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What is Earthing? Exploring the Practice and Benefits

What is Earthing? Exploring the Practice and Benefits

In 2010, Clint Ober, known by many as the pioneer of earthing, released his book with the same title: Earthing. The book speaks on a healing power inherent in the earth that can be harnessed for greater well-being. This energy can be connected to anyone just about anywhere and could potentially generate a global health revolution! On a more scientific basis, this energy has been discovered to be free-flowing electrons that are beneficial to human health. Thus, the movement of earthing was born. Yet, many people are still asking: what is earthing? How do we practice it and best reap the benefits? 

In this article, I aim to establish a meaningful approachable methodology for getting the most out of earthing. But first, we must examine more closely exactly what it is. 

What is Earthing? The Claims

Let’s start with a quote by Clint Ober: “Earthing involves coupling your body to the Earth’s eternal and gentle surface energies. It means walking barefoot outside and/or sitting, working, or sleeping inside while connected to a conductive device that delivers the natural healing energy of the Earth into your body.” 

The premise of earthing is that if we establish a barefoot connection with the earth’s surface, we can reap the benefits of an energy that comes straight from the ground. This energy is really free-flowing electrons, like the vitamin D we get from the sun, that gives us a powerful “nutrient” from the ground. In his book, Ober claims that our ancestors spent copious amounts of time connected to the earth in this way, completely unaware of the amazing benefits. In more recent years, through science, we’ve been able to establish that the earth’s surface carries a negative charge replenished consistently by solar radiation and lightning. 

Through earthing, we can remedy our inflammation, pain, fatigue, stress, and even poor sleep.


The book is notably co-authored by Stephen Sinatra, a board-certified cardiologist, certified psychotherapist, and a scientist certified by the American Board of Anti-Aging Medicine. His authorship adds legitimacy to the claims of earthing and is part of the reason earthing has become established as a true, tested healing methodology. 

What is Earthing? The Backstory

Clint Ober was a successful entrepreneur and living large until he developed a liver abscess from a root canal in 1993. Apparently, Ober’s liver was badly affected. Doctors told him he didn’t have long to live. He ended up having a very risky liver surgery and luckily recovered fairly well from it. 

In the meantime, triggered by his arduous healing journey, Ober had an awakening experience in which he realized he wanted a radically different life than remaining a slave to the possessions he accumulated through his riches. He set out on a journey in his RV and through a series of awakenings, began reducing people’s arthritis and other ailments through “grounding” them. Eventually, Ober was able to conduct a study in which an earthing sleep pad was discovered to help people in numerous ways. Here are some of the results:

  • 85% of participants went to sleep more quickly
  • 93% of participants better stayed asleep throughout the night 
  • 82% of participants decrease muscle stiffness
  • 74% of participants decreased or eliminated their back and joint pain 
  • 100% reported feeling more rested when they woke up
  • 78% reported improved general health

The research was an important step in getting the “science ball” rolling for earthing. Since these findings came to light, other research has been published with results unbiasedly in favor of the positive effects of earthing. 

For example, this study published in the Journal of Environmental and Public Health, confirms that “Emerging evidence shows that contact with the Earth—whether being outside barefoot or indoors connected to grounded conductive systems—may be a simple, natural, and yet profoundly effective environmental strategy against chronic stress, ANS dysfunction, inflammation, pain, poor sleep, disturbed HRV, hypercoagulable blood, and many common health disorders, including cardiovascular disease.”

In the study, “grounded” participants were found to experience health benefits such as lower cortisol (stress hormone) levels, more parasympathetic activity (as opposed to sympathetic), an increase in white blood cells, an increase in glucose regulation, and a reduction of primary indicators of osteoporosis. 

What is Earthing? Exploring the Practice and Benefits

What is Earthing? How to Get Grounded

So what is earthing? Earthing is the process by which we walk barefoot on the earth to reap the benefit of negative ions that come naturally from the ground. Research is pointing more and more to the idea that walking barefoot on the earth is an essential component for our health, similar to ensuring we’re getting enough sunlight. 

Now I want to share how to bring earthing into your life easily. Follow these tips to get grounded and begin a journey toward better overall health and less inflammation!

  • One of the best ways to get grounded is via a comfortable hiking trail. By comfortable, I mean devoid of all rocks and with the sod being a soft, almost sandy, texture. I’ve walked on a trail like this before, and I felt like I could comfortably go for miles!


  • Another excellent way to practice earthing is by going to the beach. The beach provides the convenience of sand to comfortably walk barefoot on. Coupled with the healing power of sunlight and the mineral-infused ocean water, the beach is undoubtedly a very healing place to be.


  • If you don’t have access to a hiking trail or a beach, your next best bet is visiting a local park with plenty of healthy grass. Going barefoot on some grass is pleasant, comfortable, and easy.


  • If, Heaven forbid, you don’t have access to a hiking trail, beach, or grassy park, the next thing to do is to use your front lawn or small plots of local grass throughout your neighborhood.

Overall, earthing, as science is showing, is a practice to be taken very seriously. It does in fact seem that the earth gives off a charge beneficial for human health. This makes sense when considering how our ancestors spent so much time in communion with the earth

A final important note: places of natural wonder such as waterfalls, forests, and beaches hold powerful charges that can ground us even while we’re not barefoot. Enjoy the grounding power of the earth!

Visit the TelMD Upstream Blog for more insightful ways to achieve optimal wellness!

Let’s Make Wellness Contagious!™


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