Earthing: The Most Important Health Discovery Ever?
by: Stephen Sinatra, M.D., F.A.C.C.
My Personal Experience
After meeting Clint Ober, I obtained one of the grounding sleep systems he had developed and started sleeping grounded. The difference was profound. My wife and I were both able to fall asleep faster. I still use that same pad to this day.
My exposure to Clint helped me understand things I hadn't really understood before. For years, I suffered with flare-ups of psoriasis, a common inflammatory condition of the skin. It would appear on my lower legs and elbows.
I had always noticed that whenever I would go bonefishing in Florida the psoriasis would virtually disappear for weeks afterward. I attributed that to being out in the sun, the vitamin D, the minerals in the salt water, and time off from the daily stresses of a busy cardiology practice.
I now realized that there was another reason for the improvement of the psoriasis. I was grounded, barefoot in salt water that is highly conductive. As I was fishing, I was simultaneously giving myself a treatment. Ever since I started sleeping grounded, the psoriasis has rarely appeared, and then very minimally.
I had another revelation related to certain patients coming back to their homes in Connecticut, where I practiced, after snowbirding in Florida over the winter months. These patients were taking the blood thinner Coumadin and after their return I had to reduce the level of medication. Their blood coagulability had changed.
I had always thought the change was simply a result of going from warm weather to cold weather. I was wrong. After I learned about Earthing, I realized that the reason for the change was because these patients were going barefoot for many hours during the day and swimming in the ocean or in concrete pools. They were grounding themselves!
Clint and I stayed in contact over the years as he continued to pursue scientific validation for his discovery. In 2008 he asked me to become involved in his research projects. The research was producing powerful results, he told me, and he wanted to have a cardiologist participate. I was happy to get on board because I felt there was great potential for Earthing as a simple and natural tool against heart disease. The two studies I have subsequently participated in opened my eyes even further as to how Earthing can be of great help, both therapeutically and preventively.
Calming the Nervous System Helps the Heart
If you reduce stress in your body you do your heart a big favor. Chronic stress triggers excessive stress hormones like cortisol and adrenaline. It also disturbs the balance between the sympathetic nervous system and the parasympathetic nervous system, the two branches of the autonomic nervous system (ANS).
Too much sympathetic "arousal"- from stress - overwhelms the calming influence of the parasympathetic nervous system. The result, among other things, is a heightened risk of hypertension, arrhythmias, and even sudden death. Clinically, we can determine sympathetic overdrive by measuring heart rate variability (HRV), the beat-to-beat alterations in heart rate. HRV represents an indicator of nervous system balance on heart function and simultaneously a yardstick of both acute and chronic stress.
Previous experiments had shown that grounded individuals experience a reduction in stress and a normalizing, balancing effect on ANS function. In 2008, I participated in an experiment to measure the effect of Earthing on HRV. In this new study, data from twenty-eight healthy men and women (average age of forty-eight) showed that Earthing improved HRV.
Each participant was measured for forty minutes grounded (via a common electrode patch placed on the bottom of the foot and connected via a wire to a ground rod outside) as well as ungrounded. The results produced additional evidence indicating Earthing's potential for balancing the nervous system and supporting heart health. The study has been accepted for publication in a medical journal.
Arrhythmias are frequently set off by worry, fear, emotional stress, and turmoil, situations that generate heightened sympathetic activity. One of the future studies I look forward to is measuring the effects of Earthing on arrhythmias. I have heard a number of anecdotes involving people whose irregular heart rhythms have improved when they slept grounded, but this needs to be investigated carefully.
Stephen Sinatra, MD, FACC, FACN, CNS, is a board-certified cardiologist and certified bioenergetic analyst with more than 35 years of experience in helping patients prevent and reverse heart disease. His specialty is integrative cardiology that combines conventional medical treatments with complementary nutritional and psychological therapies.
Now retired, Dr. Sinatra lectures widely on the metabolic approach to cardiovascular disease and electromedicine. His latest book is Earthing:The Most Important Health Discovery Ever? In it, he introduces the fascinating discovery of major health benefits resulting from direct physical contact with the Earth's natural, subtle electric energies.
Complimentary Earthing books and products were provided for evaluation purposes for a Q and A with Dr Sinatra on Earthing.