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From the Townsend Letter
November 2018

Rx: Earth – The Original Painkiller!
Exploiting the Planet's Natural Anti-Inflammatory Power for Pain Relief
by James L. Oschman,* PhD, Stephen T. Sinatra, MD, Gaétan Chevalier, PhD, and Martin Zucker
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The Grounding Effect
Various studies have begun to show how grounding impacts inflammation and pain, beginning with medical infrared imaging.15
The thermography examples in Figures 1 and 2 bring out two important points:

  • Earthing can very rapidly reverse painful inflammation.
  • Earthing can quickly reverse painful inflammation that has been a problem for many years.

Figure 1. Images of a 33-year-old woman who had a gymnastics injury at age 15 and subsequent 18-year history of chronic right knee pain, swelling, and instability. Top row images taken in walking position to show inside of both knees. Arrow points to exact location of patient’s pain and shows significant inflammation. Lower images taken after 30 minutes of exposure to grounding in clinic using a conductive patch. Note significant reduction of inflammation in knee area. After 6 days of grounding, patient reported a 50% reduction in pain. After 4 weeks of treatment, patient was able to play soccer, and by 12 weeks she went waterskiing.


Figure 2. Images of a 65-year-old woman with chronic thigh and knee pain on the right side, ankle and foot pain, and swelling of the left foot. Top row shows lower extremities taken before patient slept grounded. Arrows show most significant areas of inflammation, and where subject reported most pain. Bottom images taken after 4 nights sleeping grounded. Note significant reduction in inflammation and return toward normal thermal symmetry. Patient reported steady continued improvement at a 40-day follow-up.

Evidence has come as well from two studies based on a sports medicine research model called delayed onset muscular soreness (DOMS) that involves creating a temporary injury to then evaluate pain-relief modalities. DOMS refers to the pain and stiffness felt in muscles several hours to days after unaccustomed or strenuous exercise. The pain arises in affected muscles from temporary small-scale damage (micro trauma) to muscle fibers. It is a dull, aching pain, often combined with tenderness and stiffness, usually increasing in intensity in the first 24 hours after exercise and peaking from 24 to 72 hours. It then subsides and disappears up to seven days after exercise.
BioDisruptA pilot study was designed in 2010 to assess any inflammatory markers and pain measure differences between subjects who had all undergone a bout of standardized eccentric exercises and were then either "grounded'' by sleeping on patented Earthing sheets or who slept on ungrounded sheets. The results showed that Earthing significantly reduced the degree and duration of soreness and inflammation.16
In a second DOMS study, grounding reduced blood creatine kinase (CK) and changed blood counts related to inflammation only among grounded participants. Grounding significantly reduced the loss of CK from the injured muscles indicating reduced muscle damage.17
A 2017 study by doctors at the Pennsylvania State University Children's Hospital Neonatal Intensive Care Unit in Hershey revealed another angle on how grounding may influence inflammation. The researchers found that grounding premature infants produced immediate and significant improvements in measurements of autonomic nervous system (ANS) functioning critically important in the regulation of inflammatory and stress responses.18
Grounding the babies, clinically stable and from five to sixty days of age, strongly increased measures of heart rate variability (HRV) that indicated improved vagal tone. HRV refers to beat-to-beat alterations in heart rate, and is influenced by the sympathetic and parasympathetic branches of the ANS.
Grounding was achieved by adhering a grounding patch on the skin of the babies, while in their incubators or cribs, and connecting the patch wire to the hospital's grounding system.
Among the babies tested, "grounding raised parasympathetic tone within minutes," says researcher Charles Palmer, MB. ChB. "We obviously need more research to further document that grounding may enhance vagus nerve transmission and thereby improve stress and inflammatory regulatory mechanisms in preterm infants."
Recent research has revealed that the vagus nerve plays a major role in the so-called "anti-inflammatory reflex," a mechanism controlling basic immune responses and inflammation during pathogen invasion and tissue injury. Among other things, the nerve's actions help to inhibit excessive production of pro-inflammatory chemicals.19,20

Action of Electrons
Earthing quenches pain in virtually any part of the body, including pain from very old injuries. And does so rapidly. It produces a powerful and positive shift in the electrical state of the body and the electrodynamics of blood, and a boost to self-healing and self-regulating mechanisms. There are many side-benefits to this process, as shown in Figure 3.

Figure 3
Those familiar with classical physiology and biochemistry will recognize that the discoveries summarized here do not make much sense from what is known in those fields. It is necessary to turn to biophysics, and to the presence of a cellular and anatomical basis for a continuous molecular network that extends throughout the human body, even to the interior of every cell and nucleus. It has been suggested that this system-wide network is the basis for the acupuncture meridian system and the ability to rapidly deliver antioxidant electrons to sites of inflammation. This system has been termed the living matrix and is now thought to be a semiconductor network capable of rapid charge transfer throughout the body.21
Connective tissues, myofascial, tendons, cell membranes, and cellular cytoskeletal networks belong to this electronic infrastructure. The multiple pathways of this living matrix facilitate the influx of free electrons to reach and neutralize free radicals that are the hallmark of chronic inflammation. Not only that, this arrangement also helps explain why many grounded individuals feel better and more energized. It seems logical to suggest that the influx of electrons from the Earth saturates their mitochondrial electron transport chains that generate adenosine triphosphate (ATP), the energy molecule that powers all of life's activities.
You may recognize the name of Albert Szent-Györgyi, an early pioneer in the emerging field of quantum biology, but best known as the Hungarian biochemist who won the Nobel Prize in Physiology/Medicine in 1937 for his synthesis of vitamin C and the discovery of the components and reactions of the citric acid or Krebs cycle.
Szent-Györgyi's long-ignored work on the electronic conduction in the body provides an understanding of how grounding produces rapid and measurable improvements in whole-body physiology. "In every culture and medical tradition before ours, healing was accomplished by moving energy," he said. "The main actors of life had to be electrons whereas the clumsy and unreactive protein molecules had to be the stage on which the drama of life was enacted."22
This remarkable insight regarded proteins as semiconductors, rather than insulators, as had been thought previously, and thus represent countless channels, lightning fast expressways, for highly mobile electrons to move rapidly through the body.
In 2017, Indian yoga and physical sciences scholar T. M. Srinivasan wrote that "this fascinating and insightful statement" was received with skepticism, but in fact, "it presupposed many later discoveries and was thus much ahead of its time."23
None of these revolutionary concepts are discussed in conventional medicine. They should be.

How to Get Grounded
For the clinician, grounding offers a simple easy-to-administer modality that can by itself generate a broad range of major healing benefits as well as significantly enhance and accelerate the outcomes of routine treatments.
There are various ways to implement grounding:
1)  Recommend outdoor "barefoot sessions" to patients, weather and conditions permitting. Going barefoot for about 30 or 40 minutes daily can significantly reduce pain and stress.23 Barefoot grounding outside is free, however, many people will neither have the time nor the inclination to add such a routine into their life. For these and other people interested in pursuing outdoor grounding, conductive footwear is commercially available, such as at
2)  Ground patients in the clinic for sessions of a half-hour or more utilizing grounding products such as conductive chairs, mats, and patches. This activity can readily be done in the waiting room as patients are waiting to see the doctor.
3)  Once patients experience the effect of grounding, sell them grounding products or direct them to vendors. A variety of grounding systems are available for indoor use while sleeping, working, or relaxing at and
The full story on grounding, the research, and the impact on inflammation can be found in the Earthing book and on the informational website

Invitation to Health Professionals
The Earthing Institute would like to introduce health practitioners to the benefits of grounding for personal use and for patients. If interested, please contact the institute at to request a free grounding kit consisting of 30 patches and a ground cord. Instructions will be provided. Select patients with significant pain problems, invite them to your office for an experimental, totally non-invasive application of grounding. Sit them in a comfortable chair. Place a grounding patch on the palm of their hand. Make a note of how the patient feels and his/her pain level. Let the person sit and relax for at least 30 minutes. At the end of that time, ask the patient the same questions. Send comments and observations to the same email address.
Experiencing grounding is the only real way to convince a skeptic. If you yourself have pain, try the same experiment yourself. You can do it with Earthing patches or simply sitting/walking barefoot in your patio, yard, park, on any natural surface.

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