The question “how do I know if my grounding mat is working?” is common among those new to the practice of earthing. Grounding mats are products designed to replicate the potential benefits of allowing your bare feet to make contact with the earth’s surface.
This human-earth connection is crucial to neutralising an influx of “positive” energy that builds up in the human body over time. According to proponents of grounding therapy, the earth has a natural “negative” charge: this means that the earth’s energy naturally balances out our own electrical charge, potentially reducing inflammation and stress. The negative charge of these products is said to have a range of benefits, from improving circulation to pain relief.
Grounding mats are intended for those who can’t get outside to interact with the earth and walk barefoot through the grass. However, knowing if your grounding sheet or mat is working can be difficult, especially if you’re new to the practice of earthing.
What Does Using a Grounding Mat Feel Like?
You may not notice any specific change when standing on a grounding mat for the first time. These devices plug into the ground port in your outlet and don’t cause any static or electrical shock. However, according to the advocates of grounding, you can start experiencing changes to your well-being and mood immediately.
Some people say they instantly feel more relaxed when stepping onto a grounding mat, or they notice fewer instances of tension throughout their bodies. Others find their pain diminishes after spending a while on the surface or sleeping on a sheet.
While some initial studies indicate that the benefits of grounding mats may help lower cortisol levels and inflammation, this research is extremely limited. The lack of insight into how grounding makes people feel and what advantages it can offer makes it difficult to know what to expect when you first start using a grounding system.
Detecting the Positive Benefits of an Earthing Mat
Most people who recommend using grounding mats indicate you should be able to tell whether the device is working by looking at how you feel. If you begin to notice health benefits when you sleep grounded or get more direct contact with an earthing product, you’re on the right path.
If you’re trying out the benefits of an earth connection for the first time, you could consider keeping a journal, where you record your experiences before and after using your new device. Start by spending a week collecting information about the issues you want your earthing product to address.
For instance, you might record the number of hours you sleep and how many times you wake up during the night if you want to overcome insomnia. If you’re worried about blood flow and pain, you can rate your discomfort on a scale of 1 to 10 each day before taking pain relief.
You can also track things like your general mood and feelings of stress or anxiety you might have daily, which will help you see if your earthing sheets or mat have any impact on your mental health. Chronic inflammation can be harder to track, but you may notice less redness, swelling or soreness in certain body parts if this issue diminishes.
One small study indicated that grounding mats and earthing techniques might be able to reduce blood viscosity, which can be a factor in heart disease and blood pressure. You could also consider tracking your blood pressure as part of your journaling process.
After establishing your baseline, you can begin using your earthing products and recording the same data each day. This method will give you insight into how your practice seems to be directly impacting your own health.
Testing Earthing With a Multimeter
If, after you spend time using your grounding mat for a while, you don’t notice any benefits from grounding, you might want to conduct some more scientific tests. Some people find they don’t discover the full potential of grounding products because they haven’t set the device up correctly, to begin with. This could mean there’s no charge to mimic the electrons from the earth.
There is an option to test the electrical output of your grounding products with a multimeter. The earthing devices you use at home connect to the grounding link in your outlet, which has three different holes – for ground, live, and neutral charges. You’ll need to ensure your home has an earthing plug before purchasing your new device. If you can’t connect your wire to the correct socket, the product won’t work. Specific countries won’t have any earthing outlets.
If you have the correct type of plug, you can use a multimeter to measure the voltage in an outlet. These devices track the AC volts and resistance levels in electrical appliances.
To use your multimeter, take the red and black leads and use them to test the neutral and live ports in a mains socket. Next, check the earthing and live ports against each other. The voltage should be almost the same when comparing both pairs of connections. If the readings are very different, there could be an issue with a port for grounding use.
Ensuring You’re Using a Grounding Mat Correctly
If your outlet checker shows your ports are working correctly, but you still don’t feel anything when your earth mat is connected, you may be using the product poorly. The process of grounding can be difficult to get used to for beginners, particularly when conducted indoors.
Most of the earthing mat options on the market will come with guidelines on how to use your grounding system. These will provide you with tips on where to place your mat, what kind of electrical outlet to use, and how to make the most of your conductive surface.
You may need to:
- Remove your shoes. An earthing mat works best when it has a direct connection with your feet. Walking barefoot on your mat will be more impactful than wearing shoes because the rubber soles on most shoes can negate any electrical connectivity.
- Drink more water. Some people report that failing to drink enough water during the day before grounding can reduce the benefits they feel in their bodies. Drinking more water is good for your health and can help keep you balanced.
- Reposition the mat. If you’re using a mat in bed, you can reposition it, so the largest portion of your body is connected to the sheet. If you’re using a mat on the floor, ensure there’s nothing underneath your grounding product but solid flooring.
- Destress: Chronic stress can sometimes increase the positive charge in your body and negate the benefits of a grounding connection. Relaxing or meditating before spending time on your mat could help you sense the benefits of your grounding product.
- Move your feet: Rather than just standing still, it might help to move your feet and walk across the mat. Doing this should improve circulation and help you connect to the grounding process.
More research is needed to determine how grounding mats work to improve human health. With that in mind, you may need to experiment a little when using one of these products indoors for the first time. What works for some people may not be as effective for others.
How Long Does It Take for an Earthing Mat to Work?
Sometimes, people who don’t initially see a benefit from grounding products give up on the process completely. However, many proponents of this form of self-care say it can take time for advantages to become evident. You may need to be patient before you start to notice significant results.
Most manufacturers note that their customers will not experience any dramatic changes overnight. While some people claim to feel a significant alteration in their body within moments of using a grounding or earth mat, others find it takes several weeks. It’s also worth remembering that the effects of an earthing product are supposed to be subtle.
While you might not feel all your stress melt away or your inflammation disappear, you may experience slight changes in your state. Being mindful of your body and emotions will help you track more minor adjustments in your mood and pain levels.
Depending on your situation, you may also need more exposure to a grounding mat before it has a significant result. Most manufacturers recommend starting with 10 to 40 minutes spent grounded each day. You can gradually work up to a longer period and even use your mat when sleeping or meditating.
The right length of time to see results from a ground connection is different for everyone. While some say that spending long periods grounded can be dangerous for beginners, there isn’t much research to demonstrate the disadvantages of extended sessions.
What Happens if You’re Not Properly Grounded?
Using a grounding mat to replicate the experience of connecting your body to the earth doesn’t have any obvious side effects or risks. There shouldn’t be any electricity flowing through your grounding mat when connected to an outlet, as the charge emitted is neutral or negative; this also means you shouldn’t have to worry about any injuries.
However, it’s important to be careful when plugging any electrical device into an outlet. Connecting the wrong wire or cord to the incorrect place can lead to electrical and fire risks. It’s also worth noting that some experts recommend not using earthing at all if you’re living in a large city with many wires running in the ground, as a strong ground current could be dangerous.
Check Your Earthing Experience With a Grounding Mat
So, how do you know if your grounding mat is working? Keep a journal at the beginning and record your experiences to detect any benefits of earthing. If you’re still not sure, you can always conduct a test with a multimeter.
If you see your electrical connection is safe, there shouldn’t be any negative repercussions to using a grounding mat incorrectly. However, you may not see the benefits expected from a proper ground or “earthing” experience.
Making sure your mat is working also means ensuring you’re properly and safely grounded.