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Stressed? Try Earthing!

Updated: Aug 22, 2023

Most of my clients present with a medically-complicated history and often, they’ve spent years trying to sort through their issues to get answers, solutions or just some much-needed relief. So, it’s no surprise that they’re also under a great deal of stress. What many of them don’t know (or may not want to acknowledge) is that stress can exacerbate their health issues. When appropriate, I share that while stress is a natural response to challenging or threatening situations, chronic or excessive stress can have detrimental effects on both physical and mental health. Then, we discuss some potential solutions, one of which is a concept called Earthing.

Earthing, also known as grounding, refers to the practice of connecting your body to the Earth's surface by walking barefoot on the ground, standing on the Earth, or using special grounding devices. The idea behind Earthing is that the Earth carries a negative electrical charge, and by making direct contact with it, you can balance your body's electrical charge and receive various health benefits.

Some proponents of Earthing suggest that it can help reduce stress levels. There is anecdotal evidence and a limited number of small studies suggesting that Earthing might have stress-reducing effects. It is believed that by connecting to the Earth's surface, which has a negative electrical potential, excessive positive charge buildup in the body (which is NOT healthy) can be neutralized. This electrical balance is thought to influence the autonomic nervous system (fight or flight vs. rest & digest), which plays a role in regulating stress responses.

Think about it: years and years ago, we walked the Earth with bare feet, slept on the ground, dug our hands in the dirt to tend to our food sources, etc. But in modern times, it’s a rarity that our skin actually connects with the Earth’s ‘skin’. Concrete, rubber shoe soles, high rise buildings, sofas, beds, etc., - not to mention the electronics that surround us – all have created a barrier between us and the ground. We’re quite literally disconnected from the Earth.


Photo compliments of Mohamed Nohassi on unsplash.com

Spending time outdoors and connecting with nature can have inherent stress-relieving benefits. Being in natural environments, such as parks or forests, has been shown to reduce stress, lower blood pressure, and improve overall well-being. Recall how it feels to dig your toes in the sand, listen to the ocean waves, breathe in the clean, crisp air when you’re surrounded by trees – and my favorite: to lie on the grass and look up at the clouds (when is the last time you did THAT? I challenge you to do it this week!). That feeling of ‘ahhhhhh’ and deep exhalations might just be enough to convince you. Earthing is just one of many, many ways in which we can address our over-the-top stress levels, but I particularly like this one because it harkens me back to my youth, when I ran around bare foot, laid on the grass and identified cloud shapes and played in the dirt. Good times; less stress.


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