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8 ALTERNATIVE THERAPIES, SEP/OCT 2017 VOL. 23 NO. 5
Electric Nutrition: e Surprising Health and
Healing Benets of Biological Grounding
Stephen T. Sinatra, MD, FACC; James L. Oschman, PhD; Gaétan Chevalier, PhD; Drew Sinatra, ND, LAc
Context • Modern biomedicine has discovered that many
of the most debilitating diseases, as well as the aging process
itself, are caused by or associated with chronic inammation
and oxidative stress. Emerging research has revealed that
direct physical contact with the surface of the planet
generates a kind of electric nutrition, with surprisingly
potent and rapid anti-inammatory and antioxidant eects.
Objectives • e objective of this study was toexplain the
potential of grounding to clinicians as a simple strategy
for prevention, therapy, and improving patient outcomes.
e research summarized here has pursued the goal of
determining the physiological and clinical signicance
Design • e research team has summarized more than
12 peer-reviewed reports. Where appropriate, blinded
studies examined in this paper were conducted using a
variety of statistical procedures.
Interventions • In all cases, the intervention examined
conductive contact between the surface of Earth and the
study’s participants, using conductive bed sheets, oor or
desk pads, and electrode patches, such as those used in
Results • All studies discussed revealed signicant
physiological or clinical outcomes as a result of grounding.
Conclusion • is body of research has demonstrated the
potential of grounding to be a simple, natural, and
accessible clinical strategy against the global epidemic of
noncommunicable, degenerative, inammatory-related
diseases. (Altern er Health Med. 2017;23(5):8-16)
Stephen T. Sinatra, MD, FACC, is an assistant clinical professor
of medicine at the School of Medicine, University of
Connecticut in Farmington, Connecticut. James L. Oschman,
PhD, is president of Nature’s Own Research Association in
Dover, New Hampshire. Gaétan Chevalier, PhD, is a visiting
scholar in the Department of Family Medicine and Public
Health, School of Medicine, University of California,
San Diego in San Diego, California. Drew Sinatra, ND, LAc,
is a naturopathic doctor of integrative medicine at the
CLEAR Center for Health in Mill Valley, California.
Corresponding author: James L. Oschman, PhD
E-mail address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Health experts describe a sharp rise in
noncommunicable diseases as a major challenge
and barrier to global development in the
21st century. e diseases include cardiovascular, respiratory,
neurodegenerative, and autoimmune diseases; type 2
diabetes; chronic kidney disease; and some cancers.
ese conditions aect all nationalities and classes and
are reaching epidemic proportions worldwide, accounting
for approximately 40 million deaths annually.1 e costs in
terms of human suering and the economics of health care
are staggering. e former director general of the World
Health Organization (WHO) has described the situation as
an impending disaster, commenting that the “root causes of
these diseases are not being addressed.”2
Modern biomedicine has discovered that many of the
most debilitating diseases, as well as the aging process itself,
are caused by or associated with chronic inammation and
oxidative stress, intimately related pathologies. Cells of the
immune system release various reactive species, known as free
radicals, at sites of inammation, promoting escalating
oxidative stress, intracellular signaling cascades, and
proinammator y gene expression. Both chronic-inammation
and oxidative-stress processes can be simultaneously in play in
many chronic disorders.3
Age is another factor; people are living longer. Researchers
have documented the deterioration of the immune system as
humans age, referring to it as immune-senescence. A prominent
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Sinatra—Electric Nutrition ALTERNATIVE THERAPIES, SEP/OCT 2017 VOL. 23 NO. 5 9
medical theory, repeatedly conrmed, states that the general
deterioration during aging is caused by oxidative stress and
results in inammation and injury to cells and DNA and
protein cross-linking that creates wrinkles in the skin and
impairs enzymatic functioning. As an example, chronic,
low-grade inammation is recognized as one of the major risk
factors underlying brain aging.4
As of the end of May 2017, approximately 202
studies have correlated inammation with various diseases,
led by cancer, with 66
Inﬂammation is deﬁned as a localized response to
trauma or infection that can wall o damaged tissues until
the immune system removes foreign matter, damaged cells,
and bacteria. e wall, or inammatory barricade, serves the
function of preventing bacteria or other pathogens or debris
resulting from an injury from penetrating nearby heathy
tissues. e problem is that the barricade can also be
relatively impermeable to circulating antibiotics and
antioxidant molecules, slowing the healing response and
preventing regenerative cells from entering the region that
Because of the barrier, interac tions between inammation
and oxidative stress can continue—long aer the injury—as
a vicious cycle created by the immune system’s relentless and
unsuccessful eorts to complete the healing process. A low
level of chronic inammation, oen referred to as
silent inammation, can thus continue for years, damaging
and compromising the functioning of adjacent healthy
tissues and unnecessarily weakening the immune system.
ese situations pose a challenge to the physician
because a small pocket of chronic inammation from an old
injury can release toxins into the body uids that gradually
compromise distant organs. e diculty for the physician is
nding the source of the problem, which can be a pocket of
inammation from a long-forgotten trauma, an unrecognized
dental issue seemingly (but not) resolved, or a walled-o
tissue injury, to mention a few.
is inammation process has been summarized in a
recent publication6 and was rst described by Selye7 in his
classic 1956 book, e Stress of Life, and in his various journal
articles. Selye’s work tied inﬂammatory responses to stress,
cortisol secretion, and adaptation. Based on Selye’s work, the
current research team has proposed that the inammatory
barricade is formed by a coagulation of debris that has been
produced by collateral damage from highly reactive free
radicals, which have been leaking beyond the injury site and
damaging previously healthy tissue.
Selye’s histological studies showed that the inammatory
barricade is composed of connective tissue. Selye developed
a model for his studies in which he injected air under the
skin to create an articial inammatory pocket, which came
to be known as a Selye or granuloma pouch. e method has
been used in nearly 2000 studies of inammation. Selye
injected various irritants or pathogens into such pouches to
research the ways cortisol and related hormones aected
One of these studies examined the eects of the bacteria
that cause rheumatic fever. Gundry,8 a cardiologist, has
described the mechanism. Strep throat, caused by β-hemolytic
Streptococcus, can lead to rheumatic fever, which can lead to
rheumatic heart disease and the slow destruction of the heart
valves. e immune system recognizes proteins on the surface
of the bacteria and attacks and destroys them. Unfortunately,
cells comprising the heart valves contain a very similar protein,
and the immune system mistakenly identies them as
Streptococcus and then silently, painlessly, and systematically
attacks the valves. Eventually, the destruction involved may
require valve replacement. is process is a classic example of
how an old inammatory condition can slowly lead to damage
to a distant organ or tissue.
Today, clinicians routinely deal with the manifestations
of inammation by prescribing anti-inammatory drugs.
Such drugs are important clinical agents in their ability to
reduce inammation-related pain, but they have substantial
side eects. Practitioners of alternative medicine bring other
factors into the picture, such as a noninammatory diet,
targeted supplementation, and mind-body techniques.
Many studies have investigated the potential of
nutritional antioxidants to prevent or ameliorate diseases
such as cardiovascular disorders, cancer, diabetic
complications, and Alzheimer’s disease. Results of these
antioxidant trials are mixed in humans. Some studies indicate
positive health eects; others show no eects or even harmful
eects. Among the reasons for lack of consistent ndings
could be that the studies have not selected agents that target
inammation and oxidative stress simultaneously or use
agents that block some of the oxidative and/or inammatory
pathways but exaggerate others.3 e best dietary antioxidant
or combination of nutrients for reducing cancer risks is
e current research team sees the inammatory
barricade as a barrier that prevents circulating antibiotics,
anti-inammatory drugs, and nutritional supplements from
reaching the sites where they are needed. As a wall of
connective tissue, the barricade is relatively impenetrable to
these molecules. However, connective tissue is primarily
composed of collagen molecules, and research has shown
that collagen is a semiconductor, which is a class of materials
providing electron conductance between an insulator and a
conductor. Hence, the barricade, with its role in isolating
chronic inammation from nearby healthy tissue, can prevent
antioxidants from reaching the free radicals in the
inammatory pouches and completing the inammatory
process. Electrons, however, can cross the barrier by
One overlooked element in the human environment—
the surface of Planet Earth, including its landmasses and
bodies of water—may provide a potent and surprising
natural remedy for this challenge and the alarming rise in
chronic inammatory-related diseases. e current study
intended to evaluate the physiological and clinical signicance
of biological grounding.
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10 ALTERNATIVE THERAPIES, SEP/OCT 2017 VOL. 23 NO. 5
THE MISSING LINK: PLANET EARTH
In the late 19th century, a back-to-nature movement in
Germany claimed many health benets from being barefoot
or sleeping naked on the ground outdoors, even in cold
weather.10 In the 1920s, G. S. White, an American medical
doctor, investigated the practice of sleeping grounded aer
being informed by some individuals that they could not sleep
properly unless they were on the ground or connected to the
ground in some way, such as with copper wires attached to
water, gas, or radiator pipes that were grounded to Earth. He
reported improved sleep using these techniques.11 However,
these ideas never caught on in mainstream society.
At the end of the 20th century, Ober12 in the United States
and Sokal and Sokal13 in Poland independently found distinct
physiological and health benets with the experimental use of
a variety of indoor conductive arrangements—bed pads, mats,
EKG and TENS-type electrode patches, and copper plates—
connected to Earth outside.
Ober, a pioneer in the cable-television industry,
recognized a similarity between the stabilizing eects of
ground energy on television cable systems specically and on
electrical systems in general and its eects on the human
body.12 Sokal and Sokal,13 meanwhile, concluded that
grounding the human body represents a universal regulating
factor in nature that strongly inuences bioelectrical,
bioenergetic, and biochemical processes and appears to oer
a signicant modulating eect on chronic illnesses.
It is a well-known scientic fact that Earth possesses a
slightly negative electric charge, the result of countless lightning
strikes and solar radiation, among other factors. is planetary
attribute is based on a virtually limitless, unseen, and
continuously renewed reservoir of free electrons, which are
negatively charged subatomic particles.14,15 We use the terms
free or mobile electrons to distinguish them from charged ions,
which diuse much more slowly through tissue uids.
roughout the world, electrical systems are connected
to Earth’s surface and its negative charge to maintain stability
and safety. ese systems, from large grids and power
stations to homes, buildings, and factories as well as the
machinery and appliances that are operated by electricity, are
thus said to be grounded or earthed.
Herein lies the surprise. Research conducted for more
than a decade has demonstrated that Earth’s charge and
storehouse of electrons represent a major natural resource of
health and healing. Research on biological grounding is now
suggesting that this very same electric charge on the planet’s
surface plays a governing and nurturing role for both the
animal and plant kingdoms—a form of electric nutrition, so
to speak. It appears to have the potential to restore, normalize,
and stabilize the internal environment of the human body’s
countless bioelectrical systems that govern the functions of
organs, tissues, cells, and biological rhythms.16,17
Signicant benets—such as better sleep, reduced
inammation and pain, and improved blood ow—result
from walking barefoot outdoors or sitting, working, or
sleeping indoors in contact with conductive sheets, pads,
mats, bands, and patches that are connected to Earth. Such
contact is believed to transfer Earth’s free or mobile electrons
from the ground into the body, a transfer resulting in rapid,
sometimes instant, and signicant physiological changes now
documented in multiple published studies, most of them
roughout history, humans mostly walked barefoot
and slept on the ground, or they used footwear and bedding
fashioned from animal skins that become permeated with
body perspiration or ground moisture and thus permitted
transfer of Earth’s electrons into the electrically conductive
body. rough this mechanism, every part of the body could
equalize with the electric potential of Earth.
Modern lifestyles, however, have increasingly created a
barrier between humans and a natural conduction of Earth’s
electrons into the body. Since the 1950s, for example, humans
have increasingly worn insulating rubber or plastic soled
shoes, instead of traditional leather, fashioned from hides and
largely conductive. Obviously, humans also no longer sleep in
conductive contact with the ground as they did in times past.
e results of grounding research raise an important
question. Does the current disconnect with Earth’s electrons
represent a critically important and overlooked contribution
to physiological dysfunction and to the alarming global rise
in inammatory-related chronic diseases? e research,
together with global anecdotal feedback, suggests that Earth’s
electric charge is fundamental for maintaining health and
Figure 1 shows a possible relationship between the
shoe-driven disconnection from Earth’s natural electric
charge and diabetes, an inammatory-related disease. Sales
of shoes with synthetic soles have soared in the United States
since the 1950s. e curve of increase is similar to that of
diabetes. In the 1950s, 95% of shoes were made with leather
soles, many of which were conductive. Currently, 95% of
shoes have synthetic, nonconductive soles. e question
arises as to whether this observation represents a correlation
or a coincidence. Is the loss of our electrical roots a factor in
the rise of diabetes and other inammatory diseases, together
with the usual suspects of sedentary living and
overconsumption of calorie-rich, unnatural, nutrient-poor
food loaded with sugar and high-fructose corn syrup
FUNCTION OF ELECTRONS IN THE BODY
Humans are bioelectrical beings, with hearts, brains, and
immune and endocrine systems being regulated by internal
bioelectrical signals. On this bioelectrical stage, electrons are
marquee performers. ey are intimately involved in the
body’s countless processes. ey make it possible for atoms to
bond with other atoms and form molecules. Redox reactions
involve the transfer of one or more electrons from one atom
or molecule to another.
Oxygen and reactive oxygen species—free radicals—are
powerful oxidizing agents. When they are secreted at an
injury site by white blood cells, they literally rip electrons out
Sinatra—Electric Nutrition ALTERNATIVE THERAPIES, SEP/OCT 2017 VOL. 23 NO. 5 11
e current team’s research indicates that the immune
system may not function eciency in an organism that has
an insuciency of free electrons. Grounding provides the
reinforcements, like the cavalry coming to the rescue.
e manner by which grounding produces rapid and
measurable improvements in whole-body physiology
provides support for a concept rst introduced by Nobel
Laureate Albert Szent-Györgyi in 1941 and again in the
1980s. His remarkable insight was that proteins are
semiconductors, rather than insulators, as had been thought
pre v iously.21-23
Moreover, when many proteins are organized in parallel,
into arrays, as in the crystal lattices found throughout the
human body (eg, in connective tissues, myofascia, tendons,
cell membranes, bones, and muscles) some electrons will
cease to belong to particular atoms or molecules and will be
free to move from place to place within the organism, which
is what the current research team means when it uses the
terms free or mobile to describe these electrons. ese
revolutionary concepts are never discussed in conventional
medicine but must now be reconsidered because they provide
the best explanation for the rapid eects of Earthing. For a
review, see Oschman, Chevalier, and Brown.6
e contemporary research of Gerald Pollack at the
University of Washington features exclusion zone (EZ)
water.24 EZ water refers to the highly organized state of water
within cells discovered to have a vital inuence on every
biochemical process, including the way by which proteins
of molecules, which is the way that damaged cells and other
debris from an injury are destroyed to clear the repair eld so
that regenerative cells can move in and restore structures and
functions. In the oxidative process, oxygen becomes more
stable, while the attacked molecules and cellular debris
disintegrate to be phagocytized by other white blood cells.
Although oxygen is essential to metabolism and life, the
oxygen molecule itself is extremely toxic and the body uses a
variety of antioxidant processes to keep the concentration of
oxygen low in the tissues. Too much oxygen creates oxidative
stress. One of the key reactions in living cells, of course, is the
electron transport chain in mitochondria that produces
adenosine triphosphate (ATP), the energy source for all living
processes. Studies have shown that providing electrons to
animals dramatically increases ATP production and protein
synthesis, 2 processes that are essential for wound healing.19
Electrons from Earth serve as a potent neutralizer or
quencher of electron-seeking free radicals. e term
electron deciency may be appropriate to describe the largely
ungrounded status of most of humanity. As noted, the
modern lifestyle, notably the wearing of shoes with synthetic
soles, has severed us from our electric roots, our connection
with Earth and its natural supply of electrons.
It is interesting to note that one of the side eects of
therapies involving touch, such as massage, is that the
therapist can become depleted. Is this a result of donating
their electrons to patients with a great deal of inammation?
e patient feels better; the therapist gets burned out.21
Figure 1. Possible Relationship Between a Shoe-driven Disconnection From Earth’s Natural Electric Charge and Diabetes, an
Abbreviations: CDC, Centers for Disease Control; SGMA, Sporting Goods Manufacturers Association.
12 ALTERNATIVE THERAPIES, SEP/OCT 2017 VOL. 23 NO. 5
carry out their functions. EZ water is negatively charged and,
according to Pollack, grounding contributes negatively
charged electrons, which further builds EZ water, enhancing
protein folding and providing healthier functioning.
CLINICAL RESULTS OF GROUNDING
e grounding studies conducted to date indicate
multiple and rapid eects achieved by what appears to be the
body’s broad uptake and use of electrons received from
Earth. Findings among the documented results include
(1) reduced inammation and pain, (2) improved blood ow
and reduced blood viscosity, (3) reduced stress, (4) better
sleep, (5) improved energy, and (6) improved response to
trauma and injuries and accelerated wound healing.
Reduction in Inammation and Pain
Grounding reduces or even prevents the cardinal signs
of inammation following injury: redness, heat, swelling,
pain, and loss of function. Most pains, including the most
severe, are due to inammation and typically respond rapidly
to Earthing. Healing-related pains usually lessen, oen
signicantly, in intensity and duration.25-29
Improved Blood Flow and Reduced Blood Viscosity
ick, sludgy, and clumped blood is a hallmark of
cardiovascular disorders and diabetes. Two studies
investigated the eects of Earthing on blood viscosity. e
rst involved participants relaxing for 2 hours, with blood
viscosity determined before and aer by measuring the zeta
potential of red blood cells. e greater the zeta potential, the
greater is the negative charge on the red cells, pushing them
apart and lowering blood viscosity.30 e second study used a
commercial blood viscometer to measure viscosity of
individuals practicing yoga on a grounded yoga mat.31 Both
studies found that Earthing signicantly reduced blood
Two additional studies showed that blood ow regulation
and circulation to the head, face, torso, and extremities were
enhanced within a 1-hour session of grounding in a chair.32,33
ese studies involved the use of laser speckle contrast
imaging and thermography. Together, these studies found
signicant systemic benets, aecting overall and local
health, and suggest that grounding may represent an eective
preventive and therapeutic strategy against diabetes and
Cortisol, a mediator and marker of stress, is associated
with emotional and physiological stress, inammation, and
sleep dysfunction. Chronic elevation of cortisol from stress
can lead to a disruption of the body’s circadian rhythms and
contribute to sleep disorders, hypertension, cardiovascular
disease, decreased bone density, decreased immune response,
mood disturbances, autoimmune diseases, and abnormal
glucose levels. Emotional and physical stress are aggravating
factors for pain and psychological disorders.
Consequently, any natural method for relieving stress
has enormous potential to prevent or decrease the negative
eects of most diseases. In multiple studies,25,29,34-36 grounding
has been documented to exert a benecial eect on stress, a
likely result of systemic inuences in the body, including
(1) a normalizing inuence on cortisol, the stress hormone25;
(2) a calming impact on the electrical activity of the brain34;
(3) a normalization of muscle tension34; (4) a rapid shi from
a typically overactive expression of the sympathetic nervous
system, associated with stress, into a parasympathetic,
calming mode within the autonomic nervous system (ANS)
that regulates heart and respiration rates, digestion,
perspiration, urination, and even sexual arousal35; and
(5) within the ANS, an improvement in heart rate variability
(HRV)—the miniscule variations in the heart’s beat-to-beat
interval—that serves as an accurate reector of stress.38 Low
HRV is associated with stress-related disorders, cardiovascular
disease, diabetes, mental health issues, and reduced lifespan.
Grounding improves HRV to a degree far beyond mere
In a recent study, researchers at Pennsylvania State
University documented immediate and signicant increases
in HRV measurements that indicated improved vagus-nerve
transmission among premature babies.37 Such an eect could
potentially enhance stress and inammatory regulatory
is eect is one of the most common responses from
people, including many insomniacs, aer they start
grounding. In a 2004 study, 12 participants slept grounded
for 8 weeks.25 Eleven reported that they fell asleep faster. All
reported waking fewer times during the night. While dierent
people respond dierently, for many grounded sleep reduces
pain from inammation and thereby helps them get better
Sleeping grounded provided more morning energy as
well as vitality throughout the day.12,25,29 In the 2004 study,
9 of 12 participants reported a decrease in fatigue
(ie, they were more refreshed and less fatigued).25 Better,
deeper sleep, due to improvement in the day/night cortisol
rhythm, is one explanation.
Improved Response to Trauma and Injuries and
Accelerated Wound Healing
Faster-than-normal wound and surgical healing has been
reported frequently through the years. Accelerated wound
healing, whether involving injury, surgery, or burn, may result
from a combination of reduced inammation as well as improved
circulation—vasodilation and lower blood viscosity—facilitating
the delivery of healing factors to the site.26,29
In the domain of exercise and sports, signicant changes
in immune function responses and markers have been found
among grounded—but not among nongrounded—
Sinatra—Electric Nutrition ALTERNATIVE THERAPIES, SEP/OCT 2017 VOL. 23 NO. 5 13
competitions. It is well known that at this extreme level of
grueling performance, cyclists tend to experience slow
wound healing aer injury, threatening their ability to
continue competing. Spencer found that grounding produced
very rapid healing, together with only minimal classical signs
e series of photographs in Figure 2 above demonstrate
vividly the potential for accelerated wound healing, in this
case a typical open, nonhealing wound on the foot of an
elderly diabetic woman. Within one week of grounding, signs
of healing are already obvious.
individuals. In 2 studies of grounding on delayed onset
muscle soreness, grounded participants had less pain, little
inammation, and a shorter recovery time.28,38 Researchers
have also found that grounding during cycling exercise
signicantly reduced the level of blood urea, indicating less
muscle and protein breakdown. ese ndings represent a
major recovery benet for training athletes.39
In competitive sports, dramatic examples of accelerated
healing were reported by chiropractor Je Spencer,40,41
assigned to promote recovery from exertion and injury
among American cyclists during several Tour de France
Figure 2. Accelerated Improvement of an 8-month-old, Nonhealing, Open Wound by the Ankle, Suered by an 84-year-old
Woman With Diabetesa
ae pictures in the right column represent closeups of the photos to the le. e top row shows the open wound and a
pale-gray hue to the skin before grounding. e middle row shows the marked level of healing and improvement in circulation,
as indicated by the skin color, aer 1 week of grounding. e bottom row shows the wound healed over and the skin’s color
looking dramatically healthier aer 2 weeks of grounding.
14 ALTERNATIVE THERAPIES, SEP/OCT 2017 VOL. 23 NO. 5
e cause of the wound was a poorly tted boot that had
resulted in a blister that developed into a resistant open
wound. e sole treatment was a daily, 30-minute grounding
session with an electrode patch while the woman was seated
comfortably. e patient had undergone various treatments
at a specialized wound center with no results. Vascular
imaging of her lower extremities revealed poor circulation.
When rst seen, she had a mild limp and was in pain. Aer
the rst 30 minutes of grounding, the patient described a
noticeable lessening of pain. Aer 1 week, a reduction in pain
of approximately 80% had occurred. At that time, she showed
no evidence of a limp. Aer 2 weeks of daily grounding, she
said the pain had disappeared totally.19
Grounding and Biological Rhythms
In explaining the dynamics of grounding, it is important
to mention that the electrically active surface of Earth is a
source of not only electrons, but also key rhythmic processes
vital to normal biological rhythms. e electric eld of Earth
is not steady but varies from moment to moment in a rhythm
known as the Schumann resonance. Behind the world that we
can see with our senses lies a fantastic web of powerful but
invisible energies and forces that aect us every moment of
every day and that can be referred to as geophysical elds—
the invisible energies of Earth’s gravity, magnetism, electricity,
and electromagnetism. Human knowledge of these elds
comes from centuries of detailed study in a variety of
scientic elds: biology, physics, geophysics, atmospheric
physics, astronomy, astrophysics, and cosmology.
Relationships with these geophysical rhythms are
absolutely vital for health. Human physiology has more than
100 biological rhythms that are timed and coordinated with
rhythms in the environment.42
ese rhythms are especially important for women.
Female physiology and reproduction are regulated by an array
of hormones, the concentrations of which vary from moment
to moment in relation to rhythmic changes in the environment.
When a woman’s body rhythms are properly synchronized
with her geophysical environment, she feels ne. When she
becomes disconnected from the environmental pace-setting
rhythms, her hormonal systems can become chaotic and can
make themselves known with a variety of symptoms, some of
which are very uncomfortable. e invisible silent pulses of
nature give rise to normal hormonal regulations. Disconnection
from the environment can disrupt these regulations, and
grounding provides a simple way to restore balance.
One of the key elements in the grounding package is
connection with the Schumann resonance, a standing wave
made of electromagnetic elds vibrating at 7.83 Hz—
vibrating approximately 8 times per second. It also has
harmonics at higher frequencies, such as 14.3 Hz, 20.8 Hz,
27.3 Hz, and 33.8 Hz, produced collectively by lightning
strikes throughout the world.
Have you ever stood in a hallway or stairwell or a large
room and noticed that your voice creates a sort of echo or
reverberation? You are creating standing waves. In physics, a
standing wave is caused by the presence of 2 waves traveling
in opposite directions. Common examples of standing waves
are provided by musical instruments, such as organ pipes or
violin strings. Waves traveling in a pipe or along a string will
reect back when they reach the ends. e back-and-forth
waves join to create a resonant tone or frequency that is
characteristic of the geometry of the space. Pressing a guitar
or violin string against dierent regions on the fret or
ngerboard changes the eective length of the string and,
therefore, the resonant frequency of the standing waves that
can be produced.
In 1952, the German physicist Professor W. O. Schumann
of the Technical University of Munich predicted that
electromagnetic standing waves would be established in the
atmosphere, within the giant resonant space between the
surface of Earth and the ionosphere. e space or cavity
between the ionosphere and Earth’s surface is now used in
wireless information transfer over long distances. Radio
signals bounce back and forth between the 2 surfaces. is
skip phenomenon has been widely studied because it is the
basis for long-distance radio communications.
Similarly, cloud-to-Earth lightning bolts pump energy
into the cavity, creating standing electromagnetic waves that
travel around Earth at the speed of light, circumnavigating
the entire planet on average 7.83 times per second. A person
standing on Earth at any point will be exposed to these
Schumann frequencies. To use physics terminology, lightning
pumps electromagnetic energy into the cavity, which causes
that electromagnetic energy to vibrate or resonate at the
resonant frequency of the cavity in the extremely
low-frequency range (7.83 Hz). At the same time, lightning
bolts bring electrons from the ionosphere to the surface of
Earth. Multiple lightning strikes produce complex standing
Just as organs use pipes of dierent sizes to produce
dierent notes and dierent frequencies of standing waves,
the frequency of the Schumann resonance varies as the
ionosphere breathes in and out due to the atmospheric tides.
Many scientists have recognized the similarity of the
Schumann signal and the alpha brainwave measured with an
electroencephalogram. It has been suggested that the
Schumann resonance has been ingrained into all life. Many
biologists have concluded that the frequency overlap of
Schumann resonances and biological elds is not accidental
but is the culmination of a close interplay between these
elds over evolutionary time.
Grounding and the Immune System
Scientists believe that our immune system evolved in the
course of millions of years of barefoot contact with the
surface of Earth. One can assume that protective antioxidant
and anti-inammatory electrons from Earth were readily
obtained by previous cultures during this vast stretch of time
as a result of ordinary existence. Life involved direct contact
with Earth, which is no longer the case.
Sinatra—Electric Nutrition ALTERNATIVE THERAPIES, SEP/OCT 2017 VOL. 23 NO. 5 15
an example, the combination of earthing and warfarin
(Coumadin) has the potential to exert a compounded blood
thinning eect and must be supervised by a physician.
Anecdotes of an elevated international normalized ratio
(INR) have been reported. INR is a widely used measurement
of coagulation. Earthing may also improve thyroid function
and glucose metabolism and possibly require an adjustment
in medication dosages.18
New research indicates that grounding the body generates
broad, benecial, and signicant physiological changes. e
source of these eects is believed to be the mobile electrons
omnipresent on the surface of Earth, which are responsible for
the planet’s negative charge. Lifestyle changes have disconnected
most humans from this primordial health and healing resource,
creating what may be an unrecognized electron deciency in
the body, an overlooked cause or contributor to chronic
inammation and common chronic and degenerative diseases.
When Earth connection is restored through grounding,
electrons ood throughout the body, reducing inammation
and oxidative stress while also reinforcing the body’s own
defense mechanisms. Electron transfers are the basis of
virtually all antioxidant and anti-inammatory activity. And
Earth may very well be the ultimate supplier! When the supply
is restored, humans have the potential to thrive.
e authors wish to thank Martin Zucker for assistance in writing this paper.
AUTHOR DISCLOSURE STATEMENT
James L. Oschman, Stephen T. Sinatra, and Gaétan Chevalier own shares of EarthingFX,
the company that manufactures indoor grounding systems.
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Did the immune system begin weakening as we started
wearing shoes with insulating soles during the 1950s, leading
to the ever-rising unwellness plaguing the world today?
It is widely suspected that causal factors include overload
from environmental toxicants, chronic antibiotic use,
sedentary living, emotional stress, and ingestion of unnatural,
processed foods, genetically modied-GMOs among them.
Nobody thinks of their shoes, however, as a cause of chronic
inammation, but grounding research certainly points an
incriminating nger at footwear and the resulting
disconnection with Earth’s healing energy.
Grounding research is at an early stage, but the evidence
compiled thus far consistently demonstrates that a great
frontier of health and healing potential has been opened—
right beneath our noses, or, more specically, right under our
feet. Humans have abandoned nature in many ways.
Grounding reconnects humans to one aspect that has been
largely lost and overlooked.
e Clinical Prospects of Grounding
For clinicians, grounding oers the prospect of a
practical and simple strategy to help restore health, relieve
patients’ aches and pains, and serve both preventive and
therapeutic goals. Either by itself or in conjunction with
conventional strategies, it can greatly improve patient
outcomes with little eort.
Some ways to integrate grounding as a clinical strategy
include (1) recommending outdoor barefoot sessions,
(2) holding grounding sessions in the clinic, (3) oering
grounding products to patients, and (4) using a grounding
mat on the treatment table to reduce practitioners’ typical
Barefoot Sessions. Recommend outdoor barefoot
sessions to patients, weather and conditions permitting. Ober
has observed that going barefoot for approximately
30 or 40 minutes daily can signicantly reduce pain and
stress.18 Barefoot grounding outside is free; however, many
people will neither have the time nor the inclination to add
such a routine to their lives. For these and other people
interested in pursuing outdoor grounding, conductive
footwear is commercially available.
Grounding in the Clinic. Ground patients in the clinic
with 30-minute or 1-hour sessions using grounding products,
such as conductive chairs, mats, and patches.
Grounding Products. Oer grounding products to
patients or direct them to vendors. A variety of grounding
systems are available for indoor use while sleeping, working,
Grounding Mat. For physicians or their assistants using
touch for palpating or adjusting patients, a grounding mat
placed on the treatment table has been reported by practitioners
to reduce typical energy burnout at the end of the day.20
One caveat exists. Because of the broad physiological
eects generated by grounding, medication dosages may be
impacted. is clinically relevant issue is discussed in the
Earthing book18 and on the Earthing Institute’s Web site.43 As
16 ALTERNATIVE THERAPIES, SEP/OCT 2017 VOL. 23 NO. 5
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