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Let me introduce myself. My name is Mark Sisson. I’m 63 years young. I live and work in Malibu, California. In a past life I was a professional marathoner and triathlete. Now my life goal is to help 100 million people get healthy. I started this blog in 2006 to empower people to take full responsibility for their own health and enjoyment of life by investigating, discussing, and critically rethinking everything we’ve assumed to be true about health and wellness...

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July 12 2011

Earthing: Another Reason to Go Barefoot?

By Mark Sisson
235 Comments

I’ve written before about the benefits of going barefoot. Anatomically speaking, it’s the best thing you can do for your feet. Lately, however, I’ve been wading through a theory that suggests we have more to gain from ditching footwear than a more natural gait. In a book called Earthing, authors Clinton Ober, Martin Zucker and Dr. Stephen T. Sinatra put forth a bold proposal that body-to-earth contact has the power to directly impact our health. At the heart of their theory is a central physics-based relationship. Since the advent of shoes, houses, flooring, and elevated beds, we’ve lost our contact with the earth and its inherent electrical field. In discarding (or minimizing) this physical connection, we’re forgoing natural healing benefits that previously played a significant role in our physiological functioning. The body, when grounded in the earth, returns to its natural electrical homeostasis as part of the living electrical matrix. It’s an intriguing theory with, as yet, little attention. Is attention warranted though? Is it really the “most important health discovery ever,” as the authors suggest?

Chronic inflammation, that bane of modern existence, is set and kept in motion by free radicals, the well-meaning soldiers in an immune function run amok. (The body, of course, is responding the only way it knows how faced with the novel conditions of chronic stress, pollution, obesity, and other modern instigators. Anyone want a review?) As the authors explain, free radicals are inherently positively charged. They’re on the hunt for an additional electron, and they’ll scavenge whatever they come across to get it – usually (and hopefully) alien bacteria/virus invaders, which their ravaging disable. In the case of chronic physical/mental stress and its immune dysfunction, they target the only thing around, which is healthy tissue. Antioxidants, of course, serve the same role as these supposed free electrons. They offer up electrons to functionally neutralize free radicals and keep inflammation in check. Earthing (also called grounding) in this way acts as a “vitamin G” for our proposed “electron deficiency.”

Although I get the free radical part, the explanation of how this exchange gets set in motion feels scant. The book in numerous places includes reference to the “negatively charged” earth and its ample supply of free electrons. As a result of this negative charge, the ground itself is presumably the best source for these free electrons. When we’re “grounded” in the earth (e.g. barefoot/bare skin contact on unbuffered earth/conductive natural material or in barefoot/bare skin contact with a mechanically grounded device like a conductive pad or bed sheet), our bodies – as natural circuits – naturally absorb the earth’s plentiful free electrons and use them to feed the out of control free radicals. As the authors explain, “our conductive bodies naturally equalize with the earth.”

Call me picky, but I wish the authors spent more time filling in and substantiating these physics related claims. In some cases, there appear to be a number of convenient simplifications to the argument. Although the book makes it sound like the earth is a big ball of striking negative charge, the actual charge of the earth’s surface, for example, isn’t substantially “negative.” It instead hovers remarkably close to neutral and actually fluctuates in a dynamic relationship with the earth’s atmosphere. Generally, yes, it tends to hold a very slightly negative charge and the atmosphere a positive charge. (This relationship exists in a kind of continual exchange, with thunderstorms offering a dramatic shift and exchange of relative charge.) They comment that the physics part of the theory is “common sense,” but I’ll admit I’m not fully sold on the intuitiveness yet. Of course, I’m only a layperson here. Any physics experts out there care to chime in?

Furthermore, the authors assign seemingly random values to things like the voltage difference between a person’s head and feet. The value is likely a product of some probability distribution but has no merit as an absolute value, although this is never mentioned. (Even with a particular height, the actual voltage difference depends on a number of factors like humidity levels, wind velocity, etc.) They claim a specific voltage is inherent to living on a particular floor in an apartment building, and so on. Again, these might seem like minor points, but simplifications bother me, particularly when the persons giving them don’t acknowledge them as such.

But then there’s the biology. The book cites a variety of patient observations and clinical studies. A large part of the book contains anecdotal descriptions of people helped by earthing, which (while intriguing) can’t be counted as objective support. Thermography images (PDF) of patients’ with a variety of ailments and injuries show – after a half an hour of grounding (with no other intervention) – surprising reductions in inflammation where other medications and therapies have had little impact. Microscopic images comparing blood samples after less than an hour of grounding in several subjects suggest a dramatic improvement in viscosity.

One double-blind, controlled clinical trial demonstrated earthing’s impact on a number of biomarkers. Subjects who slept grounded showed statistically significant decreases in serum sodium, potassium, magnesium, iron, total protein, albumin concentrations, inorganic phosporus. Free T4 and TSH increased while free T3 decreased. (PDF) In another study, participants were given exercises that induced muscular pain. Those who were grounded showed altered immune activity and reported lesser pain levels than those who were ungrounded. (PDF)

Another controlled study suggested that sleeping grounded can impact cortisol levels and sleep quality. Subjects who slept grounded with conductive mattress pads showed lower night-time cortisol levels as well as an overall “resynchronization” of cortisol secretion “more in alignment with the natural 24-hour circadian rhythm profile.” (PDF) Subjects who were grounded during sleep also reported better sleep and less physical pain and emotional stress. You can check out links to other earthing related studies here.

Clearly, something is happening here. The results are pretty suggestive of some significant phenomenon. As for my part, I’m hopeful but still cautious about the authors’ general theory and the compelling (albeit modest) collection of research that supports earthing’s impact. The concept admittedly appeals to the evolutionary bent in me, but I’m always on the lookout for the snags of naturalistic fallacy.

When I first heard of the concept, I was on the verge of dismissing it out of hand, but a friend convinced me to read the book. I thought it was going to be another artfully construed, new agey round of BS. I finished the book a little disappointed at the vague physics summary and a few infomercial style sections but nonetheless intrigued by the concept and some of the study results.

The research and scholarly discussion on earthing isn’t overwhelming. The vast majority of studies aren’t substantial in size, and few bear the gold standard of randomized, controlled, and double-blind methodology. The inclusion of so many personal stories – with their apparent suggestion that earthing has conferred benefit to virtually every ailment and injury known to humankind (and don’t forget the section on pets!) doesn’t do the authors’ argument any favors. (And I still can’t let go of the thin, unsubstantiated physics explanation.)

Nonetheless, I’ve been spending even more time outside barefoot. I’ve taken to sitting on the beach or grass more often while reading or talking with my kids. I look for the grass, gravel, dirt, sand, or concrete the authors suggest for conductivity.

As of yet, I haven’t picked up any of the equipment, but I’m not ruling it out. I’ll admit part of me is curious. I don’t have any truly chronic pain (although the knee I injured a couple of years ago does get a little irritated now and then) or disease that would offer me the chance to  follow any dramatic observations. The most I could hope for is a more restful night’s sleep and (barring a battery of blood tests, thermography and other images) the benefit of unseen stabilization of my body’s electrical state. Hmmmm…

We’ll see what the coming months bring. For now, it’s one more excuse to go barefoot and enjoy being outside with the sand or grass between my toes. Seriously, who doesn’t love that? It’s all the justification I need really.

Anyone out there familiar with the earthing concept? If you’ve read the book or tried the practices/products suggested by the Earthing authors, I’d be interested in hearing your take. Thanks for reading today, everyone. I’ll look forward to enjoying your thoughts. Have a great week.

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235 thoughts on “Earthing: Another Reason to Go Barefoot?”

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  1. I get up very early every day (before sunrise) to work on my consulting businesses before spending time with my family and going to work.

    The first thing I do, year round, rain or snow is go outside barefoot and “ground” myself.

    I look up at the stars, and breathe deeply for a couple of minutes.

    It really makes me feel alive.

    1. Interestingly, the only time you are “grounded” in modern society is when you are showering! The metal pipes are in the ground and water is conductive. Ever wonder why you have all of your good ideas in the shower, or you figure out to solve the problem, or how the design of your book or paper is going to look just comes to you?

      Part of the picture is that you are grounded. The real palpable benefits from earthing come from sleeping grounded. The grounding technology is such a simple, yet profoundly effective technology that works! Before bashing grounding, try sleeping grounded! Has anyone ever slept grounded here? Huge difference in quality of sleep.

      1. Ummmmmm….I dunno. Not a lot of homes with metal drain pipes. Maybe a few REAL old ones. Mostly plastic stack vents. Though it could be argued that even with plastic pipes…the water in the pipes would ground you all the way out to where the water meets the septic tank or sewer.

        1. The ground wire in a house is attached to a copper rod, driven into the ground. Sometimes, also, to copper water pipes–not the drain pipes.

      2. OMGosh Mark..I always have my best ideas in the shower. I was considering putting a audio recorder in there just to verbalize my thoughts because as soon as I dry off, the thoughts are gone. Very interesting.

        1. Tara also when you are leaving your shower you feel airy and spacey from all of the toxic chloroform gas you just inhaled! Just another reason for a shower filter. But being grounded all day is kinda like showering all day long! How great.

        2. I’ve installed a simple diving slate in my shower a few years ago and it has helped me tremendously to remember these outbursts of creativity.

      3. What time of day do you shower?

        Mental states are different during the waking hours most people shower.

      4. Unfortunately, in a lot of modern construction, the use of pvc plastic has eliminated the use of metal pipes. So even if you have copper water lines, there is a very real chance that your drains are made of pvc and thus are not conductive.

    2. i’m left unimpressed and even reluctant about this grounding idea. the concept itself is intriguing, and yes i love the nostalgic feeling of being barefoot in the grass, but i have indeed slept grounded (purchased all the grounding equipment – sheet, wrist bands and pad) and never noticed any obvious effects, especially with sleep, as that was my primary motivation to try it. i also did some of my own research into the effect power lines and meters and household wiring have on the passive earthing process and they can actually have the opposite and potentially harmful (?) effect. i’ve never received a satisfactory answer about this from the inventors of earthing equipment. would love to hear what has been learned about the interference of man-made electricity on the otherwise natural grounding effect on the body.

    3. Here’s a documentary on earthing/grounding for anyone who wants to look up more. I thought the cut flowers experiment was interesting. I’m going to try that out.

      http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2013/10/19/grounded-documentary.aspx

      http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=jgwF0tpioTU&desktop_uri=%2Fwatch%3Fv%3DjgwF0tpioTU

      Dave Asprey (of Bulletproof Executive fame) had a post on it as well some time back. He practices grounding too.

      When I was reading up on Myofascial Release for help with my Fibromyalgia pain, I came across preliminary studies that suggested that the fascial tissue acts as a semiconductor in the body and that the acupuncture meridians correspond surprisingly with the fascial lines of tension in the body. They also hypothesised that what the ancients thought were subtle energy flows, could just be electric currents in the body.

      So the precedent seems to be there. Very little, I admit, but it is plausible.

      At the very least, grounding immediately negates the effects of the emfs in your immediate surroundings on your body. The jury’s still out on whether those emfs actually affect or harm your normal physiological processes

      See this,

      http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=AuneIaI1vKg

      Love,
      Foggy dude

    4. Me too! My early morning barefoot walks have been a daily practice for about 5 years now. They are sometimes quite short when where is fresh snow or the temp is in the 0 fahrenheit range, but it is always a beautiful and pleasant experience!

  2. Someone go bug pubmed about this, please. 🙂

    Sounds kinda “woo” to me.

    (I’m still going to go barefoot whenever I can, though)

    1. It does sound a bit out there. Paul Chek is a big believer in this too, but he’s a bit out there as well haha.

      Regardless of whether or not there’s any scientific proof of this earthing business though, I have always noticed a sort of calming feeling I get when I walk around barefoot or lay in the grass, etc. There’s something about it that just makes me feel good.

      1. Yup, same here. I’m sure there’s a psychological effect. I just don’t think there’s any electricity involved (beyond our normal electricity, of course).

        I wonder what the selection coefficient would be on “earthing”. 🙂

    1. Where in Florida? I actually plan on moving to the Orlando area at the end of this year. Basically, I have had enough of Michigan’s winters!

      Are you near Orlando by any chance?

        1. Because of the weather? My current plan is to live in Orlando from October through April and Michigan May through September for the next few years….

          There is an Orlando primal meetup group in Orlando… are you part of it?

  3. I’ve been reading about Earthing and glad you’re investigating it!

  4. the daoists used to talk a bit about this mostly in reference to “chi”. they (as most ancients)were probably just saying “be barefoot” and some overzealous interpreter read more into it than was actually there. i know something about this as it relates to ionization, but “grounding” sounds like a bunch of crap to me. i mean, we do have electricity running our bodies, but we aren’t meant to conduct it. for example, lighting strikes are deadly. i think we would be better off avoiding overexposure to EMF from our various electrical devices than imaginary electron manipulation. everything has free electrons as electrons are constantly being traded and such. besides that, i wouldn’t EVER trust ANYTHING said by ANYONE about subatomic particles that doesn’t have a phd in physics with leanings towards quantum mechanics. and even they dont (admittedly) understand much of what goes on in that realm. all newtonian physics vanishes in quantum mechanics.

  5. Haha! Call up Art Bell and have him interview these guys.

    Walking around barefoot is a fantastic way to improve your mood – not because you’re being ‘grounded’, but because it feels good and is freeing. It just feels nice to wriggle your toes in the grass.

    This would be super easy to test – if it’s extra electrons that our bodies need, it’s easy to produce those and deposit them on a human body. Electrons from the planet are no different than electrons from any other source. It also sounds like there is no mechanistic reason for this happening.

    So I’ll pass on the new age mumbo jumbo, but I still go barefoot whenever I can.

    1. “So I’ll pass on the new age mumbo jumbo…”

      Washing hand before and after surgery was mumbo jumbo once…….

      1. Germ theory of disease had a good scientific foundation to get started. What some of us are saying here is that the fundamental physics is completely against this notion.

        Your local environment (office, bedroom, bathroom, backyard) is in electrical equilibrium: the voltage is all equal. Every time you touch something in your local environment, you exchange electrons with that object, thus ensuring the equilibrium between you and the object.

        The only time you’d get out of equilibrium is if you were physically isolated via strong insulating materials: i.e., levitating in a thick rubber bubble.

        Nikolai Tesla wore thick, cork-soled shoes when doing high-voltage demonstrations because he did not want to come to electrical equilibrium with his environment — it would have had fatal, disastrous results. Had he touched anything in his environment, he would also have been electrocuted.

        Again, there may be something therapeutic to stimulating the bottom of one’s feet via barefoot walking, but this ion-transfer/electron-transfer/ground-yourself business is — as gently as I can say it — complete nonsense.

        You are always in touch with your environment; you are always exchanging electrons and ions with it.

        1. And……your point is…..

          Mark is not dismissing earthing out of hand….he is waiting….we can do the same

          Here’s a quote for you Sean: “Despite various publications of results where hand-washing reduced mortality to below 1%, Semmelweis’s observations conflicted with the established scientific and medical opinions of the time and his ideas were rejected by the medical community. Some doctors were offended at the suggestion that they should wash their hands and Semmelweis could offer no acceptable scientific explanation for his findings. Semmelweis’s practice earned widespread acceptance only years after his death, when Louis Pasteur confirmed the germ theory. In 1865, Semmelweis was committed to an asylum, where he died, ironically, of septicemia at age 47.”

          Science catches up with mumbo jumbo…….as it usually does…..kicking and screaming all the way…..history is littered with the dead [I know I know….and the living too] as a result. What’s the usual cycle….rejection, reviling, acceptance….look at primal blueprint……same same….

          I am not denying the germ theory……which even Pasteur in his last days admitted that environment [meaning our physical…and “energetic?” body]has the larger role to play.

          What I am saying is that Dr had a belief that preceded the science and was reviled for it, this earthing may not have the science to back it……yet…that is what I meant. Many times science went to prove something as wrong and did but often enough they proved it right…..so

          Don’t be the lynch mob…..ok….that’s all I am saying……

        2. Jo-Anne: Not trying to be a lynch mob… really. And I appreciate the quote.

          For me, a thing needs both a scientific basis and an evidence-based position in order to be valid. I can’t argue for or against the evidence (or people’s experiences). However, we have over 150 years worth of good working knowledge regarding electromagnetic phenomena; if it were wrong or incomplete, then we couldn’t do MRI’s or have computers or…

          All I’m really trying to say is this: if there is something to it (and there may be), it is not for the reasons which they are espousing.

          Friends…

        3. I think you are right, Sean–it’s nonsense. Plausible-sounding, pseudoscientific nonsense. I have a Ph.D. in neuroscience, my husband has one in electrical engineering, and we both think there is no reason to invest in a grounding mat. Save your money–you might need it for snake oil! Not that it doesn’t feel good to go barefoot in the grass or on the beach–I highly recommend that, anyway!

          1. You should watch the documentary Grounding. The most impressive segment was at the end when the man who had been a paraplegic for 30 years and could barely move his toes actually stood up and walked with a walker after grounding for several months. I’ve been grounding over 5 years. I’d never be without it. The benefits to myself have been astounding.

  6. Hmmm. My sister went barefoot all the time and died of cancer at 45. I just don’t know….

    1. Just going barefoot all the time isn’t enough to save someone from cancer…there are plenty of other things that need to be done to prevent cancer and disease. I’m sorry for your loss, though..45 is young. I lost my mother to colon cancer when she was only 43. I hope to PB my way out of that fate.

    2. I teach martial arts and spend several hours each day barefoot. I also like to walk around the office in sock-feet.

      I also have a terrible auto-immune disease.

      1. There’s no such thing as ‘auto-immune’ disease. The body isn’t attacking itself, the immune system is trying to reach microbes/viruses/bacteria that are encased by biofilms.

      2. Walking around your office in sock-feet won’t ground you (this wouldn’t ground you if you were barefoot either).

        Not sure what is meant by teaching martial arts, but I’m assuming this is mentioned because martial arts is often taught barefoot. But again, teaching martial arts barefoot and indoors wouldn’t ground you. It would, however, ground you if you taught it outside and barefoot.

        And you mention spending “several hours each day barefoot”. But simply being barefoot won’t ground you, ie walking around your house barefoot does not ground you (in most homes, there are always exceptions). However if you walk barefoot outdoors on grass/concrete/sand/dirt…, you will be grounded.

        There are a lot of misunderstandings in this discussion about what being grounded takes. I’m not convinced one way or the other on the theory of earthing, but it’s hard to have a good debate with so much misunderstanding of the basic concept of grounding.

  7. I have heard about this book. But I am also not so sure about the physics explanation. But it does feel good to walk or run barefoot on the grass. I have felt reduction in stress after some exercise done barefoot on the grass.

  8. I think its just more fun to be barefoot anyway. Whatever that strange research says, i think its just is more enjoyable to stand in the sand or the grass and wiggle my toes around, enjoying it!

    Granted I do take to shoes while moving around in public due to the fact that I am very prone to stubbing toes!

    :):)

    1. HAha, sometimes I just love those kind of hedonistic comments!! Who cares as long as it’s fun… :=)

  9. Yanno, I barefoot as much as possible (and ‘on asphalt in South Carolina’s summer ain’t it), and I’ve taken to doing it in the yard as well, when I go out to catch some rays.

    When I took to regular sunbathing, I did notice immediate improvements not just in my coloration, but mood, energy, athletic performance, and so on. Basically all the nice stuff vitamin D gets you.

    When I shucked my shoes, I didn’t really notice anything physical, although there is definitely something more natural about. I feel more connected to the ground, more at home, even younger–probably because childhood is the last time most of us run around barefoot outside.

    I’d call it pretty unlikely that ‘earthing’ did anything to de-ionize me, but I can definitely see how that pleasant feeling of connection to the ground might cause someone’s imagination to get spinning.

    The physics they’re going into are complete hogwash, the same sort of specious, pseudoscientific ‘reasoning’ that you see from a lot of quacks.

    (I’m also fond of the assertion, in other ‘literature’ that our feet are full of toxins because of gravity. Kinda fails to explain how they don’t just swell up and explode within moments of standing, it capillary action can’t overcome that little problem. People should really strive for better than a B in a public high school physics course before writing their ‘science’.)

    1. Just use a volt meter set to A/C volts . When you ground yourself you are equalizing the potential of you and the earth witch is 0 volts EMF is a big problem in today’s world and earthing discharges all that voltage back to ground. Just sleep earthen and come back and tell me you didn’t have the most lucid dreams and wake up refreshed and full of energy. Condemnation without investigation is the height of ignorance!

  10. My sister read the book and bought some of the equipment mentioned, grounding pads, rods, etc. She said that after three night of sleeping on the grounding pad, the constant pain she’d had for years in her back diminished considerably. She also goes outside barefoot when possible. I also read the book and the science was weak, but then I use homeopathy and the science is almost non-existent there. If it works, then who cares why. 🙂

    1. This sounds similar to those magentic bracelets that are marketed to improve your balance. It all sounds crazy to me.

  11. Sounds sketchy to me.

    But if you do go barefoot, especially in the city, try not to stop on anything metal. A dog was electrocuted in Seattle last January when it stepped on a hot manhole cover, and other similar incidents have happened elsewhere.

  12. Sounds “woo” to me too, but physiologically, if there is something to magnetic fields and health, then there would also be something to being electrically “grounded” or not. When we’re wearing shows, we’re not.

    Interesting.

  13. This sounds extremely…woo. On the order of “The Secret” level of woo, honestly. Given the points Mark raised above and how the earth’s magnetic field actually works, none of this makes very much sense. Also, most people’s shoes conduct just fine, or all sorts of self-electrocution phenomena would never happen. If it works for some people, great, but there doesn’t seem to be any real evidence that I can dig up anywhere. And lacking evidence, and given how strong we know the placebo effect can be, I would hesitate to attribute any of what the authors say to actual electrical whatsit and instead attribute it to a combination of the placebo effect and the actual benefits of being outdoors, getting sun, and not wearing shoes that are bad for you.

  14. Awesome until the grounding gets you hit by lightning. I think I read a study somewhere that said you’d need a pretty heavy doses of anti-oxidants to counteract the oxidizing effects of getting fried crispy…

    On a personal note though I’m beginning to care less and less about the “why” in science. To me the fact laying down on earth is relaxing and simply feels good is enough to tell me it’s good for me. So maybe there’s truth to their theory, but say it’s 100% accurate: it should be obvious to everyone here that it’s only one piece to the puzzle of why connecting with the Earth is healthy.

    1. Not to detract from their theory though. Hearing things like this, true or not, always makes me feel happy inside.

    2. Well, yeah, spending time outdoors lying in the grass probably is good for you. You get sun, you get fresh air, you get low levels of exposure to stuff that keeps your immune system from wigging out. You probably get exercise walking to and from the park, and if you kick off your shoes that probably helps too, as a lot of people wear shoes that don’t really fit that well, even before we get into the “shoes are bad in general” debate. Plus, being able to take a break and relax in the sunlight is probably a mental and emotional boost too, and there’s all sorts of research about how emotional health can interplay with physical health. Toss in a healthy dose of the placebo effect (which has been shown to work on people who have been told that they’re just receiving a placebo) and you’re off and running.

      I’m not saying the authors are *necessarily* wrong about why it’s working. But it’s on them to prove it, and I haven’t been able to dig up any research that even *supports* it–meanwhile there are all these other factors over here which totally explain such actions feeling good or even resulting in better health. And I totally care about the why in science, because 1)increasing our pool of knowledge is a good thing and 2)a lot of the stuff that’s justified with really shoddy “whys” is actually just really shoddy to begin with (near infinite dilution homeopathy, etc) and is the kind of stuff people spend tons of money on, and money that should be going to actual research gets diverted into, when really the whole thing is a nicely-dressed sugar pill.

      1. You’re very right, the “why” is important for many reasons. It’s what leads us to more research which in turn let’s us find out more about our relationship with our environment. I never meant to downplay it’s importance, I merely meant that the take home message we should all focus on here is to go outside and connect.

        1. Oh, yeah. Sorry if that came across as combative or anything; I’m finding as I post more and more on the internet it’s becoming apparent that lack of facial expression and tone makes it easy to come across as hostile when you don’t mean to. I just think why’s are very important.

    3. Careful with that theory. I had a friend who believed in eating things that “made him feel good, so they must be good for him.” With this mentality, he consumed Ramen Noodles and all the “foods” that come from a factory.

      Needless to say, he had a pulmonary embolism at age 25. He has no hereditary issues either.

      Just because it “feels good,” doesn’t make it so. Don’t give up on science. Only give up the misuse of it.

      1. Well feeling “good” and feeling “healthy” can be two different things, but yes I was more than a little careless in what I said. Like how people believe cigarettes help them relax, but in reality the “relaxation” they’re feeling is just a temporary relief from the tension that the nicotine gave them. Still the feeling of lying in grass, of taking in the smells, the individual softness of each grass blade, the noises of the crickets and the birds… can you honestly imagine a feeling like that being part of something unhealthy?

        And not to worry, my faith in science is boundless. I will never forget the big picture just to question the intricacy of it’s pieces, however.

    4. “…it should be obvious to everyone here that it’s only one piece to the puzzle of why connecting with the Earth is healthy.”

      I hear you Dan…..so caught up listening to the experts we forget hear what our own expert [our body] is telling us.

      The Mark Sissons and the Earthing authors look for their “truths” and they share it with us, guide us, inform us, educate us and yes entertain us on our search for self realisation but they are not responsible for the end result of what the individual takes as their “truth”.

  15. I won’t lie, this sounds a bit hokey. On the other hand, this is kind of like using the force. WoW = Run around barefoot with Yoda (or a kid) on your back to simulate training on Dagobah from The Empire Strikes Back?

  16. YES YES YES! I have read the book and bought some earthing equipment. A blanket and wristband. It totally works 🙂 I notice it mainly by waking up much earlier(about 2 hours earlier than I use to) and feeling more energized. I have a pretty primal lifestyle already, so this is a major improvement for me! Dont hesitate to try this, it is a valuable “tool” to have in your natural-health toolbox 🙂

    Read the amazon.com reviews: http://www.amazon.com/Earthing-Most-Important-Health-Discovery/dp/1591202833

    Start going barefoot in the grass, but to really give it a go buy a wristband and start sleeping grounded, this is when you will notice the biggest difference!

    This is gonna get BIG in the primal/paleo community in just a couple of months. Since we are a gang constantly looking to empower our lives with a more optimal/natural lifestyle.
    I see only you Mark and Dr.Mercola has written about this before. But its gonna get much more attention real soon!

    Give it a try, the wristbands are cheap and will connect you to the earths energy!

    Peace my friends 🙂

    1. Oh and Im not in any way afiliated with anyone selling earthing products. I just wish for more people to try this to improve their health 🙂

    2. I agree, I bought an earthing sheet when on sale at xmas, solely based on all the positive reviews. I was hoping it would help with my frozen shoulder and so far no luck there, but I have had no allergies at all this spring and I am consistently waking 1 hour earlier and feeling more refreshed. It took a good 3 months before I noticed the shift, something that is mentioned in the book. For the price of a single massage, I consider it money well spent.

  17. Laird Hamilton’s book briefly mentions that he agrees with this way of thinking and that going barefoot is crucial to us. By the way, his book is very Primal Blueprint in several other areas too!

  18. As an electrical engineer in a field very heavily dominated by electric fields (power transformers) I call their science bunk. There may in-fact be an “earthing effect”, but it does not operate how they claim.

    The earth emits an electric field (as does everything electronic; the difference is in magnitude) not a grounded/ungrounded state. The farther away from the earth you are the weaker the electric field. So, assuming this “negative electric field” exists we would be reaping the benefits of free radical neutralization regardless of whether we were in bare skin contact with the earth or another grounded medium.

    I’m not dismissing the results; just the (lacking) “common sense” the theory is derived from.

      1. I agree, the mechanism they propose is nonsense. I used to work on antioxidant metabolism, so think “vitamin G” idea is pretty funny. They probably dreamed that quackery up to sell their conductive mats and stuff.

        However, lying about outside in the grass is very relaxing, so is probably good for you. But you don’t have to buy their products.

        1. I’m a 20 year old beach volleyball player and I find huge benefits from sleeping grounded using their common sense grounding technology. Everyone is so quick to dismiss the earthing effect because they have never SLEEP grounded. If you sleep grounded one night you will wake up and be like WOAH.

          Remember, it’s not just the abundant source of antioxidant free electrons that the earth nourishes us with, the earth also emits circadian rhythms that act like “Greenwich Median Time”. The earth is a reference point for our circadian rhythms. You will feel the difference in the morning.

    1. I’m a physicist and totally agree with my brethren engineer.

      If we weren’t grounded on a regular basis, then we would be shocking ourselves anytime we switched to barefooted mode.

    2. “The day science begins to study non-physical phenomena, it will make more progress in one decade than in all the previous centuries of its existence”.
      Nikola Tesla

  19. In April we hiked Buckskin gulch, here in Utah, barefoot. Mostly because we were in and out of water so much and it just made more sense. The ground was sandy with patches of larger rocks so we really had to pick our way through sometimes. My husband and I are pretty grounded and earth connected anyway, but this was an eye opener. Our feet felt wonderful, and we felt so much more connected to the earth. I have gone barefoot as much as possible since I was a kid,but this was something different. I wrote a blog post about our experience and someone commented and told me about this earthing stuff. I’m not sure I would spend money on anything I can get for free. Standing on the lawn,the dirt, or plugging into the sand. It’s all good.

  20. I love your skeptical, yet hopeful approach to your reading. It allows you to keep an open-mind, yet still require some substantiation.

    I’d love to see more on this too. I go barefoot every now and then because I like the way it feels. Who doesn’t love the way grass feels under your feet?

    I also love the way it feels when you’re not only barefoot, but have nothing in your pockets. As if you’re off your societal leash, leaving your cell behind, keys, money, identification, etc.

    I feel such a great sense of freedom when I’m shirtless, barefoot, and I’m carrying zero items in my pockets. Perhaps some studies should be done on that too.

    1. “I love your skeptical, yet hopeful approach to your reading. It allows you to keep an open-mind, yet still require some substantiation.”

      That is want I wanted to say but you say it so much better…..and concisely.

      Thanks

      “I feel such a great sense of freedom when I’m shirtless, barefoot, and I’m carrying zero items in my pockets.” I don’t do the shirtless thing…..not a good look for me…….but I know what you are saying however I feel exposed with “zero items” and it is very enlightening….

  21. Touch wood! (Or Earth!) Lately I’ve been going barefoot a lot, partially to recondition my tissues to a more natural state but also because I came up with the same suspicion after reading a bit about the electromagnetic forces in our world that there is some benefit to be had by making naked contact with the planet instead of insulating ourselves with rubber shoes or other alien surfaces.
    Regrettably I recently lost some control of my will power and sanity when I went on a four day binge with some psychoactive pills processed by Big Pharma and the result was that I looked and felt haggard and I could tell that my nervous system was not functioning properly because of a lack of coordination in my body. I was trying to stick the straws through the rubber pieces plugging my vials of ginseng extract and it was taking many more tries than should have been necessary and I was twitchy and felt weak. But barefoot, crawling under an electric fence seperating two fields yesterday and accidentally getting a strong shock from the pulsing current, an idea came to me: saturate my system with electrons, which I probably neeeded due to all the artifical junk circulating in my system. I also assumed that my heartbeat was a little off, since once I was so messed up from chemical indulgences that I called an ambulance on myself suspecting an overdose and the paramedics, after assessing me with some machine, gave me a strong shock across the chest. Therefore with my feet grounded in the grass I took hold of the wire with both hands and let it shock me several times until I felt a bit more normal. I also got a minor adrenaline rush from the shocks, which I dissipated by climbing the nearest tree. After much more walking around and climbing trees barefoot I felt quite a bit better and more myself. Since then I’ve been drinking black, green, and herbal tea concoctions with a bit of juice, ginseng, and raw honey thrown in like my life depends on it, trying to reset my system to a healthy state.
    Yesterday and today I’ve also been reading theories about HAARP and ELF and GWEN towers and how artifical frequencies are being sent through the ground and airwaves for some nefarious purpose, sometimes altering the weather and people’s brainwaves, and also as an accidental result of technology.. the details are sketchy and there is a lot of speculation, but I believe those topics are worth looking into.

      1. Not sure what this video is actually trying to say, but I know a lot about HAARP. It is simply a radar system that points straight up to probe the ionosphere for space weather research. It most definitely cannot control the weather (or minds or anything else).

        1. I’m glad we eliminated the towers as the cause of the brainwave manipulation. 😉

        2. and u know that urself or someone told ya? if someone told ya, who?

  22. There’s more to the earthing theory than one may initially think. It’s interesting to see that Frequency Specific Microcurrent (FSM) is making a comeback from the 1920’s & is gaining acceptance as an effective modality in the treatment of chronic pain, largely due to the efforts of Carolyn McMakin, MA, DC. From the FAQ at: http://goo.gl/45vWe

    “Micro current is current in millionths of an ampere, & is the same kind of current your body produces on its own within each cell. This is current in millionths of an amp. It is very small; there is not enough current to stimulate sensory nerves so the current flow cannot be felt.”

    The most notable case of FSM application was it’s use on NFL wide receiver Terrell Owens who recovered from an ankle fracture in six weeks & was able to play in the 2005 Super Bowl.

    Dr. Robert Rowen wrote about FSM in his Nov. 2005 Second Opinion newsletter saying that besides treatment of chronic pain, FSM can be used to reverse heart disease & even macular degeneration. http://goo.gl/ZxCgN

    I do not personally know any practitioners or patients that have experience with FSM, but I find the anecdotal reports intriguing to the point that FSM may warrant further investigation.

  23. Traditional Indian Ayurvedic medicine recommends walking barefoot first thing in the morning through the dew to cool the body, especially if you have difficulty dealing with hot weather. Brett, you may be on to something!

    1. That is interesting, Connie – I have been reading up on Ayurvedic medicine, so I like that.

      I used to have difficulty dealing with hot weather, but I think losing 80 pounds (thanks to Primal Blueprint) was what did the trick!

      I must admit, I do like that first breath of fresh air every day – and the tranquility.

    2. i’ve heard of an Ayurvedic treatment for joint pain consisting of burying the patient in sand up to there neck for several hours.

      1. If you can give me the reference for this, would like to have it. Ayurveda has great wisdom and I feel sure that the Indian healers back thousands of years ago knew about Earthing.
        Martin Zucker
        Co-author of the Earthing book
        (info@earthinginstitute.net)

  24. This is definitely setting off my BS detector. There might be some benefit in regards to the electrical charge of the earth, but “it’s common sense!” is not a replacement for real, verifiable science. Like everyone else has said, though, going barefoot is still a nice thing.

  25. I have a friend with advanced Lyme disease who swears this helps her but I’ve never been convinced on a scientific level. I was hoping to read something to change my mind here but sadly not. And the whole HAARP connection bothers me. I’m not sure what to believe.

  26. I have a degree in physics, I’m working on another.

    The whole basis of “Earthing” is one big science face-palm. The author should be ashamed of himself. I won’t even bother arguing the physics because the original hypothesis that free radicals are only positively charged is false. Free radicals can have positive, negative or zero charge.

    1. Keep in mind that your degrees might be forged, at least here in the States, with curriculum that follows a Leftist bias. Don’t assume that theories are materialistic fact, because you can’t even logically prove that you exist, unless you were to get into metaphysics, which I assume that you assume seems to be a load of B.S.

      Just accept that theories represent hypothoses that abstract certain elements of real-world events and can get outdated, revised, or totally flipped around. Physics has little application when it comes to the interpersonal society that we homo sapiens seem to exist in. It doesn’t seem to satisfy my brain in the least to have faith in textbook physics. It simply cannot incorporate every possible signal, under every possible condition. Most of the theories in physics seem to exist within themselves, like mathematics. In that case, it dwells in a vacuum, therefore it has no “real” substance.

      You know, the brain can probably compensate chemical responses for nearly anything, including absolute fundamentalism in his chosen field of work, or something as simple as being “grounded” to his home planet, with his bare naked flesh to her’s. Your physics degree can’t calculate that, no matter how extensive it is. If you can simultaneously comprehend, without abstraction, every signal in Universe, and be able to calculate them into real-worldly applicable theories, then you, by all means, deserve a really great reward for your contribution to humanity.

      Remember, the cat’s both dead and alive!

      1. Also, I am sorry if I offended you, because I know how terrifying it can be to hear that all the time and effort invested into college degrees and other long-term decisions end up having nothing more than social value in a capitalistic world. Some people deny it for years upon years.

        1. No, don’t worry. I’m not usually offended by nonsense.

          I just hope you realize that the only reason you can communicate to me like this is through the textbook physics that your brain can’t comprehend. You seem eloquent enough, I’d hope that you would have more sense than to discount something that you don’t understand.

        2. Sir, your field simply cannot apprehend every signal simultaneously and incorporate all of them, again simultaneously, in calculating every aspect of a space-time event. It just can’t happen. Your field makes approximations within the limits of its own system. Math isn’t real. Argue with Niels Bohr or Schrodinger on whether or not you are holding two apples when one is in your left hand and one is in your right hand. You can’t prove it logically.

          Before Aristotle’s Metaphysics, everyone had their own ontologies, and everyone accepted that everyone’s ontologies were differen.

          I guess that I can’t comprehend your textbook physics, because the human brain can’t fathom one-dimensional singularity in its whole. Your system of metaphysics simply goes beyond my head, I guess. Fundamental Materialism strikes again, it seems, as society will agree on those that have suckered their way up the totem pole of social and political hierarchy.

          You cannot prove that matter exists, or that their are any “natural laws.” Your metaphysics is in a state of cancer and is destroying itself.

        3. Actually, honestly, I concede. I am not a fundamental materialist, but you seem to me to be. That’s okay. I am sorry for trying to put up a fight with you. I wasn’t trying to be a smart-alec, either. I simply let my prejudices blind my abstractions.

          But I do want to ask you to question the systems that you have used to educate yourself, and question yourself. I’m sorry, Matthew S.

      2. The book on grounding uses scientific language to convince its reader. The least you can expect is that these scientific statements correspond to the current scientific understanding of the world.

        Even if you believe that science cannot tell you anything about the real world and all the electronic gadgets you use are just working due to a miracle and not because the were designed using the current scientific understanding of reality, people citing science should do this right.

    2. Are you sure you’re talking about free radicals in a biological context? My understanding is that in the body the vast majority of free radicals are positively charged.

      1. Hydroxyl radical is one of the dominant free radicals in biological systems. This as no overall charge. Superoxide is the other main radical, this as an overall negative charge.

        Facts like this are just part of the reason why the idea of feeding electrons into the body stopping oxidative stress is gibberish.

  27. The electrical field thing is a bit woo woo for me too. However I submit that wearing shoes is akin to wearing earplugs. We have a large concentration of nerve endings in our feet and I feel the the increased sensory stimulation of being barefoot is healthy for our mental functioning. It might even be argued that wearing shoes is like partial sensory deprivation.

  28. I was just trying to force myself to finish reading the book. I think everything could have been said in 25-30 pages. It comes across as a long advertisement for snake oil, though I don’t see how more people walking barefooted will make the authors any money. Maybe it works?

      1. It’s a saying. Way back in the 1800s con artists would sell snake oil, bottles of mercury, cocaine, and whatever else to people by making them believe it was a cure all, when all it really was fake marketing mixed with the placebo effect.

    1. Is snake oil negative or positively charged? If I rub it on my feet, I might get this same earthing effect…

    1. I am in! Tell us how you did it, looking forward to do the same 🙂

  29. I currently live and work outside on an organic produce farm. I go the majority of my time entirely without shoes (or shirt, for that matter) while working the fields, walking/running the 3 miles into town, hiking, anything. I can say without a doubt that I feel the best I ever have, and I’m sure that’s for a wide variety of reasons, but I’ve learned not to dismiss anything because it sounds like “woo.”

    Our cultural belief that the basics of how our reality operates are fully understood by us through modern science is built on hubris. I used to epitomize that belief; studying whatever I could until all the pieces fit together like clockwork. Physics begat chemistry begat biology begat psychology etc. Everything a logical, purely physical fluctuating whole.

    Of course, this point of view required me to ignore a good bit of cognitive dissonance (y’know, that stuff we attribute to the food-pyramid brigade). There’s so much to our subjective experiences of reality that our present model of science either hasn’t caught up with or is incapable of encompassing.

    My experience (coming from a scientifically trained background) leaves no doubt that there is a reality behind things like energy meridians in the body and the earth, or a mood-altering affect to be experience with ionized water (perhaps not dissimilar to the effect observed here). But the most important thing I’ve learned from such experiences is to develop some humility about the limits of what can be/is understood by western science (or any paradigm of knowledge, for that matter).

    There is plenty of “woo” out there that is absolutely worthy of a curt dismissal. So is plenty of the currently accepted scientific “wisdom.” There’s value in taking an even-handed, open but critical approach to both. Outright dismissal will get us nowhere.

    1. I don’t think anyone here is outright dismissing the effects received from touching the earth or whatnot. We’re all just very skeptical about the “science”.

    2. Science is a framework for discovering things about reality. Sometimes we don’t have the techniques to look at something yet–our telescopes and microscopes today are a lot better than Galileo’s and Van Leeuwenhoek’s.

      But saying that x might be true because it feels right or y could be true because there’s some sort of effect, we just can’t prove it yet, is not based in fact or reality. Even given that you show a true effect (say, going outside and walking around barefoot in the sun leads to better health and feeling good), that doesn’t mean your “cause” is the right one. Maybe it is true–it might well be–and we can’t just prove it yet, but then you should get on it if you want to peddle it.

      Regardless of where science is at any given point in time, it is the responsibility of the person pushing an explanation to demonstrate that that explanation is likely true–whether that explanation be primal living, a high carb diet, earthing, ionized water or the new blockbuster cancer drug.

      It is not “even handed” to look at an explanation proffered with no valid evidence behind it and act as if there are two equally valid sides; this is the same fallacy that leads to calls to teach religion alongside science in the classroom. If there is no evidence for something, then it is less valid than an alternative for which there is evidence, and less valid than the simple alternative of rejecting the explanation unless evidence can be found. It may well be true, and in time the truth will out, but until then, without evidence, it is less valid than the alternative.

      Hunches and feelings have nothing to do with fact–and in fact all the people who cling to “conventional wisdom” despite mounting evidence against it demonstrate that point.

      1. We don’t disagree on any of those points; my intent was primarily to criticize the arrogance I find in comments referencing an individual’s “BS detector” or otherwise being dismissive without any evidence whatsoever, either for or against. Dismissal motivated by hunches and feelings is no more valid than acceptance based on the same. I’m not pushing for giving both sides equal ground, just that any side that features substantial unknowns (unlike the conflict between ID and evolution) be given a chance and judgement suspended until firm evidence for or against is available. If we assume that we already know basically all that’s worth knowing and anything else is bunk, how do we expect science to make any serious advances?

        I found Mark’s review and speculation quite even-handed.

        I fully agree that in order to scientifically establish that some sort of “earthing” effect exists would require controlled studies isolating variables. Even if our current body of knowledge were unable to supply a correct hypothesis for a causative mechanism (the ionic interplay suggested here sounds off to me), at least the effect could be established as real or not.

        Here we do run into one of the limitations of the conventional practice of science, however. Since isolating variables is essential to the process, if the effect is dependent on the interaction of multiple variables, or a variable we’re not aware exists (or isn’t acknowledged by academia), getting any sort of answer may prove difficult or impossible.

        This is where hunches and feelings do prove valuable; they often nudge a perceptive individual in the right direction to explore something previously unexplored, something that previously was considered “out there” but turns out to have substance. Tesla and Darwin didn’t get where they did by slowly inching forward along the established path. They took leaps of intuition where they encountered gaps in science, and in doing so they arrived at profound and important facts that changed the way humanity interacted with the world.

        So again, I’m not against critical scientific inquiry, I’m just advocating a bit of humility in the face of the unknown. Someday, hopefully, further inquiry will take it from being an unknown to either established BS or something of established significance.

      2. “Hunches and feelings have nothing to do with fact…” – not true.

        How does an animal with no conscious knowledge survive? Humans just like animals may certainly have had some profound evolutionary advantage because of their hunches and feelings – IF and only if they correspond to reality.

        Otherwise, very good comment.

    3. Nobody is dismissing this because it “sounds like woo”. Lots of things that sound insane at first blush have a perfectly sound scientific explanation. The “scientific” explanation of earthing is simply wrong. I fully believe there are benefits to walking barefoot – it just doesn’t have anything to do with free radicals jumping off you’re feet.

      Humans have believed many completely wrong things because of their “subjective experience” of things (earth being flat, center of the universe and all that) – fortunately we have science to point us in the right direction when our experience misleads us, as it so often does.

      Science has nothing to do with hubris. In fact it is the humblest of pursuits, as it begins with the basic assumption that you know nothing. Believing that something is true simply because you feel it to be so, on the other hand, is the height of conceit.

      1. And again, my point was that comments claiming that any sort of “earthing” effect must be BS (some on the basis, yes, that it simply “sounded woo”) is more along the lines of “believing that something is true simply because you feel it to be so” than an objective judgment.

        There is data suggesting an effect exists (and has to do with more than simply walking around barefoot). There is currently no further evidence that this effect is real or a sort of placebo (say, caused by vitamin D and stimulation of nerves in the feet). If someone more knowledgeable than I can give a good explanation of why the free-radical hypothesis is BS (I’m skeptical myself), great, but that doesn’t reflect on whether or not an effect exists. This is currently an unknown and needs to be treated as such. We can’t know yet whether it fits in the “completely wrong things” or “not previously understood” category.

        Science itself is of course incapable of hubris, but that says nothing of the individuals who practice (or speculate online about) it.

    4. the funny thing about the “woo woo” guys is that the authors of such books always try to make themselves seem accredited through refering to science while at the same time discrediting it as “too materialistic” in some implied way.

      and the funny thing about scientists is that they seem to assess that the “woo woo” guys have to be wrong because of their weak methodology, weak definitions of terms like “energy” etc., and because it doesn’t seem to be translatable into scientific concepts.

      This might just be superstition though.

      Other possible explanations of the “woo woo” vs science polemic that one ought to keep an eye out for are of course politics and money.

    5. Beautifully said Eric. Humility in the face of the ineffable is sadly lacking in the modern world.

  30. Ronnie Van Zant never wore shoes on stage so he could feel the music. The Skin is the largest Organ of the body and God doesn’t want us to keep it covered all the time. Why stop with shoes? I like to run nekkid with wolves.

    Peace – Barney

  31. If you make a large wooden frame in your bedroom and fill it with soil you can sleep on earth which will make you either very grounded or a vampire.

  32. Mark I am a 66 yr old practicing OB-GYN in Missouri. I have been gluten-free and primal for 4 years. I read the book as I have a lot of respect for Dr. Sinatra and his work. After reading the book I ordered a grounded bed sheet. My wife laughed at me. I now sleep even better and recover from my workouts so much faster it is amazing. It may be placebo, but I don’t care. I spent less on this then many of the supplements that I take daily. My wife still laughs at me for many reasons not just the grounded sheet.

    1. Your comment was very typical. People sleeping better and recovering from workouts quicker. We have heard that from many athletes. Regarding sleep, one of the earlier Earthing studies (we describe it in the book) relates to a cortisol normalization trend seen in a small cohort as a result of ground the body during sleep. Subsequent studies show that grounding, even for short periods of time, generate a shift in the autonomic nervous system from sympathetic (stress) to parasympathetic (calming). These were all double-blinded studies. Small, but double-blinded. More research is obviously warranted. It is almost hard to know where to go next in the research because the impact of grounding the body is so, so systemic. The physiological changes are countless and often immediate. If somebody were to step up with big bucks you could put all the electrophysiologists to work for years. Cheers
      Martin Zucker, co-author of the Earthing book (info@earthinginstitute.net)

  33. I’m going on a really old memory here and I’m not sure if it directly applies as I really can’t find that much useful info around but check out a guy called Dr Otto Christoph Joseph Gerhardt Ludwig Overbeck. He had a device known as “the rejuvenator” and was around back in the late 1800’s. As far as I can remember he used it to apply electricity to the body to help heal. Let me know if you find anything useful.

  34. I read about these things 10 years ago and stumbled across it again last year. I bought a sheet that goes on the bed and my inflamation levels went down significantly. Inflamation is telling you something! I discovered 5 weeks ago that I have a case of Lyme Disease (less than a year progressed) and think that the earthing mat may have masked some symptoms. Also masking symptoms was auto accident injuries, so it wasn’t just the earthing pad. I do try to ground via feet on earth as much as possible. Watch out for those ticks!

  35. I first heard about this idea recently. I am a biologist, not a physicist, but my first thought was, “Ok, so say it is all about ‘grounding’ onesself in the electromagnetic sense. Well, we touch metal things all the time, every day, so while our modern lifestyles may have removed us from the physical ground, shouldn’t we get the same effect that way?”

    In any event, I still think that bare feet are great physically, and I think that there is a lot to be said psychologically (and even spiritually, if you’d like) to take moments to touch the ground, feel the sensations through out feet, and center ourselves. This will affect a lot of change because of relaxation and stress reduction alone.

    1. Absolutely. Many people have told us that they feel better simply by going out and sitting or walking barefoot in the backyard. It’s a wonderful experience.
      Martin Zucker, co-author of the Earthing book

  36. Who knows if earthing can help one heal or not due to the electrons or what not.

    I believe “Earthing” can at least help indirectly. Chillingoutside on the beach or in grass in the sunlight instead of wearing shoes releases stress in most people. Its more relaxing, more real. In the summer I am rarely seen without a shirt. I love it. It feels more real.

    The simple fact that all of us prefers to be barefoot deep down says something about this. It may have nothing to do with electrons and what not but it does release stress which in my opinion can help heal disease or cancer.

    1. “but it does release stress which in my opinion can help heal disease or cancer.” – if it does or not is not a matter of opinion.

      “The simple fact that all of us prefers to be barefoot deep down says something about this.” – I think this one is great, because many people have to find their way back to a good communication between mind and emotional awareness.

  37. My parents kicked me out and recently let me move back in until I can find an apartment, with some rules to follow, one of those being that I have to go to bed at 11pm, a sleeping time that I find difficult to adhere to. As an alternative I suggested that I set up a tent outside and exit the house through the basement to sleep there once I’m tired so as not to wake anybody up when I go upstairs. They thought I was crazy! Sleeping outside? In the fresh air? Close to nature? You think it’s healthier? Whaaaat????
    In a health food store the other day my mom asked a lady working there to explain to me the importance of whole grains in the diet (even though after not seeing me for a while she commented that I looked healthy, whereas before she thought I looked sickly). After the usual “they are full of nutrients” indoctrination from her I replied that I’ve been avoiding grains for about 5 months and that “I try to eat what prehistoric people probably ate and I doubt that they had fields of wheat” she was speechless at these simple common sense words coming from me, the person, if I may so, possibly with the most natural looking body and definitely the nicest tan in the store! Progress and demonstrate… that’s how we will convert the infidels 😛

  38. I heard the author (Sinatra I think) interviewed on talk radio, and he was pretty convincing. It may be he doesn’t understand correctly why it works, but there seems to be something there. The originator stumbled onto the technique by accident, and was intrigued because his own chronic pain seemed to disappear. He tried it on some friends and acquaintances with chronic muscle pain, and they got similar results. Hard to argue with results.

  39. I love going barefoot, and I don’t particularly have nice feet. Too bad. It feels good and my feet are stronger for it. Now I’m trying to figure out how to do winter. Thinking heavy wool socks and minimal shoes/sandals. Used to wear my Birkenstocks like that.

    1. Sounds like a good idea. In the last few winters I’ve worn normal socks under normal running shoes, even when on long treks through deep snow. Usually I can tolerate at least an hour of this before my feet, ankles, and lower legs start to get too numb/painful. Of course the shoes aren’t doing my feet any favours but I assume the little bit of exposure to the cold is healthy. I wonder if rubber socks exist? You could wear thick wool socks or a couple pairs of them under long rubber socks that hug your legs tightly, which would be similar to going barefoot, and probably stay warm and dry enough to be comfortable out in the snow for a long time.

  40. I first heard about grounding having a positive health effect from a David Wolfe video (I know, I know…). He’s since made shoes called “Grounders.” I’m not thoroughly convinced on the whole thing.

  41. Very interesting! I’m getting shoulder surgery in a couple days (my first time ever being put under) and I’ve been trying to find anything that might help with the healing and recovery. I’ve already been told by a natural-movement-fanatic friend of mine that I should work on barefoot running to keep some aspect of my training up – now there’s even more reason to give that a try!

    As for the “woo-woo” part of it – as long as it could help (pretty heavy anecdotal evidence in those thermograph images) and can’t hurt, I figure, what’s the harm in trying it out? I might be slightly more inclined to try something if there were more truly scientific weight behind it, but especially as this idea appeals to me to start with, I see no reason to focus on the New-Age-y bent as a reason to steer clear.

  42. I don’t wish to sound negative, but I don’t intend to go charging in to any new theory unless I’m positive there is some current scientific grounding for the idea – maybe I need something a bit more down to earth?

    1. The answer below says it all. To paraphrase an old Bob Dylan tune, the answer my friend is flowing in the ground.
      Martin Zucker, co-author of the Earthing book

      1. “what could be more down to earth than your feet on the ground”, yeah it was funny but it’s that kind of reasoning that makes me not going to read the book, because I believe the book is full of it.

        And of course, too much anecdotal evidence have also been reported.

        Are there any RCT’s with double blindness on the “earthing effect” and preferably with objective reporting of the subjects health states? Then please let me know.

    2. I am on the other hand feeling rather positive, so I think it is time for me to put my feet down to the ground for some negativity – to balance things out 😉

      Here I go – charging off – pfft!

      Regards,
      Torsten Nielsen

  43. Michael Sandler has a section in his book “Barefoot Running” about the physics of getting grounded. Besides the dissipating of electric charge aspect of going barefoot, he also discusses the natural 7.83 Hz Schumann resonance frequency of the earth, and how it supposedly matches the natural frequency of our brain. He also says that the 7.83 Hz is an average, that it changes predictably throughout the day, and that going barefoot in the morning is especially beneficial since it ties you into this natural variation which then positively affects your circadian rhythms. And he’s also way into the grounding sheets and pads.

    I have a masters in physics and am a physics teacher, and though it does sound a little “woo”, I have been wrong and humbled enough in my life defending conventional scientific wisdom that I certainly am not ready to rule it out, and am even tempted to buy the sheets and perhaps (hopefully) add to the anecdotal success stories.

  44. Living electrical matrix? Sounds like Avatar… I guess James Cameron was right!

  45. I have a phd in physics. The more I learn about physics the more I realise the absolute minute amount we know about anything at all.

    If it makes you feel good forget about why for the most part. You can attempt a hypothesis and extrapolate but in reality you know nothing and at best you’re working under massively simplified approximations. We have reliable models for certain things but there are enormous gaps in our knowledge in areas such as this.

    I would forget about their scientific explanation for the grounding effect, I haven’t read the book but I’m pretty sure it’s a ineffective attempt to scaffold a scientific explanation onto something for which the science doesn’t exist.

    I’m going to try it and call it an experiment. If it works it works.

    1. Amen,

      Their explanations are just hypotheses which they have not even attempted to test. The only studies have been on the effects on biological systems.

      The truth is, most of us want a good ‘story’ to explain why something works. The true mechanisms may not be understood for millennia.

  46. I really cannot comment on the physics behind grounding, but it does seem to me that varied surfaces would stimulate the nerves, muscles on the bottom of our feet in a way that would be beneficial. Like others have mentioned, walking in the grass sure feels good. Perhaps we are stimulating a primal area of our brain, as well.

    1. ” Perhaps we are stimulating a primal area of our brain, as well. ”

      THIS is exactly what I think is happening. Lots of people claim they have childhood memories when smelling certain trees and grasses. But what are the memories exactly, nobody can really remember the day they soaked in that particular smell to form a long lasting memory. Are certain scents programmed into our DNA?
      Perhaps ‘grounding’ is one of those things we evolved on and the genetic door is being unlocked. Like walking through the woods and picking up a stick to walk with…or the desire to build a dam with rocks in a creek.

      I see this “unlocking door” a lot in my dogs when I take them hiking. My pitbull finds a carcass and tries to hide it in the woods, but he never does this at home and nobody has taught him this behavior.
      Going barefoot or just putting our butts on the ground opens up the primal doors.

  47. I’m not an electrical engineer, nor a scientist, but I have read the book and I do sleep “grounded.”

    First, the authors don’t claim to know the mechanism for many of the effects of grounding. They hypothesize that free electrons have some sort of antioxidant effect on the body. I have know idea what the mechanism may be, BUT it does seem to help my sleep and recovery time from injury and tough workouts.

    Second, grounding does change the charges built up in the body from contact with electronics or standing near electrical outlets. With a $20 volt meter I measured charges of 3-6 volts on my skin depending on where I was standing. By touching my toe to a grounding wire, the measured charge dropped to mere thousandths of a volt.

    Has this been proven to produce health benefits? Absolutely not. However, there are a handful of intriguing studies as Mark points out.

    Our ancestors were “grounded” nearly all of the time until just a few decades ago. I find it unlikely that there are no negative health effects from being ‘insulated’ from the earth most of the time.

  48. could we just call it “grounding” instead, in order to mitigate a knee jerk reaction from “woo”-weary individuals?

    1. Unfortunately, I think the authors of “Earthing” decided to market to the raw-food hippie movement through huckster David Wolfe (No relation to Robb Wolf).

      “Earthing” appeals more to that crowd.

  49. OK. This may or may not be a horse of a different color…but has this grounding thing got anything with an ability to “dowse”?…find water sources underground using bent sticks or metal rods?

    Because I have been able to do it since childhood, and my father showed me how. I don’t have to be barefoot, although the response of the “dowsing rod” is always more brisk when I am, and I can use wire hangers, rebar, or sticks. My sisters and brothers never could do it. I can’t explain it, but it always seemed to work for me.

    I had forgotten about it until a year or two ago, when lightning took out the electrical line to our well. Heck, why not try it? I dowsed the location of the water line, but it ran through the garden in a totally different place from where I expected it to be. I really didn’t think it could be there. I marked it with some rocks just to see what the well guys would find.

    The well guys came and used an electronic device to locate the line, and lo and behold! it was the very same place I had dowsed. They dug down just out of curiosity and confirmed it. The guys said the owner of the business, dead these many years, had been able to “water-witch”, and had tried to teach them to no avail.

    It had been years and years since I had tried it…and I still had it. So am I grounded, or what? (Be kind with the comments on the what part, please.)

    1. What!? That’s just so awesome! Wish I had that ability. Some people truly are x-men… maybe not as awesome as the ones in the movies but still =)

  50. Intrigued to read the book, warts and all.

    Skepticism is always healthy but science doesn’t have all the answers because it often isn’t looking in the right places.

    Physics has revealed to us that everything is energy. Our bodies, too. So, yes, we’re living in an electrical matrix.

    I’m a Polarity therapist, which means I’m one of those strange ones who can “feel” energy moving. Except not so strange because we all come equipped with the tools; we’ve just never been taught the awareness.

    “Grounding” has been a primary component of numerous meditation and healing systems for eons; grounding the energy of the tail of our spine into the earth.

    Look at Tai Chi, Qigong and others. The Native Americans have a “Mother Earth, Father Sky” meditation.

    The idea, and practice, isn’t new. Whether or not the authors pulled together all the pieces and adequately substantiated them or not, I would hope this community – especially – would keep an open mind and check it out.

    Learning to ground is a key to my health.

    Peace.

    1. Hi Marsha
      We don’t think in any sense that Earthing, as we describe it, is new. It is simply a revival of knowledge that has been around for who knows how long. What has been done here is an attempt to explain a significant and overlooked phenomenon in modern scientific and bioelectrical terms. The research is in a very early stage but if you take a good, open-minded look at it, with all the warts, as you say, you will find some very intriguing and promising information. Some are disturbed or turned off by the information. Most won’t bother looking at it and fall back on knee-jerk dismissal. But those who read it, and better yet, those who apply the information, are often very surprised and gratified. The unsolicited emails I see from people all over the world on a daily basis are so, so gratifying, and indeed bespeak of a remarkably simple, natural, and profound healing factor right beneath our feet.
      Martin Zucker, co-author of the Earthing book

      1. and all of those who bought the book and equipment for whom the stuff didn’t work? Beware to take happy emails as evidence.

  51. There may well be an amount of truth in the idea but the question surely isn’t so much about whether there is such an effect, but rather how much it affects us?

    Personally I think it’s likely to be far, far less (to the point of insignificance) than the much more obvious proprioceptive/sensory benefits of going barefoot. I too spend the majority of my time barefoot and it stands to reason that on a daily basis my brain gets more feedback about my environment than the comparatively unchanging feedback that comes from the inside of a pair of shoes.

  52. wow mark, you really stirred up a hornet’s nest of wannabe philosophers and pseudo-intellectuals. the only posts that actually say anything of substance besides the ones telling personal stories of their love for the barefoot way, are the jokes. science is art i guess in a way and if you put a painting in a room of 20 people and ask them to interpret it, you’ll have 20 equally stupid answers!!!! lol thanks for the laugh, i really needed it.

  53. This sounds very “Woo” to me but then I don’t really need another reason to barefoot.

    I’m more inclined to accept the notion that barefooting might confer some health benefit because the human foot is littered with very sensitive nerve endings–nerve endings that evolved to be in contact with the ground more than the inside of a padded, heeled shoe. When we’re barefoot, we get the feedback from the enviornment that our brains crave. When swaddled in constraining shoes, we rob our brains of that input. In other words, on both a concious and subconscious level, it simply feels good for our feet to be in contact with the earth. Our nervous system is going to respond to that in a positive way, which in turn effects every other system of the body. And that has to be good for your health. No vaguely supported physics explanations or hype of already over-hyped free-radicals needed.

  54. Mother Earth needs some way to communicate with us. What better way than thru the commonality of “electrical” or grounding? Take your shoes off, people, and “listen” to what She’s telling you!

  55. I had dinner with a geologist last week (as you do) and she was telling me that the terra or the rocks you live on can be important to health. In fact she said there will be a conference in Italy this September about geology and health. For example, in Naples, because it is a volcanic area, radon is released into the atmosphere, now too much radon is not good for you, but small amounts of radon…make you happy. Naples has been a party town for 2000 years starting with the Roman Empire. So I do not know about earthing or anything like that, but I thought what the geologist said fascinating!

  56. There is a good interview between dr Mercola and James Oschman on youtube concerning the scientific background of grounding.

    I benefit tremendously from grounding,less pain and no migraine since. I think it is as primal as it gets!

  57. Barefoot is the best way to go!
    I always enjoy a yoga session with the grass wiggling between my toes.
    It’s a relaxing feeling to touch the ground directly with your feet.

  58. I’ve learned from my grandma how important it is to stay connected to earth by walking barefoot. I try to do that almost every day. I feel such a charge of energy after. I also made a promise to my self that I will include a full day of nature once a week, it’s healing like no other.

  59. I don’t have to walk barefoot to get grounded, my wife grounds me all the time. Even when its not my fault!

    Maybe its mumbo-jumbo, maybe not. All I know is that when I walk around barefoot, I feel better. I don’t know why, but I do believe in listening to my body.

  60. Although this sounds quite interesting I don’t need a reason to go barefoot. I do it because I love it.

  61. All I know is when I walk on certain surfaces and wear shoes I get charged up with electricity. If I then touch somehting metal, I spark.

    So, if we do build up electricity with our movements, even if not to that extend, would that charge not happen then,too?
    It basically happens ALL the time but it’s so low that we don’t feel it.
    I would assume this ‘charge’ would create headaches and heart rythm disruptions.

    Switching to shoes with real leather soles (which are very hard to find in our plastic world) would solve this problem.

  62. I, too, am intrigued by the concept, and skimmed through the Earthing book at Barnes and Noble not too long ago. I had a few red flags raise, and I’m also well-aware of the power of the placebo effect. Not to mention the author is clearly trying to profit with his sleep systems, and is naturally biased. I’ll keep going barefoot regardless of the Earthing potential, and I’ll keep my eyes open for more convincing evidence of this Earthing phenomenon.

    1. If this is a placebo effect, John, it is a humongous one. We just attribute it to Mother Earth. Whatever your choice of reconnecting to Mother Earth, be it going barefoot outdoors or sleeping on an Earthing system that somebody has developed and is making a profit from, please do it regularly. Regular connection with the Earth is what generates the remarkable benefits. By the way, I never knew that profit is a bad thing. Sure beats the opposite. And if one profits by bringing something noble and beneficial and healing to the public, is that a bad thing? We buy things all the time for our well-being and somebody throughout the process is making a profit to develop them, manufacture them, package them, ship them, etc. Martin Zucker, co-author of the Earthing book

  63. I can find a buried pipe in a yard with a simple 2 foot section of stiff wire bent at a 45 degree angle people are amazed when I do this….so there’s definitely some currents running around down there!!

  64. I love going barefoot! I just feel so free and relaxed when my feet have room to breathe 🙂

  65. I ran across the Barefoot Connections website last year when I was doing some Google research on barefoot running.

    I chased the “Earthing” thing with some more Googling. I decided to give the grounded half sheet thing a try. I was hoping that it might help my wife with her sleeping issues. She frequently wakes up with a backache and blames it on the mattress. We had recently bought a new mattress and that didn’t help.

    She was afraid of the product because you plug it into the electric outlet. I had to demonstrate that I was not being electrocuted before she would give it a try.

    The first night she complained of a tingling in her feet/legs while I felt nothing. Her tingling occurred a few more nights and then no more. Unfortunately, she still wakes up with backaches.

    We still use it because I like the idea that it might be helping me recover from my workouts. And there is little involved in using it other than the additional effort required when replacing the sheets.

    1. i also wake up with bad backaches from this product that werent there before i used the product. the pain is around the kidney areas of my back. i actually feel worse after using it. my muscles are cramped. i was reading it lowers sodium potassium calcium magnesium and the like. just wondering if those levels are normal to begin with before using the earthing.com product. if the pad is lowering them too much to the point of deficiency. i also notice big bruises when i get acupuncture that i didnt get before i started using this product. i go out in the yatd barefoot and i dont notice this adverse effects as i do from this mat. my outlets are fine and i dont have any underlying medical conditions. but hell yes i too get that backache

  66. Mark
    You have written a superb and thoughtful review of our Earthing book. I am the co-author, the health writer who put it together with Clint Ober and cardiologist Stephen Sinatra.
    There is much to be said about what you wrote and the good comments posted by your readers. The concept of grounding the body to the Earth, that is, making direct skin contact by being barefoot outside or connected to conductive systems indoors, is really a revival of knowledge that has existed throughout history in many cultures. The story of Earthing is fascinating and I hope your readers will check out the book.
    The research we included is a summary, for to expand and focus on nitty-gritty bioelectrical findings is to turn off most readers who do not have the same kind of interest that you have. You and your readers can find the science in full detail on our website at http://www.earthinginstitute.net You will also find there many reports and stories that attempt to educate and instruct about this concept that has massive health implications.
    The feeling of well-being that some of the comments refer as a result of being outdoors barefoot are but the tip of the iceberg. Most people will not venture outside barefoot. It is an alien concept for most people in the “developed” society. To bring this concept to a larger, non-barefoot prone population, Clint Ober developed conductive systems like sheets and mats that can be used indoors while sleeping, working, and relaxing. These systems are connected to the Earth’s surface energy — an omnipresent and boundless field of electrons — via an Earthing cord that is plugged into a ground port of a wall outlet or to a ground rod sunk in the Earth outside, say, a bedroom window. Many people who spend hours thus “grounded” report great benefits in terms of deeper sleep, less pain, less stress, and more energy. Many people with a wide variety of health issues report improvements. To be sure, these are all anecdotal.
    In my research, I came across a back-to-Nature movement in Germany in the late 1880s where it was reported that walking barefoot and sleeping on the ground, in connection with Earth, produced many remarkable improvements in health. More anecdotes, to be sure. But such similarities.
    Research has to start somewhere. Earthing research is about 10 years old and has been inspired and promoted by Clint Ober in order to generate proof of concept, that grounding the human body to the Earth generates intriguing physiological changes ranging from the autonomic nervous system to the electrodynamics of blood. You are right to say Earthing research is scant, but research has to start somewhere and unless you have the big bucks of the pharmaceutical industry and government funding, it is a slow process. The research that has been done to date begins to explain the reason why people with so many different health issues feel better and have less pain and fatigue, etc.
    Some of what we wrote in the Earthing book is hypothesis but one thing is for sure. Based on the science and thousands of anecdotal reports, reconnecting with the Earth appears to be nothing less than a law of Nature revealed. We were meant to be in direct physical contact with the Earth, not isolated from it. Many good things happen when we reconnect. We are only scratching the surface (pun intended) of the possibilities. Thank you for keeping an open mind and inviting comments from your readers. You will be hearing more and more about Earthing in the future.
    Best wishes
    Martin Zucker

    1. This is described in the Earthing book. I have no stake in the products at all, but if you want to sleep grounded buy yourself a grounding bed sheet via the Earthing website. Or sleep naked outside on the grass…
      My and my husband’s sleep, stresslevels and general health are benefitting enormously from sleeping on an Earthing sheet.
      In Europe (where I live)on traditional farms, sick animals would be taken out of their stables and put into pastures to get better. There are primal customs where people would get up early and walk on bare feet on the dewy grass. I woudl suggest it is too important to dismiss this without seriously reading the book and trying it yourself.

      1. Hmmm I’m thinking, attaching a piece of wire to the piping of my apartment? Anddd grounded for free? Probably wouldn’t have the same effect as if I had the real Earthing sheet though.

        1. You may indeed get the same effect, Wes. So try it. Most people tend not to like the feeling of a copper wire around their ankles and so tend not to continue. There may also be a toxicity factor with long-term skin exposure to copper wire.
          The idea of effective grounding for health is to sustain it, do it indefinitely, make it part of your healthy lifestyle. The Earthing products were created with the idea of giving people convenience and comfort and in recognition of the fact that most people just won’t go barefoot outside. Martin Zucker

        2. @Martin, I was thinking more like a wire attached the metal part of the bed frame, not exactly attached to myself.

  67. West…it ain’t gonna work unless the wire, or some conductor is in direct contact with the bare skin of your body and the Earth. If you attach the wire to the metal part of the bed frame, it would theoretically work as long as you then make continual physical contact with the frame.

  68. I embraced this idea today while in the park. I took my shoes off and walked around. I got stung in the big toe by a bee. UGH! haha.

  69. I can understand why the science here seems “woo” as a lot of people have commented. I think there is just more research needed in this area.

    As for the grounding technology, I bought the products for myself and my mother and we both had amazing results. I can sleep through the night, I wake up with energy, and my chronic pain issues have greatly diminished. When I stopped using the sleeping pad for a while, it all came back. My mother had her knee pain of 2+ years almost completely go away. She used to have to walk with a cane, and now she’s not.

    I would like to understand it better, and I know this is anecdotal, but it’s good enough for me for now!

  70. Grounding is a method I picked up from Paul Chek, have been doing it since. And even if there’s no clinical benefit, the relaxing feeling you get for the few seconds/minutes is well-worth it. Sometimes just being disconnected is enough a benefit.

  71. Many people testify for the great benefits of earthing according to their own experiences, others are still skeptical.

    I guess you won’t be able to tell unless you try it longer earthing durations for yourself, I suggest getting an earthing product like an earthing bed sheet.

    Cheers,
    Alek

  72. I bought the earthing book and bed matress sheet. We definetly sleep better- the first night had insane tingling all over, but its just the initial adjustment to grounding. I now have the earthing pad that I rest my feet on when sitting at the dining table or on the couch. You have to try it before you diss it!

    Sure a lot of us here walk/run barefoot and enjoy it, but I bet most of us don’t sleep on the earth. The earthing sheets have enabled us to be grounded in our busy lifestyles for 8 hours a night! That’s better than just walking/running barefoot for like 1 hour a day. there’s far more benefit with sleeping grounded.

    my husband has multiple sclerosis and this has helped incredibly with inflamation/pain, its a god send improving our quality of life. I don’t understand the science and I don’t care, we’ve tried it and it works. I hope others can too.

  73. Reminds me too much of the magnet fad that went around about ten years ago.

    You were supposed to put a matress pad on your bed that had magnets around it to do some sort of hocus-pocus ‘normalization’ of your magnetic field. Even a compass out of a box of Cracker Jacks would reveal that the magnetic field of the earth was far more powerful than the matress pad.

    Whith electronic assembly workers wearing grounding straps on their wrists, surey there could be some sort of correlational study done that would be more convincing than ‘…….we have a very large placebo………..’

  74. “In my research, I came across a back-to-Nature movement in Germany in the late 1880s where it was reported that walking barefoot and sleeping on the ground, in connection with Earth, produced many remarkable improvements in health.”

    “Keep in mind that Earthing is new and so is the research. This is a new frontier, and an exciting one at that.”

    Ok, so far I have anecdotal evidence that Earthing is new and anecdotal evidence that it’s been around since the 1800’s. Unfortunately, both anecdotes come from the same source, a guy named Martin Zucker.

    Which is it?

    1. We believe that knowledge of the Earth’s healing effect has been around a long, long time among many different cultures. What is new is the discovery that direct connection with the Earth creates significant changes in the physiology, and this has been the focus of the research done to date. The research is aimed at explaining in scientific terms the multiple, and often remarkable, benefits that people experience after they start grounding themselves.

  75. here in australia, paternalistic past governments tried to build public housing for Aboriginal people in the more remote areas. often the floor boards were ripped up and the people slept on the ground underneath (like they previously did) as they said they had felt that they had lost the “connection” to the earth. of course the government then labelled them “ungrateful” . i have slept on the ground myself and i think the better sleep may be more to do with there being no space beetween you and something solid, making you feel more “secure”. dunno about the electrical side of things however.

  76. i purchased a mat and have been sleeping with it under me for at least 5 hours a night. i have more pain and stiffness than if i dont use it. i wake up with muscle cramping and a tremor as well as a vague headache. i see in your article it claims to decrease electrolytes and such. just maybe its depleting thoe vital nutrients. i dont feel like this if i go outsie and bare my feet in the yard. i just feel this horrible consistently when i use the earthing product. i am a nurse and i dont want to hear a justification of maybe its detoxing me. i have done detoxing regimens and this is not a detox feeling this is a feeling like the product is doing spmething adverse to my body.

  77. oh yeah forgot to mention the very painful backache i wake up with when sleeping grounded with the earthing.com ground product. like a kidney area backache. totally not thete when not sleeping with the mat. mr zucker this product hurts my body all over when i use it. and yrs i tested the outlet with your little plug intester included with my product. woo is this product painful. my headache is awful today from this product. wooo

  78. i have had this product now for about 5 months. the mat. i also notice that i bruise too easily. big bruises. my labs were done prior to using this product and were normal.i am not on any medications. i have no major medical conditions other than joint pains from injuring them. i dont see any benefit from this product at all. i feel God awfully worse when i use it. my muscles cramp i have numbness and tingling my back hurts considerably more. my gums bleed easily. i just feel like crap from this product.

  79. I’m not as skeptical as most. When I heard about this, I couldn’t wait to get a set of pads for my bed and office. Who cares if there’s not a volume of evidence that proves this works? The theory makes perfect sense to me, and healers have known about this phenomenon for centuries.

    I’m a poor test subject, tho… No aches or pains or lack of energy. I did notice a stream of energy flowing up my legs the first night I slept on my pad, so much so that I didn’t sleep well (a rarity for me). This only lasted the first night. Now I ground myself 12-16 hours a day using the pads.

    After a couple of days of Earthing, I have noticed a significant increase in overall energy, enough that there left no doubt in my mind. This stuff works.

  80. This debate is a pure waste of time. It costs $7 to make an Earthing device out of electrical parts. Wear it to bed and it takes up none of your time and requires no effort. I’ve been Earthing this way for 6 weeks and I’m sold… I feel 20 years younger.

  81. Hi:

    I have a PhD in physics.

    It is possible that there are substantial health effects as the result of time spent barefoot.

    However, such effects must only be physiological in origin; what those authors say about the transfer of ions and free radicals and electric field of the earth and such is nonsense.

    To make matters worse for them: I am also a martial arts instructor and spend hours a day barefoot. I have chronic inflammation from an autoimmune disease, and I have hypothyroidism.

    This idea almost certainly merely wishful thinking.

    1. You spend hours a day barefoot – well, is that on a conductive surface or on a plastic mat? Earthing helps me – that’s my direct experience. I practice Tai Chi on grass barefoot and even after 10 minutes this combo works wonders for me.

      Re: chronic inflammatory conditions – these are often multi-factorial. Maybe you’ve got some toxicity issues going on, or unresolved emotional issues – who knows? Healing is often a complex matter – this I have authority to say as have been working in both conventional medicine for 16 yr and alternative and hands-on healing practice for 30 yrs.
      Try practicing martial arts hours a day on the grass – that would allow you to make a fairer comparison than dismissing the earthing concept as wishful thinking.

  82. Geez… I feel sorry for skeptics (not!).

    Instead of arguing over whether this makes sense, or could work in scientific terms, you could just try it. I made my own earthing device for $7 worth of electrical hardware and have been grounding myself 12 hours or more every day, with NO effort. Although I felt great before I started, I now feel 20 years younger.

    You guys are missing the boat if you don’t do this.

  83. Well, looky here. Luther Standing Bear was an American Indian(Lakota) Philosopher, born in the Mid-1800’s.
    A Quote by Chief Luther Standing Bear.

    “The old people came literally to love the soil and they sat or reclined on the ground with a feeling of being close to a mothering power. It was good for the skin to touch the earth and the old people liked to remove their moccasins and walk with bare feet on the sacred earth. Their tipis were built upon the earth and their altars were made of earth. The birds that flew into the air came to rest upon the earth and it was the final abiding place of all things that lived and grew. The soil was soothing, strengthening, cleansing and healing.”

    Luther Standing Bear
    How cool is that?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Luther_Standing_Bear

  84. Mark,
    Thanks for reading the book and writing a review. My mother gave me this book and a bed sheet for Christmas and before trying it, of course I wanted to read the book and any sort of “spark” notes (ha, haa!!) I could get by scouring the web. I did study electrical engineering in college, the best of which was the 3 semesters of physics. While I changed my major to the liberal arts, I feel very blessed that all that physics and chemistry with philosophy and theology helps me live a thoughtful life. It was my PHYSICS professor that said, the next great leap in physics beyond relativity was going to require a leap of faith. There is so much happening in fields integrating knowledge from various disciplines, I think we would be remiss to dismiss anything just because it hasn’t been vetted by all the disciplines simultaneously.
    I think all the comments about the science in the book being oversimplified are valid. But how many people do well with understanding the relationship between magnetism, electrical flow, etc? If you pull up “earthing” on Wikipedia and try to wade through all the explanation of how you can ground and electrical system to the earth for safety, it would overwhelm most people. So, as infomercial as it may be, I think the authors wrote to their audience using a KISS principle.
    I am not going to offer myself as an N of 1 in a study here, since that’s not good science and I would never drop all the other things I do for good health to control the experiment, but I will try it. At 47 and moving through the “change of life” with lots of the negatives (no pun intended), I’m willing to try something more to improve things.

  85. I believe it, I’ve seen David Wolfe’s experiment and explanations but not only that.. It just seems logic for the connection between us and the planet to be so strong, to be healing, it is like a reset.

  86. Wah doh! (thank you) Mark for your fair and balanced treatment of a concept that has engaged many thoughtful people in the barefoot, primal living and energy healing communities in earnest debate. My halfside teaches Reflexology and was considerably excited by the possibilities of healing and understanding that the “Earthing” book presents. Like you i was troubled by the lack of rigorous scientific discipline in the authors presentation. But what i have to say here comes from my heart,as a scientist.
    Ober, Zucker, Oschman and the whole energy healing science bunch are on the right track – but barking up the wrong tree. My step-grandfather made and lost a fortune in the 1920’s when electromagnetic healing was all the rage. Today, nearly 100 years later, no claim of electromagnetic healing has ever been substantiated by the simple logical standards to which any medical device or drug are held; to wit: double blinded replicated peer reviewed and published methodology. Now the “nothing can be proved by science – its all a theory” crowd has had their say in this discussion but you all are really just showing your arse and your ignorance and contributing to the rise of The Tea Party with those tired old lines. Dinosaurs, Creationists and other anti-intellectuals are extinct. The difference is that dinosaurs know that they are extinct! (No profile needed here!)
    Now, before you Missourians get to chortling, try this on for size. Science makes new discoveries every day and has done so since the days of leaching and bleeding, also a scant 100+ years ago. Actually, leaching has recently made a come-back in surgery. My point is that there is far more under the Sun than our pitiful powers of reason and detection can comprehend. See particle physics and string theory for a start.
    I now refer you to Yolene Thomas’s ‘The History of The Memory of Water’, and quote “‘Homeopathic dilutions’ and ‘Memory of Water’ are two expressions capable of turning a peaceful and intelligent person into a violently irrational one,’ as Michel Schiff points out in the introduction of his book ‘The Memory of Water’. The idea of the memory of water arose in the laboratory of Jacques Benveniste in the late 1980s and 20 years later the debate is still ongoing even though an increasing number of scientists report they have confirmed the basic results.
    http://www.badscience.net/category/journal-club/ Dont let the name of the website fool you – this is for real and deadly serious.
    If you have a reasonably open mind and can decipher scientific research papers please read the rest of Yolene Thomas’ analysis – it will blow your mind. But the overwhelming impression that you will come away with is that – if electromagnetism is at the heart of water’s ability to transfer information, then that mechanism is so complex and in need of greater scientific study, that ex-cable TV CEO Clinton Ober’s club footed muddlings with wired blankets and your home’s ground wires are more likely to get you electrocuted by lightning than healed!
    O Mi Takueye Oyasin (We are all related) – whether we like it or not!
    PS – if you are still not convinced, just cut off the two straight plugs on your electric blanket, separate the ground and plug that in to the round hole of your outlet. You will save $450 bucks and have a better device. As for your shoes, synthetics and rubber insulate you from electric current. Electromagnetism goes right through them.

  87. i bet the concept of Earth being round was a bit “woo” too…

  88. I can confirm that it works. Earthing has reached Denmark and I am the proud distributor of the products. We get many convincing testimonials from our customers.

  89. Uhm… We evolved in trees.

    Why would direct contact with the ground be a necessary part of healthy homeostasis? Doesn’t make sense.

    Whole thing smells fishy to me. (And I have a PhD in physics.) The “ozone is healthy” people and “alkaline water” people out to get together with them and celebrate the rise of pseudoscience in the 21st century. Oh, and they should invite the magnetic bracelet and aqueous silver folks.

    Seriously, learn some physics.

    I love that the whole primal movement is based on good, solid scientific research and not just wishful thinking. Please, let’s continue in that fine and fruitful tradition.

  90. After 2 weeks of sleeping earthed (sleeping w/ sheet), going barefoot on the beach as much as possible I can report deeper sleep and a palpable sense of greater well-being. Placebo?? who knows but my goal is to reduce my inflammation numbers so that I can slow/stop sjogren’s disease in it’s tracks. My brother who has been sleeping grounded and spends a few hours a day on a grounded pad for the same 2 weeks is reporting significant pain reduction in pain due to diabetic neuropathy. He spent $200 on the sheet and pad and told me yesterday that he would gladly have paid that for only the 2 weeks relief he’s already experienced.

  91. I’ve been reading these posts with interest. I first read about earthing several weeks ago and decided to give it a try.
    All I can say is that for me it works. I now have nights of undisturbed, restful sleep (I am 78 years of age) and a debilitating ankle injury, which I have had for many years, no longer gives me any trouble.
    In addition, I now work at my PC wearing an earthed wrist-band. To the skeptics I would say, first try earthing (you don’t need to spend any money) and then come back with your opinions. After all you wouldn’t criticize a book without reading it.

  92. I have been sleeping grounded via stake in the ground out my window-attached to a conductive anklet for the past six months with remarkable results. After my success sleeping grounded I decided to make this a part of my waking life as well. I was able to find some conductive huarache sandals called earth runners on kickstarter and cant wait to try them. I am bare-footing for now which is great, but not always practical.

  93. Please all the intellectuals here sound like skeptic idiots. Spend $59 & change your life. Or just keep on keeping on…also, barefoot a few minutes here & there doesn’t cut it. & if some of the skeptics are basing their research on their here & there “barefoot” time & don’t even use a grounding mat, they just need to be quiet & continue solving the world (in their own minds…)

  94. Why don’t people just test the whole thing for themselves….use a voltmeter and see how many volts you’re inducting with and without earth contact and see for yourself whether you would benefit from earthing. If you go upstairs you’ll notice a higher voltage btw..almost invariably. Of course not everyone would benefit from earthing as in a health improvement…but it’s more complex than that.

  95. I have a master’s degree in physics and a master’s in electrical engineering and I think that there may just be something to this. Free radicals are just unbound electrons. When you ground yourself you are just neutralizing all the free charges in your body. It stands to reason that by grounding yourself that you may be able to get rid of those free radicals more easily. This article (and maybe the book too) were obviously written by someone who is not a physicist or electrical engineer but look past that and think about what may be going on and it makes perfect sense.
    I work for a semiconductor manufacturing company and we are required to wear grounding straps on our feet when going onto the factory floor. That is an option (although not a very fashionable one.) Grounding shoes are another option. (They are made for working in the electronics industry.) Although neither of these solutions wouldn’t work very well on carpets.

  96. when i was a child i always ran around barefoot. it was a chore for my mother to try and get me to put on shoes. i have wide feet EEE and only wear a 71/2 shoe. i went into the army at age 18 and there was only one pair of shoes that fit me. my mother said when i got home it was because i always ran around barefoot-it widened out my feet. of course that was nonsense as she had wide feet too. i still prefer being barefoot, it helps that i have hard to fit feet. i have slowely learned to love my peasant feet. now i make my own shoes. charming leather, wool and/or viking age style shoes also. i want to feel the earth below me. my husband thinks i am nuts for going outside when the ground is frosty or snowy and chilly rainy wet, but it still only feels right to me.

  97. I actually tested out sleeping outside during the day time on the grass. I slept with my body outstretched (i find this VERY hard to do at night, I usually crunch up into a ball) and I might have slept for 20 minutes max yet I woke up feeling as if I had slept for hours.

  98. Mark I’ve been going barefoot as much as I can and taking as many naps as I can on the grass after reading this article last week and I can truly tell the difference. You feel energized, not an erratic energy but just calm and really zoned in.

    I love it man and I’m going to keep doing it. Thanks for the great posts and great website!

  99. Does anyone worry about ticks and going barefoot? thats why the earthing products would be great if they work. I live in NJ and I have autoimmune problems so the last thing I want to deal with is Lyme.

  100. Gravel, sand, soils, and most concretes are very poor conductors of electricity…

  101. I contacted the Earthing Institute to ask if the charge of the ground surface in a country with foul weather like the UK, where I live, is going to be sufficiently negative to be effective. I’m pasting a bit of the very full, very prompt answer I got from Gaetan Chevalier below because it partly addresses some of Mark Sisson’s doubts.

    “In places where it rains often like England, the Earth is still negatively charged almost all of the time, except [during a thunderstorm]. It is still the “ground,” i.e. the region considered at zero potential. Now, the negative charge on the surface in these rainy regions may not be as negative as during very good fair weather. Yet there is much merit in grounding (Earthing) oneself.

    “Also one has to remember that receiving the electrons from the Earth is but one of the benefits from being grounded. Another one is that those electrons vibrate at the frequencies that the body need to give it cues about the time of day and year, including the Shumann resonance (7.8 Hz perfect frequency for brainwaves entrainment in the alpha range).”

    My own experience so far (about 3 weeks) is that I’m sleeping much better than usual. I sleep on the grounding mat sold at groundology.com that people usually put under a computer keyboard. I get the impression from the reviews at amazon.com that the quality control on the silver threaded sheets isn’t great. Some of them seem to be only good for about 10 washes and I wonder if some are not really functioning fully even when they leave the factory.

    1. I recently decided to try Earthing to see if it would help me with an insomnia problem that started earlier this year. The insomnia came along with crushing anxiety, breathlessness, and occasional panic attacks during the day. I would get heart palipatations at night that would keep me awake too.

      I’ve been to several doctors and specialists and undergone many tests without any real conclusion as to what the problem is. The best they could offer me were antidepressants to treat the anxiety, which I decided against for various reasons. They also prescibed some medications for sleep. Some of the drugs (like Xanax, Trazadone and Ambien) had disasterous effects.

      Anyways, I eat pretty healthy, not perfect, but it’s okay compared to most people. I avoid gluten, most dairy and try to eat as few processed foods as possible. I take a variety of suppliments (Multis, Vit C, Mg, Fish Oil). I’ve tried various sleep supplements like Meletonin. Meletonin does help me fall asleep faster, but it doesn’t help me stay sleeping throughout the night (which is my main problem).

      I started seeing an acupuncturist about a month ago to help with the insomnia and daily anxiety I suffered. I noticed a difference on the night after my first treatment. I felt like the treatments gave me some relief by helping me stay asleep through the night. It seemed like the effect from acupuncture would wear off after a couple days and I would return to my usual sleep-deprived state. Plus, at $65 per session I don’t think I could continue this treatment indefinitely.

      I started reading more about the mechanism behind acupunture and why it supposedly works. This led me on an adventure into energy medicine and the idea of subtle body electricity, which ultimately led me to the Earthing website. This is an area of medicine and health that is sadly very understudied.

      I will also mention that I work in IT and am constantly surrounded by computers, electronics, wireless. Not to mention most of my hobbies involve using electronics in some sense. It’s something that I’m probably exposed to more than the average person based on the choices I’ve made in life (for better or worse).

      I suspect that years of being occupationally exposed to high powered electronics has left my body in a bit of a chatoic state, electrically. Maybe this is catching up to me just now? I don’t really know. All I know is something is definitely wrong and I don’t feel like I have any control over my body anymore.

      I noticed a difference in my quality and duration of sleep the very first night I slept on my grounded bedsheet. I have it plugged into a grounding rod since there is no real ground in my old home outlets. I also have been shutting off the breakers to my bedroom and any surrounding rooms each night hoping that will help. I’m not sure whether its the grounding or the removal of EMF in my sleep surroundings is helping more, but whatever the case I seem to have something that is definitely helping with sleep.

      I also noticed I get up fewer times in the night to go to the bathroom since I’ve been doing this routine. I would typically wake up 3x per night to go to the bathroom. Since I’ve started grounding it’s usually been 1x, maybe 2x at most. This, in itself, is really helpful.

      I do feel more relaxed during the day too, but I think this is mostly due to the return of regular sleep. It’s not perfect yet and I still have some night where I get less-than-adequate sleep. But we’re talking about the occasional 4hr night of sleep compared with the 1-2hr night of sleep like it was before.

      I did notice that the Earthing still doesn’t help much with physical aches and pains. I run about 3-4 miles 3x per week and sometimes pick up little nagging injuries. So far the grounding hasn’t helped much with those, which is surprising considering how many people claim it helps them recover from exercise and physical pain.

      I can understand from a skeptical point of view why people would be quick to dismiss this. I studied physics in college and ended up with a minor in it, so I’m no stranger to the basics of electricity. I’ve gotten through half of Cliff’s book and I’m not really convinced by his free radical hypothesis. I don’t think the mechanism(s) behind the Earthing affect are understood yet. That said, I think it’s worth a shot, especially for people who have suffered from sleep issues.

      I do think that removing as much EMF from your Earthing/sleeping environment is important. Otherwise, you are acting as the shortest path to ground for any electrical device or wiring in the vicinity of your bed (this includes some in-wall wiring). Get an electrician to figure out what kind of wiring you have and try to eliminate as much as you can either by turning off breakers or getting special on-demand breakers installed. Grounding might be more of a bandaid than a pernament solution to those of us trapped in toxic EMF cages every day, but it’s worth a shot if you’re suffering.

      Hope this helps somebody.

      WI Guy

  102. Does it matter in some cases whether massive research is done or not? Scientists are taught, “Nothing is assured, everything is iffy.” They, as a group are some of the unhealthiest creatures on earth. If I take arsenic, 99 times out of 100, depending on the dose I take, I die. I don’t need a scientist to let me know whether arsenic will kill or not. How many things came to be without some person with their test tube, microscope, etc., to give their take? Thousands, and look at Madam Curie, simply couldn’t stop looking at her creation until she developed cancer. Weird. Shoes are not made for walking, they’re made for making money. Animals walk on the earth, people walk insulated from the earth. If I walk on the earth and grow old and die, which always happens, that doesn’t mean the earth is going to save my life, only connect me to the earth while I live, we all know that. However, there are several things that separate many of us from the mainstream fat asses of the world and they are the majority. Most of them eat crap, one out of five live with pain, most watch TV and are influenced by it, usually negatively, and, well, you know the rest. What happens to those who eat right, exercise because they like to, go barefoot often, don’t use drugs, booze, late night partying, etc., we are called elitists, social snobs, etc., or weird, fanatical, and other things those who buy the Monsanto madness of the world. Eventually, all those who buy into mainstream medicine, mainstream anything, die and kids, with more open minds and hopefully not addicted to sugar and other toxic junk, say, “Wow, eliminate junk, ugly materialism that enslaves our daily lives, and understand that politicians are not too bright show biz people who have to go since they muck up everything. We don’t need a scientist to say it’s all right, even if some do some will say it won’t. If I feel great going barefoot on the beach the last thing I need is somebody saying, “Wait, I have to check with scientists to see if it works or not. What a drag. People who refer to something as anecdotal often fancy themselves as authorities or wannabe’s and find fault even when there isn’t any. There’s a much better source of truth than test tube mentality, after all, if we look at the 90,000 toxic chemicals, WMD’s, 250,000 people dying each year from mal-practice or hospital errors, the Iraqi and Afghan wars, little or not of this would be happening if scientist were intelligent enough to not step over certain lines knowing that what they’re curious about might harm or kill. Such is the case, one we live with on a daily basis. Doctors, at one time would cut up a body and step in the next room with blood dripping off clothing and hands and terrify and often kill baby and mother because of being insulted they might do so until a fellow doctor said, “Wash your hands you idiots,” or something on that order, though one must be careful not to “insult” morons.

  103. I sent them questions via customer support. It has been a month and no reply. That really irks me. I don’t recommend their crap. I own a multimeter and did several measurements. I get about 0.5V sitting in front of my computer. When I touch my CRT, I measure 0V. Why? I thought CRTs are supposed to emit a lot of radiation? Is it possible my model is grounded? When LCD screens were introduced, there was all this rave about them emitting less radiation. They wouldn’t answer me. I bought it out of desperation, because I had a blood clot. Grounding they claim thins the blood, and I refuse to take Coumadin, rat poison. That crap doesn’t even thin the blood. It is not a true blood thinner as they claim. It is only an anticoagulant. In less than one month, I noticed destroyed blood vessels under my skin. I immediately seized use.

  104. I read about earthing or grounding and was skeptical to say the least! So during my sons soccer game I removed my shoes for the whole game, it felt good! I noticed a big difference when I stood up at the end of the game and didn’t have the normal stiffness or pain that I usually have!
    So I got curious! I wasn’t spending that kind of money on something that hokey! So what did I do, what I normally do, made an improvised grounding bed mat out of aluminum window screen! WOW! That was the first time in twenty years that I got out of bed without any of the normal pains and I could stand up straight. The window screen wasn’t a big hit with the wife, so I found some foil bubble wrap in the loading dock. I took it home and made a bed pad that I have been using for a couple of weeks. I have never slept better in my life!
    Since that time I went online and purchased some fabric with the metal thread in it and is used for this purpose. Tonight I will see if the fabric is worth buy to make my own bedsheet or bag! I am sold on this! So are my coworkers, I am making them all mats!

    1. It sounds like you went though the same sequence of experiments as myself to realize that earthing really does improve your sleep. These benefits inspired me to help spread how to make your own earthing sheet to test it for yourself. I made a YouTube channel called GroundedSymbiosis where I have two different earthing sheet how to videos with test results as well.

      1. Thanks Mike, I will look it up. I like to get my bare feet on the ground but now that it’s turning cold here in the Pacific Northwest I’m not inclined to go out and sit much. Brrrrrr.

        1. Sure thing 2Rae, I think I may have a solution to your cold feet. Stay tuned to my channel for the release of some new winter earthing footwear options! I don’t know if you”l be able to sit around in these though, you may have to keep it moving:)

  105. I just heard about this today and watched a video about it due to the urging of my wife. Do I believe it? I don’t know yet, but I’m going to try it and see. I will say this though, it’s not rocket science to see how far as a society we’ve tried to distance ourselves from the natural world. Are we meant to wear shoes? Are we meant to drive cars? are we meant to eat wheat and corn? Are we meant to eat and drink the milk of another species once we are weaned? Are we meant to sit at desks starring at a computer screen or stand on concrete floors 10 hours a day, five days a week? Are we meant to eat domestically grown grain fed meat and genetically modified fruits and vegetables? Personally I think that only an idiot would answer yes to any of those questions. I think that grounding most likely goes hand in hand with going back to a more primal existence, following a diet and exercise regimen that closely mirrors our evolution. We are animals, predatory animals at that. We are part of nature, we belong in nature, and I think going barefoot can only bring us closer to our natural state.

  106. I think it deserves more attention. Not to dismiss it because there are no academics studying it. The native inuits and hunter-gatherers have much better health and nutrition to us westerners and not a scientific bit of proof amongst any of them…yet they are nutritionally superior. Don’t use the words ‘nonsense’ unless you have at least tried it personally and tried to make sense of it with your academic qualifications. Do some work on it. If proved to be nonsense (and it is provable), I will change my views on it.

  107. Another well-balanced viewpoint, especially for the PhD in Physics guy here who keeps crying “nonsense”.

    http://georgewashington2.blogspot.com/2011/04/electrons-and-antioxidants-key-to-good.html

    I have only a Bachelor’s in Electrical Engineering and even I can say that the premise isn’t unreasonable at all.

    Also, there are ground currents which may act as cues to normalize our circadian rhythms along with light.

    http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geomagnetically_induced_current

    One more thing I want to add is that you don’t need the Earth to be negatively charged for the electron flow hypothesis to be valid.

    In any circuit current flows from a point of higher potential to lower potential. Hence, if one terminal is at say 10 volts and another at say 5 volts, current will still flow from the first terminal to the second terminal ie. there will be electron flow from the second terminal to the first one. What we call electric current is actually the reverse flow of electrons from the relatively lower to the relatively higher potential. Key word, RELATIVE. This is Electricity 101.

    A metaphor, if you will : even if you live at a height of 1000m, as long as the water source is higher that you, water will flow to you, just like current does.

    So, you don’t need the Earth to be negatively charged for theoretical electron flow to occur, you just need it to be LESS positive that YOU.

    Now see this,

    http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=AuneIaI1vKg

    What just happened right when he touched the grounding pad was the induced emf on his body neutralised ie. Free electrons did flow from the ground to his body. No electrical or electronics engineer would dispute that. And at the very least, grounding immediately negates the effects of the emfs in your immediate surroundings on your body.

    We also know that even in the absence of any external emf field, our body generates low amplitude emf itself. We know it because that’s what all doctors use all the time. (EKGs, EEGs).

    Taking those three things together we just saw for ourselves that our body does conduct electricity (else his voltage would not have dropped when he touched the grounding pad), free electrons do flow (from the same demonstration and basic tenets of electrical conduction) and the Earth has constantly varying geomagnetic currents which may (or may not) act as circadian cues just like light, hence validating the Schumann resonance premise too.

    Please don’t get taken in by the armchair intellectualism of the “experts” when you can prove or disprove something to yourself.

    I wonder how much time and money the PhD in Physics here spent on his doctorate, and regurgitating information he has read in textbooks, according to which grounding is “nonsense”, when he could have tested out the hypothesis with half an hour and a $30 multimeter.

    Love,
    Foggy dude

    Ps: Notice I didn’t say anything about my personal experience with grounding, only the science. Though it *has* helped me tremendously.

    1. Dear Foggy dude:

      I appreciate your attempt at coming up with a suggestion for possible mechanism.

      I am also sure, that as a EE, you are aware that nothing can truly be “grounded” unless it is connected to a pipe or other metal object buried a significant distance into the ground. Someone walking around on the grass or on carpet or a hardwood surface is not grounded; they are walking on a semiconductive surface that may or may not be caring a free charge. If there is a potential difference between the person’s feet and the surface, then — as you noted — current will flow.

      However, current will only flow until equilibrium is achieved, which happens in a fraction of a second. After that, it is impossible for any ions to flow one way or another — into or out of a person’s body. This, of course, is why if you are in your car and a fallen high-voltage wire electrifies your vehicle, you are perfectly safe: you take on the same potential, with a minimal amount of current flowing. However, if you touch the ground, then you are no longer in equilibrium with the wire and a tremendous amount of current will now flow, causing serious injury.

      To get current to flow through your body from the earth, you would need for your head to be in contact with something that’s at a different potential from the earth. This is what happens when you stand in the middle of a field during a thunderstorm and get struck by lightning.

      Agree with you on your three points (bodies are conductive — at least semi-conductive, electrons can flow to create equilibrium, and the earth has changing magnetic fields). Admittedly, I do not what what the Schumann resonance is. If you supply a link, I’ll take a look.

      Now:

      1) Don’t go around making personal attacks. It makes you look stupid, naive, and like you’re merely a troll.

      2) Anything on Youtube can be faked. Such a video hardly constitutes evidenced.

      3) Beware the placebo effect.

      Cordially,

      The Physics PhD who still says that “earthing” is bogus.

  108. I have a scientific background (M.S. in Organic Chemistry and an M.S. in Nutrition) but more of a holistic approach to health and wellness.

    With the scientific background, I’m not sure why so many people are so insistent on having scientific data back up anything and everything. From what I’ve noticed, the majority of peer reviewed data is mostly to get out the professor’s name (or company’s name) and earn grant money or sell a product.

    As far as I’m concerned, we, as humans, know so little about the universe we live in – and I’m sure any physicist worth his or her salt would agree with that. So why do we always need scientific proof? Especially proof about stuff that we know so little about. I mean, if we can’t explain why particles and waves act they way they do (Double Slit Experiment: http://bit.ly/NqLvUf – SFW), do we really think we can prove the existence or non-existence of earthing/grounding?

    But for those of you that want to try and discredit grounding, play around on Jack Kruse’s website. Smartest guy I know with all the scientific and biological proof you need.

    1. Nathan, well put. Science is great…. to a point. We will never really have full scientific understanding of any aspect of this grand universe.

      Why speculate and say something works or doesn’t work without testing it for ourselves?!

      Anyway, I personally have been using earthing techniques with some good success in several areas (deeper sleep, faster injury recovery times, more energetic, happier, and that’s just off the top).

      I wouldn’t bother saying it works or doesn’t work without looking into it myself.

      After all, everyone in this comment section could say it works wonderfully, but if I don’t try it myself, it is useless to me.

      …and much more useless is to talk about it and post comments saying it works or doesn’t work without trying it.

      So anyway, I enjoyed reading the comments on this page but the ones I did read were a little close minded ALBEIT, I DIDN’T READ ALL THE COMMENTS cuz there’s so many 🙂

      check out the earthingforum http://earthingforum.com/ for more discussion on earthing. Everyone there seems to have already tried it so you might get a unique perspective.

      Cheers!

  109. Even though I agree we’ll have to wait for better science on this one, I have always felt a need to have my shoes off in my garden despite warnings from friends and relatives. I’ll wear shoes when I have to use a spade or garden fork, but mostly I just know what makes me feel good.

  110. This all makes a lot of sense to me intuitively and scientifically. My understanding of the physics, Mark, is that the earth is indeed mostly neutral. However, because it is so massive, it easily “absorbs” the positive charge/ “provides” negative charge without any change to the earth. In the same way as if you add a drop of hot water to a swimming pool, the pool will assimilate it with no appreciable change in temperature.
    My experiences in nature back up the value of returning to our roots, however ascertaining the exact mechanisms from subjective experience is hard.
    Overall, this theory meets my approval.
    Apologies if this explanation has already been posted in the comments.

  111. I’ve had 5 back surgeries, several traumatic accidents, etc. I went barefoot about a month ago and noticed I now unconsciously stand and walk with bent knees and thighs at the hip. I attribute my new found posture when standing and walking to my back gaining about a 25% improvement from pain almost immediately. I have also found that when I put shoes on for church, my feet instantly start aching and my back goes out. As I am not pounding my back, and my feet are not straining, my inflammatory process has subsided clearly due to bio-mechanical reasons.

    I’m going to try earthing, but I’m skeptical. The “positive” charged voltage, is really only Tesla electrons, which bombard us 24/7 and, due to our electrolytic nature, we are an antenna for such. A voltmeter measures electrons, not protons (which are positively charged). Electricity is made of electrons, and this allegedly “positive” charge is really a reading of the availability of negatively charged electrons. I live next to high tension lines, and I get more electrons than most. If I held a fluorescent light stick near the wires, it would glow with negatively charged electrons.

    According to the quack theory, I should be the healthiest guy in the world, as I am overloaded with electrons.

    That’s my problem with suppositions by the money changers, aka the Earthing promoters.

    However, achieving homeostasis with the earth’s charge may be the ticket. Their theory is bass ackwards. We have more voltage, or availability of negatively charged electrons, than the little patch of earth we are grounding to. Perhaps reaching equilibrium with the earth’s voltage may be the issue, and it’s disappointing to see snake oil salesmen purposely obfuscate this basic electrical issue.

    Hope this grounding experiment works, but I’m keeping eyes wide open.

    God bless y’all, and damn the torpedoes.

  112. I’m curious about fungi, viruses, and bacteria. I didn’t see any mention of that; did I overlook it?

  113. All these immediate naysayers remind me of the old American Medical Association hating on Chiropractic, denying it. After all, if the almighty AMA couldn’t explain the phenomenon associated with a specific, individualized chiropractic adjustment (namely improving communication between all the structures and all the functions of the body via the nervous system) then it couldn’t possibly exist. Science is just now only finally beginning to see how incredibly ingenious Dr. Palmer really was!

  114. I’m on board with spending more time barefoot and bare chested outside, feeling the earth on my skin, breathing fresh air, rubbing my back against nature. I’m not on board with spending hundreds of dollars on products that claim to “ground” me or “connect” me to the earth. I have a feeling connecting more electrical devices in my home would just exacerbate the issue. I’ll continue to enjoy as much uninterrupted, bare connection to nature as my otherwise busy life will allow.

  115. I’d like more science, too, but in truth I’ve been DOING this for years because it feels great. No idea why, and don’t really care. Feet on the earth feels right.

  116. Hi Mark,
    I know this is an old post, but I just read it and was wondering what your current thoughts are on earthing.
    I got very into it when the concept was first introduced. I purchased grounding pads and sheets. After testing them years later I find they are ineffective and show minimal results on my voltmeter. They must wear out over time and feel they were a waste of money.
    I never noticed much benefit for healing aches and pains running/cycling injuries. I stopped doing it, but continued to walk and run barefoot.
    Now I am dealing with brain cancer, so I have added it back into my ‘toolbox’ to help with healing, along with everything I can from keto to cannabis.
    I find the most effective are my homemade devices. The one I use most is at my computer is an old baking pan filled with river rock connected to ground.
    I’d would love to hear your thoughts.
    Thanks,
    Steve
    https://www.instagram.com/p/Be0woPsha35/?taken-by=rabasak