People all over the Internet have questions about grounding. Since grounding (as we know it today) is so new to medical science, and doctors have only recently started tapping into grounding's potential health benefits, it can be difficult to find useful and accurate information about it. Hence, we’ve started this Q & A page based on some of the questions posed by Heart MD Institute (HMDI) site visitors and viewers of the HMDI You Tube channel.
Q: What if you're in a city [and don't have access to a lawn or other ground to put your bare feet on]? Can you get the same results from concrete?
Yes, as long as the concrete is not painted or otherwise sealed. Concrete is a conductive substance made of water and minerals. It sits on the Earth and retains moisture. So the free electrons will pass through just as they will if you are sitting or standing on grass or open ground. Asphalt, on the other hand, is made from petrochemicals, and is not conductive. Neither are wood, vinyl, plastic, or rubber surfaces, which insulate rather than conduct.
Q: If I take off my shoes, but leave my socks on, will that interfere with the earthing process? Also, if I wear rubber flip-flops or beach sandals, does that prevent me from grounding? I know grounding completely barefoot is ideal, but sometimes the places available to me do not look sanitary.
Cotton socks and nylons are okay (especially if your feet sweat, which will enhance conductivity), but grounding barefoot is best. Rubber and plastic are non conductive and insulate, so flip flops will prevent you from grounding. Shoes/sandals made solely from leather or hide will still conduct the Earth's natural electromagnetic energy, though.
Q: Can I receive grounding energy through ceramic tiles?
It depends on what the tiles sit on. If they are on a concrete slab or on the ground, the energy could come through. If the tiles are atop plywood or some other kind of wood, plastic, or vinyl understructure, they will not likely be conductive. The type of tile also factors into the mix: ceramic tile with a glazed finish on the surface will, like glass, probably prevent the Earth’s energy from coming through.
Q: I have a concrete floor in my garage, but I remember seeing insulation and maybe a plastic vapor barrier put down in the foundation before the concrete was poured...would that concrete floor still provide earthing benefits? What if even part of the concrete went all the way into the Earth?
If there is insulation, and perhaps a plastic barrier before the concrete was poured, the concrete will very likely not be conductive. If however, some of the concrete slab does come in contact with the Earth, then the whole slab will very likely be conductive.
Q: How long should a person ground outside barefoot to notice relief from rheumatoid arthritis and how long for anxiety?
The easy answer is, “as long as it takes.” Grounding benefits are particular to the individual, that is, the amount of time it takes to experience relief of anxiety or inflammation-related pain symptoms differs from person to person. Some people report feeling better after just 20 minutes of grounding, and research has shown physiological changes and significant improvements in the body’s electrical activity after 30 to 40 minutes.
For people with chronic conditions, it may take longer to experience relief of symptoms such as arthritic inflammatory pain; relief may be significant, overnight, gradual, total or partial. Generally speaking, benefits of grounding are dose related – that is, the more time spent regularly grounding, the better one’s chances of symptom relief.
Grounding may catalyze relief of anxiety more quickly than rheumatoid arthritis (RA) pain relief. Grounding helps create nervous system balance, and lessens stress, by inducing parasympathetic nervous system activity (relaxation response).
People with RA have reported experiencing moderate to significant pain relief and improved mobility after sleeping grounded for a few weeks (using grounding bed pads or sheets).
Q: I made a simplified grounding device from copper screening soldered and crimp connected to 14 guage copper wire and the other end of the wire ground connected to a copper cold water pipe in my apartment which showed in electrical testing to be a good ground. I am just beginning to try it out. I was nervous about using the old electrical system in my place to ground anything (3-wire late 1950s or early 60's wiring only partly updated). Any ideas or recommendations?
You can ground to a cold water pipe, to a ground rod (planted directly into the ground), or to the ground port (third hole) in a grounded electrical outlet, if, of course, it is grounded. You can use copper wire and wrap it around your ankle or wrist, or do what you are suggesting. But you may not find it comfortable, and we are not sure about what happens, toxicity-wise, with long exposure to oxidized copper.
As a general policy, in the interest of safety, HMDI does not recommend the use of homemade grounding devices. If you’re unsure as to whether your house is sufficiently grounded, you might have a professional grounding technician / electrician check your electrical ground system. More information about grounding devices may be found at Grounded.com.
Q: I was using a grounding mat and a grounding rod with a cord running outside, but started feeling very buzzed and often got flu-like symptoms afterwards. I am EMF sensitive - can you tell me why I feel this way when I ground?
Occasionally some “electro-sensitive” individuals report feeling strange energy (even a “buzz”) when they start grounding. The energy they feel when grounded is simply the natural, subtle, electric field that is eternally omnipresent on the surface of the Earth. If you walk barefoot on the ground your body receives that same energy. Although humans have evolved in direct physical contact with this energy throughout time, most people in our modern society are insulated from the Earth’s energy. We no longer walk barefoot on the ground. So reconnecting with the Earth’s energy can feel strange for some people, particularly if they are ultra sensitive. We generally describe this kind of reaction in non-electro-sensitive people as detoxification.
In most cases, this feeling is temporary, and goes away as the body becomes accustomed to the Earth’s natural energy. If the feeling is too uncomfortable, stop grounding. Resume, if you wish, in a day or two by spending 15 minutes or so barefoot outside or in contact with the Earthing mat inside your home. Then very slowly increase your exposure. In this way, you may be able to work your way gradually to using the Earthing mat longer. Just go slowly and at your own pace. Some electro-sensitive people have found that they receive positive benefits just from minimum exposure to Earthing. HMDI generally recommends that electro-sensitive people use a grounding rod (which is planted directly into the ground), as you are doing, rather than the grounding port in a 3-prong electrical outlet.
Q: This question is about grounding sheets. I had an electrician come to my home and ground my bedroom, so that the tester that comes with the bed sheet now tests grounded. My bedroom is not on the first floor, though; it is over a basement. Should I, instead, connect my sheets to a grounding rod that extends from my bedroom window, rather than use the grounded wall outlet in my bedroom.
A: It’s great to hear you are trying to sleep grounded! If the tester showed that your bedroom outlet is grounded, then you should be fine. Since the grounding rod is planted directly into the Earth, it is the closest means of accessing the Earth’s natural energy next to standing barefoot on the Earth’s surface. However, unless you are electro-sensitive or live in an ungrounded home, we recommend using a grounding device with a rod or outlet interchangeably.
Q: Will grounding help me recover from adrenal exhaustion? I have low cortisol...
A: Adrenal exhaustion can result from being chronically stressed, whether from work, financial problems, family issues, physical disease, insomnia, nutritional deficiencies, and other sources of psycho-emotional stress (i.e. excessive worry, fear, or anger). Our bodies are designed to react to acute stressors with a surge in adrenaline (epinephrine) and cortisol, which assist the body in the "flight or fight" sympathetic nervous system response. When acute stressors become chronic stressors and cortisol levels stay elevated, this puts pressure on the adrenal glands to produce more cortisol. Over time the adrenal glands get "burned out" and are not as effective in producing cortisol.
Grounding can certainly help one recover from adrenal exhaustion. By bringing the body into a more parasympathetic state, grounding can ease the stress on the adrenal glands. Sleeping grounded has been also shown to help normalize cortisol levels. Full recovery from adrenal exhaustion, though, will probably require integration of additional strategies such as stress reduction, nutraceutical therapies, developing a regular, manageable routine, and lots of sleep.
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I’m Integrative Cardiologist and Anti-Aging Specialist Stephen Sinatra. I think out of the box when dealing with health issues. That means I use what works best - conventional medicine, food, supplements, mind/body strategies, natural healing methods - to get the best results.
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