Elvis Presley had a bright idea in his 1964 song “Barefoot Ballad” about kicking off your shoes and kicking off your blues.
What Elvis didn’t know is that the instant you put your bare feet down on the ground outside you establish an electric contact with the Earth and there’s a powerful shift inside your body.
Either barefoot outside or grounded inside as well, you are receiving the natural, subtle frequencies that pulse through the surface of our electrodynamic planet. And these frequencies, according to Earthing research, have a genuinely soothing, uplifting influence on your nervous system and mood.
The latest evidence comes from a 2014 Earthing study on facial blood flow conducted by electrophysiologist Gaétan Chevalier, Ph.D., a visiting scholar in the Department of Family Medicine & Public Health, School of Medicine, UC San Diego., and the director of the Earthing Institute. In the study, Dr. Chevalier documented that Earthing improved facial blood flow. At the same time, he also tested the mood of the 40 participants.
The participants sat in a comfortable recliner chair for one hour and were either grounded (27 participants) or sham grounded (13) during the time. So all were quite relaxed by the end of the session. Before and after the session, they were asked to fill out a questionnaire about their mood.
An analysis of the questionnaires showed that in comparison to the sham grounded group, the grounded participants had a more pleasant experience, felt more positive, and more relaxed.
“Grounding improves measurements of mood within one hour, suggesting a potential positive effect on health,” Dr. Chevalier concluded. His findings were published in the online journal Psychological Reports.
The findings add to previous evidence documenting a positive effect from grounding on aspects of the physiology related to stress and mood:
• A 2004 study showing a normalizing influence on the stress hormone, cortisol. Nine out of the 12 participants in the study reported reductions in emotional stress after six weeks of sleeping grounded.
• Studies published in 2006 and 2007 showing less muscle tension among grounded subjects, compared to non-grounded subjects, and a shift in autonomic nervous system function from a stress-stimulated sympathetic mode to a calmer parasympathetic mode.
• A 2010 study demonstrating rapid activation – within seconds – of the parasympathetic system.
• A 2011 study showing this same improved balance, and again rapidly, within the autonomic nervous system, as determined by measuring heart rate variability, a yardstick of nervous system balance or lack of balance on cardiac function.
• In 2011 and again in 2012, researchers found a unique and rapid stability of the body’s electrical functioning exerted by Earthing, suggesting that bare skin contact with the Earth helps regulate the nervous system and significantly influences the electrical activity of the brain.
Feedback from the Field
The evidence from these multiple studies provides a crystallizing picture of why, over the years, many individuals report that their moods have improved from grounding, that they feel less anxious or as depressed, and that they feel more centered. We also believe that moods improve as a result of Earthing’s influence on pain reduction and hormone balance.
Here are some comments:
• “My wife is 47. Her periods/going through menopause issues have been more regular. Her hot flashes have almost disappeared. Her moods have been more stable when her period approaches. She sleeps deeper and better.”
• “The biggest benefit…and maybe the least immediately noticeable….my whole family, 3 and 8 year olds, the wife, and I….we are all happier. Kids are inquisitive and energetic, temper tantrums are gone. Parents are more patient. We are all more optimistic. This is a subtle benefit….not easy to put one’s finger on. This is the biggest blessing of all!!”
• “My 12 year old son is experiencing deeper breath and sleep, more vivid dreams and much better sense of well-being, calmness. He has focus issues. But since we’ve been grounding his school grades, moods, coping skills have drastically improved.”
• “I’ve been Earthing for a couple of years. I used to suffer all winter with Seasonal Affective Disorder. I took vitamin D and that made a little difference but not that much. This last winter I was happy all along because of Earthing until the connection came loose at the wall socket for two days. I felt like hell, the same hell I felt every winter since the 1940s. Then I discovered the disconnection, reattached the mat to earth ground and slept all night. The next morning I felt great! That’s an overnight cure of SAD, unheard of.”
• “I have had great success in improving my health with grounding. Also the mood swings I experienced at certain times of the month are gone. I feel better and I am able to tolerate daily stresses better.”
• “After one month of grounding, I have noticed a change in temperament of my 4 year old daughter. She has become calm, composed, and very happy! She wakes up in a happy mood and remains that way all day. It is a marked change in her.”
• “A friend of mine, a woman in her sixties, was diagnosed with terminal cancer. She was given two months to live. I sent her an Earthing wristband and she is now sleeping ten hours versus seven, awakening with much less pain and inflammation and her energy level has improved dramatically. Her mood has changed as well. She feels less angry.”
A Psychiatrist’s Perspective
From an integrative psychiatrist, we have this perspective: “For patients with anxiety (post-traumatic stress disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, etc.), reconnecting with the Earth can assist with an improved sense of safety. By improving sleep, Earthing can help normalize serotonin levels in the brain as it decreases cortisol (an anxiety-inducing hormone). When cortisol levels are high, there is a tendency to go into ‘fight-or-flight’/panic responses to stressful situations and become more easily angered or irritable. As cortisol levels decrease and stabilize, we become more centered, peaceful and calm. In short, we get more easily into our heart and have more compassion for our self as well as for others.
“For patients with depression, Earthing can assist with stabilizing serotonin and this assists with decreasing crying spells, near-tearfulness, and obsessive/repetitive negative thoughts. When depressive symptoms decrease, energy levels improve and tolerance to stressful situations, pain, or discomfort improves.”
Finally, in a 2012 wellness conference for women, 100 attendees were grounded for one hour while listening to a lecture. At the end of that time, the women were asked to fill out a questionnaire. Among the results was that 82 percent felt their mood had improved, by an average of about 40 percent.
There are many remedies for stress and bad mood. Meditation. A walk. Yoga. A glass of wine. Watching a comedy. Chocolate. Ice cream. And of course, medication. Whatever your preference or needs, be sure to ground yourself as well.