Learn more about Earthing in Clint Ober's book, Earthing: The Most Important Health Discovery Ever?
Provided courtesy of the Earthing Institute.
Q: In an age when there are so many discoveries and health-related technologies emerging every day, why do you think the concept of Earthing is so profound?
A: What is most profound about Earthing is that it is so natural and simple, and that it affects every aspect of human physiology. When you ground yourself, the entire body readjusts to a new level of functioning, the level, in fact, it seems to have been designed for throughout evolution. Many people who have lived Earthed for some years say that they do not want to go back to living ungrounded. They feel the difference. Living Earthed broadly elevates your quality of life to a level that seems not otherwise possible.
James Oschman, Ph.D., an internationally-renowned expert on energy medicine and a member of the Earthing Institute board of advisors, describes the phenomenon thusly: “Recently I attended a meeting on the East coast. One of my colleagues came in from the West coast. She had a bad case of jet lag. I told her to take her shoes and socks off and step outside on the grass for 15 minutes. When she came back in, she was completely transformed. Her jet lag was gone. That is how fast Earthing works. Anyone can try this. If you don’t feel well, for whatever reason, just make barefoot contact with the Earth for a few minutes and see what happens. Of course, if you have a medical problem, you should see a doctor. There is nothing that comes close to Earthing for quick relief. You can literally feel pain draining from your body the instant you touch the Earth.”
Q: Can you wear any type of footwear and still be earthed?
A: No. Standard plastic/rubber or composite soles do not conduct the Earth’s electric energy. Most shoes today are made from those materials. You need leather or hide soles, which used to be the primary footwear materials in the past. The foot perspires and the moisture conducts the energy from the Earth through the leather and up into the body. Leather isn’t quite as good as bare feet on the ground, but certainly much, much better than standard soles that are insulating. Hopefully soon, shoe companies will begin making grounded shoes.
Q: Would it be considered Earthing to plug something into the ground port of a wall electrical outlet, for instance, a wire, and wrap it around your ankle or wrist?
A: Don’t do it! Unless you are an electrician or an electrical engineer, it is highly recommended not to “experiment” with plugging “something” into a wall electrical outlet. First and foremost, it is unsafe to plug a bare wire into an electrical ground in any case. An outlet should always be checked to see if it is properly grounded. All of the authorized Earthing products are specifically designed for safe, biological grounding of people. They have built-in resistors that limit the flow of current in order to prevent the unlikely possibility that electricity would flow through the connecting wire and possibly hurt someone. They allow the Earth’s natural energy to come through, but not any potentially harmful electricity. In this respect, the resistor acts like a “kink” in a hose. Earthing products for personal grounding have built-in protection similar to the systems utilized in industry throughout the world to prevent electricity and static from damaging sensitive electronic parts.
Q: I live in Chicago and my cement basement floor is cold, so I am reluctant to ground myself barefoot on that surface. Could I get grounded there by using an un-insulated metal container, filled with warm water and still get the same results?
A: Yes. That should work.
Q: Does Earthing occur if you work, stand, or walk on a ceramic tile floor?
A: It depends on whether the tile floor sits on a concrete slab or on the ground. If on the ground, the energy could come through. If the tile sits on plywood or some other kind of wood, plastic, or vinyl understructure, you are not likely to get any conductivity. It also depends on the type of tile. Ceramic tile with a glazed finish on the surface will, like glass, probably prevent the Earth’s energy from coming through.
Q: Why does the Earth’s electric field transfer so easily to the body?
A: The body is mostly water and minerals. It is an excellent conductor of electricity (electrons). The free electrons on the surface of the Earth are easily transferred to the human body as long as there is direct contact. Unfortunately, synthetically-soled shoes act as insulators so that even when we are outside we do not connect with the Earth’s electric field. When we are in homes and office buildings, we are also insulated and unable to receive the Earth’s balancing energies.
Q: What is the difference between the Earth’s electric field and the electric field used to conduct electricity in our homes?
A: The Earth’s electric field is mainly a continuous direct current (DC) producing field. Throughout history, life on the planet has attuned our biology to this subtle field. By comparison, home wiring systems in the U.S. use 60-cycle per second alternating current (AC). Unless at very low frequency (less that 10 cycles per second) and/or low power, alternating current is foreign to our biology. This and other forms of man-made environmental electromagnetic fields (EMFs) are being researched as factors in a variety of stress-related responses. Many people are sensitive to EMFs. Studies show an “association,” but not cause and effect, between living near power lines (or exposure to EMFs on the job) and higher rates of health problems, such as childhood leukemia, brain tumors, certain cancers, birth defects and miscarriages.
Q: What is the difference between the Earthing technology and the use of magnets?
A: Although the use of magnets produce some therapeutic effects when properly applied, magnets cannot provide free electrons, nor can they connect the body with the naturally balancing electric frequencies of the Earth. The patented Earthing Connection technology is the only way, without standing directly on the Earth, to connect with the Earth’s electrons.
Q: Can Earthing protect me from cell phone frequencies?
A: The protective potential of Earthing has not yet been tested on cell phone exposure. There is no research indicating that Earthing will or will not protect a person from exposure to cell phone signals, microwave radiation, or radio frequencies. What we do know is that Earthing significantly reduces the induced body voltages generated by simple exposure to common household 60 Hz EMFs continuously emitted by all plugged-in electrical cords (even if the appliance is off), internal wiring, and all ungrounded electrical devices in the home or office. Based on the cases we have seen of people extremely sensitive to such EMFs, it is prudent to be grounded as much as possible in the home or office.
Q: I would like to know if sleeping on the ground in a sleeping bag works.
A: If you sleep in a sleeping bag, some part of your body needs to be in direct contact with the Earth in order for you to get the full benefit of Earthing. As we say, the skin of your body needs to come in contact with the "skin of the Earth." It can be a bare foot, or arm, for instance, sticking out of the sleeping bag in contact with the Earth.
Q: Can you ground yourself outside by wearing electrostatic discharge (ESD) footwear when walking outside on the Earth?
A: ESD shoes are primarily designed for discharging static electricity but to a degree they ground the body beneficially. While better than regular shoes, they are not as good as going barefoot. The difference between grounding and static discharge is that grounding instantly puts your body at Earth’s potential. Static discharge, generally called a soft ground or a dissipative ground, has an inline 1 meg ohm resistor in the ground cord which is designed to slowly bleed off static electrical charges (contact and separation charges). These charges are created on the body by clothing and shoes whenever you move your clothing with arm movement or walk or sit on any synthetic material. The ESD industry uses dissipative grounding to prevent a rapid discharge of static electricity that might otherwise blow an electronic circuit or sensitive chip.
Please note that these statements DO NOT constitute medical advice in any way, nor do they make any claims for cures or treatments of any medical condition. Always consult with your personal physician regarding any personal health care issues.
Q: How does Earthing affect the body’s ability to heal?
A: The simplest explanation is that aches and pains and other disturbances in our bodies are often caused by inflammation. Electrons from the Earth have natural anti-inflammatory effects and are conducted relatively fast throughout the body, which is a good conductor. One of the most profound discoveries in modern biomedicine is that many of the chronic and debilitating diseases of our time have the same cause: chronic inflammation. Scientists now realize that many of our aches and pains arise from small regions in the body where an inflammatory response has taken place, but the inflammation has not completely stopped after the healing process. A low level of chronic inflammation can continue for years, damaging normal tissues and wasting energy. Many scientists believe that the human immune system evolved over a long span of time during which we were in virtually constant barefoot contact with the Earth. We believe that the immune system began functioning less efficiently as humans increasingly separated themselves from the Earth. One recent example is the advent of shoes with insulating soles about 50 years ago. Chronic disease, inflammation, and insomnia have skyrocketed ever since and the loss of connection with the Earth may be one totally overlooked cause.
Q: In your clinical studies, the physiological effects of Earthing have been almost immediate. Can you explain this?
A: The body is a good conductor of free electrons. It is a repeated observation that Earthing produces beneficial effects very rapidly. When people are grounded through the feet (either by standing barefoot on the Earth or via grounded EKG patches in experiments), they sometimes feel a tingling sensation moving up their legs. We associate this with the apparent movement of electrons up into the body. In our research, we have “clocked” the speed of this activity. We figure it takes about 20 to 30 minutes to reach sites of pain and inflammation and then begin neutralizing the inflammation. When a study participant says that pain has started to ease we regard this as a sign that the electrons have arrived at the pain site and have started to “go to work.”
Electrons may even be attracted to those sites because they have a negative charge, and free radicals, involved in the inflammatory process, have a positive charge. Once the free radicals are neutralized, we hypothesize that they stop their destructive actions on healthy tissues, leading to an abatement of pain, sometimes quite fast.
We also think that as soon as a person comes in direct contact with the Earth the electrons inside the body “feel” the effect of the ground potential through the Earth’s electric field. We discuss this—the so-called “straw-bead” effect—in Appendix B of our “Earthing” book. The body settles and equalizes electrically to the ground potential almost instantaneously. The information that a new potential has been established in the body is transmitted, also almost instantaneously, to the autonomic nervous system which then responds by “adjusting” electrical activities throughout the body. Muscle tension and skin conductance, and maybe also brain waves, are adjusted in a few seconds at the most.
Q: Earthing can improve quality of life, but what about aging? If stress causes premature aging, do you think we can add years to our lives by reconnecting with the Earth?
A: We don't know the answer to that question; however Earthing looks promising as a powerful anti-aging strategy. Many researchers have documented the deterioration of the immune system as we age. The name for this is immunosenescence. A prominent medical theory states that one of the causes of general deterioration during aging is free radical damage, technically known as oxidative stress, resulting in injury to cells. Since Earthing greatly reduces oxidative stress, it is expected to increase life expectancy and improve health. There is no question that maintaining a functionally “young” immune system is an excellent strategy for preserving the quality of life and slowing senescence.
Q: How many minutes or hours a day do I need to be grounded in order to feel results?
A: When you come in direct contact with the Earth there is an immediate and natural shift in your body. We have measured these in the laboratory and the changes point to the body functioning better. People with pain often feel relief in varying degrees—from a little to a lot, and to even disappearance of the pain—just by planting their bare feet on the ground outside for a half hour or so twice a day. Sleeping grounded through the night produces many beneficial results, such as better and deeper sleep, more energy during the day, and less pain. Again, the degree of benefits run from slight to dramatic, from immediate to gradual. Some chronically ill people benefit from additional grounding hours during the day, such as being barefoot or using an Earthing mat or body band. From the thousands of cases that Clint Ober and others have observed over the past decade, the more severe the health problem, the more dramatic the improvement seen with grounding in general, unless someone is dying. Even in end-of-life cases associated with pain, it has been reported that the dying person is generally in less pain.
Q: How long does it take to relieve my symptoms?
A: Everybody is different and symptoms are different with different causes. Earthing does not cure anything. Contact with the Earth helps restores the body’s natural electrical balance and reduce stress and inflammation. By doing these things, Earthing can have both short-term and long-term effects, sometimes quite dramatic and quick. We have had many reports of improved sleep and decreased stress after only one or two nights of sleeping grounded. If the cause of sleep difficulties is long-term insomnia with underlying health issues, improvement often takes more time.
Medical thermal imaging has shown decreased inflammation in minutes. In a study conducted by the California Institute for Human Science, instantaneous changes in brain waves and muscle tension were documented when the Earthing connection was introduced.
Clearly, lasting changes in stress, sleep, pain and body rhythms occur when we are connected to the Earth for longer segments of time on a repeated basis. Nighttime sleep, when the body is most receptive to healing, is the most beneficial time.
In a general sense, just as you can’t direct healthy food, air, or water to create specific desired results in one function or part of your body, the body takes in the natural energy of the Earth and uses it as needed. You may experience benefits for certain issues you were not even expecting improvements in and there may be no change in other areas. Generally, the longer you use Earthing, the more benefits and vitality become apparent.
Q: I feel better when I sleep grounded. What happens if I stop sleeping grounded?
A: We have heard from many people over the years that experienced relief and improvements, and then when they stopped Earthing, found that their gains began eroding. We advise people to make Earthing part of a healthy lifestyle routine and keep grounding themselves. Don’t stop. We all evolved connected to the Earth. Staying connected may be the difference between feeling good and feeling bad. Earthing is not just for regaining well-being, but also for maintaining it.
Q: I just started sleeping grounded and feel a bit strange. What could that be from?
A: Initially, some people may feel some temporary discomfort or even flu-like signs, pain or achiness. In practically all cases, this experience is fleeting. This effect stems from a normalization of the body’s “electrical system.” As that process gets underway, the body’s ability to release accumulated toxicity may improve and you could feel that as transient discomfort. Typically, after some initial adjustment, those individuals start feeling better and more energized. The feeling might last a few days at the most, but it will go away. If you are uncomfortable, stop using the device for several days and then begin again. In the majority of cases, no discomfort is felt at the beginning.
Q: Are there people who sleep grounded and don’t feel anything, or for whom grounding doesn’t work?
A: Everybody benefits in some way, but we are all different. The benefits can come quickly and dramatically, such as less pain and better sleep, or subtly and gradually over time. Often people who are very ill feel the difference more dramatically. Someone with radiant health and who sleeps well may not feel any difference, however, connecting to the Earth is helping to preserve and perpetuate the precious commodity of good health. We regard Earthing as a natural form of anti-aging medicine, whether you feel it or not.
Q: I purchased a bed sheet and noticed tingling in my feet for the first few nights. Should I be concerned?
A: Many people feel tingling in the beginning. It’s a sign that the circulation is improving.
Q: I’ve got pain. How can this help me?
A: Go outside and stand, sit, or walk on the ground barefoot for at least a half hour or so. In that time you may notice that your pain is less. We believe this effect comes from the electrons that flow into your body from the Earth. Inside the body they act to reduce inflammation. There are also “barefoot substitutes,” Earthing products you can sleep on, work on, and sit on inside your home or place of work. Think of them as extension cords connecting you in your house or office to the Earth outside.
Q: Do the products need to go where my pain is?
A: Because our bodies are highly conductive, if any part of your body is in contact with the earth, or an Earthing device, all of your body is grounded. However, we have noticed that having the Earth connection near the location of an injury or pain may speed the decrease in inflammation that causes pain.
Q: I have two stents. Could sleeping grounded do any damage to the stents?
A: Not any more than sleeping or walking barefoot on the Earth would cause damage. Earthing devices simply deliver the subtle energy of the Earth inside to where you live and work. The energy helps restore the natural electrical balance in your body.
Q: Can Earthing products be used by somebody who has a pacemaker?
A: There is no evidence that Earthing interferes with the function of a pacemaker. Earthing is the same as walking barefoot on the Earth. Many people with pacemakers sleep grounded and experience the benefits of their medical device and Earthing. To our knowledge, no one with a pacemaker has been advised not to walk barefoot outdoors. Just check with your doctor initially and monitor yourself for any symptoms.
Q: Can you use the Earthing products if you have knee and hip replacements?
A: No problem.
Q: I live in a warm climate where we are reluctant to go out barefoot due to parasites in the soil like hookworm and roundworm. The soil never gets cold enough for the parasites to die off.
A: If being barefoot outside is risky, use the Earthing products inside. The best opportunity to gain the many benefits of Earthing is to sleep grounded.
Q: Can I get too much of the Earth’s energy by sleeping grounded every night?
A: Throughout most of history we walked barefoot and slept on the ground. We were directly connected to the Earth almost 24/7. That’s what our bodies are used to. The combination of insulative shoes and elevated beds has separated us from the natural electric frequencies of the Earth. We believe this separation has contributed to the great increase in chronic diseases and inflammation.
Our body knows exactly what to do with what the Earth provides for us. When we connect to the Earth the amount of the electrons we absorb is driven by the amount our body needs to balance the electrical charge of our body. It is always the perfect amount.
Q: I am one of those electro-sensitive people you write about in the Earthing book. I have started to sleep grounded and the energy feels strange to me.
A: Electro-sensitive people report feeling strange energy in the beginning and some even say they feel ill. The energy they feel when grounded is simply Earth’s natural energy. Once the body equalizes with the Earth this sensation subsides. We regard the sensation generally as part of a healing detox process as the body normalizes and inflammation goes down. If the feeling is too uncomfortable, try grounding for a few hours during the day and not the whole night. Or, start off by spending a half hour twice a day barefoot outside, then slowly increase your exposure.
Q: How do I know if I need a ground rod or a plug-in connection for my Earthing device?
A: Most modern homes have a functional electrical ground system that interfaces with the Earthing plug-in device. If your home was built before the 1960s and has not been electrically re-wired, you may require a ground rod or professional installation of a dedicated grounding connection to the Earth. If you are unsure, have an electrician check your home for the presence of a functional ground system, or use a commercially available outlet checker.
Q: If I place a ground rod in the earth outdoors is it OK if it gets rained on?
A: That’s totally OK. The presence of moisture increases the flow of electrons from the Earth. That’s why it’s great to stand or walk barefoot in damp grass or in the surf or wet sand at the beach. If you live in a very dry climate and are using a ground rod, you will want to place it in the earth where there is some moisture. You can even water the ground rod every week or so.
Q: I live in an old apartment building that does not have grounded electrical outlets and I can not put a wire outside to the Earth. What can I do?
A: As the benefits of Earthing become more widely recognized, solutions such as retrofitting older buildings with dedicated grounding systems, and adding them to plans for new buildings will come about. Meanwhile, try to spend some barefoot time in nature if possible, and consider using an Earthing device at the office and when you travel.
Q: Is it OK to use the United States style Earthing plug in countries with 220 volt electrical systems if I use an adaptor, converter or transformer?
A: No! Ground rods and dedicated grounding systems can be used safely internationally. Electrical systems vary greatly worldwide. Earthing plugs designed especially for specific countries outside the US and Canada are gradually being developed.
Q: Do Earthing products run on electricity?
A: No. They simply pick up the Earth’s energy through the ground port of a properly grounded outlet or from a ground rod placed directly in the Earth and deliver it via a cord to the conductive Earthing pad, mat, sheet, or band specially designed for human grounding. When your body comes in contact with the Earthing product, you absorb the Earth’s energy. Earthing products are like “barefoot substitutes,” enabling you to receive the outside energy of the Earth inside your home or office.
Q: Can I become electrocuted by an Earthing product?
A: No. Earthing yourself by sleeping, working, or sitting grounded indoors has no relationship with electrocution. When you plug in the cord of an Earthing sheet or mat into an electrical outlet, the plug, cord, and product are designed to only conduct the ground energy, from the ground port in the outlet, to your device. It does not conduct the electrical power that operates your lights and appliances in the house.
Q: Do I have to be concerned about being hit by lightning during a thunderstorm if I am grounded in my home?
A: Lightning is a massive natural phenomenon that is unpredictable and challenging to totally protect against. It is poorly understood. Homes are rarely hit by lightning. When this does occur, the lightning usually takes the path of least resistance to the ground, striking large conductive systems like the plumbing pipes, electrical wiring network, or telephone and cable TV lines, all of which are directly grounded to the Earth.
The National Safety Council reports that the odds of dying from a lightning strike in one year are 1 in 6 million (www.nsc.org/research/odds.aspx). To put this into perspective, the chance of being hit and killed by an automobile as a pedestrian in the same period is 1 in fifty thousand—a risk 120 times greater. What these statistics suggest is that being hit by lightning is rather unlikely. However, it’s important to follow standard lightning safety guidelines as directed by the National Weather Service (www.lightningsafety.noaa.gov) if you live in a lightning-prone area. Disconnect your Earthing device and don’t use it during lightning and thunderstorms.
Q: I started sleeping on an Earthing sheet and noticed that I feel warmer. What’s going on?
A: In our research, contact with the Earth contributes to good circulation and relaxation of the body, including blood vessels. One byproduct is more heat in the extremities and throughout the body. We have seen people quickly develop a rosier color in their skin. Many people have also reported feeling some initial tingling in the extremities.
Q: My Earthing device has a white plug that fits in a three-prong outlet. How do I know if the outlet is grounded?
A: The two lights on the white plug must be green to indicate a grounded outlet. Some Earthing products do not have the white plug. They have a prong that simply inserts into the ground port of the outlet. These products come with a commercial outlet checker that you can use first to determine if the outlet is grounded. Two orange lights on the commercial outlet checker indicate a correct ground is present.
Q: Once the Earthing product is plugged into a grounded outlet, should I always leave it plugged in?
A: Yes. For cleaning and washing purposes, you simply unsnap the cord from the product. There is no need to remove the plug-in end of the cord from the outlet unless you want to use the product elsewhere.
Q: There are three pins on the white plug that came with my Earthing product. What are they for?
A: The two standard pins plug into the regular electrical slots only to light the LED to show that the outlet is grounded. The round pin (prong) fits into the ground port to conduct the Earth’s energy.
Q: What if the lights burn out on my white plug? Do I need a new plug?
A: When the two green lights are lit that means you have a proper ground. If the plug lights were to burn out, the ground component of the plug would still continue to function, however it is best to replace devices with burnt out lights so that you know for sure that your outlet is indeed grounded. You can either purchase a new plug or a simple commercial outlet checker. You can buy a checker at any store that sells electrical products such as a hardware store, Home Depot, RadioShack, or Fry’s.
Q: The lights on the plug are too bright when I am going to sleep. What can I do?
A: Place a piece of non-transparent tape over the lights.
Q: Are all the outlets in my home grounded if one of them is grounded?
A: No. All kitchens and bathrooms must have grounded outlets, but the bedrooms and other rooms in the house do not necessarily have a grounded outlet even if they have a three-prong outlet. You must test any individual outlet for a proper ground if you plan to use it for an Earthing device.
Q: Can I wear clothing or put a bed sheet over the Earthing device?
A: If your body is not in direct contact with the device, it will require some moisture for the direct current of the earth to flow through the fabric into your body. For some people this occurs naturally during the night when moisture from the body creates the necessary conductivity. It is best, however, to have some bare skin in contact with the device if possible.
Q: Can I wear socks when using an Earthing mat on the floor?
A: Yes, but direct skin contact is best. Feet naturally sweat and will hydrate socks, making the socks somewhat conductive.
Q: I like to wear socks to bed. Do my bare feet have to touch the Earthing bed sheet?
A: Since our feet are the most electrically conductive part of our body, it is best to have your bare feet in contact with the grounded sheet. However, if you must wear socks, try to have some skin—bare legs or any other body part—touch the Earthing mat or sheet. You can place the Earthing product in your bed wherever it is most comfortable and effective for you. If you wear socks to bed because of cold feet, you will often find that your feet warm up naturally from improved circulation when you sleep grounded.
Q: Is it okay to use an Earthing sleeping product along with an electric blanket or on an electrically heated mattress pad or waterbed?
A: There is nothing wrong with using an Earthing sleep product with any electrical devices as long as those devices are in good working order.
Q: How are the Earthing sheets different from an electric blanket?
A: Earthing sheets do not heat up like an electric blanket. They only conduct the subtle energy from the ground. They do not conduct the electrical energy that flows in the electrical system of your house and powers your lights and appliances. If you want to know about safety issues related to the use of electric blankets, visit the following website. There are no additional safety issues regarding the use of an electric blanket when sleeping grounded. The Earthing device cords contain a current limiting resistor that prevents any harmful effect should an electrical event, such as a short, develop in an electric blanket.
Q: Can I plug the Earthing product into a surge protector or extension cord?
A: Yes, as long as they have an existing ground port (for the third prong) which will connect with the grounding system in the home or office.
Q: How long will an Earthing sheet last before it wears out?
A: Sheets made with cotton, polyester, and conductive silver fiber have withstood rigorous testing conducted by an independent testing lab. After 100 wash/dry cycles, the conductive silver fibers show virtually no breakage or wear. When cared for properly, your sheet should last as long as any good quality bed sheet.
Q: Are the sheet threads really silver? Why?
A: Any metallic material will conduct the flow of electrons. Earthing devices typically use carbon or silver as the conductive agent. Silver is highly conductive and very strong, allowing it to hold up well with frequent use and washings. Moreover, it is inherently anti-microbial.
Q: Is the Earthing sheet washable? What about care and cleaning?
A: Your sheet may be laundered just as you would wash other bedding, using a gentle wash cycle and a mild detergent. Low heat drying is recommended. However, NO chlorine bleach or fabric softener should be used. When necessary, use a hydrogen peroxide-based non-bleach to remove stains and/or whiten your sheet.
Q: How do you clean an Earthing mat?
A: Mats can be cleaned with ordinary dish soap and water.
Q: I have used various devices that simulate the frequencies of the Earth. How is this different?
A: There are many effective therapeutic devices available that use a variety of frequencies. Earthing products simply conduct the actual frequencies of the Earth to your body without any simulation and serve as extension cords from the Earth to you. The signal they carry includes all of the subtleties inherent in nature that our bodies have attuned to over millions of years. Earthing is totally natural.
Q: Can you use an Earthing sleep system over a mattress pad that has magnets embedded in it?
A: There is no problem with using an Earthing sheet over a magnetic mattress pad. The magnets in the magnetic mattress pad produce a static magnetic field that would naturally go through and extend beyond the surface of the Earthing sheet similar to the way it passes through a regular sheet.
Q: I work and sleep grounded. My dog sleeps in my bed with me and sits at my feet when I am at my desk. Is it safe for him to touch my Earthing devices?
A: Yes. It’s natural for animals to want to spend time in contact with the Earth. Indoor pets share our lifestyle causing them to be separated from direct contact with the Earth. People report their pets seek out the grounding device when they are stuck indoors.
Q: Can I ground myself while driving a car?
A: Yes. A car is two tons of metal. It is a ground plane by itself. Sitting on a conductive auto pad connected by a wire to the metal frame of the car helps eliminate static electricity that builds up on the body. Such static electricity can contribute to fatigue and tension.
Q: We sleep on a futon. Can I put the Earthing mat under the bottom all cotton sheet we use? With all this new barefoot walking, our feet are not always as pristine clean as they were before.
A: The mat will be of lesser value to you if you put it under your bottom sheet. You must have skin contact for grounding to work. The grounding mats or sheets are washable.
Q: I want to sleep grounded. What is the difference between a bedpad, a half-sheet, and a fitted sheet? Is one more effective than the other?
A: In the book, we used the generic term “bed pad” to describe a variety of Earthing systems developed by Clint Ober over the years. There are currently several different products available for beds and they are all effective for sleeping grounded: 1) the Universal Mat, 2) a half-sheet, and 3) a fitted sheet. For a full description of each, visit here.
Earthing and Electrical/Conductivity Issues
Q: My husband told me that if there is a short anywhere in our home electrical system, all the electricity would flow through the ground wire into the ground and the bed would be connected to that wire. Would we be electrocuted in that case?
A: Not at all. If there is a short to the ground, it would immediately trip all of the breakers on that circuit. Furthermore, the ground cords on authorized Earthing products have a built-in safety feature that prevents currents from flowing through.
Q: In your book you mention that results were not as good with products which incorporated a 1 megohm resistor in the line.
A: Your comment refers to grounding devices used to reduce or eliminate the risk of electrostatic discharge (ESD). Our testing of those systems failed to totally reproduce the same effects as a direct Earthing ground system. All ESD ground cords contain a 1 megohm. A 1 megohm resistor allows 60hz EMF-induced body voltage to drop by 90 percent. Earthing products have a built-in 100K ohm resistor in all ground cords for safety and allow 60hz EMF-induced body voltage to drop by 99 percent. The objective of Earthing the body is to replicate standing barefoot on the Earth and equalizing the potential of the body with the potential of the Earth. This occurs both with either a 1 megohm or a 100K resistor – the difference being a fraction of a second slower with the bigger resistor. Bringing and holding the body at Earth’s potential restores the body’s natural electrical state. This is the key factor regarding inflammation reduction. Reducing EMF-induced body voltages is more beneficial to the autonomic nervous system and to sleep.
Q: How exactly is a person protected from a ground fault in a device they are using while in contact with an Earthing mat or sheet if the device is powered via a non-grounded power source, like a two-pronged outlet in an older house? It seems to me that the only protection one would have in this situation is the breaker protecting the circuit feeding the faulty device. Is there a safety risk of being in contact with an Earthing system specifically while using electrical or electronic devices?
A: Earthing products are designed with built-in user safety. First, an electrical outlet tester is supplied with each product to verify that an outlet is properly wired and that the outlet has a working ground. The product ground cords are designed to provide a safe, soft ground utilizing a built-in (molded-in) in-line current limiting 100kohm resistor. In the event that a short develops in an electrical device that a person is in contact with while grounded, the built-in resistor limits the current flow to a safe level. The accepted safe current limit of 5-8mA is defined as “sensation of shock, not painful; individuals can let go at will.” The human body threshold of sensation is 1mA: The electrical calculation is current=volts/resistance (I=V/R). R = Rresistor + Rbody. Typical body resistance is 10k when wet, and much higher when dry. However, to be conservative, using Rbody=0, Rres=100kohm, V=130volts; then the maximum current is I=130volts/100,000ohm=1.3mA; well below the accepted safety limit of 5-8mA and most likely barely perceptible.
Q: I live in a 20-story concrete apartment building. Do you think that connecting to the outside concrete wall, which I believe goes all the way down to the foundation without a break or any wood in between, would give a similar effect to standing on the concrete basement floor?
A: Connecting a grounding device to the outside concrete wall of your apartment would provide some degree of Earthing conductivity but it would be significantly less than standing on concrete situated directly on the Earth. The reason: concrete high in the air would be drier and less conductive, whereas concrete directly on the Earth maintains a much higher moisture content. The best way to access the Earth’s energy in your apartment would be with the use of the electrical ground (third hole in power outlets), assuming the building has a proper electrical grounding system throughout.