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One-Hour Contact with the Earth’s Surface (Grounding) Improves Inflammation and Blood Flow—A Randomized, Double-Blind, Pilot Study

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  • Heal and Thrive

Abstract and Figures

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.
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Health, 2015, 7, 1022-1059
Published Online August 2015 in SciRes. http://www.scirp.org/journal/health
http://dx.doi.org/10.4236/health.2015.78119
How to cite this paper: Chevalier, G., Melvin, G. and Barsotti, T. (2015) One-Hour Contact with the Earth’s Surface (Groun-
ding) Improves Inflammation and Blood FlowA Randomized, Double-Blind, Pilot Study. Health, 7, 1022-1059.
http://dx.doi.org/10.4236/health.2015.78119
One-Hour Contact with the Earth’s Surface
(Grounding) Improves Inflammation and
Blood FlowA Randomized, Double-Blind,
Pilot Study
Gaétan Chevalier1*, Gregory Melvin2, Tiffany Barsotti3
1Developmental and Cell Biology Department, University of California at Irvine, Irvine, USA
2Total Thermal Imaging, La Mesa, USA
3California Institute for Human Science, Encinitas, USA
Email: *dlbogc@sbcglobal.net
Received 23 July 2015; accepted 14 August 2015; published 17 August 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
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 stu-
dies 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 deter-
mine 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 (longitu-
dinal study) is warranted.
*
Corresponding author.
G. Chevalier et al.
1023
Keywords
Earthing, Grounding, Thermal Imaging, Thermography, Blood Flow
1. Introduction
Earthing (grounding, we use both terms interchangeably with the small difference that Earthing means groun-
ding the body for the potential health benefits of being in contact with the Earth) is a practice whereby individu-
als walk barefoot outdoors and/or work, sleep, or relax indoors in contact with conductive mats, bed sheets,
body bands, and patches that facilitate transfer of the Earth’s surface charge into the body [1]. Unlike past cul-
tures, most people today, particularly in industrial societies, rarely walk barefoot. They wear shoes with syn-
thetic soles that insulate them from the Earth’s natural electric charge, and no longer sleep on the ground. The
Earth’s negative surface charge (free electrons) is constantly replenished by the global atmospheric electrical
circuit [2] [3]. The Earthing hypothesis states that when direct skin contact is made with the Earth’s surface, an
influx of electrons enters the body and equalizes the body’s electric potential with that of the Earth [4] [5]. Pub-
lished research on Earthing indicates that such contact yields a broad array of favorable health-related results in-
cluding improved sleep, decreased pain, a normalizing effect on cortisol, reduction and/or normalization of
stress, diminished damage to muscles caused by delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS), reduction of primary
indicators of osteoporosis, and improved glucose regulation, immune response and blood fluidity [6].
A study was conducted to determine if Earthing for one hour is beneficial to facial blood circulation. 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]. This time thermal imaging (TI) results are pre-
sented. The specific hypotheses related to TI are: 1) a statistically significant increase in skin temperature as
measured by the TI camera when comparing thermal images of specific skin regions of the face, neck, and torso
before and after the grounding period (no change is expected for the sham-grounding period); 2) significant im-
provements in skin temperature symmetry for the grounded group but not for the sham-grounded group; 3) a
significant change in temperature relating to normalization of vascular/lymphatic activity bilaterally of 0.5˚C or
more of the same size parameter/geographical location taking into account inhibiting factors and organs in-
volved with the lymphatic/venous return to the heart which include the diaphragm, gallbladder, and scalenus; 4)
normalization (improved symmetry) about pain site parameter evaluation designated with a Pointer View (PV)
performed by the subject. Confirmation of these hypotheses would suggest that grounding improves inflamma-
tion and blood circulation to the abdomen and face making it a natural way to rejuvenate facial skin and im-
proving health.
2. Methods
2.1. Bioethics Committee
The protocol for 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 (TTI), La Mesa,
California in 2014.
2.2. Subjects
Forty (40) subjects were recruited from the patient base of TTI. The number of subjects was determined based
on the resources available. Subjects’ average age and standard deviation (SD) were 54.8 ± 9.8 (grounded fe-
males 54.2 ± 10.2; grounded males 55.6 ± 12.1; sham-grounded females 58.7 ± 6.5; sham-grounded males 47.8
± 8.73). Subjects were randomly assigned to 2 groups: Group A, with 27 grounded individuals, and Group B,
with 13 sham-grounded individuals (the control group). Sham-grounding means that subjects were going
through the same grounding process as the grounding subjects but they were not actually grounded, the wire
G. Chevalier et al.
1024
having been modified to not permit contact with the ground. Subjects were scheduled in the order they signed up
to participate.
The exclusion criteria were: pregnancy, below the age of 18 or above 70, taking pain, anti-inflammatory me-
dication, 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 dis-
ease (such as cancer, AIDS), consumption of alcohol within 48 hours of participation, smoking, use of recrea-
tional drugs, previous utilization of Earthing products or similar grounding products, going barefoot outdoors
more than once a week and for more than half hour and not willing to comply with the Thermal Imaging Proto-
col Prior to Appointment (Appendix A).
2.3. Earthing Equipment and Method
The grounding equipment was provided by Earthing.com of Palm Springs, CA (www.earthing.com), which in-
cluded conductive mats, pillows and transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) patches and wires.
Subjects were grounded with the use of a grounding mat, grounding pillow and conductive patches connected
via conducting wires into the ground port (third hole) of an electric power outlet after confirming that the TTI
building had a proper and operational grounding system. The grounding wires contained a built-in 100 kΩ re-
sistor for surge protection.
2.4. Thermal Camera and Software
TI, also known as thermography or infrared imaging, is a noninvasive neurovascular, autonomic, functional
evaluation tool that measures skin temperature approximately 5 mm deep as a reflection of normal or abnormal
human physiology. Skin is regulated primarily by the hypothalamus in the brain by way of the sympathetic
nervous system (SNS). Every muscle, organ and gland blood supply is regulated by the hypothalamus with cor-
responding skin responses. TI demonstrates a functional autonomic evaluation of multiple systems at the same
time, by reflecting the body parts as skin temperature differences. The technique utilizes sophisticated compute-
rized technology to translate temperature data and produce an image that is then evaluated for signs of possible
disease or injury. The procedure has been around for more than fifty years and used in thousands of medical stu-
dies. Among other things, TI is widely used to help assess breast cancer tumors, screen for diabetes, nervous
system and metabolic disorders, soft tissue injuries, headaches and various complex pain syndromes, neck and
back problems, and arterial disease [9] [10].
The data for this examination were acquired using the FLIR A310/A620, an infrared camera (FLIR Systems,
International Main Office, Sweden, Americas Main Office, USA Boston, MA. http://www.flir.com/US/) with a
sensitivity of 0.01˚C using appropriate software (Anthony Software, Thermography Unlimited LLC). The image
resolution is 320 × 240 or 640 × 480 and the images were converted to PDF/JPEG format. The surface skin
temperature of the following body areas was recorded and analyzed: face and neck (anterior and lateral views),
and torso (anterior view only). The software allows to draw ellipses or rectangles on the image of any body area
and to calculate the temperature average inside the ellipse or rectangle. These average temperatures are called
“markers” and they can be placed anywhere on the image as an overlay. The markers used in this study and their
location are presented in detail in Appendix B.
The software enables duplication of a marker anywhere by placing the mouse over the region of interest and
by right clicking and then holding the button down. This way it is possible to position that marker to the oppo-
site side of the body if portrayed on the same image. The overlays have 3 different colors to render a better visi-
bility of the finding. The software has also the ability to transfer same size markers from one lateral image to the
oppositional lateral view. This thermal imaging software is the only thermographic software allowing duplicate
markers to be transferred to the opposing image.
With the continuous color palette used by the software (modified Rainbow Chrome) it has been found that op-
timal imaging to differentiate between colors is obtained with a 7˚C temperature span (we will be using simply
the word “span” to mean “temperature span” for the rest of this paper) between the coolest and warmest temper-
atures covered by the color palette. Span is defined as the number of degrees selected within a thermal image to
best portray highest temperatures compared to the lowest temperatures while using a gray or color palette
(Figure 1). Skin temperatures range from 20˚C to 38˚C thus positioning the temperature span above or below
that range will render an all white or all back portrayal of that image. This can be seen clearly from Figure 2.
G. Chevalier et al.
1025
Figure 1. On the left side emphasis is put on the color distribution of the 7˚C span according to the modified
Rainbow Chrome color palette. In this case, the span is between 28.13˚C and 35.13˚C. These maximum to
minimum temperatures are adjusted to allow best view of color transitions on the areas of interest in the
picture to the right (this is called span positioning).
Figure 2. Visual effects of a range of temperatures called “span”, it’s positioning and the color palette range.
Except for the 2 small images on the right, all the images have a 7˚C span. The middle image to the right of
the 4 bigger images on the left has the optimal span positioning and color range as is the case for the image
in the lower left corner (temperatures between 34.58˚C and 27.58˚C ± 0.01˚C). The image on top of that
middle image has its span positioned too high (between 40.40˚C and 33.40˚C) making the subject almost
blend with the dark background (looking too cold) while the image below it has its span positioned too low
(between 30.43˚C and 23.43˚C) making the subject appear extremely hot (almost all white, the warmest
color). The 4 larger images on the left show how sensitive span positioning is and how it affects the range of
colors (palette range) available in the picture. Between these 4 images the span positioning changed by only
2.38˚C (hottest temperatures from 36.33˚C and 33.95˚C; coldest temperatures from 29.33˚C and 26.95˚C)
and yet the effect is quite visible because the range of available colors from the full color palette (located to
the left of the variable palette range) changed accordingly. The upper right image has a small span of 3.99˚C
making the subject look cold because the temperature transitions are too coarse. On the other hand, the im-
age to the lower right shows what happens when the span is increased to 24.55˚C: the subject looks almost
all red (too hot) the temperature transitions are too small to show meaningful temperature variations.
G. Chevalier et al.
1026
Color transitioning is more defined visually for transitions ranging from 0.3˚C and above with a 7˚C span. A
larger span reduces visual recognition of temperature transitions while a smaller span may loose the context of
certain regions of the body because of lack of contrast (Figure 2).
2.5. Study Procedures
Each subject was initially asked the questions contained in the TTI Wellness Entry Form (Appendix C) by one
of the study coordinators to get basic health information and to make sure the subject was in compliance with
this study’s requirements. Next, the subject put on a cotton gown and was led to the TI room. The subject was
then partially disrobed and underwent thermal equilibration for 15 minutes. The thermal examinations per-
formed were consistent with recommended protocol for TI examinations and in a temperature-controlled envi-
ronment with a constant temperature of 21.1˚C ± 0.6˚C (70.0˚F ± 1.0˚F) in a room with a minimum size of 2.44
× 2.44 × 3.05 m3 (8 × 8 × 10 cubic feet) and with no drafts. Humidity was kept within 25% - 50%. Fluorescent
lighting was used with covered windows to avoid solar infrared thermal artifacts on the images. While sitting on
a stool, thermal images of the face, neck, and torso were taken, following the Thermal Imaging Protocol During
Appointment described in Appendix A. This protocol was established based on the experience acquired with
thermal imaging at TTI. Each subject identified areas of body pain by pointing at them. Pain areas have been
identified with the letter “P” placed above them on the corresponding thermal images.
After TI was done, each subject moved to a comfortable recliner chair set up in the same room for the groun-
ding (sham-grounding) session. The reclining angle of the chair was adjusted to a comfortable 30 degrees in re-
spect 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 positioned 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 recliner. A single wire connected the connector box to a ground port of an adjacent power
outlet. A switch was installed on the wire from the connector box to the ground port to permit transference or
blockage of the Earth’s electrons (permitting or blocking conduction). This is schematically represented in Fig-
ure 3.
An initial ten minutes was dedicated to give time to subjects to relax. At end of that 10-minute relaxation pe-
riod, the switch was flipped on to permit grounding. However, the wires used for the sham-grounded controls
were modified to not allow grounding independently of the position of the switch (on or off). After one hour, the
grounding switch was turned off at the end of all sessions (grounded or sham-grounded). Each subject was then
asked to return to the stool for a post-session round of TI.
A double-blind procedure prevented the researchers, study coordinators/technicians, and subjects from know-
ing whether an individual subject was actually grounded or sham-grounded. For that purpose, and to accommo-
date the fact that the design of the study called for about twice as many grounded subjects than sham-grounded
subjects, three different colored-coded wires connecting patches, pillow and mat to the connector box were uti-
lized. Wires with red and yellow tags permitted grounding; wires with the blue tag did not. The study coordina-
tors randomly selected the wires’ color for a particular session (wires to patches, pillow and mat had the same
Figure 3. Grounding system comprising the connector box, including wires from patches, mat and
pillow connected to it, with a wire going to a switch and then to the ground port of a power outlet.
G. Chevalier et al.
1027
color for a particular session), and none of the study coordinators or subjects knew which color coded sham vs.
functional wires.
2.6. Statistical Analysis
Statistical calculations were conducted using the NCSS/PASS 2000 Dawson edition statistical package. When
all data used for a mean comparison were normally distributed (normality was observed) and the variances were
substantially equal, t-test results are shown in the tables otherwise the results of nonparametric tests are pre-
sented. When the data were not normally distributed and/or when the variances were not substantially equal, the
Wilcoxon Signed-Rank test (W S-R test) for difference in means with continuity correction was used to compare
paired data and the Wilcoxon Rank-Sum test (W R-S test) for difference in means with correction was used for
comparisons between groups. The usual value of α = 0.05 was applied to determine statistical significance.
Two-tail distributions were assumed for all statistical tests. According to Uematsu [11], a change in temperature
and/or in temperature asymmetry of 0.3˚C or more is considered significant in TI. However, two groups reported
that 0.5˚C is better [12] [13], with both groups suggesting that the criterion of 1.0˚C sometimes used would miss
physiologically significant asymmetries. Therefore it was decided to use 0.5˚C as the significant threshold to
determine which temperature asymmetries or changes were significant.
3. Results
Varying individual responses of the subjects dictated presenting 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) out of the 40 subjects who participated in the study. The results of these subjects were representative of
the specific group results. For all six subjects, thermal images of three different views of the face (anterior, right
lateral, and left lateral) and a full anterior view of the torso are shown. Subjects are presented in increasing age
(younger to older) for each group.
3.1. Thermal Images
3.1.1. Grounded Subjects
1) Subject AFemale, Caucasian, 33, with history of extensive pain
In Figure 4, Subject A’s facial thermal images were analyzed using a span of 7˚C and positioning between
28.13˚C and 35.13˚C. The color distribution, according to the modified Rainbow Chrome color palette, and the
Before After
Figure 4. Subject A facial thermal images before and after grounding for one hour.
G. Chevalier et al.
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7˚C span are displayed on the left side of each thermal image as explained previously (see Figure 1; this will be
the case for all thermal images presented in this paper). After one hour of grounding, the temperature of the face
increased significantly (31.67˚C - 31.05˚C = 0.62˚C). Statistical details of the image markers are presented in
Table 1. Figure 5 top images show Subject A’s right lateral side and bottom images show Subject A’s left lat-
eral side of the face before and after grounding. The temperature scale is the same as in Figure 4. Both lateral
views reveal increased warmth throughout face and neck. Statistical details are presented in Table 2. Figure 6
shows full anterior views of Subject A’s torso before and after one hour of grounding. The span for these images
is between 27.40˚C and 34.40˚C for the left image and 27.39˚C and 34.39˚C for the right image. This difference
in span positioning of 0.01˚C (the sensitivity limit of the TI camera) between the before and after grounding
images is small enough that it does not affect the comparison between the two images. For this subject, the en-
tire anterior body clearly warmed up with the temperature of the region around the umbilicus showing a very
significant increase (34.35˚C - 31.84˚C = 2.51˚C). Statistical details are presented in Table 4. For detail expla-
nations of the significance of these temperature increases see the Discussion section.
Before After
Figure 5. Top images: Subject A thermal images of the right lateral side of the face and
neck before and after one hour of grounding. Bottom images: Subject A thermal images
of the left lateral side of the face and neck before and after one hour of grounding.
G. Chevalier et al.
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Before After
Figure 6. Subject A thermal images showing full anterior views of the torso before
and after one hour of grounding.
Table 1. Face anterior view before vs. after group comparison statistics.
Subject: A B C Grounded Group Avg.
Marker Before After Diff Before After Diff Before After Diff Before After Diff
L Forehead 33.57 33.96 0.39 34.20 33.57 0.63 33.11 32.41 0.70 33.63 33.31 0.31
L Eyelids 33.56 34.33 0.77 34.89 33.84 1.05 33.58 32.63 0.95 34.01 33.60 0.41
L Cheeks 29.92 30.72 0.80 30.94 30.37 0.57 31.00 30.41 0.59 30.62 30.50 0.12
L Mouth C.
33.55
0.48
33.93
33.36
0.57
33.87
33.51
0.36
33.62
33.47
0.15
R Forehead 33.90 34.14 0.24 34.30 33.70 0.60 33.00 32.31 0.69 33.73 33.38 0.35
R Eyelids 34.30 34.44 0.14 35.09 34.25 0.84 33.50 33.20 0.30 34.30 33.96 0.33
R Cheeks 30.41 30.65 0.24 30.88 30.60 0.28 31.31 29.92 1.39 30.87 30.39 0.48
R Mouth C. 31.86 33.01 1.15 34.70 34.33 0.37 33.66 33.33 0.33 33.41 33.56 0.15
Average:
33.10
0.53
33.62
33.00
0.61
32.88
32.22
0.66
33.02
32.77
0.25
SD: 1.66 1.56 0.10 1.71 1.59 0.12 1.10 1.34 0.24 1.43 1.45 0.02
Normality: Yes No Yes No No Yes No Yes Yes No No Yes
W S-R test: 0.0143 0.0141 0.0143 0.0423
Subject: D E F Control Group Avg.
Marker Before After Diff Before After Diff Before After Diff Before After Diff
L Forehead 34.16 34.01 0.15 32.94 32.21 0.73 32.26 31.75 0.51 33.12 32.66 0.46
L Eyelids
35.51
0.21
33.93
33.30
0.63
33.53
32.93
0.60
34.39
33.91
0.48
L Cheeks 33.03 32.13 0.90 30.90 29.98 0.92 30.84 29.61 1.23 31.59 30.57 1.02
L Mouth C. 35.43 34.86 0.57 33.84 32.83 1.01 32.44 32.55 0.11 33.90 33.41 0.49
R Forehead 34.65 34.44 0.21 32.70 31.91 0.79 32.23 31.79 0.44 33.19 32.71 0.48
R Eyelids 35.99 35.62 0.37 33.55 33.14 0.41 33.68 32.69 0.99 34.41 33.82 0.59
R Cheeks
32.38
1.09
31.01
30.01
1.00
31.09
30.31
0.78
31.86
30.90
0.96
R Mouth C. 35.03 34.21 0.82 34.37 33.58 0.79 33.87 33.54 0.33 34.42 33.78 0.65
Average:
34.15
0.54
32.91
32.12
0.79
32.49
31.90
0.60
33.36
32.72
0.64
SD: 1.07 1.30 0.24 1.32 1.42 0.10 1.15 1.34 0.19 1.14 1.32 0.18
t-test: 0.00386 0.00001 0.00465 0.00008
Normality:
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
No
W R-S test: 0.564 0.958 0.002
L = Left; R = Right; C. = Corner.
G. Chevalier et al.
1030
Table 2. Face right and left lateral views before vs. after comparison statistics.
Subject: A B C Grounded Group Avg.
Marker Before After Diff Before After Diff Before After Diff Before After Diff
L Cheeks 30.44 30.72 0.28 31.28 30.57 0.71 31.64 30.81 0.83 31.12 30.70 0.42
L Carotid Bif. 32.91 33.12 0.21 33.89 33.65 0.24 33.61 33.21 0.40 33.47 33.33 0.14
L Back Neck 33.73 33.95 0.22 33.94 33.76 0.18 33.79 33.75 0.04 33.82 33.82 0.00
L Front Neck 32.26 32.73 0.47 33.36 33.01 0.35 32.51 32.59 0.08 32.71 32.78 0.07
L Supraclav. 34.64 34.76 0.12 34.61 34.22 0.39 33.61 33.80 0.19 34.29 34.26 0.03
R Cheeks 30.55 30.92 0.37 31.91 30.34 1.57 31.14 30.12 1.02 31.20 30.46 0.74
R Carotid bif. 32.14 33.12 0.98 34.08 33.97 0.11 33.50 33.25 0.25 33.24 33.45 0.21
R Back Neck 33.10 33.92 0.82 34.00 33.93 0.07 33.67 34.15 0.48 33.59 34.00 0.41
R Front Neck 31.71 32.82 1.11 33.27 32.56 0.71 32.54 32.60 0.06 32.51 32.66 0.15
R Supraclav. 34.20 34.93 0.73 34.24 33.99 0.25 33.66 33.61 0.05 34.03 34.18 0.14
Average: 32.57 33.10 0.53 33.46 33.00 0.46 32.97 32.79 0.18 33.00 32.96 0.04
SD: 1.43 1.42 0.01 1.07 1.43 0.37 0.96 1.33 0.37 1.11 1.37 0.26
t-test: 0.00103
Normality: Yes Yes Yes No No No No No Yes Yes No Yes
W S-R test: 0.00589 0.476 0.878
Subject: D E F Control Group Avg.
Marker Before After Diff Before After Diff Before After Diff Before After Diff
L Cheeks 33.42 32.61 0.81 31.28 30.58 0.70 31.63 30.41 1.22 32.11 31.20 0.91
L Carotid Bif. 34.33 33.37 0.96 32.67 32.94 0.27 34.02 32.89 1.13 33.67 33.07 0.61
L Back Neck 34.25 33.63 0.62 33.32 33.94 0.62 34.43 34.09 0.34 34.00 33.89 0.11
L Front Neck 34.06 33.42 0.64 32.65 32.80 0.15 33.31 33.10 0.21 33.34 33.11 0.23
L Supraclav. 34.05 33.75 0.30 34.46 34.79 0.33 35.11 35.22 0.11 34.54 34.59 0.05
R Cheeks 33.30 32.45 0.85 31.37 30.31 1.06 31.68 30.89 0.79 32.12 31.22 0.90
R Carotid bif. 35.03 34.51 0.52 33.07 33.30 0.23 33.84 33.36 0.48 33.98 33.72 0.26
R Back Neck 34.62 33.87 0.75 33.32 33.91 0.59 34.18 32.91 1.27 34.04 33.56 0.48
R Front Neck 34.08 33.24 0.84 32.60 32.79 0.19 33.19 32.28 0.91 33.29 32.77 0.52
R Supraclav. 35.13 34.37 0.76 34.16 34.14 0.02 34.88 34.98 0.10 34.72 34.50 0.23
Average: 34.23 33.52 0.70 32.89 32.95 0.06 33.63 33.01 0.61 33.58 33.16 0.42
SD: 0.60 0.66 0.07 1.03 1.47 0.44 1.20 1.56 0.36 0.90 1.18 0.29
t-test: 0.000001 0.732 0.00489 0.00256
Normality: Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
t-test: 0.213 0.017
Normality: Yes Yes Yes
Equal Variance: Yes Yes Yes
W R-S test: 0.791
L = Left; R = Right; Supraclav. = Supraclavicular; Bif. = Bifurcation.
G. Chevalier et al.
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2) Subject BFemale, Caucasian, 49, with history of pain and surgery for right thumb and right lateral breast
region
Subject B’s facial thermal images were analyzed using a span of 7.01˚C and positioning between 28.22˚C and
35.23˚C. Figure 7 shows that the temperature of her face decreased significantly (32.54˚C - 31.95˚C = 0.59˚C).
Statistical details of the image markers are presented in Table 1. Figure 8 top images show Subject B’s right
Before After
Figure 7. Subject B facial thermal images before and after one hour
of grounding.
Before After
Figure 8. Top images: Subject B thermal images of the right lateral
side of the face and neck before and after one hour of grounding.
Bottom images: Subject B thermal images of the left lateral side of
the face and neck before and after one hour of grounding.
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lateral views of the face and the images below those show left lateral views of the face before and after the
grounding session. The span and positioning is the same as in Figure 7. Both sides of the face clearly cooled off.
For example the marker of the right cheek decreased significantly (31.19 ˚C - 30.34˚C = 0.85˚C). Statistical de-
tails are presented in Table 2. Figure 9 shows full anterior views of the torso before and after the grounding
session. This subject pointed a region of pain on the right side of the right breast near the arm pit, as shown by
the circled letter “P” in the before picture of Figure 9. The span and positioning for these images is between
27.54˚C and 34.55˚C. The temperature of the abdomen increased but the temperature around the neck and
shoulders decreased. Also the temperature of the right breast decreased while that of the left breast increased
bringing them into an improved temperature symmetry. The temperature of the region around the umbilicus in-
creased by exactly 0.5˚C (32.74˚C - 32.24˚C = 0.5˚C). Statistical details are presented in Table 4 and interpreta-
tion of patterns in the Discussion section.
3) Subject CFemale, Caucasian, 55, with history of uterine fibroids and lower pelvic pain
Subject C’s facial thermal images were analyzed using a span of 7.01˚C and positioning between 27.65˚C and
34.66˚C. Figure 10 shows that the temperature of her face decreased significantly (32.28˚C - 31.51˚C = 0.77˚C).
The temperature of the supraclavicular regions did not change significantly and there is no significant change in
Before After
Figure 9. Subject B thermal images showing full anterior views of the torso before
and after one hour of grounding.
Before After
Figure 10. Subject C facial thermal images before and after one hour of grounding.
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the asymmetry. Statistical details of the image markers are presented in Table 1. Figure 11 top images show
Subject C’s right lateral side of the face and the images below show her facial left lateral side before and after
the grounding session. The span and positioning is the same as in Figure 10. The right lateral side of the face
(particularly the cheek) and the anterior neck cooled off while the posterior lateral aspects of her neck became
warmer. On the left lateral side, we see a similar pattern i.e. the anterior neck cooled off while the posterior lat-
eral aspects of the neck and the supraclavicular region warmed up. Statistical details are presented in Table 2.
Figure 12 shows full anterior views of Subject C’s torso before and after the grounding session. The span and
positioning for these images is between 27.77˚C and 34.78˚C. The regions marked with the letter “P” on the left
thermal image are regions of pain as pointed out by the subject. The temperature of the torso in general de-
creased while the temperature of the region around the umbilicus increased but not significantly except for the
region immediately above the umbilicus (32.12˚C - 30.87˚C = 1.25˚C). Statistical details are presented in
Table 4.
Before After
Figure 11. Top images: Subject C thermal images of the right lateral side of the face and neck
before and after one hour of grounding. Bottom images: Subject C thermal images of the left
lateral side of the face and neck before and after one hour of grounding.
G. Chevalier et al.
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Before After
Figure 12. Subject C thermal images showing full anterior views of the torso before and after
one hour of grounding.
3.1.2. Sham-Grounded (Control) Subjects
1) Subject DMale, Caucasian, 42, with bulging disc and left lateral foot numbness
Subject D’s facial thermal images were analyzed using a span of 7˚C and positioning between 29.13˚C and
36.13˚C. In Figure 13, the temperature of the face decreased significantly (34.44˚C - 33.68˚C = 0.76˚C). The
temperature of the supraclavicular region on the right lateral side decreased by exactly 1˚C (35.07˚C - 34.07˚C =
1.00˚C) while the supraclavicular region on the left lateral side also decreased by more than 0.5˚C (34.35˚C -
33.61˚C = 0.74˚C). The asymmetry of this region was significant before the sham-grounding session and de-
creased after but not significantly (before 35.07˚C - 34.35˚C = 0.72˚C; after 34.07˚C - 33.61˚C = 0.46˚C, a de-
crease by 0.26˚C). Statistical details of the image markers are presented in Table 1. Figure 14 top images show
Subject D right lateral side and bottom images show left lateral side of the face before and after a one hour
sham-grounding session. Thermal images reveal that both right and left sides of the face and neck decreased
significantly in temperature after the sham-grounding session. Statistical details are presented in Table 2. Fig-
ure 15 shows full anterior views of Subject D’s torso before and after a one hour sham-grounding session. The
span and positioning for these images is between 28.37˚C and 35.37˚C. The entire anterior torso cooled off sig-
nificantly with the exception of the left axilla which seemed to have warmed up slightly. The temperature of the
region around the umbilicus decreased very significantly (32.26˚C - 30.02˚C = 2.24˚C). Statistical details are
presented in Table 4.
2) Subject EFemale, Caucasian, 55, with bilateral pelvic pain and inner right arm pain from shoulder to
hand
Subject E’s facial thermal images were analyzed using a span of 7.01˚C and positioning between 27.76˚C and
34.77˚C. Figure 16 shows that the temperature of the face decreased by a very significant 1.32˚C (32.75˚C -
31.43˚C = 1.32˚C). The temperature of the supraclavicular regions did not change significantly, and the asym-
metry of these regions decreased but not significantly. Statistical details of the image markers are presented in
Table 1. Figure 17 top images show right lateral side and bottom images show left lateral side of the face before
and after the sham-grounding session. Here, the thermal images reveal that the cheeks on both sides cooled off
significantly (right side: 31.37˚C - 30.31˚C = 1.06˚C; left side: 31.28˚C - 30.58˚C = 0.70˚C) while the neck
became significantly warmer (right side: 33.91˚C - 33.32˚C = 0.59˚C; left side: 33.94˚C - 33.32˚C = 0.62˚C).
Note also that the temperature of the right supraclavicular region remained about the same but the left supracla-
vicular region warmed up, although not significantly. Statistical details are presented in Table 2. Subject E’s full
anterior views of the torso are presented in Figure 18. The subject noted pelvic pain on both sides of the abdo-
men and pain in the inner side of the right arm and shoulder. They are indicated in the left thermal image by the
G. Chevalier et al.
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Before After
Figure 13. Subject D facial thermal images before and after a one hour sham-
grounding session.
Before After
Figure 14. Top images: Subject D thermal images of the right lateral side of the face
and neck before and after a one hour sham-grounding session. Bottom images: Sub-
ject D thermal images of the left lateral side of the face and neck before and after one
hour of sham-grounding.
G. Chevalier et al.
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Before After
Figure 15. Subject D’s thermal images showing full anterior views of the torso before
and after one hour of sham-grounding.
Before After
Figure 16. Subject E facial thermal images before and after a one hour sham-grounding
session.
letter “P” superimposed on the regions of pain. The span and positioning of these images is between 27.76˚C
and 34.77˚C. The entire anterior torso cooled off except for the axilla and the supraclavicular regions. The tem-
perature of the region around the umbilicus decreased significantly (32.43˚C - 31.54˚C = 0.89˚C). Statistical de-
tails are presented in Table 4.
3) Subject FFemale, African-American, 68, with left leg lateral pain and mild right lateral knee pain
Subject F’s facial thermal images were analyzed using a span of 7˚C and positioning between 28.22˚C and
35.22˚C. Figure 19 shows that the temperature of the face decreased significantly after the sham-grounding ses-
sion (31.80˚C - 31.09˚C = 0.71˚C). The temperature of the supraclavicular regions increased but not significant-
ly and the temperature asymmetry between these regions, which was not significant to start with, decreased after
G. Chevalier et al.
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Before After
Figure 17. Top images: Subject E thermal images of the right lateral side of the face and neck
before and after a one hour sham-grounding session. Bottom images: Subject E thermal images
of the left lateral side of the face and neck before and after one hour of sham-grounding.
Before After
Figure 18. Subject E’s thermal images showing full anterior views of the torso before and after
one hour of sham-grounding.
G. Chevalier et al.
1038
Before After
Figure 19. Subject F facial thermal images before and after one hour of sham-grounding.
the sham-grounding session. Statistical details of the image markers are presented in Table 1. Figure 20 top
images show the right lateral side of the face and bottom images show the left lateral side of the face before and
after a sham-grounding session. Here, thermal images reveal that the cheeks cooled off significantly (right side:
31.68˚C - 30.89˚C = 0.79˚C; left side: 31.63˚C - 30.41˚C = 1.22˚C) and that it is also the case for the right lateral
aspects of the neck (34.18˚C - 32.91˚C = 1.27˚C). The left lateral aspects of the neck also cooled off but not sig-
nificantly. The entire left lateral side of the face and neck cooled off except for the supraclavicular region which
remained essentially at the same temperature. Statistical details are presented in Table 2. Figure 21 shows full
anterior views of Subject F’s torso before and after a sham-grounding session. The span and positioning is be-
tween 28.27˚C and 35.27˚C. The entire anterior torso cooled off except around the anterior neck and the suprac-
lavicular region on the right side. The temperature around the umbilicus did not decrease significantly. Statistic-
al details are presented in Table 4.
3.2. Clinical Observations
3.2.1. Grounded Subjects
1) Subject AFemale, Caucasian, 33, with history of extensive pain
This subject has a history of multiple areas of pain indicated at a 3 on a scale from 1 - 10. Most of the entire
neck/back/arms/forearms/thighs/legs dropped down to a 1 level after the grounding session. There are signifi-
cant increases in temperature, from 1˚C - 3˚C, on almost all temperature markers, particularly over the abdomen.
Low abdominal temperature markers had the most significant increases in temperature. For example, in Figure
6 the temperature of the marker on the left side above the umbilicus increased by a very significant 3.06˚C
(33.93˚C - 30.87˚C = 3.06˚C). The abdomen had a significant improvement in symmetry from hot to cold spot
temperature difference of 4.02˚C before the grounding session to 2.12˚C after the grounding session, resulting in
an overall better abdominal homogenous temperature pattern (Table 4 and Table 5). The chest radiating heat
pattern toward both breasts (looking like a white X on the chest) is related to estrogen influences/lack of proge-
sterone/improper clearing of hormones by the liver into bile.
All markers of Figure 4 increased in temperature after the grounding session. This is due to the entire torso
surge of lymphatic/venous flow routing lymphatic fluids via the inferior vena cava/right subclavian vein/thoracic
duct into the left subclavian vein. The upper torso fluids are also routed to the heart via the superior vena cava.
This happened while grounded in order to produce a physiological homeostasis/stabilization of core temperature.
This subject had what appears to be a purging of lymphatic/venous congestion that not all subjects experienced.
As in Figure 4, all markers of Figure 5 increased in temperature. Significant overall head/neck increased tem-
peratures appear to be related to cranial fluids competing with torso fluids that are being overly dumped into the
same veins [14]-[17].
G. Chevalier et al.
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Before After
Figure 20. Top image: Subject F thermal images of the right lateral side of the face and neck be-
fore and after one hour of sham-grounding. Bottom image: Same subject thermal images of the
left lateral side of the face and neck before and after one hour of sham-grounding.
Before After
Figure 21. Subject F’s thermal images showing full anterior views of the torso before and after
one hour of sham-grounding.
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2) Subject BFemale, Caucasian, 49, with history of pain and surgery for right thumb and right lateral breast
region
Subject B has a history of right thumb pain with surgery in the region and right lateral breast region pain of a
mild intensity. Figure 7 shows significant drop in temperatures over the forehead/eye/oral regions. These indi-
cate significant improved decongestion of the anterior region of the head/neck and significant drop in inflam-
matory response over the right lower periodontal disorder. There is significant improvement of the lymphatic
drainage thermal marker along the right side of the throat to the sternum. Frequently, while viewing the suprac-
lavicular region, one sees a temporary increase in temperature with the surge of lymphatic/venous fluids to the
region, but in this case a significantly improved symmetry to the contralateral region and a drop in actual tem-
perature can be seen. This type of drainage and symmetry indicates a healthier pattern overall. Figure 8 shows a
significant drop in temperatures over the temporal and oral regions. These indicate improved temporalis myo-
fascial activity with reduced temporomandibular joint compromising effects. There is also a significant reduc-
tion in the sternocliedo hypercontractive state. The external jugular vein is hot due to distension of the vein as-
sociated with bilateral scalenus myofascitis causing entrapment and back-pressure on this vein. Looking at Fig-
ure 9 the diaphragm/hiatal region of the stomach shows minimal changes, radiating lymphatic/venous conges-
tion along the ascending/descending colon into the lower pelvic floor. There is a significant surge in lymphatic/
venous fluids from the lower extremities. The temperature of the colder areas of the abdomen (related to abdo-
minal pressure) increased and this corresponds to a reduction in distention patterns. Overall temperatures im-
proved from the diaphragm to the clavicle, with significant drop in anterior deltoid temperature and improved
symmetry of the breasts.
3) Subject CFemale, Caucasian, 55, with history of uterine fibroids and lower pelvic pain
Subject C has a history of 2 fibroid in the uterus with intermittent lower pelvic pain ranging from 2 - 4, also
right lower pelvic region. Figure 10 shows significant drop in temperatures over the following regions: fore-
head/eyes/orbit/surrounding nasal and oral regions. This is indicative of decongestion of the lymphatic/venous
system of the head/neck with reduction in histamine type thermal markers surrounding the eyes and mouth.
There is a significant reduction in periodontal inflammatory thermal markers that include the submandibular
lymphatic system. The forehead heat pattern appears related to occiput/atlas entrapment of the suboccipital nerve/
vertebral artery resulting in dural influences affecting the 5th cranial nerve, thus causing frontalis/temporalis
hypercontraction. In Figure 11, Subject C’s temporalis and temporal mandibular joint had improvement in
myofascial activity and reduction in joint compromising effects on both laterals. Yet, increased posterior neck
temperatures appear as if this subject was influenced by the elevation of the pillow and headrest of the reclining
chair. Significant drops in temperature over salivary gland sites, while the external jugular vein and the scalene
region demonstrated consistent temperatures on the pre-post study. The images of the full anterior views of the
torso shown in Figure 12 presented a drop in temperatures over the acromioclavicular joints, around the cla-
vicles, much of the spotted breast fibrocystic activity, significant drop in lymphatic/venous congestion heat pat-
tern surrounding both nipple and areola, specially on the right side, and temperature decreases in lymphatic/
venous congestion below the breast. However, the hiatal region over the stomach had only a small drop in tem-
perature, while small intestine and lower pelvic thermal markers increased by more than 1˚C with changes in
abdominal distension pattern. Abdomen changes in pattern, like those observed around the umbilicus for this
subject, are indicative of treatment/intervention effects (grounding). Autonomic control, or the lack there of,
tends to produce consistent markers and patterns in the same geographical regions. Significant increased in vas-
cular fluidity /digestive fluids/cerebral spinal fluid with improved autonomic control is related to intestinal lin-
ing motility. Clinical observations over the years have shown repeatedly that these changes in pattern do not
happen without an external intervention.
3.2.2. Sham-Grounded (Control) Subjects
1) Subject DMale, caucasian, 42, with bulging disc and left lateral foot numbness
Subject D had a bulging disc resulting in left lateral foot numbness. From Figure 13 and Figure 14 the fore-
head heat pattern appears related to pinched nerves or arteries between the back of head and neck thus affecting
the nerves over the back of the head to the forehead. After one hour of sham-grounding, Subject D had a marked
drop in eye/orbital/nasal/oral temperatures related to improved lymphatic/venous congestion. There is a reduc-
tion in histamine responses surrounding the eyes, nose and mouth with improved periodontal inflammation and
G. Chevalier et al.
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reduction in lymphatic activity below the mandible with continued throat lymphatic activity. There also appears
to be a bilateral maxillary/ethmoid sinus inflammation associated with improper cranial respiratory motion/lack
of proper sinus aeration leading toward aggressive flora development. In Figure 14, saliva gland (parotid/sub-
mandibular/sublingual) heat patterns are suggestive of enlargement. The salivary glands may hypertrophy due to
excessive stimulation by estrogen caused by iodine deficiency [18]. There is a mild to moderate temporomandi-
bular joint (TMJ) inflammation with surrounding temporal muscular clenching that appears improved after the
sham-grounding session. After 1 hour of sham-grounding, a significant drop in eye/orbital/nasal/oral inflamma-
tion with much improved lymph node below the jaw and throat inflammation can be seen. Figure 15 shows sus-
picious right upper chest heat pattern radiating toward right axilla/right supraclavicular regions associated with
lymphatic/venous congestion. That heat pattern suggests diaphragm restricted movement/excessive abdominal
pressure resulting in venous/lymphatic fluids to be congested at the diaphragm, then a re-routing of fluids along
the chest/neck finally ending into the heart. The stomach heat pattern is suggestive of improper digestion/clear-
ing of the stomach that can result in esophageal irritation/inflammation/hiatal pressure due to improper function
of the pyloric valve. Small intestine distention can be seen associated with improper forwarding of stomach flu-
ids/gallbladder fluids with issues related to an overly contracted spastic valve between the small and large intes-
tines [14]-[17]. Small Intestine distention can apply excessive pressure into the lower pelvic floor resulting in
lymphatic/venous congestion. After 1 hour of sham-grounding, an overall torso lymphatic/venous congestion
improvement can be observed with the following results: 1.28˚C (34.61˚C - 33.33˚C = 1.28˚C) drop over the
hiatal region of the stomach and 2˚C drop of most of the entire abdomen (for example the region around the um-
bilicus was 32.26˚C before and dropped to 30.02˚C after the sham-grounded session, a decreased by 2.24˚C).
However, the abdominal pattern of temperature did not change. For example, the cold spot on the lower left of
the umbilicus before the session (30.85˚C) remained the coldest spot on the abdomen after the session (28.73˚C)
while the hiatal region remained the warmest spot even while the entire torso cooled off. This is typical of a re-
laxation with no intervention situation.
2) Subject EFemale, caucasian, 55, with bilateral pelvic pain and inner right arm pain from shoulder to
hand
According to Figure 16, there is a significant drop in temperatures surrounding the orbital/nasal/oral and
frontal/temporal regions related to decongestion of lymphatic/venous systems from the head/neck. The face had
an average decrease in temperatures of 1.32˚C (32.75˚C - 31.43˚C = 1.32˚C) while the left and right supraclavi-
cular regions had a slight increase by 0.12˚C and 0.25˚C, respectively, suggestive of increases in lymphatic/
venous fluids routed through the subclavian vein. Figure 17 lateral neck image marker evaluations show in-
creased temperatures indicative of a surge of lymphatic/venous fluids routed into the subclavian vein. Post-
erior-lateral cervicocranial temperatures also appear to be related to myofascial activity that can be influenced
by the head elevation with pillow and reclining chair headrest. From Figure 18 after the sham-grounding session,
there is an overall abdominal decrease in temperatures except for the stomach/hiatal region. These results appear
to be due to improved lymphatic/venous congestion. Diaphragmatic breathing influences unidirectional valves
of both lymphatic and venous flow. After the cistern of chyli, a dilated region of the lymphatic system below the
diaphragm and prior to the thoracic duct, the diaphragm wall has a significant influence in the forward move-
ment of lymph through the thoracic duct into the left subclavian vein. A significant drop in abdominal tempera-
ture of 0.89˚C (32.43˚C - 31.54˚C = 0.89˚C) is suggestive of an improved venous/lymph return that appeared to
be due to the subject relaxing in a comfortable reclining chair which made the existing distention more apparent
with no indication of an intervention (grounding).
3) Subject FFemale, African-American, 68, with left leg lateral pain and mild right lateral knee pain
This subject indicated that she had pain along the left lateral thigh/leg with mild right lateral knee pain. Fig-
ure 19 shows significant or almost significant temperature drops in forehead/eye/orbital/cheeks/periodontal sites.
The face had an average decrease in temperature of 0.71˚C (31.80˚C - 31.09˚C = 0.71˚C) while the left and right
supraclavicular regions had insignificant temperature increases by 0.13˚C and 0.28˚C, respectively, suggestive
of an increased lymphatic/venous fluids routed through the subclavian vein. From Figure 20, significant drops
in cheeks/periodontal sites/left TMJ/upper lateral-posterior neck temperature and in lymphatic/venous conges-
tion can be seen. Slight increases in temperature are noted over the following regions: right occiput/scalenus/
supraclavicular region/right lower-anterior lymphatic involvement (localized)/right TMJ. Figure 21 shows a
significant drop of temperatures in the hiatal region of the stomach (33.99˚C - 33.47˚C = 0.52˚C). In general
G. Chevalier et al.
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abdominal sites had decreased temperatures. These effects can be attributed to relaxation with improved lym-
phatic/venous congestion without intervention (grounding). Decreases in abdominal temperatures are related to
an increased abdominal distention, suggestive of an improved venous/lymph return that appeared to be due to
the subject relaxing in a comfortable reclining chair which made the existing distention more apparent.
3.3. Statistical Analyses
3.3.1. Face Anterior View
Table 1 shows before vs. after temperature marker values from the face anterior view thermal images for within
and between group comparisons. Temperature differences above 0.5˚C are considered significant as per the dis-
cussion in Section 2.4 Statistical Analysis. From Table 1, it can be seen that each subject had a statistically sig-
nificant change in average temperature marker after the grounded session or the sham-grounded (see columns
with heading “Diff”). Looking at the last 3 columns entitled “Grounded Group Avg.” and “Control Group Avg.”,
which present the average temperature of the markers of the 3 subjects in their respective group, the grounded
group shows a decrease in average temperature of less than 0.5˚C (0.25˚C) after grounding that is barely statis-
tically significant (p = 0.0423) while the sham-grounded (control) group presents a decrease in temperature
above 0.5˚C (0.64˚C) that is highly statistically significant (p = 0.00008). Between group comparisons show that
the average temperature of the face for both groups before the session was similar (p = 0.564) and this was also
the case after the session (p = 0.958). In other words, the statistical tests could not rule out that the two groups
had the same temperature before and after the session. However, the average temperature difference (last col-
umn) is significantly smaller for the grounded group (p = 0.002), meaning that the smaller decrease in tempera-
ture observed for the grounded group compared to the control group is not a chance happening but that groun-
ding must have played a significant role in producing that difference in average temperature between groups.
Left to right differences before and after grounding and between groups were also calculated but did not show
any significant result for the face anterior view thermal images.
3.3.2. Face Lateral Views
Table 2 shows statistical results comparing before vs. after session marker temperature values within and be-
tween groups for the left and right lateral views of the face. Again, temperature differences above 0.5˚C are con-
sidered significant. Two subjects in each group show a statistically significant change in temperature comparing
before and after the session (subjects A, B, D, and F). The results for the average of the three subjects of each
group are shown in the last three columns entitled “Grounded Group Avg.” and “Control Group Avg.”, respec-
tively. There is an insignificant decrease in average temperature for the grounded group of 0.04˚C (p = 0.878)
while the sham-grounded group shows a decrease in average temperature by 0.42˚C, a statistically significant
decrease (p = 0.00256). The average temperatures between groups before the session and after the session are
similar (p = 0.213 and p = 0.791, respectively). The statistical tests could not rule out that the two groups had the
same temperature before the session and also after the session. However, similarly to the results of the face ante-
rior view images, the average temperature difference was statistically different with the grounded group having
a significantly smaller average temperature decrease than the control group (p = 0.017). The similarity of the
results presented in Table 1 and Table 2 is to be expected since we are looking at the same faces but from dif-
ferent angles.
Table 3 presents the same results as Table 2 but reorganized to emphasized left-right symmetry. In this table,
the absolute difference between left and right lateral views (labeled “Abs Diff”, taking the absolute value makes
the difference always positive) was calculated for each subject and each temperature marker before and after the
session. The difference between left-right absolute differences was then calculated by subtracting the “Before”
absolute difference from the “After” absolute difference. The result of this calculation is presented in the last
column labeled “ΔDiff” i.e. ΔDiff = After Abs Diff Before Abs Diff. If ΔDiff is positive, the implications are
that there was an increase in temperature difference between left and right lateral views of the face after the ses-
sion for that particular temperature marker and subject i.e., the symmetry as decreased (the more positive ΔDiff
is the larger the symmetry decrease). The opposite is true if ΔDiff is negative. As can be seen, ΔDiff decreased
by 0.10˚C on average for the grounded group while it increased by 0.19˚C on average for the sham-grounded
group. This difference in ΔDiff is statistically significant (p = 0.0284) meaning that the left-right facial symme-
try improvement for the grounded group as compared to the control group must be due to a real factor (groun-
ding).
G. Chevalier et al.
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Table 3. Face right and left lateral views symmetry statistics.
Subjects: Grounded Group
Before After
Marker L R Abs Diff L R Abs Diff ΔDiff
Cheeks 30.44 30.55 0.11 30.72 30.92 0.20 0.09
31.28 31.91 0.63 30.57 30.34 0.23 0.40
31.64 31.14 0.50 30.81 30.12 0.69 0.19
Carotid Bif. 32.91 32.14 0.77 33.12 33.12 0.00 0.77
33.89 34.08 0.19 33.65 33.97 0.32 0.13
33.61 33.50 0.11 33.21 33.25 0.04 0.07
Back Neck 33.73 33.10 0.63 33.95 33.92 0.03 0.60
33.94 34.00 0.06 33.76 33.93 0.17 0.11
33.79 33.67 0.12 33.75 34.15 0.40 0.28
Front Neck 32.26 31.71 0.55 32.73 32.82 0.09 0.46
33.36 33.27 0.09 33.01 32.56 0.45 0.36
32.51 32.54 0.03 32.59 32.60 0.01 0.02
Supraclav. 34.64 34.20 0.44 34.76 34.93 0.17 0.27
34.61 34.24 0.37 34.22 33.99 0.23 0.14
33.61 33.66 0.05 33.80 33.61 0.19 0.14
Average: 33.08 32.91 0.17 32.98 32.95 0.03 0.10
SD: 1.23 1.18 0.05 1.31 1.44 0.14 0.34
Normality Yes
Subjects: Control Group
Before After
Marker L R Abs Diff L R Abs Diff ΔDiff
Cheeks 33.42 33.30 0.12 32.61 32.45 0.16 0.04
31.28 31.37 0.09 30.58 30.31 0.27 0.18
31.63 31.68 0.05 30.41 30.89 0.48 0.43
Carotid Bif. 34.33 35.03 0.70 33.37 34.51 1.14 0.44
32.67 33.07 0.40 32.94 33.30 0.36 0.04
34.02 33.84 0.18 32.89 33.36 0.47 0.29
Back Neck 34.25 34.62 0.37 33.63 33.87 0.24 0.13
33.32 33.32 0.00 33.94 33.91 0.03 0.03
34.43 34.18 0.25 34.09 32.91 1.18 0.93
Front Neck 34.06 34.08 0.02 33.42 33.24 0.18 0.16
32.65 32.60 0.05 32.80 32.79 0.01 0.04
33.31 33.19 0.12 33.10 32.28 0.82 0.70
Supraclav. 34.05 35.13 1.08 33.75 34.37 0.62 0.46
34.46 34.16 0.30 34.79 34.14 0.65 0.35
35.11 34.88 0.23 35.22 34.98 0.24 0.01
Average: 33.53 33.63 0.10 33.17 33.15 0.02 0.19
SD: 1.08 1.14 0.06 1.30 1.29 0.01 0.35
Normality Yes
Equal variance: Yes
t-test: 0.0284
L = Left; R = Right; Supraclav. = Supraclavicular; Bif. = Bifurcation.
G. Chevalier et al.
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3.3.3. Full Anterior Torso Views
Table 4 shows the results of the before vs. after marker temperature differences for full anterior torso view
comparisons between groups. The last three columns entitled “Grounded Group Avg” or “Control Group Avg.”
show that the average temperature between groups before and after the session were similar (“Before” p = 0.626;
“After” p = 0.168). However, the average temperature differences were statistically significant with the grounded
group having an average temperature increase by a significant 0.88˚C while the control sham-grounded group
had a significant temperature decrease of 1.20˚C (p = 0.00212), indicative of relaxation.
Also presented in Table 4 is the difference between the maximal (hot) and minimal (cold) abdominal temper-
ature of 4 temperature markers (“Around Umbilicus”; “Btwn Breasts”; Abd Cold Spot”; “Abd Hot Spot”) before
and after the session (“Before” columns and “After” columns) for each subject and the group average before and
after the session as well as their difference (“Diff” columns). This is presented in the first row of numbers
Table 4. Full anterior torso view statistics.
Subject: A B C Grounded Group Avg.
Marker Before After Diff Before After Diff Before After Diff Before After Diff
Abd Hot-Cold: 4.02 2.12 1.90 2.31 1.37 0.94 4.60 3.20 1.40 3.64 2.23 1.41
Around Umbilicus 31.84 34.35 2.51 32.24 32.74 0.50 32.06 32.29 0.23 32.05 33.13 1.08
Btwn Breasts 34.52 34.96 0.44 33.43 33.57 0.14 33.64 33.43 0.21 33.86 33.99 0.12
Abd Cold Spot 30.50 33.09 2.59 31.42 32.39 0.97 29.04 30.23 1.19 30.32 31.90 1.58
Abd Hot Spot 33.74 35.21 1.47 33.73 33.76 0.03 33.74 34.49 0.75
Average: 32.65 34.40 1.75 32.71 33.12 0.41 31.58 31.98 0.40 32.49 33.38 0.88
SD: 1.82 0.95 0.88 1.07 0.66 0.42 2.34 1.62 0.72 1.67 1.13 0.54
t-test: 0.0406 0.149 0.432 0.0631
Normality: Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Subject: D E F Control Group Avg.
Marker Before After Diff Before After Diff Before After Diff Before After Diff
Abd Hot-Cold: 3.76 4.60 0.84 4.02 4.59 0.57 1.84 1.83 0.01 3.21 3.67 0.47
Around Umbilicus 32.26 30.02 2.24 32.43 31.54 0.89 33.40 33.18 0.22 32.70 31.58 1.12
Btwn Breasts 34.61 33.33 1.28 33.86 33.90 0.04 33.99 33.47 0.52 34.15 33.57 0.59
Abd Cold Spot 30.85 28.73 2.12 30.30 29.31 0.99 32.15 31.64 0.51 31.10 29.89 1.21
Abd Hot Spot 34.32 32.45 1.87 34.32 32.45 1.87
Average: 32.57 30.69 1.88 32.73 31.80 0.93 33.18 32.76 0.42 33.07 31.87 1.20
SD: 1.90 2.37 0.47 1.81 1.92 0.12 0.94 0.98 0.04 1.50 1.55 0.05
t-test: 0.0248 0.0980 0.0515 0.0200
Normality: Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
t-test: 0.626 0.168 0.002
Normality: Yes Yes Yes
Equal Variance: Yes Yes Yes
Abd = Abdominal; Btwn = Between.
G. Chevalier et al.
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(entitled on the left “Abd Hot-Cold”), which are calculated by looking at the highest temperature and lowest
temperature of the 4 markers. For example, looking at subject A before the session (column entitled “Before”),
the abdominal hot-cold maximum difference is 4.02˚C and it is the difference between 34.52˚C (between the
breasts) and 30.50˚C (abdominal cold spot). The same is done for after the session and for the other 5 subjects.
The average after-minus-before session difference in max-min temperatures (columns entitled “Diff”) decreased
by a significant 1.41˚C for the grounded group while it increased by 0.47˚C, a temperature difference of 1.88˚C
between groups. This means that the temperature of the abdomen became more homogeneous for the grounded
subjects (less difference between the hot and cold markers after the grounded session) while it became more in-
homogeneous for the sham-grounded subjects (increased difference between hot and cold markers after the
sham-grounded session).
Table 5 presents the abdominal hot and cold spot statistics of Table 4 in more details. Even though there are
only 3 subjects in each group, there is enough difference between groups’ hot/cold marker differences to permit
a statistical determination that the grounded group had a significantly smaller hot/cold temperature difference as
compared to the sham-grounded (control) group (p = 0.0073).
3.3.4. Combined
To test the first hypothesis, the results of the face and torso have been combined and the average and standard
deviation presented as well as statistical test results in Table 6. This table shows that, even though each subject
of the grounded group had a significant before/after temperature difference, the grounded group average did not
show a significant change (p = 0.948). This is because subject A had a significant increase while subjects B and
C had significant decreases in their temperature markers. Contrastingly, each subject of the control sham-
grounded group had a significant decrease in marker’s temperature resulting in a significant control group aver-
age temperature decrease of 0.64˚C (p = 0.00005). The between group temperature differences were statistically
significant (p = 0.00001). Even though 2 grounded subjects had temperature decreases, by 0.36˚C and
Table 5. Torso hot minus cold temperature marker comparison statistics.
Subject Before After Diff
A 4.02 2.12 1.90
B 2.31 1.37 0.94
C 4.60 3.20 1.40
Average: 3.64 2.23 1.41
SD: 1.19 0.92 0.48
t-test: 0.0364
Normality: Yes Yes Yes
Subject Before After Diff
D 3.76 4.60 0.84
E 4.02 4.59 0.57
F 1.84 1.83 0.01
Average: 3.21 3.67 0.47
SD: 1.19 1.60 0.43
Normality: Yes No Yes
W S-R test: 0.423
t-test: 0.677 0.246 0.0073
Normality: Yes Yes Yes
Equal Variance: Yes Yes Yes
G. Chevalier et al.
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Table 6. Combined face and torso statistics.
Subject: A B C Grounded Group Avg.
Before After Diff Before After Diff Before After Diff Before After Diff
Average: 32.59 33.34 0.75 33.38 33.02 0.36 32.74 32.46 0.28 32.91 32.97 0.06
SD: 1.50 1.44 0.07 1.32 1.34 0.02 1.27 1.34 0.07 1.29 1.32 0.03
Normality: Yes No No No No Yes No No Yes No No No
W S-R test: 0.00004 0.00386 0.0285 0.948
Subject: D E F Control Group Avg.
Before After Diff Before After Diff Before After Diff Before After Diff
Average: 34.17 33.36 0.81 32.87 32.44 0.43 33.13 32.55 0.58 33.41 32.77 0.64
SD: 1.19 1.64 0.45 1.23 1.54 0.31 1.22 1.45 0.23 1.07 1.32 0.25
t-test: 0.00624 0.00001
Normality: No No No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No Yes No
W S-R test: 0.00006 0.00005
t-test: 0.174 0.615
Normality: Yes Yes No
Equal Variance: Yes Yes Yes
W R-S test: 0.00001
0.28˚C respectively, these decreases were less than even the smallest decrease of the control group which was
0.43˚C (for subject E).
4. Discussion
The appearance of facial skin is a key indicator of perceived age and aging. The purpose of this study was to de-
termine if grounding the body promotes blood flow to the face, which, if confirmed, would indicate an increase
of blood-borne nutrients to the microcirculation of the skin and a subsequent improvement in facial vitality and
appearance. For this purpose both LSCI and TI were used. 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]. 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. This is what we endeavored to do with the TI scans.
Clinicians who regularly use thermal imaging find that TI can assist with understanding lymphatic fluid flow
and functional metabolism in their patients [14]-[17].
Hypothesis 1 (H1) stated that there will be a statistically significant increase in skin temperature as measured
by the TI camera when comparing images of specific skin regions of the face, neck, and torso before grounding
and after the grounding period (no change is expected for the sham-grounding period). Looking at Table 1,
which presents face frontal view results, a statistically significant decrease in average temperature of the mark-
ers can be seen for the grounded group (p = 0.0423) while a much more statistically significant decrease can be
seen for the control group (p = 0.00008). The difference in temperature differences between groups after the
session is statistically significant (p = 0.002), meaning the decrease in average temperature of the control group
was significantly more pronounced than that of the grounded group. The results presented in Table 2 for the lat-
eral views of the face are very similar. There was almost no change in average temperature after the session for
G. Chevalier et al.
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the grounded group (p = 0.878) while there was a significant decrease in average temperature for the control
group (p = 0.00256). The temperature difference between groups was also significant (p = 0.017). The results
for the abdomen presented in Table 4 show an increase in temperature greater than 0.5˚C for the grounded
group (0.88˚C, although not statistically significant) and a statistically significant decrease in temperature for the
control group (1.20˚C; p = 0.0200). From these results it is concluded that H1 was not supported, except for an
increase in temperature of the abdomen for the grounded group. However, the two groups presented very dif-
ferent results. For the grounded group, average temperature changes in the face were not significant while a sig-
nificant increase in average abdominal temperature was observed. For the control group, statistically significant
decreases in average temperatures for both the face and abdominal region were found and these were signifi-
cantly lower than the corresponding average temperatures for the grounded group.
Hypothesis 2 (H2) stated that there would be statistically significant improvements in skin temperature sym-
metry for the grounded but not for the sham-grounded group. Table 3 shows a comparison of facial right-left
symmetry for the grounded and the control group. It was found that the right-left differences of temperature
markers decreased for the grounded group (symmetry increased) while the opposite was true for the control
group. The difference in symmetry change between groups was statistically significant (p = 0.0284). Regarding
the torso, the results for change in hot vs. cold spot differences are presented in Table 5. A statistically signifi-
cant decrease in hot/cold spot difference can be seen for the grounded group (p = 0.0364) while a non-significant
increase was observed for the control group (p = 0.423). The difference in hot/cold spot results between groups
is statistically significant (p = 0.0073). These results support H2.
Hypothesis 3 (H3) stated that there would be a significant change in temperature relating to normalization of
vascular/lymphatic activity bilaterally of 0.5˚C or more of the same size parameter/geographical location taking
into account inhibiting factors involved with the lymphatic/venous return to the heart including the diaphragm,
gallbladder, and scalenus. This hypothesis relates to venous blood/lymph circulation in the torso. A decrease in
hot/cold spot has already been documented (H2). There is also a change in abdominal heat pattern that happens
only for the grounded group and is an indication of improved fluids circulation and autonomic nervous system
regulation in the abdomen as explained in details in the Clinical Observations section below. Figure 6 shows
that the average temperature around the umbilicus of subject A increased by a very significant 2.51˚C. The same
region also had a significant increase (0.5˚C) after grounding for subject B (Figure 9). While the region around
the umbilicus did not increase significantly for subject C (Figure 12), the pattern changed in a manner that is
unique to grounded subjects (see discussion in the Clinical Observations section below) and there is an increase
in temperature of the cool spot just above the umbilicus by a significant 1.25˚C. Coupling these results for
grounded subjects with significant decreases around the umbilicus for 2 control subjects (2.24˚C for subject D;
0.89˚C for subject E) and a cooling off of the torso and a significant cooling off of the face by 0.71˚C for subject
F, it is concluded that H3 is supported.
Finally, Hypothesis 4 (H4) stated that there would be normalization (improved symmetry) about pain site pa-
rameter evaluation designated with a Pointer View (PV) performed by the subject. Subject A has a history of
extensive pain indicated at a 3 on a scale from 1 - 10 when she came in for the session. Most of the entire neck/
back/arms/forearms/thighs/legs dropped down to a 1 level after the grounding session. Subject B has a history of
right thumb pain with surgery in the region and right lateral breast region pain of a mild intensity. She reported
that the pain in the region of the right breast disappeared after the session. Subject C has a history of 2 fibroids
in the uterus with intermittent lower pelvic pain ranging from 2 - 4, also pain in the right lower pelvic region.
Her abdominal pain disappeared after the grounding session. All 3 grounded subjects showed a significant de-
crease in hot/cold abdominal spot temperature difference while it increased significantly for two control subjects
and did not change for the third control subject. It is concluded that H4 was supported.
4.1. Clinical Observations
Upon examination, pre-post grounded subjects overall improved symmetry was consistently observed. While
restoring proper autonomic function, yet sustaining core temperature, grounded subjects appear to take on a
number of changes in skin temperatures of different parts of the body. Without external intervention, skin tem-
peratures, once established, are consistent year in and year out. This fact suggests that there is a thermal thumb-
print of the physiological state of an individual. We may be discovering that a person’s thermal pattern does not
change over time unless there has been a significant change in the physiological characteristics of that region for
G. Chevalier et al.
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that individual. The investigators of this study recognize that thermography as a diagnostic assessment tool has
been widely misunderstood and criticized because of the lack of ability to “norm” across groups. This study
helps to clear up some of these misunderstandings by assessing the unique patterns, symmetry and temperature
variances for an individual. Where sustained changes in abdominal temperature patterns usually take weeks to
months to show with most interventions, temperature patterns of people who were grounded changed in minutes.
All grounded subjects had an increase in total abdominal/small intestine average temperature, while all
sham-grounded subjects had a decrease in average abdominal temperature.
Additionally, grounded subjects showed significant changes in the characteristics of the shape of gut disten-
sion sites, see for example subject C in Figure 22. These changes in abdominal thermal characteristics of shape/
location in the grounded subjects are indicative of digestive fluid motility related to improved autonomic func-
tion. The abdomen of these subjects appears more homogeneous suggestive of improved symmetry even though
the bilateral thermal evaluation was not performed in this region.
One of our clinical findings over the years using thermal imaging and Earthing is that grounding produces a
surge in vascularity in the extremities, over the hiatal region of the stomach and the supraclavicular regions.
These surges appear to be temporary autonomic responses toward homeostasis. Figure 23 shows an example of
improved vascularity of the extremities and Figure 24 presents an example for the hiatal region of the stomach
and the supraclavicular regions.
Next, an example to illustrate the differences between Earthing and artificial methods for improving return of
blood and lymph fluid to the heart is presented. Compare the just mentioned results to the example of a pre-post
thermal study formed on a subject with a cardiac system device (Figure 25). The device compressed feet and
legs for 1 hour in a synchronized pattern beginning with the feet to forward the blood and lymph to the abdomen.
The process was performed to improve the venous/lymph return to the heart for cardiac patients. However, sig-
nificant increased lymphatic/venous congestion below the diaphragm and the head/neck can be seen after the
hour of synchronized compression of the lower extremities. There is a suspicious extensive lymphatic involve-
ment with focal spotted heat pattern over the abdomen in this subject. The lymphatic/venous fluids forced out of
the legs have yet to get to the heart but for that to happen these fluids need to pass through the diaphragm for a
healthy venous flow, which did not happen in this case.
As another example, full body vibration (Evolution Professional Whole Body Vibration Trainer,
http://www.evolutionhealth.com/whole-body-vibration/dkn-xg10-pro-whole-body-vibration-trainer/) was tested
on 30 subjects with 10 minutes of vibration for the purpose of improving lymphatic/venous congestion [22]. Pre
and post thermal images were recorded. It was found that 70% of the subjects responded significantly with
overall reduction in head/neck/abdominal lymphatic/venous congestion thermal markers. Figure 26(a) shows an
example of one subject who responded appropriately while Figure 26(b) shows an example of a subject who did
not benefit. The subject in Figure 26(b) is one of the 30% who had increased lymphatic/venous congestion in-
volving improper function related to diaphragm as can be seen from the thermally imaged red areas on the
chest/shoulders and around the neck. One of these nonresponsive subjects had a gallbladder attack the night after
her first vibration session. She knew she had gallstones but no one had any idea that vibration-increased lymph
and venous returns would produce such an adverse response.
Figure 22. Subject C thermal images showing the cool area around the umbilicus moving to the left and
changing shape after one hour grounding session.
G. Chevalier et al.
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Figure 23. Comparative thermal images before (1), after one hour (2) and after one day (3) of grounding re-
sulting in significant increased vascularity of the lower extremities.
Figure 24. Comparative thermal after 20 minutes of grounding with significant reduction in lower pelvic lym-
phatic/venous congestion, yet increased over the diaphragm and the base of the neck. These findings are con-
sistent with acceleration of blood and lymph return to the heart.
G. Chevalier et al.
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Figure 25. Pre-post thermal study with a cardiac system device compressing feet and legs in a
synchronized pattern for one hour to forward blood and lymph to the abdomen.
(a)
(b)
Figure 26. Pre-post 10 minutes of full body vibration. (a) Case that responded well; (b) Case that
did not respond well.
G. Chevalier et al.
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These examples where it is attempted to mechanically force blood circulation through the diaphragm and their
mixed results demonstrate that mechanical methods of increasing vascular return to the heart do not compare
with Earthing which improves naturally blood and lymph return to the heart through the diaphragm barrier by
having an influence over the ANS and the hypothalamus resulting in improved circulation to the heart and other
organs.
The regions of primary routing for lymphatic/venous return to the heart are through the abdominal/thoracic
barriers such as the mesentery, peritoneum, and pericardial regions. When restricted diaphragmatic movement
occurs, the venous blood returns via the inferior vena cava to the right atrium because it has difficulty returning
to the heart using the usual path, causing a rerouting of the venous blood [14]-[17]. In that case, the venous re-
turn goes to the outer abdominal wall along the chest to the axilla then to the subclavian vein/superior vena cava
then finally to the heart, resulting in a characteristic heat pattern seen over the chest, shoulder and neck areas.
Diaphragmatic myofascial activity is associated with restricted respiration secondary to lack of proper inner-
vation by the phrenic nerve originating from the lower neck (vertebra C4, C5 and C6). Diaphragm disorders may
be one sided (the right phrenic nerve controls the right side of the diaphragm, the left phrenic nerve controls left
side of the diaphragm). A fully functional diaphragm facilitates proper digestion and proper return of venous/
lymph from the lower body. The dome-like muscle that is the diaphragm primes the venous/lymph fluids back to
the heart for two primary goals: oxygenation and proper volume of fluid return to the heart. Improper fluid re-
turn to the heart may result in increased blood pressure resulting in venous distention (bulge) of the venous sys-
tem commonly referred to as hemorrhoid/varicose veins/lower extremity edema.
A functional/coordinated diaphragm with solar plexus stimulation will initiate proper digestive sequence, par-
ticularly related to hydrochloric acid (HCL)/pancreatic enzyme/bile delivery from the gallbladder. The proper
forwarding of digestive fluids proceeds as follows: from the stomach (mixed with HCL), to the small intestines
to neutralize HCL and oil/fat breakdown with bile, and pancreatic enzymes for carbohydrate breakdown and
absorption of protein/fats/carbohydrates, to the large intestines for the re-absorption of fluids with proper culti-
vated bacteria processing feces to produce vitamins. This sequence is predicated by proper valve coordinating
such as: pyloric valve (stomach), ileocecal valve (small to large intestines), and anal valve (rectum). Dysfunc-
tional diaphragm and valves may produce the following symptoms: a spastic pyloric valve can result in stomach
ulcers, hiatal hernia, acid reflex, and gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD); a dysfunctional ileocecal valve
may result in appendicitis, leaky gut syndrome; and a spastic anal valve can produce hemorrhoids, fistulas, con-
stipation, and toxemia. Note that the gallbladder produces 5 - 10 fold concentrate of bile salts equivalent to 12
hours of liver bile secretion.
Any prolonged presence of digestive fluids, and circulating undigested proteins can result in inflamma-
tion/distention (bulge) in the abdomen thus resulting in improper digestion. Digestive disorders lead into food
sensitivity and liver defensive responses causing frequent histamine/allergen responses that thermographically
are noted as increased temperature around the eyes/nose/mouth. Diaphragm disorders can result in increased
upper abdominal temperatures suggestive of venous/lymphatic congestion due to stasis (prolonged presence) of
fluids having difficulty retuning to the inferior vena cava through the diaphragm thus forcing fluids to be routed
to the exterior abdominal walls up the chest into the subclavian vein/superior vena cava and then to the heart.
The process just described was termed by Dale Alexander the Inside-Out Paradigm [15]-[17]. Chronic diaph-
ragm dysfunction with emotional distress may lead into gallbladder disorders causing fluids left in the gall-
bladder for prolonged periods that can result in stone development. A distended gallbladder with gallstones lies
in front of the inferior vena cava (the primary route for the return venous fluid from the lower body) causing en-
trapment significantly adding to the Inside-Out Paradigm as described.
The integrity of the spinal/pelvic structure influences digestion due to the possible lack of proper innervation
and physical abdominal compression. The spinal/cranial/pelvic structural unit responds much like a door that
when stress out of normal level distorts (like a warped door). Spinal distortion, especially in the sitting posture,
tends to displace the organs adding abdominal pressure when the pelvic is backwardly tilted producing a flat-
tened to reversed lower back curve. The distance between the pubic bone to the sternum may decrease 50% from
sitting to standing resulting in significant abdominal internal pressure producing the following effects: restricted
diaphragm motion, difficulty in venous/lymph movement including difficulty in venous/lymph fluids from the
lower extremities to return to the heart. Left/right lateral (side to side) spinal displacement (leaning) may add
more difficulty over the side of abdominal clenching adding to the lack of venous/lymphatic fluid draining.
Lymph derived from the liver and intestines carry nutrients, fats, and also bacteria and large particles which
G. Chevalier et al.
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can include endotoxins/exotoxins from those organisms found in the gut. Thus, lymph nodes are used as collec-
tion sites for bacteria and toxins. When these sites are overwhelmed these bacteria/toxins can overflow in the
arterial system resulting in cardiovascular problems [23].
4.2. Statistical Analyses
In Table 1, it can be seen that the average difference in temperatures of the front view of the face decreased af-
ter both the grounded and sham-grounded sessions (p = 0.0423 and p = 0.00008, respectively). However, the
decrease in temperature was more than 0.5˚C for the sham grounded group only (0.64˚C vs. 0.25˚C for the
grounded group). It is also noted that there was a statistically significant difference between groups (p = 0.002),
indicating that the temperature decrease of the sham-grounded group is statistically significantly larger than that
of the grounded group. Subject A was the only subject with an increase in temperature of the face and the in-
crease was significant (greater than 0.5˚C) and as such is the main contributor of the reason why the temperature
decrease of the grounded group was less than that of the control group. However, subject A was chosen because
it represented other subjects with similar increases after a grounding session. This was not seen for the control
group i.e. no control subject showed an increase in facial temperature after a sham-grounding session. In this
regard, the results of Table 1 are a reflection of the trends seen in our grounded subjects compared to the control
subjects as a whole. In summary, Table 1 results indicate that, in average, the front of the face cooled a little for
the grounded group while it cooled a lot more for the control group, in fact so much more that it can be said that
the cooling seen for the control group is significantly different from that of the grounded group.
Table 2 shows a decrease in the average temperature of the left and right sides of the face combined. The de-
crease was negligible for the grounded group (0.04˚C; p = 0.878) while it was significant for the control group
(0.42˚C; p = 0.00256). There was a statistically significant difference in temperature decreases between groups
(p = 0.0017), indicating that the temperature decrease of the sham-grounded group can be considered significant
while that of the grounded group is not. The minimal changes in facial temperatures seen in Table 1 and Table
2 for the grounded group are an indication of higher blood flow to the face for that group.
Table 3 shows decreased left-right difference in facial temperature markers for the grounded group (an aver-
age of 0.10˚C) and an increased for the control group (+0.19˚C). This difference is statistically significant (p =
0.0284). In other words, facial temperature symmetry improved for the grounded group but became worse for
the control group and these group differences in symmetry are statistically significant i.e. there is a real im-
provement in symmetry for the grounded group compared to the control group. The more uniform temperature
of the different regions of the face for the grounded group is an indication that there is better blood flow as
compared to the sham-grounded (control) group.
A comparison of the change in maximum and minimum temperature differences of the abdomen (Table 4,
rows named “Abd-Hot-Cold:”) shows that the average max-min temperature difference decreased by a signifi-
cant 1.41˚C after the grounding session while it increases by 0.47˚C after the sham-grounded session, a signifi-
cant difference of 1.88˚C. This is an indication of improve blood/lymph/fluids circulation in the abdomen for the
grounded group. Table 5 presents a more detailed analysis of these hot-cold spots. From that table, it is seen that
the decrease in average hot-cold spot temperature differences for the grounded subjects is statistically significant
(p = 0.0364) while the increase in average hot-cold spot temperature differences for the control group is not sta-
tistically significant (p = 0.423). Furthermore, the difference in hot-colds spots differences behavior between
groups was statistically significant (p = 0.0073). In other words, there was a real decrease in hot-cold spots tem-
perature differences for the grounded group but no real change for the control group and the difference in
hot-cold spots temperature differences between group was real, i.e., caused by some factor (grounding), not pla-
cebo.
Coming back to Table 4, the average of the temperature markers around the umbilicus, between breasts, ab-
dominal cold spot and abdominal hot spot, shows a significant increase by 0.88˚C for the grounded group (p =
0.0631; not statistically significant but the temperature increased by more than 0.5˚C) while the average of the
temperature markers for the same spots for the sham-grounded group show a statistically significant decrease of
1.20˚C (p = 0.0200), for a temperature difference of 2.08˚C between groups. These results point toward very
significant differences in the physiological responses of the grounded subjects compared to the sham-grounded
(control) subjects. As stated in the Clinical Observation section of the Discussion, abdominal temperature pat-
terns rarely change unless there is an influencing factor (in this case grounding). It can be seen from Figure 15,
G. Chevalier et al.
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Figure 18 and Figure 21 that there is a drop in temperature of the abdomen for all 3 sham-grounded subjects
(even while the max-min difference increased) and that the abdomen retained the same temperature patterns be-
fore and after sham-grounding (the regions with low temperatures stayed cool or became cooler and the warm
regions remained warm regions even if cooler or became warmer). This is not the case for grounded subjects
where the changes in abdominal temperature increased or decreased in different ways in different regions. For
example, Figure 6 shows that almost the entire abdomen of subject A became very hot below the breasts and
above the waist line after the grounding session, most of the cool spots around the umbilicus became hot spots;
Figure 9 shows a cool region around the umbilicus of subject B that became a hot region on the left of the um-
bilicus; Figure 12 shows a cold region around the umbilicus of subject C which moved to the left of the umbili-
cus after the grounding session (taking the shape of a duck). These distinct changes in temperature pattern are
only seen for the grounded subjects and may be explained by a change in fluids movements and blood circula-
tion that took place only for the grounded group.
Combining face and torso statistics (Table 6) yields similar results in that there is minimal change in the
overall average temperature for the grounded group (an increase by 0.06˚C) and a significant decrease in overall
average temperature for the sham-grounded group by 0.64˚C (p = 0.00005). These differences in temperature
behaviors between groups is not due to chance alone, they are very significant (p = 0.00001), and consequently
must be attributed to a factor different than placebo i.e. grounding.
Low temperature patterns reflect distensions in the abdomen and these distensions improved (decreased) for
grounded subjects but not for the sham-grounded control subjects. This result reflects changes in fluid move-
ment patterns in the small intestine or the colon and this is seen only in the grounded group. This result suggests
improvement in digestive fluid movements, which denotes an improvement in autonomic nervous function and
regulation. This result is congruent with the results obtained using the LSCI where improvement in ANS control
of the facial blood circulation was found [7].
4.3. Possible Mechanisms
The results presented here show that even one-hour contact with the Earth appears to promote autonomic nerv-
ous system (ANS) 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. All grounded subjects
showed changes in abdominal patterns not seen with control subjects as already noted (Figure 22). This is an
indication of intervention effects (grounding). The lack of autonomic control tends to produce consistent mark-
ers and patterns in the same geographical regions of the abdomen. Significant increase in vascular fluidity, di-
gestive fluids and cerebral spinal fluid with improved autonomic control is related intestinal lining motility. As
already noted, clinical observations over the years have shown repeatedly that these changes in pattern do not
happen without an external intervention.
The intestinal blood circulation and peristaltism are controlled by many local and neuronal mechanisms.
However, these control systems are modulated by the ANS [24] [25]. Therefore, the present results suggest that
connection with the Earth supports a more efficient autonomic nervous system (ANS) regulation of the abdomen
as well as of the face. It is also possible that the lower viscosity and aggregation of red blood cells (RBCs) pro-
duced by grounding result in an improved blood flow in the face and abdomen [7] [26]. In a previous publica-
tion, grounding was shown to improve regulation of facial blood flow as shown by dynamical pictures taken
with a laser speckle contrast imaging (LSCI) camera [7]. Since this previous finding came from the same study
with the same subjects, the discussion and mechanisms mentioned in [7] also apply here; namely, increased zeta
potential, decreased red blood cell aggregation, improved overall physiology, and reduction in stress [7].
4.4. Study Limitations
The results shown here for six subjects are representative of what was seen with the other subjects of this study.
The results of all 40 subjects could not be presented for lack of space but they are similar to the results presented
here. Because of the small number of subjects, this experiment needs to be replicated and subjects could be fol-
lowed for longer period of times to confirm improvements in blood circulation of the face and abdomen as well
as improvement in digestive and intestinal function. More robust statistical analyses could be performed with
more subjects. Limitation in resources prevented the authors to perform statistical analyzes on all the subjects.
The present results reinforced the previous observation that the ANS increased its control of the body for the
G. Chevalier et al.
1054
grounded subjects but no real change was seen for the controls except changes that can be explained by relaxa-
tion. The different ways of looking at temperature marker changes before vs. after sessions and the different
comparisons between groups confirm that there is enough difference between the grounded group and the sham-
grounded (control) group to suggest a beneficial effect of grounding i.e., mainly an increase ANS control over
the distribution of fluids in the body including better blood flow to the face after a one hour grounding session.
Only data of 3 subjects per group have been presented but these subjects are representative of 27 grounded sub-
jects and the 13 sham-grounded subjects for which thermal images have similarly been recorded.
5. Conclusion
The Earth possesses a form of easily accessible beneficial natural energy that has been demonstrated previously
to influence positively human physiology and health. The results of this innovative study demonstrate, for the
first time, that even one-hour contact with the surface of the earth appears to promote significant increase in
blood flow regulation to the head and torso that may enhance skin tissue repair, health, and vitality, and optimize
facial appearance. Thermal imaging showed clearly improved fluids movements in the abdomen as well as im-
proved blood circulation of the face and throughout the torso, which in turn, may translate into better health.
Further study, using larger comparison groups and longer follow up time, is warranted in order to confirm the
novel influence of the Earth as a protector of skin and overall health and wellbeing.
Acknowledgements
The authors wish to thank Linda Hayes, C.C.T., and Theresa Williams, C.C.T., of TTI for recruiting study sub-
jects, conducting all imaging activities, as well as administering subject questionnaires. Earth FX, Inc., funded
the study and the products were donated by earthing.com.
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Appendix A
A.1. Thermal Imaging Protocol Prior to Appointment
1) No shaving 24 hours.
2) No sunbathing/ exercising 12 hours (No imaging if sunburned until recovered).
3) No lotions, creams, deodorants, powders 2 hours prior (must be wiped off gently).
4) No eating, no eating or drinking caffeine/ nicotine products 2 hours prior.
5) No manipulation/ massage/ ultrasound therapy 2 hours prior.
6) No mints/gum chewing 2 hours prior.
The thermal imaging technician will verify that each of the 6 points above has been followed. Since each of
these points has a clear thermal signature, the technician will be able to determine if one or more of these
are present in the thermal images and ask the subject to come back another time if one of these patterns is
found.
A.2. Thermal Imaging Protocol during Appointment
At the beginning and at the end of a session, a series of thermal images will be taken of the subject with the
Thermography Unlimited (TU), LLC software. This software has the template images shown in Figure A1 to
properly identify each image. Template images 9, 10, 11 and 16 will be used in this study. All template images
will have a temperature window span of 7˚C.
Common temperature measurement sites with exactly the same ellipse parameters (markers) will be per-
formed within TU software and are transferable from an initial study file to the comparatives (see Appendix B
for ellipse locations or markers to be used for comparisons). Markers render an average temperature able to be
placed directly on the image.
Appendix B
List of temperature markers for quantitative comparison of the average temperature inside one marker with the
average temperature inside another marker related by body location or otherwise.
Figure A1. Guide/template images used by TU LLC software.
G. Chevalier et al.
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Frontal thermal markers: above the medial canthus on the forehead, associated with suboccipital entrapment
of the vertebral artery/greater occipital nerve, dural conflict at the foramen magnum influencing 5th cranial
nerve, orbital/ocular distress.
Orbitopalpebral sulcus superior markers: upper eyelids, classically this region has the highest temperature of
the face/neck, while the ethmoid sinus region has the lowest temperature.
Eye thermal markers: indications of excessive lymphatic/venous congestion/inflammation; may be corre-
lated with kidney distress commonly caused by digestive disorders resulting in kidney waste management
issues.
Maxillary sinus markers: chronic sinus disorders having hypothermia suggestive of chronic sinus dysfunc-
tion related to 5th cranial disorder. Acute sinus disorder with hyperthermia (commonly both acute/chronic)
will have throat inflammatory temperatures due to sinus drainage.
Total face thermal maker: used to compare total average temperature of the face.
Periodontal/oral pathology thermal markers (also termed mouth corner markers): inflammatory responses
orally with submandibular spotted lymphatic involvement that can be forwarded into deep/superficial ante-
rior neck nodes usually ending above the thyroid.
Supraclavicular markers: demonstrates lymphatic/venous congestion responses due to entrapment between
over contracted scalene/sternocliedo into the first rib complicated by dropped shoulder and lateral head/neck
tilt. The supraclavicular region has significant increases in temperature related to lower body venous return
redirected/rerouted into the base of the cervical spine 14 - 16.
Temporal mandibular joint marker: above the external auditory meatus.
Carotid bifurcation marker: below the jaw over the carotid, related to salivary gland when irregular
shaped.
Lateral cervical anterior and posterior markers: survey of myofascial activity.
Scalene/external jugular vein marker: monitors the contractive state of the scalenus and possible entrapment
influences to the external jugular vein/anterior jugular vein. Speculated that carotid inflammation/calcifica-
tion relate to external jugular vein distention thermal marker due to back pressure unilaterally forwarding
that pressure into the carotid artery.
Lateral face marker: survey symmetry related to 5th/7th cranial nerve autonomic control. Lateral of the face
hypothermia may be associated with Bell’s Palsy.
Lower throat thermal marker: related to sinus drainage/stomach regurgitation of stomach fluids.
Esophageal/hiatal stomach thermal marker: esophageal disorders are commonly involved with 10th cranial
nerve disorders which controls the peristaltic lower 1/3 of the esophagus/stomach acidity/pyloric valve
opening.
Abdominal high/low thermal marker: High temperature related to inflammation/improper forwarding of di-
gestive fluids/lymphatic involvement of which aggressive flora development is suspected as cause. Lower
temperature related to abdominal distention type thermal marker involving the distal end of the ileum prior
to the ileocecal valve.
Total abdominal/mall intestine survey marker: marker of the extent of distention over the abdomen; marker
of the distension of the small intestine if distension is only over the small intestine. Abdominal distention
thermal marker patterns generally stay the same, except when changes exist in thermal pattern suggestive of
significant change in movement of digestive fluids. Example: Subject C significant low distention site above
the umbilicus, while after Earthing resulting in a duck shaped hypothermal left lateral to the umbilicus with
increased temperature above the umbilicus by 1.3 degrees C.
Linear lateral abdominal fold thermal marker: can be used as a barrier to reduce upper to lower abdominal/
pelvic pressure.
Diaphragm thermal marker: follow linear outline of the diaphragm; well delineated over the superior aspect
while more defuse extension of temperature over the inferior aspect depending on the venous congestive
responses. Commonly the lateral of most diaphragmtic congestion will coincide with supraclavicular lym-
phatic/venous congestion. Lower pelvic floor congestion is directly related to diaphragm congestive re-
sponses.
Pictorial representations of marker locations
G. Chevalier et al.
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G. Chevalier et al.
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Appendix C
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Both the amplitude and the phase of the ionospheric potential and Carnegie curve of atmospheric electricity are considered to distinguish causes for the negatively charged earth in fair weather. Satellite-observed longitudinal distributions of electrical activity are convolved with local diurnal variations of cloud-to-ground lightning and point discharge current to produce universal diurnal variations which are compared with the Carnegie curve. The amplitude ratio (maximum-minimum)/mean) for the predicted universal diurnal variation of point discharge shows good agreement with the Carnegie curve, whereas the predicted amplitude ratio for lightning is 2–3 times greater. These comparisons suggest that conduction current other than lightning is the dominant charging agent for the Earth's surface.
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Laser speckle contrast imaging (LSCI) is a novel non-invasive microvascular imaging modality. The present study evaluates the validity and reliability of LSCI by comparison with infrared thermography (IRT) for the dynamic assessment of digital microvascular function in healthy volunteers. Subjects attended on 3 occasions. Simultaneous assessment of cutaneous perfusion at 3 distinct regions of interest (ROI) within the hands was undertaken using LSCI and infrared thermography (IRT) at baseline, and at 13s intervals over 15 min following a standardised local cold challenge. Endpoints for evaluation included absolute measurements at baseline and following cold stress, in addition to the characteristics of the re-warming curves (maximum % recovery and maximum gradient). Visits 1 and 2 were undertaken in identical conditions (ambient temperature 23°C) to assess reproducibility, whereas visit 3 was undertaken at a lower ambient room temperature of 18°C to evaluate responsiveness to reduction in ambient room temperature. Fourteen healthy participants completed the study. There was greater variability in the data generated using LSCI compared with the highly damped IRT, reflecting greater sensitivity of LSCI to physiological variation and movement artefact. LSCI and IRT correlated well at baseline and following cold challenge for all endpoints (r(s) for pooled data between 0.5 and 0.65, p<0.00005). Reproducibility of both IRT and LSCI was excellent (ICCs>0.75) for absolute assessments but lower for re-warming curve characteristics. LSCI provides greater spatial resolution than IRT identifying variation in cutaneous perfusion within the hands most likely associated with the presence of arteriovenous anastamoses. Both techniques were responsive to reduction in ambient room temperature. Effect sizes were greatest for IRT than LSCI (e.g. -1.17 vs. -0.85 at ROI 1 at baseline) although this may represent heat transfer rather than altered vascular perfusion. In the dynamic assessment of digital vascular perfusion, LSCI correlates well with IRT, is reproducible and responsive to reduction in ambient room temperature. Absolute measurements appear preferable to parameters derived from re-warming curve characteristics when assessing digital perfusion following cold challenge. The greater temporal and spatial resolution of LSCI compared with IRT may facilitate the development of novel assessment tools of autonomic function and digital cutaneous perfusion.