light is flowing up from the earth through my feet and up my body until it spills out of my head and cascades back down into the earth.
7.Connecting with the breath; When we become aware of our breath we bring ourselves completely into the present moment and it is in this place that it is impossible to feel overwhelmed. This is an ideal skill for self regulating.
8.Spend time in nature: Spending time in nature walking or camping, can help you connect with the earth's energy.
9. Try tai chi, or qigong which work with the flow of energy through the body to help you connect with the earth's energy.
10. Use grounding mats: Grounding mats are specially designed mats that you can place on the floor to connect with the earth's natural charge as are grounding straps which can be worn around your wrist or ankle to help you ground while you sleep. These were first developed by Clint Ober - the grounding pioneer I mentioned at the beginning of this episode but I have yet to try them. By incorporating grounding into your daily routine, you can improve your overall health and wellbeing. So, take off your shoes, hug a tree, and connect with the earth's natural charge and let me know how you get on.