Happy Earth Week, Winged Women!
This week is one of our favorite weeks because it brings much-needed attention to the environmental issues our planet is facing. Although we believe our precious earth should be top of mind all of the time, this week in particular a great time to understand and share the ways we can begin to help our mother Earth heal.
We also believe this week is a great time to discuss a practice that can help reconnect us to the Earth— grounding.
What is Grounding?
Grounding, also known as ‘earthing,’ is an alternative healing practice that involves intentional walking, resting, meditating, or sleeping while making direct contact with the earth.
In the hustle and bustle of our busy modern lives, it can be so easy to forget our inherent link with nature and lose sight of our most raw selves. Grounding aims to help us rediscover this reality and live in harmony with the natural world.
Practiced by Indigenous cultures for thousands of years, grounding is based on the concept of energy.
Let’s break it down. It is proven that the Earth contains electromagnetic energy and that the human body also contains bioelectromagnetic energy. Practitioners believe that when we can connect our energy with that of the earth, we can experience a wealth of health benefits, like reduced pain and anxiety.
Does Grounding Really Work?
There has been a fair amount of research into the scientific legitimacy of grounding practitioners’ claims as well as the health benefits of the practice.
A small study tracked a group of individuals’ cortisol (the stress hormone) levels after 8 weeks of sleeping on a mat conducive to grounding practices. The study found that the participants’ cortisol levels evened out, indicating elevated mood and decreased stress.
Another study studied a group of massage therapists who complained of job-induced physical stress and pain. After practicing grounding for a period of time, the participants experienced decreases in fatigue, depressed mood, and pain.
But, while we do LOVE a good peer-reviewed journal article, we also want to note that not every self-care practice has to be fully legitimized by research for it to be effective for you. If a healthy practice like grounding makes you feel connected to the Earth and helps soothe your spirit, we say go for it!
How Can I Practice Grounding?
We love grounding because you can start practicing and feeling its benefits right now.
Start by walking barefoot outdoors. Direct all of your attention to your feet, breathe deeply, and picture your energy meeting the energy of the Earth through your feet. Intentionally visualize the negative energy leaving your body, and the healing energy entering it.
Or, try laying on the Earth. Remember when we used to roll down green hills as children? Channel that childlike energy and joy into your grounding practices, and practice a little grounding…
In recent years, grounding equipment has become more popular, and there are grounding mats, sheets, blankets, bands, patches, and more that are specifically designed for the practice.
All in all…
This Earth Week, get outside, try grounding out, and remember that we are inextricably connected to our planet.
Chevalier, Gaétan et al. "The Effects Of Grounding (Earthing) On Bodyworkers’ Pain And Overall Quality Of Life: A Randomized Controlled Trial". EXPLORE, vol 15, no. 3, 2019, pp. 181-190. Elsevier BV, doi:10.1016/j.explore.2018.10.001. Accessed 20 Apr 2021.
Oschman, James et al. "The Effects Of Grounding (Earthing) On Inflammation, The Immune Response, Wound Healing, And Prevention And Treatment Of Chronic Inflammatory And Autoimmune Diseases". Journal Of Inflammation Research, 2015, p. 83. Informa UK Limited, doi:10.2147/jir.s69656. Accessed 20 Apr 2021.
Wilson, Debra. "What Is Grounding And Can It Help Improve Your Health?". Healthline, 2019, https://www.healthline.com/health/grounding#:~:text=Grounding%2C%20also%20called%20earthing%2C%20is,positive%20effects%20on%20your%20body