Earthing: Health Implications of Reconnecting the Human Body to the Earth's Surface ElectronsGaétan Chevalier, 1, 2 , * Stephen T. Sinatra, 3 James L. Oschman, 4 Karol Sokal, 5 and Pawel Sokal 6Author information ► Article notes ► Copyright and License information ►This article has been cited by other articles in PMC.Go to:AbstractEnvironmental medicine generally addresses environmental factors with a negative impact on human health. However, emerging scientific research has revealed a surprisingly positive and overlooked environmental factor on health: direct physical contact with the vast supply of electrons on the surface of the Earth. Modern lifestyle separates humans from such contact. The research suggests that this disconnect may be a major contributor to physiological dysfunction and unwellness. Reconnection with the Earth's electrons has been found to promote intriguing physiological changes and subjective reports of well-being. Earthing (or grounding) refers to the discovery of benefits--including better sleep and reduced pain--from walking barefoot outside or sitting, working, or sleeping indoors connected to conductive systems that transfer the Earth's electrons from the ground into the body. This paper reviews the earthing research and the potential of earthing as a simple and easily accessed global modality of significant clinical importance.1. IntroductionEnvironmental medicine focuses on interactions between human health and the environment, including factors such as compromised air and water and toxic chemicals, and how they cause or mediate disease. Omnipresent throughout the environment is a surprisingly beneficial, yet overlooked global resource for health maintenance, disease prevention, and clinical therapy: the surface of the Earth itself. It is an established, though not widely appreciated fact, that the Earth's surface possesses a limitless and continuously renewed supply of free or mobile electrons. The surface of the planet is electrically conductive (except in limited ultradry areas such as deserts), and its negative potential is maintained (i.e., its electron supply replenished) by the global atmospheric electrical circuit [1, 2].Mounting evidence suggests that the Earth's negative potential can create a stable internal bioelectrical environment for the normal functioning of all body systems. Moreover, oscillations of the intensity of the Earth's potential may be important for setting the biological clocks regulating diurnal body rhythms, such as cortisol secretion .It is also well established that electrons from antioxidant molecules neutralize reactive oxygen species (ROS, or in popular terms, free radicals) involved in the body's immune and inflammatory responses. The National Library of Medicine's online resource PubMed lists 7021 studies and 522 review articles from a search of "antioxidant + electron + free radical" . It is assumed that the influx of free electrons absorbed into the body through direct contact with the Earth likely neutralize ROS and thereby reduce acute and chronic inflammation . Throughout history, humans mostly walked barefoot or with footwear made of animal skins. They slept on the ground or on skins. Through direct contact or through perspiration-moistened animal skins used as footwear or sleeping mats, the ground's abundant free electrons were able to enter the body, which is electrically conductive . Through this mechanism, every part of the body could equilibrate with the electrical potential of the Earth, thereby stabilizing the electrical environment of all organs, tissues, and cells.Modern lifestyle has increasingly separated humans from the primordial flow of Earth's electrons. For example, since the 1960s, we have increasingly worn insulating rubber or plastic soled shoes, instead of the traditional leather fashioned from hides. Rossi has lamented that the use of insulating materials in post-World War II shoes has separated us from the Earth's energy field . Obviously, we no longer sleep on the ground as we did in times past.During recent decades, chronic illness, immune disorders, and inflammatory diseases have increased dramatically, and some researchers have cited environmental factors as the cause . However, the possibility of modern disconnection with the Earth's surface as a cause has not been considered. Much of the research reviewed in this paper points in that direction.In the late 19th century, a back-to-nature movement in Germany claimed many health benefits from being barefoot outdoors, even in cold weather . In the 1920s, White, a medical doctor, investigated the practice of sleeping grounded after being informed by some individuals that they could not sleep properly "unless they were on the ground or connected to the ground in some way," such as with copper wires attached to grounded-to-Earth water, gas, or radiator pipes. He reported improved sleeping using these techniques . However, these ideas never caught on in mainstream society.At the end of the last century, experiments initiated independently by Ober in the USA  and K. Sokal and P. Sokal  in Poland revealed distinct physiological and health benefits with the use of conductive bed pads, mats, EKG- and TENS-type electrode patches, and plates connected indoors to the Earth outside. Ober, a retired cable television executive, found a similarity between the human body (a bioelectrical, signal-transmitting organism) and the cable used to transmit cable television signals. When cables are "grounded" to the Earth, interference is virtually eliminated from the signal. Furthermore, all electrical systems are stabilized by grounding them to the Earth. K. Sokal and P. Sokal, meanwhile, discovered that grounding the human body represents a "universal regulating factor in Nature" that strongly influences bioelectrical, bioenergetic, and biochemical processes and appears to offer a significant modulating effect on chronic illnesses encountered daily in their clinical practices.Earthing (also known as grounding) refers to contact with the Earth's surface electrons by walking barefoot outside or sitting, working, or sleeping indoors connected to conductive systems, some of them patented, that transfer the energy from the ground into the body. Emerging scientific research supports the concept that the Earth's electrons induce multiple physiological changes of clinical significance, including reduced pain, better sleep, a shift from sympathetic to parasympathetic tone in the autonomic nervous system (ANS), and a blood-thinning effect. The research, along with many anecdotal reports, is presented in a new book entitled Earthing .
2. Review of Earthing PapersThe studies summarized below involve indoor-testing methods under controlled conditions that simulate being barefoot outdoors.
J Altern Complement Med. 2011 Apr;17(4):301-8. doi: 10.1089/acm.2010.0687. Epub 2011 Apr 6.Earthing the human body influences physiologic processes.Sokal K1, Sokal P.Author informationAbstractOBJECTIVES:This study was designed to answer the question: Does the contact of the human organism with the Earth via a copper conductor affect physiologic processes? Subjects and experiments: Five (5) experiments are presented: experiment 1-effect of earthing on calcium-phosphate homeostasis and serum concentrations of iron (N = 84 participants); experiment 2-effect of earthing on serum concentrations of electrolytes (N = 28); experiment 3-effect of earthing on thyroid function (N = 12); experiment 4-effect of earthing on glucose concentration (N = 12); experiment 5-effect of earthing on immune response to vaccine (N = 32). Subjects were divided into two groups. One (1) group of people was earthed, while the second group remained without contact with the Earth. Blood and urine samples were examined.RESULTS:Earthing of an electrically insulated human organism during night rest causes lowering of serum concentrations of iron, ionized calcium, inorganic phosphorus, and reduction of renal excretion of calcium and phosphorus. Earthing during night rest decreases free tri-iodothyronine and increases free thyroxine and thyroid-stimulating hormone. The continuous earthing of the human body decreases blood glucose in patients with diabetes. Earthing decreases sodium, potassium, magnesium, iron, total protein, and albumin concentrations while the levels of transferrin, ferritin, and globulins α1, α2, β, and γ increase. These results are statistically significant.CONCLUSIONS:Earthing the human body influences human physiologic processes. This influence is observed during night relaxation and during physical activity. Effect of the earthing on calcium-phosphate homeostasis is the opposite of that which occurs in states of weightlessness. It also increases the activity of catabolic processes. It may be the primary factor regulating endocrine and nervous systems.
Materials and MethodsExperiment 1: Effect of earthing of the human body on calcium-phosphate homeostasis and serum concentrations of iron during night-time sleepSubjects and clinical experimentsEighty-four (84) people (30 women, 54 men) 20-64 years old comprised the study group. Selection of the tested people was based on the following conditions: They did not require pharmacological treatment, the investigations were continued for 2 days, during the day before and during the experiment every subject managed to sustain a similar physical activity, diet, and fluid intake. The subjects were instructed to avoid contact with anything that might ground them. The evening meal was consumed at 6:00 pm. They rested on insulated beds in their rooms on the 6th floor at a temperature of 18°C-21°C. Construction of the building was of reinforced concrete.InstrumentationThe grounding was made of a cooper plate (30 mm × 80 mm) placed on the lower part of the leg attached with a strip so that it would not come off as the subjects moved during the night. The plate was connected to an insulated cooper conductor (diameter of 1 mm) to the second plate (60 mm × 250 mm, the size of the average foot) placed on a moistened earth outdoors. The temperature was of 3°C-12deg;C near the surface of the earth.Experimental procedureA double-blind technique was applied (Fig. 1). On the first day, the blood samples were drawn at 6:00 am. All the people taking part in the experiment were randomly assigned to two groups. At 10:00 pm one group of people was grounded, while the second group remained without contact with earth potential. On the next day at 6:00 am, blood samples were drawn again. From 10:00 pm until 6:00 am the subjects rested in a recumbent position and then they did everyday activities. Blood samples were drawn from the cubital vein to plastic tubes enclosed in vacuum, always in the recumbent position. The blood was centrifuged after clot retraction. Urine collected between 10:00 pm and 6:00 am was examined after the first night of the experiment as a control and after the next night as an active (under grounding) (Fig. 1).FIG. 1.FIG. 1.Hourly timetable and plan of the first experiment. A, Group of individuals grounded from 10:00 pm to 6:00 am; B, group not grounded. 1, 2, following samples of blood and urine.Analytical proceduresBlood serum ionized calcium concentrations were determined ion selectively using the Corning 288 analyzer. Total calcium, inorganic phosphorus, and iron concentrations were measured by means of Bio-Merieux sets (Lyon, France, 1996) using a Technicon RAXT analyzer. Alkaline phosphatase was assayed with a standarized kit (Bio-Merieux).Statistical analysisData were analyzed using program Origin Version 3.73 of Microcal Software Inc. Means, variance, and standard error of the mean (SEM) were calculated. Between-group comparison of mean values was performed using Student's unpaired t test.ResultsMeans values and SEM are presented in Table 1 and p values in Table 2.Table 1.Table 1.Effect of Earthing the Human Body on Calcium-Phosphate Homeostasis and Serum Concentrations of Iron in the First ExperimentTable 2.Table 2.Effect of Earthing the Human Body on Calcium-Phosphate Homeostasis and Serum Concentrations of Iron in the First Experiment, p-Values Are PresentedEight (-hour earthing of the human body during night-time sleep (value 2A) causes the lowering of serum concentrations (mean ± SEM) of iron in μmol/L (from 19.8 ± 7.14 to 15.04 ± 5.5), ionized calcium in mmol/L (from 1.19 ± 0.09 to 1.08 ± 0.08), total calcium in mmol/L (from 2.43 ± 0.20 to 2.31 ± 0.15), inorganic phosphorus in mmol/L (from 1.48 ± 0.22 to 1.37 ± 0.19) and the reduction of alkaline phosphatase in International Units/L (from 123.4 ± 22.5 to 114.6 ± 14.0). Earthing of the human body during a sleep period causes the reduction of renal excretion in mmol/8 hours of calcium (from 2.14 ± 0.82 to 1.12 ± 0.34) and phosphorus (from 16.8 ± 5.8 to 10.7 ± 3.. All of these results were statistically significant.