Grounding is good medicine

In our quest for grounding, we have a silent, invisible yet powerful ally: the force of gravity.

In our quest for grounding, we have a silent, invisible yet powerful ally: the force of gravity.

by Francesca McCartney, Ph.D. — 

The practice of grounding produces a connection with the earth that naturally provides emotional and physical health benefits. It helps you settle into yourself and create a calm mood when you are overwhelmed by people, activity or your surroundings.

Before you enter a potentially stressful situation, close your eyes, take a deep breath and visualize your body as a redwood tree deeply rooted in the earth. Continue to imagine the roots settling into the earth until you feel relaxed and your mind begins to clear. Use this intuitive grounding imagery to feel at home within yourself, wherever you are.

The term grounding has different meanings in different fields. In electrical terms, a grounded circuit serves as a release valve for excess electricity. The surge protector your computer is plugged into uses such a grounding circuit; if there is a sudden burst of energy that exceeds the capacity of the computer, the surge protector directs the excess energy into the grounding circuit and down into the earth, where the energy is neutralized.

In physics, gravity is the force that attracts bodies or particles of matter toward each other. Technology uses a comparative system, earthing, that relates to the live parts in electronic systems that have one or more direct connections to the earth.

A strong intuitive grounding connection also provides a stable base from which to operate within the world, creating a feeling of safety, centered awareness, clarity and self-assurance. For most people, this grounding connection is inconsistent. Some activities tend to enhance the strength of their grounding while others tend to weaken it.

What does grounding mean to you? How do you know when you are grounded? Are you grounded right now? The first step toward learning to ground yourself more consistently is to recognize the times in your life when you are ungrounded.

Think about the items listed below and use your own intuition to assess which ones apply to you.

Gravity grounding

In our quest for grounding, we have a silent, invisible yet powerful ally: the force of gravity. We feel it all the time; it keeps our feet planted on the earth. However, it is a force we often are unaware of. Dictionaries define gravitation as the force of attraction by which terrestrial bodies tend to fall toward the center of the earth.

Imagine lying on a sunny beach and feeling the warmth of the sand. Imagine those feelings — and visualize dropping all resistance from your body into the earth. Do you feel heavier, denser and more relaxed, with an overall sensation of being pulled down toward the earth? You are experiencing the pull of gravity.

The constancy of nature gives us gravity as a powerful, healing force — a force that brings us back to our own center. Indeed, without gravity we would float off the ground. Working with the force of gravity helps us experience and strengthen our personal grounding connection.

Ground your life

Energy follows thought, affirmation, intention and visualization. If you think, affirm, intend and visualize that you are grounded, then your energy will be grounded. Visualization is an extremely powerful way to enhance your grounding.

You may already have techniques you use to help yourself feel your grounding connection with the earth, or you may be searching for new ways to experience this connection. Be creative; experiment by changing your grounding imagery at different times of the day. Use specific visualizations that center you during exercise, public speaking, writing — whenever you want to be grounded.

Here are some images you can play with in your grounding practice: a ship’s anchor, beams of light, an electrical cord plugged into a socket at the center of the earth, a waterfall or two connecting magnets (you are one, the earth is the other).

You can experience the power of gravity grounding in the bathtub. The next time you take a bath, do not get out of the tub as soon as you pull the plug. Rather, lie there as the water drains out.

You will be treated to a very tactile sense of gravity’s power. Human bodies are naturally buoyant, so water reduces gravity’s effect on us. If you have been soaking in the water for at least 20 minutes, you will have a sense of being glued to the bottom of the tub when the water is gone. That is the feeling of gravity grounding you.

How it feels to be grounded

  • Peaceful
  • Physically coordinated
  • Confident, calm and in control
  • Clear-headed
  • Aware of self and body

How it feels to be ungrounded

  • Anxious, unsure, uneasy
  • Clumsy (e.g., tripping, stubbing toes, dropping things)
  • Nervous and out of control
  • Spacey, overwhelmed, confused
  • Cold feet and legs; poor circulation

Your ability to walk through the world grounded and aware will assist you in accessing your intuitive wisdom, a resource that works as well as any medicine.


Francesca McCartney, Ph.D., is the founder of the Academy of Intuition Medicine and the author of Body of Health: The New Science of Intuition Medicine for Energy and Balance. She lives in Marin County, Calif., frequently speaks to organizations of professional healthcare providers and is widely published in professional journals on the topic of intuition medicine.

Reprinted from AzNetNews, Volume 24, Number 4, August/September 2005.

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