What is Earthing?Then the LORD said, "Just as my servant Isaiah has gone stripped and barefoot for three years, as a sign and portent against Egypt and Cush,(Isaiah 20:3)
Earthing, or grounding as it is often called, simply means connecting to the Earth’s natural, negative surface charge by being barefoot outside or in bare skin contact with conductive systems indoors while you sleep, relax, or work.
A simple concept, yes. But one with profound impact on the physiology.
Connection with the Earth restores a lost electrical signal to the body that seems to stabilize the complicated circuitry of our essentially-electrical body. Our built-in self-regulating and self-healing mechanisms become more effective. There are head-to-toe improvements. Better blood flow. Less pain and inflammation. More energy. Deeper sleep.
For many people the effect is dramatic, like charging a failing battery. For others, the effect is gradual and subtle.
The research indicates that Earthing transfers negatively charged free electrons into the body that are present in a virtually limitless and continuously renewed supply on the surface of the Earth. The existence of this unseen electron “reservoir” has been established by science. Maintaining contact with the ground allows your body to naturally receive and become charged with these electrons. When thus “grounded,” any electron deficiencies and free radical excesses in the body are corrected. A natural electrical state is restored.
Why is this so important?
Electrons are the “object of affection,” so to speak, of positively charged free radicals, the biochemical agents that cause oxidation in the body. Electrons are the source of antioxidant power. We believe this influx of electrons from the ground serves to potently neutralize or quench free radicals that would otherwise steal electrons from healthy tissue, activity resulting in tissue damage and chronic inflammation at the basis of many common and serious diseases.
Here, seemingly, is a simple, natural, and yet astonishingly profound remedy for chronic inflammation.
Earthing is nothing really new
It’s purely old age, a revival of a timeless and forgotten law of Nature: that we belong to Nature, and part of the very connection with Nature is the connection with Mother Earth under our feet.
Earthing is among the most natural and safest things you can do.
The eternal ground energy feeds and nurtures living things – plant and animal life – that have their roots and body parts in direct contact with the land and the sea.
But we are disconnected from this energy. We live on the planet but are not in direct physical contact with it.
What’s clear is this:
Modern living has increasingly separated us from Mother Earth’s great natural endowment of health-nurturing energy. Instead of conductive leather or footwear made of hides, we wear insulating shoes with soles of plastic and rubber. We rarely walk on the Earth barefoot anymore. We don’t sleep on the ground as in times past.
This disconnect from the Earth and Nature has, until now, been virtually overlooked in our modern age of great medical advancements. Parallel to such advancements, however, is an alarming increase in chronic diseases.
Is there a connection between the disconnect with the Earth and the increasing unwellness of the Earth’s population?
The Earthing experience, now on a worldwide scale, strongly indicates that indeed there is, and that reconnection with the Earth holds great promise for our increasingly sick world. For years now, many people around the world – men, women, and children alike – have reconnected with the Earth on a routine basis and report that they sleep better, have less pain and stress, and experience faster recovery from trauma.
Ongoing scientific research is now discovering the details as to why many people feel significantly better when they make physical contact with the planet’s omnipresent energy field right under our nose.
By scientific standards, Earthing research is in an early stage, but clearly represents a new and exciting frontier of exploration. The research, in fact, indicates that reconnecting to the Earth may be a missing link in the health equation along with good food and water, sunshine, physical activity, and minimizing stress.
These revelations are coming to light thanks to a few curious individuals.
Discovering Earthing’s Health Benefits
In the late 1990s, a retired cable TV pioneer started to think about the human body in terms of electrical grounding.
And he said, Draw not nigh hither: put off thy shoes from off thy feet, for the place whereon thou standest is holy ground. (Exodus 3:5)
For 25 years, Clint Ober had participated in the spectacular rise of the cable industry that offered consumers superior images over regular broadcast television. He established the leading cable installation company in the U.S.
What does cable TV have to do with health? The answer may surprise you. The crisp image delivered by the cable is the result of shielding that prevents signals from leaking out and prevents outside disturbances from leaking in. The cable consists of an inner copper conductor surrounded by a mesh shield. The shield is electrically connected to the Earth (grounded), so that the Earth can either deliver or absorb electrons and prevent the build-up of electrical charges in the system. The potential of the shield equalizes with that of the Earth’s surface, thus protecting and stabilizing the signals flowing through the conductor.
After his retirement, Mr. Ober began to consider how his experience with cable TV might apply to the human body. He realized that most people wear synthetic-soled shoes that insulate their bodies from the Earth’s energy field that stabilizes not only cable TV but all electrical equipment – industrial or residential – throughout the world. This seemingly simple realization inspired a scientific adventure that has resulted in a great health discovery.
Clint Ober’s Original Earthing Investigation
Experimenting first on himself, and then on friends, Mr. Ober rigged up a crude conductive system for the bed, using metallic duct tape connected by wire to a ground rod he planted in the soil outside. He then lay down on his “invention” was thus in contact with the Earth’s energy, simulating being barefoot outdoors. To his surprise, he found that such contact prompted sleep and significantly reduced his own chronic pain. He stopped taking painkillers in order to sleep. Wanting to share his “discovery,” he rigged up the beds of his friends in a similar manner. And they, too, reported the same amazing effect. Less pain. Better sleep.
In 2000, he organized a group experiment to test whether Earthing, as he called it, could really help people sleep better and reduce their pain. Assisted by a nurse, he identified 60 male and female volunteers with chronic sleep and pain issues. He then went to each of their homes and set up a conductive Earthing pad on their bed. He connected the pads with a wire to a ground rod placed in the Earth outside their bedroom windows that would facilitate carrying the energy from the Earth to the bed pad. However, in half of the set-ups, he inserted a spacer to block the conduction of energy. This would allow a comparison of two groups – those actually grounded, that is, receiving the Earth’s energy, and those who were “sham grounded.” The participants in the experiment did not know whether they were actually being grounded or not.
|Time to fall asleep||4 [15%]||23 [85%]||20 [87%]||3 [13%]|
|Quality of sleep||2 [7%]||25 [93%]||20 [87%]||3 [13%]|
|Wake feeling rested||0 [0%]||27 [100%||20 [87%]||3 [13%]|
|Muscles stiffness & pain||5 [18%]||22 [82%]||23 [100%]||0 [0 %]|
|Chronic back and/or joint pain||7 [26%]||20 [74%]||23 [100%]||0 [0%]|
|General well-being||6 [22%]||21 [78%]||20 [87%]||3 [13%]|
Mr. Ober published his experiment in ESD, an online journal that specializes in news, technical papers, and book reviews related to the subject of electrostatics. The findings inspired an ongoing pursuit of research to prove the validity of the Earthing concept.
Earthing Research in Poland
After the publication in English of the Earthing book in 2010, we were pleased to learn about the work of two Polish doctors who had conducted a series of experiments years before to determine whether the Earth’s natural electric charge influences the regulation of human physiological processes. The two are Karol Sokal, a cardiologist in private practice, and his neurosurgeon son Pawel,a staff physicians at a military clinic in Poland. Their research, just as the research conducted in the United States, revealed promising and intriguing results, and was published in a 2011 issue of the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine.
The Sokals set up double-blind experiments with groups ranging from 12 to 84 subjects who followed similar physical activity, diet, and fluid intake during the trial periods. Grounding was achieved with a copper plate (30 mm x 80 mm) placed on the lower part of the leg, attached with a strip so that it would not come off during the night. The plate was connected by a conductive wire to a larger plate (60 mm x 250 mm) placed in contact with the Earth outside.
In one experiment with non-medicated subjects, grounding during one single night of sleep resulted in statistically significant changes in concentrations of minerals and electrolytes in the blood serum: iron, ionized calcium, inorganic phosphorus, sodium, potassium, and magnesium. Renal excretion of both calcium and phosphorus was reduced significantly. The observed reductions in blood and urinary calcium and phosphorus directly relate to osteoporosis. The results suggest that even one night’s Earthing exposure reduces primary indicators of osteoporosis.
In another experiment, Earthing continually during rest and physical activity over a 72-hour period decreased fasting glucose among patients with non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus. Patients had been well controlled with an antidiabetic drug for about 6 months, but at the time of study were having unsatisfactory blood sugar control despite the medication plus dietary and exercise advice.
In a third experiment, blood samples were drawn from 6 male and 6 female adults with no history of thyroid disease. A single night of grounding produced a significant decrease of free tri-iodothyronine and an increase of free thyroxin and thyroid stimulating hormone. The meaning of these results is unclear but suggests an Earthing influence on thyroid metabolism. It is interesting to note that we have observed that many individuals on thyroid medication reported symptoms of hyperthyroid, such as heart palpitations, after starting grounding. Such symptoms typically vanish after medication is adjusted downward under medical supervision. Through a series of feedback regulations, thyroid hormones affect almost every physiological process in the body, including growth and development, metabolism, body temperature, and heart rate. Clearly, further study of Earthing effects on thyroid function is needed.
In another experiment, the effect of grounding on the classic immune response following vaccination was examined. Earthing accelerated an immune response, as demonstrated by increases in gamma globulin concentration. This result confirms an association between Earthing and the immune response.
The Polish doctors concluded their report by saying that Earthing the human body influences human physiological processes and further suggest it may actually be a “primary factor regulating endocrine and nervous systems.”