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The Importance of Grounding

Feeling ungrounded, anxious, or disconnected from your body? The solutions may lie in understanding how grounded you are.

When you're stressed, ill or your nervous system is holding unresolved trauma from childhood, your body over time has heightened production of positive ions and free radicals. This not only puts you in fight or flight mode, but if your nervous system doesn't get to release this charge on a regular basis, you can end up with chronic inflammation. This affects all aspects of your mental wellbeing, your hormonal balance and eventually your physical health.

Grounding is literally, life saving.

The process of grounding can be as simple as literally touching grass!

The earth has a slightly negative charge of around -300 to -700 millivolts. When you make direct contact your body starts to absorb free electrons from the Earth which neutralises the positive charge that has built up.

The Neuroscience of Grounding

Image source: Red = increased inflammation , Blue = low to no inflammation. ⁣ ⁣The image on the right was taken on 7-15-05 after 4 nights of sleeping on the ETT sleep system. Note the significant improvement in inflammation in the entire low back region.⁣ When you ground yourself to the Earth, the free electrons you absorb help to neutralize and balance out this positive charge buildup. The negatively charged electrons from the Earth bind to and reduce the positive ions and free radicals in your body.

This charge-balancing process helps to calm the sympathetic nervous system by reducing the positive electrical activity that fuels the "fight-or-flight" response. It restores equilibrium to the autonomic nervous system, allowing the parasympathetic "rest-and-digest" functions to predominate.

Empirical studies using thermography have demonstrated the remarkable anti-inflammatory effects of grounding. In one such experiment, participants who spent just four nights grounded to the earth exhibited a clearly measurable reduction in inflammation, as evidenced by before-and-after thermal imaging. The end result is a profound state of relaxation, reduced inflammation, and an overall sense of physiological and emotional stability. By regularly grounding yourself, you can maintain this balanced, neutral charge state in your body, supporting optimal nervous system function and overall well-being.

What Does Grounding Help With?

According to the research, some of the key benefits of grounding or earthing include:

  • Reduced inflammation: A study published in the Journal of Inflammation Research found that grounding the body to the earth for 4 hours per day for 3-4 weeks led to a significant decrease in inflammatory markers like C-reactive protein.

  • Improved cardiovascular health: Research published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine showed that grounding the body can improve heart rate variability, a marker of autonomic nervous system function and cardiovascular health.

  • Better sleep quality: A study in the Journal of Environmental and Public Health found that grounding the body during sleep reduced sleep disturbances and improved sleep quality.

  • Decreased stress and anxiety levels: Studies in the European Journal of Integrative Medicine have demonstrated that grounding the body can reduce stress hormone levels, such as cortisol, and alleviate feelings of anxiety.

  • Enhanced muscle recovery: Research in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research indicated that grounding the body can aid in muscle damage recovery and reduce post-exercise pain.

  • Improved immune function: A study published in the Journal of Environmental and Public Health found that grounding the body can increase the zeta potential of red blood cells, which is associated with improved immune function

How Grounding Supports Hormonal Health

One of the key mechanisms by which grounding affects hormones is through its influence on the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis. This is responsible for regulating the body's stress response and production of crucial hormones, such as cortisol, adrenaline, and dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA).

When your're stressed or unknowingly holding childhood trauma imprints in your nervous system, your HPA axis becomes over active, leading to the ongoing and almost continuous release of cortisol from your adrenal glands. This disrupts the delicate balance of testosterone, estrogen, progesterone, and thyroid hormones. Without treating the underlying nervous system patterns, it is incredibly difficult to rebalance your hormones and treat hormonal related chronic conditions. This is why somatic healing is key to balancing your hormones.

Studies have shown that grounding the body can help to stabilize the HPA axis and reduce cortisol levels. The influx of free electrons from the Earth's surface appears to have a calming effect on the sympathetic nervous system, which is responsible for the "fight-or-flight" response. This, in turn, helps to modulate the body's stress response and restore hormonal homeostasis.

Furthermore, research has indicated that grounding can influence the production and regulation of reproductive hormones. For example, a study published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine found that grounding for just 1 hour per day for 3 months led to a significant increase in salivary DHEA levels in women, a precursor to both estrogen and testosterone.

The anti-inflammatory effects of grounding may also play a role in supporting hormonal balance. Chronic inflammation has been linked to hormonal imbalances, as inflammatory cytokines can disrupt the delicate feedback loops that regulate hormone production and metabolism. By reducing inflammation through the absorption of the Earth's electrons, grounding may help to maintain the optimal hormonal environment within the body.

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