Earthing Research Studies
There is a growing amount of earthing research published in peer-reviewed journals.
Browse through the studies below organised by health topics including sleep, blood circulation, pain and muscle soreness, stress, immune response and more.
Most of this research is written in technical language that can be hard to understand. To make-it-easy, we’ve created short summaries that introduce the aim of the study, what was done and what the results were. We’ve included a link to study so you can go back to source too.
Earthing Research on Sleep
The biologic effects of grounding the human body during sleep as measured by cortisol levels and subjective reporting of sleep, pain, and stress
Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine 2004;10(5):767–776 (Abstract only).
Ghaly M, Teplitz D.
The aim of this study is to determine the biological effects of earthing in the body during sleep by measuring the cortisol levels and the circadian cortisol secretion profile within an eight-week period. The pilot study recruited 12 subjects with sleep dysfunction, stress and pain complaints.
Before the start of the study, the participants were administered saliva tests to establish the pre-grounding baseline for cortisol levels, They were also asked to self-administer saliva tests every four hours for a 24-hour period to determine their pre-grounding circadian cortisol profiles.
During the test period, subjects were asked to complete daily surveys after sleeping in their own beds with a grounded or earthed mattress pad. Cortisol tests were repeated at week six.
After the eight-week period, the results showed a significant reduction of cortisol levels in the subjects during the night and were higher during the day, indicating that earthing or grounding the body to the earth helps resynchronise cortisol secretion so that it aligns with the natural circadian rhythm profile.
Furthermore, the participants reported an improvement in sleep quality, a reduction in pain and stress with earthing overnight.
Earthing Research on Blood Circulation
Earthing (grounding) the human body reduces blood viscosity—a major factor in cardiovascular disease.
Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, 2013, Volume 19 (2). 102-110 (Full- text available).
Chevalier G, Sinatra ST, Oschman JL, Delany RM
The aim of the study is to determine the effects of earthing for two hours on red blood cells (RBCs). Ten healthy participants were grounded using conductive patches on their hands and feet while comfortably reclining on chairs inside a dimly lit, soundproofed room.
The conductive patches were wired into stainless steel rods planted into the ground outside. Blood samples were taken from each subject and were analysed through a microscope to check the zeta potential (a measurement for electrical charge particles suspended in the blood) and the RBC aggregation before and after earthing.
Eighteen measurements for each subject were tracked over the course of the study. After two hours of earthing or grounding, the data for each subject revealed an increase in zeta potential and a decrease in RBC clumping.
This result means there is less likelihood of clumping and clogging in the blood, suggesting that earthing can be used as a strategy to support the cardiovascular system. Efficient blood flow is important in delivering oxygen and nutrients all throughout the body and reduces the risk of hypertension.
One-Hour Contact with the Earth’s Surface (Grounding) Improves Inflammation and Blood Flow – A Randomized, Double-Blind, Pilot Study
Health. 2015, 7 (8), 1022-59. (Full text available).
Chevalier G, Melvin G, Barsotti T.
The objective of this study is to determine the effects of one-hour of earthing on blood circulation, especially in the face. Forty middle-aged volunteers were recruited to participate. For the double-blind procedure, the subjects were randomly selected into two groups, the grounded and sham-grounded.
Each group sat in a comfortable recliner chair equipped with an earthing pillow, and earthing mat, and conductive patches connected to conducting wires that went into the ground port of an electric power outlet. The lead connecting the port to the earthing products had a built-in resistor for surge protection.
Thermal imaging, taken by infrared camera, was used to measure body temperatures and changes in the blood flow.
For the experiment, the participants underwent thermal equilibration for 15 minutes to normalise their body temperature. Next, the participants were asked to sit on the recliner chair in a 30-degree angle with the earthing equipment in place and a patch placed on each sole and palm. The subjects were given 10 minutes to relax before the 1-hour earthing (or sham-earthing) session began. After this, post-session thermal imaging was taken.
The result of the thermal image scan showed improvements in fluids movement in the abdomen and blood circulation in the face for the grounded subjects. Based on the findings, it appeared that one-hour of earthing promoted autonomic nervous system control of body fluids as well as peripheral blood flow that may result to better blood circulation in the face and throughout the torso. Earthing may also help with skin health, vitality, facial tissue repair and enhance facial appearance and may translate to better health, according to this study.
Grounding the Human Body Improves Facial Blood Flow Regulation: Results of a Randomized, Placebo-Controlled Pilot Study.
Journal of Cosmetics, Dermatological Sciences and Applications. Dec 2014, vol 6 No 5: 293-308. (Full text available).
The aim of this double-blind pilot study is to assess if one hour of earthing can generate measurable changes in facial blood flow. For this pilot study, 40 participants were recruited and assigned randomly to either the earthing group or sham-earthing group.
The earthing equipment used for this study consisted of transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) patches, conductive mats and pillows. The conducting wires in these materials were connected to a power outlet ground port. For sham-grounding, the earthing system was modified to prevent conduction from the earth.
A Laser Speckle Contrast Imaging (LSCI) camera was used to document real-time, high-resolution videos of the blood flow changes in the face.
The subjects were tested individually for the experimental procedure. They were instructed to sit on a comfortable recliner chair equipped with earthing mats and pillows, and the patches were placed on each of their soles and palms. The switch was flipped on to begin either grounding or sham-grounding them for one hour.
Facial blood flow images were taken 20 minutes after the earthing session began, and additional sets of images after the subjects reached their highest point or peak after the relaxation period.
The results of this pilot study showed improvement in facial blood flow regulation in the subjects in the earthing group only. All earthed subjects experienced either an increase in blood flow sometimes with a fluctuating rhythm. By comparison in the non-earthed group, facial blood flow decreased or remained constant at a low value with no rhythmic fluctuation. The clear difference between the groups shows that even one hour of earthing restores blood flow to the face. Improved blood flow may enhance skin tissue repair, skin health and vitality, and improve facial appearance.
Earthing Research on Pain and Muscle Soreness
Pilot study on the effect of grounding on delayed-onset muscle soreness.
Journal of Alternative Complementary Medicine. 2010 Mar; 16(3): 256-73. (Full text available).
Brown D, Chevalier G, Hill M.
The purpose of this study is to determine markers that can warrant further studies on the effects of earthing on delayed-onset muscle soreness (DOMS).
Eight healthy subjects were recruited to participate in this pilot study. All participants did a specific calf exercise to cause DOMS in the gastrocnemius muscles in the legs. By random selection, four subjects were grounded overnight on earthing bedding. In addition, earthing patches were placed on gastrocnemius muscles and on the bottom of their feet. The other four subjects received the same treatment except their earthing systems were modified to prevent connection to the earth.
At the end of the study, blood markers and enzymes were measured and compared. Parameters showed that earthing changed immune system activity, which helped in pain relief and speedy recovery from DOMS.
Grounding after moderate eccentric contractions reduces muscle damage
Open Access Journal of Sports Medicine. 2015. (Full text available).
Brown R, Chevalier R, Hill M.
The aim of this follow-up study is to determine the effects of earthing on muscle soreness using self-reporting on pain, and measures of creatine kinase (CK) and complete blood count. Creatine Kinase (CK) is an enzyme used in tests on inflammation of muscles.
Thirty-two healthy young men were recruited to participate in this study and were randomly selected for the earthing group and sham-earthing group.
On Day 1 and 2, the participants were given a five-minute warm-up and another five minutes for instructions. The subjects then proceeded to perform knee bends for 10 minutes. Then the participants proceeded to do an earthing or sham-earthing period for four hours. They were seated in a room while earthing patches were placed on their quadriceps and they placed their barefeet on earthing mats. The sham-earthing group were not aware that their products were not earthing properly. All participants were permitted to eat, drink, and use electronic devices for the duration of the grounding period.
Testing continued on days 3 and 4 with blood monitoring and earthing, but no exercise. The participants earthed for 8 hours over the test period.
Muscle inflammation (CK levels) significantly increased in the sham-earthed subjects, but CK did not increase significantly for the earthed subjects. On Day 2 there was a big difference between the two groups. On Day 3, the CK levels of both groups returned to their pre-exercise amount. Earthing reduced the loss of CK from injured muscles, which indicates a healing effect.
However, there was no difference in self-reported pain between the two groups, maybe because all participants were fit, active, healthy and used to regular exercise.
Laboratory tests demonstrated differences in blood markers. The number of neutrophils (a type of white blood cell) in the blood were statistically significant. Neutrophils are the white blood cells that get inflammation started (pro-inflammation action) and then wind it up later (anti-inflammatory acton). On day 2 the earthed groups had an increase in neutrophils, whilst the non-earthed group had a decrease. On day 3, both groups were almost back to day 3 values. Further research is needed to properly understand how earthing affects neutrophils and how it impacts inflammation.
Earthing Research on Stress and Mood
Emotional stress, heart rate variability, grounding, and improved autonomic tone: clinical applications
Integrative Medicine: A Clinician’s Journal. 2011;10(3). (Full text available).
Chevalier G, Sinatra S.
This study looked at the effects of earthing on the body’s heart rate variability (HVR), stress, and autonomic tone (health of the nervous system).
Heart rate variability is an indicator of acute and chronic stress relating to mental load, anxiety or emotional trauma.
Twenty-eight healthy subjects participated in the study. Earthing patches were placed upon each person’s palm and on the soles of each foot and connected to a grounding rod outside via an intermediary box with a switching mechanism.
The participants were asked to sit for two hours on a comfortable reclining chair, during which they spent 40-minutes not earthing, 40-minutes earthing, and a further 40-minutes earthing. For the duration of the two-hour session, the subjects were asked to relax and rest. Sleep was permitted, but meditation was not allowed.
The HVR parameters were calculated from electrocardiogram (ECG) recordings during the study.
The results showed an improvement in the balance between the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems. The study concluded that “grounding has the potential to help support HRV, reduce excessive sympathetic overdrive, balance the autonomous nervous system and attenuate the stress response.” In patients who experience anxiety, emotional stress, panic, fear or symptoms related to autonomic nervous system damage (such headaches, dizziness and heart palpitations), the researchers suggested that earthing could have a positive effect within 20 to 30 minutes.
Changes in pulse rate, respiratory rate, blood oxygenation, perfusion index, skin conductance, and their variability induced during and after grounding human subjects for 40 minutes.
Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine. 2010 Jan; 16(1): 81-7. (Abstract only).
This double-blind study looked at the physiological effects of earthing on 28 healthy subjects, 14 and 14 women.
The researchers used several devices for recording and data processing including a Radical-7 device to record the subject’s’ pulse rate, blood oxygenation and perfusion index. This device used a signal extraction technology, which used more than seven wavelengths of light to obtain data for blood constituent. The probe was placed on the middle finger of the subjects’ hands.
A ProCom5 Infiniti encoder was used to measure skin conductance and respiratory rate in real-time. The subject’s ring and little fingers of the left hand were used to measure skin conductance. A respiration sensor was used to record respiratory rate, which consisted of a sensitive girth sensor fitted with a durable latex rubber band and self-adhering belt that can be worn in the thoracic section of the body over clothes.
Four transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) type adhesive earthing patches were used for the experiment, one for each palm and sole of the subjects. These patches were connected to earthing rod outside ground via two intermediary boxes, one of which was fitted with a switch to connect or disconnect contact with earth.
For the duration of the experiment, the participants were asked to sit on a comfortable reclining chair. Earthing patches were placed on the hands and feet. At the start of the session, the subjects remained seated for 40-minutes for sham grounding. After which, the switch was flipped on for 40-minutes of earthing session. The subjects spent another 40-minutes with the grounding system switched off, spending a total of two hours.
The findings of this experiment verified the hypotheses that skin conductance decreases shortly after earthing and increased immediately after unearthing. Skin conductance is an established measure of autonomic nervous system function. The rapid drop in skin conductance (within 0.5-4 seconds) suggests that the calming mode of the nervous system (parasympathetic) was activated almost immediately when earthing.
Changes in respiratory rate, blood oxygenation warrant further research, especially when combined with skin conductance changes.
The Effect of Grounding the Human Body on Mood
Psychological Reports: Mental & Physical Health, 2015 116(2): 534-42. (Abstract only).
This pilot study investigated whether earthing can help improve mood. The study involved 40 participants who were randomly selected and assigned to two groups, the earthing group and sham-earthing (control) group.
The earthing materials used for the study were conductive pillows, mats, and a transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) patches. The wires from these pieces of equipment were attached to a connector on one end. A single wire was connected from the other end, which was inserted ground port of a power outlet. The grounding equipment was outfitted with a switch that when switched on would connect to the ground.
For the double-blinded procedure, each participant filled out a Brief Mood Introspection Scale (BMIS) form before the start of the session. Each subject was then directed to sit on a comfortable reclining chair equipped with earthing pillows and mats, and a patch was attached to each of the participant’s sole and palm.
Each subject was given 10 minutes to relax on the recliner chair before the switch was flipped on either for earthing or sham-earthing session for one hour. During the session, the participants were told to relax while the light was dimmed for maximum relaxation. At the end of the earthing session, the participants filled out another BMIS form.
The results of this pilot study supported three of the four hypothesis. First, the result showed a significant increase in the pleasant-unpleasant mood scale from the grounded group, indicating a more pleasant mood after earthing. Second, there was marked increase in the positive-tired mood scale, which indicated that the subjects in the grounded group felt less tired and more positive. Third, there was a significant decrease in the negative-relaxed mood scale, which demonstrated that participants in the earthing group were less negative and more relaxed.
The conclusion of the pilot study was earthing for one hour can improve mood, suggesting that walking barefoot or using a conductive material has the potential positive effect on health. The results warranted further study on a larger scale with more psychological and physiological tests.
Earthing Research on Inflammation and Immune Response
The effects of grounding (earthing) on inflammation, the immune response, wound healing, and prevention and treatment of chronic inflammatory and autoimmune disease
Journal of Inflammation Research, 2015. March 24. (Full text available).
Oschman, James L, Chevalier G, Brown R.
This is a report of accumulated research studies and experiences on the effects of earthing on wound healing, chronic inflammation and autoimmune disease prevention and/or treatment, and immune system response.
It reviews early studies on the effects of earthing such as Ghaly and Teplitz study which showed the normalisation of overnight cortisol levels in 12 subjects after sleeping on their own beds with an earthing mattress pad. It also reviews the pilot study Brown, Chevalier, Hill conducted about earthing and its effects on delayed-onset muscle soreness (DOMS). That study concluded that earthing can change immune system activity, and assist in recovering from injury from DOMS.
It includes pictures of wounds that healed more rapidly with earthing, and offers a theory of how the earth’s free electrons travel through the body to reduce inflammation.
It concludes that earthing is a simple and natural health strategy to fight against inflammation and support immune response.
Can Electrons Act as Antioxidants? A Review and Commentary
Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine. 2007. 13 (9): 955-967. (Full text).
This review article looks at earlier research on earthing and its effects on the human body. It provides well-explained summaries of different studies by Ghaly, Teplitz, Chevalier, Mori, and Oschman.
It suggests that free electrons from the earth act like natural antioxidants when they enter the body via the skin. In doing this they can help curb different kinds of inflammation, including chronic or long-term inflammation which contributes to many modern diseases – from arthritis to Alzheimers, eczema and more.
To better understand how earthing effects the body, Oschmann refers to the pioneering work of H. Selye who researched the relationship between inflammation and cortisol levels. His findings showed that irritants produced various degrees of inflammation and that the adrenal cortex produces hormones to mediate and modulate the inflammatory responses. We know that earthing overnight (whilst sleeping) normalises overnight cortisol levels. This further supports the argument that earthing can relieve inflammation.
Earthing Research on EMFs
Effects of Grounding on Body Voltage and Current in the Presence of Electromagnetic Fields
Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, 2016. Sep 22(9): 757-9. (Abstract Only)
The objective of this experimental study was to determine if earthing can produce harmful currents in the body while in the presence of electromagnetic fields (EMFs) in a normal housing environment. Note this study focuses on AC electrical EMFs not higher frequency EMFs from wi-fi or mobile phones.
The study tested 50 participants, a combination of men and women with ages between 12 and 79. The subjects were asked to touch a desk lamp with their left hands and then move the hand away from the lamp while testers measured their body voltage. The subjects were then grounded and asked to repeat the same movements. Body voltage was measured during the grounding test.
The results showed that alternating current (AC) body voltage decreased by an average of 58-fold when the subjects were grounded in comparison to when they were not grounded. The study concluded that AC electrical EMFs induced in the body are much lower when a person is earthing compared to not earthing.
Differences in Blood Urea and Creatinine Concentrations in Earthed and Unearthed Subjects during Cycling Exercise and Recovery
Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, Volume 2013 (2013). (Full text available).
The purpose of this Poland-based study was to determine the biochemical changes in humans while earthing or grounding during physical exertion and recovery, with the measurements focused mainly on blood urea and creatinine concentrations.
Forty-two (42) male volunteers were recruited for this double-blind experiment and were divided into two groups, Group A and Group B. In the first week of the study, subjects in Group A were grounded while participants in Group B were ungrounded. The test methods were switched for both groups in the second week, wherein the subjects in Group A were ungrounded, and volunteers for Group B were grounded
The earthing equipment used for the study consisted of four meta-plastic hypoallergenic bands, which was wrapped around the subject’s leg at the start of the trial. These bands were attached to conductors with a terminator clamp placed on a plumbing pipe. The bands were fitted with a cable that allowed the earthing system to be switched off for the sham-grounded group.
For the study, the participants performed two training exercises, each for 30 minutes, on a bicycle ergometer, once while grounded and the other session while sham-grounded. The session consisted of 30 minutes of training and 40 minutes of recovery.
Research coordinators measured the electrical potential of each volunteer’s body as well as blood parameters. Blood samples from each subject were obtained before and after the test session, during the 15th minute after exercise, 30th minute after exercise, and the 40th minute within the recovery phase. During training, continuous monitoring of physiological parameters was performed
Test coordinators used an A-15 analyzer to perform a biochemical analysis. Measurement for urea concentrations were done using enzymes with urease and glutamine dehydrogenase. The kinetic calorimetric technique with alkaline picrate was used to measure the creatinine levels.
The results of the experiment showed that grounding during exercise aids metabolism by balancing proteins.
Protein metabolism was enhanced when the subjects were earthed during exercise, creating a positive nitrogen balance. Substantially low levels of blood urea was documentated for earthed subjects during exercise and relaxation sessions. Although creatinine concentrations did not change during exercise, earthed participants had lower levels after 40 minutes of recovery in the second week.
The study concluded that earthing may have a significant effect on health in rest and exercise, particularly on training athletes.