There has been a bit of buzz lately in the blogo-/facebook-sphere about something called “Earthing”, derived largely from a book written on the subject which makes some pretty significant claims about the health benefits of placing your (electrically conductive) body in (conductive) contact with the earth as much as possible. In other words, just like your home electrical system is (likely — and hopefully) grounded, or like at the doctor’s office, when they cauterize a wound, they ground your hand, the idea is that you should attempt to facilitate your connection to the electrical mass that is the earth whenever possible.
I’m not going to go into the possible health benefits of this here; if you want to learn more, I highly recommend the book on the subject. The gist of it all, tho, is basically that the more contact you have with grounded materials, the better off you are; it is our natural state, our bodies are more stable and balanced electrically when we are grounded, and it is the state in which humans spent millions of years prior to our ungrounded houses and highrises.
So there are actually a number of different ways you can go about grounding yourself. Here are a few options — although our modern lives tend to take us away from a connection to the earth, the ways in which one can reestablish connection are somewhat surprisingly diverse.
- You can walk around barefoot on, or sit with your skin touching, natural materials that are in contact with the earth (i.e. sand, dirt, grass, ocean, very large rocks), or possibly concrete that is in contact with the earth. (From what I understand, the jury is still out on whether or not concrete functions as an effective grounding mechanism. The most likely scenario tho is that if it’s unsealed concrete that can absorb water — water is conductive — then it’s probably effective for grounding, but otherwise it’s probably not.)
- You can walk around on natural materials, or possibly concrete, with shoes on and a conductive grounding strap attached to the outside of your shoe, connected to a sort of conductive garter you wear up underneath your pants above the top of your socks. They do actually sell these things!
- You can connect to the grounding of an electrical system. You can buy plugs with just the ground prong (the large circle prong) that are attached to a wire, which you can then hold onto with your hand, or step on — or, more conveniently, attach to some sort of conductive fabric that you can attach to your body in contact with your skin. However, I must admit, I have been known to stick a bent apart wire clothes hanger in a ground part of a plug and touch it to the bed frame I’m sleeping on/next to — and then making sure while I’m sleeping that I’m touching the bed frame! (I would NOT advise you to do this, however! Especially if you have little ones running around!!!)
Most modern buildings are fully grounded through the ground part of the electrical plugs; if you have an older home, you may want to look and see if you have a grounding rod somewhere planted in the dirt just next to your home — that rod should be connected in to the neutral line of your electrical system.
- You can install and connect to your own direct grounding line, through a grounding rod.
- You can take advantage of the fact that water lines are grounded, and attach your grounding connection to a water pipe. You are also grounding yourself every day when you take a shower, or sit in a bath. (Because water is so conductive! — and why they have all those warnings on hair dryers!)
- If you have a home that is heated with hot water or steam, your radiator pipes are likely grounded as well. This is how we currently ground our conductive bed sheet; this is something I made myself, and next time I post on this topic, I’ll explain how I made it — but if you want, you can also buy a pre-made conductive bed sheet here or here. In fact, we tested the conductivity of the connection between a water pipe, which we know is grounded, and a radiator pipe, both in our basement, and there was definitely an electrical connection!
Do you have other ways you use to keep yourself (literally, electrically) grounded? Have you noticed any particular improvements when you ground yourself regularly?
Watch for my next post, where I’ll explain how we made our own grounding mat.
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