Earthquakes and Grounding

BY Barbara Janelle B.Sc., M.A.

During a recent dinner at our home here in Santa Barbara, there was a sudden loud thud and jarring, as if a ten thousand pound weight had been dropped from some height. My husband and I paused in mid-eating, looked at each other and simultaneously said, “Earthquake!”

Both 16 month old cats pelted through the house at great speed, eyes wide and frantic. My husband said to me, I always feel a bit nauseous after one of those tremors, and I suddenly recognized how lighted-headed and “spacey” I felt. I realized that all of us were experiencing the effects of the earthquake as an impact on our grounding.

For animals and people, sudden physical/emotional/mental/spiritual traumas can take us up into our heads, and diminish our sense of connection with our bodies and with the ground. There can be a slight disassociation of spirit from body. Feelings of lightheadedness, confusion, nausea, reduced confidence, and even panic can result. Expressions like, “He was shaken to his roots” and “She was beside herself with fear” hold a truth about the effects of trauma, or sudden whole being upsets.

The spirit-body integration is affected and the spirit can disconnect a bit; side-step or rise up in the body. In my experience, this can sometimes be felt in an energetic scanning where there is more energy to one side (sides, front or back) and little or none on the opposite side or more energy in the upper half and less in the lower part of the field.

I am reminded again of Depth Psychologist Aaron Kipnis’ comment some years ago that where the spirit is not fully integrated with the body, that part or those parts are more prone to illness. (1)

As I began to recognize the impact of the earthquake, I reached over and touched my husband and supported his grounding, both by visualizing roots from his spine and feet into the ground, and also by asking the Earth to hold him. Then I did the same for myself. And a few minutes later work with each of the cats as well.

Grounding is a call to spirit to fully integrate with the body and deepen the connection to the Earth. (2)This allows the field to take in more energy both from the Earth and from the energetic sea in which we live, supporting health and function on all levels. In addition, grounding steadies a person or an animal so they remain more present, calm and clear thinking.


1. Barbara Janelle, “Embodiment of Sprit,” Southwestern Ontario Therapeutic Touch Gathering Conference Papers, April 27-29, 2001, St. Jerome’s College, University of Waterloo, ON.
Also in Barbara Janelle, Embodiment of Spirit: Learning Through Therapeutic Touch and Interspecies Communication, self-published, Kitchener, ON: 2003

2. I use the word “integration” to refer to both the combining of spirit and body and to the energetic connection throughout the entire field.