We already know that grounding (touching) the earth outside immediately impacts our brains.
This fantastic medical study, published in 2018, documents the brain wave shifts that happen near instantaneously, within milliseconds, recorded via an EEG (electroencephalogram) when the human body is grounded.
Today I want to share with you a sneak peek of my next medical journal publication (submitted for review and accepted for publication in Open Journal Of Neurology & Neuroscience) where I suggest why it’s easier to think, and even get clarity and flashes of insight/intuition, when we are outside in nature.
While grounding has been shown to support brain function by decreasing inflammation, boosting mood, and even shifting brain wave patterns, I believe there is an exciting novel pathway that grounding may even help improve mental clarity and help with decision making.
It’s been suggested that the Schumann Resonance acts as a globally available synchronization system to our brains (in articles like this one, published in 2003 in Medical Hypotheses.)
So in 2015, researchers used EEGs and Schuman Resonance frequencies to see if there was any interaction between our human brains and the earth’s energy output. Published in the Journal Of Signal and Information Processing, these scientists found that electrical activity from the earth makes a measurable synchronization in our cerebral cortex that allows for real-time coupling between the Schumann resonance and cerebral activity.
The researchers postulate this activity is the exact amount of time, length of time, amplitude of signaling, and frequency of time required for a “ping” from the planet to our human brains to occur.
Researchers found that the frequency of this brain ping is once every 30 seconds, which is the brain’s short term memory decay time, indicating that the earth provides perfectly timed “micro-guidance”, re-orienting us in a subtle way that provides meaning and clarity but not long enough as to disrupt cognitive thought as we navigate daily life.
The duration of coherence was long enough to give rise to the possibility that the earth itself may send electrical signaling, or electrical information our brain, just long enough to allow an intuitive insight, or a flash of understanding to occur, but not long enough to disrupt our stream of consciousness.
In other words, it’s possible that the earth boosts our ability to receive orienting information without disrupting cognition.
Even more exciting, the highest cohesion between the earth’s Schumnn Resonance and our human brains is in the parahippocampal gyrus of the brain’s cerebral cortex — this in an area of the brain that provides spatial awareness and navigation.
Research into the parahippocampal gyrus of the brain utilizing fMRI has found that brain damage to that area of the cortex results in patients being able to generically identify images and items that are viewed, but not be able to meaningfully interpret these images.
Victims of stroke or other damage to the parahippocampal areas of the brain have a feeling of being lost, disconnected, or un-anchored from the deeper meaning of visual cues and lose purposeful and relevant life navigational tools. This area of the brain is also a highly sensitive early indicator of Alzheimers disease, showing signs of atrophy prior to other areas of the brain showing changes.
For example, if you have damage or atrophy in your parahippocampal gyrus, you may recognize that a person is standing in front of you, but not know that it is actually your own child. Or you may recognize that there is a car parked in front of you, but not know it is actually your car.
The parahypocamppal gyrus is responsible for accurate and meaningful interpretation of our surroundings, our environment, and for support in making life decisions in a contextually appropriate way.
This gives a very real explanation for why time spent in nature, on the earth, grounded, helps to give rise to a feeling of centeredness, helps to give a deeper perspective on our personal life’s journey, and may even help open our subconscious up to reframing and refocusing our life’s meaning through these environmental “pings” from our planet.
Have you ever spent time in nature when you are mulling over a big life decision, or feeling distraught, overwhelmed or confused, and then you suddenly have a deeper insight, a gut feeling, a pull, or an intuition that provides greater clarity?
These studies suggest a direct pathway for the earth to enhance and support our not only our daily decision making, but also connect to our deeper understanding and even our intuitive capabilities through earth-to-brain coherence.
I think of grounding as hitting a reset button, a chance for a pause that brings clarity into focus. By connecting with the earth, we can shift the brain from high strung beta waves to calming alpha wave patterns, decrease inflammation to help improve mood, even possibly help provide greater clarity or boost intuitive navigation in our lives, all naturally.
Want to hear me talk more deeply about this concept?
I have a 5 minute YouTube video for you here that you can watch (& share with all of your friends who enjoy the great outdoors!) as well as a shorter 2 minute TikTok about it here:
Head outside the next time you are struggling with a decision #holistichealth #nature #laurakonivermd #grounding #intuitionphysician #earthing #conductivehealth #medicalstudies #decisionmaking
Grounding is an instantly accessible healing tool that can provide immediate support during periods of stress no matter where you are or what you are doing.
Whether it’s just a few deep breaths as you sit on a patch of grass, taking a walk through a local park, or standing outside at night looking up at the stars… grounding supports your mood and enhances brain function and provides you with inner clarity and a deeper understanding of meaning in your life.
So the next time you are feeling anxious, or having difficulty finding the clarity to make a big decision, or simply feel your mood dive, just go outside. Touch the earth and let nature support you immediately. The earth can hold even your worst of days and remain an immovable source of strength.
And the effects of grounding the human body start instantly, so there is no time too short for getting grounded — if it can only be 30 seconds, so be it. If it can be 15 minutes, or 30 minutes, all the better. If you have one rock outside you can touch, one blade of grass you can touch, one leaf on a tree outside, or one square inch of sidewalk you can stand on, you can be instantly grounded. Even in an urban location, or in the winter, or when you travel… you can and should get grounded outside to help keep your brain functioning at it’s best.
If you want more tips and ideas to on how to get outside and connect with our earth, grab your copy of The Earth Prescription and you’ll be all set for an entire year of outdoor grounding, no matter where you live and no matter what season it is.
Laura Koniver MD