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Grounding, also called earthing, refers to the practice of connecting with the Earth's surface by walking barefoot or using special grounding devices that conduct the Earth's energy. While there is limited scientific research on the topic, some studies suggest that grounding may have health benefits. Verywellmind claims that grounding (or earthing) "restores the connection between the body and the electrical currents of the earth."

How can you practice grounding? Healthline says people typically perform grounding outdoors by lying on the ground. They may also submerge themselves in water. You can also use grounding mats, sheets, or other equipment. We have a close friend that has a grounding wire attached to their bed in the master bedroom. It is often recommended that 30 minutes a day can make a significant difference.

How can it help with mental health? We want to share five things that are said to be benefits to grounding.

1. Grounding can reduce inflammation. Inflammation is a natural response of the immune system to infection or injury, but chronic inflammation can contribute to many chronic diseases. NCBI suggests that grounding may help reduce inflammation by neutralizing free radicals and reducing oxidative stress.

2. Grounding can improve your sleep Grounding has been shown to improve sleep quality and reduce the time it takes to fall asleep. This may be due to the calming effect of grounding on the nervous system.

3. Grounding can reduce stress and anxiety. Grounding has been shown to reduce stress and anxiety levels, possibly by reducing cortisol levels in the body. It can increase heart rate variability and stabilize your heart rate. It may possibly help with blood pressure and reduce blood viscosity.

4. Grounding can relieve pain. Some studies suggest that grounding may help relieve pain and improve circulation by increasing blood flow and reducing inflammation. Studies show that it can shift the autonomic nervous system from sympathetic toward parasympathetic activation.

5. Grounding can improve immune function. Some preliminary studies suggest that grounding may enhance immune system function and improve wound healing. If grounding can help to normalize the day–night cortisol rhythm, the added benefits can be greater in this area, along with others. It may literally reset (or restore) your body's natural defense.

6. Grounding can improve improve your heart health. The article from Very Well Mind indicates that prolonged grounding can reduce blood pressure levels. If this practice is used regularly it could reduce blood clumping. Of course, as mentioned previously, it could reduce stress and anxiety. Those benefits alone could help your heart.

7. Grounding can get you outside! The use of grounding could help you in your mental health journey. Especially if it encourages you to get out and enjoy nature. How can you do this effectively? Talk a walk barefoot. Sit down in a field or in your yard. Take deep breaths. Play in the dirt. Splash in a mud puddle. Take a walk at the beach.

It's important to note that more research is needed to fully understand the health benefits of grounding. However, many people find that grounding is a simple and effective way to promote relaxation and well-being. You might see if it could work for you.

Your mental health must be taken seriously. I urge you to visit with a mental health professional if you (or a loved one) struggles with mental health. There is hope! Take your mental health seriously.

You are loved.

Dr. Ray Reynolds

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