I have long been convinced that the body is healthier when we have more physical contact with the natural energetic field of the earth. I have been intensely involved in grounding research for years and have written extensively about it. In Health Revelations From Heaven and Earth, it's a topic coauthor Tommy Rosa and I cover a lot.

Grounding (also referred to as Earthing) means connecting your body directly to this field and experiencing the benefits of connection with the electric fields of Earth.

This is easy to do. My recommendation is to ground at least 150 minutes a week. You can do that by going barefoot while gardening, camping, hiking, or walking on the beach or by swimming in the ocean—there are so many ways to connect to the natural world.

When outdoors, wearing thin-soled, plain leather shoes will let you make contact with the earth's natural vibration. Rubber soles like those of tennis sneakers or the neoprene found in running shoes keep you disconnected from the earth. Other ways to ground: You can even sleep, work, or relax indoors on special conductive sheets or mats connected to the earth with wires plugged into a grounded wall outlet or a ground rod outside.

A Prehistoric Prescription

Although studied scientifically in the last decade, grounding dates back to prehistoric ages. Since the dawn of time, humans have walked barefoot and have slept on the ground, oblivious to the subtle energetic signals underfoot that research now shows help regulate the body's intricate mechanisms. Healers in many cultures throughout history knew of the natural healing endowment of the earth, though not in electrical terms.

In the Bahamas, I once learned from a bush medicine woman how to use the ocean's tides to accelerate healing. This knowledge was a form of grounding. She told me: "On an outgoing tide, dig your heels into the sand up to your ankles. Swing your arms back and forth to facilitate lymph flow. Then bend at your knees as you swing your arms all the way forward and all the way back as you feel the surge of the tide." This made perfect sense to me because our electrical body is 70 percent water. The surging outgoing tide can literally pull toxic energies from the body.

This exercise is a perfect solution for quelling inflammation. The combination of the magnetic energy of the earth, the minerals in the sand and sea, and the tide surge creates a healing vibration that suffuses the entire body. If you're too weak to stand and try it, sit in a chair at the water's edge and place your lower legs in the water.

You're Full of Electricity

Humans, like all living beings and plants, are bioelectric life forms in constant interaction with the environment. Collectively, cells form a living matrix through which the body conducts electrical impulses. Our cells resonate to particular frequencies and are in continual transmission and receipt of energy. For instance, we owe the heart's rhythmic beating in part to electrical impulses. Our nervous and immune systems, as well as muscular activity, also involve electrical currents. Electrical fields regulate the movement of nutrients and water into our cells.

Biochemists frequently refer to the sodium/calcium pumps providing energy transfer into the heart cells. We look like flesh and bone, but really we are electrical beings. The natural energy of Earth supports the entire electrical cellular framework of the body.

With modern life, heavily insulated homes and buildings and rubber- and plastic-soled shoes have largely disconnected us from the planet's healing energy—a disconnect that may be an overlooked cause in the steep rise of diseases, fatigue, stress, and poor sleep that plagues contemporary societies.

One of my greatest discoveries in more than 40 years of clinical practice is the positive, healing impact that grounding has on blood viscosity, or thickness. When blood thickens like ketchup, it can promote blood clotting and inflammation. Our group of investigators showed that connecting to Mother Earth's energy—also known as the Schumann resonance and measured at 7.83 hertz—caused red cells to repel one another with greater force, thus making the blood's consistency more like red wine; this meant that more oxygen was being delivered to the tissues.

In essence, by increasing the velocity of blood and improving oxygen delivery, grounding assuages the fires of inflammation. It puts the body into a healthy state. Since highly thick blood, along with inflamed blood vessels, is the cardinal cardiovascular risk factor for heart disease, in my opinion, it makes sense to ground: Earthing/grounding will reduce cardiovascular risk by connecting our bioelectric nature to that of the earth.

Electrons move through the body via healing channels called meridians, which are stimulated largely by pressure at various points on the body. There is one very powerful point that just happens to be in the middle of the bottom of the foot—a point known to acupuncturists as Kidney 1 (KI 1). When you walk barefoot, you first press down on the KI 1 point. This activates the entire meridian that runs up your leg, over your back, through your kidneys, and up to your neck, terminating in the roof of your mouth, and you increase the flow of healing electrons to virtually every part of your body.

It's a well-known fact that Earth's surface possesses a limitless supply of electrons, constantly replenished by lightning strikes and solar radiation. When allowed to flow into our bodies, these electrons work like antioxidants, disarming the free radicals that make us sick or age us.

In contrast to meridians, chakras are a different interpretation of how energy flows through the body. They are energy centers, comprising seven major points along the body's midline, corresponding to specific organs, glands, and functions. Chakras constantly rotate and pulsate, drawing energy into the body. If any one of the chakras is blocked, the energy cannot flow, causing emotional and physical problems. One way to prevent blockages is to ground on a regular basis and let Earth's energy open up the chakras and promote the flow of healing energy throughout the body.

Radiation Detox

Grounding is an excellent way to protect the body from the wireless radiation and electromagnetic fields generated by electrical and wireless devices. Some people cannot tolerate these now-ubiquitous emissions. Their hearts and brains, which have electrical systems of their own, may be affected.

A study reported in the journal Atmospheric Environment in August 2007 described how electromagnetic waves (EMW) emitted from computers, cellphones, Wi-Fi, and common household devices can trigger asthma, flu, and other respiratory problems. How, exactly? The research team of British scientists noted that electrical fields can charge invisible, ultrafine particles in the air, such as viruses, allergens, bacteria, and other toxins, keeping them airborne indefinitely. As a result, they are easily—and constantly—inhaled.

Further, in 2015, the World Health Organization's International Agency for Research on Cancer issued an alert that electromagnetic radiation from mobile phones and other wireless devices constitutes a probable human carcinogen.

Many people with hard-to-diagnose illnesses could benefit from understanding how cellular and cordless phones, cellphone towers, and Wi-Fi can and do cause breakdowns in numerous areas of the body. The invisible waves emitted are potentially harmful and impossible to completely eliminate, so countering that exposure with the earth's natural vibrations is important. One of my special concerns is the relentless barrage of wireless technology that has exploded into daily living and its potentially hazardous effects on our health.

My family and I try to rely as little as possible on cellular and wireless technology. I feel "different" when I am exposed to these things. That awareness fostered my sense that some people can be "electrically sensitive."

Grounding, a Proven Healing Method

In 2012, assisted by other researchers, I published a review study on the health implications of grounding in the Journal of Environmental and Public Health. We reviewed and summarized more than 15 studies on grounding, as well as many others on the effects of Earth's electrons on health. Basically, what we concluded from our review is that grounding helps improve cardiovascular, respiratory, digestive, nervous, and immune system function by restoring the body's natural internal electrical stability and rhythms.

It also restores the body's healing potential. This study, along with my more than 10 years of research and observations, support that for many, daily grounding activity can:
  • Decrease inflammation as well as assuage its physical symptoms
  • Reduce or eliminate chronic pain
  • Improve sleep
  • Increase energy
  • Thin blood and improve blood pressure and blood flow
  • Relieve muscle tension and headaches
  • Lessen hormonal and menstrual symptoms
  • Speed healing, even after surgery, and prevent bedsores
  • Alleviate or eliminate jet lag
  • Protect the body against potentially health-disturbing environmental electromagnetic fields (EMFs)
  • Accelerate recovery from intense athletic activity
  • Balance the autonomic nervous system by decreasing sympathetic and increasing parasympathetic nervous activity: When dealing with challenges and stressful situations, we use our sympathetic nervous system and expend energy. When we're calm and relaxed, our parasympathetic nervous system kicks in, so the body can repair and restore itself.
Grounding, a Brain Booster

Grounding may also boost your mood. In a first-of-its-kind study, researchers at the University of California - Irvine tested 40 adults to see if grounding could improve mood. Part of the group grounded for one hour; the others did not ground. The participants' moods were assessed on a special scale before and after the experiment. Those who grounded reported pleasant and positive moods, while the others had no improvement. The researchers reported their findings in the April 2015 issue of Psychological Reports.

Everybody benefits from grounding, but in different ways. The positive results can come quickly and dramatically, such as less pain and better sleep, or subtly and gradually over time. Often, people who are very ill or are saddled with various symptoms notice a dramatic difference. Someone who has radiant health and sleeps well might not feel the differences so dramatically, but connecting to the earth helps preserve and perpetuate that good health.

I sincerely regard grounding as a simple, natural form of antiaging and preventive medicine, whether the benefits are obvious or subtle. Through the simple and powerful method of grounding, we can remember our connection to nature and, in so doing, reclaim aspects of our health that need rejuvenation. Where there is Earth, there is healing.

How (and Why) to Work Grounding Into Your Life

Grounding is one of the easiest and most uplifting ways to improve your health and overcome issues that may be related to electromagnetic sensitivities in the environment. Here are some action steps to take to reap and maintain the benefits of grounding:

1. I will place my feet on the grass, soil, sand, concrete, or brick at least a half hour daily and walk barefoot. I will seek out other ways to ground and immerse myself in nature: swimming in the ocean, a lake, or a river; hiking in the mountains; or lying under the stars.

2. I will reduce the time I spend toggled to devices and electronic ways of communicating. Instead of searching for things on the Internet, I will look for ways to be with nature. I will write down a list of changes I'm willing to make and cross them off as I reduce my exposure.

Some examples of effective changes:

Limit cell calls. Lower the number and duration of your cellphone calls, and use a speakerphone whenever possible.

Toss your phone. Throw away your cordless phones and use a plug-in version, such as a landline, instead.

Stow it. Turn off your cellphone when it's not in use and stow it away from your body.

Don't keep electronics on. Unplug electrical equipment when it's not in use.

Be smart about the router. Keep your router turned off at night or use a wired-only router.

Pad your exposure. Use a grounding or Earthing pad under your laptop to shield your body from electrical charges.

Protect your head. Move your clock or radio away from your bed so EMFs aren't directed at your head.

Create space. Stand back at least 30 feet from your microwave when it's cooking. Or reduce your dependence on microwave cooking.

If shopping for a new home... Avoid living near cellular towers and high-tension power lines, if possible and feasible