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Is Grounding a scam?

The first time I heard about grounding, or earthing I watched a short, amateur documentary of a guy who had a plethora of health problems and then discovered the concept of grounding. He walked barefoot every single day, but then he wanted to get more serious about it so he would go dig up some earth, lay down and cover himself and lay there for like 30 minutes a day. Eventually, he claimed that he started feeling better and having more energy, and his health problems cleared up.
I watched with curiosity as more people caught on to this idea and products inevitably were created to help you be grounded while working in the office or while you sleep at night. Of course, it’s easy to make something like that and charge a premium with big claims. As a result, the doubters and mockers came out in full force. Calling people gullible, tin foil hat wearers, etc.
Usually, in these cases I find that there are two wide extremes. The people who whole hardheartedly believe every claim and think it’s going to cure every single disease in existence, and those that just mock anything that isn’t mainstream.
I don’t remember how long ago that was… maybe 10 years or so. But fast forward to the present and there have been more mainstream studies done and more influential people/entities that have accepted it so it isn’t something that is made fun of so much. In fact, it wasn’t long ago that a nurse in our local hospital approached me about making custom shoes without rubber soles for grounding. This particular nurse, I know, happens to be more open to alternatives than many others I have interacted with who work in mainstream medicine. But she informed me that the hospital (and the very large medical corporation that owns it) encourages the nurses to ground daily. They are encouraged to do so for their physical and mental health. Being a nurse is no easy job! It is insanely demanding physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually! I was kind of blown away by this information. I was surprised that a company that owns a hospital would encourage grounding. They are even starting to educate patients about the benefits. Wow! 

Now, I am going to make a confession. I haven’t actually dived into the research here. I can’t give you data points of why grounding is good, bad, or neutral. That isn’t actually the point of this post. I recently heard of some research that showed that grounding alone didn’t have much of an effect. Not because it doesn’t work, but because humans are now inundated with waves and frequencies in the air and more factors are at play. As I see it, what we need is not more studies and more gadgets to protect ourselves from ourselves. We need to get back to nature more in all aspects of our lives. We live artificial lives. Eating artificial food, wearing artificial clothing, living in artificial structures, engaging in artificial relationships, worshiping artificial gods, walking on artificial surfaces, taking artificial medicine to artificially cover up the problems that have been at the very least exaggerated from all of the above in our lives! As I see it, grounding is more than just about electrical conduction. It’s about renewing and developing a relationship with the earth that we live on. I believe there is a deep spiritual connection between humans and the earth. This is why so many people are currently enamored by leaving behind their lives and living off grid. What many of them really want is to reconnect with nature and their true selves by detaching from the massive artificial system that we are so dependent on.

Ok, here is another confession. I am one of those people. We have been homesteading for several years. We could certainly do more where we are at with the tiny amount of land we have but the dry desert won’t sustain what we really want (and feel led) to do. We have purchased some land in another state where we can get water. There are no utilities at the land and we have plans that we have begun to implement to build a natural, off grid straw bale and cob home and step up our permaculture/homestead game. I believe this movement is all part of the deep draw inside of all of us to have more connection to, and experience real food, relationships, structures, spirituality, and in general, real life. Grounding is a small part of that.
This is why we haven’t made new products that are specifically for grounding. We aren’t against it, but I believe it is only a small piece of the puzzle and that we ought to be reconnecting with nature more often and more permanently in our lives. We advocate for going barefoot as much as possible, and wearing shoes as needed, rather than wearing shoes and going barefoot when needed.

I will just share a small experience I had recently. As I have mentioned before, I like to walk but rarely feel like I have the time to. I sometimes drive part of the 8 miles to work, then park and walk the rest of the way. I did this the other day. I also obsess with efficiency sometimes and the most efficient route on foot requires crossing a creek. Well, I wasn’t thinking about the fact that it was the middle of winter. It was actually a nice sunny day. We’ve had an unusually warm winter. In the winter, creek crossings are usually really easy. The creek is either mostly frozen, and/or there is hardly any water in it this time of year. I can always find a place where I can hop across some rocks. Well, because of the warm weather, there is snow melt coming down from the mountains. I walked along the path that goes near the creek and looked for a good place to cross. There wasn’t any. I thought about walking to the nearest bridge, which would add an additional 20 minutes to my walk. Then I realized that I don’t need any of that. I went down the bank to the creek, took off my favorite pair of Leather Vida shoes and my socks, and waded across the stream. There was ice on the edges and the water was cold, but not quite as cold as I was expecting. I had a hefty bruise on my foot from an incident with a ladder slipping while I was at the top. (It’s kind of a miracle that I only got a bruise from that but my parkour training came in handy.) As my bruised foot took that first step into that cold and rather rocky creek, I felt a sudden and deep sense of relief. I let out an audible sigh. It felt good. I admit I delayed a bit and spend an extra minute in the water. I crossed to the other side and just kept walking without my shoes. Yes, I had to dodge some spiky weeds, broken glass, and other undesirable things and eventually put my shoes on as I entered the more industrial side of town but I relished that time in the water without shoes on. It was as if the creek washed away some of my anxiety and filled me up with much needed relief.