FAQ - Connection & Conductivity

  • Q: How much “current” is actually being transferred from the Earth's surface via the wire to a grounding product?

    A: There is no constant measurable current flow beyond the equalization charge that is instantly transferred to the body when a person lies on a conductive sheet or makes contact with another type of Earthing product. We are talking about numbers of electrons in the trillions and quadrillions. Once the body is grounded, the rate of influx changes, and the body will only absorb that amount of electrons needed to maintain the same electrical potential as the Earth and to restore what is lost in the body’s metabolic processes. It may take many quadrillions to get the body stable. As long as a person continues to be grounded, the body can use the Earth as a natural reservoir, or “power source,” of electrons to maintain a “topped up” homeostatic level that compensates for any attrition of internal electrons. With connection to the Earth, it would thus seem hard for the body to develop any electron deficiency, and, theoretically, any chronic inflammation. The actual amount of charge (electrons transferred) would vary significantly based upon location of the body above the Earth (voltage) and any potential electrostatic charge that has built up on the body. The continuing amount of electrons absorbed by the body to reduce metabolic and immune response free radicals would also vary significantly between people depending upon their life style and activity. This is all extremely difficult, if not impossible, to measure.

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  • Q: Could there be anything detrimental from the level of ground currents in an urban setting because of high use of electrical grids? Do we have to worry about the electrical fields around us and the impact of our environment on our physical body?

    A: For a detailed answer to the question, read the Earthing Institute statement on Understanding Earthing (grounding) In brief, there is a big misconception regarding ground currents. Some people believe that the electricity that goes from the power plant to your house, lights your light bulb and appliances, and then goes out the other side of the wiring (neutral) into the Earth and returns back to the power company. That’s not true. The alternating current electricity that powers your home and office actually doesn’t go anywhere, and certainly not into the ground.
    Ground currents are generated primarily by geophysical events, like lightning and when the sun shines on the Earth. These events naturally electrify the Earth with a subtle ground current called DC, for direct current.
    Please keep in mind that the Earth is infinitely large. When you make direct physical contact with the Earth, such as by being barefoot outside or sleeping on a conductive sheet inside that is connected to the ground, you and your body become one—electrically speaking. You are conductive and you become an extension of the Earth.
    The Earth is ground. Ground provides electrical stability worldwide for our grid systems and everything electrical in our homes, businesses, and industry.
    We live in an infinite sea of electromagnetic frequencies ranging from airplane communications to garage door openers to cell phones and radio stations. They are all around us. When you are insulated from the Earth, that is, ungrounded, all these frequencies can perturb the electrons of your body and interfere with normal electron transfer activity going on in the body. When you are connected to the Earth, you are at one with the Earth and have an infinite supply of electrons. The man-made environmental frequencies can’t perturb the Earth…or, by extension, you. So you reduce the perturbation of your own cells by connecting your body to the Earth.
    If you are not grounded, it is a good idea to reduce your exposure to these kinds of frequencies. Clear out unnecessary electrical devices and cords around you, especially in the bedroom. Some people go to the extreme and turn off the power in their homes. That’s well and good, but not practical. The key is to identify and reduce the exposure. If you aren’t grounded, at least de-electrify your bedroom.

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  • Q: Before I buy any Earthing products, should I have an electrician come to my house first and see if it is grounded properly?

    A: (North America) If you have an older house, built before the 1960s, and all the outlets do not have a third hole (ground port) then you will either need to use a ground rod or call an electrician to do some updating on your electrical system.
    In any case, Earthing products come with an outlet checker that is very simple to use. You just stick it in your wall outlet and it lights up if you have a good solid ground. Then you are good to go with the products. You just plug them right into the third hole and forget about it.
    Outside of North America, you will also have to use a ground rod if your home’s electrical system is not properly grounded. If it is grounded, you will have to obtain a grounded North American adapter for your outlets that will accommodate standard three-pin North American type electrical appliances.

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  • Q: Do Earthing products run on electricity?

    A: No. They simply pick up the Earth’s energy through the ground port of a properly grounded outlet or from a ground rod placed directly in the Earth. The energy passes through a cord to the conductive Earthing mat, sheet, or band specially designed for human grounding. When your body comes in contact with the Earthing product you absorb the Earth’s energy. Earthing products are like “barefoot substitutes,” enabling you to receive the outside energy of the Earth inside your home or office. 

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  • Q: Can I become electrocuted by an Earthing product?

    A: No. When you plug in the cord of an Earthing sheet or mat into an electrical outlet, the plug, cord, and product are designed to only conduct the ground energy, from the ground port in the outlet. It does not conduct the electrical power that operates your lights and appliances in the house.

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  • Q: My husband told me that if there is a short anywhere in our home electrical system, all the electricity would flow through the ground wire into the ground and that since we were using a grounded sheet connected to that wire we would be electrocuted.

    A: Not at all. If there is a short to the ground it would immediately trip all of the breakers on that circuit. Furthermore, the ground cords on authorized Earthing products have a built-in safety feature (a 100k ohm resistor) that prevents current from flowing through.

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  • Q: Do I have to be concerned about being hit by lightning during a thunderstorm if I am grounded in my home? 

    A: Lightning is a massive natural phenomenon that is unpredictable and challenging to totally protect against. It is poorly understood. Homes are rarely hit by lightning. When this happens, the lightning usually takes the path of least resistance to the ground, such as large conductive systems like the plumbing pipes, electrical wiring network, or telephone and cable TV lines, all of which are directly grounded to the Earth.
    The National Safety Council reports that the odds of dying from a lightning strike in one year are 1 in 6 million (www.nsc.org/research/odds.aspx). To put this in perspective, the chance of being hit and killed by an automobile as a pedestrian in the same period is 1 in fifty thousand—a risk 120 times greater. What these statistics suggest is that being hit by lightning is rather unlikely. However, follow standard lightning safety guidelines as directed by National Weather Service (www.lightningsafety.noaa.gov) if you live in a lightning-prone area. Disconnect your Earthing device and don’t use it during lightning and thunderstorms.

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  • Q: How do I know if I need a ground rod or a plug-in connection? 

    A: In North America, most modern homes have a functional electrical ground system that interfaces with the Earthing plug-in cord. You just insert the prong end of the cord into the ground port (third hole) of the wall outlet. If your home was built before the 1960s and has not been electrically re-wired, you may require a ground rod or professional installation of a dedicated grounding connection to the Earth. If you are unsure, have an electrician check your home for the presence of a functional ground system or use a commercially available outlet checker.

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  • Q: If I place a ground rod in the earth outdoors is it OK if it gets rained on? 

    A: Totally OK. The presence of moisture increases the flow of electrons from the Earth. That’s why it’s great to stand or walk barefoot in damp grass or in the surf or wet sand at the beach. If you live in a very dry climate and are using a ground rod, try to place it in a spot where there is some moisture, perhaps from sprinklers. You can even water the ground rod every week or so, if you like to keep the soil moist.

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  • Q: Who can I have drill holes in the wall for me so I can use a ground rod? 

    A: A handyman or an electrician can easily drill a hole through the wall, and seal it properly, near where you want to use your Earthing product. You then insert the ground rod in the Earth as near as possible to the hole, making sure the ground rod wire is not located where someone can trip over it. Then run the wire through the hole in the wall. Snap the other end onto the Earthing product. If you don't want to go to the expense of having someone drill a hole for you, simply run the wire from the ground rod outside under an adjacent window or door yourself.

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  • Q: I live in an old apartment building without grounded electrical outlets and I cannot place a ground rod outside in the Earth. What can I do? 

    A: If you don’t mind a wire running through your apartment, you could connect your Earthing product to the cold water pipe under your bathroom sink. The pipe is part of the building’s water supply system, which originates underground, and is thus grounded. Meanwhile, try to spend some regular barefoot time out-of-doors if possible and consider using an Earthing mat in your office or place of work if practical.

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  • Q: How do I use the outlet checker that came with my Earthing system?

    A: In North America, insert the outlet checker into a wall socket that has a third hole (ground port). Two orange lights on the outlet checker indicate the presence of a proper ground. If there is no third hole, the outlet is not grounded. If you live outside of North America, insert the outlet checker into an appropriate grounded adapter that fits into a grounded socket.

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  • Q: Once the Earthing product is plugged into a grounded outlet should I always leave it plugged in? 

    A: Yes. To clean or wash the Earthing product, you simply unsnap the cord from the product. There is no need to remove the plug-in end of the cord from the outlet unless you want to use the product elsewhere.

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  • Q: Are all the outlets in my home grounded if one of them is grounded?

    A: No. In North America, all kitchens and bathrooms must have grounded outlets but the bedrooms and other rooms in the house do not necessarily have a grounded outlet even if they have a three-prong outlet. You must test any individual outlet for a proper ground if you plan to use it for Earthing purposes.

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  • Q: Can I plug my Earthing product into a surge protector or extension cord?

    A: Yes, as long as the surge protector or extension cord have an existing ground port (for the third prong) which will connect with the grounding system in the home or office.

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  • Q: Would it be considered Earthing to plug something into the ground port of a wall electrical outlet, for instance, a wire and wrap it around my ankle or wrist?

    A: Don’t do it! Unless you are an electrician or an electrical engineer, it is highly recommended not to “experiment” with plugging “something” into a wall electrical outlet. First and foremost, it is unsafe to plug a bare wire into an electrical ground in any case. An outlet should always be checked to see if it is properly grounded. All the authorized Earthing products are specifically designed for safe, biological grounding of people. They have a built-in resistor that limits the flow of current in order to prevent the unlikely possibility that electricity would flow through the connecting wire and possibly hurt someone. This allows the Earth’s natural energy to come through but not any potentially harmful electricity. In this respect, the resistor acts like a “kink” in a hose, curbing the flow. Earthing products for personal grounding have built-in protection similar to the systems utilized in industry throughout the world to prevent electricity and static from damaging sensitive electronic parts.

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  • Q: In your book you mention that results were not as good with products which incorporated a 1 megohm resistor in the line.

    A: Your comment refers to grounding systems used in the electronics industry and other industries to reduce or eliminate the risk of electrostatic discharge (ESD) in order to protect sensitive electronic components. Our testing of those systems failed to totally reproduce the same effects as a direct Earthing ground system. All ESD ground cords contain 1 megohm resistor. A 1 megohm resistor allows 60hz EMF induced body voltage to drop by 90 percent. Earthing products have a built-in 100K ohm resistor in all ground cords for safety and allows 60hz EMF induced body voltage to drop by 99 percent. The objective of Earthing the body is to replicate standing barefoot on the Earth and equalizing the potential of the body with the potential of the Earth. This occurs both with either a 1 megohm or a 100K ohm resistor, the difference being a fraction of a second slower with the bigger resistor. Bringing and holding the body at Earth’s potential restores the body’s natural electrical state. This is the key factor regarding inflammation reduction. Reducing EMF induced body voltages is more beneficial to the autonomic nervous system and to sleep.

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  • Q: Is there a safety risk of being in contact with an Earthing system specifically while using electrical or electronic devices? 

    A: Earthing products are designed with built-in user safety. First, an electrical outlet tester is supplied with each product to verify that an outlet is properly wired and that the outlet has a working ground. The product ground cords are designed to provide a safe soft ground utilizing a built-in (molded in) in-line current limiting 100kohm resistor. In the event that a short develops in an electrical device that a person is in contact with while grounded the built-in resistor limits the current flow to a safe level. The accepted safe current limit of 5-8mA is defined as “sensation of shock not painful; individuals can let go at will.” The human body threshold of sensation is 1mA. The electrical calculation is current=volts/resistance (I=V/R). R = Rresistor + Rbody. Typical body resistance is 10k when wet and much higher when dry. However, to be conservative, using Rbody=0, Rres=100kohm, V=130volts; then maximum current I=130volts/100,000ohm=1.3mA; well below the accepted safety limit of 5-8mA and most likely barely perceptible. 

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  • Q: I live in a 20-story concrete apartment. Would you think that connecting to the outside concrete wall, which I believe goes all the way down to the foundation without a break or any wood in between, would give a similar effect to standing on the concrete basement floor?

    A: Connecting a grounding device to the outside concrete wall of your apartment would provide some degree of Earthing conductivity but it would be significantly less than standing on concrete situated directly on the Earth. The reason: concrete high in the air would be drier and less conductive. Concrete directly on the Earth maintains a much higher moisture content. The best way to access the Earth’s energy in your apartment would be with the use of the electrical ground (third hole in power outlets), assuming the building has a proper electrical grounding system throughout.

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  • Q: My Earthing cord is tangled with a bunch of computer, TV, and other cords. Is this a problem?

    A: There is no problem with the ground cord being near TV, telephone or computer cables.

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  • Q: Can I plug my mat and sheet into one splitter cord without splitting the potential of Earthing in half for each product?

    A: The use of a splitter does not reduce the potential of Earthing at all for either product.

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  • Q: I have read the Earthing book but still don’t understand how the grounding mats can work in a car since the car has rubber tires and is not grounded. Can I really ground myself while driving the car? I drive a Prius. Does that change the ability of the mat to ground?

    A: In a nutshell, you have a relative grounding plane provided by the metal frame of the car. Any car. When you clip the cord of the auto mat to the metal frame (such as part of the metal understructure of the seat), you capture enough of a grounding effect to help eliminate some fatigue along with tension that drivers develop in the shoulders and neck from the buildup of static electricity on the body. The fatigue and tension is usually most noticeable when driving long distances, and is, for instance, a frequent complaint of long-haul truckers.

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  • Q: It is hard to find a place to clip the auto mat onto? Any suggestions?

    A: Some people have found very little bare metal under the car seat. The metal seems to be all painted. If you can’t find a bare spot, just take a file and file away some of the paint on any metallic surface where you can fasten the clip end of the Earthing mat cord.

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  • Q: Do you have to put a grounding strap on a vehicle in addition to using the grounding mat? I just read an article stating that “there is no point in grounding the body to the metal cage of the vehicle if the vehicle itself is not grounded to earth. The radiation will only be radiated back into the body. Therefore it is important that the vehicle itself is grounded too!”

    A: The use of a grounded seat pad has nothing to do with radiation. Any electrical radiation would exist on the body whether it was touching the vehicle or not. The body itself is a conductor and no different than the auto in attracting radiation. Electrically, both are like antennas. The auto seat ground pad has to do with reducing static charges continuously being created on the body while driving. To determine just how much static charge is reduced when the body is connected to the frame of the vehicle via the ground pad, simply add the mass of the metal vehicle and the mass of the body together. Then divide by body weight. As an example, if the body is 200 lbs and the auto metal 4,000 lbs, you have a total of 4,200 lbs. The body equals 2.1% of the total conductive mass. Subtract that from the 100 percent total and you get a reduction of 97.9 percent. According to truckers and other drivers mentioned in the Earthing book, they feel better when driving grounded.

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  • Q: Can you connect an Earthing sheet to the electric outlet on a cruise ship?

    A: You may want to check with the cruise company first. It is likely that a cruise ship would be well grounded and the use of in-cabin outlet grounds should work well.

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  • Q: I live on a house boat. Can I use the outlets to ground myself? 

    A: As long as the boat is connected to a shore power, an electrical outlet ground would be fine. When a boat is not connected to shore power and running on a generator, the outlets may not be grounded and you would have to ask the manufacturer. If your boat is in ocean (salt) water, you can connect your Earthing device to a ground rod and dangle it over the side into the water. Sea water makes a good ground.

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  • Q: I just began using an Earthing floor mat at my desk. I noticed that when I work with my laptop computer and have my bare feet grounded on the mat I feel a kind of static electricity friction as I move my hands over the computer. If there is any moisture on my hands they sting like a pinprick when they touch the laptop. These things don’t happen when I take my feet off of the pad! The laptop is connected into the same wall outlet I use to ground the mat. The electric feeling as I work with the laptop is not comfortable.

    A: Ungrounded laptops (without a three prong power cord) can generate significant electric fields. Some people will feel sensations while they are grounded and working on the computer. If the feeling is uncomfortable, we recommend several options:

    1. Don’t ground yourself while using the computer plugged in.
    2. Ground yourself only when the computer is operating on battery mode.
    3. Place the laptop directly on the Earthing mat to ground the computer.

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