"It is an established, though not widely appreciated fact, that the Earth's surface possesses a limitless and continuously renewed supply of free or mobile electrons.
… Mounting evidence suggests that the Earth's negative potential can create a stable internal bioelectrical environment for the normal functioning of all body systems. Moreover, oscillations of the intensity of the Earth's potential may be important for setting the biological clocks regulating diurnal body rhythms, such as cortisol secretion."
To put it simply, it is thought that the influx of free electrons from the Earth's surface will help to neutralize free radicals in the body and reduce both acute and chronic inflammation, which is at the root of many health conditions and accelerated aging.
In another article, the researchers found a myriad of health benefits from grounding that included improvements in:
- Sleep disturbances
- Chronic Muscular and joint pain
How to become grounded
The best way to become grounded is as simple as taking off your shoes and walking barefoot on the earth. The key point is walking on the earth and not concrete or wooden floors etc. Studies suggest that benefits such as pain relief and stress reduction may occur in just 30-80 minutes of barefoot time a day. The other option is to use a grounding or Earthing pad, which allows you to get the benefits of the Earth's electrons even if you're indoors, especially when you're sleeping. You can see here what sort of products are available.
Even if you can’t do 30-80 minutes every day, it may be worthwhile to take off your shoes and go for a short walk in the backyard after work or even on your lunch break if there is a park nearby. Any grounding would be better than none.
What to make of this information
The researchers summed up things quite nicely in the Journal of Environmental and Public Health article. They concluded:
"Emerging evidence shows that contact with the Earth—whether being outside barefoot or indoors connected to grounded conductive systems—may be a simple, natural, and yet profoundly effective environmental strategy against chronic stress, ANS [autonomic nervous system] dysfunction, inflammation, pain, poor sleep, disturbed HRV [heart rate variability], hypercoagulable blood, and many common health disorders, including cardiovascular disease.
The research done to date supports the concept that grounding or earthing the human body may be an essential element in the health equation along with sunshine, clean air and water, nutritious food, and physical activity."
As a side note, walking around with bare feet will also help improve foot function! Try grounding and see how your body will thank you for it.
Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine. 2007 Nov;13(9):955-67
Journal of Environmental and Public Health. 2012; 2012: 291541