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Electrical Grounding: Is It Real?

Last Updated on: May 4, 2022

barefoot person standing in a field with dandelions

Grounding or earthing is the act of standing barefoot on the Earth’s surface and absorbing the free electrons that the Earth emits. In this article, we discuss the science behind grounding, the health benefits related to grounding, and what products can give you the same effects as grounding.


You know that wonderful feeling when you’re outside on a warm, spring afternoon? You slip off your shoes and walk barefoot through the crisp cool grass. Well, there may be more to the good feelings you get than just a regular release of serotonin. When your feet connect with the Earth’s surface, an exchange in electrons takes place which, in scientific terms, is referred to as grounding.

two woman working at a desk inside an office


Grounding (also referred to as earthing) refers to making contact with the Earth’s surface electrons. The effects of grounding are often achieved by walking barefoot outside. Researchers say that “emerging scientific research supports the concept that the Earth’s electrons induce multiple physiological changes of clinical significance.” (1) These physiological changes often include decreased oxidative stress, fatigue, and pain. Knowing the effects the earth’s electrons have on our bodies can significantly impact our daily lives. Incorporating grounding can increase our energy levels and decrease the pain we feel in our day-to-day lives.

The guiding theory behind grounding is centered around the living matrix, the central connectors between living cells. According to Healthline: “Electrical conductivity exists within the matrix that functions as an immune system defense, similar to antioxidants. They believe that through grounding, the natural defenses of the body can be restored.” (2) In simple terms, our cells create an electrical matrix that, over time, becomes damaged by what we eat, lack of sleep, etc. Touching the Earth’s surface helps to restore that matrix and increase our health.

person walking barefoot in the forest


Researchers have found that there are many health benefits to natural or simulated grounding. In a six-week study done on individuals with physically demanding jobs, researchers found a decrease in side effects associated with the participants’ jobs, including fatigue, depression, tiredness, and pain. Researchers concluded that the study indicated “improvements in inflammatory biomarkers, blood viscosity, and heart rate variability (HRV).” (3)

Grounding can also help release oxidative stress — the leading cause of most diseases. Oxidative stress is caused when there is an abundance of free radicals in the human body. Advocates for grounding state that the benefits of grounding come from the free electrons produced from the Earth’s surface. The free electrons we get from grounding help to balance the charge of electron-deficient free radicals.

Another benefit that comes from grounding is it helps to protect against electromagnetic fields (EMFs). EMFs are released from all of the electronic devices we use on a daily basis (cellphones, laptops, Wi-Fi routers, etc.). Side effects of EMFs include headaches, dulled concentration, fatigue, low energy, and sleep disturbance. EMFs disturb our natural electrical communication. According to Groundology, “By being grounded to the Earth we greatly reduce the levels of these induced voltages [EMFs], as we are then effectively shielded by the Earth’s large electrical mass.” (4)

Grounding can also help with your exercise routine. In a pilot study done on healthy young men to investigate the effects of grounding and eccentric contractions, results showed “shortened duration of pain, reduced creatine kinase (CK), and differences in blood parameters.” Researches also noted that “Grounding significantly reduced the loss of CK from the injured muscles indicating reduced muscle damage.” (5) High levels or creatine kinase can indicate muscle damage or disease. (6)


Grounding Sleep Mats: Many people believe that the best time for grounding is while you sleep because you will get six to eight hours of uninterrupted grounding throughout your whole body, and grounding provides additional healing effects during the time when your body does most of its healing. (7) Typical grounding mats connect via wire to the ground port of an electrical outlet. (8) You have to be careful with grounding mats though, because they are connected to a man-made electrical source (not a natural source). As a result, they can often omit EMFs, which means the grounding mats could do more damage than good.

Grounding Patches: Grounding patches are often used on certain areas of pain, inflammation or injury. A grounding patch will provide a concentrated flow of electrons to the affected area. Grounding patches can be used during the day or at night while you sleep. A major benefit to grounding patches is that they are portable and can be used wherever you can find a grounded outlet. The downside is that they do have to be plugged in for use, which does not make them ideal for traveling. (9)

Qi Shield™: The Qi Shield™ by Waveguard creates its own electrical field that emits electrons similar to the ones emitted from the Earth. When you hold the Qi Shield™ for just one minute each day, it will give you the same grounding effects as standing barefoot on the Earth’s surface. Another major benefit of the Qi Shield™ is that it protects against EMFs. Qi Devices™ create protective areas that depolarize and reduce EMF exposure, making it biologically safe. The benefits of using a Qi Shield™ are two-fold. Not only are you getting the free electrons but you are also being protected on a cellular level. (10)

person walking barefoot in a field with dandelions


While there are few researchers that have studied the effects that touching the Earth’s surface has on the human body, the studies that have been conducted have seen positive effects of grounding (earthing). The best way to know if something works is to try it for yourself. Make it a priority to get out and touch the Earth every day. Or purchase one of the products listed above and see the healing effect for yourself.

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