One of my cardinal principles of health is called grounding (also known as Earthing). It’s an amazingly simple concept that involves nothing more than reconnecting the human body with the energy naturally present in the ground we walk on.
I’ve been involved in a lot of the early research on this, and I believe it could be the most important heart-health breakthrough I’ve come across in my 30-plus years as a doctor.
In a nutshell, here’s how grounding works:
The Earth’s surface contains a limitless number of free electrons that are continually replenished through solar radiation and lightning strikes; your body naturally absorbs these particles when you make physical contact with the ground.
In the body, these electrons have an anti-inflammatory effect because they reduce the free-radical activity that causes inflammation and chronic pain. (If you remember your high school science, electrons are negatively charged. Inflammation-causing free radicals are positively charged, which means the additional free electrons neutralize the free radicals.) The energy of the free electrons gained through grounding also helps keep your body’s innate electrical circuitry properly balanced. All of these effects of grounding are extremely beneficial to heart health.
Without a regular connection to the Earth, people can develop what I call an electron deficiency. In turn, this can lead to imbalances in the body and potentially to significant health problems. For example, chronic inflammation—which is increasingly being identified as the cause of many chronic diseases, including heart disease, cancer, diabetes and autoimmune disorders—may be a result of a lack of connectedness.
Fortunately, the connection can be easily restored by regularly practicing grounding—either by going barefoot outside or sitting or lying on special conductive devices (such as pads for the floor or bed) that are plugged into grounded standard three-pronged electrical outlets. Many such grounding products are available at www.amazon.com.
WATCH: How grounding Affects the Body and Why It Works
Video courtesy of HeartMDInstitute
The Benefits of Grounding
The dozen or so completed studies on grounding have proven beyond any doubt that becoming grounded has significant positive effects on our physiology and heart health. Grounding’s many physical benefits—particularly those that lead to a healthy heart—include:
A decrease in inflammation and an improvement or elimination of the symptoms associated with many inflammation-related disorders, including heart disease
Lowered stress and increased calmness in the body by moderating nervous system activity and stress hormone secretion
Improved efficiency of the cardiovascular, respiratory, circulatory, and nervous systems
A reduction in chronic pain
How to Get Grounded
Getting started with grounding is easy. If conditions allow, literally go barefoot outside. Just 40 minutes a day can make a difference. Grass, sand, dirt and concrete are all conductive surfaces from which your body can draw the Earth’s electrons. Wood and vinyl are not conductive.
If going barefoot outside isn’t realistic, a warm basement with a concrete floor will also work. Sit there and read or just relax with your bare feet resting on the ground. Before you begin grounding, however, take note of the effects grounding can have on the actions of certain medications.
To find out more about grounding products to use as you sleep, sit or work, read Earthing (Basic Health, 2010, and available at www.amazon.com), the book I co-authored with Clint Ober—who discovered the health benefits of grounding—and my writing colleague Marty Zucker.
More Dr. Sinatra Advice on Grounding for Heart Health
How does grounding decrease your stress levels, consequently promoting optimal heart health? Read about the research that shows that grounding can cut your risk of heart disease by positively affecting your nervous system.
What beneficial effects does grounding have on circulation to boost heart health? Learn how grounding can keep your heart healthy by thinning your blood and lowering your blood pressure.
Which medications might be affected by the heart-healthy practice of grounding? Find out how the heart-health benefits of grounding may lead to a reduction in some of your medications.