Do This With Your Feet To Reduce Your Cardiovascular Risk

Getting outside and into nature can work wonders for our mental and physical health. Trading in the sound of car horns for the chirping of birds for an afternoon can leave us feeling centered and refreshed as we return to the hustle and bustle of everyday life. They say that Mother Nature holds many secrets, and the key to our heart health may be one of them.

Researchers from a 2023 review article published in the Biomedical Journal explain that making direct contact between our body and the earth can offer us numerous health benefits — a practice referred to as grounding. Most often, this involves a person walking barefoot on the earth's ground. The concept revolves around the notion that the universe gives off electrical energy in the form of a direct current (DC). Circulating through all living things as well as the earth's surface itself, this DC is said to play a role in all human bodily systems, ranging from our circulatory system to our muscular system. Researchers state that because the human body harbors conductive properties, this electrical current is able to make its way through us and potentially heal and protect against disease.

Earthing may support the health of our blood

With every 33 seconds that pass, a person dies from cardiovascular disease, reports the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). In a 2013 study published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, researchers looked at the effects of grounding (also referred to as earthing) on various components of our blood health. It's many of these elements that influence our risk of heart disease, including blood pressure, clotting, blood viscosity, inflammation, and more.

For two hours, ten healthy participants had each of their hands and the bottoms of their feet attached to wired conductive patches, which were hooked up to a metal rod stuck into the earth. Blood samples revealed that earthing produced a decrease in both blood viscosity and clumping by boosting the surface charge of participant red blood cells. The researchers explained that increased blood viscosity is a contributing risk factor for heart disease and that grounding may be a safer alternative to the use of cholesterol-lowering statin medications that can come with severe adverse effects.

Grounding may reduce blood pressure

While the study was initially published in 2013, more recent research has lent further evidence to these findings. In a 2018 case report published in Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine, researchers found that patients with high blood pressure who engaged in 10 or more hours of earthing each day over the course of several months experienced an average drop in systolic blood pressure of over 14%. Systolic blood pressure is the amount of pressure placed on the arteries as the heart beats (via CDC).

Additionally, in the previously mentioned 2023 review article, researchers outlined an alternate study in which confirmed COVID-19 patients who practiced earthing did not experience blood clots as a complication of the infection in comparison to patients who did not practice grounding. Although research shows that grounding may support our cardiovascular health in many ways, there are various other factors that can increase one's susceptibility to heart disease. Therefore, it is also important to get routine exercise, eat a balanced diet, maintain a healthy weight, keep cholesterol and blood pressure levels within normal range, and refrain from smoking.