So, what is Earthing?
In this modern world, it is becoming increasingly difficult to take advantage of the benefits that Earth provides us. Pollution, safety, weather conditions, fashion, insulating materials, condensed urban environment, time spent inside just to name a few.
Ever wonder why you feel exhilarated while walking barefoot on the beach and dip your feet into the sea?
There may be more to this feeling than just holiday relaxation mode, forces at work here that may elude you.
Good news is that there is now a way to replicate the results that Earth provides if you were to walk barefoot on grass, even when you’re sitting cosy inside and even while you sleep.
For many years people were quite skeptical. There simply wasn't enough evidence about Earthing. However, in the last 4 to 5 years, people started reconnecting to Earth and recognised the health potential of Earthing.
We are ready to help you better understand why we were convinced this is such a phenomenal discovery. Plus, we will share with you some of the techniques used to personally take advantage of this connection with Earth. And best of all, we'll show you ways how this could potentially benefit your life especially in an urban environment.
But what's the big deal about going barefoot and this so-called "connection" to the Earth?
Are shoes isolating you from earthly benefits?
People have known for quite some time that walking barefoot at the beach or on the ground often makes them feel amazing.
- In places in the world like Germany, Austria, and Switzerland, communities that have long-standing traditions of getting up early to go for a morning stroll without socks and shoes exist. The key here is that they are walking without socks or shoes so they have a direct physical connection with the earth.
- There's a worldwide organization called Society for Barefoot Living, which promotes removing shoes and socks, and walking naturally on the earth.
- In many places in Europe, there are specific grassy areas where people go to walk for a few hours in their bare feet.
A great deal of what has happened to disconnect you from the Earth involves the evolution of the shoes you wear. Prior to the 1950s, most shoes were almost entirely made of leather.
But since that time, synthetic rubber, plastic, and other unnatural materials have found their way into shoe construction. Nearly all of these materials like neoprene and rubber type materials are very effective insulators and prevent you from connecting to the earth.
Leather (processed from hides) is a conductive material when moist, and helps maintain your connection with the Earth through your feet. Leather was the primary material used for shoes, sandals, and simple moccasins dating back more than 14,000 years. Since there is such a long human history of using this material as footwear, it is likely your biology is well adapted to it.
Unfortunately, predominant soles used in modern shoe construction are synthetic and they play a significant role in isolating your feet and body from the Earth. Let's take a closer look at the forces at play here, and why this Earth connection is so important.
The electrifying science behind it all
The feeling of well-being you experience going barefoot on the Earth may be due to several simple scientific observations:
- Your entire body is controlled and enabled by electrical signals running through your body allowing your cells to communicate with one another.
- Your body is somewhat conductive (contains electrons that can carry electrical energy from cell to cell) because it contains large numbers of charged ions dissolved in water in the form of blood and body fluids… Electrical fields are essential for many systemic and physiological processes within your body.
- In large part due to electrical differences between the upper atmosphere and the ground and lightning, the Earth is a natural (and from your body's perspective, essentially infinite) source of electrons.
- When you walk barefoot on the Earth, there's a transfer of free electrons from the Earth into your body that spread throughout your tissues. The effect is sufficient to maintain your body at the same negatively-charged electrical potential as the Earth. This simple process is called "earthing."
If you constantly wear materials like rubber or "plastic" shoes, which are both very effective insulators, you'll be disconnected from the natural energy that flows from the Earth. You might not have thought of this, but remember that both plastic and rubber are excellent insulators and are frequently used to insulate electric wires to keep the conductors from touching each other and shorting out.
Why lightning is so important
There is a very significant electrical potential difference between the ground and the upper atmosphere that is responsible for generating lightning, which occurs all over the planet to help neutralize this difference.
Even though you may not see any lightning when you glance outside at this very moment, it is important to realize that lightning is striking somewhere on Earth as you are reading this. This helps charge the ground with a large source of electrons.
That's why the Earth's surface is negatively charged, or grounded, and why it's a natural source of electrons for your body.
Could this be part of the ultimate antioxidant effect?
How much do you know about free radicals? Basically, free radicals are unbalanced molecules that are missing an electron. The effects from free radicals can be explained in terms of rapid and violent reactions occurring as electrical charges are redistributed amongst the reacting molecules.
There are many ways your body prevents potential damage from free radicals, like eating high-quality organic sprouts and vegetables and even with potent antioxidants like astaxanthin, vitamin E, vitamin C, and many other supplemental antioxidants.
So, what does this have to do with grounding and connecting to the Earth? Well, as you've already learned, when grounded to the Earth, there is a transfer of free electrons into your body from the Earth itself.
Best ways to earth/ground yourself outside
When you take a dip in the ocean, or even if you just stick your toes in, your feet are surrounded by one of the best natural conductors around, salt water. But even water at the lake will work really well.
But because of all the minerals found in sea water, it's several times more conductive than lake water. And since your body contains mostly water, taking a dip in the sea creates a very good earth connection.
A close second to dipping your toes in invigorating sea water is to go "barefooting" in a grassy area.
A grassy area that is covered with morning dew is especially good. The moistness of the grass can enhance the conductivity between your feet and the ground. As I mentioned above, some Europeans have a custom of doing this for a few hours in the morning.
You can also get grounded by walking barefoot on concrete but it works better if the concrete is wet. However, you will NOT get grounded by walking barefoot on asphalt or wooden decking material as they are insulators and will prevent the transfer of free electrons from the earth.
Grounding challenges located inside your home
Here are a few examples of common flooring materials found inside homes that can be very challenging conductors. These materials typically restrict electrons passing through them and are not suitable for barefoot grounding:
- Wood – Insulated material (and often synthetic) that generally does not conduct well
- Vinyl – Synthetic material found in many kitchens and bathrooms tends to be a very poor conductor
- Carpet – A great deal of carpet is synthetic and if the concrete underneath the carpet is sealed, together they create a poor conductor
- Tile floors – Many ceramic tiles are often sealed to protect them from wear and this will restrict electrons passing through. If the concrete underneath the tile is also sealed, this will be a very poor conductor.
- Marble – This all depends on whether the marble is treated with a synthetic chemical and whether the concrete underneath is sealed or not.
So, it's pretty challenging to take advantage of grounding by going barefoot inside your home. By far, your best grounding opportunity is to walk barefoot outside on the Earth.
But as I raised the issue earlier, you may not be able to stroll outside every day, the weather may be lousy and cold, you may not have the time to fit it into your busy schedule or, walking barefoot outside simply may not be appealing to you.
As promised, I'll share some simple techniques I use that can help you overcome both the inability to regularly go barefoot outside and the insulation challenges you likely face indoors.
Ways to ground yourself pretty much 24/7
There are some very simple and inexpensive things you can do to stay connected with the Earth regardless of where you live, work, and play. But in order for these techniques to be effective, the home or building where you work must have grounded electrical outlets.
Due to stringent Building Regulations, most UK public and commercial buildings are grounded and do have these types of outlets. However, some older of homes in UK do not provide grounding capability through their electrical outlets.
Here are some examples of ways you can ground yourself to the Earth indoors using a grounded outlet almost regardless of where you live or work...
- Conductive mouse pad – This is a simple conductive pad that can lie flat on your desktop where you work. It can be placed underneath your computer mouse. Connected to the pad is a cord that is plugged into the grounded outlet. Making bare skin connection with the conductive pad ensures you will receive free electrons from the Earth.
- Conductive yoga/foot mat – Similar to the desktop pad, is a mat to enjoy a yoga routine or place under your feet to rest your bare feet on throughout the day. Remember how the ball of your foot is one of the most potent conductivity points on your body? This setup takes advantage of that and the mat is connected to the grounded electrical outlet the same as the desktop mouse pad.
- Conductive bed sheet – Since you spend pretty much 30% of your life sleeping, your bed affords an excellent opportunity to be grounded to the Earth while you sleep. There are many different variations of conductive devices that can be used at night. They connect to the ground port of the nearest electrical outlet just like the desktop mouse pad and foot mat.
These are just a few of the practical solutions available to help you ground almost 24/7. In many cases, these conductive devices are small enough to easily take along when you travel. We are currently working on new products to make sure that you can easily stay grounded.
Why we highly recommend using it in your bedroom
Since you spend so much time in your bedroom sleeping, I believe it's one of the most important areas for you to be grounded. Here are a few of the details behind why I highly recommend you sleep grounded.
- Your bedroom is typically loaded up with electrical and radio devices like a lamp, clock radio, charging cell phone, fan, television etc.
- Most of these devices emit fields from "dirty electricity" to electromagnetic radiation.
- As long as the devices are plugged in (don't even have to be turned on), you're exposed to these fields while you sleep.
- Even if you unplug all the devices in your bedroom (which we strongly recommend), you're still exposed to electromagnetic radiation from the wires running through the walls. The only way to further avoid this is to actually turn off the power to the wiring in your bedroom walls which is not very practical for most people.
- You can exactly measure electromagnetic fields on your body using a voltmeter (before and during grounding).
Your bedroom is not necessarily the area of your home with the most electromagnetic exposure potential. Your kitchen is far worse due to your refrigerator. But the issue with your bedroom is that you spend so many consecutive hours sleeping there every night.
'Do-It-Yourself' basics – if you're so inclined
There are a few choices available for indoor grounding that you can use every day. With some work, you can create your own grounding pad.
Here's an example of some of the basic steps to take if you want to go down the do-it-yourself (DIY) path. The materials you'll need can be found at your local hardware store, electrical outlet, and online sources.
- To construct a grounding pad, you'll need to weave some silver conductive thread into or attach it to a sheet or blanket that is not insulated with nonconductive materials.
- Another alternative is to use a silver conductive fabric, which is a soft stretchy fabric that can work very well as part of a pad, or as a pad itself.
- Next, you'll need to install a ground rod or stake outside to which you'll be running insulated wire to from your pad.
- Instead of running insulated wire to the ground stake outside, you can simply purchase a specific plug. The plug looks like any normal electrical plug but in this case, only the round lug that plugs into the bottom (ground) hole on the wall outlet is 'active' and connected to the wiring.
- Connect the alligator clip to the pad you've created so it makes contact with the conductive thread or fabric.
- Connect the other end of the wire to the outside ground stake, or plug it into a grounded outlet if you have the 'plug to gator' combination.
- Use a Ground Tester to verify the grounding connection and a Body Voltage meter to determine if you're adequately grounded as well.
If you're real serious about the DIY approach, I would recommend you do a bit more online research and find out more details that might be available. The steps above merely outline the basics of doing it yourself and are by no means complete.
Some folks really enjoy doing things like this themselves. And that's entirely up to you.
What to look for in a high-quality kit
When looking for a ready-made grounding kit, here are a few tips on what to look for...
- Flexibility – Since you may not be entirely sure where and how you will be using a grounding mat, it's best to look for one that can be used in almost any indoor location where you work, sit, relax, rest, and even sleep.
- Mat size – Make sure the mat is long and wide enough to fit both on the floor (to place your feet on) and on your desktop. If the mat is too narrow and short in length, you may not be able to have adequate bare skin contact for proper grounding, and most likely won't be able to use it in your bed.
- Adequate cord length – The cord that you use to connect to the grounded outlet or ground rod must be long enough to provide location flexibility as well. If the cord is too short, you'll be restricted to grounding activities close to an outlet. This may not always be convenient. Also, as far as connection to the grounding mat, it would be best to have some sort of snap-on type of connector instead of an alligator clip.