What is Grounding and why do we need to it?
Grounding is intrinsically linked with our health.
We brush our teeth every day to keep them in optimum health. We shower or bathe to clean our bodies and wash away the day’s activities. We clean our house of the accumulation of dust and dirt to cleanse our environment. But do we work as hard at keeping our energetic body in optimal running order, our energies flowing and grounded to Mother Earth?
In our insulated world today, for most of us, the answer I suggest would be no.
Grounding refers to a state of being in our world on multiple levels:
Physically grounded – our connection to Earth
Emotionally grounded – where our thoughts and emotions move freely and without restriction
Spiritually grounded – where our connection to our “spirit” or “source” is open and abundant
We will look at the different types of grounding and ways to achieve a state of groundedness on all levels using energy medicine, essential oils, and flower essences.
The Earth provides healing energies through free electrons that cover its surface. It has been likened to a global treatment table (Stephen Sinatra). However, while we walk on the Earth every day, we are insulated from these healing properties by using insulating man-made materials like the plastic or rubber-soled shoes we wear, the coverings on our floors, or the physical distance we are from the Earth if we work or live in high-rise buildings.
So, why do we need to have this Physical Connection to the Earth?
On the surface of the Earth is a blanket of negatively charged particles called free electrons. Activation of the ionosphere, high above the Earth, from the action of solar winds generated from the sun, mixed with particular weather patterns gives rise to lightning which strikes the Earth and electrically charges it.
The human body is bioelectric and we have an energetic core that runs through the centre of the body.
Our interaction with the Earth through grounding practices allows for an interchange of electrical energy through the transfer of these electrons into our body to help cleanse our energetic body for optimal health.
It is hypothesized that these electrons help to neutralise the destructive positively charged free radicals in our body that are responsible for inflammation, disease and aging. This flow of energy runs both ways through this energy pole. We need Earth’s energies to keep our own energies nourished and cleansed as well as this Earth connection to discharge our excess and toxic energies back into the Earth to be recycled.
I really like Dr Stephen Sinatra’s take on this – think of the Earth as providing Vitamin G – G for grounding. We receive Vitamin D from the sun, and the Earth provides Vitamin G.
How Might it Feel to be Ungrounded?
- Anxiety, sadness, panic, fear
- Clumsy, unbalanced or uncoordinated
- Cold feet and legs
- Spacey, disorientated, scattered, absent-minded – “away with the fairies”
- Washed out
How Might it Feel to be Grounded?
- Mental clarity, clearer voice
- Peaceful, calm, confident and in control
- Physically coordinated
- We feel safe, solid and stable – both physically and mentally
Benefits of Grounding
Research, while still very new and ongoing, has indicated that grounding may:
Why do we Become Ungrounded?
1. Decreased Physical Connection to Earth’s Surface
We can become ungrounded simply because we do not have a physical skin connection to the Earth’s surfaces (dirt, sand, grass) to allow this free electron transfer to take place.
2. Emotional and Physical Stress
If we experience an emotional or physical shock, it can feel like we have “taken a hit” and this “hit” may move us off our axis (grounded state) to an ungrounded state. We can also become ungrounded through continued irrational thought patterns. Stress is a result of conflict, whether that is physical, emotional, mental, or spiritual.
The increased presence of stress in the body through experiencing emotional or physical shock floods the body with a barrage of chemicals designed to get us ready to defend ourselves (fight/flight/freeze). These hormonal chemical messengers may also be responsible for increased inflammation in the body, especially if the state of stress is chronic or long term. Research on the benefits of grounding suggests that grounding helps to reduce body inflammation by helping to cancel some of the positive free radicals in the body responsible for inflammation.
New research also indicates that your beliefs about how stress affects your health can impact the physiological effects of stress.
“How you think and how you act can transform your experience of stress. When you choose to view your stress response as helpful, you create the biology of courage.”
Kelly McGonigal (TED talk September 2013)
3. Shallow Breathing
Stress can cause us to shallow breathe, which may move you to an ungrounded state. Consider any oils that help increase the depth of the breath and consider the Diaphragm Breath exercise.
A change in weather may also unground us. Just before a storm hits, the atmosphere becomes charged with positive ions which can make us feel irritable and fatigued. I remember seeing this in my pet cat – Snoopy. Just before a storm hit, Snoopy would become sillier and more hyperactive – we used to say, “mad cat, mad cat”. I even remember as a child running around quite silly before a nor-wester changed into a storm. Some people may be naturally more sensitive to the change in barometric pressure of a changing weather pattern and feel more acutely this change in ionic state.
The New York Times also writes that the presence of pollutants, high voltage lines, and radioactivity can also affect the ionic state of the atmosphere. Research is continuing in this area to determine how changes in the ion state can affect both humans and animals.
Drink more water – simple but effective. Energy moves more freely within a wet environment, and our body is predominantly water so the more hydrated we are, the more our energetic (and all other) body systems will operate more effectively.
On an energetic level, stress can affect our energetic systems such as the aura. The aura is responsible for keeping our systems together and being ungrounded may weaken it. Exercises to strengthen our aura can help us become more grounded.
So how can we Physically Ground Ourselves?
While we can ground by having any part of our bare skin touch the Earth, (skin is a great conductor), the simplest way is to place our bare feet onto the dirt, sand or grass to connect with the Earth’s electrons, allowing them to move up through the feet, through a particularly receptive point on the foot known as K1 or the first point on the Kidney meridian. If our feet have the correct polarity and our Kidney energy is strong, we pull these electrons into our body. (See below for some exercises to help keep the correct body polarity and the Kidney meridian strong.)
You might remember in school science what happens when two north sides or two south sides of a magnet are placed together – they repel each other. The Spooning the Feet exercise (see below) is a great exercise to make sure our feet are holding the correct polarity.
If the Earth’s surfaces are wet, it allows for an even greater conduction of the electrons from the Earth to us. Walking along the beach with bare feet in the wet sand is very beneficial for our body. Sea water is a great conductor.
Surfaces like wood, vinyl and asphalt are not conductive to the flow of electrons. Concrete can be a good conductor if it is not sealed or painted.
Where you can’t get enough access to the Earth physically, there are grounding products available. I have no experience with them, but you can find out more by going to http://www.earthing.com/
This site has an excellent video explaining earthing (another name for grounding).
Dr Joseph Mercola
Dr James Oschman
Stephen Sinatra HeartMD Institute
Weather and its Effect on Ions
By Clinton Ober, Stephen T. Sinatra, M.D. and Martin Zucker
Trailer to the Movie – “Grounded”