Grounding, grounding is getting TikTok’s attention. What do you want to know.

Jeannie Sindicic remembers being only 4 or 5 years old when she felt a sense of calm and belonging by simply planting it bare feet on the ground.

“I loved being barefoot. Every time I was barefoot – walk on the ground, walk on the grass – it made me personally feel very young, very connected to Mother Earth,” she says, recalling how her grandmother told her that every time you are barefoot on the ground, you “vibrate with the natural frequency of the earth and the benefits of what it was.

It wasn’t until much later that Sindicic, now an intuitive life coach based in the Midwest, learned the name of this practice: grounding.

“We would call it anchoring,” she says, another term people still use today.

And she is far from alone.

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Grounding, or earthing, is a practice that has probably existed in some communities for generations, even though there was no exact label for this. Today, with interest in natural healing and new discoveries in the field, this practice is gaining more attention. On social media platforms like TikTok, the hashtag #earthing has over 66 million views and #grounding has 199 million. The 2019 documentary “The Earthing Movie: The Remarkable Science of Grounding” 4.6 million views on YouTube.

What exactly is “grounding”?

Clint Ober, author of “Earthing: The Most Important Health Discovery Ever?” » and grounding expert, explains that grounding is linked to the Earth’s slight negative charge and abundance of free electrons.

“Anything conductive (like an earth rod, metal, human body, animal) that touches the earth, the body absorbs electrons from the Earth and equalizes with the Earth.” The body is thought to use these electrons to improve its functions and reduce inflammation, leading to a myriad of health benefits.

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Although Ober is credited with discovering grounding and bringing it to the general public through his work, he acknowledges that connecting to the ground in this way is not something he has done. necessarily invented. Instead, he was inspired by his knowledge of electrical stability in the communications industry as a retired pioneer of the American cable television industry and by his childhood spent near Native American communities.

He remembers once being at the house of a Native American friend whose mother told him to take off their shoes.

“They will make you sick,” he recalled saying, a concept that stuck with him when he later began to think about the potential consequences of people no longer being naturally anchored to the Earth with invention and l use of shoes with rubber or synthetic soles. .

According to an article shared on the American Academy of Arts and Sciences On the Sicangu and Oglala Lakota website, author and educator Luther Standing Bear wrote in the 1930s: “The old people literally came to love the land and would sit or lie on the ground with the feeling of being close to a maternal power. “It was good for the skin to touch the earth and the elderly loved to remove their moccasins and walk barefoot on the sacred earth. … The earth was soothing, strengthening, cleansing and healing.”

USA TODAY reached out to the indigenous women-led organization IllumiNative for comment.

What benefits can “grounding” bring?

Once Ober started playing with the idea of ​​electrical charges in the house, body, and ground, he began to notice the “very apparent” effects he saw, including improved sleep and reduction of body pain.

Now 78, he says he remains grounded for about 80 years.% 90% of the time with both outdoor grounding as well as tools he helped develop that allow people to floor inside thanks to grounding rods and claims that he does not suffer from any health problems related to inflammation.

There is a lot of research on the the benefits that nature can have on a person’s mental healthbut less on the earth specifically, especially in terms of physical health.

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In a study published in 2012, researchers found that “new evidence shows that contact with the Earth – whether outdoors in bare feet or indoors connected to grounded conductive systems – can be an environmental strategy simple, natural and yet profoundly effective against chronic stress, ANS dysfunction, inflammation, pain. , poor sleep, disrupted HRV, hypercoagulable blood, and many common health conditions, including cardiovascular disease.

Critics argue that there are too few studies and not enough evidence to support these claims, pointing to a potential placebo effect this makes it difficult to validate from a scientific point of view.

“Unfortunately, we probably won’t have the type of robust randomized, controlled trials on earthing that we would have for other medical and wellness interventions, but that doesn’t mean it won’t “There’s no benefit,” says Dr Michael Daignaultan emergency physician based in Los Angeles and Medical columnist for USA TODAY.

But for those like Sindicic who practice earthing, she advises skeptics to look at what the soil can provide as evidence.

“Even vegetables are created in the soil. Trees are created in the soil, flowers, food, fruit… it’s important to recognize the power of the soil, the power to connect to nature and Earth.”

Sindicic says she has also experienced the benefits of grounding for her physical health.

“All the electrons coming from Mother Earth are very healing, and it’s a very beautiful experience,” she says, adding that she noticed a reduction in swelling in her feet and ankles when putting it on. To the earth.

The metaphysical and spiritual effects, she says, are “through the roof,” explaining that grounding was part of her own meditative journey of emotional healing when she was younger.

Today, it has become part of his daily routine and contributes to his mental health.

“When I wake up in the morning…I go outside with my dogs and I walk on the grass. That’s how I start my day,” she says. “It may sound cheesy… (but) it’s a form of meditation for me. I can feel the vibrations of the earth under my feet and I feel very good, I feel grounded. I feel like to really be able to start my day.”

Daignault says any time spent in nature “will pay dividends on your mental and physical health.”

“There is something inherently beneficial to well-being about being outside.”

Tips for trying “grounding”:

If you want to explore grounding, Sindicic suggests these simple steps:

  • Take off your socks.
  • Walk outside, even if it’s just on dirt or grass in your yard.
  • Stay there for a moment and be quiet for three to ten seconds.
  • Take three deep breaths from your solar plexus chakra, located about 2 inches above your belly button.

“That’s how you can start this whole journey and people trying to find (their) place in this world,” she says.

Sindicic also suggests grounding as a form of meditation or as a launching pad for those who have difficulty meditating.

Ober adds that it’s easy and free to try, no matter who you are or how much time you have, although he suggests at least 30 minutes a day.

“Take a walk outside, take off your shoes and put your bare feet on the ground. And if you’re older and need to sit down, grab a chair and sit it in the garden or even on the concrete patio,” he said. “You will notice all this tension in the release of your body.”

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