I first heard of “earthing” or “grounding” about 10 years ago while watching a television news program devoted to a convention with the latest and greatest healthcare products. I vividly recall watching a journalist interview the representatives of a company that sold earthing products. What they were selling amounted to bed sheets with interwoven metal fibers that were attached to a wire that was routed out a fake bedroom window and attached to a grounding rod that was hammered into a box filled with grass covered topsoil to simulate a yard. It ranked among the most ridiculous things I had ever seen. The salespeople raved that grounding, or connecting ones body to the earth, offered a seemingly endless list of amazing health benefits. I thought to myself, “Seriously??? There’s just no way anyone would spend their hard earned money on this. Not even a stupid idiot could be tricked into buying this hocus pocus.” And yet, they had this large, elaborate display at a big convention that must have cost a small fortune. People must be buying these products. My faith in humanity plummeted yet another giant notch. I distinctly remember this experience because I proceeded to call a friend and said, “Ok, we are officially living in the movie Idiocracy.” I proceeded to explain “earthing” and argued that it was time to prepare for doomsday because if hordes of dummies were actually buying this ridiculous product, all hope for mankind was lost. The end must be near.
It would be disingenuous to claim I lack an open mind because I now sleep on an earthing sheet each and every night.
Though I hadn’t given the therapy a moment’s thought in a decade, since I began this quest to reverse my biological age by lengthening my telomeres, the concept of earthing kept coming up. At first, I remember thinking, “Oh yeah, I know what this is. That absurd product only a total moron could get tricked into buying.” I tuned out whatever I was reading and the author immediately lost credibility in my estimation. Then it came up again. And again. And again. Finally, I decided if multiple respected authorities on a given subject keep recommending earthing, maybe there is something to it after all. I decided it was time for me to begin my own research into this matter.
After conducting some preliminary internet research, I watched the documentary “The Grounded.” It was reasonably good and informative, but I still wasn’t sold. Then I listened to the audiobook, “Earthing: The Most Important Health Discovery Ever” by Clint Ober, Martin Zucker, and Stephen Sinatra. This was an extremely thorough and informative book that covered earthing from every imaginable angle. The book successfully convinced me that it was worth giving it a shot.
You are probably really, really skeptical about earthing, just as I was. So please allow me to attempt to explain how it works. I’ll try not to get too technical.
Electricity, believe it or not, is largely responsible for what makes our bodies work. Muscle contractions, heart beats, brain waves, and nerve signals are all bodily functions that rely on electrical signals. A buildup of charged energy, or static electricity, causes slowing or even “freezing” of these systems and a buildup of positive energy charge is most common and can result in excess “free radicals.”1 Free radicals cause oxidative stress. This is bad. Really bad. One way in which we accumulate these positively charged ions is by exposure to external electrical energy. Just like our skin absorbs light in the morning, our skin and body are also naturally absorb electrical charges. Most of us carry cell phones all day long, sometimes holding them to our heads, work and/or play on computers daily, are constantly in the presence of Wi-Fi, microwaves, radio waves, and all kinds of electromagnetic waves. Exposure to electrical energy is pervasive and practically inescapable in our modern society.
We’ve all touched a metal object and received a shock, especially during winter months. This happens because our body built up a positive charge that was discharged through the metal. Essentially, the shock is evidence that we suddenly grounded ourself.2
Today we absorb more positive ions than ever in human history because the society we created, and lifestyles most of us have chosen, involves relentless exposure to electrical energy. The Earth, on the other hand, carries an enormous negative charge. It can serve as an endless supply of antioxidant and free-radical-busting electrons.3 According to Dr. Mercola, “Your body is finely tuned to ‘work’ with the Earth in the sense that there’s a constant flow of energy between your body and the Earth. When you put your feet on the ground, you absorb large amounts of negative electrons through the soles of your feet. The effect is sufficient to maintain your body at the same negatively charged electrical potential as the Earth. This simple process is called ‘grounding’ or ‘earthing,’ and its effect is one of the most potent antioxidants we know of.”4
Have you ever spent a week hanging out on a beach, spending your days mostly barefoot? How did you feel? Pretty damn good, I bet! You may have noticed a greater sense of calm, improved physical and psychological relaxation, and an overall decrease in tension. Now, some of this is no doubt related to just being on vacation, not having to get up at any particular time, having no responsibilities, and just being relaxed without much of a care in the world. But maybe it was also because you spent so much time grounded.
Like when we vacation at a beach, we used to spend a great deal of time in direct contact with the earth. We walked barefoot, slept on the ground and bathed in the river. This direct earth connection allowed any built up electrical charge to be grounded into the earth naturally and slowly. Today, however, we are always wearing shoes made of synthetic materials which disconnect us from the earth’s natural “electrical” force.5 It was normal to be regularly grounded most of human history until quite recently. When are we grounded today? I literally go several months a year without naturally grounding myself even once. Though mainstream science and medicine may not have figured it out yet, make no mistake, there are likely very serious consequences resulting from this change in lifestyle.
Benefits of Earthing
Chronic diseases and conditions are increasing at a staggering rate. This is an uncontested fact. Many people live with daily pain and constant stress, anxiety, depression, and fatigue. Doctors often resort to prescribing medications to treat the symptom, not the cause. Oftentimes these medications alleviate the symptoms of one problem and create two more. Maybe much of the increase in chronic conditions is merely the result of us living disconnected from the earth, while simultaneously being bombarded with electrical energy.
Earthing reduces free radical damage (oxidative damage), stress, inflammation and pain. It is a lot like taking vitamin C or eating superfoods rich in antioxidants. Antioxidant supplements and foods reduce inflammation, reduce the effects of aging, reduce chronic pain, increase speed of healing and tissue recovery. The same principles apply with earthing.
We’ve discussed the notion of inflammation and “inflammaging” repeatedly at ReversingMyAge.com. Earthing has been proven to alleviate inflammation. The influx of free electrons from the earth’s surface helps to neutralize free radicals and reduce both acute and chronic inflammation. According to Melissa Lind at Organic Daily Post, “The use of an earthing mat has been shown by thermal imaging to reduce an electrical charge within a body to near zero. This in turn, decreases inflammatory processes which show up as “heat” on a thermal image.”6
The reason that we want to eat plenty of high-antioxidant foods is the same reason we want to practice earthing. Antioxidant electrons in your body help ensure that damage from free radicals doesn’t get out of control and lead to high levels of inflammation and faster aging, just like anti-inflammatory foods. The electrons from the earth can resolve chronic inflammation by serving as natural antioxidants. If you seek certain foods or consume any supplements for their antioxidant properties, you should also consider earthing or grounding.
According to a study published in 2012, “Reduction in inflammation as a result of earthing has been documented with infrared medical imaging  and with measurements of blood chemistry and white blood cell counts . The logical explanation for the anti-inflammatory effects is that grounding the body allows negatively charged antioxidant electrons from the Earth to enter the body and neutralize positively charged free radicals at sites of inflammation .”7
Helps Reduce Stress Hormones and Improve Sleep
Chronic stress will age you faster than anything and kill your quality of life. But fortunately, it has repeatedly been proven that time spent in nature can really help reverse certain feelings of stress and anxiety. A 2007 study published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine demonstrated that connecting the human body to the earth during sleep “normalizes the daily cortisol rhythm and improves sleep patterns. This is because of the effects that stress hormones have on your natural circadian rhythm, energy and ability to sleep soundly.”8 Poor sleep is often a symptom of high stress hormones like cortisol. By lowering our reaction to stressful events in our lives, we can fall and stay asleep more easily. Sleep, as we know, is crucial for healing our body at the most fundamental level.
Can Help Increase Energy
Many people have found that earthing or grounding improves their energy. This can be one side effect of getting better sleep but also be due to improvements in hormones and lower levels of inflammation. Several studies point to the fact that higher cortisol levels rob the body of energy. Physiological stress and cortisol have a close relationship: Stress impacts cortisol, and cortisol can further increase stress responses. It’s a vicious circle. This cycle can lead to fatigue and sleep problems, even cravings for low-nutrient foods, sugar and excess calories that further lead to low energy levels.9
Experts on earthing and grounding believe that this practice can help improve circulation, which means you’re better able to distribute nutrients throughout your body and also carry waste and toxins out.10 When you are grounded, your circulation improves, aiding in the delivery of oxygen and nutrients to the tissues in your body, including better blood flow to your face, thereby reducing the appearance of wrinkles.
One interesting fact I have learned in my quest to reverse my age is that therapies that work really well, even if they have been proven to work, may not be so obvious or all that well publicized. Why? Well, there are several potential reasons. One is that when someone has a competitive advantage, he or she usually wants to hold onto that competitive advantage. This is especially true in the world of professional and olympic super athletes where fractions of a second can make all the difference between becoming a champion and finishing dead last. These special athletes will go to great lengths to protect any and all competitive advantages they have.
Also, bear in mind that when a method for age reversal, healing, or increased athletic performance is not potentially highly profitable for any group of people or individuals, it will never be marketed or adequately studied. In fact, if it threatens any mainstream, profitable methods of accomplishing similar things, expect the new therapy to be actively suppressed. Can you blame people for wanting to protect their golden geese? Just a few days ago, Goldman Sachs asked in a biotech research report: “Is curing patients a sustainable business model?” This is a troubling, yet realistic, fact of life. The sooner you recognize it, the better off you’ll be.
You almost certainly did not know this, but the US Cycling Team on the Tour de France practices earthing. Yes, that’s right, the US Cycling Team, which has access to the very best tools for athletic performance, and a practically limitless amount of money to spend, regularly practices earthing on the tour. I can’t help but wonder what other sports/athletes practice earthing which you will never hear about. Watch the video below if you’d like to learn more about the US Cycling’s Team use of earthing technology during the Tour de France.
So, how am I practicing earthing? I bought a half sheet that I keep on my bed at all times. This sheet has silver strands running through it that all connect to a cord. I keep the cord plugged into the ground of an electrical outlet next to my bed. I’ve been doing it since I began practicing Inclined Bed Therapy, about a month ago. I haven’t taken any specific measurements. While I lack the tools to definitively prove it, I genuinely believe earthing is making a difference in my life.
I decided to adopt this strategy primarily because the effects of earthing are measurable and have been definitively proven. The best part about earthing or grounding is that it’s super simple, relatively cheap (it can also be done for free), takes no time, and can be done anywhere, at any time. It requires nothing but your bare body and willingness to try something that might seem “a bit out there.” As my regular readers know, that’s never stopped me and I hope it doesn’t stop you either.
1 Are you grounded? The benefits of earthing and earthing mats. (2017, May 25). Retrieved April 16, 2018, from https://organicdailypost.com/earthing-mats/
2 Babcock, J. (2018, January 06). Earthing: 5 Ways It Can Help You Fight Disease. Retrieved April 16, 2018, from https://draxe.com/earthing/
3 Grounding or Earthing: How Your Body Generates Electricity. (n.d.). Retrieved April 16, 2018, from https://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2014/03/01/body-electricity-grounding.aspx
4 Grounding or Earthing: How Your Body Generates Electricity. (n.d.). Retrieved April 16, 2018, from https://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2014/03/01/body-electricity-grounding.aspx
5 Babcock, J. (2018, January 06). Earthing: 5 Ways It Can Help You Fight Disease. Retrieved April 16, 2018, from https://draxe.com/earthing/
6 Are you grounded? The benefits of earthing and earthing mats. (2017, May 25). Retrieved April 16, 2018, from https://organicdailypost.com/earthing-mats/
7 Chevalier, G., Sinatra, S. T., Oschman, J. L., Sokal, K., & Sokal, P. (2012). Retrieved April 16, 2018, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3265077/
8 Oschman, J. L. (2007, November). Can electrons act as antioxidants? A review and commentary. Retrieved April 16, 2018, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18047442
9 Babcock, J. (2018, January 06). Earthing: 5 Ways It Can Help You Fight Disease. Retrieved April 16, 2018, from https://draxe.com/earthing/
10 Babcock, J. (2018, January 06). Earthing: 5 Ways It Can Help You Fight Disease. Retrieved April 16, 2018, from https://draxe.com/earthing/