Since time immemorial, man has been connected to the earth. Working in fields or gardening, walking barefoot on
beaches, or sleeping under the stars are all activities that link us to the natural, electrical energy of the earth’s surface. But modern man, in his concrete world filled with monitors and machines, has become more estranged from these elemental forces.
Earthing (aka grounding) is a term that refers to the conscious choice to re-establish that lost connection. People who subscribe to earthing report better sleep, less stress, reduced chronic pain and faster recovery from trauma. Earthing has been reported to equalize the body to the same energy level as the earth’s, resulting in the synchronization of our biological clocks, hormonal cycles and physiological rhythms. Hence, the body is suffused with healing through negatively charged electrons present on the earth’s surface.
Earthing as a scientific and medical movement began in the late 1990s when a retired cable TV executive named Clint Ober started to think about the human body in terms of electrical grounding. Mr. Ober drew parallels between the workings of cable TV and the human body’s electrical system. He realized that most people wear synthetically-soled shoes that insulate their bodies from the earth’s energy field, which stabilizes not only cable TV, but all electrical equipment throughout the world. This realization has lead people to recognize scientifically what man has always known intuitively: direct contact with the earth is beneficial to one’s health.
In fact, two separate studies on earthing/grounding were conducted in 2004
and 2010 and published in The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine.
In the latter study, twenty-eight men and women took part and were subjected to a grounding device while sitting in a standard reclining chair for two hours. Readings were taken during all phases of "treatment" and surprisingly, they indicated changes in blood oxygenation, pulse rate, perfusion index and respiratory rate. As a result, the following was concluded by Dr. Gaetan Chevalier, who oversaw the study:
"These results warrant further research to determine how grounding affects the body. Grounding could become important for relaxation, health maintenance and disease prevention."
More details of this 2010 study can
be viewed here.
Grounding as a potential treatment for autism came to my attention through my son’s physician, Dr. John Green of Oregon City. Dr. Green only works with children with autism and also specializes in environmental health and immunology. His response was, "I think earthing will prove helpful with sleep quality in some of the sleep disturbed children and may in the longer term help with oxidative stress, which is such a huge factor in most kids on the spectrum."
As alternative treatments go, grounding appears to be safe, natural and very intriguing. Earthing "blankets" can be purchased at a relatively inexpensive price and while no one method should serve as a substitute for traditional autism therapies, it’s certainly worth investigating to examine its potential benefits.
We would encourage anyone who has tried (or will try) grounding to report back on their experiences.