Most gardeners and beach bums agree nature has a restorative effect, whether it be from plunging our hands into the soil or plunking our butts on the sand. But what if being in direct physical contact with the earth actually makes us healthier?
That’s the big idea behind grounding, also called earthing. The theory is that our wired environments’ positive electrical charge (AC) isn’t good for us, so we should connect directly to the earth’s negative field (DC). And if we can’t get outside to walk barefoot, then we can buy a grounding mat or sheets or pillow cases or any other number of similar products that are plugged into a grounded electrical outlet.
Sounds woo, but it works, says Julienne Dallara, a para since contracting transverse myelitis 21 years ago. “I tend to be cynical, but the first thing I noticed since using a grounding pad is that the swelling in my feet went down,” and she adds that sleeping with her legs on the pad seems to help her spasms.
But what made Dallara, a salesperson for the Abilities Expo, a true believer was the time she forgot to take her mat with her to a show. “I woke up feeling sluggish, looked down, and sure enough my feet were all swollen up again,” she says. “I called the Grounded Beauty company and got an emergency overnight package of a grounding mat, slept better and the swelling went down. I always thought, ah, maybe it’s the placebo effect. Maybe I believe it because I want to believe it, but that was the absolute black-and-white test for me.” Now she keeps a mat under her feet during the day and sleeps on another one at night.
“It’s not a bolt of lightening, it’s not, like, zing,” she says. “You’re sitting there and you feel like, hmm, I’m getting more energy, I feel good. It’s definitely more subtle.
Dallara believes in earthing so much that she has talked Grounded Beauty into putting up a booth at the Los Angeles Abilities Expo. “They will have some pads you can put on your hands. You can sit down, relax, and really experience it right then and there,” she says.
An introductory article that includes citations to existing studies can be found here: bit.ly/2DrFnsj.