Center for Faculty Development
Center for Faculty Development
Grounding (also known as Earthing) refers to making bodily contact with the electrical charges from the surface of the Earth. This contact can be made by standing, walking outside barefoot, lying down on the ground, or using a grounding device that transfers electrical energy while sitting, working, or sleeping. Research shows numerous positive changes produced from grounding such as stress reduction, improved sleep, blood-thinning, inflammation reduction, reduced muscle tension, reduced pain, and increased energy. While similarly named, this should not be confused with the therapeutic grounding technique for people in distress.
Whether in a traditional or fully online setting, students and faculty are regularly interacting with electrical fields in their daily activities. Humans are bioelectrical beings that can benefit from moments that integrate grounding in the classroom. Take an opportunity to invite your class outside, whether in person or fully online, and instruct students to remove their shoes or place their hands on the ground. Consider incorporating an assignment to reflect on their current state, participate in the grounding, and reflect on how they feel 30 minutes to an hour after the class session. Depending on the discipline, this technique can be integrated into another class activity with a reflection that is relevant to the field. For example, a class on adolescent development might reflect on how this technique could be used when working with adolescents and their families.
While there is research available demonstrating significant electron transfer and subjective improvement of ailments, some question the small sample sizes, possible placebo effects, and whether the electrical charge has an impact. Further research is needed to determine if grounding can have considerable positive health effects and how it can be incorporated into our lives.
Chevalier, G., Sinatra, S. T., Oschman, J. L., Sokal, K., & Sokal, P. (2012). Earthing: Health implications of reconnecting the human body to the earth's surface electrons. Journal of Environmental and Public Health, 2012. doi 10.1155/2012/291541 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3265077/
Glick, M. (2021). Earthing and its otherworldly promises. Discover. https://www.discovermagazine.com/health/earthing-and-its-otherworldly-promises
Menigoz, W., Latz, T. T., Ely, R. A., Kamei, C., Melvin, G., & Sinatra, D. (2020). Integrative and lifestyle medicine strategies should include Earthing (grounding): Review of research evidence and clinical observations. Explore, 16(3), 152-160. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.explore.2019.10.005
Oschman, J. L. (2022). Illnesses in Technologically Advanced Societies Due to Lack of Grounding (Earthing). Biomedical Journal. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.bj.2022.10.004
Sinatra, S. T., Oschman, J. L., Chevalier, G., & Sinatra, D. (2017). Electric nutrition: The surprising health and healing benefits of biological grounding (Earthing). Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine, 23(5), 8-16.