Connecting with the earth can cure chronic pain—and stop insomnia
In the late 1990s, a former cable guy named Clint Ober was sitting on a park bench in Sedona, Arizona, when he had a revelation. Early in life Ober had installed poles, wires, and cable boxes on his way to becoming a successful executive. He knew that one secret of a static-free TV is to make sure all the electrical equipment is protected from electromagnetic interference, and the simple solution is to connect the system by a wire to an iron pole stuck into a single, six-sextillion-ton battery that is constantly charged by solar radiation, lightning, and heat from its molten core. That giant battery, of course, is Mother Earth. The connection is known as grounding.
Ober was on that bench in Sedona because he had recently almost died of a liver disease. Once he had healed, he decided to start a new life: He sold his cable company, gave away his possessions, and took to the road. He had time and resources and was wondering what to do next as he watched the tourists amble by in their expensive footwear. As he writes, “It occurred to me rather innocently that all these people—me included—were insulated from the ground, the electrical surface charge of the earth beneath our feet.”
Intrigued, Ober went home and created a simple grounding mechanism by attaching a wire to a grounded metal rod out his living room window. With a voltmeter and the wire in hand, he walked around his apartment measuring the voltage on his body. He writes, “When I walked toward a lamp, the voltage would go up. When I stepped back, the voltage went down. The only appliances that did not create electromagnetic field (EMF) voltage on my body were the refrigerator and my computer tower. They were grounded. Next I went to the bedroom, lay down on my bed, and registered the highest level of EMF voltage. The bedroom was the most ‘electrically active’ area of the apartment. The bed was up against a wall full of hidden electrical wires.”
The next day, Ober built himself a crude sleeping pad out of metalized duct tape, which he then grounded out his bedroom window. He speculated that his chronic sleeping problems might be caused by the electric fields in the room. When he lay down on the pad, the voltmeter showed that his bed was now equivalent to the ground outside. “I was lying there fooling around with the voltmeter,” Ober says, “and the next thing I knew it was morning. I had fallen asleep with the voltmeter on my chest. I had slept soundly for the first time in years, and I had hardly moved at all during the night.”
After a few days of sleeping restfully on the pad, Ober also noticed that his severe back pain had vastly improved. In fact, he was feeling better than he had in years. “I came to the conclusion that I may have made a great discovery,” he says.
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