About a year ago, I wrote a blog post about ‘earthing’ or ‘grounding’. The idea here is that by connecting ourselves with soil or wet sand or sea, say, we can ‘suck up’ electrons that effectively act as ‘antioxidants’ that can quell inflammation and enhance health. The blog post links to a review article of the practice, as well as my own experiences with it. In particular, it seemed as though earthing might have quickly resolved a persistent pain in my left ankle and foot.
I’ve been earthing regularly ever since and my pain has not returned. I also mentioned in my original post a pain in my left elbow which had not resolved but has resolved now. I also forgot to mention that I was prone to pain coming from somewhere around my left hip that had bothered me for several months too. That pain has also resolved.
As I pointed out in my original post, the resolution of my pains may have had nothing to do with grounding (I will never know). However, my hunch (and it is just that) is that earthing has brought me real benefits.
Purely by chance, I came across a recently-published earthing study this week.
The study took 10 people and earthed them for 2 hours . The individuals were assessed before and during the earthing treatment for the amount of charge on their red blood cells (known as ‘zeta potential’). The small negative charge on red blood cells essentials causes the cells to repel each other, and helps keep them from clumping together. This is important, because clumping of red cells can cause blood to become more viscous, potentially impairing blood flow, particularly in the smallest vessels.
During earthing, the zeta potential on the red cells increased significantly, and clumping of cells decreased. Also, the authors of the study noted that 3 people had back or neck/shoulder pain before earthing, and that this had resolved in two of them during earthing.
From a scientific standpoint, this study has some limitations including the fact that the study was small and lacked a control group (a group for whom the approach was the same except that the equipment was not actually grounded). Three of the four authors also have a financial interest in the company which sponsored the study (sellers of earthing kit).
These things notwithstanding, I think this newest earthing study adds at least something to the current body of evidence concerning this practice. This study should, I think, be taken in the context of other better conducted studies (see previous blog post) which have demonstrated that earthing does indeed have the capacity to benefit the body’s physiology.
I use earthing kit in my home and find this convenient, but such kit is not essential to derive whatever benefits earthing may offer. Yesterday, for example,I spent an hour in the park with my bare feet planted on the ground. At the end of the hour I felt truly invigorated and refreshed. Was it the break from my desk, the fresh air, the sun, the grounding effect or something else that had this effect? I just don’t know. What I do know is that the end result felt good and it did not cost me a dime.
1. Chevalier G, et al. Earthing (Grounding) the Human Body Reduces Blood Viscosity – a Major Factor in Cardiovascular Disease. The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine. 2013;19(2):102-110
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