Earthing: The Science Behind Connecting with the Earth


6/16/20232 min read

brown wooden bench
brown wooden bench

Have you ever wondered why walking barefoot on the beach or standing on grass brings a sense of calm and rejuvenation? The answer lies in the science of grounding. Numerous studies have investigated the effects of earthing on sleep, chronic pain, stress, cortisol levels, electric fields, physiological and electrophysiological responses, and immune cell function. In this blog post, we will highlight scientific research findings behind grounding and explore how connecting with the Earth's energy can impact our well-being.

I. Sleep and Chronic Pain:

  • Blinded pilot study conducted by Ober recruited 60 subjects with sleep disturbances and chronic pain.

  • Half of the subjects slept on conductive carbon fiber mattress pads connected to Earth ground, while the other half were "sham" grounded.

  • Grounded subjects reported improved sleep quality, reduced pain and stiffness, and enhanced well-being compared to the control group.

  • Earthing showed potential benefits beyond pain reduction and sleep improvement, such as relieving asthmatic conditions, rheumatoid arthritis, PMS, sleep apnea, and hypertension.

II. Sleep, Stress, Pain, and Cortisol:

  • A pilot study examined diurnal rhythms in cortisol, sleep, pain, and stress.

  • Subjects were grounded during sleep using a conductive mattress pad.

  • Results showed a realignment and normalization of cortisol secretion patterns after six weeks of sleeping grounded.

  • Subjects experienced faster sleep onset, fewer awakenings at night, reduced morning fatigue, increased daytime energy, and lower nighttime pain levels.

III. Earthing Reduces Electric Fields Induced on the Body:

  • Study measured voltage induced on the body from the electrical environment.

  • Grounding using a conductive patch and bed pad significantly reduced the ambient voltage induced on the body.

  • Earthing prevents the production of AC electric potential on the body and disturbance of electric charges within the body.

  • Grounding eliminates potential consequences of electropollution and reduces exposure to environmental electric fields.

IV. Physiological and Electrophysiological Effects:

A. Reductions in Overall Stress Levels and Tension and Shift in ANS Balance:

  • A double-blind pilot study investigated earthing effects on human physiology.

  • Subjects exposed to earthing showed immediate changes in electrophysiological and physiological parameters.

  • Reductions in stress levels, tension, and a shift in autonomic nervous system balance were observed.

B. Confirming Shift from Sympathetic to Parasympathetic Activation:

  • A multiparameter double-blind study further explored electrophysiological and physiological effects.

  • Grounding led to immediate activation of the parasympathetic nervous system and deactivation of the sympathetic nervous system.

  • Increased respiratory rate, stabilized blood oxygenation, and slight rise in heart rate indicated a metabolic healing response.

C. Immune Cell and Pain Responses with Delayed-Onset Muscle Soreness Induction:

  • Grounding demonstrated an alteration in immune system activity and pain response.

  • Grounded individuals exhibited decreased white blood cell counts and shorter recovery time after delayed-onset muscle soreness.

  • Results suggest that grounding may help reduce inflammation and pain associated with muscle overexertion.

D. Heart Rate Variability:

  • Grounding sessions led to statistically significant improvements in heart rate variability.

  • Enhanced heart rate variability indicates positive cardiovascular effects and suggests grounding as a potential integrative strategy for supporting the cardiovascular system.

E. Reduction of Primary Indicators of Osteoporosis, Improvement of Glucose Regulation, and Immune Response:

  • Experiments conducted by Sokal and Sokal explored the physiological effects of contact with Earth via a copper conductor.

  • Results showed potential benefits in reducing primary indicators of osteoporosis, improving glucose regulation, and enhancing immune response.

Source: NIH: Earthing: Health Implications of Reconnecting the Human Body to the Earth's Surface Electrons