What is ‘Earthing’ and Why Are People Going Nuts Over It?

As humans, we seem to intuitively know that spending time outside is good for body and soul. In addition to the vitamin D benefits of sunlight, there’s just something about being outside that feels good. We might not always be able to put our finger on why, exactly, the great outdoors is good for us, but we know it to be true: In fact, a recent study estimated that an abundant urban tree population would reduce national healthcare spending to the tune of $6.8 million, as a result of better air quality, decreases in stress and other health factors.

A new group of scientists has recently started looking into the health benefits of direct contact with the earth—things like walking barefoot on the grass, sitting against a tree and lying on a warm, sandy beach. This practice of direct contact has been termed “earthing,” and a number of health and wellness gurus are beginning to advocate for it.

The Theory Behind Earthing

The idea on which earthing is based states that the earth emits a certain type of energy that can reduce inflammation, calm stress and improve health overall. Without making direct contact with the ground, say proponents, we don’t get these benefits, leaving us feeling sluggish and generally causing ill health.

“Think of it perhaps as vitamin G—G for ground,” states Earthing.com. “What does that mean to you? Maybe the difference between feeling good and not so good, of having little or a lot of energy, or sleeping well or not so well.”

This may sound extremely woo-woo, but in fact, there is some research to support this. One study published by scientists at the University of California, Irvine, found that just one hour of earthing decreased markers of inflammation and improved blood flow. Another study confirmed these findings, and also added that earthing seemed to improve immune response, increase wound healing factors and lessen the effects of autoimmune diseases. The idea of some special electric current running through the ground may be a little far-fetched, but there’s little doubt that the effects of nature can reduce stress and therefore improve health.

Electronic Earthing Products

So, it’s hard to argue with the idea of grass beneath your feet being bad for you, but do you really need technology to experience the benefits of earthing? This is where the line gets blurry.

Companies such as Earthing.com sell products that you can place under your feet (for while you’re at the computer or in front of the TV) or under your bed (for while you’re sleeping) that supposedly get energy from the ground outside your home, allowing you to “earth” while you’re inside partaking of your daily activities. The argument is that these earthing pads give you the same energy charge that you’d get from making direct contact with the ground outside.

The Bottom Line

It’s hard to see how people would buy into the idea of synthetic earthing pads when they could just go outside. But strange products aside, the prospect of spending more time in direct contact with the grass, dirt or sand is certainly an attractive one. And if sitting against a tree, eating an apple and reading a book is good for you, there’s really no downside. Time spent outside is always valuable.

79 comments

John B
John B1 years ago

Thanks Maggie for sharing the info.

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Jill M.
Jill M2 years ago

gadgets cannot replace the real thing, sorry. how can any company claim to recreate the energies of the earth without even knowing what they are. LOL

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Fi T.
Past Member 2 years ago

Leave the electronic gadgets for the real good

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william Miller
william Miller2 years ago

thanks

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Jim Ven
Jim Ven2 years ago

thanks for the article.

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Siyus Copetallus
Siyus Copetallus2 years ago

Thank you for sharing.

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Mary B.
Mary B2 years ago

Imagine that ! We need Earth energy to stay healthy ! The only thing 'woo woo' about this idea is that we need techno gadgets to tap into the earths magnetic field. Our body's already know far more than we do about earthing. We can consciously ground [earth] ourselves by imagining a stream of energy current going out from our feet deep into the land. This lets your body know you are ready to consciously know more about what it's always been tuning into. So those who live in cities in high rises, girly girls, or are allergic to grass and afraid of bugs can also benefit from natures vibrations. I warn you tho, you will think you're becoming psychic [really big woo woo ] as you start picking up info that you could not have known before your own inner sonar and radar infiltrated your awareness. All the crazy people who think they need guns with them at all times are the most ungrounded, fearful folks around.

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Rebecca Gouge
Rebecca Gouge2 years ago

Thank you!

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chris B.
chris B2 years ago

Do we really need scientists and studies to tell us that nature is good for us? Stop building buildings and garages, and houses and dams and apartments and fast food places, etc. Go outside. Get some fresh air - if you can find it. ;-(

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Jessica K.
Jessica K2 years ago

I always feel better in a natural environment. Thanks.

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