From the serenity of forest bathing to the calming practice of beachside yoga, we have increasingly turned to Mother Nature as our go-to pharmacy, seeking solace in her vast array of natural remedies. Amid this treasure trove of wellness practices, one controversial technique stands out: earthing or grounding, hailed as the panacea to our overworked, tech-saturated lives.
Can Earthing Be Dangerous | Practice Earthing Safely?
It is important to be aware of what we mean when we talk about earthing. There are two ways that you can do earthing; the first is by using grounding products, and there is some suggestion that this could pose a risk. However, the second and most popular way of earthing comes in the form of being connected to the earth via direct contact with it. In the main, this is done by walking barefoot outside and using the electrons from the ground to heal the body.
When we make direct contact with the earth, this is a completely natural experience, and provided that you are in a safe location, very little harm is likely to come to you. To understand this, it is vital that we understand how the process works.
Humans have an electrical charge running through the body and this is true of anything in the universe; everything has energy but the way that this energy flows can have either a good or bad influence on the thing it is running through.
Inside the body, there is a living matrix between our cells and this serves as a sort of defense for the immune system. Our immune system works using white blood cells and these create what are known as free radicals; without getting too technical, free radicals are simply molecules that do not have a pair. Of course, they need to find another molecule to pair with but there are no free electrons in the body. If left alone, the free radicals can wreak havoc in the body by causing problems like chronic inflammation, pain, and problems within the blood system.
However, there is a way to harness electrons from the earth and earth s surface is known to be full of free electrons that we can use to pair the free radicals in our body. In turn, this promotes many positive health benefits, which we will look at in more detail a little later on.
One of the most common ways to use these electrons from the earth is by walking barefoot along the ground; this can be done on sand, soil, concrete, grass, or even by wading through a natural body of water. All of these things are relatively safe.
However, you can also become connected to the earth through simply sitting or lying on it, the idea is that you must bring your body to the earth and maintain a connection with it for a significant period of time (more on this later.)
Alternatively, using an earthing product such as an earthing mat means that you can bring together the body and the earth without having to go walking barefoot, which is sometimes unavailable but may also not be preferable for you. Herein lies the problem. Using products like these to get grounded does come with some potential risks.
How Long Do I Do Earthing | Using Grounding?
Many people question how long they should spend getting grounded and this will vary depending on the amount of time that you have as well as what you have available to you. In the main, it is widely accepted that spending 30 minutes a day getting grounded will be enough to benefit from the earth s energy. However, if you wanted to spend longer than this, then that is entirely acceptable; for a lot of people, however, their modern lifestyle doesn’t allow for long periods of time gathering electrons.
More important than the time you spend earthing is how consistent you are with the practice. One of the most common mistakes is that people assume that an occasional earthing session will be enough to experience less pain and better sleep, which are some of the benefits of grounding. But this is not the case. If you are going to walk barefoot or use an earthing mat, you must make sure that you take the time to do this every day. Even if it is just for 30 minutes, you will be allowing your body the chance to have a constant stream of free electrons and remain grounded at all times.
There are also several earthing products that can be used just before or while you sleep. Sleeping grounded is highly recommended as it is during sleep that the body is better able to heal and if you experience things like sleep pain or insomnia, there is significant evidence to suggest that being grounded will work well.
What Are The Advantages And Disadvantages Of Earthing (adverse effects)?
There are a huge number of benefits to earthing and for this reason, many people rely on the practice of working with natural electrical charges to remain healthy and free from chronic diseases. Before we begin to explore the negative effects that could be caused by this practice, it is important that we look at the ways in which earthing can benefit the body.
Since free radicals cause an inflammatory response, one of the primary ways that getting grounded can help is by reducing inflammation. Of course, there are several things that could be improved with a reduction in inflammation such as rheumatoid arthritis and pain. There was a pilot study conducted on how the earth’s electric charge had an effect on inflammation and the results suggested that it could have many positive health benefits. Not only for inflammation but also for autoimmune diseases and the healing of wounds, which again would contribute to pain relief.
Pain in itself is something that is associated with earthing and many people find that their pain levels are drastically reduced when they are able to access these electrons. Less pain means a greater ability to get on with your life comfortably, and in turn, this can contribute to better mental health.
Improved mental health is another of the many health benefits of earthing and whether you walk barefoot on the earth or use an earthing product, you will likely notice the effects on earthing on the mind. Studies have shown that sitting on a surface that is electrically conductive can produce positive outcomes for things like mood, stress levels, and even relief in symptoms of mental health conditions like anxiety and depression. This is likely down to a change in the cortisol levels as well as how the nervous system is affected after we ground ourselves.
Furthermore, these symptoms coupled with an improvement in sleep, and there is evidence that points to the fact that when we ground ourselves, our sleep quality becomes better. This was not only evident in that the subject could stay asleep but could also fall to sleep far more easily.
One of the most notable benefits that can come when we ground ourselves is that our heart health is drastically improved. The body relies on the heart to pump blood and oxygen around and keep us alive but chronic disease of the heart is one of the biggest natural killers in the world. Fortunately, when we are grounded through contact with the earth, this has a blood thinning effect which can reduce the blood viscosity and the potential of cells clumping together. Furthermore, we experience an improvement in the blood pressure which one again can improve heart health and reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.
While the practice of earthing does have many advantages and benefits, there are some downsides and some people have noticed negative impacts when they make this type of contact with the earth.
1 Risk Of Shock
It is important to keep in mind that when we talk about the risks associated with earthing, this is almost always when people use earthing products like earthing mats. These conductive systems are extremely effective but because of the incredible electrical charge, there is a risk of obtaining a shock. This is not something that is widely advertised when you shop for these pieces of earthing equipment, but there are more and more scientists and doctors speaking out about this risk.
This risk of shock does not come from the surface of the earth itself but rather is a by-product of high levels of electricity in the vicinity. This additional charge, alongside that of the earth, could result in an overload and may see you getting an electric shock, which as anyone knows could be potentially life-threatening depending on the severity.
For this reason, experts advise that you do not practice earthing in your home if there are several high voltage electrical systems running. This applies even more to those who live in particularly but up areas like cities or suburbs.
2 Damage To The Nerves
If you go outside barefoot on the earth, there are likely to be several benefits of earthing for the nerves. Conversely, when we ground ourselves with manmade products, there is a chance of being exposed to an electric field that could do us more harm than good.
EMFs, electromagnetic fields, are present in the electrical environment and when we ground indoors there is a risk that these EMFs will circulate through the body and cause health problems. One such problem is interference with the nervous system.
There are several aspects to this system, but perhaps the most important the autonomic nervous system which is responsible for our basic body functions like breathing and the beating of the heart; it isn’t difficult to see that this is an important function.
3 Increased Risk Of Cancer
Before we discuss this, it is important to keep in mind that these risks are minimal and there is research to show that earthing might actually help to prevent cancer owing to its ability to reduce inflammation.
However, it is vital that we understand the potential for certain cancer and in the case of becoming grounded indoors, we must look, once again at the potential EMF exposure. The World Health Organization suggests that there is a 95% chance of remaining safe from leukemia as a result of EMF exposure but there is a small risk of developing this type of cancer but the level of exposure would need to be extremely great.
4 Dirty Electricity
When we take earth s electrons by making direct contact with the earth s surface through earthing or grounding we are accessing a completely natural electrical charge that is free from interference. But when we use a grounding product in the home to achieve the benefits of earthing that we would get from going barefoot outside, we are plugging in to a ‘dirty’ electrical current.
There has been quite a lot of talk about this in recent times and if we allow this dirty electricity to enter the body then it can have quite the opposite effect than that which we are looking for.
Some common problems that come from plugging into this unclean source come in the form of increased signs of anxiety and depression. As a result of this, people have also experienced extreme fatigue. Since of the benefits of grounding is better sleep, it would seem counterproductive to then use an electricity source that would cause us to feel tired.
Furthermore, there is suggestion that this type of dirty electricity can cause a significant loss of libido. In addition to this many people have reported that using dirty electricity can cause a sense of nausea and can bring on a very unpleasant headache. There are many reasons why this might happen, however, outside of connecting your earthing products to dirty electric with some experts suggesting that this could also be as a result of noise pollution. There is yet to be any solid research done of the subject, but initial findings and suggestions show that this is not beneficial.
5. Possible Feeling of Anxiety
Earthing, or grounding, can potentially cause anxiety or exacerbate existing anxiety in individuals who are not accustomed to the sensation of energy coursing through their body. This can be particularly true for those who have a history of anxiety or are earthing for extended periods. However, this feeling is not permanent and tends to subside as the body adjusts to the practice.
To avoid overwhelming anxiety symptoms, it may be helpful to reduce the duration or frequency of earthing sessions until the body becomes accustomed to the practice. Additionally, incorporating other techniques such as meditation can help regulate emotions and support overall mental wellness.
It’s essential to note that if you have previously relied on substances to numb your emotions, it may be more challenging to adjust to the increased connection with yourself and the world around you that comes with earthing. This can result in heightened anxiety symptoms initially, but it’s essential to persist with earthing and give the body time to adjust as the benefits can be significant. If anxiety symptoms persist or are severe, it’s recommended to seek advice from a healthcare professional.
How Does Earthing Affect Your Body?
It is not difficult to see that there are indeed several ways in which earthing has an effect on the body. Primarily, it is to do with how the contact with the earth causes the body to interact with electrons found within it. It is also evident that this natural electrical source can benefit our health in many ways which is mostly in thanks to a reduction in inflammation.
In short, earthing has an effect on the body as a result of an interaction between free radicals and the electrons that are found within the earth.
Many of us practice earthing and there are so many great benefits of taking part in this simple activity. In the main, earthing is done when we allow the body to make contact with the earth and this can be done in a variety of ways. Most commonly making direct contact by walking with bare feet or connecting the body to the earth in some other way and this can have some amazing benefits.
Alternatively, if you cannot walk with bare feet, you might also reap the positive effects of earthing through the use of an earthing product like a mat, mattress or the like. However, since these things connect to either a rod in the earth outside or an electrical outlet in the home, there is a small risk of some unwanted results.
These are related to the additional electric current found in indoor earthing as well as the possible exposure to electromagnetic fields. The good news is that while these risks are there, they are very small and the positive impact of earthing is far greater than anything bad that may potentially happen.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What is a grounding mat?
A: A grounding mat is a device that allows for the practice of earthing or grounding indoors. It is designed to deliver a negative charge to the body, mimicking the effects of being in direct contact with the Earth.
Q: What are the health benefits of earthing?
A: Earthing or grounding has been associated with various health benefits, including reduced inflammation, improved sleep, increased energy levels, reduced stress, and improved immune function.
Q: Are there any potential negative side effects of grounding?
A: While the majority of individuals who practice earthing or use grounding products do not experience any negative side effects, some individuals may experience adverse effects such as mild tingling sensations, skin irritation, or discomfort.
Q: Can grounding mats be dangerous?
A: While grounding mats are generally considered safe to use, it is important to follow the instructions provided by the manufacturer and use them appropriately. Using a grounding mat improperly or for an extended period of time may pose certain risks.
Q: Can earthing be practiced indoors?
A: Yes, earthing can be practiced indoors by using grounding products like a grounding mat, earthing sheets, or grounding shoes. These products allow individuals to experience the benefits of grounding while inside their homes.
Q: Is it necessary to ground every part of the body?
A: No, it is not necessary to ground every part of the body. Most grounding products are designed to be used on specific areas of the body, such as the feet or the wrists, to allow for the flow of electrons and the grounding effect.
Q: Can earthing be practiced outdoors?
A: Yes, earthing can also be practiced outdoors by directly connecting with the Earth’s surface. Walking barefoot on grass, sand, or soil is a common way to practice earthing outdoors and harness the Earth’s energy.
Q: Is there any research that suggests earthing mats may have negative effects?
A: While there is ongoing research on the effects of grounding mats, no substantial evidence currently suggests that earthing mats have significant negative effects. However, it is always important to use grounding mats as instructed and listen to your body for any discomfort.
Q: Are there any alternative grounding products?
A: Yes, there are alternative grounding products available in the market, such as grounding patches or grounding sheets. These products offer different ways to practice earthing and experience the benefits of grounding.
Q: What are the health implications of reconnecting the human body with the Earth?
A: Reconnecting the human body with the Earth, through practices like earthing or grounding, may have various health implications. Some potential benefits include reduced oxidative stress, improved blood circulation, and the normalization of cortisol levels.
Q: What is Earthing or Grounding?
A: Earthing or grounding is the practice of connecting your body to the earth’s surface in order to absorb its electrical energy. This can be done by walking barefoot on the ground, sitting or lying on the ground, or using special grounding devices.
Q: What Are The Benefits of Earthing or Grounding?
A: Earthing or grounding has been associated with a variety of health benefits, including reduced inflammation, improved sleep, reduced stress, and improved immune function.
Q: Are There Any Negative Side Effects of Earthing or Grounding?
A: Some people may experience negative side effects from earthing or grounding, although these are generally rare. These side effects may include headaches, dizziness, or tingling sensations.
Q: What Are Some Common Negative Side Effects of Earthing or Grounding?
A: Some common negative side effects of earthing or grounding may include headaches, dizziness, or tingling sensations. These side effects are generally mild and go away on their own.
Q: How Long Does it Take for Negative Side Effects of Earthing or Grounding to Go Away?
A: Negative side effects of earthing or grounding generally go away on their own within a few minutes to a few hours. If you experience persistent or severe side effects, you should stop earthing or grounding and consult a medical professional.
Q: Can Negative Side Effects of Earthing or Grounding Be Prevented?
A: Negative side effects of earthing or grounding may be prevented by starting with short periods of grounding and gradually increasing the duration and intensity of your grounding practice. It is also important to stay hydrated and to listen to your body’s signals.
Q: Is Earthing or Grounding Safe for Everyone?
A: Earthing or grounding is generally safe for most people. However, if you have a medical condition or are taking medication, you should consult a medical professional before starting an earthing or grounding practice.
Q: Can Earthing or Grounding Interfere With Medical Devices?
A: Earthing or grounding may interfere with some medical devices, such as pacemakers or defibrillators. If you have a medical device, you should consult a medical professional before starting an earthing or grounding practice.
Q: How Often Should I Practice Earthing or Grounding?
A: The frequency of your earthing or grounding practice will depend on your individual needs and preferences. Some people may benefit from daily grounding, while others may only need to ground occasionally.
Q: Can I Still Benefit From Earthing or Grounding If I Experience Negative Side Effects?
A: Yes, you may still benefit from earthing or grounding even if you experience negative side effects. However, if your side effects are severe or persistent, it is important to stop earthing or grounding and consult a medical professional. It is also important to start with short periods of grounding and gradually increase the duration and intensity of your practice to minimize the risk of negative side effects.