Earthing: Medical Discovery or Quack Scam?

Share on Facebook0Tweet about this on Twitter0Share on Google+0

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.

93 Comments

    • Hi folks-
      I have been earthing for about 8 months and totally could tell the difference-
      Especially at first. My husband made a mat from aluminum conductive duct tape.
      We slept with our feet on the mat.
      He has mild sleep apnea, which causes him to snore-
      Snoring WAY LESS noticable from the first night onwards.
      Personally, I practice different types of energy work so my “brain map” for touch is extensive-I can actually feel the tingling come from my feet to my head.
      When I layed with my right side of head on the mat I could feel everything from my left side of spine out tingling….vice versa when I turned my head.
      Main thing most folks could read fro themselves is their pulse.
      When grounded my pulse is more pronounced, noticably steadier and does not feel “thready”….more normal for me. I could feel the difference within a second of grounding…not grounding….grounding again…you know playing with the concept-
      My dog this winter became a stove hound…not wanting to go out due to cold-
      He began to look weird to me….too lethargic…coat not as good condition….etc.
      I forced him outside pooooor thing!!! and within a few days 4-5 noticeable difference.Other benefits-fallen arch repaired itself by going barefoot most of time when able….Drummer in husbands band cut tip off his finger with bandsaw-nasty- He grounded it with foil grounded to earth outside with copper wire etc. and healed so
      quickly his doctor couldn’t believe it. Bob also reported reduction in pain when grounding started noticeably and almost immediately. I made a grounding mat for horses and THEY LOVE IT! So-that’s my experience-hope this helps-TXO

      Reply
    • oh yah-one more thing-want to stay in the moment get into a meditative fully present state, take a walk down the road barefoot, that keeps you present-hard to text when stubbing your toe! Also gives the same stimulation to your accupressure points that reflexology does….for free-

      Reply
  1. What a shocking find! haha. how do you like me now?!

    Reply
    • I’m glad you are staying current with my articles. Your commentary always gives me a jolt.

      Reply
  2. Darn! Almost first.

    Reply
  3. Towards the end of this article are some caveats to Earthing/grounding:
    http://www.electricsense.com/1861/using-earthing-to-combat-electromagnetic-pollution-my-review/

    As electricity tries to find the shortest path, if one puts themselves in the circuit between it and the ground, then they are running all that energy through them. Seeing a voltage meter go from something to close to nothing through grounding oneself may not be a good idea. Grounding the electrical equipment is a much better idea.

    I measured the body voltage through me from my laptop…it was *9 volts*. Seriously. No wonder I could feel the back of my head tingling…then I grounded my laptop (which coincidentally has no ground plug on its power cable) via a separate cord connected from a screw on the laptop to the ground outlet on the wall…head tingling and nearly all the body voltage gone.

    No one in the Earthing community itself seems to be talking about this, and this very effect would end up giving mixed reviews…some people could get worse by not knowing what they are doing.

    Reply
    • Thanks Garrett. I know we had talked about this and there definitely needs to be some fine-tuning done to the general idea of it. Having a voltmeter on hand would certainly be a good way to really dial it in and properly test it. I’ve also read in several reviews that there were circumstances where people did test and the body voltage wasn’t reduced. Lo and behold they didn’t get any benefits from it.

      Reply
      • I’ll say that for now my tentative earthing recommendation is not to buy a bunch of gadgets but to simply encourage people to spend more time outside. The electrical burden out there is less whether you are grounded or not, and if you are hanging out sitting on a rock or walking in minimilist shoes, maybe doing a little camping on a regular basis – this seems like a better place to start. But the earthing materials are not what I would consider to be that expensive, and throwing a voltmeter in with it could ensure that it was being utilized properly (and safely).

        Reply
        • I sleep and feel much better when I go camping and sleep outdoors and on the ground, even if there is a layer of material between me and the earth. I do this whenever it is safe to do so.

          Also, this may sound woo-ish, but I can tell where current carrying wires are and I hate to work under/on them, even telepone wires. I have also insisted on a wooden bed and do not like matteresses filled with metallic springs. Same with house foundations, I prefer and have always felt better in a house with wooden floorboards and timber foundations instead of carpet on a metallic re-inforced concrete slab.

          Reply
  4. 9th! For some reason the song by The Clash that has the lyrics, “After all these drugs, do you believe in Jesus?” comes to mind. I mean, after all the diet, vitamin, herb bullshit, how can I even bring myself to try this? Too jaded. Been there, karma yoga’d that. And the fact that Gabriel Cousins (who once wrote a diet book that suggested purple foods would contribute to your spiritual development) endorses it only adds to my skepticism. That guy graduated Magna Cum Laude from Space Cadet University. He needs to eat an In n’ Out Burger.

    Tell you what. If the Real Amy tries it and posts a picture of herself walking on water as a result, I’ll give it a shot.

    Reply
    • There’s money to be made here. How do I know? Well Mercola has jumped on the Bandwagon, so you know there’s a buck to be made: http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2012/04/29/james-oschman-on-earthing.aspx

      In that article, he asks, “What happens when you walk barefoot?” I’ll field that question.

      When you walk barefoot:
      1) Your feet get cut up.
      2) As a result of 1, you probably get all kinds of nasty parasites. Don’t worry. Dr. Mercola’s got an herb or something for that.
      3) If you like all kinds of attention, this will get it for you. In the right circles, people will think you’re G-R-O-O-V-Y. As Swami Beyondananda says, you’re mantra will be, “LOOK AT MEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE”
      4) If you’re a het guy, most women will think you’re a douche-bag and, the good news for mankind is that you won’t be propagating your barefoot genes. Where’s that Darwin Award.
      5) If you’re a het girl, a lot of people will think your loose and you will be propagating your genes…or at least have lots of opportunities to do so. I went to university with a girl who went barefoot all the time, even in the dead of Winter. She was always getting hit on by random guys. Finally she decided the negatives outweighed the positives and resumed wearing shoes. The random chat-ups stopped. There are more foot fetishists out there than you imagine.

      Reply
      • Mercola was on Dr. Oz talking about earthing. If that doesn’t convince you of its validity I don’t know what will Thomas. Gosh! You’re so closed-minded!

        Reply
        • Matt,

          Speaking of Dr Oz, did you see last night’s episode that had a greek lady making Greek Coffee and talking about its health benefits? Of course, Dr Oz had to ruin that segment by asking some dude who calls himself The Medicine Hunter: “what do you think of using this (greek coffee) to flavor ice cream”? The Medicine Hunter promptly replied: “well when you add coffee to flavor something like ice cream, all you’re doing is adding flavor to sugar and fats, and you don’t want that”. WTF!!???

          Reply
          • I don’t have a tv, but I’ll catch that one on youtube someday.

          • You don’t have a TV? I guess that explains why you’re not fat and I am.

          • Nah, the phone and computer still keep me on the soft side.

          • I tried, and could not get past three minutes of the first segment.

          • Oh God, I have to see this episode. You really could never make shit like that up, could you?!

          • it has been scientifically proven that Dr Mercola can lead to disease and cancer

    • “He needs to eat an In n’ Out Burger.”

      Classic advice Thomas Seay. Personally, I would love to have the chance to shove a Double Double w/cheese down Gabriel Cousins’ gullet! :)

      Reply
      • The only problem with Thomas’s advice is that In n’ Out burger is singular, not plural. He needs a couple hundred.

        Reply
        • LOL! True dat Matt.

          Reply
    • Ha don’t get me involved in this! I don’t think I have anything to gain from using earthing devices in my questionably-wired apartment building!

      If you can figure out a way for me to walk barefoot on the beach every day, I will gladly post photos of myself doing it!

      Reply
    • Play some disc golf then hit up In N out burger!!! If only they served beer!!

      Reply
  5. Grounding or Earthing has been practiced since forever, by Indigenous peoples around the world. It is definitely something to practice for your life, not just once. I love it, I agree with the info you posted, I have experienced alll of that. Whenever you are feeling depressed, stressed, or disconnected from yourself and/or others, take off your shoes and walk barefoot on grass or soil. Of course, not grass sprayed with pesticides and all that yucky stuff, but go in the forest, walk around, touch the trees, lay down and think and connect to yourself. The Earth will care for you.

    Reply
    • This mythical indigenous people probably did not wipe their asses or brush their teeth either, but I’m not jumping on the Krusty Butt Bandwagon. Not that this article is definitive (and I am not claiming to be an expert on the matter) but it does suggest that wearing shoes goes back a long, long time: http://archaeology.about.com/od/fterms/qt/footwear_histor.htm

      Reply
      • Yeah, I agree. Regardless of whether grounding works or doesn’t, we have to admit that it isn’t necessarily “paleo.” For example, I doubt that Eskimo were earthed very often, and I have a hard time understanding how nomads in the Sahara desert could be earthed (even if they did walk barefoot on the burning hot sand, wouldn’t it be too *dry* to be conductive?). Clearly, some tribes were never earthed, or rarely earthed. But that doesn’t mean it’s useless nonsense. It might just mean those tribes were missing out.

        Reply
        • The difference is in the sole. Shoes might have been used for a long time, but the soles under them were made of leather, wood or other natural fibers. They allowed earthing to happen…When I have switched to classy shoes all made in leather, with no trace of plastic in the soles, I felt a MAJOR difference in my stamina at the end of the day. It might not be just the earthing, but it sure does make a difference.

          Reply
          • sorry i my have replied to your comment when i didn’t mean to but there is something i mean to say to you: wood and fibers do not conduct electricity which is the only way charge between the earth and yourself could be equalized. bare feet would work but if someone tries to tell you natural fibers will conduct then i’m afraid that much is a lie just to make money

    • the earth is an inanimate object. it cannot care. the earth’s charge is unaffected by trees and plants and animals

      Reply
  6. Between the sales and rhetoric they have basically created the condition where any skeptic has to demand some independent studies that have been completely verified to be unbiased. Sorry it had to come to this, I don’t mean to rain on the parade (though that would increase conductivity or something?), they could have acted like normal science-loving people and not turned it into the most woo-woo sounding thing ever, but they did. So I’ll just point out that if this is really so great then some reputable scientists will pick up on it and do some trials and settle it. Now its proponents have a chance to be grown-ups and thank me for my skepticism. If people didn’t think like this people could make up things that are bunk all the time and profit off of them. Oh wait that happens. So let’s see more skeptics!

    Though that doesn’t mean don’t walk around outside barefoot until there’s decent evidence. I find just getting my feet stimulated by anything can improve my mood. Though let’s be real, massage girls>grass and without the chance for dog poop. But I don’t disagree with trying it, just be really mindful in preventing the placebo effect.

    Reply
  7. Hi Matt: I love GROUNDING! Kevin Giovanni, Renegade Health, did a great and comprehensive interview on it with Mary Cordaro, (http://marycordaro.com/). She explains the benefits of grounding (a.k.a. earthing) and does add that where you do this has everything with its effectiveness or even when it might be of detriment. That said, I ground all the time and recommend it to my clients. Personally, I LOVE the effects…i immediately feel revieved; it’s a great caffeine alternative. As well, consistently, my clients say they love it. I see progression with clients who generally were living SAD or even organic SAD diets and high-stress routines, at first, grounding makes them very sleepy…I think even just stopping for 30 minutes can make one sleepy if they are used to high-speed living. That said, as the weeks/months go on,they come to love the effects and feel the same revived, refreshed and reenergized way that I do. I highly recommend grounding as a piece of an overall healthy diet lifestyle.

    Reply
    • It’s Kevin Gianni, not Giovanni, and maybe while we’re on that topic you could ask him to air the lengthy talk we recorded last year.

      Reply
      • This is funny! I used to go onto Kevin Gianni’s website all the time. He did a survey once asking for input on who to interview. I recommended you, but had no idea that he ever actually talked to you. Most people on his website would rather listen to Gabriel Cousens, which could be why he never posted anything about your talk together. Their loss.

        Reply
  8. ps one client told me she makes her son ground when he is have a tantrum and it calms him down…

    Reply
  9. are you really going to correct the spelling from one of your readers who painstakingly weeds through all your excess yadda yadda to get to your point? :) love you, Matt!

    Reply
    • I just wish Kevin would air our talk so you can have more yadda yadda to listen to. Hey, wading through my yadda yadda I hope is better than wading through the Yabba dabba doo at Paleo sites!

      Reply
      • Haha! By the way, I am not Paleo…I am me :)

        Reply
  10. I bought the Earthing sheets & mat a couple of years ago and used them faithfully for about a year. Honestly, I didn’t sleep any better or notice a difference in my stress levels. Actually, insomnia became worse – critically worse. To be fair, the last several years have been extraordinarily stressful with the increasing needs, demands, and emergencies of an aging & rather difficult parent with advanced emphysema (six years ago she set herself on fire smoking with O2). She died a couple of weeks ago & I’m sleeping better.

    I am going to put the sheets back on my bed & will let you know how it goes.

    Reply
  11. it may not be as safe and smart as you think to do it via grounding tech. i know it sounds nice when you hear any of those guys selling this stuff and you read the earthing book, but ive heard dif interviews with people that arnt connected to the sales of these things that give a very dif opinion. ive used grounding sheets and pads ect for a few years and thought i had felt something at first such as improved sleep but it could have just been the power of suggestion after hearing numerous infomercials and reading the book. through time ive come to the conclusion that i dont really feel anything and cant tell a difference and after hearing other opinions on the technology i decided that its not worth it to play with it. when you hear dif opinions from those that are explaining the way electricity and magnetism works, the way houses are wired and weather they’re done correctly ect ect , so it seems theres a lot of variables, and if your not well versed in this area and how it all really works, then its a bad idea to use it.

    just walk outside barefoot.

    Reply
  12. My roommate and I both have earthing mats. We’ve had them now for about 3-4 months now.
    This is what we’ve noticed:
    She never had “problems” sleeping, but after a few times sleeping on it she said that her sleep was amazing. I haven’t noticed a difference in my sleep, but I also have other factors involved that disrupt my sleep right now anyways. Nothing that earthing would be able to fix. I have slowly been developing random light allergies over the past 5 yrs. I also believe that there might be mold in my house. My roommate and I both were constantly having to blow our noses year round while in our house. After a few days of earthing I noticed right away that I was have less and less nose issues. Less runny nose and less stuffed up nose. It is now past the 1-2 wk period of time in spring where I had been having allergy issues (stuffed up/inflamed nasal cavity and sinus headaches) for the last 4-5 yrs and this year it didn’t happen! With the weirdness in my house that messes with my sinuses.. I can tell the difference between when I use the mat only at night or all day as well.
    I work at home so I can actually use it all day if I want to. If I stop using it during the day for a few days then I start having to blow my nose more and more. I’ve tested it many times and it works the same each time.

    This isn’t life changing or anything and neither of us have any serious issues that may be fixed, but I do believe it works quite well. I’m just now working on upping my metabolism and never really looked at temps/pulse before so I can’t say whether it helped in that area or not. I really want to get my grandparents a sheet or mat as I feel like it could really help older people who have arthritis, sleep problems, and just inflammation issues.

    Oh, and some people do notice a tingling sensation when they use it. I felt that the first time I used mine. It went away after about 20 min or so. Some people notice it for a few days or even wks. It will go away so don’t worry about it.

    So, I personally would recommend it for anyone who has allergies. The more you can use it the better. Also for sleep since my roommate noticed that right away as well. I hope to get some of the earthing sandals for the summer as well. :)

    Reply
  13. Earthing is total BS, designed to separate money electrons from fool electrons. It all comes down to the nocebo effect.

    On the other hand, barefoot walking feels good, especially on a cold, dewey morning or along a beach–in that sense, it is a stress reliever and awesome.

    Implementation of Earthing has to stop at paying someone for something! Bed mats, shoes, bracelets, meters, ground straps, etc… are all useless in health.

    The next logical progression from Earthing is “EMF Avoidance” another totally scam science designed around fear, strawmen, and quackery. Lots to buy for protection from it, though!

    Reply
    • Timbo,

      I agree with your skepticism over the marketing of certain products, however it would not be fair to lump everything in the category of quackery.

      I used to use an earthing mat when I was working in electronics in order to stay grounded so that the delicate ICs (integrated circuits) I was working on would not get zapped and ruined.

      In regards to EMF avoidance, light is on the spectrum of EM waves and it is not the only EM wave to affect the functioning of the pineal gland, which works with our sleep cycles. Also, there is a high correlation of cancer, especially in children with living near or under a high voltage carrying wires (An EM field is created around a changing current, ie a wire carrying ac).

      I have not paid much attention to the devices that supposedly mitigate this, so I cannot comment. What I am commenting on is the idea that EMF doesn’t affect humans. It does.

      Reply
    • For health reasons, I spend a couple hours outside every day. I’m sure the break from the computer and electrical equipment is part of the benefit. I don’t think this is an electron issue. I have been shocked by ungrounded electrical equipment on many occasions -once even having my arm twitch for 15 minutes. The feeling is completely different then spending too much time near electronics. Spending too much time inside makes me anxious, getting shocked would invariably make me angry. In other words, it felt like a different physiological response.

      Reply
  14. Many years ago (10 or 15?) when Ober was just getting started, he had a company (long since defunct) that sold earthing pads and I got one. I noticed a big difference in the first few months. My body felt way more relaxed in bed. I still have it and use it but can’t say I notice any difference now if I don’t use it.

    Now you need to review stuff like the Bio Electric Shield, Zero Point Pendant, and QLink. David Getoff (of Price Pottenger Nutrition Foundation) swears by this type of stuff. But he uses muscle testing too and can be a little out there sometimes. But he’s a long practicing ND with a lot of experience and reported results.
    http://www.naturopath4you.com/Energies_Energy_Medicine.htm

    Reply
    • I wore a Qlink for 6 months or so. It didn’t seem to help me with the problems I was having using a computer. The only solution was to stop spending so much time indoors on the computer and go outside and play.

      Reply
      • Perhaps the light may be the factor here. Outside, you receive white light with all the colours in it. Indoors, the light tends to be bluer, especially from a monitor.

        In Australia, the environmentalists have forced the banning of incandescent bulbs, so now we have to use fluorescent ones, which have much more blue light. This was in the name of greater energy efficiency, which they are wrong about. Personally, I find them depressing and feel an even greater need to be in as much outdoor light as possible.

        Reply
        • There is definitely a lot more benefit to going outside other than just “earthing.” That is one of them, among many others that I wrote about in 10 Health Reasons to Spend Time Outdoors.

          Reply
          • Just went and read the article and I agree, both in theory and practise. Unfortunately here in Australia, it is getting harder and harder to get away from civilisation. More and more people with their noise, light pollution generators and dangerous/anti-social behaviour are encroaching into the space of the wilderness and people who appreciate it.

  15. I’ve already said it in another post, but I always do much better in the spring-fall when I am outdoors a lot, barefoot a lot, and in nature. My health goes to crap every January through April. when I am huddled indoors, disconnected from the earth.

    I’m reading the book now, and frankly, it makes a lot of sense. I plan to spend as much time as possible going forward connected to the earth (as opposed to internet la-la land).

    Reply
  16. I was skeptical, but I wanted to try it after almost ten years of not being able to sleep during the night time. I had spent a couple years working on my metabolism, in conjunction with herbs, acupuncture, and adrenal supplements, and while all my other symptoms improved, I could not get my sleep to be normal. I quit my job and still couldn’t stay on a night time schedule, almost making myself worse trying to stay up a couple more hours every day to flip back around, only to get on track for a couple days and then hit with insomnia messing it all up.

    The first day I slept on an earthing sheet, 6 months after quitting work, I had already slept all day but crawled into bed on my sheet at 10pm. I slept all night and only woke up twice, compared to the times I had managed to sleep through the night (and certainly not after sleeping all day already!) but would wake up more than 10 times. Placebo or not, my sleep has been wonderful ever since, so I’m not taking chances sleeping without it now! I even got pregnant the next month after 4 years of trying and with regular cycles. I think for me it may have been the last piece of the puzzle, and I recommend it based on my personal experience, but I know it’s not the answer for everyone.

    Reply
    • I sure as hell am not going to try this now. I don’t want to get pregnant.

      Reply
  17. Earthing is something my mom used to yell at us for when we were kids-except we called it running around barefoot and it was free. Lol. Its sad that peopleare so far removed from Terra that they feel the need to market and sell it.

    Reply
    • That’s the perfect business model. Find something people used to get for free, then convince them it is bad or unhealthy, make it illegal or looked-down-upon, etc., then figure out a way to sell it back to them.

      Reply
  18. So, I’m old, right, but are we talking about walking around barefoot? The thing you used to have to do because your Sunday shoes and school shoes were for Sunday and school? Of course, we were a lot happier back then, what with the tape worms and bottle glass cuts on our feet and all….

    Reply
  19. If you accept the electron theory of electricity, which Tesla didn’t, but most do, electrons do jump in to your body when grounding. The positive charge accumulated in the body is defined by a lack of electrons, which are supplied by the earth when grounding, thereby causing a return to the earths potential. As for their antioxidant effects?

    Reply
  20. When I was younger, I used to get a nice feeling taking the eucharist at mass on Sundays, so I can understand the appeal of magical thinking. But when health gurus start charging money based on their fantastic claims, it pays to think critically.

    If “earthing” is a real thing, it would be child’s play to test it. Take two mats that look identical, but only one of which has the proposed medicinal properties, and randomly sleep on a different one each night. Record your subjective impressions of sleep over a month, and see if there’s any difference. If even ten people did this, and there was a statistical difference in sleep outcomes, then I’d accept there might be some validity here.

    Has a test like this done? If it hasn’t, why not? A treatment that was scientifically proven to improve sleep, without side effects, would be worth millions of dollars.

    Anecdotal evidence is just about useless for something like this. Give me ten minutes on the internet, and I’ll get you anecdotal evidence for the benefits of eight different diets, each of which completely invalidates the others. Obviously, we have to rely on our subjective impressions sometimes, but this shouldn’t mean an uncritical acceptance of whatever new health claim starts showing up in the alternative press each month.

    Reply
    • That exact test has been done, with 12 subjects if I recall correctly (I don’t have the book in this house, so I can’t look it up at the moment to confirm the details). In addition to the ‘subjective’ effect of helping the earthed individuals sleep better at night, it also had the objective effect of regulating melatonin and cortisol in saliva samples. There have only been a handful of small studies on earthing so far, but the results have been categorically positive, like Matt said. That’s the main reason I decided to give earthing a try. And man oh man, it has changed our life, mostly because it makes our baby sleep longer than a mere 60~90 minutes at a time…

      Reply
      • Your baby is just experiencing the placebo effect Brad. Haha.

        Reply
      • If you can find the details, I’d love to see the study. If it’s a proper study, with meaningful controls to show statistical difference from a placebo, then I’ll soften my position. For better or worse, I have become highly skeptical of alternative health claims. There is very little oversight over all these new products, supplements, etc., and there is enormous incentive (for both buyers and sellers) to believe that claims are true. Admittedly, this particular belief seems fairly harmless, but weird ideas about electricity and radiation can lead to bad places (http://www.slate.com/articles/technology/future_tense/2013/04/green_bank_w_v_where_the_electrosensitive_can_escape_the_modern_world.html)

        Your experience with your baby could be accounted for either by random chance or by the baby being calmed by parental positivity (communicated placebo effect). However, I admit that I would keep using the blanket if I had your experience.

        Reply
  21. I tried it one night, connecting a grounding rod outside to me ankle with some copper wire. I felt a very low current flowing through me, the tingling that many people experience. That alone was enough to stop me from continuing. Just didnt seem safe or practical. Now i just try and make contact with the ground when outside as much as possible.

    Reply
  22. Earthing is confirmed by me. I decided to play disc golf barefooted today instead of my minimalist sandals… and threw the disc farther and better than i ever have. My family and girlfriend couldn’t believe how far i was throwing the disc. I am treading more and more into hippie land.

    Reply
    • You’ve always been well beyond the hippie borders Nav. Didn’t a cop stop you a few years ago for walking around barefoot in the snow? He thought you must be drunk?

      Reply
      • haha… i had just moved to denver, and was running around the city barefooted, it must have been february…. they got reports from a few people that there was a crack head running around barefooted! Hehe… oh yah, I wasn’t wearing a shirt, and i was in boardshorts also…. lucky i thought something like that might happen and put my ID in the pocket. I remember them running my ID and i asked them it was a crime to be barefooted… oh cops.

        Reply
  23. I have slept on grounded sheets for over a year now (I also spend as much time as I can outside) and noticed right away that my menstrual cycle went from totally erratic to very regular.

    The best part for me though is that I travel from the Pacific Time Zone every few months for a course I am taking and I travel to the Eastern Time Zone. My trips are over the weekend, they are really stressful and intense and I am away for less then 48 hours total. The first time I made this trip, I didn’t have a grounded sheet but I did the second time. I don’t experience jet lag at all when I use my sheet and the more contact I make with it (like using it as a pillow in the airport) the better I feel during the trip. Even my appetite seems to adjust to the new time zone. For this reason alone I love my sheet. I know not everyone experiences the same thing with grounding but I sure would wish everyone to have as much ease with travelling.

    Reply
  24. Welp..definitely some food for thought. This is one of those things where it doesn’t hurt to try it, and it MIGHT actually provide some health benefits long-term. I say why not, nothing to lose really.

    Also; Matt SERIOUSLY needs an award for creative writing or something–stomach hurts from the Lolz

    Reply
  25. What is earthing? Walking outside barefoot? Sleeping on the floor? I love to walk barefoot. But is being outside with sandals not earthin anymore? I don’t think I understand the concept.

    Reply
    • I don’t think I put too much stock into “earthing sheets” and mats and all that jazz. I personally believe that Earthing is as close as your body can get to the actual EARTH, via sleeping outside (whaddup, camping?), walking barefoot, etc. But hey, that’s just me, and I’m not a scientist.

      Reply
    • Earthing/ grounding means having a conductive contact with the earth. When you walk barefoot you make such a connection. Wearing slippers would hinder the connection because slippers are not conductive. Sleeping on the floor would most likely not ground you unless perhaps you sleep on a concrete floor, but I doubt that’s comfortable ;).

      Reply
  26. I am starting a line of New Age soda pop that has various combinations of Bach Flower remedies. I am going to call it “Bach n’ Roll” I’m also coming out with a Pina Colada drink made of Milk Thistle.

    Reply
    • I would buy the pina colada with milk thistle – a drink with its own hangover prevention? How has someone not come up with this sooner! Lol

      Reply
    • “I am going to call it “Bach n’ Roll” ‘

      You may need to check with Sebastian Bach (former singer of Skid Row), I think he may have coined that phrase.

      Reply
      • You’re right JonO. How about Bach-an-Ale-ia (bacchanalia) for a name?

        Reply
  27. K. I am an acupuncturist/herbalist. I am also trained as a Biologist/Western scientist and try to maintain a healthy skepticism. Everyday in my clinic I practice as I was trained, responding to tongue, pulse, and signs & symptoms with the appropriate therapeutic interventions and very often see results for my clients. Not only positive, sometimes, thankfully rarely, the therapeutics disagree. Back to the drawing board. Lately for the squeamish I have developed some skill in treating acupoints with 10K gauss rare earth magnets – interestingly, I get the same response in the pulses as if I had applied needles and my magnet clients report similar effects as those who I needle.
    Dismissing something as woo woo when you don’t actually consider the phenomenon in an honest, objective-as-possible way is just as “unscientific” as buying something wholesale based on some “anecdotes”. Is Earthing a “real” phenomenon. Who knows. But dismissing it ‘cuz it “smells funny” or “seems outlandish”, or isn’t proven through “rigorous scientific examination” ain’t being scientifically rigorous, either. Jus’ sayin’. I think we don’t understand all the mechanisms of the Universe around us, so some phenomena that is “REAL” seems like witchcraft. We’re figuring it out. Check out Rupert Sheldrake’s ideas on Morphic Resonance, or better yet his criticisms of scientific dogmatism. He has been branded a heretic for his efforts.

    Reply
  28. Oh, and Thomas, I look forward to your Milk Thistle beverage with great anticipation. Milk Thistle tastes like shit straight up. ;D

    Reply
    • Sheila, then it must be good for you, right? :)

      Reply
  29. Do you get earthed if you eat a piece of the earth ?

    Reply
    • Don’t give the diet Gurus (or Thomas) any ideas :-)

      Reply
      • Cat out of the bag Amy. Concocting Umami Dirt Burgers as I write.

        Reply
  30. Not really related to earthing, but on the subject of random science, it looks like roundworm can help with obesity and metabolic disorders:

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/04/130425164504.htm

    Thought? Opinions? It’s interesting, begs the question – what other things people have dubbed as harmful could actually have beneficial effects?

    Reply
  31. First Earthing, then mooning. What next?

    Reply
  32. Had horrible sleeping issues for the last 5 years(crazy work schedule). Was desperate and bought an earthing sheet a month ago after reading all about being grounding and how it improves sleep. First 2 nights didn’t work so well. erratic sleep..body felt weird. Was extremely irritable upon waking. Read that their is sometimes a detox phase that the body goes through before the body realigns with the earths energy. Not sure if this was BS or not. Then I read that when connected to a grounded outlet(which a lot of these products promote) that certain people could be extra sensitive to any electrical interference the house ground could pick up. So I then decided to use the direct grounding rod that goes direct form the earth to the sheet. Basically a wire from the sheet that goes to the rod out side direct into the ground. After making this adjustment, I have never slept better. Just crazy vivid dreams all the time. Cant even explain it! i still wake a few times a night as my work schedule is still messed that I never go to sleep and wake at the same time in any giving week, but i feel way more rested and fall right back to sleep..into another vivid dream. Anyways just wanted to say if people have issues using these products in a ground outlet, find a way to ground direct outside!

    Reply
    • Great Bill. Thanks for the comment. I too suspect that the ground rod would work better. I can’t run one outside at the place I live, which is why I haven’t gotten any sheets or a mat for myself to play around with.

      Reply
  33. I was skeptical when I read the Earthing book. However, there is a study in the book showing that sleeping grounded normalized cortisol levels. My cortisol levels were low during the day and high at night as per a saliva test, and therefore I was not sleeping well. I was spending over $100 a month on hormone creams that were sort-of helping. I figured Earthing would save me money if it worked and I could stop using the creams so it was worth a try. It did. For the first couple of months sleeping on a grounded sheet (plugged into outlet), I actually felt more tired. But after that I was sleeping better than I ever have in my life. It was easier for me to fall asleep, stay asleep without waking up periodically, and I slept deeper and felt rested the next day. Once, I started feeling tired and irritable again during the day and this went on for a couple of weeks until I realized my sheet had been unplugged. Once, I made the mistake of going on a week long vacation without taking my Earthing sheet – I slept terrible and was tired the whole time. Strangely, when my husband uses it his back starts hurting. He tried sleeping on it for months and it hurt his back the whole time, and has tried it a couple of times since then with the same results. So he doesn’t use it. If you have adrenal/cortisol issues, Earthing is definitely worth a try. I think it would be worth a try for any kind of inflammation like arthritis, (according to the book not from experience). I have an Earthing mat that I put my feet on at night at least a half hour before bed while I read (it often makes my legs tingle because it increases blood flow to the legs), and I get very tired and fall asleep easily when I use it. Occasionally I still have nights where I have trouble sleeping, or wake up in the night – particularly if I am stressed. But on the whole Earthing has helped tremendously.

    Reply
  34. Earthing is the biggest scam on earth. I got a multimeter and measured my voltage in a studio apartment filled with a lot of electronic/electrical appliances/devices. My body voltage was 0.3millivolts. I should’ve bougth the multimeter before buying the earthing mat/sheet. Would’ve saved 100s of dollars. Shame on all the people who are backing this up with zero proof.

    Reply
  35. I really don’t know about this… I’ve started reading his “Earthing” book and am Highly skeptical about all the miraculous accounts (can Anyone actually Verify these reports? I mean, are they from Real People?), and the theory of electron flow from feet to earth is rather hokey, to say the least… I especially rolled my eyes about Clint Ober’s sudden drive to write words down which came to him and his desire to run out into the desert as though on a mission from god (It reminded me a hell of a lot of David Icke’s BS madness!).

    BUT there’s some truth in it I believe… See, I have an electronics background and I understand the importance of grounding. When I was young I used to build and tinker with simple crystal radio sets (the most basic kind which utilize no amplifiers, no electricity): quite simply they will not function unless a good ground line is connected to serve to complete the circuit as a means of signal return. So in truth you could say that grounding has practical real-world applications to circuits though nowadays with wireless technology it’s often overlooked.

    I think there’s something else going on here, perhaps involving the Shuman resonance.
    Something beyond the mere placebo effect. Which is another thing that’s hardly “quacky” about Earthing: it’s too bloody simple to Be a hoax or scam, if you know what I mean.
    After all, you Don’t have to go out and buy “grounding pads” but simply grasp a wire for the same exact effect or, even simpler, just stick your bare feet on the ground for an extended period of time and see for yourself if there’s any change… It’s not like this guy is selling Scientology meters built from some classified schematic for hundreds of dollars… In fact, it should be possible to prove or disprove Earthing fairly easily enough with controlled experiments like the ones outlined in the book–are they real or not? Are they biased? Is it all just made up?
    You tell me!

    Reply
  36. I just found this post so no idea if it’s still active… anyway, everyone seems to be asking for evidence. Here’s a link to a page listing various studies: http://earthinginstitute.net/research/

    Many are likely funded by the Earthing people however assuming they are not outright lying about their results, the studies look very promising.

    Re. safety, all earthing products have “a built-in 100K ohm resistor in all ground cords for safety”. Apparently this gives protection well above the safety standard. They have more detailed info on their website under the FAQs.

    I have been using the earthing products for a week. When I first began using them, I really noticed it – immediately felt more clear-headed and calmer. I also can’t seem to stay awake when I put my baby to bed… just drop off even if I try to stay awake. My son, who has a weak bladder and is still bedwetting at seven, had his first dry night last night and the only thing that’s changed is the earthing sheet. It’s early days but I am very optimistic.

    I totally agree with the acupuncturist above… it’s so easy to send up ideas that seem at first to be way-out, and there are many who demean new ideas simply because they seem hippy, believing themselves to be in some kind of superior scientific state, never lowering themselves to taking seriously anything that smells a bit earthy. It gets my back up because it’s the opposite of scientific thinking. How about a bit more scientific curiousity and a bit less off-handed judgement?

    Galileo was dismissed by most people when he proclaimed the earth round..

    To me a lot of the comments just show how entrenched we are in our current EMF electro-gadget lifestyle. Our human bodies evolved within the earth’s electrical current…it’s only been with the development of modern shoe, clothing and building materials in the last 50 years that we’ve managed to insulate ourselves so effectively from this electrical current. It makes perfect sense to me that we will be enormously impacted by reconnecting with the earth.

    Reply

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>