For our first review we decided to test out a concept called grounding that has been scientifically researched and involves using the electrical current of the earth to control pain, heal the body of inflammation and improve overall wellness. The research is pretty convincing and we were all excited to give it a try! The idea in brief is that when the body loses contact with the earth, it can carry a positive voltage relative to the Earth which can lead to pain, inflammation, and sickness. Grounding (or ‘earthing’) the body can help return the voltage to zero which is, supposedly, better for us. The concept has even entered into the world of professional sports and grounding mats have been used by teams in the Tour de France.
To understand this further here are a few links that might help:
Direct skin contact to the ground through soil, grass, or open water is a simple way to get this benefit. However, given that many of us are inside too often, wearing rubber soled shoes, or spending much of our time on concrete, ‘grounding mats’ are presented as a substitute. These mats contain a conductive material that is then connected to the grounding port on an wall outlet thus allowing the mat to transfer the grounding effect through contact with the skin. For our test, we used a grounding mat from www.earthing.ca and here’s a brief video from their site.
As someone who generally spends lots of time outdoors, I can definitely get behind the idea of wellness coming, in part, from a connection to the earth. Whether or not a man made product can deliver similar effects…well, I was certainly open to try! I used the grounding mat for 1-2hrs each night for 7 days (barefoot on the mat while seated) along with a couple nights sleeping with the mat resting under my calves. Although I can’t really say I noticed a huge difference in terms of energy levels, I’m generally fairly high energy anyways and would be interested to try the mat when my energy levels were low. Overall, I really like the idea of grounding for health and there is some great research out there to back it up. That being said, I personally didn’t really notice much of a difference when using the mat. A longer trial period may be necessary to really determine it’s usefulness along with trying the mat in a time of injury or sickness. I give a three star rating more based on the research, relative low cost, and ease of compliance.
I did extensive reading of research articles on earthing and trialled barefoot time spent in the grass much of last year. So, I was very eager to see if Earthing mats could objectively parallel the results of studies that really struck me fascinated. I went in looking for help with improved unbroken sleeps, changes in post exercise soreness and overall well being. I tried it both for periods of sitting with the mat under my feet in the evening, as well as sleeping with the mat below my shoulders or calves. I found some contrasting results from day to day- some very positive regarding pain and sleep quality and some unaffected. I have tried it about ten times with 7/10 producing good results. I feel that the mats may require a longer period of use and exposure to understand the potential on an individual basis. I like that the commitment to using one is minimal between periods of sitting and sleeping so it’s easy to give it a shot. Hence, whether the outcome is positive or benign they may be worth trying. In the meantime I can suggest making time to lie in the grass on a sunny day!
I was extremely skeptical of this product when we first ordered it. While I agree with the positive effects of being outside in the sun, breathing fresh air, with feet in the grass, I just didn’t believe a product could mimic that. However, I was excited to try it as anything boasting that could possibly help with my terrible sleep appealed to me. I have a 6 month old son, who was about 4.5 months old during this trial. My sleep is broken! I feel I am constantly in a state of light sleep during the night, and wake up multiple times. I tried the mat under the backs of my legs for a minimum of half an hour, to max of two hours for my six day trial (forgot to use it one evening) I tried early evening and before bed, and fell asleep on it once accidentally. Unfortunately, I did not notice any difference in my sleep or mood over the six days. Even when I fell asleep on it accidentally, I woke up groggy and felt exhausted again an hour later. As a result, I can’t say I would recommend this product despite having potentially sound research backing it up. Perhaps a longer trial would be necessary for me to notice any positive effect.