The Earthing Institute - Reconnecting People To The Planet

Earthing and Health FAQs

Pain, disease, and other disturbances are often caused by chronic inflammation. Such inflammation is, in turn, caused by positively charged molecules called free radicals. When you make direct contact with the Earth, either by being barefoot outside or using an Earthing product indoors, electrons from the Earth enter your body and reduce the free radicals and inflammation.  At this point, the concept is theoretical, but supported by our research and feedback from thousands of people who use Earthing products.
In any case, the effect of Earthing is significant because medical research has found that many of the chronic and debilitating diseases of our time have the same cause: chronic inflammation.  Scientists now realize that pain and disease arise in our bodies where an inflammatory response has taken place, but the inflammation has not completely stopped after the healing process. A low level of chronic inflammation can continue for years, damaging normal tissues and wasting energy.
The human immune system evolved over a long span of time during which we were in virtually constant skin contact with the Earth. In our modern society, humans no longer walk barefoot. We wear shoes that insulate us from the Earth’s energy. In recent decades the incidence of chronic diseases, allergies, auto-immune conditions, and insomnia has soared. One overlooked possibility for this alarming increase is that the immune system is functioning less efficiently as most humans today live ungrounded.

We have repeatedly observed Earthing producing beneficial effects quickly.  Keep in mind that the body is a good conductor of free electrons. We have seen that when people are grounded in experiments with the use, for instance, of conductive patches placed on the bottom of the feet (simulating standing barefoot on the Earth), they sometimes feel a tingling sensation moving up the legs. We associate this with the movement of electrons from the Earth up into the body.  People say they often feel the same sensation when walking barefoot along the wet sand at the beach.

In our research, we have “clocked” the speed of this activity. It takes about 20 to 30 minutes to reach sites of pain and inflammation, such as a shoulder. A painful knee would respond faster as it is closer to the grounded feet.  When a study participant says that pain has started to ease we regard this as a sign that the electrons have arrived at the pain site and are “going to work.”

The influx of electrons gives a powerful boost to the body’s antioxidant and anti-inflammatory defenses.  Like reinforcements, we believe they rapidly neutralize free radical molecules that create chronic inflammation, arresting the destructive action on healthy tissues, and leading to a reduction of pain.

Medical thermal imaging has shown decreased inflammation in minutes after people are grounded.  You can see examples of such decreased inflammation in several thermal imaging studies on Earthing.   Here, here, and here.

There is an instant and natural shift in your body when you become grounded. We have measured the changes in the laboratory and they clearly indicate that the body is functioning better. People with pain often feel relief in varying degrees − from a little to a lot, and to even disappearance of the pain − just by planting their bare feet on the ground outside for a half hour or forty minutes.  Sleeping grounded through the night produces many beneficial results, such as better and deeper sleep, more energy during the day, and less pain. Again, the degree of benefits vary from slight to dramatic, from immediate to gradual.

Everyone is different.  Symptoms are different. Causes are different.

Some chronically ill people benefit from additional grounding hours during the day, such as by being barefoot or using an Earthing mat or body band. From the thousands of cases that Clint Ober and others have observed for years, the more severe the health problem the more dramatic the improvement seen with grounding in general. Even in end-of-life situations associated with pain, it has been reported that individuals generally have less pain.

We have had many reports of improved sleep and decreased stress after only one or two nights of sleeping grounded. If the cause of sleep difficulties is long-term insomnia with underlying health issues, improvement may stretch out.   In a study conducted by the California Institute for Human Science, instantaneous changes in brain waves and muscle tension were documented with grounding.

Clearly, lasting changes in stress, sleep, pain, and body rhythms occur when we ground ourselves routinely.

Earthing does not cure anything.  It restores a natural electrical balance in the body and reduces stress and inflammation. Earthing can thus have both short-term and long-term effects.

We think it has powerful anti-aging potential.  Many researchers have documented the deterioration of the immune system as we age, a decline called immunosenescence. A prominent medical theory states that one of the causes of general deterioration during aging is free radical damage, technically known as oxidative stress, and resulting in injury to cells. Since Earthing greatly reduces oxidative stress and inflammation it would be logical to think it could increase life expectancy and improve health. There is no question that maintaining a functionally “young” immune system is an excellent strategy for preserving the quality of life and slowing senescence.

The body is most receptive to healing during sleep, so this is the most beneficial time for grounding.

But just as you can’t direct healthy food, air, or water to create specific effects in one function or part of your body, grounding allows your body to receive the natural energy of the Earth and then uses it as needed. You may experience benefits for certain issues you were not even expecting improvements in and there may be no change in other areas. Generally, the longer you continue to ground yourself, the more benefits and vitality you can expect to see.

Primarily, by reducing inflammation.  The Earth has analgesic properties.  Go outside and stand, sit, or walk on the ground barefoot for at least a half hour.  In that time you will likely notice that your pain is less. There are also Earthing products you can use indoors while sleeping or sitting. Think of them as extension cords connecting you in your house or office to the Earth outside.

Earthing products reduce inflammation and pain. The fastest way, in our experience, is with the use of Earthing patches, which can be applied on or adjacent to sites of pain, or placed on the palms or soles of the feet.  For more information on the patches, see the following article: https://www.earthinginstitute.net/the-magic-pain-patches-every-medicine-cabinet-should-have-them/

There is no evidence that grounding interferes with the function of these devices. Still, if you are considering grounding it is important to discuss it first with your doctor and decide together what is best for you. Grounding indoors is the same as walking barefoot outside. Many people have used grounding products and experienced the benefits of both their medical devices and grounding. To our knowledge, no one with a pacemaker or defibrillator or stents has been advised not to walk barefoot outdoors.

Pacemakers and defibrillators are devices implanted in the chest or abdomen and help control abnormal heart rhythms called arrhythmias. Defibrillators are used against life-threatening arrhythmias. Contemporary devices typically function as both pacemaker and defibrillator.  Because of the sophistication of these newer devices, it is essential to consult with your physician before starting grounding. Moreover, doctors will often prescribe anticoagulants (blood thinners) to patients. Grounding has a beneficial blood thinning effect, which is likely not known to most doctors. The combination of grounding and anticoagulant medication may possibly create excess blood thinning. Thus, the importance of speaking to your doctor first.  See our article on medication here

For individuals with pacemakers/defibrillators who ground themselves by walking barefoot outdoors routinely for some hours, it would be wise to consult with your physician, even though such grounding exposure is likely to have less impact than for someone grounding more hours indoors during sleep. 

No studies have been done to determine this possibility.  Earthing research has demonstrated improved circulation and oxygen uptake, and, in a general sense, this implies improvements in the physiology.

We have heard from many people whose blood pressure numbers have improved, and who have better control of their blood pressure, after starting Earthing. Some have been able to lower the dosage of their medication under the supervision of their doctors.  If you take medication, and wish to start Earthing, you should always consult with your physician.

Yes.  Using Earthing products is equivalent to being barefoot outdoors.