The Most Important Health Discovery Ever (Really) That Your Doctor Doesn’t Know About

There are a million “health-hypes” making extravagant promises that aren’t worth your attention. This one is different, I promise. I first heard about it in 2009 from one of my colleagues, James L. Oschman, Ph.D., author of Energy Medicine: The Scientific Basis. He told me about a forthcoming book called Earthing: The Most Important Health Discovery Ever. “I say without equivocation, as an experienced academic cell biologist and biophysicist, the research in the book describes what is perhaps the most simple and natural remedy against proliferating, painful, and often deadly conditions, including the diseases of aging.”

That got my attention, since I’m an older guy and was planning to run my first marathon in 2010. I needed all the help I could get. What I learned from the book not only helped me train without pain, but allowed me to finish the 26 mile, 385 yard run, and win a medal for being second in my age division (O.K., I’ll admit there were only two people in my age division who finished the race, but hey, we finished!) I later wrote an article, “My First Marathon: 7 Essential Life-Lessons Learned at Age 66.”

What I learned about Earthing, also known as Grounding, wasn’t just helpful for athletics, but also helped me deal with inevitable pains of aging, including neck, shoulder, and back pain and hopefully will help prevent more serious problems that result from chronic inflammation. I wrote about the discoveries in my book, Stress Relief for Men: How to Use the Revolutionary Tools of Energy Healing to Live Well.

When my book came out I was asked to speak at an energy medicine and energy psychology conference put on by Donna Eden and David Feinstein. At the conference, I met the person who discovered Earthing, Clint Ober. Like many discoveries that revolutionize how we see ourselves and the world, this one was sparked by one of those “aha” moments that seem to come out of the blue.

“My lightbulb went off one day in 1998, Ober recalled. “I was sitting on a park bench and watching the passing parade of tourists from all over the world. At some point, and I don’t know why, my awareness zeroed in on what all these different people were wearing on their feet. I saw a lot of those running shoes with thick rubber or plastic soles. I was wearing them as well.”

Ober, a pioneer in the cable industry, understood the need for grounding to insure a good electrical signal when watching T.V. “It occurred to me,” said Ober,  “that all these people—me included—were insulated from the ground, the electrical surface charge of the Earth beneath our feet. I started to think about static electricity and wondered if being insulated like that could have some effect on health.”

Ober conducted his own experiments and was surprised at the results. People slept better when they were grounded. Chronic pain began to disappear. But when he tried to talk to health-care professionals they laughed him out of the room. One professional who did listen was Stephen T. Sinatra, M.D., well-known integrative cardiologist. He met Ober at a conference in 2001, learned about Ober’s findings, began applying grounding himself, and subsequently was inspired to collaborate on grounding research.

For Sinatra, this was medicine at its best. “This was literally electromedicine from the ground up,” said Sinatra. “A secret of the ages right under my feet. For me, the original anti-inflammatory and the ultimate antioxidant had been found.” When I read this, it brought back memories of childhood. When summer would arrive in Southern California and school was out, the first thing the kids would do was to take our shoes off. We walked barefoot outside all summer and life was good. It never occurred to me that my joy may have been the result of walking barefoot on the earth, not just getting out of school for three months.

Now there is a new film, “Down to Earth,” that offers the latest, scientific information, on this astoundingly simple and helpful practice that costs nothing and anyone can do. According to leading health expert, Dr. Joseph Mercola, “Through the deceptively simple act of walking barefoot on the Earth — an act known as grounding or Earthing — it may be possible to thwart chronic diseases and even slow aging. It’s a crucial topic that has the potential to change lives, from relieving chronic pain to slowing down the silent killer known as systemic inflammation.”

You can watch an informative 15-minute segment of “Down to Earth” here.

In the film, Dr. Mercola speaks alongside other experts to shed light on what may be one of the most overlooked, yet easiest, ways to protect and improve human health: getting grounded to the Earth. The full feature-length movie of “Down to Earth” will be available in fall, 2017, with special premiers in theaters in Los Angeles and New York City. Dr. Sinatra explains in the film:

“In simple terms, grounding is literally putting your bare feet on the ground. When you do that, you’re in contact with the Earth, and mother Earth is endowed with electrons, and these electrons are literally absorbed through your feet. It’s like taking handfuls of antioxidants, but you’re getting it through your feet.”

Dr. Laura Koniver, who discovered grounding quite by accident after it seemed to soothe her crying infant, says in the film:

“Grounding means connecting to the Earth to support the specific function of the organs in your body. It supports the body as a whole but it specifically supports organ systems down to the tissues and the cellular function of the entire body.”

“You may not think of your body as a generator of electricity, but you are very much an electrical being,” says Dr. Mercola. “And this is in large part why it’s so important to use grounding to harness the electrical charge of the Earth to positively influence your health.

In the film, Gaetan Chevalier, Ph.D., an electrophysiologist has conducted many grounding studies explains:

“Unbeknownst to us, we live inside a battery. The surface of the Earth is charged negatively and the ionosphere, a layer of the atmosphere about 60 miles up, is ionized by the sun. The rays of the sun are so strong that they split the molecules in two, a positive charge and a negative charge. The negative charges are transferred to the surface of the Earth, through lightening mainly, and the positive charges stay 60 miles up. The problem arises when we don’t have a negative charge. We need grounding just as we need air and we need sunshine.”

So, why haven’t doctors told us about this revolutionary new discovery? Well, one clue is that pain relief and dealing with the effects of inflammation is a multi-billion-dollar profit center for the medical and pharmaceutical industries. Also, this is still a relatively new discovery and the research studies haven’t yet been embraced by main-stream medicine. But we don’t have to rely only on the mainstream for our health decisions. We can take our health into our own hands (and feet).

Not everything that is free, and easily available, can improve our health and well-being, but Earthing is one of the things that can. Get outside, take your shoes off, feel better. There are also ways you can ground yourself while you are inside. Check them out here. I look forward to your comments.

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  1. This is great stuff. When I was a kid I constantly ran around barefoot. I still love to be barefoot! We have become so separated from Mother Earth. It is so wonderful to reconnect! Namaste’

  2. I got your newsletter and was excited to see that there are now published peer reviewed papers.
    Then a friend sent me a link to an interview on dirty electricity. Now I don’t know what to think. Here’s the link to the interview on Dr. Mercola’s site. He must be scratching his head too, because he’s a big proponent of earthing/grounding. I read the transcript. I think the references to grounding may have been edited out.

    • Cal,
      Thanks for the note and sending the link to the article. Grounding (Earthing) continues to be studied. I don’t know enough about “dirty electricity” to comment on the article, but there’s enough written about Earthing to convince me that its good to get ourselves reconnected to the Earth for our own health and well-being.

  3. Brett Newman says:

    Hi Jed,
    I’ve been reading about Earthing for several years. Your article encouraged me to try it despite my skepticism that is shared by many others who have written well formulated analyses. I’ve been sleeping on a throw and resting my bare feet on a pad when I work for the past 2 weeks. Honestly, I feel no difference and I will be returning the products at the end of the 30 day trial if nothing changes. How long before you felt any benefits?

    • Brett,
      I’ve found the changes pretty subtle. They are more apparent if we have more problems. I found when I was running and noticeable pain afterwards, Earthing, was very helpful and very noticeable. Now that I don’t have many problems, I use them because I trust they work and they’re non-intrusive and have no side effects. I use the throws and sleep on them and noticed a slight improvement in my sleep after a month or so.