One of the many things that have come to light during the COVID 19 pandemic is how much access to the outdoors is taken for granted. Although there are many social factors that made the lockdown particularly painstaking, there might also be some health factors that make being outside particularly beneficial. Recent research has highlighted grounding techniques as a means to reduce inflammation, oxidative stress, and stress while improving sleep quality and energy levels.
Grounding (also known as earthing) is a practice that involves coming into direct contact with the ground or a grounding mat, that is used indoors to electromagnetically connect you to the earth. This technique is considered to be beneficial because the human body produces free radicals, lone and reactive electrons, and in excess are attributed to aging and inflammation. Connecting with the earth allows these electrons to discharge from the body because the electromagnetic fields that run through the earth readily accept these electrons. This process has been connected to positive health outcomes by many studies.
Reduction of inflammation is one of the many benefits of earthing and potentially, one of the most important. Inflammation is an underlying cause or symptom for many health complications including chronic pain, arthritis and physical trauma. A review article in 2017 stated that research in the field has revealed that grounding has been clinically proven to alleviate inflammation resulting in faster healing and reducing pain.
Grounding has also demonstrated profound effects when it comes to improving quality of sleep and energy levels. A trial by Maurice Ghaly and Dale Teplitz studied the quantitative variation in cortisol levels coupled with subjective reports from participants. Ghaly found that after 8 weeks of using a grounding mattress pads most of the 12 participants reported reduction in sleep disturbances and stress levels. The cortisol levels supported these subjective reports and showed significantly reduced cortisol levels during sleep.
Although grounding by no means replaces any modern medicine, it is a simple yet effective way to alleviate inflammation, sleep disturbances, and many other ailments. Clinicians agree that there is strong evidence to suggest that there are benefits to using grounding techniques as a means to augment current treatments (Menigoz et. al.).