Grounding Tools: The Traveller Toolkit for the Post-Pandemic Flier
The stuffy aircraft cabin does more than just cause you to wake up in the middle of the night with a dry throat and thirst. Barometric pressure, the flight plan, and the altitude at which the plane flies can determine how much the cabin is pressurised. Accompanying the dryness is static. When your body holds onto that static its physical manifestation is the lethargic fuzzy feeling you get when you step off an aircraft after a long flight. There’s a cure for that it’s called Grounding.
What is Grounding
Grounding is described as tapping into an inexhaustible source of antioxidants, free electrons from the Earth. If you have enough electrons you can handle inflammation better, frequent flying is a source of free radicals through the taxing nature of flying on the body, physically mentally, or emotionally. The more stress we are under the more prone we are to creating inflammation. We stress more than ever now so grounding tools are not just for travellers, workplaces can benefit from them too. Travelling with grounding tools allows you to bounce back quicker and with energy for the job at hand. While grounding is as simple as stepping on the Earth or into a natural body of water to make it possible year-round, it’s better to travel with your own grounding tools.
How to Ground
To ground without being at the mercy of the weather is as simple as stepping or lying on your grounding mat or sheet and connecting it to an earthed electricity socket. Spend the night or a minimum of 45 minutes on it to start feeling its restorative effects. When you ground you send your body's "early warning" systems back into the right direction. In particular your blood pressure returns to within the normal ranges* and your body has resources to tap into the balancing side of your autonomic nervous system, namely the parasympathetic side.
Validated by Sports and Science
The therapeutic benefits of grounding have been known for a while and utilised in some high-profile sports such as the Tour de France. This study The Biologic Effects of Grounding the Human Body During Sleep as Measured by Cortisol Levels and Subjective Reporting of Sleep, Pain, and Stress* looks at how grounding influences cortisol a known marker of stress in the body. It is particularly relevant to our conversation because it deals with circadian cortisol secretions and as frequent fliers, circadian rhythms are prone to disruption.
While the diagram above is representative of a typical night-flying frequent flier’s patterns it’s good to note we are all different and our rhythms may vary depending on health and lifestyle factors. Using grounding tools on your work schedule (incorporated into your workspace) or for your travel health, as part of your travel toolkit pays dividends for your overall wellbeing and productivity.
With so much going on in our lives as travellers or corporates it's great to be able to use tools that create less friction while generating maximum benefit. If you would like to know how to seamlessly integrate grounding tools into your workspace or travel itinerary get in touch, we can point you in the right direction and answer any questions.
* Wendy Menigoz, Tracy T. Latz, Robin A. Ely, Cimone Kamei, Gregory Melvin, Drew Sinatra,
Integrative and lifestyle medicine strategies should include Earthing (grounding): Review of research evidence and clinical observations,EXPLORE Volume 16, Issue 3, 2020,Pages 152-160,ISSN 1550-8307
*Ghaly M, Teplitz D. The biologic effects of grounding the human body during sleep as measured by cortisol levels and subjective reporting of sleep, pain, and stress. J Altern Complement Med. 2004 Oct;10(5):767-76. doi: 10.1089/acm.2004.10.767. PMID: 15650465.