A new internet trend called ‘grounding’ has influencers walking barefoot – but what does the science have to say about the practice?
Grounding, sometimes referred to as ‘earthing’ or ‘green footing’, has taken over social media apps like TikTok and Instagram, with many influencers claiming it can be beneficial to the body. .
The therapeutic practice of grounding (not to be confused with mental health healing) involves walking around barefoot in order to reconnect one electrically to the earth.
A TikToker by the handle @AliceAllani told her 661,000 followers that what initially started as a joke, she now walks barefoot everywhere including the grocery store – this has prompted some TikTokers to express concern about hygiene. Motivated to rage because of COVID-19.
Although grounding has just taken over the Internet, the practice has been around for quite some time, with scientists taking an interest in the technique since at least the early 2000s.
The basic principle behind grounding lies in earthing science and physics which claims that electric charges from Earth can have a positive effect on one’s body, according to a study published in the Journal of Environmental and Public Health.
“It is believed that the influx of free electrons absorbed into the body through direct contact with Earth neutralizes reactive oxygen species (ROS) and thereby reduces acute and chronic inflammation,” the study said.
The study also points to history to support its hypothesis, saying nothing that “Throughout history, humans walked mostly barefoot or with shoes made from animal skins … abundant free electron bodies.” We’re able to enter which is electrically conductive.”
Other recent research has also claimed that grounding may play a positive role in heart disease, muscle damage, chronic pain, and mood.
Still, despite the promising signs of these studies, much more research is needed for scientists to conclusively state that ‘grounding’ actually works.
However, for those who are interested in trying it for themselves, there are a few different ways to engage in grounding.
Some techniques include walking barefoot, lying on the ground, submerging yourself in water and spreading your palms on the ground.
There are also devices that promote grounding, which some find helpful, such as grounding mats, sheets or blankets, socks, bands and patches.
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