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Grounding the Human Body Improves Facial Blood Flow Regulation: Results of a Randomized, Placebo Controlled Pilot Study

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Earthing (grounding) refers to bringing the human body in direct contact with the negative electric charge of the earth’s surface by barefoot exposure outdoors or using special conductive indoor systems that are connected to the Earth. To determine if earthing improves facial blood circulation/flow, a double-blind study was designed with forty subjects either grounded or sham-grounded (27 grounded subjects and 13 sham-grounded subjects acting as controls) for at least one hour in a comfortable recliner chair equipped with conductive mat, pillow, and patches. The grounding systems were either grounded or sham-grounded via a wire to the ground port (third hole) of a power outlet. A Laser Speckle Contrast Imaging camera was used to continuously record changes in facial blood flow non-invasively. Facial blood flow regulation clearly improved among grounded— but not sham-grounded—subjects. The results demonstrate, for the first time, that even one-hour contact with the earth restores blood flow regulation to the face suggesting enhanced skin tissue repair and improved facial appearance with possible implications for overall health. Further studies, using larger comparison groups, longer monitoring times, and more measuring methods, are warranted in order to confirm the novel influence of the Earth as a protector of skin health and appearance.
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Journal of Cosmetics, Dermatological Sciences and Applications, 2014, 4, 293-308
Published Online December 2014 in SciRes. http://www.scirp.org/journal/jcdsa
http://dx.doi.org/10.4236/jcdsa.2014.45039
How to cite this paper: Chevalier, G. (2014) Grounding the Human Body Improves Facial Blood Flow Regulation: Results of
a Randomized, Placebo Controlled Pilot Study. Journal of Cosmetics, Dermatological Sciences and Applications, 4, 293-308.
http://dx.doi.org/10.4236/jcdsa.2014.45039
Grounding the Human Body Improves Facial
Blood Flow Regulation: Results of a
Randomized, Placebo Controlled Pilot Study
Gaétan Chevalier
Developmental and Cell Biology Department, University of California at Irvine, Irvine, USA
Email: dlbogc@sbcglobal.net
Received 27 September 2014; revised 28 October 2014; accepted 3 November 2014
Copyright © 2014 by author 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
Earthing (grounding) refers to bringing the human body in direct contact with the negative elec-
tric charge of the earth’s surface by barefoot exposure outdoors or using special conductive indoor
systems that are connected to the Earth. To determine if earthing improves facial blood circula-
tion/flow, a double-blind study was designed with forty subjects either grounded or sham-grounded
(27 grounded subjects and 13 sham-grounded subjects acting as controls) for at least one hour in
a comfortable recliner chair equipped with conductive mat, pillow, and patches. The grounding
systems were either grounded or sham-grounded via a wire to the ground port (third hole) of a
power outlet. A Laser Speckle Contrast Imaging camera was used to continuously record changes
in facial blood flow non-invasively. Facial blood flow regulation clearly improved among grounded
but not sham-grounded—subjects. The results demonstrate, for the first time, that even one-hour
contact with the earth restores blood flow regulation to the face suggesting enhanced skin tissue
repair and improved facial appearance with possible implications for overall health. Further stu-
dies, using larger comparison groups, longer monitoring times, and more measuring methods, are
warranted in order to confirm the novel influence of the Earth as a protector of skin health and
appearance.
Keywords
Earthing, Grounding, Laser Speckle Contrast Imaging, Facial Blood Flow
1. Introduction
Earthing (or grounding, both words will be used interchangeably) is a practice whereby individuals are put in
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direct contact with the surface of the Earth. It includes walking barefoot outdoors, swimming in oceans and
lakes, or sleeping, working and relaxing indoors with bare skin in contact with conductive mats, bed sheets, pil-
lows, body bands and patches in order to maintain the body at Earth’s electric potential. Unlike past cultures,
most people today, particularly in industrial societies, rarely are in contact with the surface of the Earth. They
wear shoes with synthetic soles that insulate them from the Earth’s electric charge, and they no longer sleep on
the ground. The Earth’s negative electric surface charge is a virtually limitless reservoir of free electrons that is
constantly replenished by the global atmospheric electric circuit [1] [2]. The Earthing hypothesis states that
when direct skin contact is made with the Earth’s surface or a grounded system indoors, the body’s electric po-
tential equalizes with the Earth’s potential thereby maintaining the body’s access to the Earth’s negative surface
charge (electrons). This contact with the Earth naturally prevents buildup of static electric charge on the body
[3] and allows the body to store a supply of electrons [4] [5].
Published research indicates that Earthing yields a broad array of intriguing positive changes within the phy-
siology and the bioelectrical construct of the body. Multiple reported benefits include improved sleep, decreased
pain, a normalizing effect on cortisol, reduction of stress, diminished damage to muscles caused by delayed on-
set muscle soreness (DOMS), lessening of primary indicators of osteoporosis, and improved thyroid function,
glucose regulation, immune response, and blood fluidity. A review of documented benefits of Earthing was pub-
lished in 2012 [6].
Besides treatments such as plastic surgery (face lift), injections of botox, concentrated platelets and restylane,
increasing blood flow to the face is seen as a major natural way to rejuvenate the skin of the face. There are a
number of treatments to increase blood flow. Some use creams containing specific ingredients and others use
direct skin stimulation (massages, ultrasound and lasers), chemical peel and dermabrasion [7]-[9]. While these
treatments give results, they may have important short term or long term side effects; also some of these proce-
dures require intensive post-treatment care and/or prolonged downtime. For example, many procedures designed
to induce a controlled form of skin wound to promote dermal matrix remodeling and collagen synthesis require
significant post-treatment care and may lead to complications, such as infection, pain, erythema, bleeding, oozing,
burns and scaring [9]. Earthing, by comparison, is not a treatment per se. but a simple practice requiring little or
no effort, which can be introduced easily into one’s daily life.
The present double-blind study was designed to determine if Earthing for one hour produced measurable
changes in facial blood flow (FBF). Based on previous studies, the hypothesis is that there will be a marked in-
crease in FBF in grounded subjects vs. ungrounded subjects, as measured by the Laser Speckle Contrast method.
Confirmation will suggest that Earthing is an effective and natural way to rejuvenate facial skin and appearance.
2. Materials and Methods
This pilot study was approved by BioMed IRB of San Diego, California (http://www.biomedirb.com/) and was
conducted at a single center: Total Thermal Imaging, La Mesa, California.
2.1. Subjects
Forty (40) participants were recruited with an average age and standard deviation (SD) of 54.8 ± 9.8 (details in
Table 1). Subjects were randomly assigned to 2 groups: Group A, with 27 grounded individuals; Group B, with
13 sham-grounded individuals (the control group). Subjects were scheduled in the order they signed up to participate.
Exclusion criteria were:
Pregnancy;
Below the age of 18 or above 70;
Taking pain, anti-inflammatory medication, sedatives or prescription sleeping medication (less than 3 days
prior to testing);
Taking psychotropic drugs or diagnosed with mental disorder;
Recent surgery (less than 3 months);
Documented life threatening disease (such as cancer and AIDS);
Consumption of alcohol within 48 hours of participation;
Smoking;
Use of recreational drugs;
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Table 1. Age and gender distribution of subjects.
Grounded Controls
Female Male Female Male
No. of Subjects 20 7 9 4
Average Age 54.2 55.6 58.7 47.8
Age SD 10.2 12.1 6.48 8.73
Previous utilization of Earthing products or similar grounding products;
Going barefoot outside more than once a week and for more than half hour.
All potential subjects not fitting one or more of the exclusion criteria above were eligible to participate (i.e.
there was no specific inclusion criterion).
2.2. Materials
Grounding equipment included conductive mats, pillows, and transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS)
patches (Earthing.com, Palm Springs, California, USA).
2.3. Earthing (Grounding) Method
Subjects were grounded with the use of a grounding mat, pillow and conductive patches connected, via con-
ducting wires, into the ground port (third hole) of an electric power outlet. For sham-grounded subjects, con-
ducting wires were similarly connected to the ground port, but modified into an open circuit to block conduction
with the Earth’s surface. The facility’s grounding system was tested and found to be fully functional. All groun-
ding wires contained a built-in 100 kΩ resistor for surge protection.
2.4. Measurements and Instrumentation
Changes in FBF were documented with the Laser Speckle Contrast Imaging (LSCI) technique, also called Laser
Speckle Contrast Analysis (LASCA) [10] [11], that delivers real-time, high-resolution blood flow videos (MoorFLPI-2
Speckle Contrast Imager, Moor Instruments Ltd., Axminster, UK; website:
http://us.moor.co.uk/ product/ moorflpi-2-speckle-contrast-imager/291).
The LSCI camera illuminates a selected area of tissue with low intensity laser light to produce a high contrast
random interference effect known as a speckle pattern. The image processing software uses the fact that high
perfusion produces rapid variation in the laser speckle pattern, which is integrated by the charge-coupled device
(CCD) camera to produce an area of low contrast (seen as blurring of the speckle pattern in the video image).
Conversely, low perfusion causes little variation in the speckle pattern and as a result a high contrast area of
well-defined speckle is produced in the video image. Contrast is quantified and the resulting flux is color-coded
to produce a perfusion image [10]-[12]. The LSCI camera measures to a maximum skin depth of approximately
1mm, thus covering mainly superficial skin blood flow [12].
The LSCI camera uses a near-infrared laser diode emitting at a wavelength of 785 nm and a 568 × 760 pixels
CCD camera to capture blood flow over an area of up to 80 × 120 mm2 (the working distance of the camera for
providing reliable images is between 15 and 45 cm). Researchers and manufacturers generally agree that be-
cause of the nature of the flow in capillaries and connecting small blood vessels and the effect of varying skin
color and structure, it is not appropriate to use absolute flow units such as ml/100 gm/minute. To justify the use
of these units it is necessary to calibrate for the particular tissue type and site of the measurement, which is im-
practical except in special circumstances and not appropriate for normal day-to-day measurements. Conse-
quently, arbitrary units are used for flux (blood flow) in common with most manufacturers’ recommendation
[12].
The LSCI camera has the capability of recording up to 25 images per second (called frames per second, or
FPS) in standard resolution mode (152 × 113 pixels) and 1 FPS in high resolution mode (568 × 760 pixels) and
to put them in a video file. In the present study, an intermediate frame rate of 10 FPS with an averaging period
of 10 seconds was used. With this setup, each recorded image represents the average of 100 consecutive frames.
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This setup has the advantage of eliminating very short-term (<1 sec) artifacts while at the same time enhancing
durable blood flow features and real FBF changes over time. Blood flow analysis was conducted using appro-
priate computer software (MoorFLPI Review V4.0, Moor Instruments Ltd., Axminster, UK) installed on a stan-
dard desktop computer.
For each image recorded in the video, the analysis software averages the blood flow of the entire face to give
a mean FBF value (or flux). The mean FBF values are then processed by the analysis software to generate a
graph of mean FBF value over time (with a time increment of 10 seconds between recorded images).
2.5. Procedure
Each subject was tested in one individual session. Each grounding or sham-grounding session lasted approx-
imately one hour, during which time the subject sat in a comfortable recliner chair. The reclining angle of the
chair was adjusted to a comfortable 30 degrees in respect to the plane of the floor. The chair back and seat were
covered with a grounding mat. A grounding pillow was placed at the head position, with a Styrofoam pad posi-
tioned under the pillow on each side to help stabilize the head and minimize movements. Patches were placed on
both palms and soles (total of four patches). The connector ends of the wires from the patches, pillow, and mat
were inserted into the jacks of a connector box placed next to the chair. The box, in turn, was connected by a
single wire to the ground port of an adjacent power outlet. To allow or interrupt the conduction, a switch was in-
stalled in the middle of that single wire, between the connector box and the ground port. Once the subject was
comfortably installed, the camera was positioned and turned on to record the subject’s session.
The first ten minutes of each session was dedicated to collecting baseline measurements. After ten minutes,
the switch was flipped allowing conduction in the single wire connecting to the ground port. However, the wires
used to connect the mat, pillow and patches to the connector box did not permit grounding during the sham-
grounding sessions. For both grounded and sham-grounded sessions, the grounding switch was turned off after
at least one hour.
A double-blind procedure prevented researchers, study coordinators/technicians, and subjects from knowing
whether an individual subject was actually grounded or sham-grounded. To accommodate the double blinded
study design calling for about twice as many grounded subjects than sham-grounded subjects, three different
colored-coded wires connecting the patches, pillow, and mat to the connector box were utilized. Wires with red
and yellow tags permitted grounding; wires with the blue tag did not. The wires’ color for a particular session
was randomly selected by the study coordinators.
3. Results
Varying individual responses of the subjects dictated presenting only individual cases and space constrains to
limit results presentation to three grounded subjects (A, B and C) and three sham-grounded (control) subjects
(D, E and F). The results of these subjects were representative of the specific group results and are presented
below according to age (youngest to oldest) for each group.
Linear regression analysis was applied to several graphs when appropriate. Curve smoothing was performed
using the central moving average method with 5 points. Both regression analysis and curve smoothing were
performed using Microsoft Office Excel 2003 SP2 software.
For each subject, two FBF images are presented first. The first image was extracted from the video just after
an initial relaxation period or at 20 minutes after the start of the session when no clear relaxation period could be
identified. The relaxation period is the time it takes for FBF to stabilize to a low value at the beginning of a ses-
sion (corresponding to the time it takes for a subject to relax). The second image was extracted towards the end
of the session for the sham-grounded session. After the relaxation period, peaks in blood flow were observed
only among grounded subjects. For these subjects, the second image was taken at the highest point of the highest
peak after the relaxation period.
Secondly, raw graphs of FBF values over time as calculated by the analysis software are presented. Each time
a subject moved the head, a dip in mean FBF value (flux) can be seen, which is a movement artifact not related
to the real mean FBF value. Blue arrows were added to these graphs to indicate when such movement artifact
occurred.
Thirdly, the raw graphs were corrected for artifacts when needed and smoothed. Each dip in mean FBF value
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was replaced by the average of the mean FBF value immediately before and after the dip and then smoothed ac-
cording to the procedure already described. Additionally, linear regression analysis was performed when a clear
linear tendency could be found.
3.1. Grounded Subjects
3.1.1. Subject AFemale, Caucasian, 33
Subject A came with an overall body pain level at 3 (on a scale from 1 to 10). Most of the entire neck/back/
arms/ forearms/thighs/legs dropped to a 1 level after one hour of grounding. Figure 1 shows two FBF images as
recorded by the camera. The left image was taken at 11 minutes and 50 seconds (710 seconds, equivalent to
frame 71, with each frame equal to 10 seconds) which corresponds to the end of the relaxation period. The right
image was taken at 45 minutes and 10 seconds (2710 seconds, frame 271), corresponding to the highest mean
FBF value of the highest peak after relaxation. Each time she moved her head, a dip in blood flow can be seen
(movement artifact) in the top graph of Figure 2, which shows unprocessed mean FBF values (flux) over time.
These dips are noted using blue arrows. The bottom graph of Figure 2 shows the same graph but corrected for
artifacts and smoothed. Each dip was replaced using the method previously described and then smoothed. From
Figure 2, it can be seen that mean FBF decreased for about 12 minutes (corresponding to the relaxation period),
remained more or less stable for another 28 minutes (with periodic peaks and troughs) and started to increase
after that. The peaks and troughs produce a rhythmic fluctuation in mean FBF with a periodicity of 4 minutes
and 20 seconds (260 seconds, corresponding to 26 periods of 10 seconds, as noted in the figure) that started after
the relaxation period.
3.1.2. Subject BFemale, Caucasian, 49
Figure 3 shows FBF images of Subject B at 20 minutes (left image), corresponding to the end of the relaxation
period, and 39 minutes and 20 seconds (right image), corresponding to the high value of the highest peak after
relaxation. Figure 4 shows mean FBF values (flux) over time. In the top graph, which shows unprocessed mean
FBF values, only one movement artifact was noted, indicating a very stable position for the entire session. The
bottom graph shows mean FBF over time corrected for the artifact and smoothed. After the initial relaxation pe-
Flux at 11 minutes 50 seconds (frame no 71) Flux at 45 minutes 10 seconds (frame no 271)
Figure 1. Subject A FBF images at 11 minutes and 50 seconds (left image) and 45 minutes and 10 seconds (right
image). The flux intensity scale is shown below each image (dark blue = lowest flux; dark red = highest flux). There
is a clear increase in FBF in the right image compared to the left image, especially around the eyes and the cheeks.
Descriptive statistics for the left image: Mean Flux = 118.8; SD = 59.2; Flux min = 0; Flux max = 1129. Descriptive
statistics for the right image: Mean Flux = 162.4; SD = 105.9; Flux min = 0; Flux max = 1053.
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Figure 2. Top graph: Subject A unprocessed graph of mean FBF (in arbitrary units) over time. Red lines and
numbers show the times at which the two images of Figure 1 were extracted from the video. Blue arrows
point to dips in flux caused by movement artifacts. The green line at 60 shows the time the grounding period
started (10 minutes). Bottom graph: Same graph of mean FBF over time corrected for movement artifacts and
smoothed. A rhythmic pattern of flux increases and decreases can be observed every 260 seconds (4 minutes
and 20 seconds).
riod, no systematic increase in FBF is seen with time, only a rhythmic pattern of means FBF increases and de-
creases with a periodicity of 16 minutes (960 seconds).
3.1.3. Subject C—Female, Caucasian, 55
Figure 5 shows FBF of Subject C at 28 minutes and 40 seconds (left image), corresponding to the end of the re-
laxation period) and 56 minutes and 40 seconds (right image), corresponding to the high value of the highest
peak after relaxation. The top graph of Figure 6 shows unprocessed mean FBF values over time, wherein no
movement artifact was noted, indicating very stable head position. The bottom graph of Figure 6 shows the
same graph but smoothed (no artifact correction needed). Mean FBF started to increase about 40 minutes in the
session. On top of that systematic increase, a rhythmic pattern of mean FBF fluctuations can be seen this time
with a periodicity of 530 seconds (8 minutes and 50 seconds). It is interesting to note that the rhythmic fluctua-
tions started before the relaxation period was completed.
0
20
40
60
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100
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020 40 60 80 100 120 140 160 180 200 220 240 260 280 300
Flux (arbitrary units)
Frame number
Movement artifacts
71
Movement artifacts
71
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Flux at 20 minutes (frame no 120) Flux at 39 minutes and 20 seconds (frame no 236)
Figure 3. Subject B FBF images at 20 minutes (left image) and 39 minutes and 20 seconds (right image). There is a
clear increase in FBF in the right image compared to the left image. Descriptive statistics for the left image: Mean
Flux = 91.2; SD = 54.3; Flux min = 0; Flux max = 548. Descriptive statistics for the right image: Mean Flux =
150.8; SD = 93.9; Flux min = 0; Flux max = 810.
Figure 4. Top graph: Subject B unprocessed graph of mean FBF (in arbitrary units) over time. Red lines and
numbers show the times at which the two images of Figure 3 were extracted from the video. The blue arrow
points to a dip in flux caused by movement artifacts. The green line at 60 shows the time the grounding period
started. Bottom graph: same graph of mean FBF over time corrected for movement artifacts and smoothed. A
rhythmic pattern of mean FBF increases and decreases can be observed every 960 seconds (16 minutes).
0
20
40
60
80
100
120
140
160
180
030 60 90 120 150 180 210 240 270 300 330 360 390 420 450 480
Flux (arbitrary units)
Frame number
Movement artifact
236
120
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Flux at 28 minutes and 40 seconds (frame no 172) Flux at 56 minutes and 40 seconds (frame no 340)
Figure 5. Subject C FBF images at 28 minutes and 40 seconds (left image) and 56 minutes and 40 seconds (right
image). There is a clear increase in FBF in the right image compared to the left image. Descriptive statistics for the
left image: Mean Flux = 78.5; SD = 47.6; Flux min = 0; Flux max = 517. Descriptive statistics for the right image:
Mean Flux = 141.2; SD = 97.6; Flux min = 0; Flux max = 1050.
Figure 6. Top graph: Subject C unprocessed graph of mean FBF (in arbitrary units) over time. Red lines and
numbers show the times at which the two images of Figure 5 were extracted from the video. The green line at
60 shows the time the grounding period started. Bottom graph: same graph of mean FBF over time corrected
for movement artifacts and smoothed. A rhythmic pattern of mean FBF increases and decreases can be ob-
served every 530 seconds (8 minutes and 50 seconds).
0
20
40
60
80
100
120
140
160
030 60 90 120 150 180 210 240 270 300 330 360 390 420 450 480
Flux (arbitrary units)
Frame number
340
172
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3.2. Sham-Grounded (Control) Subjects
3.2.1. Subject DMale, Caucasian, 42
Figure 7 shows Subject D FBF images at 20 minutes (left image) and 54 minutes (right image). Figure 8 shows
change in mean FBF over time. In the top graph, which presents unprocessed mean FBF values, many move-
ment artifacts are seen as noted. The bottom graph shows top graph data corrected and smoothed for movement
artifacts. Linear regression analysis was performed on the bottom graph of Figure 8 and shows that mean FBF
decreased linearly with time (coefficient of determination R2 = 0.7171), which explains the lower FBF observed
in Figure 7 at 54 minutes. No rhythmic pattern of fluctuations in mean FBF values can be observed.
3.2.2. Subject EFemale, Caucasian, 55
Figure 9 shows FBF of subject E at 20 minutes (left image) and 79 minutes (right image). It is apparent that
FBF in this sham-grounded subject is lower at 79 minutes. Figure 10 shows variation of mean FBF values over
time. Movement artifacts are identified by blue arrows in the top graph of Figure 10 which presents unpro-
cessed mean FBF values. The bottom graph of Figure 10 shows the same graph corrected for artifacts and
smoothed. Regression analysis shows that blood flow decreased linearly over time (coefficient of determination
R2 = 0.9014) which explains the lower FBF at 79 minutes in Figure 9. No rhythmic pattern of fluctuations in
mean FBF values can be observed.
3.2.3. Subject FFemale, African-American, 68
Figure 11 shows FBF of subject F after the relaxation period at 20 minutes (left image), and 43 minutes (right
image). There is very little change in FBF between these 2 images. The time period shown in Figure 12 is about
45 minutes because the subject was disturbed by someone inadvertently entering the room at that time. Only one
movement artifact can be seen in the top graph of Figure 12, which presents change in unprocessed mean FBF
values over time. Bottom graph of Figure 12 shows change in mean FBF values over time corrected for that one
artifact and smoothed. In her case, mean FBF fluctuated up and down for about 20 minutes (corresponding to
the relaxation period) before settling down to a low stable value. This stable value after the initial relaxation pe-
riod explains why the two images of Figure 11 show about the same level of FBF. No rhythmic pattern in mean
FBF value can be observed after the relaxation period.
Flux at 20 minutes (frame no 120) Flux at 54 minutes (frame no 324)
Figure 7. Subject D FBF images at 20 minutes (left image) and 54 minutes (right image). There is lower FBF
in the right image compared to the left image. Descriptive statistics for the left image: Mean Flux = 127.9; SD
= 80.1; Flux min = 0; Flux max = 784. Descriptive statistics for the right image: Mean Flux = 103.1; SD =
63.6; Flux min = 0; Flux max = 705.
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Figure 8. Top graph: Subject D unprocessed graph of mean FBF (in arbitrary units) over time. Red lines and
numbers show the two frames at which the images of Figure 7 were extracted from the video. Blue arrows
point to dips in flux caused by movement artifacts. The green line at 60 shows the time when the switch was
flipped (no grounding occurred). Bottom graph: Subject D graph of mean FBF (in arbitrary units) over time
corrected for movement artifacts and smoothed with linear regression line, equation and R2 value.
Flux at 20 minutes (frame no 120) Flux at 79 minutes (frame no 474)
Figure 9. Subject E FBF images at 20 minutes (left image) and 79 minutes (right image). There is lower FBF in the
right image compared to the left image. Descriptive statistics for the left image: Mean Flux = 103.7; SD = 55.9; Flux
min = 0; Flux max = 606. Descriptive statistics for the right image: Mean Flux = 73.0; SD = 46.0; Flux min = 0;
Flux max = 730.
0
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40
60
80
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020 40 60 80 100 120 140 160 180 200 220 240 260 280 300
Flux (arbitrary units)
Frame number
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Movement artifacts
y = -0.096x + 137.9
R
2
= 0.7171
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018 36 54 72 90 108 126 144 162 180 198 216 234 252 270 288 306
Frame number
Flux (arbitrary units)
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Figure 10. Top graph: Subject E unprocessed graph of mean FBF (in arbitrary units) over time. Red lines and num-
bers show the time at which the two images of Figure 9 were extracted from the video. Blue arrows point to dips in
flux caused by movement artifacts. The green line at 60 shows the time when the switch was flipped (no grounding
occurred). Bottom graph: Subject E mean FBF graph (in arbitrary units) over time corrected for movement artifacts
and smoothed with linear regression line, equation and R2 value.
Flux at 20 minutes (frame no 120) Flux at 43 minutes (frame no 258)
Figure 11. Subject F FBF images at 20 minutes (left image) and 43 minutes (right image). There is very little change
in FBF. Descriptive statistics for the left image: Mean Flux = 33.4; SD = 19.1; Flux min = 0; Flux max = 248. De-
scriptive statistics for the right image: Mean Flux = 29.4; SD = 15.8; Flux min = 0; Flux max = 160.
0
20
40
60
80
100
120
140
160
030 60 90 120 150 180 210 240 270 300 330 360 390 420 450 480
Flux (arbitrary units)
Frame number
120 474
Movement artifacts
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Figure 12. Top graph: Subject F unprocessed graph of mean FBF (in arbitrary units). Red lines and numbers
show the time at which the two images of Figure 11 were extracted. The blue arrow points to a dip in flux
caused by movement artifacts. The green line at 60 shows the time when the switch was flipped (no grounding
occurred). Bottom graph: Subject F graph of mean FBF (in arbitrary units) corrected for movement artifacts
and smoothed.
4. Discussion
The purpose of this study was to determine if grounding the body promotes FBF. Improved facial microcircula-
tion is a goal of various treatments used in the beauty industry. They include massage, the use of current emit-
ting devices (DC and AC), lasers, ultrasound emitting devices, and acupuncture [8] [9]. Improved circulation
may generate enhanced nourishment of the skin through greater delivery of oxygen and nutrients, as well as bet-
ter resistance to the oxidative aging process [13].
The results of the present study showed improved FBF regulation in grounded subjects only. During the expe-
rimental period of about one hour, the FBF in these subjects, as documented by the LSCI camera, was seen to
fluctuate with a regular rhythm and/or increase after an initial relaxation period varying from 12 to 29 minutes.
By comparison, FBF decreased steadily and/or remained constant at a low value after a relaxation period during
sham-grounded sessions of similar length with no apparent rhythmicity.
There are at least four neuronal mechanisms influencing FBF. Three of them are controlled by the sympathet-
ic or parasympathetic nervous systems while the fourth one relates to local inflammatory responses [14]. There-
fore, the present results suggest that connection with the Earth supports a more efficient autonomic nervous sys-
tem (ANS) regulation of FBF. The periodicity of mean FBF fluctuations appeared in approximate 4 minute in-
crements. While the reason for this incremental length in periodicity is not known, it is interesting to note that a
rhythmic pattern of contraction/relaxation was seen for the first time in muscle tension after a grounding period
of 28 minutes [15]. In relation to these observations, it is also interesting to mention that the baroreflex system, a
0
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Frame number
Movement
artifact
120 258
0
5
10
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25
30
35
40
45
50
55
60
65
70
75
018 36 54 72 90 108 126 144 162 180 198 216 234 252
Frame number
Flux (arbitrary units)
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mechanism by which the ANS control blood pressure, operates in a frequency range that overlaps our present
observations [16]-[18].
The ANS regulation of FBF dynamics brings to mind an analogy of an efficient thermostat that activates or
deactivates the heating or cooling system according to temperature fluctuations within the controlled environ-
ment. For the body, grounding may contribute to the restoration of regulation by the ANS of the distribution of
blood, and therefore needed oxygen and nutrients, to the various organs and systems according to their needs.
Another explanation for improved FBF produced by grounding likely relates to the zeta potential (ZP) and
aggregation of red blood cells (RBCs). RBC membranes naturally carry a negative electric charge that maintains
cell spacing in the bloodstream by electrostatic repulsion. The potential difference between the RBC surface and
the plasma produced by these charges is called zeta potential (ZP). ZP is an indicator of blood viscosity [19]-
[21]. Elevated blood viscosity is associated with a number of clinical conditions, including hypertension, smok-
ing, lipid disorders, advancing age, and diabetes mellitus. Research has found, for instance, a poor ZP among
diabetics, and poorer yet among diabetics with cardiovascular disease [19]. The more negative the RBC surface
charge is, the greater the repelling force between RBCs implying that the viscosity of the blood is lower which
results in an improved blood flow [19]-[21]. In a previous study, grounding improved ZP and reduced RBC ag-
gregation. Among the ten participants, the absolute value of the average ZP increased by a factor of 2.70almost
three-fold [21].
A third explanation for improved FBF is accumulated evidence that grounding improves overall physiology.
If the body is healthier, it follows that the skin should be in better condition [8]. In support of this assertion,
grounding has been shown to improve recovery from injury [22] [23], thyroid function and basic metabolism,
calcium metabolism, glucose utilization by cells, the immune response [24], and oxygen consumption [25].
Some researchers consider that grounding may even be the primary factor regulating the endocrine and nervous
systems [24].
It is instructive to raise the issue of stress. Numerous studies indicate that stress-induced sleep deficit can
dramatically impair skin function and integrity [26]-[30]. Chronic insomnia, experienced by as much as a third
of adults, can create damage to skin tissues ranging from premature aging [31] [32] to disorders like eczema,
psoriasis, and dermatitis [33]-[36]. Previous grounding studies have produced results in which grounded par-
ticipants subjectively reported better sleep and show lower stress levels [15] [25] [37]-[39].
According to the American Academy of Dermatology, stress can affect the skin in many ways [40]. Stress
causes abnormalities in the level and oscillation of the central stress hormone cortisol that regulates a wide range
of stress responses. Such disruption can trigger multiple neuroinflammatory conditions manifested in the skin,
such as psoriasis, atopic dermatitis, acne, contact dermatitis alopecia areata, itch or pruritus, and erythema [41]
[42]. Along with better sleep, grounding at night has been demonstrated to bring aberrant cortisol oscillations
more in line with the natural cortisol pattern [37]. It should also be noted that grounding appears to promote
balance in the sympathetic-parasympathetic function of the ANS, and thus exerts another stress reduction effect
[15] [25] [39].
Through various measurements, grounding has also been documented to reduce inflammation [22] [43]. One
mechanism of inflammation reduction is hypothesized to be the neutralization of oxidative free radical activity
by added free electrons from contact with the Earth [4] [5]. Oxidative stress plays a central role in initiating and
driving events that cause skin aging at the cellular level [44]. Oxidative stress breaks down protein (collagen),
alters cellular renewal cycles, damages DNA, and promotes collagen glycation, cross-linking of proteins, and
the release of pro-inflammatory mediators (cytokines), which trigger the generation of inflammatory skin dis-
eases. It is also established that free radicals participate in the pathogenesis of allergic reactions in the skin
[44]-[50]. The grounding effect may also be protective and/or therapeutic against UV radiation that produces
oxidative stress in the cellular environment of the skin. Chronic free radical assault leads to aging skin, subvert-
ing the structural framework of the skin, and giving rise to wrinkles and sagging skin [46].
Another mechanism of inflammation reduction is the inflammatory reflex. Discovered about 15 years ago,
this neural reflex mechanism controls inflammation and innate immune responses during tissue injury and pa-
thogen invasion [51] [52]. A major constituent of the inflammatory reflex is the vagus nerve. Since grounding
stimulates the parasympathetic branch of the ANS, it is reasonable to theorize that vagus nerve-mediated choli-
nergic signaling is also stimulated resulting in a decrease in inflammation.
Along with previous studies, the results of this study indicates that extended periods of grounding could be
expected to produce further changes and benefits to facial skin. There’s a saying that beauty comes from within.
G. Chevalier
306
It may also be appropriate to say that the beauty within comes from the ground.
5. Conclusion
The very Earth we live on possesses a form of easily accessible and beneficial natural electric energy that has
been found to positively influence human physiology in various ways [6]. Previous studies have indicated im-
proved cardiovascular and rheological (blood viscosity) dynamics, including autonomic nervous system regula-
tion. In this study, the Laser Speckle Contrast Imaging camera further supports those findings by documenting a
clear improvement in autonomic nervous system regulation of facial blood flow in grounded subjects but not in
sham-grounded subjects. The results demonstrate, for the first time, that even one-hour contact with the Earth
restores blood flow regulation to the face that may enhance skin tissue repair, health and vitality, and optimize
facial appearance, which may also have broad implications for overall cardiovascular function and health. Fur-
ther studies, using larger comparison groups, longer monitoring times and more measuring methods, are war-
ranted in order to confirm the novel influence of the Earth as a protector of skin health and appearance.
Acknowledgements
The author wishes to thank Earthing.com for providing the grounding equipment, Linda Hayes, C.C.T. and
Theresa Williams, C.C.T., from Total Thermal Imaging, for recruiting study participants, collecting data and
conducting all imaging activities, and Martin Zucker for reviewing the manuscript, for writing assistance, and
for making useful suggestions. The study was funded by Earth FX, Inc.
Conflict of Interests
The author is an independent contractor for Earth FX, Inc. and owns a very small number of shares in the com-
pany.
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... Two papers have already been published using data gathered during that study. The first publication presented results obtained with a laser speckle contrast imager (LSCI) to image blood flow and showed that Earthing improved facial blood flow and enhanced autonomic nervous system (ANS) regulation of peripheral circulation [7]. The second publication presented results showing that grounded subjects had significant improvement in mood while sham-grounded subjects did not show any improvement [8]. ...
... These two methods of measurement have been shown to correlate well [19]. In a previous paper on the same study, LSCI was able to show that grounding improved facial blood flow regulation by making facial blood flow fluctuate with a regular rhythm and/or increase during the grounding session while no such fluctuation or increase was seen for sham-grounded control subjects [7]. The low frequency of the periodicity of facial blood flow changes was found to be in the frequency range of some of the baroreflex frequencies [7] [20] [21]. ...
... In a previous paper on the same study, LSCI was able to show that grounding improved facial blood flow regulation by making facial blood flow fluctuate with a regular rhythm and/or increase during the grounding session while no such fluctuation or increase was seen for sham-grounded control subjects [7]. The low frequency of the periodicity of facial blood flow changes was found to be in the frequency range of some of the baroreflex frequencies [7] [20] [21]. To understand how grounding could improve facial blood flow regulation, it is logical to also consider blood and lymphatic fluid circulation in the torso since blood flows from the torso through the neck to reach the head and the face. ...
Article
Full-text available
Earthing (grounding) refers to the human body being in contact with the surface of the Earth by barefoot exposure outdoors or using special indoor systems connected to the Earth. Previous studies have showed multiple beneficial effects as a result of such contact, including better sleep, normalization of cortisol, reduced inflammation, pain and stress, and better blood flow. To determine if Earthing for one hour improves facial blood circulation, forty middle-aged volunteers were divided into a grounded group and a sham-grounded group according to a double-blind procedure. They were asked to sit in a comfortable recliner chair equipped with a grounding mat, pillow and patches. The grounding systems were either grounded or sham-grounded via a wire to the ground port of a power outlet. An infrared imaging camera was used to measure changes in blood flow and temperature. Thermal imaging showed clearly improved circulation of fluids (including blood) throughout the torso, which in turn, translates into enhanced delivery of blood to the head and improved blood circulation in the face as well. The results of this innovative study demonstrate that even one-hour contact with the Earth appears to promote significantly autonomic nervous system control of body fluids and peripheral blood flow that may improve blood circulation in the torso and face, facial tissue repair, skin health and vitality and optimize facial appearance (face anterior view p = 0.002; face lateral views p = 0.017; full anterior torso view p = 0.002). Further study using larger comparison groups and following subjects for a longer period of time (longitudinal study) is warranted.
... Recently, a pilot study found improved facial blood fl ow and enhanced autonomic nervous system regulation of peripheral circulation within 1 hr. of Earthing ( Chevalier, 2014 ). Since many studies show health-related benefi ts of Earthing ( Chevalier, et al ., 2012 ) and it is well known that there is a positive relationship between health and mood ( Byrne & Byrne, 1993 ;Salovey, Rothman, Detweiler, & Steward, 2000 ;Schutte, Malouf, Thorsteinsson, Bhullar, & Rooke, 2006 ;Kok, Coff ey, Cohn, Catalino, Vacharkulksemsuk, Algoe, et al ., 2013 ;Ikeda, Schwartz, Peters, Baccarelli, Hoxha, Dioni, et al ., 2014 ;Kim, Smith, & Kubzansky, 2014 ), it was hypothesized that Earthing may have a positive infl uence on mood. ...
... The box, in turn, was connected by a single wire to the ground port of an adjacent power outlet. That wire was outfi tted with a switch that allowed the patches, pillow, and mat to be connected to the ground when turned on according to a grounding protocol described previously ( Chevalier, 2014 ). ...
... As per the protocol described in the facial blood fl ow study ( Chevalier, 2014 ), the switch was turned on 10 min. after the participant was asked to sit in the chair. ...
Article
-Earthing (grounding) refers to bringing the body in contact with the Earth. Health benefits were previously reported, but no study exists about mood. This study was conducted to assess if Earthing improves mood. 40 adult participants were either grounded or sham-grounded (no grounding) for 1 hr. while relaxing in a comfortable recliner chair equipped with a conductive pillow, mat, and patches connecting them to the ground. This pilot project was double-blinded and the Brief Mood Introspection Scale (comprising 4 mood scales) was used. Pleasant and positive moods statistically significantly improved among grounded-but not sham-grounded-participants. It is concluded that the 1-hr. contact with the Earth improved mood more than expected by relaxation alone. More extensive studies are, therefore, warranted.
... 8 Earthing was also shown to greatly affect the function of the autonomic nervous system. 3,12,59 There is also the previous DOMS study showing an impact on white blood cells, bilirubin, CK, Pi/PCr, glycerolphosphorylcholine, phosphorylcholine, and pain. 13 These results suggest that connecting the body to the earth enables free electrons and diurnal electrical rhythms to enter the body, setting the biological clocks for hormones that regulate sleep and activity. ...
... Since grounding stimulates the parasympathetic branch of the autonomic nervous system, it is possible that vagus nerve-mediated cholinergic stimulation produces a decrease in inflammation. 59 Limitations in time and resources prevented the repetition of the first study at a larger scale. These limitations also prevented measurement of range of motion, which would have given information on function; they also prevented the possibility of using imaging and performing biopsies on damaged muscles. ...
Article
Full-text available
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.
... Using a Speckle Contrast Laser camera, Chevalier obtained image proof in 2014 that earthing increases blood circulation to the face and improves control of the autonomic nervous system on peripheral circulation. When earthing subjects were compared to non-earthing subjects, the researchers identified an intriguing and different pattern in their facial blood flow [19]. This pattern connects to the ANS's improved blood flow management and explains how earthing improves facial skin and tissue regeneration and recovery, resulting in a beauty effect. ...
Article
Full-text available
The main goals of acute and long-term skincare are the protection and improvement of skin health and integrity. Skincare involves several procedures that help maintain the skin's integrity, improve its appearance, and alleviate skin problems. Proper blood flow is in dire need for the skin to absorb vital ingredients. There are many conventional treatments to help increase blood flow and recently it was discovered that connecting the with the electrical charges of the Earth, or "Grounding" can promote healthy blood flow in the facial region. Additionally, such effects of grounding do not seem limited to the facial region but are rather systemic, essential and are often quickly observable. Grounding also seems to reduce secondary injury, collateral sprouting, and nerve sensitization. In grounded patients, an increase in blood flow was clearly seen when compared directly to ungrounded subjects. The results of documented studies explain that even short contact with the Earth helps to restore blood flow regulation suggesting enhanced skin tissue repair and improved skin appearance with possible implications for overall health.
... Chevalier got imaging proof for the first time in 2014, using a Speckle Contrast Laser camera, showing that Grounding improves blood flow to face and improves control of Autonomic nervus system on peripheral circulation. The research discovered exciting and distinct pattern in the blood flow of the face of grounding subjects as compared to nongrounded subjects [21]. This pattern correlates to the ANS's more effective regulation of blood flow and explains how grounding enhances repair and recovery of facial skin and tissues, thus generating a conventionally desired beauty impact. ...
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Massage can alleviate the inflammatory process, help to accelerate recovery, and relieve pain resulting from muscular injuries. In this paper, we combine the idea of mechanotransduction (conversion of mechanical stimulus into electrochemical activity) using grounding in massage to investigate beneficial mechanisms. Grounding massage has been discovered to stabilize the physiology of the body, help reduce pain, inflammation, stress, enhance sleep, increase energy, and blood flow, and enhance well-being by connecting the body with the electrical charges of the Earth. Such effects are systemic and basic, and often quickly evolve. This process can reduce secondary injury, collateral sprouting, and nerve sensitization by modifying inflammatory signaling pathways, resulting in improved damage recovery and pain reduction or prevention. Research shows that grounding, when simultaneously combined with many CAM clinical practices, can offer great potential to improve their effectiveness. The paper aims to explain how massage therapy, combined with geographically and simultaneous earthing, causes a potentially beneficial and properly activated immunomodulatory pathway.
... Two other studies have measured the increase in blood flow. The first study developed visual evidence showing that grounding enhances facial blood flow [29]. In further research, thermal imaging explains that grounding enhanced blood flow in the torso [30]. ...
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Acupressure in Oriental medicine is used as a core therapeutic method due to its therapeutic efficacy and minimal side-effects. However, microcurrent stimulation, combined with acupressure and grounding, has not been studied under acupressure conditions in terms of how this combination might affect acupressure therapy's effectiveness. This paper clarifies the new concept of acupressure stimulation combined with a microcurrent that generates electron flow during earthing. In grounding the body, there is free electron movement from and to the body that creates microcurrent. Acupressure uses these currents to activate specific acupoints for therapeutic purposes and activating these acupoints adjust the imbalance between Qi across channels (meridians) and ultimately treat diseases. It is time for proper research and implementation of this technique to increase acupressure efficacy and reduce society's cost.
... and clear rhythmicity in the facial blood flow of Earthing subjects but not of sham-Earthing subjects. 25 Such rhythmicity relates to a more efficient regulatory effect on blood flow by the ANS, and provides an explanation of how Earthing improves nourishment and repair of facial tissues and skin, and how it would thus generate a beauty effect. Improved facial microcirculation is a goal of various treatments used in the beauty industry. ...
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Earthing (also known as grounding) refers to the discovery that bodily contact with the Earth's natural electric charge stabilizes the physiology at the deepest levels, reduces inflammation, pain, and stress, improves blood flow, energy, and sleep, and generates greater well-being. Such effects are profound, systemic, and foundational, and often develop rapidly. Earthing is as simple as routinely walking barefoot outdoors and/or using inexpensive grounding systems indoors while sleeping or sitting, practices that restore a lost and needed electric connection with the Earth. Some 20 studies to date have reported intriguing evidence of wide and significant physiological improvements when the body is grounded vs. non-grounded. The research, along with numerous anecdotal reports, demonstrates that Earthing clearly deserves inclusion in the clinical practice of preventive, alternative, and lifestyle medicine and has great potential to render these approaches more effective.
... Two additional studies showed that blood flow regulation and circulation to the head, face, torso, and extremities were enhanced within a 1-hour session of grounding in a chair. 32,33 These studies involved the use of laser speckle contrast imaging and thermography. Together, these studies found significant systemic benefits, affecting overall and local health, and suggest that grounding may represent an effective preventive and therapeutic strategy against diabetes and cardiovascular disease. ...
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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.
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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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Background Liver microcirculation can be affected by a wide variety of causes relevant to liver transplantation and resectional surgery. Intraoperative assessment of the microcirculation could possibly predict postoperative outcome. The present pilot study introduces laser speckle contrast imaging (LSCI) as a new clinical method for assessing liver microcirculation. Methods LSCI measurements of liver microcirculation were performed on ten patients undergoing liver resection. Measurements were made during apnea with and without liver blood inflow occlusion. Hepatic blood flow was assessed by subtracting zero inflow signal from the total signal. Zero inflow signal was obtained after hepatic artery and portal vein occlusion. Perfusion was expressed in laser speckle perfusion units, and intraindividual and interindividual variability in liver perfusion was investigated using the coefficient of variability. Results Hepatic microcirculation measurements were successfully made in all patients resulting in analyzable speckle contrast images. Mean hepatic blood flow was 410±36 laser speckle perfusion units. Zero inflow signal amounted to 40%±4% of the total signal. Intraindividual and interindividual coefficients of variability in liver perfusion were 25% and 28%, respectively. Conclusion Under the conditions of this pilot study, LSCI allows rapid noncontact measurements of hepatic blood perfusion over wide areas. More studies are needed on methods of handling movement artifacts.
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Ultralow frequency pulsations of electric field in the surface atmospheric layer were investigated under fair weather conditions. A new method of structural-temporal analysis has been applied to the study of spatiotemporal structures of the electric field described previously by [Anisimov et al., 1994]. The method is based on exploration of the structural function by averaging the remote sensing data over respective temporal spans. This analysis allows quantitative estimations of spatial scales L ≃ 500 - 103 m and temporal scales not less than τ = 10 min for the structural elements of the planetary boundary layer electricity; we call these recently examined elements "aeroelectric structures" (AES). Quasiperiodic sequences and high-amplitude solitary AES have been recognized. Three-dimensional structural-temporal patterns are presented which directly characterize the level of electric energy perturbations connected with AES formation during night-day evolution. A model of AES formation has been developed, taking into account the occurence of convective cells with respective turbulent air and space charge density distributions that are transferred by the wind over the ground and cause the electric field fluctuations at the points of observation. Therefore formation of such submesoscale structures can be explained by the redistribution of space charge within the surface layer, with the structures of the smallest scales coupled to the turbulent mixing of the ions and aerosols. In addition to the advection and turbulent mixing of space charge, we also consider the cooperative electroaerodynamic effects which might occur in a system of bipolar ion and aerosol particles under the influence of a terrestrial electric field. We have proposed an advanced model treating the AES formation as the result of instability arising in such a system, taking into account the dependence of the effective ion-aerosol attachment coefficient on the external electric field strength.