EARTHING / GROUNDING
Earthing and antioxidants are related topics even though it may seem they are not. Antioxidants come up often in discussions about good health and disease prevention. In our modern “electically insulated” world, we acquire these powerful substances, mainly from the fresh fruits and vegetables we eat. Antioxidants work to prohibit, and in some cases even prevent, the oxidation of other molecules in the body due to free radicals. Free radicals are in fact just unstable, highly reactive, and short lived molecules that have an unpaired valence electron that can harm other cellular structures. Antioxidants neutralize free radicals by donating electrons, which neutralizes the free radicals, and prevents them from causing harm. In short, antioxidants are just molecules which can safely interact with free radicals and terminate the chain reaction before other molecules are damaged.
Medical experts know free radicals are “intimately connected to inflammation,” and inflammation is linked to cancer, heart disease, immune dysfunction, aging and cognitive decline. We can build up free radicals in the body during exercise and just doing nothing other than being alive. It is just what happens living on our earth.
The most common method of combating free radicals again is through antioxidants that we acquire through the foods we eat, or the supplements we take. However, our Mother Earth’s surface is negatively charged and is basically an inexhaustible source of free electrons. Are we missing something here?
The idea and science of Earthing (grounding) is as follows. The free radicals that we build up throughout the day are in need of electrons to be rendered benign, and the surface of the Earth is negatively charged meaning it is a source of electrons. By simple deductive reasoning, if we can get our vitamin D from the sun, and our oxygen from the trees, we should also be able to acquire healing electrons from the ground. We naturally build up free radicals and develop inflammation by the way we live our lives. However, the Earth herself is a natural healing source — all we have to do is physically connect to her!
The Earth Connection
Throughout history, humans have sat, stood, walked upon, and slept on the ground with the skin of their bodies touching the skin of the Earth — the ground. This direct contact allowed the transfer of the Earth’s natural, negative electric charge (electrons) into the body. Unfortunately, our modern human lifestyle has disconnected us, and we find ourselves “insulated” from our Mother Earth. These are the ways our modern lifestyle has electrically “insulated” us from our connection to the Earth: we wear rubber soled shoes; we sleep in homes with wooden floors that insulate us; we drive to school or work in cars with rubber tires; and we work in offices that also insulate us from our Earth connection. Ironically though, all of our modern electrical systems (after 1960) in our homes, schools, businesses, and offices have a third “electrical outlet” connection to physically ground all our electrical appliances and computers to protect us from a short circuit electrical shock in the case of some malfunction. As you will learn, we can take advantage of this to reconnect ourselves to Mother Earth and regain her benefits without having to give up our modern lifestyles.
Earthing, also known as grounding, is the discovery that this disconnect makes us more vulnerable to inflammation, pain, stress, poor sleep, and illness in the body. Reconnecting to the Earth restores our link to nature that improves our health, sleep, energy, mood, and appearance.
Some of the remarkable benefits of Earthing include:
Reducing Inflamation in the body
Reducing chronic pain
Relieving muscle tension and headache
Lessens menstrual and female hormone symptoms
Helps eliminate jet lag
Reducing or eliminating snoring
and, Earthing is good for our pets too
Down to Earth documentary - The Science of Grounding
How the Benefits of Grounding were Discovered
In the late 1990s, a retired cable TV pioneer, Clint Ober, started to think about the human body in terms of electrical grounding. He realized that most people wear synthetic-soled shoes that insulate their bodies from the Earth’s connection. Not only that, we live in homes built of wood and other insulating materials that keep us disconnected from the Earth. This seemingly simple realization of his inspired a scientific adventure that has resulted in a great health discovery.
Experimenting first on himself, and then on friends, Mr. Ober rigged up a crude conductive system for the bed, using metallic duct tape connected by wire to a ground rod he planted in the soil outside. He then lay down on his “invention” was thus in contact with the Earth’s energy, simulating being barefoot outdoors. To his surprise, he found that such contact prompted sleep and significantly reduced his own chronic pain. He was able to stop taking painkillers in order to sleep. Wanting to share his “discovery,” he rigged up the beds of his friends in a similar manner. And they, too, reported the same amazing effect. Less pain. Better sleep.
In 2000, he organized a group experiment to test whether Earthing, as he called it, could really help people sleep better and reduce their pain. Assisted by a nurse, he identified 60 male and female volunteers with chronic sleep and pain issues. He then went to each of their homes and set up a conductive Earthing pad on their bed. He connected the pads with a wire to a ground rod placed in the Earth outside their bedroom windows that would facilitate carrying the energy from the Earth to the bed pad. However, in half of the set-ups, he inserted a spacer to block the conduction of energy. This would allow a comparison of two groups – those actually grounded, that is, receiving the Earth’s energy, and those who were “not grounded.” The participants in the experiment were unaware whether they were actually being grounded or not.
The original findings of this experiment, in five critical areas of health (Time to Fall Asleep; Quality of Sleep; Wake Feeling Rested; Relief of Muscle Stiffness and Pain; and Relief from Chronic Back and/or Joint Pain) sparked research which continues to this day. The results of that experiment showed overwhelming positive change (74% and up) for those participants who were grounded! As of 2018, some two dozen studies have been conducted, and there is continuing investigation to learn how grounding has the potential to positively affect a wide range of modern ailments.
For those interested in researching studies, the studies conducted to date can be found at: click here
Still Skeptical About Earthing? Just Go Outside Barefoot!
Over time, many have expressed their skepticism about the benefits of Earthing.
Don’t believe us. Just go outside and sit, stand, or stroll barefoot on grass, sand, dirt, or concrete, weather permitting, of course. The wetter the surface of the ground, the better, as it’s more conductive. Do it for a half-hour or so. Be aware of how you feel before and after as far as pain or stress is concerned. It will cost you nothing to try other than some of your time!
This is a simple experiment that puts you immediately in contact with the Earth’s natural, nurturing electrical energy. This is the energy that humans have experienced on a daily basis before they put on rubber and plastic-soled shoes, and stopped sleeping on the ground.
Medical and Medication Considerations to Know About Earthing:
Most people begin to feel better soon after they start Earthing, finding they adjust easily to the Earth’s energy. And remember, sleeping grounded or sitting inside your home or office with bare feet on an Earthing mat, or connected via a conductive band, is the same as being barefoot outside.
Someone very ill or burdened with various symptoms may feel the difference dramatically, while someone in good health, and who sleeps well, may not feel or notice any real significant difference. In both instances though, connecting to the Earth helps to preserve and perpetuate good health. Therefore, Earthing should be understood to be an effortless, natural form of anti-aging and preventive health.
For some people, grounding can feel unusual in the beginning. There may be some tingling in the body, with the tingling usually disappearing within a few days. This tingling is probably due to improved circulation.
For other people, Earthing in the very beginning may generate some flu-like symptoms that include malaise, achiness, headache, a foggy mind, and maybe tiredness. Muscle cramps and disturbed sleep might also occur. Prior experience suggests that a healing, process is underway as the body detoxifies. Because of Earthing’s ability to improve blood flow and oxygenation of the tissues, as well as restoring a natural electrical state in the body, more efficient cell repair and function begins takeing place, promoting a clear-out of wastes and toxins. Such detoxification could manifest in any of the symptoms just mentioned. These responses vary from person-to-person and they generally ease off within a week or two.
When starting Earthing, it is very important to stay well hydrated. Drink plenty of water to help the body flush out the toxic wastes more readily. Additionally, the better hydrated the body, the more conductive it is. So, stay hydrated for the best Earthing results!
Should the initial detox discomfort be too intense, if experienced, it may be best to stop Earthing at night. Resume with shorter exposure, like a half-hour or an hour during the day. Exposure can then be gradually increased over a week or two, allowing you to adjust to grounding, and to sleeping comfortably. Experiment in such cases. For individuals with Lyme disease, you should definitely follow this go-slow approach.
If you take medication, be alert to the possibility that as health improves because of Earthing the dosage level of your medication may need to be adjusted. Do not reduce medication on your own. ALWAYS consult with your doctor.
If you take a prescription blood thinner, such as Coumadin, or any other prescription blood thinner, consult with your doctor before starting Earthing because Earthing has a blood thinning effect as well. Your doctor may never have heard of Earthing, but you should inform him or her about the possibility of a compounded blood thinning effect and the need to monitor the blood more closely.
A European study published in 2011 indicates that Earthing affects thyroid function. More research is needed, but quite a few people on medication for underactive thyroid (hypothyroid) have indicated they have been able to reduce their dosage of medication after starting Earthing. Some reported feeling palpitations, a common sign of excess thyroid hormone. Earthing evidently improves thyroid function and thus the prescribed level of medication may become excessive. If you take thyroid medication and start Earthing, consult with your physician about monitoring and adjusting your medication level as needed.
We also know that the regulation of blood sugar improves, so if you take diabetic medication you need to check with your doctor to see if a medication reduction is in order.
Keep in mind also that Earthing reduces inflammation, so if you are taking any anti-inflammatory medication please be sure to monitor your dosage with your doctor.
For further clarification, Cardiologist Stephen Sinatra, M.D., the co-author of the “Earthing … ” book, had this to say about the medication issue. His comments:.
“The important thing is to be prudent. Keep in mind that Earthing reduces inflammation in the body and restores natural internal electrical stability and rhythms. Any doctor would applaud such benefits and improvements. But because of such changes, as good as they are, it is possible with continuing grounding, such as sleeping grounded at night, medication dosages may become excessive, and perhaps even unnecessary in some cases.
“Years ago as a practicing cardiologist in Connecticut, I often found myself having to reduce the level of warfarin (Coumadin) for patients coming back to their homes after snowbirding in Florida over the winter months. Their blood coagulability had changed. I thought it was simply a result of going from warm weather to cold weather. I was wrong. I didn’t know anything about Earthing back then. I now know that the reason for the change was because they were going barefoot for many hours during the day and swimming in the ocean or in concrete pools. They were grounding themselves!
“Your doctor is looking out for your well-being and will naturally be reluctant about something new that he or she has no knowledge about. If you are under a doctor’s care, we strongly advise you to consult with your physician before grounding yourself. If interested, the doctor can read our book, Earthing: The Most Important Health Discovery Ever! … “
“For those of you on any critical medication, you should decide with your health care giver about grounding yourself. If you decide to do it, it may be prudent to do so for shorter periods in the beginning, such as walking barefoot in the park or in your backyard, where it is, of course, safe and comfortable to do so, or ground yourself for a few hours while you watch television. As you slowly increase your Earthing time, monitor your situation carefully, including how you feel, so as to determine if your dosage of medication needs to be lowered. Ground with caution, and under the watchful eye of your physician.”
Again, if you are under the care of a health professional, we strongly advise you to inform your practitioner about Earthing because Earthing can influence how you feel, your medical test results, and may possibly require adjustment in your medication. It is strongly recommended that individuals taking medication to thin the blood, regulate blood sugar, control blood pressure, or to regulate thyroid hormone levels, consult their health care provider before Earthing. Your health care provider needs to know.
Each of us is different and pursue different lifestyles, and our experiences can differ widely when starting Earthing. Benefits can come smoothly or with some discomfort in the beginning. Results can also come quickly and dramatically, or subtly and gradually. Some people may not feel any benefits, or begin to feel benefits only after they increase their grounding time. It is impossible for us to predict, or tell you precisely, how Earthing will benefit you in your particular situation. However, Earthing is a natural activity we should all engage in.
Earthing and Multiple Medications
For the issue of multiple medications, as is often the case with elderly individuals or those with serious health complications, it is strongly recommended that you not starting Earthing until a discussion takes place about Earthing’s multiple physiological effects and potential effect on medication dosage with your doctor or health care professional. When multiple medications are involved, multiple interactions could occur as different medications affect each other. For this reason, someone taking multiple medications should NOT start Earthing until he or she has talked about it with their health care professional. Earthing is relatively new, and most doctors have not heard about it or don’t know just how significantly it can influence body physiology. Until there is more research and Earthing becomes more mainstream, this issue is a challenge. Doctors do have the best interests of their patients at heart, so always follow your doctor’s advice.
Will Earthing help you? There is only one way to find out!
Where to Get Your Earthing Products
A Few More Things
What to Do if Earthing Doesn’t Seem to Be Working?
When people say they aren’t getting any benefits from Earthing, the first thing to find out is if they have a good ground connection to a ground rod outside or to a properly grounded wall outlet (as determined by an outlet checker). If they have a good ground connection, the problem may be that they don’t have enough direct skin contact with the sheet, mat, or band — meaning, not enough time spent grounded. Eight night time hours grounded may not even be enough time. Try to ground more if you can. The more you ground, the less inflammation in your body.
A Short List of Issues to Consider When Earthing:
Establish Your Earth Connection
Test your outlet for a proper ground with an outlet checker. Many homes, particularly older homes built before the 1960s, may not have been grounded with an electrical equipment ground, or may have only a few outlets that are actually grounded, like in the kitchen and bathroom. If that’s your situation, use a separate Earthing ground rod or consult with an electrician to properly ground your home’s electrical system.
Note: A separate Earthing ground rod available for purchase comes with an attached 40-foot (13 meter) Earthing cord that can be connected to the cord of the Earthing product. Simply push the rod into the soil below a window and then run the cord under the window or through a nearby door and into the house. Then, simply connect the Earthing product cord to the ground rod cord, and it is ready for use.
Ground Rod Usage in Dry Climates
In a dry environment, such as the Southwest United States or any desert area, the Earth may be minimally conductive on its surface. Our recommendation is to water the ground rod every week or so. Soak the soil around your ground rod as this will improve the electrical conductivity in dry soil.
Whether connected to an outlet indoors or a separate ground rod outdoors, check from time to time that your connections are still intact. If you are disconnected you may notice you aren’t sleeping well or feeling as good and wonder why.
Many people just don’t drink enough water during the day. They are dehydrated. It has been observed that people who are dehydrated may not experience the benefits of Earthing as fully as those who drink an adequate amount of water.
Is There a Best Way to Get Grounded?
Generally, the larger the grounding device contact area the more rapid the results from grounding, and the more that sleep is improved. That said, use body bands during the day and a bottom fitted sheet at night to sleep on.
1) The larger the grounding surface area the better.
2) Direct skin contact with the Earthing device is absolutely essential.
3) Any time spent grounding is better than no grounding.
4) We believe that Earthing/grounding allows a transfer of electrons from the Earth (ground) into the body. We know that inflammation is caused by free radicals and that free radicals are neutralized by electrons from any source.
Earthing is not a Cure All:
Finally, some people express disappointment that Earthing has not helped them with a specific health concern. They had expected quick relief and dramatic improvement. They may have read testimonials and perhaps heard about major benefits from friends or family. Yet, they find they haven’t been helped noticeably or fast enough.
Although Earthing has so much to offer and benefits the body in many ways, it is still not a remedy for all diseases. It should never be regarded as such.
People are all different, and affected by a variety of factors that can undermine health: genetic deficits, congenital problems, severe biochemical imbalances, pronounced immune dysfunction, poor eating habits and nutritional deficiencies, lack of exercise, intense stress, and environmental, chemical, or food sensitivities. We wish that Earthing was indeed a cure-all. But it’s not.
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