Creaking knees, aching hips, or a shooting pain in the shoulder? Joint pain or stiffness can seem like a normal part of ageing. Something that we just have to learn to live with – but that’s not so.
Pat, a woman 81-years of age with osteoarthritis pain in both of her hips, wasn’t willing to put up with the pain. She was on the waitlist for hip replacement surgery and was doing regular Tai Chi to strengthen her muscles and better support her joints. However, it was the discovering of earthing that prompted a major change, reducing her pain, increasing her flexibility and improving her sleep.
“The pain and stiffness were bad enough that I couldn’t get enough sleep. I’d lay on my right side, then you turn over to the left side, just as bad – so it was a very disturbed night’s sleep”.
Pat had heard others around her talking about earthing and decided to find out what the fuss was about and purchased the Earthing book.
“I read the book and it all just made sense to me. From there, I bought the earthing underlay sheet”.
The first night Pat experienced some tingling in her toes and thought, “ah, okay … when I read what you said about, if there was toxicity in your system, you may get some reaction”.
The tingling Pat was experiencing was the sign that her circulation was improving. It’s quite normal for people to feel this when they start earthing and it’s a positive sign.
“On the second night, I slept through the night and woke up feeling terrific and even noticed being in a better mood”.
When she attended her Tai Chi class the next day, her instructor noticed a difference.
“My Tai Chi Instructor said, ‘oh you’re more flexible!’ and picked up something in my demeanour that maybe I hadn’t noticed”.
The benefits continued. After 3 months of using the earthing underlay sheet, Pat found she no longer needed to use a walking stick for support.
While Pat is still on the list for her hip replacement surgery, the earthing underlay continues to provide relief from pain and has improved her sleep and flexibility.
“My orthopaedic man wants to operate because my hip and my knee and my ankle are all out of alignment on my right side. But I mean, it’s got no pain there since I’ve been sleeping with the earthing underlay sheet. For me, it’s been successful and that’s what I tell people”.
Why Earthing or Grounding Can Help Joint Inflammation
There have been several studies on earthing or grounding and inflammation. Earthing has been found to reduce the number of circulating white blood cells (neutrophils and lymphocyte) following injury. These fighter cells are sometimes called free radicals and are a normal part of our immune response. They clear out damaged cells, dismantling them so that healthy cells can grow in their place. However, problems occur if there are too many of them. Healthy tissues can get dismantled alongside the damaged ones causing an inflammatory cascade. You can think of this like a controlled fire that jumps the firebreak and starts burning out of control causing damage to whatever is in its path.
Long-term inflammation has been identified as the cause of many serious chronic diseases. This includes osteoarthritis, where the protective cartilage that cushions the end of our bones is constantly being worn away, provoking inflammation and pain. Find out more in our article on earthing and arthritis relief.
Earthing or grounding provides the body with free electrons that neutralise excess inflammation in the site of injury. This, in turn, can reduce pain.
Free electrons have a negative charge. Inflammation (free radicals) have a positive charge. Negative pairs off with the Positive to create balance.
When there is less inflammation in the body, pain lessens, and healing speeds up.
In 2000, Dr Amalu conducted a series of 20 case studies using thermographic imagery to document the reduction of inflammation with earthing.
The images below are of a female 65-years of age with chronic hip, thigh and knee pain, plus stiffness, swelling, and insomnia. She experienced a marked reduction in inflammation and pain after 4 nights of sleeping on an indoor earthing product.
The images on the top row (before earthing) have much more red/ warm colours that show inflamed, swollen and painful areas. The images on the bottom (after earthing) show a marked reduction in inflammation (red) after just 4 nights of earthing.
How to Get Started with Earthing
Earthing is the practice of being in conductive contact with the earth. One way to trial it is to step outdoors and put your bare feet on the earth (grass or soil). You may find that that you feel more relaxed or calmer. To experience pain relief and greater mobility, several hours of earthing a day is commonly needed. The most convenient way to do this is with an indoor earthing product. You can choose from a pad for your chair or an underlay for your bed. Browse different types of earthing products in our shop. These will allow you to earth while you are sleeping, while you watch tv or work on the computer.
Amalu, W. ‘Clinical Earthing Application in 20 Case Studies’, unpublished research by Dr Amalu president of International Academy of Clinical Thermography
Oschman J, Chevalier G, Hill, M. ‘Pilot study on the effect of grounding on delayed-onset muscle soreness.’ Journal of Alternative Complementary Medicine. 2010 Mar; 16(3): 256-73.
Oschman J, Chevalier G, Brown R. ‘The effects of grounding (earthing) on inflammation, the immune response, wound healing, and prevention and treatment of chronic inflammatory and autoimmune diseases’ Journal of Inflammation Research 2015; 8: 83-96.