Grounding in Somatic Therapy | Techniques and Health Benefits

Published: Mar 24, 2024 | Revised: Mar 31, 2024
Edited by: Marce Ferreira

Woman walking on the beach

Grounding, also called Earthing, is the belief and practice that it’s necessary to restore direct contact between one’s body and the Earth to maintain or restore health and happiness.

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The practice of Grounding involves sensing the body, increasing the felt sense of being inside our body, being aware of the sensations we feel, feeling one’s feet connected to the ground (the Earth). It’s thought to calm our nervous system and a remedy for people who live too much in their thoughts and emotions, especially those who suffered from a traumatic experience.

There’s also a more figurative sense of Grounding, which includes the capacity to stand up for oneself, “standing with both feet on the ground,” and move forward in the world, and to be psychologically connected to the biological reality of existence. In fact, Grounding is an important tool in the Body-Oriented Psychology of Wilhelm Reich and Alexander Lowen.

Hence, Grounding may help people regain the ability to reconnect with the present and increase body awareness, and as such it’s one of the techniques that can be used in Somatic Therapy and in Body De-Armoring treatments, alongside meditation, mindfulness, dance and movement, and other body-awareness exercises.

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In addition, it’s thought that the Earth’s surface, which has a natural electric charge, radiates and transfers beneficial electrons and Vital Life Force to the human body, and that close, direct contact with Earth increases the benefits.

Direct contact involves walking barefoot indoors and outdoors, and working, sitting, and sleeping on the ground. One can also find Earthing systems for purchase, such as conductive mats, pads, body bands, or patches.

By its practitioners it’s believed that Earthing can reduce inflammations, pains, stress, anxiety, trauma, dissociation, depression, arthritis, autoimmune disorders, while promoting blood circulation, mood, vitality and sleep quality, and stimulating overall wellbeing.

Another important physical benefit is that walking barefoot strengthens and stretches the smaller muscles, tendons, and ligaments in the feet, ankles, and calves. In fact, walking barefoot tends to restore our natural walking pattern, which is thought to strengthen the legs and better support our back, while improving our balance and coordination abilities.

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