The Earthing Institute - Reconnecting People To The Planet

Earthing Basics

Grounding research indicates that the surface of planet Earth has natural potent painkilling, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and stress reducing properties. It’s Nature’s design, a remarkable healing asset, but most humans are missing out on it.

The Earth is endowed with “electric nutrition,” a virtually limitless supply of mobile electrons that gives the ground we walk on (as well as our lakes and oceans) a natural negative electric charge. This phenomenon nourishes planetary life, both animals and plants.

The research demonstrates that direct contact with the Earth restores and stabilizes the bioelectrical circuitry that governs our physiology and organs, recharges and thins our blood, enhances immune function, and powerfully and quickly knocks down inflammation and pain. The degree to which this resource nourishes, protects, and heals is substantial, and of great medical significance

For more details and why humans are disconnected from the Earth’s healing energy, click here.

You have options.

1) Go barefoot (sit, stand, walk, run) outside on the Earth or swim/wade in the ocean/a lake/river for a half-hour or more a day.  On land, conductive surfaces for grounding include soil, grass, sand, gravel, and rock.  Concrete is also conductive.  Moist surfaces are more conductive than dry.  You cannot ground yourself on asphalt, vinyl, and wooden surface; they are not conductive.

2) Walking outside may be risky or unpleasant because of glass, parasites, excrement, etc. If your daily routine, the weather, or surface conditions don’t accommodate outdoor grounding, you can conveniently ground yourself indoors for many hours while sitting and sleeping.  Indoor Earthing products are available at www.earthing.com and www.groundtherapycenter.com, and through a network of U.S. and international distributors.

Research on Earthing started in 2000 and led to the development of conductive sheets, mats, body bands, and patches for indoor grounding.  Consider them as “barefoot substitutes” that allow you to be connected to the Earth outside.  The best opportunity to gain the many benefits of Earthing indoors is to sleep grounded.

Most people feel better right away.  They sleep better.  Have more energy and less pain.  But some individuals can feel temporary symptoms of detoxification as the body starts to function more efficiently.  For the details, please read our article new to Earthing.

No.  Throughout practically all of history, humans have walked barefoot on the Earth. They have sat and slept on conductive animal skins, and fashioned those skins into footwear. All this ordinary activity has enabled our predecessors to absorb into their bodies the Earth’s natural healing energy. During the late 1880s, a back-to-Nature movement in Germany featured walking barefoot and sleeping directly on the Earth for which many positive health claims were made. For more on this movement, refer to the Earthing book.

Earthing research indicates that grounding may represent a simple, natural, and powerful tool for reducing the current global epidemic of pain conditions, inflammation-related diseases, insomnia and chronic fatigue.  Earthing broadly lowers pain and inflammation and thus elevates quality of life ˗ how you feel, and even how you look ˗ to a surprising level.

James Oschman, Ph.D., an internationally-renowned expert on energy medicine and a member of our board of advisors, describes the phenomenon thusly: “Earthing works fast. Anyone can try it. You don’t even have to believe it works.   If you don’t feel well or have pain, for whatever reason, just put your bare feet on the ground – on grass, wet sand, gravel, or plain dirt − for a half-hour.  See what happens.  There is nothing that comes close to Earthing for quick relief. You can literally feel pain draining from your body the instant you touch the Earth.”

We recommend you have a conversation with your doctor first.  He or she, however, may not know anything about Earthing.  Earthing makes the physiology function more efficiently, and this improvement has the potential to affect medication dosages.  We know that Earthing has a blood thinning effect, and may improve thyroid function, blood sugar, and blood pressure, and thus the dosages of medication may need to be closely monitored and adjusted.  However, such interactions have not been measured in studies.  For that reason, we strongly advise informing your doctor and following his or her guidance.  Please read our report on Earthing and medication.

A big difference.  The subtle ground energy ˗ the Earth’s electric field ˗ is mainly a continuous direct current (DC) producing field that has influenced life on the planet throughout time.  By comparison, home wiring systems use alternating current (50 or 60 cycles per second AC). Unless at very low frequency and/or low power, AC is foreign to our biology.  AC, and other forms of man-made environmental electromagnetic fields (EMFs), are being researched as possible factors in a variety of stress-related responses. Many people are sensitive to EMFs. Studies show an “association,” but not cause and effect, with some health issues.

There is no constant measurable current flow beyond the instant equalization charge transferred to the body when a person makes bare skin contact with the ground or some type of Earthing product. Once the body is thus grounded, the rate of influx changes, and the body will continue to absorb enough electrons needed to maintain the same electrical potential as the Earth and to restore what is lost as a result of metabolic processes.  As long as a person continues to be grounded, the body can use the Earth as a natural reservoir, or “power source,” from which to draw electrons to maintain a “topped up” homeostatic level that compensates for any attrition of internal electrons. In contact with the Earth, it would seem hard for the body to develop an electron deficiency, and, theoretically, chronic inflammation.  The continuing amount of electrons absorbed by the body to reduce metabolic and immune response free radicals would also vary significantly between people depending upon their lifestyle and activity. This is all extremely difficult, if not impossible, to measure.

Lightning is a massive natural phenomenon that is unpredictable and challenging to totally protect against. It is poorly understood. Homes are rarely hit by lightning. When this happens, the lightning usually takes the path of least resistance to the ground, such as large conductive systems like the plumbing pipes, electrical wiring network, or telephone and cable TV lines, all of which are directly grounded to the Earth.
The U.S. National Safety Council reports that your odds of dying from a lightning strike during a lifetime is 1 in 114,000, and  near the bottom of a list of multiple causes for death including heart disease and cancer (1:7), assault by a firearm (1:106), and automobile accidents (1:108).This information suggests that being hit by lightning is rather unlikely. However, follow standard lightning safety guidelines as directed by the U.S. National Weather Service or the weather authorities in your country if you live in a lightning-prone area. Disconnect your Earthing device and don’t use it during lightning and thunderstorms.

Such claims are utter nonsense without any evidence and reflect ignorance about Earthing. Three grounding studies have demonstrated the clear safety of grounding indoors, one of them a study done with hospitalized premature infants in a setting of high EMFs.  To read a short article about these studies and the safety of Earthing, click here.  And click here for a short reply to the notion that grounding indoors turns you into an antenna for EMFs.  We believe that people become antennas for EMFs when they are ungrounded.

Such individuals sometimes report feeling strange energy in the beginning and some even say they feel ill.  The energy they feel when grounded is simply the Earth’s natural energy.
We regard these sensations generally as part of an adjustment/healing/detoxification process as the body normalizes and inflammation goes down. If the feeling is too uncomfortable, we recommend to stop Earthing.  Try resuming at a later time but only with perhaps a half hour or forty minutes, or even less, twice a day barefoot outside or in contact with an Earthing mat or band inside your home.  Very slowly increase your exposure. In this way, you may often be able to work your way gradually to sleeping grounded for six to eight hours at night. Just go very slow and at your own pace. Some electro-sensitive people have found that they receive positive benefits just from minimum exposure to Earthing.

The protective potential of Earthing has not been tested yet on cell phone exposure. There is no research indicating that Earthing will or will not protect a person from exposure to cell phones signals, microwave radiation, or radio frequencies. What we know is that Earthing reduces significantly the induced body voltages generated by simple exposure to common household 50/60 Hz EMFs continuously emitted by all plugged-in electrical cords (even if the appliance is off), internal wiring, and all ungrounded electrical devices in the home or office. Based on the cases we have seen of people extremely sensitive to such EMFs it is prudent to be grounded as much as possible in the home or office.  The research shows that Earthing keeps your metabolism – and your capacity for recuperation from injury – at maximum efficacy.

We receive many questions about using Earthing products around the world. To assist you, we have compiled some basic facts you will need to determine the best connecting options for you. Earthing products are designed to be used with an Earthing ground rod placed in the soil outside next to a window or door, or via a grounded wall outlet inside the home or office. Individual conditions in your home, office, and country may dictate which of these options you use to connect to the Earth.

The first thing you need to know is that Earthing products do not operate on electricity, so it does not matter what the electrical current is in your country (whether 110 volts or 240 volts, etc). Earthing products simply allow the natural, gentle energy from the Earth outside to be carried inside. When you make physical — bare skin — contact with the Earthing product it is the same as if you were standing or walking barefoot outside. This is what creates the benefits of Earthing.

Our preference is that the products throughout the world be connected to Earthing ground rods, however many people like the idea of simply plugging them into an electrical outlet ground port in their home or office. For people who live in tall apartment buildings (high rises), a ground rod may not be feasible, and for people who do not have a grounded electrical system in their home or office, the only option is the ground rod.

The following explanation covers two options for connecting Earthing products. The electrical terms “ground” and “Earth” have the same meaning. In Spanish, the term is “tierra,” and in French, “terre.”

Option # 1: Plug-In
There are many different outlet configurations around the world. Some are grounded (Earthed). Others are not. For this reason, if you want to plug into a wall outlet you will have to determine first whether your electrical system and outlets are indeed properly grounded. An electrician can determine that for you or you can purchase a simple outlet ground checker at an electrical supply or hardware store locally.

Outlets with only two holes and no Earth/ground strip or Earth/ground pin or hole means there is no Earth/ground present. You must use a ground rod. This is quite common in older homes. Keep in mind, however, that an outlet with three holes, or two holes and an Earth/ground strip or Earth/ground pin or hole, does not necessarily mean that the Earth/ground is actually connected. The individual outlet must be tested for correct wiring.

In the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Costa Rica, and parts of the Caribbean, the electrical systems in homes and offices that have been grounded utilize what is know as “Type B” electrical wall outlets. To determine what type of outlet is used in your country, go to the following web site: http://electricaloutlet.org/  The cords that come with Earthing products are designed to fit directly into the ground ports (third hole) of grounded Type B wall outlet or into the female receptor end of Earthing ground rod cords used anyplace in the world. The Earthing cords will not usually fit into international ground ports or contacts.

If your outlets are grounded, you will need to obtain a grounded outlet adapter for use with North American appliances in your country. Earthing products come with a 15 foot (about 4.5 meter) long cord. One end snaps onto the product and the other (male) end inserts into the ground (Earth) port of the appropriate adapter that is then plugged into a properly grounded electrical outlet.

Do not buy a universal adapter. Some universal adapters look like they have the Earth/ground connection but when tested they do not work. Others have loose intermittent connections that will minimize the benefits you expect from Earthing. If you do not have a grounded outlet, you will have to use a ground rod (Option # 2) or have an electrician connect your electrical outlet(s) to the Earth.

Option # 2
Earthing sleep systems (sheets and recovery bag) come with a 12-inch long (.3 meter) ground rod included. The Earthing mats do not include the ground rod. If you want to use a ground rod for use with a mat, it must be purchased separately.

The ground rods are inserted into the ground (soil, garden bed) outside/below a window or door adjacent to where the Earthing product will be used inside. It is very simple to do. If there is only concrete and no adjacent Earth in which to put the ground rod then this is not an option for you. The Earthing ground rod has a 40 foot (13 meter) cord attached to it. You can run the cord under a window or door, just being careful not to sever the cord. The cord from the Earthing sheet or mat is connected to the ground rod cord, male end into the female end. Again, very simple. This is how to set up the ground rod.

The cords that come with each product can be connected to a grounded outlet (or outlet adapter, as described in Option # 1) or a ground rod. If additional length is needed, Earthing extension cords can also be purchased.

Available also are splitter cords, into which you can insert the cords from any two Earthing products. The splitter connects either to a wall outlet (or outlet adapter) or to the ground rod cord. All Earthing product connection cords contain a current limiting 100k ohm resistor.

To see what the products look like, go to www.earthing.com

Although the use of magnets produce some therapeutic effects when properly applied, magnets cannot provide free electrons, nor can they connect the body with the naturally balancing electric frequencies of the Earth. Earthing technology used inside your home or office connects you with the Earth’s electrons in the same way as if you were barefoot on the ground outside.

No. Most footwear today is made with plastic/rubber composite soles that do not conduct the Earth’s electric energy.  You need leather/hide soles, which used to be the primary footwear materials in the past, or specially designed conductive/electrostatic discharge shoes. Leather itself isn’t conductive, but the foot perspires and the moisture permits conduction of the energy from the Earth through the leather and up into the body. In addition, moisture from walking on damp ground or sidewalks could permeate up into the leather soled shoe. Thickness of the sole can also be a factor: a very thick leather sole may not allow the moisture through. Various shoe options can be seen by doing an Internet search for grounded footwear.  It is important to note also that a grounded shoe will only provide grounding benefits on surfaces that are conductive, such as the ground outside and unsealed, unpainted concrete.

Pure water (distilled, snow), with no minerals or salts dissolved in it, is a poor conductor of electricity.  When certain minerals, such as salt, are added to pure water, the water becomes conductive as a result of dissolution that breaks the salt into its components, electrically-positive sodium and negative chlorine.  Ocean water is full of dissolved salts and minerals, and represents a superb conductive medium for grounding.

Lakes and rivers contain less minerals and salts than the ocean in general but they are still good conductors.  Whether you are standing on the lake or river bottom, or floating or swimming on the surface, you will be no doubt grounded.

Mineral hot springs are famous for their healing and relaxing effects. This is believed to be due to the mineral content of the water.  However, since the water is conductive, you are grounding when you soak in hot springs.

Swimming pool?  It is hard to say unless you have a salt water pool and the water is in contact with some metal part, like a drain pipe going into the ground.  Normal tap water in a pool would be conductive, but again whether you are grounded or not depends on whether the water has contact with a metal fixture connected to the ground.

In your home, bathtubs and showers involve tap water that contains minerals and salts and so is conductive.  If you take a bath and there is a metal part in contact with the water and that metal part is also in contact with some metal pipe going down into the ground, you are grounded!  The same is true with showers. If the water you use to shower comes from metal pipes in contact with the earth, the water you shower with is grounded and will ground you.

Wood or vinyl are not conductive.  Floors made of these materials will not ground you.

If your floor has unsealed concrete or stone built directly on the Earth, it is likely to be conductive and ground you.

Unsealed/unpainted tile directly attached to a concrete slab would likely permit grounding as well.  But tiles with a glazed finish will likely not, nor tiles applied over plywood or some other kind of wood, plastic, or vinyl understructure.  Conductivity will also be negatively affected if petrochemical bonding material has been used to adhere the tile.

You can check a floor’s conductivity with the use of a continuity tester available at earthing.com

Most sleeping bags are made of insulating and synthetic materials.  Some part of your body thus needs to be in direct contact with the Earth in order for you to get the full benefit of Earthing. The skin of your body needs to come in contact with the “skin of the Earth.” It can be a bare foot, or arm, for instance, sticking out of the sleeping bag in contact with the Earth.