“Since the late 20th century, chronic degenerative diseases have overcome infectious disease as the major causes of death in the 21st century, so an increase in human longevity will depend on finding an intervention that inhibits the development of these diseases and slows their progress” Silvio De Flora et al (see here)
Health is made up of physical and mental balance and strength. Physical symptoms are often rooted from an emotional source and vice versa. The circle continues and to have peace from one, we need to work on both. Resources such as nutrition, exercise and stress management tools all work together. By integrating an energetic aspect to your treatment plan, you can achieve your desired goals.
The earth has a natural and subtle surface electric charge, that systemically influences the basic bioelectrical function of the body. There are frequencies within us and surrounding us, these frequencies whether they are light, ionic or water based infuence our mind and body both in conscious and subconcius ways.
To support our immune and nervous system function, we can harmonise our own in body frequencies and reactions by using nature. One of the easiest and effective ways to do this is through grounding techniques.
Systemic grounding benefits (source)
“Emerging evidence shows that contact with the Earth—whether being outside barefoot or indoors connected to grounded conductive systems—may be a simple, natural, and yet profoundly effective environmental strategy against chronic stress, ANS dysfunction, inflammation, pain, poor sleep, disturbed HRV, hypercoagulable blood, and many common health disorders, including cardiovascular disease. The research done to date supports the concept that grounding or earthing the human body may be an essential element in the health equation along with sunshine, clean air and water, nutritious food, and physical activity.” Gaétan Chevalier et al (see here)
Grounding exercises are helpful for many situations where you may find yourself becoming overwhelmed or distracted by memories, thoughts or feelings. They are also able to help reduce physical symptoms such as pain and inflammation.
There are so many different grounding tools you can use. Eating food you have grown in your own space can be one, gardening and having contact with the soil can be very powerful. Simply being barefoot and allowing your propriceptors to take in information about the ground you are walking on can help to inform your nervous system that you are safe. Simply sitting with your pet can also be very grounding.
“Earthing is as simple as routinely walking barefoot outdoors and/or using inexpensive grounding systems indoors while sleeping or sitting, practices that restore a lost and needed electric connection with the Earth.” Wendy Menigoz et al (see here)
There are so many ways to integrate grounding in to your daily life. Here are some simple grounding techniques outside and in nature:
One of the easiest ways to ground yourself to the earth is to walk barefoot. Whether this is on grass, sand, or even mud, allowing your skin to touch the natural ground can provide you with the current from the earth. Even if it is cold, any amount of time with your feet incontact with the ground outside can be beneficial. Ideally you would stay at least 30 minutes, but even a few moments is better than nothing.
Lying on the ground
You can increase your skin-to-earth contact by lying on the ground. Clothed or unclothed, something is better than nothing. Don’t worry about dirt, as long as you are safe! You can ground in the grass woods, in a park (on a wooden bench if not the ground) or on the sand at the beach. Your own garden works wonders. If not, looking at nature works very well too. By looking at nature out of your window whilst in your house or even images in photo or on a screen is also better than nothing.
Submersing in water:
Water may be used to ground in the same way the physical earth is used for grounding.Being in water is hugely beneficial to humans, swimming in the ocean or a natural body of water is used as a way to ground yourself. Even just your feet can be beneficial. If you struggle to be in water, baths or just foot baths can work well too. Simply add some sea salt to the water and you can also look at a natural body of water or visualise your favourite outdoor spot while you are doing it for best effect.
Applying pressure to acupuncture points can help to support and balance energy. Combined with the propriceptors in the feet, using this kidney point (in Traditional Chinese Medicine meridians) may help you to communicate with your nervous system to stimulate the release of those feel-good chemicals. It may also help you to bring your attension from the noise in your head to your feet. By being, in the moment, and taking time to ground yourself using these points with some simple breathing techniques you may begin to feel more balanced and calm.
- Find the points: On the sole of the foot between the 2nd and 3rd toes. Under the bridge of the foot, about 1/3 of the distance between the base of the second toe and the heel. You can feel a slight dip at this point.
- Gently press the point on one or both of your feet at the same time with your thumbs. Focus on what your foot and your thumbs can feel.
- Notice the breath coming in through your nose and out through your nose. Repeat for a few breaths
- When you release the points with your thumb, can you still feel where they are or the sense of them?
You can feel this point or even simply visulise it whilst wearing shoes too. Young children may also respond fantastically to this point being gently pressed. It is a great point to use before bed and together with magnesium oil (see here) to aid in a restful sleep.
When you may be indoors and not able to touch your feet, try this method of grounding. This is a great way of coming back into your body and staying in the present moment. You can do this with a drink or just through visualisation
- What do you hear? Listen to sounds going on around you, or outside. Listen to your breath, if you are holding a drink can you hear anything as the liquid moves? what does your hand against the cup sound like. When you take a drink can you hear yourself swallow?
- What can you feel? You can think about you feet in your shoes, or your body in your clothes. What are the textures around you, what does your other hand feel like, or if you are holding a cup how much does it weigh and how does it feel in your hand? When you take a drink, what are the sensations in your mouth? Temperature, texture and weight of the liquid in your mouth all can be considered.
- What can you smell? What are the scents in the air or coming from your own body. What does the liquid in the cup smell like?
- What can you taste? Think of the taste of your favourite food or drink. Does you mouth have any taste, what does your saliva taste like in your mouth. Does the air have a taste as you breathe? If you are having a drink, what does it taste like?
- What do you see? Simply notice and name what you can see, notice colours around you. If you are using something to drink, notice the liquid and the cup you are holding. What can you see that maybe you didnt notice before.
There is no right or wrong way to do this, either choose one of the senses or choose to consider them all. It all depends on the situation. If you are sat waiting form someone, see how much you can notice before they arrive, it is a better way to pass the time than screen surfing!
There are many different grounding sheets, blankets, rods etc that you can buy to help support you to ground yourself in your own home. I personally like to sleep under a weighted blanket. The feel of the weight can be very comforting, it can help you to feel safe in that moment and the sense of touch is very grounding.
The most important thing is to find the way that works for you and your lifestyle. Practice makes perfect, feel safe in whatever technique that you choose and the worst thing that can happen is nothing!