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Grounding the Body for Health

01/24/2012 3:57 PM

I have been trying out grounding my body for health effects. I am using a grounding mat sold and recommended by Clinton Ober and co authors of Earthing. The theoretical basis for this is that we evolved in contact with the earth and its flow of negative ions. Now we are living out of contact with this source of negative ions, and inundated with a lot of electrical waves that emanate from our homes, offices, power lines etc. I am using this grounding mat at my computer, where, I spend about eight hours per day during the winter at least. My wife suffers from fibromyalgia. The theory behind "earthing" is that it can reduce inflammation, and enable the body to heal itself more effectively. The grounding mats are connected to the ground of a normal three prong electrical outlet. No electricity is involved aside from the ground. A receptacle tester is included with the mat, as is his book. I am a retired psychiatric RN, and am aware of the medical use of many electrical treatment devices. Has anyone encountered this theory, or anything similar? Would ordinary grounding devices used to protect electronics provide the same grounding? We also live next to high power lines. I suffer from normal aches and pains, plus dry eyes and inflammation of the eyelids. I have also had rare incidents of atrial fibrilation that have been diagnosed by a cardiac electrophysiologist. So far I notice some improvement, and seem more alert and somewhat calmer. I realize that this could be the power of suggestion- the placebo effect. I think that anyone interested in electrophysiology should read this book.

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#1

Re: Grounding the Body for Health

01/24/2012 4:08 PM

So, this explains why primitive man suffered no maladies?

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#27
In reply to #1

Re: Grounding the Body for Health

01/25/2012 12:33 PM

Good find. What would Mr. Spock say.

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#43
In reply to #1

Re: Grounding the Body for Health

01/30/2012 11:08 PM

because they were nude?

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#2

Re: Grounding the Body for Health

01/24/2012 4:26 PM

Grounding for negative ions? Well with a $5 device I could give you more negative ions than you could possibly handle my friend, no grounding required. Does that make me a doctor? S.M.

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Anonymous Poster #1
#3

Re: Grounding the Body for Health

01/24/2012 4:32 PM

I agree with the covers forehead with hand response, but I have something for you to consider.

The people who work on the high voltage power lines hang off of said lines and the entire platform they are on becomes at the voltage of the lines, but the potential difference is small so they are ok. If they were to be grounded the power would go through them, and they would die.

So if said electrical power and waves are floating around in the air and while ungrounded you are charged to their level, then by grounding a part of yourself the power in the air now has a path to flow through you. This would increase the potential across your skin and body and the effects there of and not decrease it.

So in conclusion if you want to waste money, instead of a mat, go buy yourself a Faraday cage to sit in whilst at your desk.

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#6
In reply to #3

Re: Grounding the Body for Health

01/24/2012 5:14 PM

Well You may well be right, but closed minds seldom discover new things. Who would think that electroshock therapy would be effective at reducing severe depression. Why would I submit myself to ridicule? Because I figure that somebody might have something valuable to contribute. At least you present an argument. I have lost a lot of squirrels to the transformers near my house. Singed fur told the story. Today the transformers were replaced with a newer version. Progress goes on, but not without questioning traditional wisdom.

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#8
In reply to #6

Re: Grounding the Body for Health

01/24/2012 5:48 PM

Well I do believe that the placebo effect is one of the strongest medicines available to the human kind, so perhaps not as big a waste of money for you.

My point was that a faraday cage would be better at doing what you are looking for than a mat. You could make something simple and cheap with a wood frame and some aluminum screen or chicken wire. Better yet just line the walls floor and ceiling of a room in your house with a wire screen and connect it to ground, then you have an EMF/RF safe room to relax in.

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#11
In reply to #8

Re: Grounding the Body for Health

01/24/2012 6:45 PM

I would feel really silly sitting in a Faraday cage, but wouldn't mind having one for some of my electronics. Earthing is a proactive theory. The electrical interference is a secondary issue. I am over my head on this, I will admit that. I understand that a metal garbage can is good for a " Faraday cage."

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#13
In reply to #11

Re: Grounding the Body for Health

01/24/2012 11:28 PM

Try putting the Garbage can on your head, whilst sitting on the mat, inside the Faraday cage.

Might work??,,then again it might not, just be sure to post some pictures !!

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#4

Re: Grounding the Body for Health

01/24/2012 4:40 PM

I say, if you think it works for you and it doesn't harm anyone, why not do it.

And I'm one of the biggest skeptics on the planet.

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#5

Re: Grounding the Body for Health

01/24/2012 5:04 PM

Sounds like BS, but without scientific study I can't form an opinion...There seem to be a lot of believers, but that means little...What ever works for you I think is the best course of action....

http://www.spiritualityhealth.com/magazine/2011-march-april/barefoot-healing.html

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#7
In reply to #5

Re: Grounding the Body for Health

01/24/2012 5:42 PM

The Earthing book presents some initial scientific studies. The inflammation over response theory is widely accepted. Usually with dietary measures suggested. Not acceptable to me because the diet includes all my favorite foods. I am mainly looking at this because of my wife's fibromyalgia. I would like to see her get some relief. I have studied the normal treatments. Massage seems to be the best treatment so far.

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#35
In reply to #7

Re: Grounding the Body for Health

01/26/2012 1:39 PM

I'm sorry for your wife's suffering.

My view is to try all reasonable things (and sometimes, even unreasonable, for the very reason that there is no study + or - to make a decision by). There are many who swear that, "whatever," worked for them. In most cases, it can only be termed "anecdotal." The placebo effect is real, which as whole subject in and of itself. "Why?" for instance. The main thing is to alleviate the suffering. Pay no attention to scoffs unless you have experience yourself that the said treatment doesn't help. Experience trumps hypothetical considerations.

In that vein, just one suggestion is that you investigate and, possibly, try the Lypo-Spheric form of vitamin C. Fibromyalgia, may be allied to a number of similar diseases. Rheumatoid arthritis, for instance, has been shown to respond to low-dose antibiotic treatments. It was initially investigated (actually tried) because Dr. Thomas Brown had the idea that the RA symptoms seemed very similar to Lyme disease symptoms. It took a long time and effort by advocates before NIH studies were finally attempted, but results were positive.

I was diagnosed with possible RA back in 2001, with "then" blood tests. Things have no doubt advanced some. My RA factor was high but not high enough to determine whether it was definitely RA or possibly Lupus. At any rate, I decided I could test Dr. Brown's theory on the cheap with raw garlic. I was using Ibuprofen to control the pain at the time. Over a couple of weeks the pain gradually lessened and I got rid of the pain medication. I still have occasional flare-ups because I also found I didn't have to eat the garlic indefinitely. (You'll see the Brown protocol, while, sometimes lengthy, isn't forever, either.) The Lypo-Spheric form of C is compiling impressive anecdotal evidence for many viral infections, as well as toxins, such as snake venom.

So, please... try all the things that seem reasonable to you. Don't worry about the judgment of others. It's your wife's pain and suffering you care about removing. Let experience be your guide. And since we are variable in our body's needs in many cases, what does work for one person may or may not work for another. All treatments, including pharmaceuticals work this way, whether natural or synthetic.

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#39
In reply to #35

Re: Grounding the Body for Health

01/26/2012 2:07 PM

Thanks for your concern. My wife is a nurse practitioner, but one of those people who does not worry about herself enough. You know the type. So I try to fill in the gaps with holistic approaches, which I am very interested in. As long as they are economical, and can do no harm, I will consider them. So far, massage is the most helpful. Anectdotal evidence came long before the scientific method. Sometimes it is totally worthless, but sometimes valuable. Sometimes methods can work, but for an unknown reason. Many medications that physicians subscribe are more beneficial for the placebo effect than the actual effect. Sometimes medications invented for one malady are actually found to work much better for some totally unintended one! The most important part of science is seeking answers. That does not always entail large and costly studies. Peer reviewed science is sometimes politically correct, more so than actually correct.

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#40
In reply to #39

Re: Grounding the Body for Health

01/26/2012 3:59 PM

You are welcome. Good luck! I look forward to some feedback from you on what other modalities help your wife... or don't. All data is valuable.

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#20
In reply to #5

Re: Grounding the Body for Health

01/25/2012 8:48 AM

Thanks for the link. earthing.com works to get to the retail site. Hope you enjoyed the article. I wish everyone would take a look at this short and well written article.

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#9

Re: Grounding the Body for Health

01/24/2012 6:06 PM

You wrote, "Has anyone encountered this theory, or anything similar?"

No.

I do not put much (if any stock in these claims). As a nurse you are well aware that for any such claims to have any validity they need to go through a clinical trial process and peer review.

Since this has not happened (probably due to no sponsors or supporting data for the claim) I don't feel the that Ober's theory is well grounded (pun intended).

As a nurse and someone that has been taught the scientific method, how do substantiate Ober's claims in your own mind?

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#10
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Re: Grounding the Body for Health

01/24/2012 6:38 PM

Clinton Ober has an electrical background, he has a board certified cardiologist, as a co-author. Dr. Stephen Sinatra MD. I am familiar with the importance of the atrial node of the heart and its operations. Since it might be my weakest link, all such things interest me. I am not a scientist, and realize that there is no definitive proof. I do not have the knowledge that other CR4 members possess, so I am just on a search for knowledge, and progress. Nothing is accomplished without working at it. People pursue many blind alleys to improve their health. Many common beliefs are false. I believe that an open mind is most helpful in examining all sides of issues.

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#12
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Re: Grounding the Body for Health

01/24/2012 6:52 PM

You wrote, "People pursue many blind alleys to improve their health."

This is true and all are based on faith just like religion.

However, medical science is not based on faith. Regardless of the credentials of Dr. Ober he still needs to present his findings in a testable and scientific way for them to be taken seriously. Simply stating something is true does not make it so.

As a trained nurse you should be questioning Ober's statements with a critical eye. For me, my first question is where is the peer reviewed data?

Without that it is most likely pathological science.

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#23
In reply to #12

Re: Grounding the Body for Health

01/25/2012 10:01 AM

One could check this claim by doing a health survey of the electronic industry workers who are working in electrostatic "grounded" environment. They usually ware ground strips at their wrists and ankles.

Are they healthier then the rest of us?

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#25
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Re: Grounding the Body for Health

01/25/2012 12:15 PM

That is a good idea. There are always a lot of problems in designing such studies. It would probably be worthy of a grant however. There is certainly no big profit potential in grounding itself. The low cost of some types of preventive medicine is also often what makes it most difficult to promote. A good marketer, could make a bundle with special shoes etc. There are a few marketers, but the ease of DIY methods prevents abuse. The costs are relatively low.

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#68
In reply to #12

Re: Grounding the Body for Health

02/07/2012 5:04 AM

Science does not imply anything is true or untrue...but concepts do have measured validity. To imply this concept is not true is just not scientific! When we stop exploring, we are in deep trouble!

It bothers me to read critical comments/put-downs (that is commonly what some ~ not all ~ "frequent posters" do) and then note that others give them them "good answer" ratings. This criticism is not directed to you as I usually enjoy your comments.

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#71
In reply to #68

Re: Grounding the Body for Health

02/15/2012 7:35 PM

Thanks, I try to let it fly over my head, but it does get discouraging at times. I do find it humorous that scoffers think they are wise when they have no idea what they are talking about.

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#73
In reply to #68

Re: Grounding the Body for Health

02/16/2012 10:47 AM

I am having some trouble parsing this.

When you say "To imply this concept is not true is just not scientific!," to what concept are you referring? You could be referring to "Science does not imply anything it true or untrue..." or you could be referring to some concept in the AH post, or perhaps in the original post. Standard writing structure would have "this concept" refer to the closest previous concept, namely that "Science does not imply..."

Although it may bother you to read critical comments, do you agree that critical thinking is essential to the advancement of civilization. Is it reasonable to say that little is to be gained by uncritical acceptance of any proposal, no matter how ludicrous the proposal? Can one say that all ideas are not equivalent? Are you saying that critical comments should not be given good answer votes?

I think that in common parlance (and in the lingo of philosophy), scientists can say that something is true or not. A scientist can say that it is not true that M = FA, but that it is true the F = MA. Agreed?

This page gives a reasonable summary of the difference between truth and validity, I think. Do you agree with the concepts as Suber presents them?

You say that you usually enjoy AH's comments. Are you saying that you enjoy the one to which you replied here, or that you found it "critical", an exception to his usual comments, and that it therefore bothered you?

You can see, perhaps, how I find your post a little circuitous, on several levels. In one sentence, you say "It bothers me to read critical comments..." In the very next sentence you say "This criticism..." a clear admission that you own comment is critical.

On another level: you say "This criticism is not directed to you," but you have posted it in response to AH's post, and you appear to be speaking to him.

Do you agree that the relevant science emphatically implies that perpetual motion machines do not work? Can the statement "Perpetual motion machines do not work." be evaluated for truth?

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#77
In reply to #73

Re: Grounding the Body for Health

02/17/2012 3:06 AM

I think he was referring to responses like #1 and #3.

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#80
In reply to #77

Re: Grounding the Body for Health

02/17/2012 12:33 PM

But #1 and #3 are very different responses, one intentionally humorous and no doubt incredulous, and the other well-reasoned: grounding your body can indeed be a lethal choice, even in a home setting.

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#81
In reply to #80

Re: Grounding the Body for Health

02/17/2012 1:24 PM

Almost anyone realizes that being grounded could be dangerous. Therefore do not walk barefooted anywhere, stay out of the lake, bathtub, swimming pool etc. Your logic, is humorous.

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#82
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Re: Grounding the Body for Health

02/17/2012 4:51 PM

Your logic, is humorous.
Glad I was able to brighten up your day.

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#14

Re: Grounding the Body for Health

01/25/2012 12:16 AM

"Has anyone encountered this theory, or anything similar?"

Yes, I have.

A local company only hired electricians with a grounded butt and an insulated brain......

Seriously, whatever works for you, works.

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#19
In reply to #14

Re: Grounding the Body for Health

01/25/2012 8:37 AM

Well at least you have a job.

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#34
In reply to #19

Re: Grounding the Body for Health

01/26/2012 10:44 AM

Actually, I didn't get the job.The resistance between head and arse was beyond the range of their instrumentation, even using the Siemens scale.

They said I was overqualified, perhaps I would do well as a government agency supervisor, or a politician.

I finally got a job with BP,and "I just want my life back!"

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#15

Re: Grounding the Body for Health

01/25/2012 5:48 AM

Keeping an open mind now....(admittedly struggling with this one)

Ron, can you describe this mat and its application in more detail to us? Material, size, where it's placed relative to you, whether you are clothed and shod or barefoot and naked......

The mat, the patient and their physical relationship to each other can be modeled electrically. Once we know what we are exposing or shielding or shunting we could then decide/determine/hope what effect that might have.

You mentioned electro convulsive therapy as a comparison. The physical effects of it are obvious and measurable, Any therapeutic effects are not wildly beyond the realm of rational possibilities. But this passive earth mat.....dunno, that's a tough sell.

How did you feel before and after? Can you try to describe it?

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#18
In reply to #15

Re: Grounding the Body for Health

01/25/2012 8:36 AM

There is no patent I am aware of. A simple grounding rod can be used, with wire. The wire for the mat is a thin one and connects to the grounding plug of an electrical receptacle. A receptacle checker is provided, to make sure the receptacle is grounded. The mat is rubberized but comes with a conductive cover. My mat cost under $70 on Amazon.com, with the book. There are also half sheets for beds, and other products. None are expensive. I just sit at my laptop and have my feet rest on the mat. At night I put it on the bed where it can touch my feet. It is about 3ft by 1ft. A grounding rod and strap around the wrist would suffice. Probably not a good idea in a thunder storm though.

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#16

Re: Grounding the Body for Health

01/25/2012 7:53 AM

Wouldn't walking around outside barefoot, or better yet, going for a swim work just as well, or better. Maybe time to join the Y and jump in the pool once in a while.

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#17
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Re: Grounding the Body for Health

01/25/2012 8:24 AM

That is the first recommendation you are right on. Around , here chiggers will destroy your feet, even with DEET. Real moccasins are recommended.Perspiration keeps them damp enough to allow conductivity outside. Being in the water is also noted as being invigorating. We did evolve from the sea. Our normal plasma salinity is similar to sea water. Health "nuts" have advocated your solution for a long time. The book tells of many stories. Norwegian carpenters would walk barefoot in the grass before working, in order to protect their joints from the heavy work. A fisherman who grounds himself, compares it to fishing in the Florida flats. I noticed this effect last time I went out and speared an Asian Carp.

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#21

Re: Grounding the Body for Health

01/25/2012 9:32 AM

Having my feet planted firmly on the ground feels pretty good after clambering down from a 50m tower. Could I be feeling "the effect"?

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#22
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Re: Grounding the Body for Health

01/25/2012 9:38 AM

Reminds me of getting off a ship after a week at sea.

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#24

Re: Grounding the Body for Health

01/25/2012 10:34 AM

I too am skeptical, but willing to learn new things...

After 22 replies, no one has responded to a couple of your points.

First, as far as grounding is concerned, yes. The standard workbench and/or floor mat used where people work on static-sensitive devices is connected the same way as your device, except that they normally include a high value resistance in the grounding line. This resistance carries enough current to neutralize static generation, but not enough to injure you if you happen to touch a hot 120V line. If your device does not include such a resistance, then you are placing yourself in grave danger!

As someone implied, unless some of your bare skin is touching a conductive part of this mat, then you are not grounded. People who work as above wear either wrist or ankle straps in addition to the bench and floor mats.

Second, regarding our distant ancestors: As soon as our ancestors started moving away from the tropics, they will have begun to use some form of insulating material between them and the ground, especially for sleeping. Whether this was dry grass, animal pelts, or whatever; virtually all materials that are good heat insulators are also good electrical insulators. Thus at least for those of us who come from northern origins, our ancestors have not been grounded for millennia.

If you spend eight hours a day at your computer, the most important thing you can do is get up and walk around frequently!

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#26
In reply to #24

Re: Grounding the Body for Health

01/25/2012 12:31 PM

Thanks for your points and info. On the second part, the author states that grounding was present until we got away from leather soles. Also that leather ground cloths conducted electricity when damp, as when shoes are damp. Feet sweat a lot, so leather soled shoes might have allowed conduction through the moisture. I plan on buying a pair of old fashioned moccasins for summer use. Also grounding some old shoes. It can't hurt, unless I get caught in a lightning storm. I have wondered what would happen if I couldn't get off the lake and lightning struck the lake while I was in my plastic kayak. The paddle handle is metal. Some of my fondest memories were times when I was lying on the grass, maybe the electrical potential was a factor. Check out earthing.com for details.

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#41
In reply to #24

Re: Grounding the Body for Health

01/29/2012 10:23 AM

"If you spend eight hours a day at your computer, the most important thing you can do is get up and walk around frequently!"

Precisely my first thought! IMO poor diet choices and activity habits are the biggest problems facing modern humans today.

While the studies appear to show some statistical correlation between grounding and measured physiological changes, it is important to understand that correlation is not necessarily causation. I'm personally skeptical of these kinds of experiments until the results are successfully replicated over larger population groups. The good thing about this particular idea is that it is inexpensive to personally implement and it is very unlikely to cause any negative physiological effects (if the right resistor is used;-)

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#42
In reply to #41

Re: Grounding the Body for Health

01/29/2012 3:46 PM

I totally agree. I may go out kayaking tomorrow. It is supposed to be mostly sunny and 54 degrees. I will be wearing a wet suit etc. for safety. Results of trying this so far is reduced rate of inflammation of my eyes. My mother had dry eyes, so I think it is a genetic trait.

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#85
In reply to #41

Re: Grounding the Body for Health

02/20/2012 2:43 PM

I have replaced my chair with a 65 cm. exercise ball. Something that is also very controversial. Kayaking uses the core muscles, primarily, in paddling. The core muscles are stressed with the exercise ball. The core muscles also support the spine, and help prevent injuries or weakness in the spinal column. Small movements are frequently made which partially includes the hips and legs as well as the torso. A soon as it warms up a little bit, I will be out pruning my orchard, planting more trees, and gardening. Your post helped me to decide on the exercise ball! Criticism is sometimes helpful.

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#28

Re: Grounding the Body for Health

01/25/2012 12:38 PM

Is this possibly the reason that when I am barefoot on the beach, in the surf, on holiday, I feel so much better?

I sleep better, eat less and feel great!!

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#29
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Re: Grounding the Body for Health

01/25/2012 1:02 PM

Or... you could live in Florida. I can't claim any barefoot medical benefits, but I do launder less socks.

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#30
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Re: Grounding the Body for Health

01/25/2012 2:09 PM

Probably so. I think that we are meant to spend more time in the water, where we started out. I grew up in California and used to go body surfing. Nothing better. Now I kayak. Good to hear from you again. Auf Wiederhoren.

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#31
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Re: Grounding the Body for Health

01/25/2012 2:20 PM

Danke gleich fals!!

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#36
In reply to #28

Re: Grounding the Body for Health

01/26/2012 1:42 PM

Yes, I think it's common sense. (Negative ion proponents would also say your getting a good does of those at the beach.) Explanations can come later. If it works for you, why wait for studies?

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#38
In reply to #36

Re: Grounding the Body for Health

01/26/2012 1:46 PM

I had completely forgotten the negative ion near the sea, thanks for reminding me.....

So I guess you get both, Ions and grounding.......

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#32

Re: Grounding the Body for Health

01/25/2012 7:24 PM

Hi Ron,

I had a look at PubMed and found a couple of published studies - just in the last couple of years. These are preliminary works which do indicate measurable biological effects of grounding. It is easy to do a double blind study - they put the ground wire or gear on both groups of patients, but only one group is actually connected to ground.

The largest set of experiments with also the largest groups of research subjects was done by these authors in Poland, http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21469913. The full study can also be read at the NLM, it's linked in the upper right corner of the abstract. They looked at quite a wide range of biochemical markers and found statistically significant differences in grounded and ungrounded groups.

There's also a small study of the effects on cortisol http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15650465 and a pilot study of effects on delayed onset muscle soreness http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20192911 and one study on parameters such as pulse, heartrate etcetera http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20064020 . All of these studies reported positive results. It remains to be seen whether these results are replicated in larger studies and by other researchers, but you needn't feel foolish for giving a try.

Although it's not patentable or profitable for a big corporation to pursue, the research is relatively inexpensive to do, has a low risk profile to the participants, and is easy to double blind. So the research might actually get done on this one... I hope it works!

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#33
In reply to #32

Re: Grounding the Body for Health

01/25/2012 9:35 PM

Thanks for your help on this! I see that there is a great deal written on the subject, as I expected. It just has not attracted a lot of research money. The techniques do not offer much in the way of great monetary profits. Some of the techniques go back thousands of years. Tennantinstitute.com offers a wide variety of information. Dr. Tennant is the author of the book (The Body Electric.)

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#37
In reply to #33

Re: Grounding the Body for Health

01/26/2012 1:43 PM

Just my opinion, but you are headed in good directions.

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#83
In reply to #32

Re: Grounding the Body for Health

02/20/2012 12:08 PM

Thanks for your nice, appropriate response! I appreciate your positive contributions on this site.

It is people like Ron (comprehending that we all have weaknesses in our range of knowledge ) and you who stimulate research and learning. Discovering something has or lacks validity (scientific method when possible) is what makes science education "tick". I can understand a little humor (what's with the "good answer" though) and respectful critique once in a while but not at the expense of inhibiting a wider range of individuals (I agree some do need positive help in their research and learning process) using this site.

Thanks ~ I gave you a "good answer" rating.

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#84
In reply to #83

Re: Grounding the Body for Health

02/20/2012 1:44 PM

You're welcome, and I'm glad you enjoy my input. This is just one of those cases where my preconceptions turned out to be wrong, when I looked for a peer-reviewed basis for an opinion. This is what I love about the internet - you've got your fingers right in the library....

I've learned a lot of unexpected things by participating in this site, so it's (potentially) useful as well as amusing. No regrets about that!

cheers.

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#86
In reply to #84

Re: Grounding the Body for Health

02/20/2012 3:32 PM

I was researching incus opella? Are you brooding over the sink? toilet? Thanks again for your research. I was working nights for twenty years. Never had much trouble sleeping, but many do. Apparently the grounding is good for insomnia.

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#44

Re: Grounding the Body for Health

01/31/2012 10:49 AM

I would caution you that grounding your body increases your risk of lethal electric shock. It is an OSHA requirement that industrial workers wear shoes with insulating soles. Some old incorrectly wired appliances can have a hot chassis -- and if you are grounded the current passes through you.

But otherwise, if it makes you feel better, it seems very unlikely to cause any harm.

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#45
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Re: Grounding the Body for Health

01/31/2012 11:48 AM

I was more concerned about lightning strikes. There is a fuse in the product and it runs on a line about the size of a speaker wire. The inventor was very aware of all these possibilities. He was one of the first wave of cable television installers I will do some more research on this issue. I live in a modern house, with modern appliances. Thanks for your concern. It could be more dangerous if home made by a novice like me. I remember thinking my deer fence wasn't working, and then found out I had to take my shoes off to test it.

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#46
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Re: Grounding the Body for Health

01/31/2012 3:30 PM

If lightning jumps thousands of feet through the air, is the 1" gap inside a fuse really going to stop it?

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#47
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Re: Grounding the Body for Health

01/31/2012 4:25 PM

It would be filtered through the earth and the electrical lines. Also the wire is very small, and connects to a rubberized mat with a cloth covering which is conductive. You tell me the answer. You know a lot more about it than I do. I have heard you shouldn't be on the phone or touch plumbing etc during a lightning storm. I am not that worried about it. Are you? You seem to know it all. The inventor is very smart man, but maybe you are smarter.

I have just heard it claimed that submariners and astronauts always use negative ion generators. Also that forced air systems strip nearly all the negative ions out of a house. Which might explain why we prefer our natural gas heating stove, aside from not heating the part of the house not being used. I have also learned that negative ion generators are used to decrease bacteria and especially in burn wards for that purpose. They probably are superstitious, and may even believe in God. That would really offend your sensibilities I know.

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#48
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Re: Grounding the Body for Health

01/31/2012 5:00 PM

Well, your previous post stated you were worried about lightning. Now you just said you were not really worried. I am not sure what you are worried about.

Personally, I would not be worried about lightning and I live in Florida. I would not not set up one of these devices under a tree in a thunderstorm, but I would not be under a tree in a thunder storm anyway.

I think that the claim that negative ion generators are used by NASA space crafts and submarines may be true for the purpose of cleansing the air of dust particles, but I can find nothing on the NASA web site where they were employed for health benefits (unless you consider dust scrubbing helpful, which it is).

This is the problem with many of these web sites that claim health benefits and cite NASA and submarines as the benefactor. The actual reasons they are used is for air scrubbing, which is a little misleading.

However, we have both stated our position on this and I don't need to rehash the argument. As others have stated, you should do what makes you happy, which is one of the fundamentals of life's purposes.

I know good beer makes me happy and I might just raid the refrigerator later this evening. ;-)

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#51
In reply to #48

Re: Grounding the Body for Health

01/31/2012 5:25 PM

The beer sounds good. You forgot to mention the use in burn wards. The negative ions in greater concentration supposedly help in killing off bacteria, reducing pain, and improving mood. I am not making any claims, just in the experimental stage. Using the word experimental loosely. Will continue studying the issue.

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#54
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Re: Grounding the Body for Health

01/31/2012 7:18 PM
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#55
In reply to #54

Re: Grounding the Body for Health

01/31/2012 8:47 PM

Good find. There actually is a fairly long paper trail on these types of findings and conjectures with negative ions. I hope it is very effectual since antibiotic overuse has destroyed their effectiveness with many organisms. India recently reported a new strain of tuberculosis that is completely resistant to antibiotics. We are dealing with several that are nearly so.

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#50
In reply to #46

Re: Grounding the Body for Health

01/31/2012 5:07 PM

You beat me to it!!!

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#52
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Re: Grounding the Body for Health

01/31/2012 5:30 PM

We have a lot of thunderstorms around here. I will have to find out more about them. Had a lightning strike about 50 feet from my bedroom, but we were gone and a huge oak fell. I used to live in an old three story house with an elaborate lightning rod. I was told the lightning rod was of no value. I hear all kinds of things about staying off the phone etc. Have lived here 25 years. Most of the time people who are directly struck by lightning seem to survive, though with temporary or permanent damage.

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#49
In reply to #45

Re: Grounding the Body for Health

01/31/2012 5:07 PM

I remember thinking my deer fence wasn't working, and then found out I had to take my shoes off to test it.

Damn good job the deer can't read, or they would have been wearing your plastic/rubber shoes and going wherever they wanted to!!!

Full leather shoes, especially leather soles, in my limited experience, let the fence be tested without needing to take them off.....

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#56
In reply to #45

Re: Grounding the Body for Health

02/02/2012 4:06 PM

In the US more people die from 120V shocks than from industrial levels. And obviously, far more people die from 120V shocks than from lighting strikes. A fuse offers no protection at all from either: in the lightning case, the spark will jump the gap even if the fuse in blown. In the 120V case, the fuse amperage rating is almost certainly higher that the very small fraction of an amp required to kill you.

I too live in a modern house, but have found sockets wired incorrectly. I'd think if you are aware of the potential hazards and are careful, you'd be fine.

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#57
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Re: Grounding the Body for Health

02/02/2012 4:32 PM

Thanks. This is over my pay grade. I just don't see how a tiny wire similar to a speaker wire can conduct that much electricity, after going through a rubberized mat, and covered by a conductive fabric. Of course I wouldn't use it during a thunderstorm. I am very cautious around electricity, and realize it is very dangerous. I just am not educated on all the factors involved. I do realize that the human body can be very fragile, or very tough, depending on the exact insult to the body. I will have to bow to the wisdom of the CR4 group, and try to educate myself more on this. When I was an nineteen year old army medic, I used to help hold patients, when they were given electric shock therapy. This would cause a grand mal seizure. Today they use a much smaller current and the seizure is barely noticeable. I do not think it is as effective however.

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#58
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Re: Grounding the Body for Health

02/02/2012 4:52 PM

The thickness of a wire dictates only the maximum current that may flow. But as you are only taking any charge away to ground, the current will be so tiny that conventional meters will probably not show any current flow at all.....therefore a thin wire is as good as a thick one in such cases.......

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#59
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Re: Grounding the Body for Health

02/02/2012 9:27 PM

"I just don't see how a tiny wire similar to a speaker wire can conduct that much electricity, after going through a rubberized mat, and covered by a conductive fabric."

It's not entirely clear what you mean by "that much". I suspect you mean "enough electricity to be dangerous".

It is current that is dangerous, although there can no dangerous current without sufficient voltage to generate the current. A small speaker wire can carry several Amperes of current; heavier speaker wires can carry several tens of Amperes. The amount of current that is dangerous can vary immensely depending on how and where the person makes contact, and even from person to person, but in all cases it is a small fraction of an Ampere (on the order of a few thousandths of an Ampere), so yes, that tiny wire can be dangerous!

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#60
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Re: Grounding the Body for Health

02/02/2012 9:48 PM

I do not doubt whatever any of you say. I am just trying to understand it. I was once careless installing a new 220 plug on a dryer and caused an enormous spark. Scared the hell out of me. I am surprised I have never heard of anyone killing themselves jumping a car battery. I think I always thought that larger wires were much more dangerous. Such as when I have squirrels die on our transformers. I appreciate your comments.

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#61
In reply to #60

Re: Grounding the Body for Health

02/03/2012 7:28 AM

Your appreciation of electricity is not accurate. There are plenty of tutorials on the web to get you up to speed......try looking for something like "Electricity 101" or similar....

It is true that thicker wire can carry more current "safely", but a thin wire under the same circumstances will "try" and carry the same current, causing it to maybe get very hot, fry the insulation or even to cause it to "Fuse", which is exactly how a fuse works.....

Many people do not put plugs on properly, or forget to make sure that the device is switched off before plugging it in or out of a socket.....maybe that is what happened to you.

You owe it to your family to either learn about electricity properly, or leave it completely alone.....make your choice.

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#62
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Re: Grounding the Body for Health

02/03/2012 12:28 PM

I fully intend to do that. I have heard so many stories about electricians who just touch bulb sockets or wires to see if they are working etc. I have accidentally gotten a couple of shocks. Have tried arcade games that shock etc. It is really quite confusing to me. I will ask the manufacturer of the grounding pad for more information on safety also. Heating pads always made me wonder too. In the hospital people are often hooked up to electrodes. I don't understand the difference.

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#63
In reply to #62

Re: Grounding the Body for Health

02/03/2012 12:35 PM

It is no more dangerous than lying on a bed with a metal frame....

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#64
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Re: Grounding the Body for Health

02/03/2012 12:46 PM

the difference is isolation from the high current potential

you will find that the grounding device, has a current limiting resistor/device

another common scheme is a transformer, the secondary windings can only transmit so much current

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#65
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Re: Grounding the Body for Health

02/03/2012 9:32 PM

Thanks! I was afraid that I had totally broken the restraints of reality!

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#66
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Re: Grounding the Body for Health

02/03/2012 9:35 PM
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#67
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Re: Grounding the Body for Health

02/03/2012 10:09 PM

I joined a group called allaboutcircuits.com It has a lot of great safety information. It explains the variables of resistance in the human body etc. Ohms law, DC vs AC etc.

I love the Gold Country in the springtime. I used to live in Auburn California.

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#53

Re: Grounding the Body for Health

01/31/2012 5:36 PM

There are about 76 lightning deaths per year in the USA. I guess I will take my chances.

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#69

Re: Grounding the Body for Health

02/14/2012 9:12 AM

This is an interesting concept. Certainly we are electrical beings and anything that could provide some level of protection is worth considering. Aches, pains, dry eyes and inflammation are not normal, but should be considered signals of something out of balance. I would take a strong look at the power lines that are close to your home. There is a growing volume of evidence on the negative health issues due to radiation, both from high voltage and microwave towers. Take a look at this link for some info. Radiation pollution is another topic that is considered unthinkable.

http://www.christopherketcham.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/02/Cell%20Phones%20GQ%20Feb%202010%20issue,%20final.pdfT

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#70
In reply to #69

Re: Grounding the Body for Health

02/14/2012 9:27 AM

Higgs boson particle sensitivity is also on the increase.

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#72
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Re: Grounding the Body for Health

02/15/2012 8:08 PM

Thanks for your reference. I am ordering "Dirty Electricity..." by Samuel Milham MD, MPH.

I try to be careful before accepting anything for truth, or adopting any viewpoint. I like to look at all viewpoints and investigate first. I am about 80 feet from high tension wires. The grounding mat helps this as an addition to the main purpose. I am also ordering an amp meter to test the areas of my house before and after grounding. I am gaining a new respect for youtube.com videos. I was surprised to find a lot of information about grounding, and about any other scientific or DIY engineering issue.

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#74
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Re: Grounding the Body for Health

02/16/2012 11:11 AM

I am about 80 feet from high tension wires. The grounding mat helps this as an addition to the main purpose.


In this case, the grounding mat would increase current flow through you. But if your idea is to get back to primitive times, then you would want to reduce current flow through, you not increase it. Is Ober's idea that increasing current flow through you of all the various modern signals that can be found in the air is a good thing? Which signals work best? If anything, there seem to be some preliminary findings that suggest that precisely the opposite its true. Even cell phone manufacturers are suggesting that it might not be a good idea to expose yourself to high intensity radio waves, even if you are not grounded. Grounding yourself would increase the effects of these emissions.


You can prove this to yourself by making a crystal radio. Without the the ground lead to a water pipe, etc, you cannot hear anything. But with the ground lead, you can collect enough electricity to actually cause mechanical movement of a tiny speaker. You can think of the ground lead as the thing that completes the circuit. On a larger scale, the grounding effect of the water in a bathtub through the piping to ground is what permits fatal electrocutions of humans (and is why every hair dryer carries a warning label).


Has Ober done research that indicates that increasing the currents flowing trough you is a good thing? Has anyone replicated his studies? If so, perhaps getting more X rays would be a good thing. Maybe the conventional wisdom that says that X ray exposure is bad is all wrong? Has he experimented with MRI machines?

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#75
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Re: Grounding the Body for Health

02/16/2012 11:55 AM

youtube.com has a nice demonstration under "GROUNDING YOURSELF CHEAPLY." The body voltage drops from around 7.8 volts to 0.1 volts. This is the goal of earthing or grounding. There are many youtube.com videos on this subject. The book "Earthing" goes into great detail, and discusses the hypothesis and experiments already made. I am thinking that the goal is to get rid of the charge that builds up in your body. Not being concerned about the flow.

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#76
In reply to #74

Re: Grounding the Body for Health

02/16/2012 12:26 PM

If you are a logician you should understand that comparing small amounts of voltage coursing through the body to Xrays is a false analogy. That is like saying that having the house at 150 degrees is harmful, so heating it to 78 degrees is also harmful. Also, I have made no claims whatsoever. It is humorous that "scientists" can be so fearful of allowing someone to seek new knowledge in an experiential search. The perpetual motion comment just exemplifies your closed minded attitude. Criticism is great if it is educational, and based on knowledge of the subject. It is not great, if it is just to belittle others, because you do not want to be annoyed with a new theory and it makes you feel superior. I liked your first comment. I posed my original question to learn from those more knowledgeable than myself. Isn't that the purpose of this site? Especially when there is a biomech and biomed sub-group.

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#78
In reply to #76

Re: Grounding the Body for Health

02/17/2012 3:36 AM

Did you noticed how they group together to shut you down...but they get a positive response when they are "off topic".

I think this concept is interesting and deserves further discussion.

Variations in electrical potentials play a huge roll in human physiology.

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#79
In reply to #76

Re: Grounding the Body for Health

02/17/2012 12:23 PM

The perpetual motion comment just exemplifies your closed minded attitude.


Did I call you "close-minded" or "simplistic" or "naive"? Name calling is not likely to get you much useful feedback. If you simply want a cheering section for Ober, then you should have said that in your original post. Your resorting to name calling would seem to indicate that your mind is indeed closed re any alternative to Ober's views. How ironic.


My perpetual motion comment had nothing to do with being closed or open minded, it had to do with the philosophy of truth vs validity, and a scientist's ability or inability to say that something is "true." I was trying to get perspective on what OkieScienceProf was saying, and was asking him several clarifying questions.
Having consulted for more than one company in which failing to take precautions against grounding your body can result in permanent termination (and reduced likelihood of getting another job) I cannot blindly and simply accept that grounding your body is always a good thing: it is universally recognized as a very bad thing if you are using a hair dryer, as I mentioned, and wearing non-conductive soles is an OSHA requirement for maintenance workers in most industries.


In accidental electrocutions, having a grounded body part is a key to lethal effect in perhaps 90% of cases (I'm guessing, but have written electrical safety courses, so am not guessing out of complete ignorance). The alternative, in which a person holds one AC phase in one hand and another phase in the other, is very rare. An electrical worker, leaning into a cabinet while holding the cabinet door handle in one hand is in imminent risk of electrocution: just touching any live contact sends current from one hand through heart area and out to the other hand. That current need only be milliamps to be lethal. Conductive ladders are not permitted in many industrial plants.

In grounding your body, you are increasing the radio wave currents that flow through you. Is that good or bad? I can't say, with any certainty. I can, however, say that even with the FDA approval system in place, dangerous drugs are released onto the market. Therefore, I do not lean in the direction of making it easier to market the claimed health benefits of devices while ignoring the risks, because the promoters often do not look at the many sides of an issue. Copper bracelets have long been promoted for beneficial health effects, but copper is toxic, and some of these bracelets are soldered with lead-containing solder. To determine it wearing a copper bracelet is good or bad, I'd need to fully understand the benefits and the risks, the degree to which copper can be taken in through sweaty skin, etc.


The copper bracelet cheerleaders might view my concerns about toxicity as being negative, or closed-minded, or that my mentioning those effects is done only to make me feel superior. But, in fact, looking at both benefits and risks has been a valuable part of the development of medicine. Virtually every current cancer treatment carries very high risks, and it is only by looking at both risks and benefits that we can make an informed decision re how to proceed.

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#87
In reply to #79

Re: Grounding the Body for Health

01/14/2013 10:52 PM

What about a conductor from whatever the "health ground" location would be, directly to the waterpipe ground in the building? Insulate the health ground to minimize contact with other conductors/conductive surfaces.

Although capacitance may be an issue, then the path would have to be carefully choosen.

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