Earthing Products FAQs
Why should people buy a grounding product, like a mat or band, when they can simply go barefoot outside?
Barefoot is indeed the natural way to go. And also to sleep on the ground. Or use conductive footwear and bedding made from animal skins. Such practices were part of the ordinary way of life throughout history. No longer. We rarely go outside barefoot, except as kids romping during the summer, or on beach holidays. We wear insulating shoes and we sleep on elevated beds. Earthing products were created to address the issue of comfort, convenience, reality, and practicality. The products are basically 'extension cords' that bring the Earth’s energy outside into the office and home inside – simulating being barefoot outside. They were developed to accommodate the research process and to satisfy a continually growing demand of people wanting to sleep, work, or relax grounded.
Do Earthing products run on electricity?
No. They simply ground you by transferring the Earth’s energy through the ground port of a properly grounded outlet or from a ground rod placed directly in the Earth. The energy passes through a cord to the conductive Earthing product specially designed for human grounding. When your body comes in contact with an Earthing product you absorb the Earth’s energy. Earthing products are like 'barefoot substitutes,' enabling you to receive the outside energy of the Earth inside your home or office.
I am using an Earthing product in bed and am getting shocked by it. What’s that about?
Some people have reported “sparks” develop when blankets are pulled off of Earthing sheets or mats. Or they have reported getting a slight “shock” when touching an Earthing product. They are surprised, they say, because they expected that being grounded would prevent such things.
Sparks are an expression of harmless static electricity charges building up on the body. They build up, for instance, when you pull apart different fabrics from each other, like a sheet and a blanket. Do you recall getting a minor shock after walking on a synthetic carpet with your shoes on and touching a doorknob? Or from dry skin rubbing on clothes? Or exiting your car, sliding across the seat, and touching the door handle? All such actions build up the static charge on your body. Such static is more pronounced in dry weather.
This is all harmless.
Assuming that the grounding system was checked by an electrician or you used an outlet checker and the outlet was found to work properly, if you were to touch a grounding product and feel a shock, it may just be an electrostatic shock. There is no danger to that, although it is unpleasant.
On the other hand, if someone has been grounded for some time and suddenly feel some uncomfortable sensation such as a mild shock, it could be that the person has a condition that disturbs the autonomic nervous system creating a situation called electro-hypersensitivity (EHS). Such a person may feel very small amounts of temporarily high-frequency electricity that normal people will not feel and that are perfectly normal in a functional house grounding system. If such a situation occurs, we recommend that the EHS person avoid exposure to electromagnetic fields (EMFs) as much as possible, use a grounding rod placed in the soil outside and run a wire inside to ground the earthing products.
Furthermore, Earthing product ground cords , designed by Clint Ober, to provide a safe soft ground utilizing a built-in (molded in) in-line current limiting 100 Kilo-Ohms resistor. This means that in the event that a short develops in an electrical device that a person is in contact with while grounded the built-in resistor limits the current flow to a safe level. The accepted safe current limit of 5-8mA (milliampere) is defined as “sensation of shock not painful; individuals can let go at will.” The human body threshold of sensation is 1mA. The electrical equation (called Ohm’s Law) is current = voltage/resistance (I=V/R). R = Rresistor + Rbody. Typical body resistance is Rbody = 10 Kilo-Ohms when wet and much higher when dry. However, to be conservative, using Rbody = 0, Rresistor = 100 Kilo-Ohms, V=130 Volts; then the maximum current I = 130 Volts/100,000 Ohms = 1.3mA; well below the accepted safety limit of 5-8mA and most likely barely perceptible.
Can you become electrocuted if you use an Earthing product?
No. Earthing products and the cords that connect them are designed only to conduct the Earth’s energy to you. They do not conduct any electrical power that operates your lights and appliances. You connect your Earthing product to the ground (earth) contact of a wall outlet or to a ground rod planted in the soil outside. All Earthing cords have a built-in 100 kilo-Ohms resistor providing protection in the unlikely case of an electric current flowing into the grounding wire such as when you touch a metallic object or appliance that is electrically charged due to a short-circuit in it.
Do Earthing products need to be applied directly to the site of pain?
Earthing products reduce inflammation and pain. They do so whether they are applied directly on the site of pain or to another part of the body. The fastest way, in our experience, is with the use of Earthing patches, which can be applied on or adjacent to sites of pain, or placed on the palms or soles of the feet. This Earthing Institute article gives more infromation on Earthing patches. The next fastest way is to place patches under the feet on top of the Kidney 1 acupuncture point for pain in the lower body and in the palms of the hands for the upper part of the body. Combining the two methods, patches locally and in the hands or feet, provides the best results.
Can I use grounding products if I have a pacemaker or defibrillator? What about stents?
There is no evidence that grounding interferes with the function of these devices. Still, if you are considering grounding it is important to discuss it first with your doctor and decide together what is best for you. Grounding indoors is the same as walking barefoot outside. Many people have used grounding products and experienced the benefits of both their medical devices and grounding. To our knowledge, no one with a pacemaker or defibrillator or stents has been advised not to walk barefoot outdoors.
Pacemakers and defibrillators are devices implanted in the chest or abdomen and help control abnormal heart rhythms called arrhythmia. Defibrillators are used against life-threatening arrhythmias. Contemporary devices typically function as both pacemaker and defibrillator. Because of the sophistication of these newer devices, it is essential to consult with your physician before starting grounding. Moreover, doctors will often prescribe anticoagulants (blood thinners) to patients with arrhythmia. Grounding has a beneficial blood thinning effect, which is likely not known to most doctors. The combination of grounding and anticoagulant medication may possibly create excess blood thinning. Thus, the importance of speaking to your doctor first. See our article on medication here.
For individuals with pacemakers/defibrillators who ground themselves by walking barefoot outdoors routinely for some hours, it would be wise to consult with your physician, even though such grounding exposure is likely to have less impact than for someone grounding more hours indoors during sleep.
Can I use Earthing products if I have knee or hip replacements?
Yes. Using Earthing products is equivalent to being barefoot outdoors and does not interfere with your new hip or knee. If you ground yourself immediately after the surgery, you will likely recover faster.
Should you unplug your mat or other Earthing products when not in use?
No need to unplug them. Just leave them plugged in at the outlet unless you are going to move them to another room. Earthing products don’t 'run' on electricity. They aren’t running up any bill when you leave them plugged in.
How is this different from various therapeutic systems that simulate the frequencies of the Earth?
Such devices utilize pulsed electromagnet fields (PEMF) and indeed have many benefits. These fields, however, do not contain any electrons, and thus cannot deliver electrons to the body as does Earthing. Earthing products conduct the electrons of the Earth (and their vibratory frequencies) into your body and serve as extension cords from the Earth to you. The electrons and their frequencies include all of the subtleties inherent in Nature that our bodies have attuned to throughout history. Earthing is totally natural.
Is it safe for a pet dog or cat to come in contact with an Earthing mat or other product?
Yes. Animals naturally want to spend time in contact with the Earth. Many indoor pets share our lifestyle and never make contact with the ground outside. People report that pets indoors are attracted to grounding products.
Is it OK to use an Earthing sleeping product along with an electric blanket or on an electrically heated mattress pad or waterbed?
There is nothing wrong with using an Earthing sleep product with any electrical devices as long as those devices are in good working order. We suggest, if possible, to warm up your electric blanket or electrically heated mattress pad or waterbed and turn them off before you go to sleep to minimize exposure to EMFs. However, whether these products are on or off will not alter the proper functioning of any Earthing sleep product or alter the benefits you can expect from grounding.
Can I use an Earthing mat in bed with a magnetic mattress pad?
There is no problem with using an Earthing mat over a magnetic mattress pad. Magnets will not interfere with grounding and may even help the electrons involved in grounding get distributed faster in the body. However, you would lose the grounding effect if you place the mat under the magnetic pad, direct contact with the skin is needed for the electrons to come into your body.
Can I ground myself using an Earthing floor mat while wearing socks?
Yes. Unless very cold, your feet naturally sweat and will hydrate socks, particularly thinner socks made of natural fibers such as cotton, thus facilitating the ability of the Earth’s energy to rise up into the body. Socks made of synthetic materials will most likely block the connection to the Earth.
You can also purchase a pair of silver conductive Grounding Socks to use with your Earthing products.
How much 'current' is actually being transferred from the Earth's surface via the wire to a grounding product?
There is no constant measurable current flow beyond the instant equalization charge transferred to the body when a person makes bare skin contact with the ground or some type of Earthing product. Once the body is thus grounded, the rate of influx changes, and the body will continue to absorb enough electrons needed to maintain the same electrical potential as the Earth and to restore what is lost as a result of metabolic processes. As long as a person continues to be grounded, the body can use the Earth as a natural reservoir, or 'power source,' from which to draw electrons to maintain a 'topped up' homeostatic level that compensates for any attrition of internal electrons. In contact with the Earth, it would seem hard for the body to develop an electron deficiency, and, theoretically, chronic inflammation. The continuing amount of electrons absorbed by the body to reduce metabolic and immune response free radicals would also vary significantly between people depending upon their lifestyle and activity. This is all extremely difficult, if not impossible, to measure.
Do we need an electrician to help install Earthing products in our homes or offices?
Normally, it is very simple to use Earthing products indoors. Earthing products are used indoors and plug into grounded (earthed) wall outlets or ground rods placed in the soil adjacent to a home. They do not “run” on electricity. Older homes may not have a grounding (earthing) system and will require the use of a grounding rod or the services of an electrician to do some updating on the electrical system.
It is the responsibility of the purchaser to verify whether their outlets are properly grounded. Unfortunately this is not something we can advise on over the phone. If you are unsure as to whether your wall outlets are grounded, we recommed that you purchase a Socket Tester.
Can I use two Earthing products at the same time, such as a mat and a patch?
You can use multiple grounding products at the same time. The Earth Connection Plug has two ports in order to accommodate two Earthing cords.
When using multiple grounding products, for safety's sake you should only plug them into one grounding source, either a grounded outlet or a ground rod. Not one to the outlet and the other to a ground rod. The reason is to avoid the risk of a shock in case of a surge due to a power outage or a thunderstorm.
Here’s the situation: Your house/building electric system is connected to, and stabilized by, a ground rod in the Earth, usually located under the electrical panel. A loop wire (also known as the ground wire), runs through your house electric system, and you connect to it whenever you insert your Earthing product cord into the third hole (the ground port) of the outlet. In most modern houses and buildings, this grounding loop wire is connected to concrete-encased electrodes with a minimal length of 20 feet total (this is commonly called a Ufer ground). This is the best grounding system, providing an excellent ground for the grounding wire you purchased. If you plug your Earthing mat, for instance, into the outlet, you are grounded via this concrete-encased grounding system.
Now, let’s say you lay on a sleeping mat connected to your house grounding system and you also want to sleep with a patch or a band. You have a separate Earthing ground rod outside and you are thinking to connect the patch or band cord to the ground rod while at the same time you have the mat connected to the outlet.
Don’t do it! It’s not a good idea.
If you were to do it, you would be creating what is called a “ground loop,” meaning a closed circuit − a closed loop with the ground closing the loop. When you place an Earthing ground rod into the soil, usually it is not close to the ground rods of the house grounding system. There are differences in size, depth, and soil conditions between the rods and that creates an electrical resistance between the two rod locations. This means a different “electric potential” that is, a different level of electric energy, between the rods. This potential difference would cause a current to flow in the closed circuit of which you are a part. A current generated this way can flow between the grounding mat and the patch or band, passing through your body, not good.
In general, you wouldn’t feel anything unusual and you wouldn’t be harming yourself because the current would be very small, below the level of perception. But there would be risk from a shock, for instance, when a power surge or a thunderstorm occur. In that case, the difference in electric potential can get very high, reaching several hundred or even thousands of volts, and create a very strong current enough for you to feel a shock.
Fortunately, Earthing product cords have a built-in resistor that protect you. If it were not for the presence of the resistor, the mild shock you would feel would be much larger and could even be dangerous.
The bottom line: If you use more than one Earthing product at one time, connect them to the same grounding source, either to a grounded outlet or to the ground rod cord. Not one to the outlet and the other to the ground rod.
It is quite OK to plug two single Earthing cords into the two receptacles of a standard grounded outlet or even into two different outlets. Or you can plug an Earthing outlet adapter with two terminals into one outlet or the Earthing ground rod cord and then plug two Earthing product cords into the adapter.
Newer houses have excellent grounding systems, as explained previously. Older grounding systems may have grounding wires with a volt or two on them, because of the length of the wire produces a slight build-up of resistance along the grounding wire. Electro-hypersensitive (EHS) people may feel even that low voltage, and are advised if that is the case to connect their Earthing product to a dedicated Earthing ground rod planted in the soil outside an adjacent window, if that is feasible. Note that small voltage on the line is not enough to be harmful (think of a 1.5 V battery). Eventually with more time grounded, EHS people usually get better and come to a point where they do not feel this unpleasant tingling sensation. That means that their autonomic nervous system (ANS) is now working and the stress on their body has decreased substantially.
Is there a safety risk of being in contact with an Earthing system while using electrical or electronic devices?
Original Earthing products, those designed by Clint Ober, contain a built-in user safety. The product ground cords are designed to provide a safe soft ground utilizing a built-in (molded in) in-line current limiting 100 Kilo-Ohms resistor. In the event that a short develops in an electrical device that a person is in contact with while grounded the built-in resistor limits the current flow to a safe level. The accepted safe current limit of 5-8mA (mA = milli-ampere or one thousandth of an ampere) is defined as “sensation of shock not painful; individuals can let go at will.” The human body threshold of sensation is 1mA. There is a well-known electrical formula (Ohm’s Law) to calculate the relationship between current, voltage and resistance. It goes like this: current = voltage/resistance (I=V/R). In the case we are considering, the total resistance is the resistance of the body (Rbody) plus the resistance of the resistor (Rresistor), so R = Rresistor + Rbody. Typical body resistance is 10 Kilo-Ohms when wet and much higher when dry. However, to be conservative, using Rbody = 0, Rresistor = 100 Kilo-Ohms. In North America the voltage at the electrical power outlet is V = 130 Volts; then maximum current I = 130Volts/100,000 Ohms = 1.3mA; well below the accepted safety limit of 5mA and most likely barely perceptible.
People have been reporting to us that they have been zapped by ungrounded laptops (without a three-prong power cord) with a metal-based casing. We have recorded up to 50 V on the surface of the metal-based casing of a particular laptop. Some people will feel these sensations while they are grounded and working on their laptop. If the feeling is like a shock, you need to tell your manufacturer. If the feeling is not a shock but uncomfortable, try these several options:
1. Don’t ground yourself while using the computer plugged in.
2. Ground yourself only when the computer is operating on battery mode.
3. Place the laptop directly on an Earthing mat to ground the computer
If the feeling is still there, your last option is to contact your manufacturer.
If the power goes off in the house, can I still be grounded?
Earthing doesn’t “run” on electricity. Your Earthing product is connected to the energy of the Earth, not to the electricity that operates your lights and appliances. If you plug your Earthing product into the ground (earth) port of your wall outlet, you are simply making contact with the ground (earth) wire in that hole that connects to other outlets in your house and is attached to large ground rods in the concrete foundations of the building. Whether your power is on or off, doesn’t matter. As long as you have contact with the Earth, by being barefoot outside, or using an Earthing product indoors that is connected to the Earth, either via a grounded (earthed) wall outlet or a separate ground rod outside, you are grounded.
Can I ground myself outside by wearing electrostatic discharge (ESD) footwear?
ESD shoes are primarily designed for discharging static electricity preventing electric sparks between your body and other objects such as sensitive electronics. Static electricity is created on the body by clothing and shoes whenever you move your clothing with arm movement or walk or sit on any synthetic material. ESD products are better than regular shoes but not as good as going barefoot or using earthing/grounding products. The difference between grounding products and ESD products is that while ESD products use what is called a soft ground or a dissipative ground by adding an inline 1 Mega-Ohm resistor in the ground cord, which is design to slowly bleed off static electric charges, earthing/grounding products use a 100 Kilo-Ohms resistance (which is10 time smaller than the resistance in the ESD products) to instantly equalize your body with the Earth’s potential and to let the electrons of the Earth enter your body almost instantaneously. This results in rapid neutralization of inflammation with numerous documented benefits as you can see by looking at the Research page.
Can I ground myself while driving a car or truck?
You can’t ground yourself to the Earth. However, you can put an Auto Seat Mat on the car seat and get some benefit. Here’s how it works: The sweat from your body creates a channel of moisture and conductivity through the layer of clothes (pants, dress, shorts, etc) to the mat. The mat is connected to the metal chassis of the car via a grounding cord that you’ll have to clip onto some metal part under the seat. The chassis represents a relative ground plane, enough to act as a “sink” into which you discharge the static electricity that builds up on the body as a result of the clothes you wear rubbing against the seat. This rubbing action, brought about by the vibration of the moving car, creates the static electricity on your body which can cause some muscle tension and fatigue. The mat can be particularly effective for people who drive long distances, but also helpful for anybody who experiences that tension and fatigue from driving. This information come from anecdotal experiments done by Clint Ober. After driving for several hours, the drivers grounded to the chassis reported less fatigue and more energy than usual while the drivers not grounded in such a way reported normal levels of fatigue and energy.
Can I use Earthing equipment in a motor home, as this woman asked in 2020: “I have the bed mat and the small earthing mat I keep in the kitchen, and I want to take them with me when we travel in our motor home. Trouble is, I don’t know if motor homes are grounded like homes, and if they would work.”
Similarly to the answer to the preceding question, it is not possible to be grounded when you are driving your motor home. True grounding in your motor home is possible when it is parked. To do so you have two options. In a caravan park, there may be electric panels next to your parking spot and you can plug into the grounded outlet on the panel. You can also get a grounding rod and an outlet adapter. The adapter allows you to plug in two product cords. So that would accommodate the kitchen mat and the bed mat. The grounding rod comes with a 40-foot cord. Push the adapter into the free end of the rod cord or into the panel outlet. Then plug your earthing product cords into the adapter. Do not use the electric panel for one product, and your own ground rod for the other. Both products must be plugged into the same ground source.
Can I connect an Earthing product to an electric outlet on a cruise ship?
Check with the cruise company. In-cabin outlets may not be grounded.
Can I use the outlets on a house boat to ground myself?
As long as the boat is connected to a shore power, an electrical outlet ground would be fine. When a boat is not connected to shore power and running on a generator, the outlets may not be grounded. You would have to ask the manufacturer. If your boat is in ocean (salt) water, you can connect your Earthing device to a grounding rod and dangle it over the side into the water. Sea water makes a good ground.
Is it harmful to ground myself indoors in the presence of electromagnetic fields (EMFs), as some people claim, because my body becomes an antenna drawing in EMFs that then run through my body?
Such claims are without any evidence and reflect ignorance about electromagnetic fields (EMFs), how antennas work and what happens to an object grounded in the presence of EMFs. EMFs cannot be attracted or “drawn in” by anything because they contain no electric charge. They just go out straight from the point of emission to the direction that was given to them when emitted. They can be reflected by metallic surfaces and mirrors or refracted as when a light beam enters water or a prism. Three grounding studies have demonstrated the clear safety of grounding indoors, one of them a study done with hospitalized premature infants in a setting of high EMFs. To read it click here. To read a short article about these 3 studies and the safety of Earthing, click here. Finally, this article addresses the unfounded claim that grounding indoors turns you into an antenna for EMFs. It is when NOT grounded that a metallic object or the body (also a conductor) becomes an antenna in the presence of EMFs.
Are so-called ground currents increasing and a danger to you when you are grounded?
Ground currents are not increasing. Just the opposite. They are now excessively rare and more so as faulty electric power systems are replaced by modern electric power systems in rural areas and other even more remote areas. For more information, read this short article.
Can Earthing using a wall outlet make me vulnerable to so-called “dirty electricity?”
Not at all. Dirty electricity refers to spikes in the electric power when appliances are turned on and off such as is the case with a refrigerator, for example. Two doctors from Poland performed a study showing that these transient voltages do not penetrate the body. See the study here. The Earthing Institute has performed many studies in environments with normal levels of EMFs with excellent results. For more information about dirty electricity, read this short article.
Can Earthing protect against mobile phone frequencies?
The protective potential of Earthing has not been tested yet on cell phone exposure. There is no research indicating that Earthing will or will not protect a person from exposure to cell phones signals, microwave radiation, or radio frequencies. We have only anecdotal evidence that it is possible that Earthing provide some protection.
Here’s what we do know: individuals who are electro-sensitive to wireless and other electromagnetic fields (EMFs) often suffer with exhausted adrenal glands. That could mean a background of stress has drained the glands where stress hormones are produced. As a result, the nervous system’s ability to offset a stress response is compromised. In this situation, exposure to EMFs can be a stressor, as can possibly be exposure to multiple chemicals and certain foods. Anxiety, irritability, depression, chronic fatigue, and chronic inflammation may develop. This is but one scenario of how such problems could arise.
From research and feedback, it is known that grounding reduces inflammation significantly and can benefit people with adrenal weakness, anxiety, sleep disorders, chronic fatigue, and depression.
It is also known that Earthing significantly reduces induced body voltages generated by simple exposure to common household 50/60 Hz EMFs continuously emitted by all plugged-in electrical cords (even if the appliance is off), internal wiring, and all ungrounded electrical devices in the home or office.
Based on the cases we have seen of people extremely sensitive to such EMFs we believe it is best for these people to be grounded as much as possible in an environment free of EMFs. Current research shows that Earthing contributes to a healthier physiology and the capacity for a quicker recuperation from injury and/or disease even in the presence of EMFs.
How can I protect myself against 5G wireless technology?
The 5G Age is upon us, with faster and smarter cellular technology and wireless devices, and has stoked widespread concerns about potential harm to health. 5G is a global expansion. Protect yourself by prudent avoidance as best as you can, and be sure to include grounding in your lifestyle. For more details, see the Earthing Institute video made specially to answer this concern.
Can “electro-hypersensitive” people ground themselves?
Such individuals sometimes report feeling strange energy in the beginning and some even say they feel ill. The energy they feel when grounded is simply the Earth’s natural energy.
We regard these sensations generally as part of an adjustment/healing/detoxification process as the body normalizes and inflammation goes down. If the feeling is too uncomfortable, and generally it is for these electro-hypersensitive people (EHS), we recommend they ground themselves only in an environment without EMFs. Not that grounding in the presence of EMFs as found in normal homes is bad for them but it is that they cannot tolerate the tingling sensation. They may not be able to stay grounded for long periods of time but they should try to ground as much as possible as grounding will help them recover from their condition. They may try to first ground barefoot outside for perhaps a half hour or forty minutes, or in contact with an Earthing mat or band inside their home (with no EMFs present). They should very slowly increase their exposure. In this way, they may often be able to work their way gradually to sleeping grounded for six to eight hours at night (again without EMFs). Then they can start going into a home with normal levels of EMFs and see how they feel. They should just go very slow and at their own pace. Some electro-sensitive people have found that they receive positive benefits just from minimum exposure to Earthing. There is another aspect of electro-sensitivity that has become apparent to us over the years, namely that individuals who say they are electro-sensitive to wireless and other electromagnetic fields (EMFs) often suffer with exhausted adrenal glands. That could mean, in many cases, a background of stress has drained these adrenal glands where stress hormones are produced. For more information on this, see the Earthing Institute article on electro-sensitivity.