Paper on Earthing that I Recently Submitted for a Class

Abstract

Earthing may be one of the easiest and most cost-effective healthcare interventions available today. This paper describes what earthing is and how it is believed to work by explaining how the global electric circuit works and its relationship to earthing. The paper also explores research which indicates that earthing may have beneficial effects in addressing many chronic diseases of the mind and body such as diabetes, cardio-vascular disease, depression, anxiety, and possibly attention deficit disorder. The paper details an personal experience that the author had with earthing and the health of his son and ends with a brief conclusion.

Biologic Earthing for Mind and Body

The epidemic rise of chronic, lifestyle associated disease, especially in western society, is well documented and consumes a large portion of our healthcare resources. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported in 2015 that chronic diseases now kill more people than communicable diseases for the first time in world history (2015). Conditions of the body such as diabetes, cardio vascular disease (CVD), and hypertension as well as of the mind including depression, anxiety, and insomnia are commonplace in western culture. The purpose of this paper is to explore a relatively new mind-body intervention referred to as earthing or grounding. The paper will begin by explaining the concept of earthing and how it is believed to work. The focus of the paper will then turn to what the research suggests earthing could prove effective in addressing regarding disorders of the mind as well as the body. The paper will then detail a few barriers to earthing and how to overcome them and will conclude with a personal experience of the authors’ concerning earthing and a brief summary.

What is Earthing?

Until relatively recently, humans routinely slept and walked barefoot on the bare ground. Earthing is the idea that direct contact with the bare earth exposes us to an unlimited source of free electrons that we have evolved to be able to utilize for our health (Mousa, 2016). Research suggests that these free electrons are essential for the proper functioning of our digestive, immune, and cardiovascular systems and that they may play an important role in reducing chronic inflammation and the incidence of inflammation related disorders (Chevalier & Oschman, n.d.). When the human body comes into direct contact with the earth through going barefoot or through an earthing medium, the available electrons flow into the body through the skin and are absorbed into the body through mucus membranes in the lungs and intestines (Chevalier, Mori, & Oschman, 2006). When humans are in direct contact with the earth or grounded, the body immediately discharges all electrical current and matches that of the earth which is the “natural bioelectrical environment of the human body and of other organisms throughout most of evolutionary history” (Chevalier et al., 2006, p. 2). This discharge or assumption of negative electrical potential has been shown to be related to reduction of inflammation, pain, insomnia, stress, blood viscosity, and cortisol levels as well as improved sleep, increased energy levels, mood enhancements, and accelerated wound healing (Sinatra, Oschman, Chevalier, & Sinatra, 2017). These free electrons are available to humans via the global electrical circuit (Chavalier et al., 2006).

The Global Electrical Circuit and Earthing

The global electrical circuit is a planetary phenomenon that is the product of the interaction of the sun, the earth’s atmosphere, and the thousands of lightning strikes that occur around the world every minute (UCAR Center for Science Education, 2012). The net result of this complex system is that the atmosphere retains a positive charge while the surface of the earth retains a negative one (Chevalier et al., 2006). This means that when a human is standing outside in shoes (un-grounded) the body is positively charged due to exposure to the air above but when the same person takes their shoes off, they immediately become negatively charged due to exposure to the bare earth (Chevalier et al., 2006). This negative charge is the critical piece in the concept of earthing due to the human body’s ability to utilize reactive oxygen species (ROS) molecules in white blood cells (Chevalier & Oschman, n.d.).

ROS molecules are produced in the human body during an immune response and are able to kill bacteria at injury sites (Chevalier & Oschman, n.d.). The problem with these molecules is that they are positively charged and can damage healthy cells at an injury site unless they are neutralized by some form of negative charge which the earth provides in the form of free electrons (Chevalier & Oschman, n.d.). Research suggests that positive results of grounding the human body can be found both in physical responses as well as mental ones.

Earthing for the Body

Research indicates that earthing can be an effective mind-body intervention for a number of physical disorders including diabetes, CVD, chronic inflammation, and el