Grounding For Full Range Strength

Grounding refers simply to connecting an electrical system directly to the Earth.  The human body is an electrical system and conductor.  The Earth is a reservoir of free electrons.  When a conductor such as the human body is directly connected to the Earth, electrons from the Earth flow into that conductor.

Humans evolved in constant contact with the Earth, going barefoot or wearing conductive natural fiber foot wear, and sleeping directly on the ground.  Modern footwear, non-conductive floors and lifestyles insulate us from direct physical connection to the vast supply of electrons on the Earth’s surface. It can be easily demonstrated that people who are not grounded carry a significant voltage, which is eliminated when a person is connected directly to the ground, as we do with electrical appliances. Scientific experiments indicate that our disconnection from the ground may reduce our strength and ability to recover from intense exercise and contribute to poor health. 

In the book Earthing, authors Clint Ober, Stephen Sinatra M.D., and Martin Zucker discuss the numerous studies that have provided evidence that Earthing – establishing a direct connection with the Earth – reduces pain, stress, cortisol levels, inflammation, blood coagulability, and urinary losses of vital minerals, and improves sleep, recovery from exercise and functions of the autonomic nervous system, heart, thyroid, and immune system.

Exercising Grounded

We like to exercise outdoors in bare feet.  Have you ever noticed feeling stronger and more skilled when outdoors in bare feet?  I have.  Scientific research is providing evidence that, just like electrical appliances, the human body must be grounded to function optimally. 

Grounding Improves Sleep, Controls Cortisol

Some of these studies report that people who sleep connected to the ground by using conductive bed sheets or pads (such as those to the right) fall asleep more quickly, wake fewer times during the night, and feel more refreshed in the morning.  Their cortisol levels normalize.

Cortisol is a catabolic hormone.  Excess levels of cortisol will reduce your strength and muscle mass.  Keeping yourself grounded at night and as often as possible during the day will probably improve your strength.

Earthing Reduces DOMS and Inflammation

A pilot study of the effects of grounding on delayed-onset muscle soreness found that people who are grounded have less DOMS, inflammation and pain following high intensity exercise.

This means that when you are grounded, you recover from intense exercise more quickly and are less prone to development of tendonitis, which is a common problem for people who push their limits in physical training.

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Getting Grounded

Shoes with plastic or rubber soles insulate us from the Earth’s electron supply, whereas natural plant fibers and leather do not.  Stone or unpainted concrete floors are conductive, but wood and carpet pads are not. Moist grass, soil, stone or concrete are most conductive.

Spend 30-40 minutes daily going barefoot or in natural fiber or leather-soled moccasins or shoes on the Earth, grass, stone or concrete. This is the simplest, lowest cost way to get grounded.

During the day and at night I use a conductive pad to connect to the ground while working indoors or sleeping.  I currently have the Tylson plush pad, which is similar to the Earthing brand throw, which I chose because it is portable for use in bed or at a desk; you can sleep or sit on it, or put it under your hands or around your neck at your work station.  Since starting to use it in mid March 2017 I have noticed a significant improvement in sleep quality. 

Tylson also makes a 'recovery bag' similar to that used with excellent recovery results by some U.S.-sponsored Tour de France cycling teams, as described in the Earthing book by Ober, Sinatra and Zucker.

Others may prefer the Earthing sheets at night and an Earthing mat under their feet or hands at their work stations.

Earthing Co. also makes a grounding yoga mat that you can use if you can only exercise indoors.

Eventually my goal is to live in a house that has stone, tile or concrete floors and a bed that is itself conductive.  Until then, I will use conductive shoes, mats, pads, or sheets to keep me grounded like my ancestors and all other wild animals.