What is Earthing? Touching your bare feet to the Earth's surface... grass, sand, etc.

What is Earthing or Grounding?

By Stephen T. Sinatra, M.D., F.A.C.C., F.A.C.N., C.N.S., C.B.T.

During my many years in medical practice I have seen remarkable advances in technology that give physicians unprecedented ability to save lives. However, if you were to ask me about the most impressive breakthroughs, I am positive one of my answers would surprise you. It has nothing to do with high-tech at all. It is the very Earth you live on. Literally, the ground beneath your feet.

Earthing Definition

Do you recall walking barefoot along wet sand at the beach or on a field of dew-moistened grass?  Do you remember feeling some tingling in your feet or legs, or a sense of warmth or well-being rising up into your body? That sensation is the result of direct barefoot contact with the surface of the Earth, which brims with natural, subtle energy.

The Earth, you see, is an electrical planet, and you are a bioelectrical being. Your body functions electrically. Your heart and nervous system are prime examples.

Emerging science reveals that direct contact with the ground allows you to receive an energy infusion, compliments of Mother Earth. Think of it as “vitamin G” – G for ground. Just as the sun above creates vitamin D in your body, the ground below provides you with vitamin G, a kind of “electrical nutrition.”

This energy infusion is powerful stuff. It can restore and stabilize the bioelectrical circuitry that governs your physiology and organs, harmonize your basic biological rhythms, boost self-healing mechanisms, reduce inflammation and pain, and improve your sleep and feeling of calmness. When these things happen, you feel better in a big way.

The discovery of these benefits, and the dynamics behind them, is the subject of a 2014 book I am proud to have co-authored − Earthing: The Most Important Health Discovery Ever! (Basic Health Publications) and which has now been published in more than 15 languages. Through this Earthing book, we present research and the personal experiences of thousands of individuals all over the world, including doctors, that suggests we humans live on a global treatment table…but don’t know it.

Earthing Benefits

Modern lifestyle, including the widespread use of insulating rubber- or plastic-soled shoes, has disconnected most people in so-called developed societies from the Earth’s surface energy. Most of us don’t walk barefoot nor do we sleep on the ground as we did in times past. This physical disconnect from the Earth may be a totally overlooked cause of abnormal physiology and may actually contribute to inflammation, pain, fatigue, stress, and poor sleep. By reconnecting to the Earth, many common symptoms are often relieved and even eliminated. People tend to sleep better and have more energy. They feel better.

The research, which I am proud to have been part of, along with many testimonials, provides intriguing evidence of significant physiological shifts in the direction of a revitalized and healthier functioning body − generated simply by regularly walking barefoot outdoors or, while indoors, sleeping on a conductive bed mat or sitting/working with your feet on a conductive floor mat connected to the Earth via a wire. To learn more about these devices, please visit Grounded.com.

Earthing and Inflammation

In recent years, inflammation has come to the forefront of medical attention and been recognized as the leading underlying trigger of chronic pain and most major health disorders, including cardiovascular disease, diabetes, arthritis, Alzheimer’s, and cancer.  “All roads to chronic disease lead through inflammation,” researchers are increasingly saying. Bodies are on fire.

One of the major benefits of Earthing is that it appears to assuage inflammation through the transfer of negatively-charged electrons from the surface of the Earth into the body (where the electrons neutralize positively-charged destructive free radicals involved in chronic inflammation).

The potential benefits from the Earth’s energy on the brain, heart, muscles, immune and nervous systems − and in turn the whole body and the aging process − are massive. Medically, this is a big deal!

I see Earthing as a profoundly simple, practical, effective, and cost-cutting way to combat common illnesses and pain problems, and make people healthier. In my own field of cardiology, Earthing has shown great promise – I have personally heard, from both individuals and doctors, of improvements in circulation, arrhythmias, blood pressure, and neuropathy.

Cardiovascular Benefits of Earthing

I have collaborated in several small Earthing pilot studies that have exciting implications. One, on the electrodynamics (zeta potential) of blood cells, indicates that Earthing can significantly improve viscosity (blood thickness), inflammation, and flow. There are clear indications that individuals with a variety of cardiovascular conditions may benefit greatly from Earthing.

Diabetes, which carries a high risk for cardiovascular disease and arterial and nervous tissue damage, is a global epidemic for which Earthing may have significant promise.

The blood study I did has been published by the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine and can be read online at http://online.liebertpub.com/doi/pdf/10.1089/acm.2011.0820

Another study I worked on showed how Earthing can contribute to a de-stressing and balancing effect on the nervous system, and as a result, on heart function. This study, published in Integrative Medicine: A Clinician’s Journal, can be read online at http://imjournal.com/pdfarticles/IMCJ10_3_p16_24chevalier.pdf

A review of all the Earthing research conducted to date can be found here at the online website of the Journal of Environmental Health and Policy at http://www.hindawi.com/journals/jeph/2012/291541/

Earthing excites me just as it does other health professionals who witness the remarkably broad and significant effects that the Earth’s energy has on health. This is a simple, natural, and profound resource that has been overlooked in the health equation. I believe that the scientific investigation of the Earthing phenomenon has just scratched the surface of a whole new and exciting frontier for exploration that is nothing less than a huge healing bounty from Nature.

Biophysicist James Oschman, Ph.D., author of Energy Medicine:The Scientific Basis (Churchill Livingstone, 2000), sums up Earthing this way: “The moment your foot touches the Earth, or you connect to the Earth through a wire, your physiology changes. An immediate normalization begins. And an anti-inflammatory switch is turned on. People stay inflamed because they never connect with the Earth, the source of free electrons which can neutralize the free radicals in the body that cause disease and cellular destruction. Earthing is the easiest and most profound lifestyle change anyone can make.”

How Earthing Benefits the Heart

Discover the Benefits of Earthing & Grounding

Go barefoot for forty minutes outside and see what a difference that makes on your pain or stress level. Sit, stand, or walk on grass, sand, dirt, or concrete − preferably wet, for greater conduction of the Earth’s electrons. These are all conductive surfaces from which your body can draw the Earth’s electrons. Wood, asphalt, and vinyl are not conductive.

Ideally, you want to sustain the Earthing experience and make it a part of your daily routine. The easiest way is to use an Earthing system indoors such as sleep systems, Earthing mats, or body bands connected via a wire to a properly grounded electrical outlet inside a home or to a ground rod outside. These systems incorporate carbon or silver mesh to conduct the Earth’s energy and can be used in bed, while watching TV or reading, or while working at a desk.

Learn how Earthing has the potential to help promote health and healing in the body! Simple, effective, and best of all natural, Earthing is truly an amazing discovery.

Additional Resources:

For the full and fascinating Earthing story, I recommend the Earthing book I wrote with Clint Ober and health writer Martin Zucker.

For information on Earthing research visit www.earthinginstitute.net.

© Stephen Sinatra, MD. All rights reserved.

Leave a Reply


  1. Nan

    on April 18, 2014 at 4:41 am

    I was told by a nurse that walking outside bare footed can give you pin worms is this true?

  2. Cynthia

    on May 2, 2014 at 4:51 am

    I have a severe foot injury and can only walk in thin flip flops. I spend hours a week grounding, will the flip flops make a difference??

  3. HMDI Editors

    on May 2, 2014 at 7:20 pm

    Yes, unless the soles are made of just leather (which is conductive), wearing flip flops will block the Earth’s energy from the soles of your feet.

  4. Margaret

    on May 26, 2014 at 4:17 pm

    Being hypothyroid, loosing weight had been next to impossible for me even on meds. However, I started Earthing over a year ago and have gone from 155 lbs to 123 lbs which is a good weight for me. I have looked through the Earthing reports and don’r really see anything about weight loss. I have not done anything else to account for this. Before I start telling people that Earthing might help them with their weight loss problems, I’d like to know if there have been any studies that show weight stabalization (loss/gain) as an effect of Earthing.

  5. Ron

    on July 15, 2014 at 5:45 pm

    Google earthing intuition physician or earthing Lara Koniver. She did a study with people earthing. Those with pain issues the earthing started relieving their pain issues. Those without pain issues started losing weight.

  6. Linda

    on August 28, 2014 at 10:39 am

    I’m a CMA/AAMA and from what I’ve learned, it doesn’t matter where on your body the earth touches as long as it touches your flesh somewhere.

  7. Donna

    on August 28, 2014 at 2:30 pm

    My husband is quite ill and can’t go outside. We live at the lake and if I would bring wet sand in the house in a dishpan ( plastic) would that work or do you need to touch the ground itself?

  8. HMDI Editor

    on August 28, 2014 at 2:38 pm

    Unfortunately not… to ground, a person needs to make direct contact with the Earth’s surface or a conductive substance that is in direct contact with the Earth’s surface (and plastic is not conductive). However, if your basement floor is (unpainted) concrete, your husband could ground by placing his bare feet on it for at least 20-30 minutes each day.

  9. Mary Lou

    on August 29, 2014 at 5:29 pm

    Can you use a earthing sheet on a water bed?

  10. # HMDI Editor

    on August 29, 2014 at 8:09 pm

    Hi Mary.

    You can absolutely use a grounding sheet in a water bed.

  11. Cynthia

    on October 15, 2014 at 6:12 pm

    Did you earth at night only? Did you have to cut back on your meds? How did it work when you first started? I’m asking because I’ve only been earthing for a few days but I notice some changes are good feeling more awake throughout the day but I’m sleeping more and waking up feeling groggy in the morning, opposite of what a lot of people are saying. Any thoughts or insights would be great.

  12. Bugg

    on February 19, 2015 at 6:12 pm

    It has been a God-send to me. I was able to go off my thyroid medication within several months. In fact, it was a little sticky because I had hyperthyroid symptoms even though my blood work showed “normal.” The doctor thought all was well even though I reported cardiac symptoms, etc. The fact that the lab work remained normal, left us bewildered. I had no choice but to stop the meds and have done fine since then. I was VERY careful & monitored my body very closely. Grounding patches have also healed injuries. This is truly a remarkable discovery. And, I sleep GREAT.

  13. [email protected],com

    on February 19, 2015 at 7:15 pm

    I have a MRS mat,for my home. It is called the silent healer. It is amazing. My question is where can you get leather shoes. I spend a lot of time doig yard work.

  14. Diana

    on February 21, 2015 at 1:17 am

    I take 81 mg of aspirin per day which thins the blood. I had a heart attack & bypass surgery 2 years ago. Can I use an earthing pad/sheet which I have.

  15. Johanne Møldrup

    on March 1, 2015 at 5:41 pm

    I am on Xarelto. I am afraid,sleeping on an earthing sheet will be too much blood thinning?

  16. HMDI Editor

    on March 3, 2015 at 7:25 pm

    Grounding does effect blood viscosity; it can make blood thinner. When combining the use of prescription blood thinners and grounding, it is best to start out grounding slowly because of its blood thinning effect. This is done by starting out with a couple to a few hours a day and working up steadily and gradually. Additionally, any individual grounding while taking a blood thinner, should let their doctor know they are going to ground and that it has a blood thinning effect. The doctor will need to monitor INR levels regularly to detect if any adjustments to medication need to be made as the body adjusts to the grounding.

  17. Cami Diwis

    on March 5, 2015 at 5:25 pm

    There is a PEMF(pulsed electromagnetic field) by Swiss Bionic Solutions is similar to earthing, 8 min. On the mat is equivalent to 2 hours standing barefoot on the earth, this system oxygenates the cells while detoxifying your system. This system lowers blood pressure, gets rid of pain, and helps depression, etc. Is very commonly used in Europe.

  18. romi

    on April 1, 2015 at 12:38 am

    This is actually not news to me. Sebastian Kneipp (1821-1897) may not have called it earthing or grounding but advocated a method of health which included walking barefoot in the grass, walking through water, etc. It’s the old, just rediscovered.

  19. cat

    on May 3, 2015 at 1:52 am

    I’ve gone barefoot my whole life. I luv the feel of dew, dirt, gravel. I am 60 on no meds my friends are fat & on every med known. I will always walk shoeless

  20. mkf

    on May 9, 2015 at 10:10 am

    Part 1: I totally believe in grounding/earthing, however after purchasing a mat, i had an opposite reaction. My heart began to wildly beat and race, the more i grounded the worse it got, and my joints began to hurt. (never had joint problems before). Since i was grounding to help with afib I was pretty shocked (no pun intended) to have the wild erratic heartbeat, totally different from afib. but sending me into many more episodes. Upon research I learned that if there is a lot of “dirty electricity” in your home, apt, or building, you in fact are sending it through your body instead of grounding. In fact, the 2 strongest symptoms of this dirty electricity in the articles were wild heartbeat and joint pain. (cont. part 2)

  21. mkf

    on May 9, 2015 at 10:15 am

    Part 2: I stopped it immediately, it took about 3 wks for the heart to settle down but not completely. It is reversible so I’m not worried, but i was shocked this happened. (pun appropriate!). Not all lost however, as i realized my afib only began after i had to moved to 2 different tiny one room apts., and I am now convinced it has something to do with electromagnetic sensitivity.

    Just a warning that if you are in old buildings in a city, there may be a counterproductive reaction. I still believe in the principle of grounding and just wish i could! Barefoot is still there for me, but not easily accessible.

  22. Heather

    on June 30, 2015 at 1:24 am

    Does Earthing/Grounding help with migraines as well as anxiety?

  23. Morgal

    on September 16, 2015 at 7:52 am

    Typically a state of hypothyroidism afflictions are taken care of pharmaceutical’s including Synthroid, that will own harming adverse effects for your health and energy levels. The favorable reports can there be tend to be completely natural treatment options which will assist promote hypothyroidism !


  24. Ashingu

    on November 4, 2015 at 7:24 am

    What do you think about claims of “dirty electricity”, and how that effects the body when earthing? Is it all nonsense?

  25. Fred

    on December 23, 2015 at 10:24 pm

    I can’t walk good. I do have a globe that one of my kid uses for school. It light up to. If I put my feet on that will it do the same thing? It’s small, but I think I good get my feet around it.

  26. linda locke

    on January 12, 2016 at 1:58 pm

    Will walking on ceramic tile floor that is over cement help in the earthing process?

  27. linda locke

    on January 12, 2016 at 1:59 pm

    will walking on ceramic tile floor over cement help in the earthing process?

  28. B

    on July 31, 2016 at 8:47 pm

    Does it have to be for 40 minutes to get any benefit?

  29. Edmund Pakosz

    on October 11, 2016 at 8:51 pm

    I live in Illinois. The winters are cold so I can’t walk barefoot out doors in the winter. Will walking barefoot on a painted basement floor be beneficial?

  30. HeartMD Editor

    on October 13, 2016 at 1:50 pm

    Hi Edmund,
    Unfortunately, the paint on your floor is not conductive and would likely block any electron flow from the cement floor underneath it.

  31. Pat

    on July 10, 2017 at 7:06 pm

    Just wondering if grounding has any benefits for osetoarthritis….

  32. HeartMD Editor

    on July 11, 2017 at 11:52 am

    Dear Pat,

    Grounding can reduce inflammation in the body which may reduce aches and pains associated with the joint deterioration that occurs in osteoarthritis. Every person’s body reacts differently to grounding so it is best to give it a try and see if you feel a difference over time. Walking outside barefoot is a simple and relaxing way to get started.

    Best of luck!

  33. Josephine

    on August 19, 2017 at 7:19 am

    I have plantar fasciitis. Will grounding help relieve the pain? Will grounding heal me totally? How many minutes or hours a day do I need to walk barefoot on the ground?

  34. Paul Wightman

    on October 22, 2017 at 10:15 am

    Thank you, Dr. Sinatra for sharing this wonderful healing technique with the world!
    I love seeing your energy, enthusiasm and passion for sharing your wisdom (on YouTube videos, etc…)
    I am now regularly grounding, and am seeing benefits that are astounding!

  35. Isabelle

    on January 8, 2018 at 2:58 pm

    Question:, does petting animals who are themselves directly grounded to the sole would work to ground yourself? Could it be one of the cause why riding a horse, or petting dogs, cats or any animals on the ground be so calming and soothing?

  36. David

    on January 13, 2018 at 11:53 pm

    I think I am getting results from putting my feet on the fireplace hearth. It is brick and mortar, and outside, it definitely goes below grade and ties into the foundation. I guess my question is…..is this a good ground? or is it a placebo effect? or wishful thinking?

  37. Michael Faraday

    on January 24, 2018 at 2:15 pm

    Earthing is a cool idea, and I will try it for sure. However, isn’t this one part completely backwards? “One of the major benefits of Earthing is that it appears to assuage inflammation through the transfer of negatively-charged electrons from the surface of the Earth into the body (where the electrons neutralize positively-charged destructive free radicals involved in chronic inflammation).” As far as I know, grounding is the process in which a transfer of electrons from one charged body to another occurs. Never is the Earth the charged body that moves electrons into things, rather it is the other way around; Most objects that interact with the Earth in fact use Earth as the medium to transfer off electrons, as Earth is an extremely large body.

  38. HeartMD Editor

    on February 14, 2018 at 9:26 am

    Hi Michael,
    Because the Earth is a very large mass and source of Energy in comparison to the things, like humans, that would connect with it, the smaller of the coupled entities would equalize to the larger. So when we connect with the Earth, we are equalizing with it. If you are looking for more information on the science of Earthing, the appendix of the Earthing book is a wealth of information. In addition, you can reference EarthingInstitute.net. You will find all the scientific papers on Earthing under research in addition to other helpful materials.

  39. HeartMD Editor

    on February 14, 2018 at 9:36 am

    Hi David,
    Brick is conductive if not sealed. So if your brick hearth is in contact with the Earth, you can ground by having contact with it.

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  42. Jean B

    on February 21, 2018 at 2:25 pm

    I have so many problems from birth. As a kid. As soon as school was out, my shoes came off. A doctor messed up my foot and I was 18. Due to how badly the foot had healed being put in a very weird position to heal it has led to numerous problems in my body like Osteo and my right knee and my hip and slightly less on my left side. I have had about 8 operations in my right foot and now suffer from CRPS. I cannot go with out a compression sock and a shoe on my right foot otherwise it blows up terribly and causes me extreme pain. Today it finally warmed up here on the East Coast I grabbed a chair took off my shoes and I’ve been sitting with my feet on the ground for the last hour my foot is only minutely swollen. If I had been without my sock and shoe for an hour indoors my foot would be swollen purple and disgusting. Hopefully it will be nice out again tomorrow, this is amazing.

  43. Clare Martin

    on February 23, 2018 at 9:03 am

    Stupid Question? Using an earthing mattress or mat, if your having an ELECTRICAL storm outside while sleeping, could you in turn get conducted via your mattress etc , and become electrocuted accidentally ?

  44. HeartMD Editor

    on February 23, 2018 at 9:10 am

    Hi Clare,

    If it was a severe electrical storm you could certainly unplug your grounding device if you wanted. However, the grounding cords on all Earthing brand products have resistors in them for safety, so no dangerous current can flow up into the product.

  45. Anna Strawe

    on April 24, 2018 at 8:35 am

    Nan, hookworms are more likely transmitted via the skin after walking on earth than pinworms are likely to be transmitted this way. There is scientific evidence of many other possible infections, even leprosy (although rare). What there is no evidence of, is this electrical benefit of this practice, other than the profit benefits of someone who wanted to sell you a book and then automatically shipped, overpriced vitamins.

  46. HeartMD Editor

    on April 24, 2018 at 10:38 am

    Hi Anna,
    Purchasing an Earthing book should not have generated any orders for vitamins. The Earthing book is not sold on Dr. Sinatra’s vitamin website, DrSinatra.com. We certainly want you to be happy with any product you received and if you were shipped an order that you did not want, we are happy to help resolve the issue immediately. Please email us at [email protected] what occurred with the automatic shipment and we will be sure that you are contacted by customer care from Dr. Sinatra’s vitamin company.
    Very sincerely,
    Shauna Robitaille
    Assistant Editor

  47. Stan Graichen

    on May 1, 2018 at 9:50 am

    Earthing is my favorite (and only) drug of choice. Earthing is smart, healthy and required for a healthy life. Vitamin C and a healthy diet will keep a person out of reach of the AMA. Naturally. Drinking several quarts of clean water is smart, also. I get 4-6 hours of earthing per night on a copper wire mat I devised…..plugged into a ground only wall socket. It is the best health insurance policy in Earth!! Stan Graichen

  48. Mary Upton

    on August 29, 2018 at 9:46 pm

    I’m curious about the shoes designed to help with earthing. Can they be worn as regular shoes, for the duration of the day (I’m thinking of the flip-flops in particular), or should they be limited to only the few hours recommended for earthing? I wanted to purchase several pairs for relatives, some who are teenagers, and wanted to make sure they can’t cause problems for the wearer if worn too many hours outside during the day.

  49. HeartMD Editor

    on September 17, 2018 at 12:47 pm

    Hi Mary,
    Generally speaking, the more you ground the better you should feel! There is no real limit to how much you should or shouldn’t do it. However, those on medications, especially blood thinners may need to take caution with the amount of time they ground. You can see a medical advisory here: https://www.earthing.com/faq/.

  50. Bud S.

    on November 5, 2018 at 12:47 pm

    I have developed tremors over the past year.Not share if ET or PD as brain-scan was inconclusive. I tried balancing amino acids with supplements and the tremors greatly diminished, but, I felt so “yucky” I discontinued the protocol. My question is if anyone has experienced tremor reduction from grounding?

  51. HeartMD Editor

    on November 6, 2018 at 4:54 pm

    Hi Bud,

    We do know that grounding can calm the nervous system. It could be worthwhile to try an hour or two per day (as a start) to see if you gain any benefits.


    on November 28, 2018 at 10:46 pm


  53. HeartMD Editor

    on December 3, 2018 at 5:13 pm

    Hi Juliann,
    Using an Earthing mat is no different than walking barefoot outdoors, which is safe with a pacemaker. Discuss with your doctor and start slow to monitor how he feels and reacts to grounding.

  54. Jill Piccolino

    on February 2, 2019 at 3:15 pm


  55. Shana Haasis

    on August 24, 2019 at 11:39 am

    I cant find anywhere about earthing and taking lovenox injections. Since Coumadin and Lovenox work in a completely different way does earthing interfere with the blood thinning process the was Coumadin does? I would think not, so I am only doing about 30 min a day of grounding but would like a real response to this question. Many thanks!

  56. Annette Bahler

    on August 29, 2020 at 11:05 pm

    I would like to recommend a grounding mat to my son, who they are suggesting has heavy metals to detoxify from. Is earthing safe for people to use? If are “unearthed” by this method, is it more dangerous to my son if the metals have nothing to bind too?

  57. Latondra Grayson-Brown

    on April 30, 2021 at 7:26 am

    i suffer with nerve damage due to diabetes. Would walking outside barefooted be beneficial to me and how long should I walk?

  58. Gram

    on June 25, 2021 at 3:09 pm

    It’s hard to find leather soled shoes that are less than $400. I found something that I wear when I walk in the nature center on dirt paths. Dance slippers! They are made of cotton fabric, with a suede leather foot pad and heel pad. They are comfortable, like zero shoes, but with a natural sole! My soul loves them!!!

  59. Penny

    on July 8, 2021 at 11:20 am

    All leather “shoes” are easy to find, search for moccasins. Be sure to read the complete description and view the pics to ensure there are no synthetic materials.

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