Returning to a connection with Mother Earth through Grounding
33 Ways for 33 Days # 8
Grounding for life
What does it do – This is probably the simplest of techniques to engage and yet it is one of the most powerful. Many individuals tend to dismiss this technique because it appears too simple, but I counsel you to practice, play and experiment with this simple practice and notice the changes in your life.
Improved balance of the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous system occurs.
In patients who experience anxiety, emotional stress, panic, fear, and/or symptoms of autonomic dystonia, including headaches, cardiac palpitations, and dizziness, grounding could be a very realistic therapy. These patients may see positive effects most likely within 20 to 30 minutes and in almost all cases in 40 minutes.
Negative emotions such as panic, depression, anxiety, and hostility have all demonstrated reduced HRV. Grounding has the potential to help support HRV, reduce excessive sympathetic overdrive, balance the ANS, and, thus, attenuate the stress response. (The Journal of Alternative And Complementary Medicine Volume 16, Number 1, 2010, pp. 81–87 ª Mary Ann Liebert, Inc. DOI: 10.1089=acm.2009.0278)
What is it – Our connection with the earth is unseen. Like gravity, electricity, magnetism & the wind, we do not see anything we can observe with any of our senses. We recognise the effects and assume we know the cause, but we don’t see what actually caused the change. We can feel the effects of gravity when we jump in the air, fall out of a tree or drop on our bed. We recognise these effects of an unseen force that is present throughout the universe as we know it. What this force is, where it comes from, and what sustains this force are questions similar to who am I, where did I come from and what is my purpose.
Even if one doesn’t believe in gravity, electricity, magnetism, the wind, it is difficult to ignore the effects. Unseen causes provide observable effects. Fall out of a tree and you learn about the effects of gravity. Stick your finger in a light socket and you learn about the power of electricity. Of course, every grazier with a windmill knows about the power of the wind, yet they never see the wind coming or going. They do see the effects on the windmill blades.
Grounding is a practice which cannot be seen for what it is, however we can observe the effects.
When used in a conflict situation with another person, grounding has proven to be a game changer. There is an abundance of reports from clients who tell his or her story about using grounding as the go-to practice in a conflict situation only to have the entire situation diffused.
Similarly, there are numerous client reports attesting to the power of grounding in times of anxiety only to have the anxiety dissolve within minutes. Many of these clients have engaged the grounding practice with pure intent while some have ventured to connect physically with the earth. All report the anxiety, panic, and feelings of being overwhelmed gently dissolved within short periods.
A 12-year-old male presented with a problem best described as rage. He had previous diagnosis of Asperger’s and ADHD from previous practitioners with subsequent attempts using medication failing. His symptoms manifested in the form of breaking coffee tables, punching holes in the wall, yelling, screaming and generally argumentative. Parents were at their wits end after they tried mainstream responses including a boxing bag.
At our fourth session, he reported that the rage had stopped. When asked what changed, he simply shrugged his shoulders as adolescents do. When asked if he still got angry, he replied yes, of course. Asked what he did when he got angry, he replied he couldn’t think of the name it was called but it was the only thing that worked. Eventually it was established that he used the grounding or “putting my roots in the ground” technique he was taught. Now after three sessions he was grounding himself when he felt angry. He grounded himself at school most days. The rage went away. He didn’t use any other techniques.
How does it work – When you are grounded – connected energetically with the Earth, you are held in a firm position. A common analogy is the tree with its roots deep into the earth is able to stand tall and strong against the elements. This tree draws energy from the earth while allowing the earth to hold it steady. Without the roots deep into the earth you can imagine what might happen.
Our bodies come prewired for the job of directing energy through and around the body. Practitioners of Yoga, Traditional Chinese Medicine and the Masters of physical arts understand the importance and the practice of connecting with the earth’s energy system and the movement of energy about the body.
Modern society in its quest for comfort has cut the connection between what is natural and what is normal.
Further to this there has been a movement away from our basic needs to what we think we need. In so many ways, we have become disconnected with that which serves us best. We have become disconnected with the earth and the energies of nature. Does this mean we have to go without shoes or sit on the ground instead of chairs? No! It does however, suggest an alternative means to wellbeing and health, and that is to reconnect with our natural state.
For the more scientifically minded, there is a growing database of studies which point to the powerful effects of connecting with the earth. Some of the most compelling studies have been undertaking by A. Clinton Ober, Drs. Pawel and Karol Sokal, Gaétan Chevalier, and Dr. Stephen Sinatra.
Some of the earliest research came when Clint Ober decided to follow up on studies undertaken with animals. He decided to ground humans while asleep. His findings initiated a most important investigative trail for health practitioners.
The effective grounding of people while in bed was developed and produced the following results: 85% went to sleep quicker; 93% reported sleeping better throughout the night; 100% reported waking, being and feeling more rested; 82% experienced a significant reduction in muscle stiffness; 74% experienced the elimination of/or a reduction of chronic back and joint pain and; 78% reported improved general health.
In addition, several subjects in the study also reported experiencing significant relief from asthmatic and respiratory conditions, rheumatoid arthritis, PMS, sleep apnoea and hypertension.
Since this Clint Ober conducted that original study there have been numerous studies undertaken and now there are a number of documentaries such as Down To Earth and Grounded that specifically address the practice of grounding (earthing).
There is a substantial body of evidence providing indicators to simple, inexpensive and profound means to better health for all.
“The research done to date supports the concept that grounding or earthing the human body may be an essential element in the health equation along with sunshine, clean air and water, nutritious food, and physical activity.” Earthing: Health Implications of Reconnecting the Human Body to the Earth’s Surface Electrons
Because grounding can help normalise serotonin levels in the brain as it decreases cortisol people tend to become more aware, chilled and centred in themselves. The process of normalising serotonin levels in the brain has a flow on effect for those individuals dealing with depression. If an individual is able to adjust the amount of serotonin available in the brain by grounding this becomes a free, easy, natural means of addressing the presence of depression in some cases. Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are the most commonly prescribed antidepressants.
More and more individuals are choosing to avoid the use of pharmaceuticals to deal with their symptoms of depression and anxiety. Grounding is a viable option.
How can I do this – Suggestion is that you stand for the first few times you practice this tool. Once you are comfortable grounding and centring in different circumstances, you will be able to do it anywhere, anytime, and even when you are in a threatening situation. The intent of establishing or re-establishing a connection is enough in itself however, when you visualise, imagine, or simply know you have a connection the process is enhanced.
How does one know if you are grounded or not grounded?
Typically, your most efficient indicators will be how you feel. Your emotional state in any moment is your good, better, best indicator of what is going on for you in any moment, especially if you want to know if you are grounded. When you are not grounded there will be feelings of disconnection, a feeling of being out of place, maybe a feeling of being disconnected from life, fractured or flustered and all over the place, and always in the head, never in the heart. When grounded the feeling is more about feeling solid, centred, steady, sure of yourself, calm, and even when you have some nervousness there is certainty.
In terms of the practicalities of grounding you may wonder, “Do I always need to have my feet on the ground touching the earth?” and “Do I need to have a grounding mat or similar device?” The scientific answer is you do need to be electrically connected with the earth. What this means is different in different circumstances.
As long as you are not insulated by way of rubber sole shoes for example, and you are standing on concrete or a conductive surface, you will be connected. Many people are using specially designed devices to achieve this state of electrical connection.
Within the M.A.G.I.C.™ practice there is no ‘right’ way to ground yourself. While electrically conductive means for grounding are not used, grounding is established through intention. Here effective grounding is managed and tested within the practice. This came out of necessity when there was a need for clients to ground themselves and going outside was not a viable option.
“When you’re connected to the power of intention, everywhere you go, and everyone you meet, is affected by you and the energy you radiate. As you become the power of intention, you’ll see your dreams being fulfilled almost magically, and you’ll see yourself creating huge ripples in the energy fields of others by your presence and nothing more.” ― Wayne W. Dyer
Become the tree – a visualisation: Stand tall with feet shoulder width apart and keep your eyes open or looking downward. Breathe deeply and slowly as if you are drawing in the air of life, the energy that worlds are created from. Draw this breath deep into that area below the navel (Dan Tien) visualizing that it is being stored there like filling up a balloon with white light.
As you breathe out, imagine, visualise, or pretend that you are now sending roots from the balls of your feet down through the floor into the earth. Continue to imagine that these roots are going deeper and deeper, growing bigger as they go deep. Each time you breathe in and out repeat the process until your roots are so deep they hold the planet firm.
The energy way – a visualisation: Stand tall with feet shoulder-width apart or sit comfortably with your back straight. Recognise that you are being pulled towards the centre of the earth by the invisible force you call gravity. As you feel the connection downwards with the earth breathe deeply and slowly as if you are drawing down through the top of your head a liquid light. Accept this as the Energy of Life and allow it to come into the centre of your chest area, your heart centre.
At the same time recognise a flow of energy flowing up from the earth’s core up through the floor, through your pelvic bone up into your heart area.
When you breathe out, visualise, imagine or pretend that energy is expanding out like a wave of light from your heart into every cell of your body and out into the wider world.
Continue to breathe observing the flow of energy down from the cosmos and up from the crystal core and on the out-breath this radiates out from your heart centre.
There are as many ways to ground yourself as there are imaginations. Play and look for the results.
What can I expect – To demonstrate the significance of grounding I often request permission from a client to give them a little push on the shoulder/chest. With this they will usually fall backwards a little or at least show some unsteadiness. After I take them through a grounding exercise, and I provide them with another push they will be strong and firm, just like a big old tree.
The next part of the demonstration is most interesting for me. I will talk about what is happening in the individual’s life, for example it might be bullying at school for a young person. When I talk about this they will think about it and focus on it as I talk. Next, I will seek permission to give another push and what they notice is surprising. They will have lost their steadiness and strength. This is because when they think about stress-causing ‘stuff’ in their life they become ungrounded.
This same demonstration can be done using body language through muscle testing or Kinesiology, or ideodynamic signalling and produces the same results.
Generally, you can expect to feel calmer, steadier and stronger.
Hints and tips – Become so used to using this technique that you can do it anywhere anytime, experiment. Use it when someone is in your face or irritating your sense of calm.
If the visualising or imaging is a problem, move your focus to your feet as you stand or walk, recognising your connection with the earth. See yourself connecting with earth with each step.
Spending time in nature, in the garden, in water, all these provide opportunity to connect with the energy of the earth depending on your needs.