Grow Youthful: How to Slow Your Aging and Enjoy Extraordinary Health
Grow Youthful: How to Slow Your Aging and Enjoy Extraordinary Health

Earthing (grounding)

What is earthing or grounding?

Why do we need to earth ourselves?

Earthing / grounding basics

Microwave pollution - probable protection

Problems caused by being insulated from the earth (ungrounded)

How to earth/ground yourself

How long do you need to earth?

Health effects of grounding

Buy earthing products (in Australia only)

Buy earthing products (USA and elsewhere)

References

What is earthing or grounding?

Buy earthing products (in Australia only)

Earthing or grounding is when you make an electrical connection between your body and the earth. Walking barefoot, sitting or standing on the ground or on a conducting surface connected to the earth achieves this effect, as does paddling or swimming in the ocean, a lake or a river. Standing on soil, grass or even concrete is grounding, provided you are not insulated from the earth by a plastic sheet or some other insulating layer.

The Earth's surface maintains a negative electrical potential. It is like a veneer of free electrons. When parts of your body touch the ground (by walking, sitting, or lying on it) these free electrons are conducted to your body, bringing it to the same electrical potential as the earth. These free electrons act as an antioxidant. They are one of the most important and abundant antioxidants available. (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15)

Why do we need to earth ourselves?

Buy earthing products (USA and elsewhere)

Buy earthing products (USA and elsewhere)

For nearly all of human evolution, hunter-gatherers were connected to the earth. Paleolithic people walked bare foot. The only footwear they ever wore was as protection in the coldest climates, and this was made from leather, which is electrically conductive especially when damp. Our early ancestors slept on the ground. Their entire day was spent directly connected to the earth.

In contrast, the entire day of modern city dwellers is spent insulated and disconnected from the earth. We wear rubber-soled, insulating shoes most of the day. Synthetic-soled shoes have been widely used since the end of the war in 1945. When we take these shoes off, it is usually in a house with a raised or insulated floor surfaced with wood or carpet, both of which insulate rather than conduct electricity. We sleep on raised and insulated beds. Concrete floors are laid on a plastic damp-proof membrane, insulating it from the earth. Bitumen or tar, used to make roads, is electrically insulating. All our vehicles drive around on rubber wheels. In short, everything about modern living is insulated from the earth. Multiple story buildings in cities take us up even further away from the ground.

Humans evolved on the ground, and were almost always connected to the ground. Consequently, we did not develop any kind of sensory or warning system to let us know when we are not grounded. After going for a walk on the beach, lying on the earth or on a lawn, or sitting on the ground round a camp fire, we tend to feel happy and well. But we lack the instinctive feeling that the contact with the earth is the cause of this wellbeing. Unfortunately, we do not have an instinctive need to ground.

When the body is not in contact with the ground, an electron deficiency (positive charge) can build up. Sources of this deficiency also include numerous electrical appliances and the build-up of static electricity from friction and wind. When the body holds a positive charge for long periods, it can detrimentally affect many ionic processes. Modern life disconnects us and insulates us from the ground and causes a chronic electron deficiency (antioxidant deficiency).

Earthing / grounding basics

Buy earthing products (USA and elsewhere)

Buy earthing products (USA and elsewhere)

Electrical flows in nature are all DC (direct current). However, the power we use in our homes, offices and factories is AC (alternating current) at 50 to 60 hertz (cycles per second). AC current is biologically harmful. AC electromagnetic fields exist around power lines, power junction boxes, power tools, electric stoves, electric heaters and hot water systems, refrigerators and freezers. Those appliances that use the most power have the strongest fields, extending a few metres or yards around the appliance. If possible, try to minimise your exposure to the strongest fields. Grounding provides a stable DC electrical environment for the body, and protects against 50 Hz electromagnetic fields.

The earth's surface has a negative electric charge and the ionosphere a positive charge of about 50,000 volts (but at a low amps or current). The closer you are to the earth, the lower the voltage difference in your body. If you are grounded, there is little or no voltage difference between your body and the earth. However, if you are wearing insulated rubber shoes, the difference between the ground and your head may be 350 volts or 100 - 200 volts per metre. These voltage differences vary depending on where you are located, your altitude, the humidity and many other factors. High on a dry mountain it can reach 1000 volts per meter, while in low-lying and moist conditions it may be below 50 volts per metre. (1, 4)

Microwave pollution - probable protection

Grounding probably protects us from the electromagnetic pollution in which we live today, particularly as urban city dwellers. We are bathed in radiation, particularly at the microwave frequency. Sources include mobile (cell) phones, mobile phone antennae, Wi-Fi computers and base stations, high voltage power lines, electrical junction boxes, cordless phones and numerous other electrical appliances around our homes and workplaces. This microwave pollution is different to the static charge that builds up from movement. Earthing probably protects us from microwave pollution, but I am not aware of any research demonstrating that it does. A counter-argument could say it is possible that earthing could attract a flow of microwave energy, in the same way that an earthed point attracts lightning.

Problems caused by being insulated from the earth (ungrounded)

Buy earthing products (USA and elsewhere)

Buy earthing products (USA and elsewhere)

How to earth/ground yourself

Buy earthing products (in Australia only)

Many people get a regular connection with the earth from standing barefoot or sitting on their lawn, or watering, digging, planting or getting the hands dirty while gardening. The effect is much stronger when the sand, soil, grass, rocks or concrete is damp or wet. Other city dwellers get a connection with the ground when they strip off and lie on the grass in a park on a warm sunny day. Some only get that connection on a holiday vacation, paddling at the beach, sitting on the earth round a camp fire, or with bare hands or feet on rocks, trees or ground.

You can also connect to the earth with an electrical earthing connection.

Ocean salt water is probably the best grounding source. The salt makes it a potent electrolyte, so it is many times more conductive than fresh water. Swimming in the ocean is as good as it gets, with paddling in the wet beach sand a close second.

Sheets and mats. You can purchase or make conductive bed sheets, floor mats, desk mats, arm and wrist bands, conductive shoes and thongs, and other means of earthing yourself, your bedding mattress and your furniture through an electric wire to an earth connection.

Best results are obtained when you sleep directly on the earth sheet, with your skin in contact with the sheet. If you use the earthing sheet or mat as an under sheet and cover it with your normal linen, it will be less effective although it will still work. The advantage of using it as an under sheet is that it will last much longer. Most earthing sheets will only last up to a year if you wash them every week. If you use them as an under sheet and only wash them every month or few months, this will increase their life proportionately. In addition, under sheets do not pick up much oil, chemicals and damp from the body's skin. Silver reacts with the skin, sweat, creams and lotions, shortening the life of the earthing sheet.

It is important to regularly test your earthing sheet after it is six months old or has had several washes. You can buy a basic electrical testing meter from a hardware store for $20, and every handyman or electrician should have one. Touch the two leads a meter apart on the sheet and the meter should confirm that the sheet still conducts.

Most earthing sheets are made with silver thread. Some grounding sheets are made with carbon fibre. Carbon-fibre sheets tend to break down twice as quickly in the washing machine, but they cost less than half the price of the silver sheets.

Silver thread sheets and mats vary in quality, with the proportion of silver threads varying from 3% to 50%. The best conductive silver-impregnated material is made in France.

How long do you need to earth?

Buy earthing products (USA and elsewhere)

Buy earthing products (USA and elsewhere)

If you live a life completely insulated from the earth, you may notice a significant difference when you start earthing. If you are already gardening and walking barefoot every day then the difference may be less pronounced. If you swim or paddle in the salt ocean every day, then additional earthing may make no difference at all. I (David Niven Miller at Grow Youthful) tested an earthing sheet for two and a half years, and in my case it made little difference to my state of health because I swim in the ocean every day.

The benefits of earthing can be felt within minutes, hours or days, depending on your individual circumstances. Your particular ailment(s), how severe and entrenched they are, your general state of health and nutrition, level of sensitivity, toxic accumulation and many other factors make it difficult to say how long it will take to get improvements or cure a condition.

Some people report that 20-30 minutes after grounding their skin turns pink, and / or they can feel warmth or tingling starting at their feet (if that is where they are grounded), taking another 20 minutes to get to their trunk, and then finally their head. The flushing of your skin comes from improved circulation.

Stronger effects are apparent when you earth yourself two or three times each day, for at least 30 minutes each time. It takes 20-30 minutes for a healing response to start, and after 30-40 minutes several physiological improvements can be measured. Both sleeping earthed and being earthed during the day leads to the best improvements.

The bottom line? The more you are earthed every day, the better. (1)

Health effects of grounding

Buy earthing products (in Australia only)

Populations with exceptionally healthy and long lifespans seem to live in mountain valleys such as near the Andes, Caucasus, Himalayas and Rhodope, whilst leading lives that have a high degree of connection to the earth. (6)

Benefits include:

Warning. If you are taking any medications, grounding should be done with the cooperation of your doctor. This especially applies if you are taking blood thinners such as Coumadin as they may no longer be needed and your blood will be too thin. But remember, all you are doing is reverting to the way humans evolved in contact with the earth in the first place.

Your comments about any of your experiences - positive or negative - with your use of earthing are welcome at Grow Youthful. I am always curious about your use of and experience with natural remedies, and your feedback is very welcome.

References

1. Clinton Ober, Stephen T. Sinatra, Martin Zucker. Earthing. The most important health discovery ever! First published 25/12/2013, second edition 2014. Basic Health Publications. Website earthinginstitute.net

2. Ghaly M, Teplitz D. The biological 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;10:767-776.

3. Dick Brown, Gaetan Chevalier, Michael Hill. Pilot Study on the Effect of Grounding on Delayed-Onset Muscle Soreness. The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine. March 2010, 16(3): 265-273. doi:10.1089/acm.2009.0399.

4. Applewhite Roger. The effectiveness of a conductive patch and a conductive bed pad in reducing induced human body voltage via the application of earth ground. European Biology and Bioelectromagnetics 2005; 1: 23-40.

5. Chevalier, G. Grounding the Human Body Improves Facial Blood Flow Regulation: Results of a Randomized, Placebo Controlled Pilot Study. (2014) Journal of Cosmetics, Dermatological Sciences and Applications, 4, 293-308. doi: 10.4236/jcdsa.2014.45039.

6. Gaetan Chevalier, Kazuhito Mori, James L. Oschman. The effect of earthing (grounding) on human physiology, Part 1. European Biology and Bioelectromagnetics, 31 January 2006. 600-621.

The Effect Of Earthing On Human Physiology, Part 2: Electrode Measurements. Subtle Energies & Energy Medicine, Vol 18, No. 3.
The Effect Of Earthing On Human Physiology, Part 3: Electrodermal measurements. Subtle Energies & Energy Medicine, 2007; 18(3): 11-34.

7. Karol Sokal, Pawel Sokal. Earthing the Human Organism Influences Bioelectrical Processes. The Journal Of Alternative And Complementary Medicine, Volume 18, Number 3, 2012, pp. 229-234. DOI: 10.1089/acm.2010.0683.

8. Pawel Sokal, Karol Sokal. The neuromodulative role of earthing. Medical Hypotheses, November 2011 Volume 77, Issue 5, Pages 824-826.

9. Karol Sokal, Pawel Sokal. Earthing the Human Body Influences Physiologic Processes. The Journal Of Alternative And Complementary Medicine. Volume 17, Number 4, 2011, pp. 301-308. DOI: 10.1089/acm.2010.0687.

10. Gaetan Chevalier, Stephen T. Sinatra, James L. Oschman, Richard M. Delany. Earthing (Grounding) the Human Body Reduces Blood Viscosity - a Major Factor in Cardiovascular Disease. The Journal Of Alternative And Complementary Medicine, Volume 19, Number 2, 2013, pp. 102-110. DOI: 10.1089/acm.2011.0820.

11. Gaetan Chevalier, Stephen T. Sinatra. Emotional Stress, Heart Rate Variability, Grounding, and Improved Autonomic Tone: Clinical Applications. Integrative Medicine, Vol. 10, No. 3, Jun/Jul 2011.

12. Gaetan Chevalier. Changes in Pulse Rate, Respiratory Rate, Blood Oxygenation, Perfusion Index, Skin Conductance, and Their Variability Induced During and After Grounding Human Subjects for 40 Minutes. The Journal Of Alternative And Complementary Medicine, Volume 16, Number 1, 2010, pp. 81-87.

13. Gaetan Chevalier, Stephen T. Sinatra, James L. Oschman, Karol Sokal, Pawel Sokal. Earthing: Health Implications of Reconnecting the Human Body to the Earth's Surface Electrons. Journal of Environmental and Public Health, Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 291541.

14. Pawel Sokal, Zbigniew Jastrzebski, Ewelina Jaskulska, Karol Sokal, Maria Jastrzebska, Lukasz Radziminski, Robert Dargiewicz, Piotr Zielinski. Differences in Blood Urea and Creatinine Concentrations in Earthed and Unearthed Subjects during Cycling Exercise and Recovery. Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 382643.

15. James L. Oschman. Can Electrons Act as Antioxidants? A Review and Commentary. The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine. November 2007, 13(9): 955-967.