You’re Grounded

Connecting with the earth can cure chronic pain—and stop insomnia


| July-August 2011



youre-grounded

Floriana Barbu

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.

Over the following months Ober created more makeshift grids for the beds of half a dozen or so people, who reported that they too experienced benefits. Meanwhile, he scoured the Internet and visited Arizona’s top medical libraries, searching for anything he could find on grounding and health, but all he found were a few Native American stories. Electronic specialists confirmed that there was no risk from the grounding pads—or from standing barefoot on the earth, for that matter—but no one had seriously investigated whether or not our bodies depend on grounding energy to maintain health. When Ober took the question to prominent sleep researchers in California, they laughed him out the door.

āshingu
11/4/2015 10:25:59 PM

There is some controversy about alleged "dirty electricity", and how when we are earthed in city environments that are contaminated with electronic and EMF pollution, that we actually make ourselves sicker rather than healthier by [earthing](http://earthing.jp/). What do you think about this? One side claims it is nonsense, the other true, and I haven't heard enough either way to form a strong opinion. I'd like to hear what others think.


āshingu
11/4/2015 10:23:17 PM

There is some controversy about alleged "dirty electricity", and how when we are earthed in city environments that are contaminated with electronic and EMF pollution, that we actually make ourselves sicker rather than healthier by http://earthing.jp/. What do you think about this? One side claims it is nonsense, the other true, and I haven't heard enough either way to form a strong opinion. I'd like to hear what others think.


carla
7/23/2014 11:37:24 AM

This is a very useful article. I suffer from chronic back pain and it is good to see that there are others ways out there to treat the problem rather than having to visit the chiropractors in Birmingham that help treat my pains.


mike grabarek
9/3/2011 9:18:12 AM

I'm curious as to the results of the placebo group in the study outlined in the article.


dasher
7/23/2011 11:21:47 AM

This is a great article - I have also read that taking a bath with epsom salts and bentonite clay creates a negative charge environment and you're probably also grounding yourself through your plumbing (assuming the pipes are metal).


steve eatenson
7/12/2011 12:35:48 PM

This is really facinating. I read a book not too long ago about Indians in Mexico who can run astonishingly long distances without getting tired and run barefoot. I tried it but was discouraged by the stickers. The smarter we think we are the dumber we become. I love this idea. Thanks!


marydancer
7/11/2011 3:27:16 PM

Hey


sonomajazz
7/11/2011 11:59:26 AM

This is preposterous, quackery...I'm checking it out immediately!!