The Science of Grounding

Many Reiki practitioners and other therapists such as masseurs note that during a session they feel depleted. The patient receives the benefits of the session, but the Reiki practitioner gets burned out. When this happens, the most experimented practitioners recommend grounding. I was taught to perform sessions barefoot to avoid this burnout. Besides this experience of burnout that therapists suffer, modern lifestyles have created a barrier between humans and the natural conduction of Earth’s electrons into the body. Hence, most of humanity faces an ungrounded status (Sinatra et al. 2017).

Grounding or connecting to hearth involves connecting with the energy field of the earth. In addition to being barefoot, some methods of grounding in Reiki practice require you to send your energy down through your body out your feet and into the Earth’s. Other methods use a centering exercise, being fully present in your body and claiming your energy to your body instead of scattered elsewhere. And even some technology has been developed as a method of grounding. The last method is the one that has been studied in several research works, perhaps because the company producing them is sponsoring the research. But it has the advantage that it might be more reproducible than walking barefoot.

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The concept of grounding in Science

The Earth’s surface is electrically conductive and is maintained at a negative potential by the solar wind, the ionospheric wind, and thunderstorms. The Earth’s surface is therefore an abundant source of free electrons. When the human body has a different electric potential than the earth, and contacts with the earth there is an instantaneous transfer of charge so that both equilibrate to the same potential (Chevalier et al. 2013).

One of the first authors studying grounding (Ober 2000) was a retired cable television executive, who found a similarity between the human body (a bioelectrical, signal-transmitting organism) and the cable used to transmit cable television signals. When cables are “grounded” to the Earth, interference is virtually eliminated from the signal. Other authors (Sokal and Sokal 2011) interpreted grounding as a “universal regulating factor in nature” that influences bioelectrical, bioenergetic, and biochemical processes.

How does this happen?

In our feet, we have a highly electrically conductive point, that happens to be known in acupuncture as Kidney 1 (Chevalier 2008). Through this and other conductive points, we experience a healthy influx of electrons from the earth. This is a kind of electric nutrition, that has the potential to restore, normalize, and stabilize the internal environment of the human body’s bioelectrical systems (Sinatra et al. 2017).

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Once in the body, this electric potential extends through the connective tissue, myofascia, tendons, cell membranes, bones, and muscles. Constituted mainly by collagen, the connective tissue is a fibrous matrix composed…

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