Throughout history, humans have strolled, sat, stood and slept on the ground – the skin of their bodies touching the skin of the earth – oblivious to the fact that such simple contact transfers a natural electrical signal to the body.
“Earth’s electrical energy maintains the order of our own bodily frequencies just like a conductor controls the coherence and cadence of an orchestra. The movement of nutrients and water into the cells is regulated by electric fields.”So write Clinton Ober, Stephen Sinatra, M.D. and Martin Zucker in their acclaimed book Earthing: The most important health discovery ever?
It’s highly recommended – an absolute must-read, really, if you’re serious about achieving optimum health.
Together they formed the Earthing Institute and in this article they go into further details about the benefits of Earthing (or “grounding”), and the ways in which you can bring those benefits into your day-to-day life:
“What is most profound about Earthing is that it is so natural and simple, and that it affects every aspect of human physiology. When you ground yourself, the entire body readjusts to a new level of functioning – the level, in fact, it seems to have been designed for throughout evolution.
James Oschman, Ph.D., an internationally-renowned expert on energy medicine and a member of our board of advisors, describes the phenomenon thusly:
“Recently I attended a meeting on the East coast. One of my colleagues came in from the West coast. She had a bad case of jet lag. I told her to take her shoes and socks off and step outside on the grass for 15 minutes. When she came back in, she was completely transformed. Her jet lag was gone. That is how fast Earthing works. Anyone can try this.
If you don’t feel well, for whatever reason, just make barefoot contact with the Earth for a few minutes and see what happens. Of course, if you have a medical problem, you should see a doctor. There is nothing that comes close to Earthing for quick relief. You can literally feel pain draining from your body the instant you touch the Earth.”
Standard plastic/rubber or composite soles do not conduct the Earth’s electric energy, and most shoes today are made from those materials.
The body is mostly water and minerals. It is an excellent conductor of electricity (electrons). The free electrons on the surface of the Earth are easily transferred to the human body as long as there is direct contact.
Unfortunately, synthetically-soled shoes act as insulators so that even when we are outside we do not connect with the Earth’s electric field. When we are in homes and office buildings, we are also insulated and unable to receive the Earth’s balancing energies.
How does Earthing affect the body’s ability to heal? The simplest explanation is that aches and pains and other disturbances in our bodies are often caused by inflammation. Electrons from the Earth have natural anti-inflammatory effects and are conducted relatively fast throughout the body, which is a good conductor.
One of the most profound discoveries in modern biomedicine is that many of the chronic and debilitating diseases of our time have the same cause: chronic inflammation.
Scientists now realize that many of our aches and pains arise from small regions in the body where an inflammatory response has taken place, but the inflammation has not completely stopped after the healing process.
A low level of chronic inflammation can continue for years, damaging normal tissues and wasting energy. Many scientists believe that the human immune system evolved over a long span of time during which we were in virtually constant barefoot contact with the Earth.
We believe that the immune system began functioning less efficiently as humans increasingly separated themselves from the Earth. One recent example is the advent of shoes with insulating soles about 50 years ago. Chronic disease, inflammation, and insomnia have skyrocketed ever since and the loss of connection with the Earth may be one totally overlooked cause.
In our clinical studies, the physiological effects of Earthing have been almost immediate. Why is this? The body is a good conductor of free electrons. It is a repeated observation that Earthing produces beneficial effects very rapidly.
When people are grounded through the feet (either by standing barefoot on the Earth or via grounded EKG patches in experiments), they sometimes feel a tingling sensation moving up the legs. We associate this with the apparent movement of electrons up into the body. In our research, we have “clocked” the speed of this activity.
We figure it takes about 20 to 30 minutes to reach sites of pain and inflammation and then begin neutralizing the inflammation. When a study participant says that pain has started to ease we regard this as a sign that the electrons have arrived at the pain site and have started to “go to work.”
Electrons may even be attracted to those sites because of they have a negative charge and free radicals, involved in the inflammatory process, have a positive charge. Once the free radicals are neutralized, we hypothesize that they stop their destructive actions on healthy tissues, leading to an abatement of pain, sometimes quite fast.
We also think that as soon as a person comes in direct contact with the Earth the electrons inside the body “feel” the effect of the ground potential through the Earth’s electric field. We discuss this—the so-called “straw-bead” effect—in Appendix B of our “Earthing” book.
The body settles and equalizes electrically to the ground potential almost instantaneously. The information that a new potential has been established in the body is transmitted, also almost instantaneously, to the autonomic nervous system which then responds by “adjusting” electrical activities throughout the body.
Muscle tension and skin conductance, and maybe also brain waves, are adjusted in a few seconds at the most.
Earthing also looks promising as a powerful anti-aging strategy. Many researchers have documented the deterioration of the immune system as we age. The name for this is immunosenescence.
A prominent medical theory states that one of the causes of general deterioration during aging is free radical damage, technically known as oxidative stress, and resulting in injury to cells. Since Earthing greatly reduces oxidative stress it is expected to increase life expectancy and improve health.
There is no question that maintaining a functionally “young” immune system is an excellent strategy for preserving the quality of life and slowing senescence.
So how many minutes or hours a day do you need to be grounded in order to experience results? When you come in direct contact with the Earth there is an immediate and natural shift in your body. We have measured this in the laboratory and the changes point to the body functioning better.
People with pain often feel relief in varying degrees – from a little to a lot, and to even disappearance of the pain – just by planting their bare feet on the ground outside for a half hour or so twice a day.
Sleeping grounded [through the use of a special grounding sheet ] through the night produces many beneficial results, such as better and deeper sleep, more energy during the day, and less pain. Again, the degree of benefits run from slight to dramatic, from immediate to gradual.
Some chronically ill people benefit from additional grounding hours during the day, such as by being barefoot or using an Earthing mat or body band.
Everybody is different and symptoms are different with different causes. Earthing does not cure anything. Contact with the Earth helps restores the body’s natural electrical balance and reduce stress and inflammation. By doing these things, Earthing can have both short-term and long-term effects, and sometimes quite dramatic and quick ones.
We have had many reports of improved sleep and decreased stress after only one or two nights of sleeping grounded. If the cause of sleep difficulties is long-term insomnia with underlying health issues, improvement often takes more time.
Medical thermal imaging has shown decreased inflammation in minutes. In a study conducted by the California Institute for Human Science instantaneous changes in brain waves and muscle tension were documented when the Earth connection was introduced.
Clearly, lasting changes in stress, sleep, pain and body rhythms occur when we are connected to the Earth for longer segments of time on a repeated basis. Nighttime sleep, when the body is most receptive to healing, is the most beneficial time.
In a general sense, just as you can’t direct healthy food, air, or water to create specific desired results in one function or part of your body, the body takes in the natural energy of the Earth and uses it as needed.
You may experience benefits for certain issues you were not even expecting improvements in and there may be no change in other areas. Generally, the longer you use Earthing, the more benefits and vitality that become apparent.”