By Stephen T. Sinatra, M.D., F.A.C.C., F.A.C.N., C.N.S., C.B.T.
Page last updated April 13, 2023.
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.
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.
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.”
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. Earthing shoes, which allow the Earth’s natural energy to flow through the soles and into your feet, are now available too.
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.
Check out Dr. Sinatra’s 2023 book on Earthing: Get Grounded Get Well
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