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By Matt Stone

What do you think about that Mr. Blue Duck?  That’s Quacktastic ack ack ack ack.”  ~Billy Madison

Earthing as a health idea is the practice of connecting oneself to the ground – via direct contact or a mat or sheets that are grounded (or shoes as I wrote about in THIS POST).  The objective, for lack of a better way to describe it, is to protect oneself from all the voltage that we are exposed to in the modern world.  Here is a good demonstration (albeit a shaky one with brain-damaged kids in it) using a voltmeter, showing the difference between being grounded or “earthed” and not being earthed…


Clint Ober is the primary force behind this modern movement.  Personally, I think earthing holds a lot of potential and very well could be a viable complementary therapy.  However, like any commercial entity selling expensive stuff that sounds like New Age titicaca, with a book repeatedly quoting Gabriel Manorexic Cousens (the weirdo in the pic) and David Infomercial Wolfe, and following the horrifyingly guru-esque template of “one day I was in Sedona and the idea just hit me,” the movement as a whole has raised most people’s BS meter far higher than their voltmeters.  And has caught a ton of quack flack.  This is perhaps well-deserved, especially considering the whole bit in  Ober’s book about electrons jumping into your body and neutralizing free radicals.  “Whoa!  I know Kung Fu.”

It seems like everyone who didn’t experience an overnight miracle from Earthing has taken it upon themselves to write a review of Ober et. al.’s book accusing the positive reviews of being fake, and Ober of being a pseudo scientific swindler.  I’m sure the reviews are an overly-inflated representation of what your average Joe might experience, and I have no doubts Ober likes putting other people’s money into his pocket, but that isn’t enough to discredit earthing altogether.  Of course, such criticisms are the first that most in the health field get when they are disliked by someone for any reason.  Even I get it.

All the flack that the Earthing movement catches aside, there are two undeniable reasons why everyone should be open and interested in earthing before hardheadedly dismissing it …

  1. Many real people in the real world are noticing substantial benefits from it.  While the phrase “anecdotal evidence” is a phrase used with disdain, I consider anecdotal reports of success to be by far the greatest of all metrics.  After all, what matters at the end of the day is an individual’s success.  To me, it’s about finding out what works for someone and why, and then figuring out who else might respond favorably.
  2. EVERYTHING that formal (but very limited) study has shown, and that the book highlights as being signs of earthing’s effectiveness, points to enhancement in all the areas I have been led to believe are of the highest importance… better sleep, less stress (reduced sympathetic nervous system activity), reduced cortisol, recalibration of normal cortisol rhythms, reduced inflammation, and a higher metabolic rate.

Consider some of the following passages from the sure-to-make-an-intelligent-person balk titled book, Earthing: The Most Important Health Discovery Ever?.  Keep in mind my near-decade of steadfast research has led me to put great emphasis on peripheral circulation (warm hands and feet), reduced stress demand placed on the body (which should also result in improved sleep – the most common thing people report when trying earthing), and a higher metabolic rate – best judged by temperature, heart rate, and oxygen uptake…

“…the overall results provided additional proof of reduced stress and tension levels, and a shift in nervous system balance from a stress-stimulated sympathetic mode to a calmer parasympathetic mode.  The study was published in a 2006 issue of the journal European Biology and Bioelectromagnetics…

“An increased respiration rate and stabilization of blood oxygenation, as well as a slight rise in heart rate.  These changes occurred about twenty minutes after grounding commenced…

“The results, along with the biochemical differences cited in the study, suggest that the grounded rats function at a higher metabolic [rate] than ungrounded animals…

“Again and again, I have witnessed sick and pasty faces turn warm and pink within minutes after someone is connected to the earth…

“The first thing I have noticed – within minutes – with a lot of people is a change in their color.  There’s more color in their face or extremities.  If the extremities are cold, they tend to warm up…

“In my experience, grounding can influence thyroid function.  Individuals taking thyroid medication should watch for any developing signs of excess dosage.  A number of women on thyroid told me they began to experience heart palpitations, a sign of excess thyroid.  Once their doctors reduced the dosage, the symptom vanished…

Perhaps the quote I could nod my head in agreement with most is, “It is not a do-it-once-and-you-are-cured thing.  Nor is it a cure-all.  Rather it is a safe, effective new-old paradigm that truly deserves thorough exploration and exploitation as a primary health and healing tool.”

I certainly feel it worthy of consideration.  Hoakiness aside, could those of you who have tried it share your positive and negative experiences with it  (no pun intended – okay fine, I always intend to make as many puns as possible).  No seriously, please share but try not to get overly emotional about it.  I don’t want too much friction to build up.  Please try to stay grounded.  Let’s just have a down to earth conversation about this.