What Is Earthing?
Earthing (also called “grounding”) is the electrically conductive contact of the body with the surface of the Earth, like when walking barefoot on grass.
Conductive devices such as earthing mats, sheets, or pads are now sold specially designed for grounding while indoors.
The Journal of Environmental and Public Health recently published a paper citing 33 different studies on earthing stating “This paper reviews the earthing research and the potential of earthing as a simple and easily accessed global modality of significant clinical importance.” https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3265077/
How Earthing Can Improve Your Health
The earth’s surface is negatively charged. It has a virtually infinite supply of freely moving electrons. The human body is at its best when it is grounded to the earth’s surface- it evolved that way.
For example, electrical charge in the bloodstream has a profound effect on blood viscosity, which is a major risk factor for heart disease. Dr. Stephen Sinatra, a New York based cardiologist researching the health effects of grounding explains this phenomenon: “The surface of red blood cells carries a negative electrical charge that maintains spacing of the cells in the bloodstream. The stronger the negative charge, the greater the potential of the cells to repel each other, the better (thinner) the viscosity of the blood, and the better the flow.”
Earthing actually helps thin the blood and there are numerous reports of people having to lower their blood thinning medication or stop taking it completely once they began earthing on a regular basis. https://www.drsinatra.com/boost-heart-health-through-grounding
Grounding also greatly reduces blood viscosity after exercise, in part helping to counteract exercise-induced inflammation. Many athletes sleep in earthed or grounded sheets in order to heal their joints and muscles more quickly.
The human body needs access to the earth’s negative charge to combat free radicals
The immune system uses white blood cells (known as neutrophils) to release reactive oxygen molecules that split into single atoms with unpaired electrons. These reactive oxygen atoms, also called free radicals, seek out other atoms or molecules in order to steal one of their electrons. This process is called oxidation, and it ultimately destroys pathogens and damaged cells. Electrons like to orbit the nucleus with a mate. It is extra important for the stability of most atoms that the outermost shell or orbit of electrons be a pair. A free radical is simply an atom with one or more unpaired electrons in its outer orbit.
Free radicals are actually vital for good health as long as they only attack dead, dying, or diseased cells. But sometimes in their quest to find a free electron, they can steal an electron or electrons from a healthy cell, which can damage and kill it.
That damaged or dead cell then needs to be removed, so the immune system sends another free radical to process it. This creates a repeating cycle that can result in a state of chronic inflammation (which is known to cause a host of serious health disorders.)
Earthing (along with exercise and a healthy organic diet free from GMOs and pesticides) can stop free radicals from continuing to attack the body’s healthy cells in their quest to get paired electrons in their outermost shell.
Antioxidants like vitamins C and E protect the body against the destructive effects of free radicals by donating one of their own electrons so the free radical can stabilize. This is why they are called antioxidants (remember oxidization is the loss of electrons during a reaction). The antioxidant nutrients themselves don’t become free radicals by donating an electron because they are stable in either form!
Free radical generating substances can be found in fried “food”, alcohol and other drugs, smoke, pesticides, and other pollutants of air and water. Along with ingesting enough antioxidants, earthing is an effective tool to combat free radicals. The earth has an infinite supply of freely moving electrons, so when a person is grounded, those electrons naturally flow from the earth to the body, providing the electrons that free radicals require so their electrons missing a mate can acquire an electron, pair up, and chill out.
Note: Free radicals are not the same as ions. Remember, a free radical is just an atom with an unpaired outer shell electron. Free radicals still have an equal amount of electrons and protons. Ions on the other hand do not an equal number of electrons and protons, which means they’re either positively or negatively charged. Free radicals are a neutral charge. Negative ions are very good for you but that is another discussion: http://6ks.564.myftpupload.com/organic-health/the-health-benefits-of-negative-ions/
The human body needs access to the earth’s negative charge to combat the effects of EMR (electromagnetic radiation)
EMR is generated by electrical devices and power lines. The body is supposed to be at very low voltage (like the earth) and being near electricity generating devices increases the voltage in the body. Earthing balances the body and allows excess voltage to drain away. Here’s more information here on why EMF’s are harmful and many ways you can keep yourself safe: http://6ks.564.myftpupload.com/organic-health/emr/
How To Ground Yourself
You don’t have to buy anything in order to ground yourself:
A great way is to be barefoot on the earth. Barefeet on wet grass or unpainted concrete works (but not asphalt). Taking a walk on the beach is ideal because the wet sand increases conductivity between your feet and the earth. And of course swimming in the ocean- nothing beats being grounded by all that salt water. But when being barefoot outdoors isn’t possible, you can ground yourself indoors.
You can buy sheets or pads that are grounded (they have tiny conductive material such as silver woven or embedded in them.) The best way to ground your sheet or pad is to attach it to a grounding rod. This is just a long metal rod implanted in the earth which is attached to a wire that attaches to the pad or sheet. You don’t have to worry about lightning striking the rod or the wire and somehow electrocuting you. That’s not how electricity works. Electricity always wants to go to ground and it will choose the path of least resistance to get there. Lightning is not going to take an extra trip through a wire and up into your grounding device and you and then travel all the way back the same way in order to get to ground when it could just go straight to the ground in the first place. If lightning did for some freak reason hit the wire or the rod, it would travel directly to ground and not to you.
If you cannot use a grounding rod for whatever reason, attach it to the cold water pipe under your sink (cold water pipes are always grounded.) I use the cold water pipe method and it works great.
Do not ground your device through the ground in your electrical socket. Many earthing companies (including one mentioned in this article) sell a plug that grounds the device through the third hole of the electrical socket (the ground) but that isn’t a good idea.
Ask a professional electrician and they will tell you that there is a chance that if there was a short somewhere in the home electrical system, the electricity could flow through the ground wire and then into your grounded device and to you, thus causing electrocution. Any company who says otherwise is lying. DO NOT ground your devices through your electrical socket. Also, these earthing companies do include a 100K Ohm resistor in their devices that they say would protect you from electrocution but resistors have also been known to short and fail. Plus, a 100k Ohm resistor is not a very powerful resistor at all (dry human skin is for example has a resistance of 100k Ohms).
Also, if you’re using a plugged in electrical device near your grounding device (like say you’re using a charging laptop while you’re in contact with an earthing product) make sure you use a ground fault interruptor (pictured below) so that in the event of a short the electricity doesn’t go to ground through you.
Lastly, DO NOT use a plugged in electrical device (i.s. charging a laptop or phone, or sitting at a desktop computer) while using your earthing equipment. The electrical impulses from the device will exit through you and while this does not result in electrocution, it’s not something that is good for the body.
As of 2016, Earthing.com has good earthing products. At this time I found their products to be of a higher quality than Tylson.com’s. However, this may have changed as years have passed. Do not wash the earthing items with fabric softener or use dryer sheets as the waxes will coat the silver filaments thus rendering them useless.
Here’s their website for more info: https://www.earthing.com
If you buy an earthing device also purchase a multimeter. Multimeters will measure and show you how well you are grounded. They are useful tools to make sure your earthing equipment is functioning correctly. You can literally see your body grounding out to neutral or close to it when you hold the multimeter in one hand and ground yourself to the earthing device with the other. There are numerous videos online that will show you who to operate one. You do not need to spend more than $20 on a multimeter. Here’s a good an dinexpensive one: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01NAVAT9S/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o05_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1
Note: I do not financially gain in any way from this article or from recommending these products. This article is not a substitute for medical advice.
Note: It is also possible to build your own earthing devices for very cheap. There is a lot of information about this online.
Here are peer reviewed scientific studies published by respected medical institutions showing the relationship between earthing and improved health: http://www.earthinginstitute.net/research/
Earthing may also increase the body’s ability to detoxify, which refers to the body’s process of cleansing itself of dead bacterial debris, endotoxins, dead cells, viruses, heavy metals, and other toxins.
The list of detox symptoms is long but can include fatigue, joint or muscle pain, skin rashes, sleep disturbances, irritability, and headaches.
If you notice any of these when you begin earthing, it’s recommended to just go slow. It’s important to gradually build up the duration of time that you send earthing, so you don’t experience an uncomfortable detox reaction (also known as a Herxheimer reaction.)
For example, Lee Cowden, M.D., a well-known integrative physician and natural Lyme practitioner, directs Lyme patients to Earth for 15–30 minutes a day, building up to 3 hours while awake. Once a patient can Earth for 3 hours in the day, he says the patient can then try sleeping while earthing overnight.
If you don’t have any serious ailments, just earth for the length of time that intuitively feels right. Some folks start sleeping on their earthing sheet all night and feel great. Others may need to build up to that.