Concerns about the potential negative side effects of earthing are common among people new to the phenomenon of grounding. While many proponents of this method talk regularly about its health benefits for the immune system, autonomic nervous system and chronic inflammation, little guidance exists about potential disadvantages.
Part of the reason is the nature of this practice. Traditional grounding techniques, which involve walking barefoot on the earth, have very few dangers that come with them. If you’re strolling in a safe space with no dangerous animals, sharp objects, or lightning storms, you shouldn’t worry about any significant risks.
Emerging research on eathing and all the grounding sheets or mats on the market is promising, and when done correctly should not have any (or minimal) negative effects. After all, we are naturally supposed to be connected to earth right?
If you’re planning on trying a grounding mat or similar device to balance your electrical charge, reduce blood viscosity and protect against chronic disease, here’s what you need to know.
What Are the Adverse Effects of Improper Earthing?
Earthing or grounding is the holistic process of balancing our bio-electrical system. The human body naturally functions according to a series of electrical signals sent between cells to ensure everything can operate harmoniously. Excess charges gained from electrical surroundings and products like smartphones can upset this balance.
Earthing proponents state that placing bare feet in contact with the ground can counteract our electrical fields. The free electrons, creating a negative charge within the earth, balance the excess “positive” one of our bodies. According to holistic health advocates, offsetting our electrical charge then helps to reduce our body’s inflammatory response, pain levels, and even feelings of stress. However, you must practice earthing safely and carefully to deliver the correct results.
There are different ways to “ground” yourself in the modern world. Direct contact with the earth outside is only safe in an environment where you know you’re not going to walk over anything dangerous or expose yourself to environmental and public health concerns.
It’s also important to be aware of the electrical environment around your grounding path. If there’s a lot of activity surrounding you due to wires and currents, this may worsen your body voltage and cause more issues with your electrical signals.
Outdoors, lightning storms and high voltage environments can also be extremely dangerous when walking barefoot. This is why it’s important to be mindful of your landscape before you begin earthing.
For people who can’t practice earthing outdoors, there’s also the option to use an earthing mat with a grounding plug to achieve similar balance. However, these particular products could come with certain dangers IF they are not made correctly, or the wiring in your house has problems.
Want to be 100% safe when grounding in your own home?
We created our own grounding mats, after being disillusioned with current offerings in the market. Our products are made to the highest standard and are tested by a certified electrician. We also ensure there is a 100k Ohm resistor inbuilt into the cord, so that in the unlikely event of an electrical fault there is zero chance of any adverse events.
Can Earthing Be Harmful?
Most earthing products are deemed relatively safe when used according to the guidelines provided by the manufacturer. This often means you’ll need to ensure you’re using your grounding products correctly and check for any wiring faults before you start earthing.
Similarly, outdoors, natural body grounding is widely considered a safe method, provided you’re cautious about where you practice it. However, there are a few potential risks you’ll need to be aware of if you’re going to try earthing for the first time.
Whether you’re sitting on a grounding mat or walking barefoot outdoors, be wary of the following factors.
Risk of Shock
Earthing is all about balancing electrical charges. If you don’t approach this process carefully, there could be a risk of electric shock. If you’re absorbing the earth’s energy outdoors, the risk of shock will often come from walking in dangerous environments or lightning storms.
If you are grounding indoors using a grounding product, you are fine as long as your house is wired correctly, and your product contains a 100k Ohm resistor, like ours do. You can purchase a simple socket tester to make sure your sockets are wired and grounding correctly.
Some of the most significant concerns around the potential negative side effects of earthing are linked to the exposure we can get to electromagnetic fields. Additional research is needed to understand the potential dangers of EMFs. However, some people believe over-exposure can cause problems with the nervous system leading to respiratory and heart issues.
Grounding may actually help mitigate EMF exposure, this is currently something that is being studied more.
Let’s Be Careful When Using Grounding Products
Aside from the potential risks caused by EMFs and ungrounded electricity mentioned above, some people also worry that adverse side effects could emerge from using grounding too often. While earthing on its own isn’t considered to have any negative repercussions, it can initially cause some people to feel unwell.
If you’re very sensitive to electromagnetic fields, or you notice a rapid change in your cortisol levels and general wellness, this could cause a slight shock to your system. Some experts recommend gradually exposing yourself to the benefits of earthing mats and grounding products at the beginning to avoid these side effects.
You may start with 10 to 40 minutes of grounding per day. Taking it slow can help you keep your risk levels low. However, if you do notice any side effects, they will unlikely be extremely severe unless there is a problem with your earthing strategy.
Overall, there are very few harmful side effects to earthing when it is practised with care and caution. However, experts do agree everyone responds to this process differently. If you witness any of these, you may need to consider cutting down on your earthing practices until you discover the root cause of your discomfort.