Comment by Mike, 07 Aug, 2016
Hi John. So I would hazard a guess then that the vast majority of every population in the world who don't wear shoes would be utterly free of these problems then?
- Pain, disease, and other disturbances
- more than 80 chronic illnesses
- Heart Disease, Arthritis, Asthma, Diabetes & Other Diseases
- Insomnia, the chronic pain of multiple diseases and injuries
- exhaustion, stress, anxiety, and premature aging
- chronic diseases, allergies, auto-immune conditions
- chronic pain
- multiple sclerosis
- efficient removal of toxins
- circadian rhythm disruptions, hormonal disorders, cortisol disorders
- heart rate variability problems, herpes, hepatitis
- synchronise internal biological clocks, hormonal cycles and physiological rhythms
- low energy
- better sleep and reduced pain
- asthmatic and respiratory conditions, rheumatoid arthritis, PMS, sleep apnea, and hypertension
- blood circulation and thinning
- thyroid function, blood sugar, and blood pressure
- muscle tension
- normalizing, detoxifying, and energizing
- jet lag
- health-disturbing environmental electromagnetic fields (EMFs)
- improves blood viscosity, heart rate variability, inflammation, cortisol dynamics, sleep, autonomic nervous system (ANS) balance, and reduces effects of stress
Empirical evidence should see a billion Indians, a similar number of Africans, South Sea islanders, South Americans, Australian Aborigines and your own Maori's never having had these issues because Earthing works right? Except they aren't disease or cancer free are they? No.
Having spent the best part of 25 years in the military and sleeping in and on the dirt I have a range of health issues that puts complete aid to any of these claims.
Comment by the 'Silly Beliefs' Team, 08 Aug, 2016
Exactly Mike. It's not rocket science, and anyone with a couple of brain cells to rub together should quickly realise that poor Indians and Africans with amazing health aren't laughing at us sick Westerners with our silly shoes.
Comment by Joshua, 18 Feb, 2017
John, I enjoyed your article. I have heard a lot about 'grounding' from friends and haven't had time to look into it much yet. You look at things the same way I do. I somehow seem to become more involved in the community of alternative health yet I'm objective. I'm open to new ideas and possibilities, but I always and always look for the selling point, contradictions, generalities, and other nuances that scream "bullshit!".
I separate beliefs, thoughts, and truth. Almost everything I've come across in the alternative health industry is all about presentation to take advantage of desperate sick people. The only healing affect they have is placebo which is powerful for maybe the first week or so. Then the internal drugs stop pumping and they have to find another miracle therapy to get high on. My wife operates this way and we've had a lot discussing. I'm slowly bringing her back down to earth, but it takes some doing to get through. In any case, thanks for picking out the contradictions in the ground 'theory' so I didn't have to waste a bunch of time researching it.
Comment by the 'Silly Beliefs' Team, 19 Feb, 2017
We're glad we could help Joshua. What astounds us with all these fringe bullshit therapies is that if they actually worked, like iPhones, aeroplanes, antibiotics and x-ray machines, then it would be blatantly evident that they worked, and they'd be found everywhere since people very quickly adopt things that have clear and obvious benefits. People don't need to have expertise in medicine or science, they simply need to ask why these alternative therapies aren't being used or recommended by doctors or hospitals, and clearly the obvious reason is that, just like the flying cars we were promised, they don't work.
Comment by Anonymous-1, 14 Jun, 2018
You are full of shit
Comment by the 'Silly Beliefs' Team, 15 Jun, 2018
It never fails to amaze me as to how erudite you true believers are, and how well-reasoned are your arguments. By exposing potential flaws in my arguments you truly do shake my convictions and make me reconsider my stance. Thank you. You're not content to arrogantly scream that I'm wrong and angrily storm off, you want to explain why I'm wrong and help me see the light ... oh no, wait ... you are that sort after all ... lazy, arrogant, belligerent, self absorbed, ignorant and naively credulous. Someone who confuses ill-informed opinions, wishes and desires with facts and reality. So blindly convinced that your silly belief is actually true, but too lazy and ignorant to explain why.
Comment by Raphael, 21 Aug, 2018
Hello John, thank you for your instructive article about earthing.
I was sent the following youtube video by a "friend" very much into that stuff.
It doesn't take long to recognize the same rhetoric as with other "natural medicine" promoters (argument from authority etc), but I still had a good (bitter and sad) laugh with it.
There are some claims about clinical studies in that video: at 5:09 a thermography study, then a "20 pages" document (the number of pages is important obviously) at 11:44 which show that the effects of Earthing™ (no, this has nothing to do with business) have been proved by specialists.
Did you happen during your research to find these documents? It could be interesting to have a look at them as a source, see exactly what has been done, in what conditions etc. I couldn't find them in your article, sorry if I missed it.
Comment by the 'Silly Beliefs' Team, 22 Aug, 2018
Hi Raphael. No, I did not come across those "documents" by "specialists" that purport to prove the benefits of earthing. And actually they don't mention a 20 page document, they claim that there are 20 studies (or 21 according to a second person) in the medical literature on grounding. But what they fail to reveal is that merely getting a study published does not mean that the claims it makes are true, or if the claims are true, that they support the wild claims made by those promoting earthing, and often these studies are "published" in alternative medicine journals that conventional science view as bogus and that exist merely to promote scams. They make no attempt to reveal where viewers might find those studies, we are merely expected to believe they are out there somewhere, and that they rave enthusiastically about earthing. The reality is that if earthing was the miracle cure that they claim it to be, I'd expect the evidence supporting it to appear on more than just some obscure YouTube video made by the very people selling earthing products, such as Clint Ober. Why is this medical breakthrough not on the TV news and featured in the important medical journals like the BMJ? And Clint Ober claims in the video that all our health problems began in 1960 when they started making synthetic soles for shoes. Does he really expect his gullible clients to believe that people never got sick before 1960? Apparently he does, and apparently they do. The claims made in the video are nothing but bullshit. And a better version of the video, with the text in English, can be found here.
Comment by James, 15 Jul, 2019
I just want to say,
Don't dismiss earthing/grounding so readily, it's a conclusion I have come to independently of any outside influence, then I discovered there was already a wealth of evidence to support my own suspicions. I notice a difference instantly in my CNS when I walk on bare earth. Maybe it only works for certain people, there could be many reasons for that. Years ago I was in extreme benzodiazepine withdrawal and close to seizure on many occasions, earthing by touching an unpainted surface on the grounded radiator in my room, and walking outside on soil/grass reduced symptoms from 9/10 to 3/10 or 2/10 instantaneously. I'm not saying all of the Earthing community's claims are true, but there IS something here worth researching, and I think it is going to have a major part in the future of human health.
Comment by the 'Silly Beliefs' Team, 15 Jul, 2019
Hi James. I'm glad you managed to reduce your withdrawn symptoms, I'm just not sure it had anything to do with earthing. There actually isn't 'a wealth of evidence' out there that supports earthing, or even a smidgen of evidence. That's why earthing is just a fringe alternative therapy sold on the Internet and not found in hospitals or promoted by doctors. If it was effective, and evidence showed it was effective, then it would be part of human health now, and not waiting around to make a grand appearance in the future.
Your experience is an anecdote, it's not evidence of the efficacy of earthing. It could well be that you felt better every time you walked outside on the grass in bare feet, but people have been experiencing that feeling for centuries, and it has nothing to do with earthing. These days when people stroll barefoot on the grass, or feel the sand beneath their toes, they often do feel better because it normally means they're not working, that they're carefree, and therefore naturally more relaxed and less stressed, and the joy of a warm, sunny day only improves their mood. We know it's a nice day because no one strolls barefoot on the grass on a wet or cold day. And we know that a positive lift in mood can cause a reduction in pain. The cause is likely psychological, and not due to earthing.
Comment by Anonymous-2, 09 Nov, 2020
I'm not sure which earthing products are better than others. I am sure however that putting feet on earth has immediate benefits to health as it is a technique I have used many times for many ailments. some things in this life are not as they seem. Earthing however is not that fanciful and has already been scientifically investigated with proven results. I feel heartily sorry for the writer of this particular article as they are living with only half the picture of how life truly is. If you zoom in to the human body at its core it is just energy. energy can be transformed and manipulated. This can be done in many ways...with light,with sound, through entrainment etc. Instead of trying to discredit something which has already benefited millions of people worldwide...why not try to come up with something helpful or at least positive. I think the rant about the disclaimers from the earthing company was silly. I mean would the writer refuse antibiotics or medications offered from there g.p..Or refuse an operation they needed at the local hospital if a disclaimer was offered because I don't need to tell most people you can't get ANY medication and very few services without getting a disclaimer these days....and why......because of the negative nellys that would suw you on spec....need I say more...PUT YOUR FEET ON THE EARTH NECT TIME YOU HAVE A HEADACHE....it costs nothing and it might change your life xxxlovexxxgemxx
Comment by the 'Silly Beliefs' Team, 09 Nov, 2020
You claim earthing has healed many ailments for you, but you neglect to name even one. Were they serious ailments like cancer or Ebola or blocked arteries, or perhaps something a little less serious, like a cold, a paper cut or a headache, all things that you will recover from naturally, whether you stroll barefoot around the park or pig out on pizza.
You query whether I'd refuse medications or surgery from my doctor or hospital if they carried disclaimers like those attached to earthing products. Yes, I would. Remember that the disclaimers I referred to said things like, 'Of course, if you have a medical problem, you should see a doctor', and 'Earthing does not cure anything'. So yes, I would walk away from any medical practitioner who said that the medicine they were trying to sell me or the risky surgery they wanted me to undergo would not help resolve my aliment, meaning it was a waste of time and money and might even harm me. If they recommended I consult a real doctor since my aliment was serious and life threatening and wouldn't get better naturally, no matter how many laps I did of my lawn, then I would definitely refuse their treatment and go to a real expert. Doctors and hospitals do not offer disclaimers, not in the sense of admitting that they are quacks and their treatments are worthless. What they offer is informed consent, where they explain in detail the pros and cons of any treatment, that while the treatment has scientifically been proven to be effective, with any treatment there are always side-effects and risks. And while we're on the subject, you might care to explain why doctors and hospitals offer those antibiotics, medications and operations you mentioned, but none ever offer a two week course of earthing. If earthing is so good at curing ... umm ... something ... then why do all the experts ignore it completely?
Your claim that earthing has been 'scientifically investigated with proven results' and that 'the human body at its core it is just energy' is as false and childish as those deluded psychics that claim they can talk to the spooky energy that has escaped the body. You say that earthing has 'benefited millions of people worldwide', but that belief is as mistaken as saying that the generosity of Santa Claus has benefited millions of children worldwide. And I am trying to do something helpful and positive, I'm telling people the truth, I'm helping gullible and scientifically illiterate people survive in a world where devious fraudsters will try and take advantage of them by selling them some expensive but worthless rubbish. Because yes, you're correct that some things in this life (in fact many things) are not as they seem. The world isn't flat, the Sun doesn't rise or set, the Moon doesn't have a dark side, there are no gods, things that are organic and perfectly natural can kill us (like sharks and viruses), and earthing is utterly bogus as a health therapy. It can certainly be a pleasant feeling to stroll barefoot across the grass on a warm, sunny day, but that feeling won't cure even a mild ailment, let alone a serious one. Of course feel free to prove me wrong, and in this time of COVID-19, Zeus knows the world desperately needs a treatment that is not only safe and effective, but free and easily obtained. In fact, why are you contacting me and not the World Health Organisation? Come on, lives are at stake here!
Comment by Anonymous-2, 10 Nov, 2020
I have no interest in contacting the world health organisation, it was not the content of the article that got my attention rather the tone. Nobody gets that sinicle or negative about life without having a really bad run of things. I feel the author needs exactly the kind of treatments he is avoiding or sceptical of. Healthy skeptizism is normal and necessary to avoid scammers, that is true, but the articles tone does not ring healthy. Reminded me a bit of my nanna years after her sell by date just counting the days till her departure off planet earth. Sadly not everybody even realises misery when there in it these days. The person with the biggest house , fastest car, biggest bank balance is not always the happiest or even happy at all. Unfortunately I do not have time to go back and forward but I would encourage the author to add balance in future articles as the without it the content gets lost in the tone. There are many scientific studies out there on the subject all massively disagreeing with the content which you would hope consumers would check out before purchasing. Anybody not checking out claims on new items these days will undoubtedly be dissapointed at some point. In regards to my health and grounding...I have nerve damage down right side of head, grounding eliviates symptoms whilst grounded not when not. So it gives relief but no cure...and also I find feet on earth better than sheet. The grounding matts do work but to a lesser degree. So now I can work full time with grounding Matt but would be more comfortable outside shoes off. Also grounding the dog at start of epileptic seizure stops dogs fits every time...not once or 99percent of time...every time. Also I'm surprised the author did not know that at the core of everything is energy? From the way the article was presented I assumed they supported science and all of the scientific theories across the board take for granted we are energy at core. I can't think of any theory unified, string well any at all that dont agree we are energy...has the aurthor another theory to put forward? A website that supports sciensce should really read up on basic physics before slating antibodies thinking.
Comment by the 'Silly Beliefs' Team, 10 Nov, 2020
First, why aren't you interested in alerting the WHO that the alternative therapy known as earthing can be effective against many aliments? Doesn't someone need to tell them? Or do you know it won't work on COVID-19? If it is effective, then surely getting information about earthing to countries at risk of coronavirus is far more important than communicating with me? Isn't saving thousands of lives far more valuable than trying to correct what you perceive as my negative attitude towards life? Isn't it rather ironic to be worried about my mere attitude to life while apparently not being at all concerned about people who are actually losing their lives due to your unwillingness to tell them about a simple cure? Where is your compassion and humanity?
And for your information, I am not cynical or negative about life. Nor have I had a really bad run of things. For me, life is good, even with the morons in the world. Plus I enjoy walking barefoot on grass and my work with electronics meant I was often earthed. So if earthing worked, and I actually suffered from a negative attitude to life as per your diagnosis, then I would have been cured of my cynicism and wouldn't have written the article in the first place. But I did write the article, so clearly the treatment didn't have any affect on my attitude. But if you had spent more attention on the content of our article rather than what you perceived as the tone, you would have learnt that it wasn't commenting on life at all, it was simply questioning whether an alternative health therapy known as earthing had any validity. It asked if there is any good evidence that earthing works in the healing or prevention of ailments, and the clear conclusion was no. Our article looked at the claims made by those selling or promoting earthing products and explained why they made no sense, and in some cases, why they were outright lies designed to sell their scam. I don't care if you think I'm the most negative person on the planet, just because my attitude annoys you doesn't mean my view of earthing is wrong. Reread our article and explain why our arguments are mistaken. If you can't, then I'm afraid it is your attitude that is leading you astray.
You say we should 'add balance in future articles as the without it the content gets lost in the tone. There are many scientific studies out there on the subject all massively disagreeing with the content'. You have fallen into the trap often pushed by the media that every article on every topic should be balanced, that they should contain equal numbers of arguments for and against some controversial claim. This is simply mistaken. While some topics do have good arguments for and against and require a balanced presentation for us to consider them properly, many topics are not undecided. For these the evidence supporting one view is overwhelming and the opposing view can be readily dismissed. Is slavery wrong? Is the subjugation of women wrong? Is the world flat? Do storks deliver babies? No intelligent person would write a 'balanced' article on these topics, providing contrary arguments as to why slavery is right and just, why women aren't equal to men, why the world can't be round, or why human births have gone down in countries where the stork population has declined. All these arguments can be made, but no sensible person would make them simply to keep their article balanced. Just as you have claimed regarding earthing that, 'There are many scientific studies out there on the subject all massively disagreeing with the content', other writers make similar claims regarding slavery and racism, the inferiority of women, the obvious flatness of the Earth and that fertility rates are falling as stork populations drop. It's easy to simply claim that supporting scientific studies exist, while never actually producing them. Or if one or two obscure studies are produced, never explaining why those two studies should overturn the mountain of studies that contradict their findings. For any wacky claim you want to mention, from psychics to ghosts, Bigfoot to alien abductions, homeopathy to crystal healing, fairies to leprechauns, and even gods creating the world 6,000 years ago by simply saying ‘Let there be light', the proponents of these claims will insist that scientific evidence exists to support their claims. The trouble is they're always too busy to actually produce it, and never willing to debate with the scientists that understand these things and could actually change their minds if presented with the evidence it is claimed exists. Our article is not balanced for the simple reason that cogent arguments and solid evidence in support of earthing simply doesn't exist. We can't offer a comforting fantasy to balance our criticisms. If we did we'd be no better than those that promote earthing. We have opted for the truth, even if you view that as rather one-sided.
You say that earthing (grounding) helps alleviate your symptoms, noting that, 'So now I can work full time with grounding Matt but would be more comfortable outside shoes off'. Well gee whiz, who wouldn't be happier outside barefoot rather than inside working. That's why people enjoy vacations and weekends, it's to do with relaxation and nothing to do with earthing the body. Of course having said that, there are many people in third-world countries that struggle to earn the money to happily put shoes on and move into a warm, safe building, sometimes even risking their lives to flee to other countries to escape their situation of being barefoot and grounded all day, everyday. I suspect even you would happily choose to remain working inside with shoes on than outside with shoes off on days where the weather was bad or 'outside' meant walking on a surface that wasn't as pleasurable as grass. Thoughts of being barefoot on grass remind us of times of relaxation, that's why being barefoot suggests a pleasant time, but often being barefoot outside is uncomfortable and even dangerous. That's why many workplaces demand appropriate footwear is worn. In many situations it's far safer and healthier to not be barefoot and earthed, even though we can imagine feeling much better just lying in the grass.
You finish by claiming that, 'all of the scientific theories across the board take for granted we are energy at core'. I'm sorry professor, but that is nothing but New Age nonsense. Most scientific theories don't make any claims as to what makes up the core of human life (or the world in general), and the handful that do, like in particle physics and microbiology, do not state that 'at the core of everything is energy'. You say that you 'can't think of any theory unified, string well any at all that dont agree we are energy'. It's revealing that of the two you are apparently familiar with, there is no such thing as a unified theory, and string theory, contrary to it's popular name, is not a scientific theory at all. Certainly physicists are trying to develop a unified theory, but haven't yet succeeded so a non-existent theory can't support your claim. As for string theory, unlike other scientific theories, there is no empirical evidence for it, and while some physicists believe it has great potential, others say that 'the concept is practically pseudoscience, because it seems to be nearly impossible to test through experiments' (Quoted in 'Scientific American'). And anyway, at that core of string theory is something called strings, which are one-dimensional objects, and this explains why it's called string theory and not energy theory.
But this talk of earthing and your unsupported claim that 'at the core of everything is energy' is actually irrelevant and misleading, since you haven't demonstrated a connection between the two. You are correct that in the microscopic and quantum realms energy does exist, alongside matter, and their complex interactions are crucial to our existence. You're also correct that 'energy can be transformed and manipulated'. However you aren't justified in making the wild claim that walking barefoot on grass can affect the energy levels that exist at the quantum levels, and do so in such a way that makes us healthy. Even if your claim that 'at the core of everything is energy' were true, you haven't provided any evidence that earthing — altering the energy present on our bare skin — can transform and manipulate the energy at our 'core' in a beneficial way. Your argument is no different from me claiming that at our core we are merely chemicals (our cells are awash with chemicals), so if we bathe in random chemicals purchased from the garden shop we will somehow bring the chemicals at our core into balance, and we'll be healthier for it. Would you strip naked and bathe in random chemicals, or would you demand a lot more evidence of efficacy first, not to mention safety? The same applies to earthing, it's an unproven treatment that's just as wacky.
You ask if I have 'another theory to put forward?' I don't need to propose a new theory to explain how earthing works, because our argument, the scientific argument, is simply that it doesn't. There is nothing to explain. The burden is on those promoting earthing to prove it works, and to explain why. As a website that supports science, we demand scientifically supported treatments, and will continue to expose those that don't understand basic science.
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