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Grounding the Human Body during Yoga Exercise with a Grounded Yoga Mat Reduces Blood Viscosity

Authors:
Open Journal of Preventive Medicine, 2015, 5, 159-168
Published Online April 2015 in SciRes. http://www.scirp.org/journal/ojpm
http://dx.doi.org/10.4236/ojpm.2015.54019
How to cite this paper: Brown, R. and Chevalier, G. (2015) Grounding the Human Body during Yoga Exercise with a
Grounded Yoga Mat Reduces Blood Viscosity. Open Journal of Preventive Medicine, 5, 159-168.
http://dx.doi.org/10.4236/ojpm.2015.54019
Grounding the Human Body during Yoga
Exercise with a Grounded Yoga Mat Reduces
Blood Viscosity
Richard Brown1, Gaétan Chevalier2*
1Human Physiology Department, University of Oregon, Eugene, USA
2Developmental and Cell Biology Department, University of California at Irvine, Irvine, USA
Email: 2rlbrownjr62@gmail.com, *dlbogc@sbcglobal.net
Received 20 March 2015; accepted 5 April 2015; published 9 April 2015
Copyright © 2015 by authors and Scientific Research Publishing Inc.
This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution International License (CC BY).
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/
Abstract
Objective: Research continues to show that being connected to the earth can increase the potential
of the body to scavenge free radicals. This study examined the effect of just one hour of grounding
on blood viscosity while subjects participated in gentle yoga exercises designed to initiate minor
inflammation. Design: In this double blind model, twenty-eight (28) subjects met at the Bower-
man Sports Medicine Clinic on the campus of the University of Oregon and were grounded to the
earth via contact with a grounded yoga mat or were sham-grounded. Ten yoga exercises were re-
peated five times over a one-hour period. Blood was taken pre and post exercise and analyzed for
blood viscosity using a scanning capillary viscometer. Results: Subjects connected to the earth sig-
nificantly reduced their post exercise systolic blood viscosity (p = 0.03) and diastolic blood viscos-
ity (p = 0.03). Conclusion: Grounding has the ability to affect exercise induced inflammation, the-
reby reducing blood viscosity.
Keywords
Earthing, Grounding, Yoga, Yoga Mats, Blood Viscosity
1. Introduction
1.1. Earthing
Earthing, also called grounding, consists in putting the human body in direct contact with the surface of the
*
Corresponding author.
R. Brown, G. Chevalier
160
Earth. Examples: walking barefoot outdoors and bathing in lakes and oceans, or working, relaxing or sleeping
indoors in direct skin contact with conductive materials. Such materials include bed sheets, pillows, body bands,
mats and patches that are connected to the ground through a wire attached to a rod planted in the soil outside or
using the grounding system (that is, the ground port of a grounded wall outlet) of a house or building. In indus-
trial societies, most people today rarely come in contact with the surface of the Earth because they wear shoes
with synthetic soles made from insulating materials (rubber and plastics). Also, they walk on carpets made of
insulating materials and/or on wooden floors (wood is also an insulating material) and they sleep on mattresses
that insulate them from the ground.
The Earth possesses an almost infinite reservoir of free electrons that is continuously replenished by a natural
phenomenon called “the global atmospheric electrical circuit”. [1] [2]. The Earthing hypothesis states the fol-
lowing: when contact is made with the ground by direct skin contact outdoors or through a grounded system in-
doors, the body’s electric potential becomes the same as the Earth’s electric potential, giving the body a conti-
nual access to the ground’s negative surface charge mainly composed of electrons. It is well known that contact
with the ground prevents buildup of static electric charge on the body [3], but what is less well known is that this
contact enables the body to obtain as many electrons as needed for optimal functioning of physiological pro-
cesses and to make a reserve of these antioxidant electrons for future use [4] [5].
According to current research, Earthing produces an array of positive changes within the body which include
improved sleep, normalizing of cortisol levels, better glucose regulation, improved thyroid function, reduction in
pain, decreased stress, increased blood fluidity, improved immune response, lessening of indicators of osteopo-
rosis, and diminished damage to muscles caused by delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) [6]-[10].
Earthing has been found to decrease the duration of DOMS, one of only a very few strategies able to do so [7]
[8] [11]. This Earthing effect significantly accelerates recovery time, a critically important benefit and advantage
for all athletes with limited recovery time available. Examples are cyclists at the Tour de France who compete
daily and football players who play weekly.
Along with muscle injury, exercise is known to produce inflammation in the body. Low levels of exercising
may not produce much muscle damage, but still can increase inflammation in the body [12].
The present study was designed to see if the Earthing benefits would extend to people practicing a mild form
of Hatha Yoga. It was hypothesized that a mild routine may not produce much muscle damage, but could pro-
duce an inflammatory response affecting blood viscosity. Inflammation produces an excess of reactive oxygen
species (ROS) and reactive nitrogen species (RNS). These very reactive molecules are electronegative (attract-
ing electrons) molecules. It is expected that the negative charge on the surface of red blood cells would be lo-
wered during and after exercise, resulting in more viscous blood than normal [13] [14]. It is also hypothesized
that being grounded during the Hatha Yoga routine would prevent this increase in inflammation and perhaps re-
duce the level of inflammation in the body.
1.2. Blood Viscosity
It has recently become appropriate to think of blood viscosity as a possible early warning sign of several chronic
diseases, including cardiovascular disease and Alzheimer’s [15]-[18].
Approximately 7.5 percent of body weight is blood (American Society of Hematology,
http://www.hematology.org/Patients/Basics/ accessed 2/26/2015). Red blood cells (RBC), white blood cells
(WBC) and platelets make up most of the solid parts and represent about 45% of the blood volume. Plasma, the
other 55%, is a somewhat opaque, salty solution containing sugars, lipids, salt, vitamins, minerals, hormones,
enzymes, antibodies, and proteins. Blood, via the pumping of the heart, delivers nourishment to, and removes
waste from, all the body’s cells.
Blood viscosity influences the ability of blood to flow through the arteries, veins and capillaries of the circu-
latory system. It is a measure of both thickness and stickiness of blood. Thickness and stickiness change as sys-
tolic and diastolic blood pressure change with each cardiac cycle [19]. Blood viscosity, a major determinant of
blood vessel health, has been overlooked in the past due to difficulties in measuring viscosity at both systolic
and diastolic blood pressure levels [19]-[22].
Factors affecting thickness and stickiness of blood are hematocrit, RBC/platelet aggregation, dehydration,
low-density lipoprotein and fibrinogen [23]. Another factor is the ability of RBCs to deform and bend to more
easily pass through capillaries [24]. The speed of the flow, partly a function of vessel diameter, also causes vis-
R. Brown, G. Chevalier
161
cosity to change. The faster the blood flow, as in larger diameter vessels, the lower the viscosity. The slower the
blood flow, as in smaller diameter vessels, the higher the viscosity [25].
Perhaps the most prevalent reason for increased blood viscosity in smaller vessels is red blood cell aggrega-
tion, due in part to inflammation and free radical activity causing reduction of negative surface electric charges
(electrons) and electric potential. When the electric potential is reduced the cells have little or no negative
charge and tend to clump [26].
Along with vessel diameter, blood viscosity affects the resistance to blood flow. If viscosity increases, total
peripheral resistance increases and cardiac output, via increased systolic blood pressure, must increase. There-
fore, viscosity is an important determinant of the work of the heart and of blood distribution [27].
The higher the viscosity of the blood is, the more its abrasiveness increases. In the large vessels, where blood
velocity is fast, higher viscosity creates friction against vessel walls and may cause abrasions [27] [28], leading
to inflammation and, ultimately, the development of plaque. Plaque reduces the diameter of the vessel contri-
buting to further reduction of the vessel diameter and to clots that produce strokes [29] [30].
Plaque development occurs usually at locations of blood flow turbulence and eddies near the heart, neck and
upper legs where vessels branch and blood viscosity is greater. At these points, hyperviscosity triggers endo-
thelial dysfunction resulting in the hardening and thickening of arterial walls [30].
In the capillaries, where blood speed is slow and the diameter of vessels small, blood viscosity also causes
problems. Red blood cells tend to lose some of the electric charge that keeps them separate and they tend to
coagulate [26]. The older red blood cells also lose their ability to deform which creates a problem because
without being able to bend through the capillaries, they cannot get to the cells. This decreases oxygen and nu-
trient delivery to the cells and eventually causes capillary damage [24].
1.2.1. Blood Viscosity and Chronic Disease
Higher blood viscosity is closely associated with many chronic diseases, including cardiovascular disease, di-
abetes, metabolic syndrome/obesity, and high blood pressure [15] [17] [18] [31]. It is also linked to cognitive
decline, vascular dementia and Alzheimer’s [32].
One study indicated that people with the highest blood viscosity had significantly higher cardiovascular
events than people who had lower blood viscosity [33]. Another study found that the people with the highest
blood viscosity had more than a four times risk increase of cardiovascular disease than people in the lowest
group [34]. In a study of obese subjects it was determined that individuals with a body mass index over 28 had
blood viscosities averaging 15% higher than those individuals with a lower body mass index [35].
1.2.2. Physics of Blood Viscosity
Blood viscosity depends on the ratio of shear stress to shear rate. Shear stress is the energy transferred to the
vessel wall due to interaction with a fluid in motion. Shear rate is the variation of flow speed with radial distance
from the center of the vessel [23] [36].
Viscosity Shear Stress Shear Rate=
Essentially, as shear rate decreases in the capillaries the ratio, and so the viscosity, increases significantly. As
sheer rate increases, as in the larger vessels, blood viscosity decreases.
Water is a Newtonian fluid. The thickness and stickiness of water doesn’t change. Blood is a non-Newtonian
fluid in which blood thickness and stickiness change as the ratio changes. Until recently, most studies have pre-
sumed blood viscosity behaves as a Newtonian fluid. Very few studies have measured blood viscosity as a Non-
Newtonian fluid where adjacent layers move parallel to each other with different speeds [19].
Blood viscosity fluctuates with every heartbeat, just like blood pressure fluctuates with every heartbeat. And
like blood pressure, accurate viscosity measurement requires two numbers [37]. You don’t just measure systolic
blood pressure because both systolic and diastolic pressures have meaning. The viscosity of the blood also de-
pends on two numbers. One number, at systole, is when the viscosity is lower because it is thinner and the speed
is faster. The other number is at diastole, when the viscosity is higher because it is thicker (more force required)
and slower (less speed). Ideally whole blood viscosity should be measured at a physiologically comprehensive
range of different shear rates. For the purpose of analysis, the results at two representative endpoints of shear
rate, 5 s1 and 300 s1 have been studied and reported. The low-shear rate measurement of blood viscosity simu-
lates bloodstream interaction during diastole, and the high-shear rate measurement simulates conditions at sys-
R. Brown, G. Chevalier
162
tole. We use the term systolic blood viscosity to refer to high-shear viscosity and diastolic blood viscosity to re-
fer to low-shear viscosity [37].
The systolic portion of blood viscosity is affected by hematocrit, plasma viscosity and hydration. It has a vis-
cosity of around 30 millipoises (mP**). The diastolic portion of blood viscosity is affected by immunoglobulins,
red blood cell aggregation, platelet aggregation and fibrinogen. It has a viscosity of around 130 millipoises, and
is much thicker and stickier. By comparison, water has a viscosity of about 10 millipoises [38]. When testing for
viscosity it is important to test at both the systolic pressure and diastolic pressure [37].
1.2.3. Blood Viscosity and Testing Equipment
In the past, manual and rotational viscometers testing for blood viscosity limited observations to a single point
measurement at systolic pressure (i.e., at high shear rates) when the blood is thinner and less sticky. They meas-
ured either serum or plasma viscosity and did not account for elements like red blood cell aggregation factors,
red blood cell deformability or hematocrit [38].
Manual and rotational viscometers had several other disadvantages. The process was time consuming, techni-
cally demanding and depended upon the ability of the person doing the data interpretation. Standardization was
almost impossible [37] [39].
This study used a state-of-the-art piece of equipment that eliminated all of the above problems. It is the He-
mathix Blood Analyzer SCV-200, (Health Onvector Inc., Camden, NJ), an automated scanning capillary tube
viscometer, invented by Dr. Young Cho, a fluid dynamics expert and professor of mechanical engineering at
Drexel University. This instrument measures viscosity over a comprehensive range of shear rates representative
of the cardiac cycle in a single continuous measurement.
Blood is collected by a venous puncture in a 3 milliliter lavender EDTA tube and is stable for 8 hours. If re-
frigerated, it is stable for 4 days. It cannot be frozen. Analyzing the data takes 4 minutes and results available the
next day [40].
The Hemathix makes blood viscosity testing more practicable and affordable than in the past and enables
standardization of viscosity screening. Eventually it has the potential to determine the viscosity profiles in the
general population allowing early predictions of cardiovascular disease and other chronic diseases.
1.2.4. Blood Viscosity Therapies
Primary care physicians currently employ various strategies to lower blood viscosity, including diet and exercise,
along with Omega 3 fish oils, are often suggested [41], as well as blood donation and therapeutic phlebotomy.
Lipitor, Plavix, Coumadin and Fenofibrate reduce the blood viscosity by about the same amount as diet and ex-
ercise. However, these drugs have side effects that are at best unpleasant and at worst dangerous [37] [42]. Early
studies suggest that Earthing (grounding) reduces blood viscosity [4] [5].
1.2.5. Exercise and Blood Viscosity
Earlier work has demonstrated the short and long-term effects of exercise on blood viscosity [43]-[45]. The
short-term effect is an increase in blood viscosity [46], a function of duration and intensity of exercise, viability
of the capillaries, red blood cell deformation characteristics, hematocrit and state of hydration. The long-term
effect is a decrease in blood viscosity [46]. The goal of this study was to see if being grounded during a mild,
short exercise of yoga would change blood viscosity, and in what direction.
2. Material and Methods
2.1. Subjects
Twenty-eight (28) healthy, non-pregnant women between the ages of 35 and 65, with a BMI between 25.1 and
31.4 and who completed a medical history form to ensure eligibility, participated in the study (Table 1). The
Western Institutional Review Board (WIRB; www.wirb.com) provided supervision for the study. All subjects
had to sign an informed consent agreement approved by WIRB. They were recruited in cooperation with yoga
instructors of beginning yoga classes and had either just begun yoga instruction or wanted to begin. They were
not experienced in yoga.
**Poise—A unit of dynamic viscosity. 10 mP = 0.01 gram/centimeter-second. In other words, 1 P = 1 gram/centimeter-second.
The metric
unit of viscosity is the pascal second or Pas. 1 Pas = 10 P but poise or millipoise are more commonly used.
R. Brown, G. Chevalier
163
Table 1. Age distribution of participants.
Sham Grounded Grounded t-Test Sham vs. Grounded
No. of Subjects 14 14
Average Age 49.1 49.0 0.49
SD 6.4 7.7
Average Height 64.6 64.4 0.37
SD 1.9 2.6
Average Weight 159.6 160.6 0.41
SD 14.8 9.1
BMI 26.8 27.3 0.22
SD 1.7 1.7
Thirty-three (33) subjects were originally recruited. Two subjects did not produce enough blood to get satis-
factory readings. Two other subjects had to leave because of impending surgeries. One was eliminated because
when she was measured just before the study her BMI was too low.
2.2. Study Procedure
Prior to the study all subjects were provided with identical style shorts and tee shirts. They arrived one-by-one
every ten (10) minutes. Each subject was met by a greeter and provided with a personal clipboard reviewing the
instructions, timeline, and a bag in which to deposit outer garments and shoes. The subject then proceeded to a
room for weighing, height measurement, and a single blood draw. Next, each participant proceeded to a desig-
nated meeting room where a personal yoga instructor reviewed the yoga instructions with the participant. Four
instructors were utilized in the study, and gave the same instructions on how to do each pose. Fourteen (14)
subjects were tested on Day 1 and fourteen (14) were tested on Day 2 between the hours of 10:00 AM and 12:30
PM.
Each subject selected a yoga mat at random. Seven (7) mats were grounded and seven were sham grounded.
In this double blind study only the company providing the mats knew which mats were grounded, but they did
not know which subjects used which mats.
Each subject participated in five (5) twelve (12) minute segments. Each segment was composed of the same
group of ten (10) yoga poses (Figure 1). Each pose was held for one minute except for pose number 10. This
pose was held for 2 minutes, followed by a one-minute rest period. The first 12 minutes of 10 poses on the mats
was performed under the guidance of the instructor. During the next three segments the subjects repeated the
poses with the instructor present. They then completed the last segment with no instructor present, but with one
always available for guidance. Timing was consistent throughout these sessions with the use of coordinated
timing lights of two different colors and a sound indicating when to change poses and segments.
After the last segment, participants reported back to the blood draw area for a post-exercise blood draw. They
then retrieved their clothes and shoe bag, checked in with the greeter and turned in their clipboard with the time-
line sheet initialed by monitors supervising each step of the procedure. They were then paid $60, plus parking
expenses and provided their address for the shipment of a complimentary grounded yoga mat. They kept their
tee shirts and shorts.
2.3. Blood Collection
Blood was collected pre and post yoga mat exercise in a 3 milliliter lavender tube via a venous puncture by a
certified phlebotomist from Legacy Labs in Eugene, Oregon. Legacy Labs labeled the blood tubes with subject
numbers, then packaged and shipped them to Health Onvector Inc., a blood viscosity laboratory in Camden,
New Jersey, in accordance with Hemathix instructions. The analysis results, via the Hemathix SCV-200 were
available four days after receipt from the Camden lab.
R. Brown, G. Chevalier
164
1. Mountain Pose 2. Upward Mountain Pose 3. Star Pose
4. Warrior Pose Right 5. Warrior Pose Left 6. Wide Leg Seated
7. Seated Twist Right 8. Seated Twist Left 9. Knees to chest
10. Two Footed Pose
Figure 1. The 10 poses used in the yoga mat study.
2.4. Statistical Methods
Student’s t-tests were use to compare difference in means since all data were normally distributed.
3. Results
Fourteen (14) grounded subjects and fourteen (14) sham-grounded subjects participated in the one-hour study on
yoga mats during which time they completed 5 twelve (12) minute sessions of ten (10) different yoga exercises.
Table 2 t-test calculations show that the grounded group had a significant decrease in blood viscosity at both the
systolic (p = 0.032) and diastolic (p = 0.031) measurements. The sham grounded subjects experienced no such
R. Brown, G. Chevalier
165
Table 2. Grounded and sham grounded pre & post systolic and diastolic blood viscosity in millipoise.
GRND Subj Pre Sys Pre Dia Post Sys Post Dia SHAM Subj Pre Sys Pre Dia Post Sys Post Dia
1 35.5 102.3 36.5 109.0 2 40.1 122.8 39.9 123.1
3 40.5 129.0 38.9 122.3 5 43.4 130.2 39.0 116.5
4 40.2 121.3 39.3 121.8 7 41.9 122.7 41.3 130.9
6 42.0 128.6 40.8 124.2 9 38.1 109.7 36.8 103.7
8 41.6 127.0 39.0 113.1 15 38.1 115.7 40.4 130.2
14 43.4 136.9 41.0 124.9 16 34.6 100.3 36.1 103.6
37 37.6 115.0 37.7 108.2 18 35.3 104.0 36.7 114.3
19 37.6 113.7 37.7 115.9 20 39.4 120.6 41.5 127.6
23 37.4 112.8 38.7 121.6 24 36.1 112.7 36.4 112.3
25 35.4 103.2 35.0 101.5 26 37.6 116.0 38.0 120.3
27 39.0 125.5 37.7 114.1 28 41.2 128.5 39.6 115.7
29 40.8 129.6 40.9 129.8 30 36.5 112.1 36.3 111.8
31 40.0 129.7 39.3 120.3 34 35.6 109.5 36.7 112.0
32 37.0 114.8 36.8 109.9 36 35.8 109.0 37.7 116.9
Mean 39.1 120.7 38.5 116.9 Mean 38.1 115.3 38.3 117.1
SD 2.5 10.5 1.8 7.9 SD 2.7 8.8 1.9 8.6
t-Test 0.032 0.031 t-Test 0.35 0.21
t-Test g/s 0.15 0.07 0.40 0.48
decrease and had a slight but insignificant rise in blood viscosities. This indicates that being grounded during the
yoga mat exercises has the effect of decreasing blood viscosity.
4. Discussion
This study examined the impact of one hour of grounding on blood viscosity while participants completed a set
of simple yoga exercises. Even doing easy exercises we would expect to see an increase in blood viscosity due
to the fact that exercise stimulates an inflammatory response [12] [28] [44] [45]. This response can increase the
number of free radicals that could cause the red blood cells to lose some of their negative charge. The negative
charge on red blood cell membranes endows the cells with the property of repelling each other. When the charge
is reduced, the ability of cells to repel each other is lessened, the tendency to clump is increased, thus increasing
blood viscosity [26].
While consistent exercise can induce long-term reduction in blood viscosity, in the short-term it often causes
an increase in blood viscosity [44]. This increase occurs at both ends of the cardiac cycle and therefore it is im-
portant to obtain data at systole, when the viscosity is lower, and at diastole, when the viscosity is higher. Col-
lecting at only one point is equivalent to collecting only systolic or diastolic blood pressure or measuring blood
pressure at some point in between. At the systolic pressure, information with respect to the condition of the
walls of the vessels is obtained. At the diastolic end, information with respect to red cell aggregation and defor-
mability is obtained.
In our study there was no change in blood viscosity for the sham-grounded group at either end of the cardiac
cycle. However, there was a difference in the grounded group at both the systolic and diastolic end. Their post one-
hour grounding millipoise readings were significantly lower than their pre-exercise levels.
Considering all aforementioned dynamics, and with electrons from grounding theoretically scavenging free
radicals, it may logically be concluded that inflammation, as a result of exercise, could have been reduced and
R. Brown, G. Chevalier
166
this effect, in turn, reduced the blood viscosity in the grounded subjects.
Limitations of this pilot study were the number of subjects and methods of measurement of blood viscosity.
Future research projects should include more subjects as well as adding zeta potential measurements, another
indicator of blood viscosity [26].
5. Conclusion
Blood viscosity may be an early predictor of chronic disease. Since equipment is now available to reliably
measure this parameter, more investigations should be undertaken. Habits, as well as certain medications, can
lower blood viscosity. But medications are often expensive and present unwanted side effects. A potential
treatment that presents no downside is grounding the body to the earth. In this study it was shown that, despite
mild exercise that can raise blood viscosity temporarily, blood viscosity was lowered at both the systolic and di-
astolic ends of the cardiac cycle in subjects using grounded yoga mats. Earthing has the ability to affect exer-
cise-induced inflammation by reducing blood viscosity.
Acknowledgements
The authors wish to acknowledge the professional assistance of Legacy Laboratories in Eugene, OR, and Health
Onvector, Inc. of Camden, NJ. Also, the authors wish to thank Martin Zucker and James L. Oschman for re-
viewing the manuscript and for making useful suggestions. Earthing products were provided by earthing.com,
Palm Spring, CA. Financial support for this project was provided by Earth FX Inc., Palm Springs, CA.
Declaration of Interest
R. Brown worked as an independent contractor for this pilot study and has no financial interest in the company.
G. Chevalier has worked as an independent contractor for Earth FX since 2007 and owns a very small percen-
tage of shares in the company.
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... This property of air is known as the vertical potential gradient (VPG) of the global electric circuit (GEC) [36]. Studies have found that equalizing the electric potential between the surface and Earth and the human body (earthing) improves inflammatory markers [37,38] and blood viscosity [39,40]. Inflammation and blood viscosity are important factors in the pathogenesis of atherosclerosis and atherothrombosis [41,42] and hypertension [43,44], respectively. ...
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Background. Increasingly more people live in tall buildings and on higher floor levels. Factors relating to floor level may protect against or cause cardiovascular disease (CVD). Only one previous study has investigated the association between floor level and CVD. Methods. We studied associations between floor of bedroom and self-reported history of stroke, venous thromboembolism (VTE), and intermittent claudication (IC) among 12.525 inhabitants in Oslo, Norway. We fitted multivariate logistic regression models and adjusted for sociodemographic variables, socioeconomic status (SES), and health behaviors. Additionally, we investigated block apartment residents ( N=5.374 ) separately. Results. Trend analyses showed that disease prevalence increased by floor level, for all three outcomes. When we investigated block apartment residents alone, the trends disappeared, but one association remained: higher odds of VTE history on 6th floor or higher, compared to basement and 1st floor (OR: 1.504; 95% CI: 1.007–2.247). Conclusion. Floor level is positively associated with CVD, in Oslo. The best-supported explanation may be residual confounding by building height and SES. Another explanation, about the impact of atmospheric electricity, is also presented. The results underline a need to better understand the associations between residence floor level and CVD and multistory housing and CVD.
... 30 The second study used a commercial blood viscometer to measure viscosity of individuals practicing yoga on a grounded yoga mat. 31 Both studies found that Earthing significantly reduced blood viscosity. ...
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Context • Modern biomedicine has discovered that many of the most debilitating diseases, as well as the aging process itself, are caused by or associated with chronic inflammation and oxidative stress. Emerging research has revealed that direct physical contact with the surface of the planet generates a kind of electric nutrition, with surprisingly potent and rapid anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects. Objectives • The objective of this study was to explain the potential of grounding to clinicians as a simple strategy for prevention, therapy, and improving patient outcomes. The research summarized here has pursued the goal of determining the physiological and clinical significance of biological grounding. Design • The research team has summarized more than 12 peer-reviewed reports. Where appropriate, blinded studies examined in this paper were conducted using a variety of statistical procedures. Interventions • In all cases, the intervention examined conductive contact between the surface of Earth and the study’s participants, using conductive bed sheets, floor or desk pads, and electrode patches, such as those used in electrocardiography. Results • All studies discussed revealed significant physiological or clinical outcomes as a result of grounding. Conclusion • This body of research has demonstrated the potential of grounding to be a simple, natural, and accessible clinical strategy against the global epidemic of noncommunicable, degenerative, inflammatory-related diseases. © 2017 Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine. All rights reserved.
Thesis
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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.
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Background: There has been little interest in the association between floor level and cardiovascular disease (CVD). The only previous study that has been found, observed a negative association. Suggested explanations were: the vertical distribution of air pollution and environmental noise; use of stairs; and selection of individuals of different socioeconomic status to different floor levels. A positive association has also been suggested, with basis in theory about the atmosphere’s electric properties. The public health relevance of increasing the knowledge is given by globally increasing urbanization and growth in high-rise residencies. The aim of this study has been to investigate the association between residence floor level and prevalence of CVD, with emphasis on stroke. Methods: We used cross-sectional data from the Health and Environment in Oslo study (HELMILO) conducted in 2009, with a representative sample (N=12.479) of the inhabitants of Oslo, Norway, aged 39-85 years. Three self-reported health outcomes representing prevalence were included: stroke, venous thromboembolism (VTE) and intermittent claudication (IC). We studied bivariate associations between floor of bedroom (0-1,2-3,4-5,6-10 and ≥11) and health outcomes with chi square tests. Potential confounders (measures of socio-demography, socioeconomic status (SES) (education and occupational status) and health behaviors) were controlled for in multivariate logistic regression methods. We also fitted separate models for block apartment residents, tested for the presence of linear trends, and whether time at address (1-10 years versus >10 years) modified any of the associations. Result: The prevalence of all health outcomes differed across floor levels (p<0.01 in all instances). In adjusted analyses, residents of 6-10th floor had an increased odds of VTE history (OR 1.720; 95 % CI 1.174-2.518) and residents of 11th floor or higher had an increased odds of IC history (OR 2.318; 95 % CI 1.237-4.345), compared to basement and 1st floor. We also found significant trends of increasing disease prevalence by floor level for all outcomes, including stroke. The associations disappeared upon investigations of block apartment residents separately, except for a higher odds of VTE history in residents of 6th floor or higher (OR 1.504; 95 % CI 1.007-2.247). Time at address did not modify any associations. Conclusion: Floor level is positively associated with prevalence of CVD among inhabitants of Oslo. The disappearance of trends when we investigated block apartments separately may indicate residual confounding by building height and SES (income). The remaining association between floor level and VTE may point to an effect of floor level per se, although further residual confounding by income, building height and possibly psychosocial factors seems more plausible. The findings can hardly be taken in support of any of the earlier proposed mechanisms for an association between floor level and CVD, and indicate a need for more studies.
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Revisão da literatura: O aterramento/grounding consiste no contacto, direto ou indireto, entre a pele e a superfície terrestre.Os possíveis benefícios do aterramento cingem-se à ativação do sistema nervoso parassimpático (SNP), melhoria da qualidade do sono, à diminuição de mediadores pró-inflamatórios e à diminuição da intensidade da dor.O objetivo do estudo é avaliar o efeito do grounding versus ungrounding, ao nível da dor, em repouso, à contração e ao alongamento dos gémeos e do bicípite, após a realização de exercícios excêntricos direcionada para os músculos mencionados. Conclusão: O contacto direto com a terra, realizado bi-diariamente durante 30 minutos não altera a intensidade da DMIT, após a realização de exercícios excêntricos para os flexores plantares e flexores do cotovelo.
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Elevations in whole blood viscosity (WBV) and hematocrit (Hct), have been linked with increased risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD). Endurance training has been demonstrated to lower WBV and Hct; however, evidence supporting the efficacy of yoga on these measures is sparse. A cross-sectional study was conducted examining WBV and Hct levels between yoga practitioners with a minimum of 3 years of consistent practice and sedentary, healthy adults. Blood samples were collected from a total of 42 participants: 23 sedentary adults and 19 regular yoga practitioners. Brachial arterial blood pressure (BP) was measured and the averages of 3 measures were reported. The yoga practitioner group had significantly lower WBV at 45 s⁻¹ (p < 0.01), 90 s⁻¹ (p < 0.01), 220 s⁻¹ (p < 0.05), and 450 s⁻¹ (p < 0.05) than sedentary participants. No significant group differences in Hct (p =0.38) were found. A tendency toward lower systolic BP (p=0.06) was observed in the yoga practitioner group; however, no significant group differences in BP were exhibited. A consistent yoga practice was associated with lower WBV, a health indicator related to CVD risk. These findings support a regular yoga practice as a valid form of exercise for improving rheological indicators of cardiovascular health.
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Purpose: We set out to investigate the effectiveness of grounded sleeping on the time course of recovery with respect to muscle soreness and athletic performance after intensive eccentric muscle loading. Methods: Twenty-two healthy participants were recruited for this study and randomly assigned to an experimental group (GRD, grounded sleeping, n = 12) or control group (UGD, sham-grounded sleeping, n = 10) to evaluate the effects of 10 days recovery with GRD vs. UGD following a single intensive downhill treadmill intervention in a triple-blinded (participant, tester, and data analyst) manner. To operationalize recovery a test battery was performed at baseline and on days 1, 2, 3, 5, 7, and 10 post-intervention: (1) perception of muscle soreness (VAS), (2) creatine kinase blood levels (CK), (3) maximum voluntary isometric contraction (MVIC) for both legs, (4) counter movement jump (CMJ) and drop jump (DJ) performance. Furthermore, in four participants blood was sampled for detailed analysis of complete blood counts and serum-derived inflammation markers. Results: The downhill treadmill running intervention led to distinct changes in all measured parameters related to fatigue. These changes were detectable already 5-min post intervention and were not fully recovered 10 days post intervention. GRD led to less pronounced decrease in performance (CMJ, MVIC) and less increase with respect to CK compared with UGD (all P < 0.05). Detailed blood samples demonstrated that grounded sleeping modulates the recovery process by (a) keeping a constant hemoconcentration, as represented by the number of erythrocytes, and the hemoglobin/hematocrit values; and (b) by the reduction of muscle damage-associated inflammation markers such as, IP-10, MIP-1α, and sP-Selectin. Conclusion: The downhill running protocol is a feasible methodology to produce long term muscle soreness and muscular fatigue. GRD was shown to result in faster recovery and/or less pronounced markers of muscle damage and inflammation. GRD might be seen as a simple methodology to enhance acute and long-term recovery after intensive eccentric exercises.
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Grounding a human to the earth has resulted in changes in the physiology of the body. A pilot study on grounding and eccentric contractions demonstrated shortened duration of pain, reduced creatine kinase (CK), and differences in blood parameters. This follow-up study was conducted to investigate the effects of grounding after moderate eccentric contractions on pain, CK, and complete blood counts. Thirty-two healthy young men were randomly divided into grounded (n=16) and sham-grounded (n=16) groups. On days 1 through 4, visual analog scale for pain evaluations and blood draws were accomplished. On day 1, the participants performed eccentric contractions of 200 half-knee bends. They were then grounded or sham-grounded to the earth for 4 hours on days 1 and 2. Both groups experienced pain on all posttest days. On day 2, the sham-grounded group experienced significant CK increase (P<0.01) while the CK of the grounded group did not increase significantly; the between-group difference was significant (P=0.04). There was also an increase in the neutrophils of the grounded group on day 3 (P=0.05) compared to the sham-grounded group. There was a significant increase in platelets in the grounded group on days 2 through 4. Grounding produced changes in CK and complete blood counts that were not shared by the sham-grounded group. Grounding significantly reduced the loss of CK from the injured muscles indicating reduced muscle damage. These results warrant further study on the effects of earthing on delayed onset muscle damage.
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Multi-disciplinary research has revealed that electrically conductive contact of the human body with the surface of the Earth (grounding or earthing) produces intriguing effects on physiology and health. Such effects relate to inflammation, immune responses, wound healing, and prevention and treatment of chronic inflammatory and autoimmune diseases. The purpose of this report is two-fold: to 1) inform researchers about what appears to be a new perspective to the study of inflammation, and 2) alert researchers that the length of time and degree (resistance to ground) of grounding of experimental animals is an important but usually overlooked factor that can influence outcomes of studies of inflammation, wound healing, and tumorigenesis. Specifically, grounding an organism produces measurable differences in the concentrations of white blood cells, cytokines, and other molecules involved in the inflammatory response. We present several hypotheses to explain observed effects, based on current research results and our understanding of the electronic aspects of cell and tissue physiology, cell biology, biophysics, and biochemistry. An experimental injury to muscles, known as delayed onset muscle soreness, has been used to monitor the immune response under grounded versus ungrounded conditions. Grounding reduces pain and alters the numbers of circulating neutrophils and lymphocytes, and also affects various circulating chemical factors related to inflammation.
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Introduction: Red blood cells' (RBC) rheological properties are disturbed in chronic venous disease (CVD). The aim of the study was to compare deformability and aggregation of erythrocytes taken from the varicose vein and the antecubital vein of patients with chronic venous disease. Materials and methods: Blood samples were taken from twelve CVD patients presenting clinical, aetiological, anatomical and pathological elements (CEAP) stages II and III. Blood was sampled from varicose veins and antecubital veins of patients (as control). Deformability and aggregation of RBC were analysed with a Laser-assisted Optical Rotational Cell Analyser (LORCA). Results: A significant increase in deformability was found in varicose vein RBC for shear stress values 4.24, 8.23 and 15.96 Pa as compared to RBC from the antecubital vein. The aggregation index was significantly lower and aggregation halftime was significantly increased for RBC taken from antecubital veins than for RBC from varicose veins. Discussion: In conclusion, RBC taken from varicose and antecubital veins of CVD patients are not entirely rheologically comparable and show different deformability and aggregation. Varicose vein RBC are more deformable and show a higher tendency for aggregation than antecubital vein RBC. Perhaps the deformability of varicose vein RBC has been increased as a compensation mechanism in subjects with CVD, due to increased resistance in their microcirculation.
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Classic studies on exercise hemorheology evidenced that blood fluidity is impaired during exercise (short term exercise-induced hyperviscosity) and is improved as a result of regular exercise practice (hemorheologic fitness). Extensive description of these events led to the concepts of "the triphasic effects of exercise", "the paradox of hematocrit", and "the hemorheological paradox of lactate". However, some results obtained in training studies do not fit with this classical picture and cannot be explained by a simplistic paradigm based on the Hagen-Poiseuille law. Taking into account the non-linearity of the effects of viscosity factors on blood flow and oxygen delivery helps to elaborate another picture. For example, moderately high values of hematocrit and erythrocyte rigidity induced by high intensity exercise are likely to trigger a physiological vasodilation improving circulatory adaptation (rather than limiting performance as was previously assumed). This may apply to the acute rise in red cell rigidity observed during strenuous exercise, and also to the paradoxical rise in hematocrit or red cell rigidity observed after some training protocols and that did not fit with the previous (simplistic) paradigms. The "healthy primitive lifestyle" hypothesis assumes that evolution has selected genetic polymorphisms leading to insulin resistance as an adaptative strategy to cope with continuous low intensity physical activity and a special alimentation based on lean meat and wild herbs (i.e., moderately high in protein, rich in low glycemic index carbohydrates, and poor in saturated fat). We propose here that this model may help to explain on an evolutionary perspective these apparently inconsistent findings. The pivotal explanation is that the true physiological picture would be that of an individual whose exercise and nutritional habits are close from this lifestyle, both sedentary subjects and trained athletes representing situations on the edge of this model.
Article
Classic immunohematology approaches, based on agglutination techniques, have been used in manual and automated immunohematology laboratory routines. Red blood cell (RBC) agglutination depends on intermolecular attractive forces (hydrophobic bonds, Van der Walls, electrostatic forces and hydrogen bonds) and repulsive interactions (zeta potential). The aim of this study was to measure the force involved in RBC aggregation using double optical tweezers, in normal serum, in the presence of erythrocyte antibodies and associated to agglutination potentiator solutions (Dextran, low ionic strength solution [LISS] and enzymes). The optical tweezers consisted of a neodymium:yattrium aluminium garnet (Nd:YAG) laser beam focused through a microscope equipped with a minicam, which registered the trapped cell image in a computer where they could be analyzed using a software. For measuring RBC aggregation, a silica bead attached to RBCs was trapped and the force needed to slide one RBC over the other, as a function of the velocities, was determined. The median of the RBC aggregation force measured in normal serum (control) was 1 × 10(-3) (0.1-2.5) poise.cm. The samples analyzed with anti-D showed 2 × 10(-3) (1.0-4.0) poise.cm (p < 0.001). RBC diluted in potentiator solutions (Dextran 0.15%, Bromelain and LISS) in the absence of erythrocyte antibodies, did not present agglutination. High adherence was observed when RBCs were treated with papain. Results are in agreement with the imunohematological routine, in which non-specific results are not observed when using LISS, Dextran and Bromelain. Nevertheless, false positive results are frequently observed in manual and automated microplate analyzer using papain enzyme. The methodology proposed is simple and could provide specific information with the possibility of meansuration regarding RBC interaction.