Toolkit – WHAT IS GROUNDING?
Words by Emily Coogan
WHAT IS GROUNDING?
Is the answer to chaos beneath our feet?
In a win for boozy picnics and beach days, ‘grounding’ has received the scientific tick of approval.
Also known as ‘earthing’, grounding is the practice of physically making contact with the earth and reaping its electrical benefits. At the risk of sounding like your mum’s woo woo friend, connecting with the conductive systems of the planet has the power to regulate the baseline functions of the body, whatever that looks like for each individual person.
I get it - speaking of energy transferral in this context can quickly verge on pseudoscientific, but the evidence is there. Literature has documented significant physiological changes in those who practice grounding, including a reduced risk of inflammation, stress and sleep dysfunction (the unholy trinity), as well as improved cardio and respiratory health (i.e. the old heart and lungs). The earth’s surface is understood to be a source of health maintenance, disease prevention and even therapy, admitting the ground we walk on to the ranks of sunshine, clean air, water and sustenance as life-and-death negotiators.
We know that a symbiotic relationship exists between humans and the earth, even if we are slacking on our end of the deal, but the idea of the earth acting as our battery is a relatively understudied principle. Only recently has the significance of this connection been explored by experts, but it has been experienced for millennia. Emerging research supports the idea of nature as a restorative for humans in more ways than we can count, despite seeming rudimentary and far too accessible.
Being energised from the ground up sounds simple in theory, but our high-flying lifestyles and schedules of chaos are leaning further and further away from the earth itself. When we spend most of our weeks in digital clouds storeys high, it’s possible to go months without physically touching the earth with our skin. Days spent in highrises wearing broad-soled footwear distances us from the very planet that sustains us, in turn separating us from its preventative and therapeutic potential.
There’s no real art to grounding, but it can also relate to the elusive practice of doing nothing. If you’re intrigued, try dedicating time to sit or lie in grass. Walk barefoot outdoors or take that famed romantic stroll along the beach. The power of the planet to stabilise our bioelectricity may eventually be too promising to pass up.
Rather than short circuiting ourselves into oblivion, getting up close and personal with the earth’s surface is the go. Try it and see for yourself.
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