Getting Grounded: Could Earthing Work for FIbromaylgia and ME/CFSd?

Discussion in 'General' started by Cort, Dec 3, 2015.


Earthing - What's Your Opinion?

  1. I tried it and it works really well

    0 vote(s)
  2. I tried it and it works pretty well

    4 vote(s)
  3. I tried it and it didn't work

    7 vote(s)
  4. I haven't tried it - and believe it could help.

    8 vote(s)
  5. I haven't tried it and think it's pure duckery, I mean quackery.

    5 vote(s)
  6. I haven't tried it and am not sure.

    14 vote(s)
  1. Cort

    Cort Founder of Health Rising and Phoenix Rising Staff Member

    Earthing....I had images of someone someone buried halfway up to their waist in the earth. That was a bit off. "Earthers" do believe it's important to maintain a connection to the earth but they don't bury themselves - walking on the earth will do just fine.

    Still, Earthing didn't sound like something I would be interested in. The problem was that the person telling me about her success with Earthing was someone I trusted. She didn't say Earthing was be all and end all but she was have great sleep. Plus, I had recently received an amazing recovery story from someone undergoing biomagnetism therapy, and I had just done a blog about the hyperactive electrical currents that were causing so much chronic pain. Several studies had recently indicated that transcranial magnetic stimulation was helpful in reducing chronic pain.

    I had no idea if or how this all fit together but they suggested that electricity is important and Earthing is actually about electricity. I decided to suspend disbelief for awhile.


    Earthing appears to have begun around 1998 when a cable TV pioneer named Clint Ober had something of an epiphany. He knew that the electrical lines entering a house were grounded to prevent interference from outside electrical sources. If you didn't ground your TV, to the negative polarity in the earth, for instance, it wouldn't work right - there was just too much electrical interference otherwise. Connecting electrical systems to the earth stabilizes them.

    Clint Oder on Earthing

    But our bodies are electrical systems as well. The human race has been closely connected to the earth for hundreds of thousands of years. Was it missing it's ground?

    Ober connected a sheet of electrically conductive cloth to a wire leading out his window which connected to a metal rod buried in the earth. They measured the electomagnetic frequencies his body was emitting. They had changed. Then he fell into his first deep sleep in years. From the Townshend Report on Earthing:

    The Living Matrix?

    Several hypotheses have been developed to explain positive reports emanating from some Earthers. Dr. Laura Koniver stated that the free radicals produced during exercise or inflammation are positively charged while the surface of the earth is negatively charged. Connecting your body to the Earth enables these negative electrons to spread over and into your body, where they have antioxidant effects.

    One group of authors associated with EarthFix - an Earthing company - have produced a more or less comprehensive view of how they believe earthing affects the body. They propose that the earth's electrons flow into a "collagenous, liquid–crystalline semiconductor network" in our body they call the living matrix. They believe that this fibrous connective tissue network has electrical properties protects our cells, tissues and organs from oxidative stress.

    For those believing that semiconductors are only made of silicone they pointed to Isreali researchers who made organic semiconductors (as opposed to the sillicone semiconductors used today) using proteins from human blood, milk and mucus.

    Calling this connective tissue network a vast "redox system", they believe it is able to absorb electrons from the earth and then donate them to wherever they are needed in the body; i.e. wherever oxidative stress levels are high. (They are high both in ME/CFS and FM). They propose that we've mostly cut ourselves from the healing electrons that the earth provides.

    Ticking off the many serious inflammatory conditions found (heart disease, cancer, stroke, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, etc. ) they propose that "grounding" could help relieve inflammation in many.

    Hype or Hope?

    Dr. Robert Lahita, a New Jersey-based rheumatologist and microbiologist, probably reflects a majority of MD's when he says that Earthing is simply another wacky idea that draws people with unresolved health problems to it like bees on honey. “I don’t even hesitate to say that’s really crazy.”

    ]Yet, as with many alternative therapies dramatic reports of Earthing's effects can be found. The Earthing Institute has several fibromyalgia Earthing stories.

    Earthing has quite a few adherents and about a dozen small studies have been done. According to a recent review paper earthing helped normalize cortisol levels during sleep, and reduced immune activation and creatine kinase levels after exercise. (Creatine kinase is a marker of muscle damage.) Other studies have found reduced stress and increased oxygenation.The studies are all small though and can't be counted on to deliver the last word on Earthing. (The AHRQ probably would have dismissed them all...)

    Pricey in the Short Term (Cheap in the Long Term?)

    Today, Earthing looks like a pretty nice-sized business. Nicely appointed websites sell products that generally consist of cotton sheets or pads or bands with metallic silver threads sown into them that you can sleep under or put your feet on. Some people apply Earthing bands to different body parts in an attempt to reduce pain and inflammation. You can buy earthing shoes with copper in them. You can also get Earthing throws, Earthing computer pads, etc.

    The earthing products can be plugged into a wall socket or attached to a grounding rod in the earth. (The grounding rod approach is reportedly better.)

    Earthing sheets are not inexpensive. At about $150 a sheet they're pretty pricey. It's quite a bit of money to throw at something that might not work. On other hand if it works all that remains is the cost of electricity.

    Earthing, like other alternative therapies with little research behind them, is prone to hype. If earthing does work it probably does so in fairly subtle ways; i.e. it's much more a help than a cure. Some people do swear by it though.

    What do you think? Hype or hope? Have you tried Earthing? Let us know.
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2015
    Tammy7 likes this.
  2. h3ro

    h3ro Active Member

    Tried it. Made me worse. I have EMF sensitivity and it made me feel like an antenna.
  3. Issie

    Issie Well-Known Member

    Helps, but is not a cure.
    I hurt so bad before, and having natural stone floors on cement slab in the ground, walking barefoot in the house - is earthing. Before I started I couldn't stand to walk on a hard surface. My feet hurt too bad. I gradually started. Now, I prefer to be barefoot. My feet do not hurt, as bad and I generally feel better. I can't say it's a cure. But I think it helps pain and energy. My hubby, who questions things, started trying it himself. Now we have become a couple of hippies :) we walk inside and outside (in our yard), barefoot. He also believes it helps.
  4. Steven Chilinski

    Steven Chilinski New Member

    I tried it and the first night I did get prickly sensations where i was grounded. I think of it as an adjunct-it doesn't cure my sleep issues but it helps and generally I get a sounder sleep and I don't wake up with a vibrating sensation-ie, I'm more relaxed when I wake up.
    BTW I am not an electrician but I don't believe there is any cost to the electricity since you're connecting to the ground. In fact you want to use a socket checker to make sure that the outlet is wired right so you don't get live current.
  5. Prashanti

    Prashanti Member

    I tried it and found my sleep was really restless where I usually (without the grounding sheets) sleep soundly. I returned the sheets.
    Katie likes this.
  6. Steve

    Steve Active Member

    I saw my pain management specialist yesterday who told me not to believe much of what I read online so I told her to go online and read this site.

    And she's going to read about "grounding!?"
  7. I am not familiar with grounding, but I can tell you that I have direct experience with being affected by the earth's changing electrical impulses. For most of my life, I had been experiencing being reactive to weather changes. My pain levels would increase dramatically. Everyone always said it was the change in the atmospheric pressure. But when I would check out the atmospheric pressure, it was steady, not moving, yet I was having a major increase in my pain level. When the pressure reading began to move or the storm arrived, I actually felt better. So my increase in pain level happened BEFORE the air pressure changed and therefore was caused by something else. When my pain went up, I started to look at the local radar to see if a storm or front was approaching. Sure enough, it was about 200 miles away. Sometimes it would pass north or south of where I live and not even go through our area, yet I experienced the pain if it was within 200 miles. One day, the Weather Channel had a special program about how different storms form and travel around the earth. The light went "on" for me when they explained that a large or fast moving storm moving across the earth pushed a massive amount of negatively charged ions in front of it for hundreds of miles, changing the electrical atmosphere as it approached. I believe my pain levels are reacting to that change in the electrical atmosphere that occurs before the change in atmospheric air pressure. So do I think there might be something to "grounding"? Yup! I don't have any special "grounding" blankets or sheets, but I DO sleep better with an electric blanket turned on low, and I go barefoot all the time.
    Katie and Mwasi like this.
  8. Ria Roegiers

    Ria Roegiers Member

    I bought an earthing sheet a couple of years ago and after some initial tingling that lasted for maybe a week, I noticed that the pain in my legs was a bit better. However, after maybe one year I kind of experienced the reverse so I stopped using it. What helps me most with the fibro pain nowadays is qigong and watching what I eat and drink. I practised qigong while I used the sheet so maybe it was counterproductive.
  9. MK Gilbert

    MK Gilbert New Member

    Interesting comments! A "natural" on-line counselor who's in research and up on the latest stuff recommended I try "earthing" or "grounding" a couple yrs ago, but I haven't been able to afford it (am naturally skeptical and wary, but yet feeling desperate enough to try just about anything!) I have to do the research first, which, in itself is exhausting, and with major memory/concentration problems, severe depression and fatigue it's rather overwhelming. I prefer to go bare-foot, but live in SD where it's COLD half the year, and we live in an old, drafty house...Wish I could get a combo heating/earthing pad for under my computer desk, as that's where I spend much of my day. I actually printed out a pattern for making my own moccasins (apparently most shoe soles insulate us) but since moving AGAIN haven't found the pattern or had the energy to even think about it. I'd have to find a cheap piece of leather.
    I, too, am super sensitive to the weather, and also thot it was the barometric pressure. I get extremely irritable, even have crying spells sometimes, before a storm, plus the aches and pains get worse with cold and damp, but the terrible mood swings are the most debilitating of any of the symptoms. I can't work even part-time as I'm ill so often. (Have had one infection after another since September!) Sure do appreciate the articles you post, Cort, as well as the comments. I don't have the energy to read them all...
  10. Ria Roegiers

    Ria Roegiers Member

    PS: people who are sensitive to negative ions probably shouldn"t try earthing sheets or pads.
  11. Mwasi

    Mwasi Member

    I want to add a little more about weather: I am often seeing that my body reacts 24 hours to 48 hours before weather changes. So, you are not crazy to think that weather influences us. Another example that someone's told me. In Alberta Canada, the weather can change drastically in the same day, dropping many degrees. This situation seems to well known from doctors because some people living there, were told to move to another place if they suffer from drastic changes with weather! So this is true.

    And in my case, I see that when the moon is almos full (24-48 hours before), I can feel pain is higher than usual. It took me many months to figure out and even remember to look at the calendar and make the link with the full moon coming or present. So another thing that makes sense. And the last example: gardeners know very well that there are somme specific period when you can start your garden and not to start it, following moon phases. Moon -and probably earthing- has a certain logical sense and they influence our bodies.
    Katie likes this.
  12. Katie

    Katie Active Member

    I do believe in the atmospheric pressure affecting our health.
    Working in the admitting room for obstetrics, in the late 70ies, early 80ies, every full moon always indicated more women in labour. We did keep stats.
    The building where I worked was old and the obstetrics admitting was on the ground floor right near the emergency door. During the evening and night shifts I would be the only staff of any kind in the admitting room. Always on a full moon some people in distress would show up at the door thinking it was the main emergency room. Thankfully a brand new Women's and Children's Hospital opened and the situation improved for all of us.
    So if a full moon can affect us then certainly negative ions, changes in atmospheric pressure would definitely have an effect on our very sensitive systems.
  13. MK Gilbert

    MK Gilbert New Member

    I read an article in the last couple years, when I researched the subject, saying that according to the research the full moon does NOT actually correlate with our health....but then WHY are there so many stories saying it DOES?!? Hummm...makes a person wonder. Commenting on the negative ions, (can/does the full moon affect those? I doubt it...), if we're real sensitive to the weather, and it's NOT just the barometric pressure, we shouldn't practice grounding? Is there scientific evidence for that? I wonder what research has been done... I'm a very intuitive person who has learned to listen to my body and mind, but the emotions tend to overwhelm me much to often! I am also very analytical and like to hear the scientific facts of a subject, not just go by what people think or say...It's hard to find a balance oftentimes.
  14. Darden Burns

    Darden Burns Member

  15. Darden Burns

    Darden Burns Member

    I should specify that the negative reaction I had was to the Earthing products (sheet and pad). Lying directly on the ground or a concrete surface that is in contact with the ground has provided relief when I was in a particularly agitated, exhaustive state or "fibro flare". Remarkably it triggers a change in my breathing for 10 minutes or so with deep exhales as my body becomes more balanced. The benefits only happen however when I am under a lot of physical stress and never provoke a bad reaction. I do not think the Earthing products simulate the exact experience of being in contact with the ground. Somehow they magnify the energy.
  16. Dee4dogs

    Dee4dogs Member when I lose my home to this illness and I'm living outside in a tent I might start feeling better! LOL (sorry I just had to!)
    No, seriously I've heard of it but it sounded so ridiculous I hadn't paid much attention. But after reading this and watching the video it does make some sense.
    After all, most of can tell when a storm is rolling in before it even starts to rain. And our bodies produce D3 as a result of being in the sun so who knows?
    That's proof that our bodies react to the earth & atmosphere. If it works for people that's great. I live in FL so I'll start kicking off my flipflops when I get outside. I'll take any help I can get, especially when it's free.
  17. chris be

    chris be New Member

    Since I am also sensitive to barometric changes which increase my pain levels of FM I did some research: negative ions are
    beneficial for animals and man . Positive ions are the bad ones ;when positive ions naturally occur in a high concentration (for instance during the onset of a dry desert wind it can cause depression, nausea,lassitude, migraine and also disturbe the normal function of the thyroid glands.(sounds familiar?)
    Negative ions are the good ones: for a review;
    Valeria Laza; CEJOEM 2000,Vol.6.No1:3-10
    The Environment and Gaseous Ions.
  18. Homina

    Homina Member

    Earthing helps me sleep
    Now I am looking for an earthing mat for a bed any recommendations?
    I am wondering if one can get an earthing mat for a car seat?
  19. Wahg

    Wahg New Member

    This article only mentions using electrical pads for grounding but my understanding is you can simply go out and put your bare feet on the ground. - which is free! Correct?
  20. Creekside

    Creekside Member

    Umm, there's one glaring problem with that lovely marketing image: static charge forms on the outer surface of a conductive body, and the bag of salty water known as the human body counts as conductive. That's high-school level physics. If you add or remove a few trillion electrons from the body, that charge will form on the epidermis, where it won't affect internal functions. They won't flow into the body through some mysterious network. If you ground yourself, you're just temporarily changing the charge on the outside of your skin.

    The health effects of grounding are simple to test properly. Set up your grounding system with a switch that is controlled by someone else (single-blind testing). You don't know whether the grounding system is connected or not at any given time. You just record whether you feel better or worse. After a suitable number of tests, you compare the records with the person who controlled the switch. If there's no correlation, then grounding doesn't work. If there is correlation, maybe you can apply for a research grant to figure out why.