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Earthing: Health Implications of Reconnecting the Human Body to the Earth's Surface Electrons

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Abstract and Figures

Environmental medicine generally addresses environmental factors with a negative impact on human health. However, emerging scientific research has revealed a surprisingly positive and overlooked environmental factor on health: direct physical contact with the vast supply of electrons on the surface of the Earth. Modern lifestyle separates humans from such contact. The research suggests that this disconnect may be a major contributor to physiological dysfunction and unwellness. Reconnection with the Earth's electrons has been found to promote intriguing physiological changes and subjective reports of well-being. Earthing (or grounding) refers to the discovery of benefits-including better sleep and reduced pain-from walking barefoot outside or sitting, working, or sleeping indoors connected to conductive systems that transfer the Earth's electrons from the ground into the body. This paper reviews the earthing research and the potential of earthing as a simple and easily accessed global modality of significant clinical importance.
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Hindawi Publishing Corporation
Journal of Environmental and Public Health
Volume 2012, Article ID 291541, 8pages
doi:10.1155/2012/291541
Review Article
Earthing: Health Implications of Reconnecting the Human Body
to the Earth’s Surface Electrons
Ga´
etan Chevalier,1, 2 Stephen T. Sinatra,3James L. Oschman,4Karol Sokal,5
and Pawel Sokal6
1Developmental and Cell Biology Department, University of California at Irvine, Irvine, CA 92697, USA
2Earth FX Inc., Palm Springs, CA 92262, USA
3University of CT School of Medicine, c/o Optimum Health Building, 257 East Center Street, Farmington, CT 06040, USA
4Nature’s Own Research Association, Dover, NH 03821, USA
5Department of Ambulatory Cardiology, Military Clinical Hospital, 85-681 Bydgoszcz, Poland
6Department of Neurosurgery, Military Clinical Hospital, 85-681 Bydgoszcz, Poland
Correspondence should be addressed to Ga´
etan Chevalier, dlbogc@sbcglobal.net
Received 15 June 2011; Accepted 4 October 2011
Academic Editor: Gerry Schwalfenberg
Copyright © 2012 Ga´
etan Chevalier et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution
License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly
cited.
Environmental medicine generally addresses environmental factors with a negative impact on human health. However, emerging
scientific research has revealed a surprisingly positive and overlooked environmental factor on health: direct physical contact
with the vast supply of electrons on the surface of the Earth. Modern lifestyle separates humans from such contact. The research
suggests that this disconnect may be a major contributor to physiological dysfunction and unwellness. Reconnection with the
Earth’s electrons has been found to promote intriguing physiological changes and subjective reports of well-being. Earthing (or
grounding) refers to the discovery of benefits—including better sleep and reduced pain—from walking barefoot outside or sitting,
working, or sleeping indoors connected to conductive systems that transfer the Earth’s electrons from the ground into the body.
This paper reviews the earthing research and the potential of earthing as a simple and easily accessed global modality of significant
clinical importance.
1. Introduction
Environmental medicine focuses on interactions between
human health and the environment, including factors such
as compromised air and water and toxic chemicals, and
how they cause or mediate disease. Omnipresent throughout
the environment is a surprisingly beneficial, yet overlooked
global resource for health maintenance, disease prevention,
and clinical therapy: the surface of the Earth itself. It is
an established, though not widely appreciated fact, that
the Earth’s surface possesses a limitless and continuously
renewed supply of free or mobile electrons. The surface
of the planet is electrically conductive (except in limited
ultradry areas such as deserts), and its negative potential
is maintained (i.e., its electron supply replenished) by the
global atmospheric electrical circuit [1,2].
Mounting evidence suggests that the Earth’s negative
potential can create a stable internal bioelectrical envi-
ronment for the normal functioning of all body systems.
Moreover, oscillations of the intensity of the Earth’s potential
may be important for setting the biological clocks regulating
diurnal body rhythms, such as cortisol secretion [3].
It is also well established that electrons from antioxidant
molecules neutralize reactive oxygen species (ROS, or in pop-
ular terms, free radicals) involved in the body’s immune and
inflammatory responses. The National Library of Medicine’s
online resource PubMed lists 7021 studies and 522 review
articles from a search of “antioxidant + electron + free rad-
ical” [3]. It is assumed that the influx of free electrons
absorbed into the body through direct contact with the
Earth likely neutralize ROS and thereby reduce acute and
2 Journal of Environmental and Public Health
chronic inflammation [4]. Throughout history, humans
mostly walked barefoot or with footwear made of animal
skins. They slept on the ground or on skins. Through direct
contact or through perspiration-moistened animal skins
used as footwear or sleeping mats, the ground’s abundant
free electrons were able to enter the body, which is electrically
conductive [5]. Through this mechanism, every part of the
body could equilibrate with the electrical potential of the
Earth, thereby stabilizing the electrical environment of all
organs, tissues, and cells.
Modern lifestyle has increasingly separated humans from
the primordial flow of Earth’s electrons. For example, since
the 1960s, we have increasingly worn insulating rubber
or plastic soled shoes, instead of the traditional leather
fashioned from hides. Rossi has lamented that the use of
insulating materials in post-World War II shoes has separated
us from the Earth’s energy field [6]. Obviously, we no longer
sleep on the ground as we did in times past.
During recent decades, chronic illness, immune disor-
ders, and inflammatory diseases have increased dramatically,
and some researchers have cited environmental factors as the
cause [7]. However, the possibility of modern disconnection
with the Earth’s surface as a cause has not been considered.
Much of the research reviewed in this paper points in that
direction.
In the late 19th century, a back-to-nature movement
in Germany claimed many health benefits from being
barefoot outdoors, even in cold weather [8]. In the 1920s,
White, a medical doctor, investigated the practice of sleeping
grounded after being informed by some individuals that they
could not sleep properly “unless they were on the ground or
connected to the ground in some way,” such as with copper
wires attached to grounded-to-Earth water, gas, or radiator
pipes. He reported improved sleeping using these techniques
[9]. However, these ideas never caught on in mainstream
society.
At the end of the last century, experiments initiated
independently by Ober in the USA [10] and K. Sokal
and P. Sokal [11] in Poland revealed distinct physiological
and health benefits with the use of conductive bed pads,
mats, EKG- and TENS-type electrode patches, and plates
connected indoors to the Earth outside. Ober, a retired
cable television executive, found a similarity between the
human body (a bioelectrical, signal-transmitting organism)
and the cable used to transmit cable television signals. When
cables are “grounded” to the Earth, interference is virtu-
ally eliminated from the signal. Furthermore, all electrical
systems are stabilized by grounding them to the Earth. K.
Sokal and P. Sokal, meanwhile, discovered that grounding
the human body represents a “universal regulating factor in
Nature” that strongly influences bioelectrical, bioenergetic,
and biochemical processes and appears to oer a significant
modulating eect on chronic illnesses encountered daily in
their clinical practices.
Earthing (also known as grounding) refers to contact
with the Earth’s surface electrons by walking barefoot
outside or sitting, working, or sleeping indoors connected to
conductive systems, some of them patented, that transfer the
energy from the ground into the body. Emerging scientific
research supports the concept that the Earth’s electrons
induce multiple physiological changes of clinical significance,
including reduced pain, better sleep, a shift from sympathetic
to parasympathetic tone in the autonomic nervous system
(ANS), and a blood-thinning eect. The research, along with
many anecdotal reports, is presented in a new book entitled
Earthing [12].
2. Review of Earthing Papers
The studies summarized below involve indoor-testing meth-
ods under controlled conditions that simulate being barefoot
outdoors.
2.1. Sleep and Chronic Pain. In a blinded pilot study, Ober
recruited 60 subjects (22 males and 28 females) who suered
from self-described sleep disturbances and chronic muscle
and joint pain for at least six months [10]. Subjects were
randomly divided for the month-long study in which both
groups slept on conductive carbon fiber mattress pads
provided by Ober. Half the pads were connected to a
dedicated Earth ground outside each subject’s bedroom
window, while the other half were “sham” grounded—not
connected to the Earth. Results are presented in Tab le 1.
Most grounded subjects described symptomatic improv-
ement while most in the control group did not. Some
subjects reported significant relief from asthmatic and res-
piratory conditions, rheumatoid arthritis, PMS, sleep apnea,
and hypertension while sleeping grounded. These results
indicated that the eects of earthing go beyond reduction of
pain and improvements in sleep.
2.2. Sleep, Stress, Pain, and Cortisol. A pilot study evaluated
diurnal rhythms in cortisol correlated with changes in sleep,
pain, and stress (anxiety, depression, and irritability), as
monitored by subjective reporting [13]. Twelve subjects
with complaints of sleep dysfunction, pain, and stress were
grounded to Earth during sleep in their own beds using a
conductive mattress pad for 8 weeks.
In order to obtain a baseline measurement of cortisol,
subjects chewed Dacron salvettes for 2 minutes and then
placed them in time-labeled sampling tubes that were
stored in a refrigerator. Self-administered sample collections
beganat8AMandwererepeatedevery4hours.After6
weeks of being grounded, subjects repeated this 24-hour
saliva test. The samples were processed using a standard
radioimmunoassay. A composite of the results is shown in
Figure 1.
Subjective symptoms of sleep dysfunction, pain, and
stress were reported daily throughout the 8-week test period.
The majority of subjects with high- to out-of-range night-
time secretion levels experienced improvements by sleeping
grounded. This is demonstrated by the restoration of normal
day-night cortisol secretion profiles.
Eleven of 12 participants reported falling asleep more
quickly, and all 12 reported waking up fewer times at night.
Grounding the body at night during sleep also appears to
Journal of Environmental and Public Health 3
Tab le 1: Subjective sleep, pain, and well-being feedback.
Categories Te s t s u b j e c t s Control subjects∗∗
Same Improved Same Improved
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 stiness and 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%
Reports not received from three participants.
∗∗Reports not received from seven participants.
24-hour cortisol secretion profile before grounding
0
(a) (b)
10
20
30
40
50
60
70
Mid Noon
24-hour cortisol secretion profile after grounding
0
10
20
30
40
50
60
70
Mid 8 Noon8 pm
8 pm 4 pm am 4 pm
8am4am 4am
Figure 1: Cortisol levels before and after grounding. In unstressed individuals, the normal 24-hour cortisol secretion profile follows a
predictable pattern: lowest around midnight and highest around 8 a.m. Graph (a) illustrates the wide variation of patterns among study
participants prior to grounding, while (b) shows a realignment and normalization trend of patterns after six weeks of sleeping grounded.
positively aect morning fatigue levels, daytime energy, and
nighttime pain levels.
About 30 percent of the general American adult pop-
ulation complain of sleep disruption, while approximately
10 percent have associated symptoms of daytime functional
impairment consistent with the diagnosis of insomnia.
Insomnia often correlates with major depression, generalized
anxiety, substance abuse, dementia, and a variety of pain and
physical problems. The direct and indirect costs of chronic
insomnia have been estimated at tens of billions of dollars
annually in the USA alone [14]. In view of the burdens of
personal discomfort and health care costs, grounding the
body during sleep seems to have much to oer.
2.3. Earthing Reduces Electric Fields Induced on the Body.
Voltage induced on a human body from the electrical
environment was measured using a high-impedance mea-
surement head. Applewhite, an electrical engineer and expert
in the design of electrostatic discharge systems in the
electronic industry, was both subject and author of the study
[15]. Measurements were taken while ungrounded and then
grounded using a conductive patch and conductive bed pad.
The author measured the induced fields at three positions:
left breast, abdomen, and left thigh.
Each method (patch and sheet) immediately reduced the
common alternating current (AC) 60 Hz ambient voltage
0
0.01
0.1
1
10
Volts, RMS
Baseline 1.24 1.3 1.32
Bed pad 0.01 0.012 0.009
Left breast Abdomen Left thigh
Figure 2: Eect of bed pad grounding on 60 Hz mode.
induced on the body by a highly significant factor of about
70 on average. Figure 2 shows this eect.
The study showed that when the body is grounded,
its electrical potential becomes equalized with the Earth’s
electrical potential through a transfer of electrons from the
Earth to the body. This, in turn, prevents the 60 Hz mode
from producing an AC electric potential at the surface of
the body and from producing perturbations of the electric
charges of the molecules inside the body. The study confirms
the “umbrella” eect of earthing the body explained by
Nobel Prize winner Richard Feynman in his lectures on
electromagnetism [16]. Feynman said that when the body
potential is the same as the Earth’s electric potential (and
4 Journal of Environmental and Public Health
thus grounded), it becomes an extension of the Earth’s
gigantic electric system. The Earth’s potential thus becomes
the “working agent that cancels, reduces, or pushes away
electric fields from the body.
Applewhite was able to document changes in the ambient
voltage induced on the body by monitoring the voltage drop
across a resistor. This eect clearly showed the “umbrella
eect” described above. The body of the grounded person
is not subject to the perturbation of electrons and electrical
systems.
Jamieson asks whether the failure to appropriately
ground humans is a factor contributing to the potential
consequences of electropollution in oce settings [17].
Considerable debate exists on whether electromagnetic fields
in our environment cause a risk to health [18], but there
is no question that the body reacts to the presence of
environmental electric fields. This study demonstrates that
grounding essentially eliminates the ambient voltage induced
on the body from common electricity power sources.
2.4. Physiological and Electrophysiological Eects
2.4.1. Reductions in Overall Stress Levels and Tension and Shift
in ANS Balance. Fifty-eight healthy adult subjects (including
30 controls) participated in a randomized double-blind pilot
study investigating earthing eects on human physiology
[19]. Earthing was accomplished with a conductive adhesive
patch placed on the sole of each foot. A biofeedback system
recorded electrophysiological and physiological parameters.
Experimental subjects were exposed to 28 minutes in the
unearthed condition followed by 28 minutes with the
earthing wire connected. Controls were unearthed for 56
minutes.
Upon earthing, about half the subjects showed an
abrupt, almost instantaneous change in root mean square
(rms) values of electroencephalograms (EEGs) from the left
hemisphere (but not the right hemisphere) at all frequencies
analyzed by the biofeedback system (beta, alpha, theta, and
delta).
All grounded subjects presented an abrupt change in
rmsvaluesofsurfaceelectromyograms(SEMGs)fromright
and left upper trapezius muscles. Earthing decreased blood
volume pulse (BVP) in 19 of 22 experimental subjects
(statistically significant) and in 8 of 30 controls (not
significant). Earthing the human body showed significant
eects on electrophysiological properties of the brain and
musculature, on the BVP, and on the noise and stability of
electrophysiological recordings. Taken together, the changes
in EEG, EMG, and BVP suggest reductions in overall
stress levels and tensions and a shift in ANS balance upon
earthing. The results extend the conclusions of previous
studies.
2.4.2. Confirming Shift from Sympathetic to Parasympa-
thetic Activation. A multiparameter double-blind study was
designed to reproduce and expand on previous electrophysi-
ological and physiological parameters measured immediately
after grounding with an improved methodology and state-
of-the-art equipment [20]. Fourteen men and 14 women,
in good health, ages 18–80, were tested while seated in
a comfortable recliner during 2-hour grounding sessions,
leaving time for signals to stabilize before, during, and
after grounding (40 minutes for each period). Sham 2-
hour grounding sessions were also recorded with the same
subjects as controls. For each session, statistical analyses were
performed on four 10-minute segments: before and after
grounding (sham grounding for control sessions) and before
and after ungrounding (sham ungrounding for control
sessions). The following results were documented:
(i) an immediate decrease (within a few seconds) in skin
conductance (SC) at grounding and an immediate
increase at ungrounding. No change was seen for the
control (sham grounding) sessions;
(ii) respiratory rate (RR) increased during grounding,
an eect that lasted after ungrounding. RR variance
increased immediately after grounding and then
decreased;
(iii) blood oxygenation (BO) variance decreased during
grounding, followed by a dramatic increase after
ungrounding;
(iv) pulse rate (PR) and perfusion index (PI) variances
increased toward the end of the grounding period,
and this change persisted after ungrounding.
The immediate decrease in SC indicates a rapid activation
of the parasympathetic nervous system and corresponding
deactivation of the sympathetic nervous system. The imme-
diate increase in SC at cessation of grounding indicates an
opposite eect. Increased RR, stabilization of BO, and slight
rise in heart rate suggest the start of a metabolic healing
response necessitating an increase in oxygen consumption.
2.4.3. Immune Cell and Pain Responses with Delayed-Onset
Muscle Soreness Induction. Pain reduction from sleeping
groundedhasbeendocumentedinpreviousstudies[10,
13]. This pilot study looked for blood markers that might
dierentiate between grounded and ungrounded subjects
who completed a single session of intense, eccentric exercise
resulting in delayed-onset muscle soreness (DOMS) of the
gastrocnemius [21]. If markers were able to dierentiate
these groups, future studies could be done in greater detail
with a larger subject base. DOMS is a common complaint
in the fitness and athletic world following excessive physical
activity and involves acute inflammation in overtaxed mus-
cles. It develops in 14 to 48 hours and persists for more than
96 hours [22]. No known treatment reduces the recovery
period, but apparently massage and hydrotherapy [2325]
and acupuncture [26] can reduce pain.
Eight healthy men ages 20–23 were put through a similar
routine of toe raises while carrying on their shoulders
a barbell equal to one-third of their body weight. Each
participant was exercised individually on a Monday morning
and then monitored for the rest of the week while following
a similar eating, sleeping, and living schedule in a hotel. The
Journal of Environmental and Public Health 5
group was randomly divided in half and either grounded
or sham grounded with the use of a conductive patch
placed at the sole of each foot during active hours and a
conductive sheet at night. Complete blood counts, blood
chemistry, enzyme chemistry, serum and saliva cortisol,
magnetic resonance imaging and spectroscopy, and pain
levels (a total of 48 parameters) were taken at the same
time of day before the eccentric exercise and at 24, 48, and
72 hours afterwards. Parameters consistently diering by 10
percent or more, normalized to baseline, were considered
worthy of further study.
Parameters that diered by these criteria included white
blood cell counts, bilirubin, creatine kinase, phosphocrea-
tine/inorganic phosphate ratios, glycerolphosphorylcholine,
phosphorylcholine, the visual analogue pain scale, and
pressure measurements on the right gastrocnemius.
The results showed that grounding the body to the Earth
alters measures of immune system activity and pain. Among
the ungrounded men, for instance, there was an expected,
sharp increase in white blood cells at the stage when DOMS
is known to reach its peak and greater perception of pain (see
Figure 3). This eect demonstrates a typical inflammatory
response. In comparison, the grounded men had only a slight
decrease in white blood cells, indicating scant inflammation,
and, for the first time ever observed, a shorter recovery
time. Brown later commented that there were “significant
dierences” in the pain these men reported [12].
2.4.4. Heart Rate Variability. The rapid change in skin con-
ductance reported in an earlier study led to the hypothesis
that grounding may also improve heart rate variability
(HRV), a measurement of the heart’s response to ANS
regulation. A double-blind study was designed with 27 par-
ticipants [27]. Subjects sat in a comfortable reclining chair.
Four transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS)
type adhesive electrode patches were placed on the sole of
each foot and on each palm.
Participants served as their own controls. Each partic-
ipant’s data from a 2-hour session (40 minutes of which
was grounded) were compared with another 2-hour sham-
grounded session. The sequence of grounding versus sham-
grounding sessions was assigned randomly.
During the grounded sessions, participants had statis-
tically significant improvements in HRV that went way
beyond basic relaxation results (which were shown by the
nongrounded sessions). Since improved HRV is a significant
positive indicator on cardiovascular status, it is suggested
that simple grounding techniques be utilized as a basic
integrative strategy in supporting the cardiovascular system,
especially under situations of heightened autonomic tone
when the sympathetic nervous system is more activated than
the parasympathetic nervous system.
2.4.5. Reduction of Primary Indicators of Osteoporosis,
Improvement of Glucose Regulation, and Immune Response.
K. Sokal and P. Sokal, cardiologist and neurosurgeon father
and son on the medical staof a military clinic in
Poland, conducted a series of experiments to determine
whether contact with the Earth via a copper conductor can
aect physiological processes [11]. Their investigations were
prompted by the question as to whether the natural electric
charge on the surface of the Earth influences the regulation
of human physiological processes.
Double-blind experiments were conducted on 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 ×80 mm) placed on the lower part of the leg,
attached with a strip so that it would not come oduring
the night. The plate was connected by a conductive wire to
a larger plate (60 mm ×250 mm) placed in contact with the
Earth outside.
In one experiment with nonmedicated subjects, ground-
ing during a single night of sleep resulted in statistically
significant changes in concentrations of minerals and elec-
trolytes 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 Earthing for a single night reduces
primary indicators of osteoporosis.
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 glibenclamide, an
antidiabetic drug, for about 6 months, but at the time of
study had unsatisfactory glycemic control despite dietary and
exercise advice and glibenclamide doses of 10 mg/day.
K. Sokal and P. Sokal drew blood samples 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
hepatic, hypothalamus, and pituitary relationships with
thyroid function. Ober et al. [12] 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 aect
almost every physiological process in the body, including
growth and development, metabolism, body temperature,
and heart rate. Clearly, further study of earthing eects on
thyroid function is needed.
In another experiment, the eect of grounding on
the classic immune response following vaccination was
examined. Earthing accelerated the immune response, as
demonstrated by increases in gamma globulin concentra-
tion. This result confirms an association between earthing
and the immune response, as was suggested in the DOMS
study [21].
K. Sokal and P. Sokal conclude that earthing the human
body influences human physiological processes, including
increasing the activity of catabolic processes and may be “the
primary factor regulating endocrine and nervous systems.
6 Journal of Environmental and Public Health
White blood cells
10
5
0
10
20
15
5
(days) (days)
Change (%)
Change (%)
Placebo
Grounded
Placebo
0
123 4 1234
0
Grounded
Placebo
Grounded
0.45 1.35 4.05
Pain scale
0
40
80
120
160
200
Placebo
Grounded
0
0
13.8715.979.66 127.59
172.41
113.79
41.389.1328.26
Figure 3: Delayed onset muscle soreness and grounding. Consistent with all measurements, ungrounded subjects expressed the perception
of greater pain. Related to the pain finding was evidence of a muted white blood cell response indicating that a grounded body experiences
less inflammation.
2.4.6. Altered Blood Electrodynamics. Since grounding pro-
duces changes in many electrical properties of the body
[1,15,19,28], a next logical step was to evaluate the
electrical property of the blood. A suitable measure is the zeta
potential of red blood cells (RBCs) and RBC aggregation.
Zeta potential is a parameter closely related to the number
of negative charges on the surface of an RBC. The higher
the number, the greater the ability of the RBC to repel other
RBCs. Thus, the greater the zeta potential the less coagulable
is the blood.
Ten relatively healthy subjects participated in the study
[29]. They were seated comfortably in a reclining chair and
were grounded for two hours with electrode patches placed
on their feet and hands, as in previous studies. Blood samples
were taken before and after.
Grounding the body to the earth substantially increases
the zeta potential and decreases RBC aggregation, thereby
reducing blood viscosity. Subjects in pain reported reduction
to the point that it was almost unnoticeable. The results
strongly suggest that earthing is a natural solution for
patients with excessive blood viscosity, an option of great
interest not just for cardiologists, but also for any physician
concerned about the relationship of blood viscosity, clotting,
and inflammation. In 2008, Adak and colleagues reported the
presence of both hypercoagulable blood and poor RBC zeta
potential among diabetics. Zeta potential was particularly
poor among diabetics with cardiovascular disease [30].
3. Discussion
Until now, the physiological significance and possible health
eects of stabilizing the internal bioelectrical environment of
an organism have not been a significant topic of research.
Some aspects of this, however, are relatively obvious. In the
absence of Earth contact, internal charge distribution will
not be uniform, but instead will be subject to a variety of
electrical perturbations in the environment. It is well known
that many important regulations and physiological processes
involve events taking place on cell and tissue surfaces. In the
absence of a common reference point, or “ground,” electrical
gradients, due to uneven charge distribution, can build up
along tissue surfaces and cell membranes.
We can predict that such charge dierentials will influ-
ence biochemical and physiological processes. First, the
structure and functioning of many enzymes are sensitive to
local environmental conditions. Each enzyme has an optimal
pH that favors maximal activity. A change in the electrical
environment can alter the pH of biological fluids and the
charge distribution on molecules and thereby aect reaction
rates. The pH eect results because of critical charged amino
acids at the active site of the enzyme that participate in
substrate binding and catalysis. In addition, the ability of a
substrate or enzyme to donate or accept hydrogen ions is
influenced by pH.
Another example is provided by voltage-gated ion chan-
nels, which play critical biophysical roles in excitable cells
such as neurons. Local alterations in the charge profiles
around these channels can lead to electrical instability of the
cell membrane and to the inappropriate spontaneous activity
observed during certain pathological states [31].
Earthing research oers insights into the clinical poten-
tial of barefoot contact with the Earth, or simulated barefoot
contact indoors via simple conductive systems, on the stabil-
ity of internal bioelectrical function and human physiology.
Initial experiments resulted in subjective reports of improved
sleep and reduced pain [10]. Subsequent research showed
that improved sleep was correlated with a normalization of
the cortisol day-night profile [13]. The results are significant
in light of the extensive research showing that lack of sleep
stresses the body and contributes to many detrimental health
consequences. Lack of sleep is often the result of pain. Hence,
reduction of pain might be one reason for the benefits just
described.
Pain reduction from sleeping grounded has been con-
firmed in a controlled study on DOMS. Earthing is the
first intervention known to speed recovery from DOMS
[21]. Painful conditions are often the result of various
kinds of acute or chronic inflammation conditions caused
Journal of Environmental and Public Health 7
in part by ROS generated by normal metabolism and also
by the immune system as part of the response to injury or
trauma. Inflammation can cause pain and loss of range of
motion in joints. Inflammatory swelling can put pressure
on pain receptors (nocireceptors) and can compromise the
microcirculation, leading to ischemic pain. Inflammation
can cause the release of toxic molecules that also activate pain
receptors. Modern biomedical research has also documented
a close relationship between chronic inflammation and
virtually all chronic diseases, including the diseases of aging,
and the aging process itself. The steep rise in inflammatory
diseases, in fact, has been recently called “inflamm-aging”
to describe a progressive inflammatory status and a loss
of stress-coping ability as major components of the aging
process [32].
Reduction in inflammation as a result of earthing has
been documented with infrared medical imaging [28]and
with measurements of blood chemistry and white blood
cell counts [21]. The logical explanation for the anti-
inflammatory eects is that grounding the body allows
negatively charged antioxidant electrons from the Earth to
enter the body and neutralize positively charged free radicals
at sites of inflammation [28]. Flow of electrons from the
Earth to the body has been documented [15].
A pilot study on the electrodynamics of red blood
cells (zeta potential) has revealed that earthing signifi-
cantly reduces blood viscosity, an important but neglected
parameter in cardiovascular diseases and diabetes [29], and
circulation in general. Thus, thinning the blood may allow
for more oxygen delivery to tissues and further support the
reduction of inflammation.
Stress reduction has been confirmed with various mea-
sures showing rapid shifts in the ANS from sympathetic
to parasympathetic dominance, improvement in heart rate
variability, and normalization of muscle tension [19,20,27].
Not reported here are many observations over more
than two decades by Ober et al. [12] and K. Sokal
and P. Sokal [11] indicating that regular earthing may
improve blood pressure, cardiovascular arrhythmias, and
autoimmune conditions such as lupus, multiple sclerosis,
and rheumatoid arthritis. Some eects of earthing on
medication are described by Ober et al. [12] and at the
website: http://www.earthinginstitute.net/. As an example,
the combination of earthing and coumadin has the potential
to exert a compounded blood thinning eect and must be
supervised by a physician. Multiple anecdotes of elevated
INR have been reported. INR (international normalized
ratio) is a widely used measurement of coagulation. The
influence of earthing on thyroid function and medication has
been described earlier.
From a practical standpoint, clinicians could recommend
outdoor “barefoot sessions” to patients, weather, and condi-
tions permitting. Ober et al. [12] have observed that going
barefoot as little as 30 or 40 minutes daily can significantly
reduce pain and stress, and the studies summarized here
explain why this is the case. Obviously, there is no cost for
barefoot grounding. However, the use of conductive systems
while sleeping, working, or relaxing indoors oer a more
convenient and routine-friendly approach.
4. Conclusion
De Flora et al. wrote the following: “Since the late 20th cen-
tury, chronic degenerative diseases have overcome infectious
disease as the major causes of death in the 21st century, so
an increase in human longevity will depend on finding an
intervention that inhibits the development of these diseases
and slows their progress” [33].
Could such an intervention be located right beneath our
feet? Earthing research, observations, and related theories
raise an intriguing possibility about the Earth’s surface
electrons as an untapped health resource—the Earth as
a “global treatment table.” Emerging evidence shows that
contact with the Earth—whether being outside barefoot
or indoors connected to grounded conductive systems—
may be a simple, natural, and yet profoundly eective
environmental strategy against chronic stress, ANS dys-
function, inflammation, pain, poor sleep, disturbed HRV,
hypercoagulable blood, and many common health disorders,
including cardiovascular disease. The research done to date
supports the concept that grounding or earthing the human
body may be an essential element in the health equation
along with sunshine, clean air and water, nutritious food, and
physical activity.
Disclosure
G. Chevalier, S. T. Sinatra, and J. L. Oschman are indepen-
dent contractors for Earthx L. Inc., the company sponsoring
earthing research, and own a small percentage of shares in
the company.
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... This unresolved tension means that every cell in vertical line through the body is subject to electrical potentials outside the design specification-and may contribute to electrosensitivity as well as inflammation, and may yet be found to be another cause of chronic degenerative illness. [101][102][103][104][105][106][107] However, whilst earthing in a rural environment with minimal man-made ground current may help the body with a DC flow, in an urban area the unwanted effect of large AC potentials may ensue, as the ambient AC is several V/m, so the effect may be less beneficial (Table 47.3). 100,000 120,000-1,600,000 2,000,000 2,000,000 4,000,000 ...
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Electrosensitivity exists as a very real problem. There is ample biological evidence to enable an understanding of this widespread phenomenon. Recent studies suggest possible genetic links, confirm positive subjective evidence, and confirm that voltage-gated calcium channels are an established mechanism for EM effects at nonthermal levels. Problems stemming from the conceptual context explain why even well-intentioned investigators may be tempted to deny, defer, obscure, or otherwise divert truth. It is also noted that there are vested interests at stake. As a result a great deal of EM and RF technology has been developed on the mistaken “presumption of no harm.” Unfortunately, ES not only exists but affects many, many people, the great majority of them undiagnosed (because of lack of medical knowledge) and either expensively investigated or mistreated, or worse still ignored, dismissed or ridiculed. Three case studies are noted, including one of the authors, which may of course incur criticism of bias, but perhaps may achieve an acknowledgement of the use of the human as an instrument of experimentation as well as an honest scientifically trained witness to symptoms. The Austrian Medical Association Guidelines provide a useful tool for the Practitioner.
... It may be the primary factor regulating endocrine and nervous systems. 1227 (c) neuromodulation by the earth's mass changes EEG, SEMG, and SSEPs. 1228 1229 It neutralises free radicals at injury sites after the oxidative burst. ...
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Electromagnetic Hypersensitivity is categorised as a multisymptomatic 'el-allergy' in the Nordic classification of 2000 (R.68.8). Its symptoms are 'certainly real' and it can be a 'disabling condition' (W.H.O., 2005). It was first recorded in the mid 20th century as an occupational illness, but it has now spread into the general population through environmental exposure from increasing levels of electromagnetic fields and radiation. This Summary covers current research on this syndrome, covering EM Sensitivity and EM Hypersensitivity. It includes tables of symptoms, EMF sources and exposure guidelines, along with references to scientific studies. This New Edition adds updates, international doctors' protocols, aspects of quantum biology, evidence for sensitivity in animals and plants, case studies, disability issues and human rights.
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... Subsequently, the higher surface RBC negative charge is, the blood has less tendency to coagulate. Grounding has been demonstrated to enhance the surface negative charge on RBCs and thus decreasing blood viscosity and clumping [20,21]. Hypoxemia is another major cause of mortality in patients with COVID-19 infection. ...
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... Freie Radikale sind positiv geladene Moleküle, die wiederum im Körper bei Immun-und Entzündungsreaktionen eine zentrale Rolle spielen (G. Chevalier, Sinatra, Oschman, Sokal, & Sokal, 2012). ...
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Erden beschreibt den Angleich des elektrischen Potentials des menschlichen Körpers an das der Erdoberfläche. Die Erdoberfläche beinhaltet einen unerschöpflichen Pool an freien, negativ geladenen Elektronen, die im geerdeten Zustand in den Organismus übergehen können und sein elektrisches Potential an das der Erde angleichen. Durch die Modernisierung unserer Lebenswelten hat der Mensch in den vergangenen Jahrzehnten zunehmend den direkten Kontakt zur Erde verloren. Laut Wissenschaftlern, die sich mit der Thematik des Erdens beschäftigen, kommt es durch den fehlenden Kontakt zur Erdoberfläche zu einem Elektronendefizit im menschlichen Körper. Dieses Elektronendefizit trage Mitschuld an der Entstehung einer Vielzahl von Zivilisationskrankheiten. Vor allem an jenen, denen chronische Entzündungen zugrunde liegen. Denn die bedeutendste Wirkung der freien, negativ geladenen Elektronen ist jene eines Antioxidans. Ein Antioxidans kann freie Radikale neutralisieren, indem es ein Elektron spendet. Freie Radikale gelten mittlerweile gesichert als Hauptverursacher von akuten und chronischen Entzündungen. Erste Untersuchungen und Pilotstudien bestätigen die positive Wirkung des Erdens auf verschiedene physiologische Parameter. So konnte nachgewiesen werden, dass geerdete Personen besser schlafen und sie seltener an Stress und Schmerzen leiden. Wissenschaftler berichten über die entzündungshemmende Wirkung des Erdens und über eine geringere Gewebsschädigung im Muskel bei geerdeten Personen nach exzentrischer Belastung. Diese und weitere Ergebnisse legen nahe, dass Erden auch im Leistungssport positive Effekte haben und beispielsweise zu einer schnelleren Regeneration beitragen könnte. In dieser Blindstudie im Cross-over-Design wurde untersucht, welche Wirkung Erden als kurzfristige Regenerationsmaßnahme zwischen intensiven Kraftausdauerbelastungen hat. Dazu absolvierten 17 Probanden im Abstand von 30 Minuten jeweils zwei 30-sekündige Wingate Tests. Die Pause zwischen den Wingate Tests diente der Regeneration, in der die Probanden im Liegen über eine Matte geerdet wurden. Die Ergebnisse der Studie zeigen, dass die Leistungsfähigkeit der Probanden nach einer 30-minütigen Regenerationsphase nicht vollständig wiederhergestellt werden kann. Im Vergleich zu den Wingate Tests vor der Regenerationspause ist die Leistung in der Peak Power und Average Power bei jenen nach der Erholung signifikant geringer. Zwischen den Bedingungen geerdet und nicht geerdet kommt es weder in den Ergebnissen der Wingate-Werte, noch in der Herzfrequenz, bei der BORG-Skala oder der Sauerstoffsättigung im Vastus lateralis zu einem Unterschied. Jedoch zeigt der Verlauf der Laktat- und Glukosewerte in der zweiten Regenerationsphase signifikante Unterschiede zwischen den Gruppen.
... This model makes the testable prediction that qi-induced inflammation could be alleviated or prevented by blocking free radical formation, using anti-oxidant supplements (Vitamin C, omega-3 oils) or anti-oxidant-generating practices like dry saunas 41,64 and earthing. 12 These practices would thereby enhance the flow of qi and create greater health. ...
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