The following podcast has been my most impactful and inspirational learning for the last few years. It explains why sometimes I don’t feel great. Especially if I am stuck in my head, my thoughts can go crazy, and I can have disturbed sleep patterns, when not fully grounded. I have been using a simple grounding technique for years, but then to now, understanding the science behind the practice has been huge for me.
In this podcast from Neurohacker Collective, Dr Heather Sandison speaks with Clint Ober, the innovator behind the Grounding Movement and CEO of Earth FX Inc., Explaining how grounding/earthing returns us to natural balance improves sleep and reduces inflammation – and how it, therefore an invaluable tool for physical and mental well-being. Take a listen and see if you find it just as insightful, or scroll down the page for a summary of the keep points.
In the interview, Clint describes his discovery that grounding can eliminate chronic pain by reducing inflammation, now commonly understood as the cause of all diseases.
Clint explains that Animals in the wild remain grounded as a matter of course. They don’t have inflammation and don’t suffer the same ailments as humans and their domesticated companions. Clint puts this down to a sea change from the 1960s onwards as we shifted to being more indoors and replaced natural products (for example shoe leather) with synthetic products, putting us into a state of disconnection from the earth and impacting our physical and mental well-being. We should, Clint states, be exposed to the earth regularly. This is something we know intuitively; that feeling of well-being we experience after a day in the bush, at the beach, or digging around in our own gardens. But it’s not just the feel-good factor of nature we are experiencing, there is an active, scientific, interchange our bodies go through when we expose them to the earth.
As Clint puts it, we are “electrical creatures first, chemical second.” The Earth has a universal negative charge and, just as the electricity in our house needs to be grounded, being in touch with the earth reduces the positive charge in our bodies, bringing us into synch and reducing or even putting out the “fire of inflammation” that causes pain and disease.
Our immune system is boosted through the process of grounding. Clint describes how neutrophils, a type of white blood cell that acts as our immune system’s first line of defence, wrap around and neutralise pathogens. This initial necessary inflammatory response causes excess radicals that are not neutralised, kicking off a vicious cycle – an oxidative process – that is the underlying cause of chronic inflammation. And of course, chronic inflammation is the cause of illnesses and conditions such as cancers and autoimmune diseases. Grounding, being in touch with the negatively charged earth, interrupts this process, rebalancing our immune system and reducing inflammation.
Another outcome of grounding is its ability to discharge cortisol in our bodies. Typically, cortisol should peak from 4 am to 6 am to get us out of bed. Pain causes unnatural cortisol rhythms, disrupting sleep patterns and causing anxiety, irritability, depression and, if not checked, building inflammation. Elevated cortisol, after a long period, exhausts our adrenals, keeping us in an extended state of fight or flight. It’s another vicious cycle – with the immune system busy fighting inflammation it doesn’t have time to repair and maintain the body.
Grounding becomes more important as we get older. As we age, our positively charged red blood cells tend to become thick and sticky, often requiring medication. Grounding makes them more negatively charged, repelling each other, keeping our blood thinner and circulating well.
Grounding is an effective tool in our well-being toolkit, and it’s free. Clint points out that while eating well, living with purpose, community, exercise, and positive relationships are all integral to our health, grounding should be integrated into our daily routines. Any pain in your body indicates that you need to get grounded. Placing your feet on the earth for thirty minutes daily will achieve positive results. Twice a day is even better. Grounding is cumulative, it builds in your body over time, and the older we get, the more we need to do it. For people with chronic pain, Clint recommends sleeping on something connected to the earth such as a grounding mat that can be placed on your mattress. We are human batteries, Clint tells us. Health is our most natural state and keeping connected to the earth is what recharges us.
“My message is simple: get grounded, and stay grounded for a lifetime.” Clint Ober
You can read more about Clint’s work in his book titled Earthing: The most important health discovery ever.
If you made it this far then here is another fascinating view on the topic which I fully agree with, except for the ridiculous statement that rubber shoes were invented to disconnect us. Other than that the rest of this video I really think is so true.