What is Earthing? Earthing is much more than your typical transcendental journey through the Chakra system. In reality, the relatively new concept has many professionals regarding Earthing as one of the most important health discoveries of our time. With so much scientific evidence supporting its positive effects on overall human health, it’s difficult not to wonder, what’s all the hype?
Earthing, also known as grounding, is based on research that demonstrate that connecting to Earth’s electrical energy promotes physical wellbeing. The act of Earthing refers to a physical connection between the electrical frequencies of the human body with that of Earth’s (think barefoot in the grass, or at the beach). Just like the sun constantly provides us with energy and vitamins, the earth too is a source of subtle energy that contributes to optimum health.
Earthing can be achieved in a number of ways: standing, sitting, lying or walking with direct skin contact with the ground is the easiest but conducting and grounding products like bed sheets provide a convenient method of connecting with Earth when it’s otherwise impractical.
Although Earthing is a rapidly growing movement that have many people excited about the future of physical health, it hasn’t always been so widely accepted. In fact in the late 1990s when a retired cable TV executive named Clint Ober first introduced the idea, he was met with skepticism and even ridicule. What does a cable guy know about health? Apparently, much more than you’d think.
As the founder of the once leading cable installation company in the US, Ober knew a thing or two about cable imaging and electrical frequencies. He knew that a well grounded TV cable installation that prevented signals from leaking out and outside disturbances from leaking in delivered a crisp, high quality image. Those that were not well grounded did not.
After retiring, Ober started to take note of the fact that almost everyone is now sporting synthetic-soled footwear made of non-conductive materials – he knew that these shoes with rubber and plastic soles prevent us from being grounded. Ober then began to wonder what effect, if any, this relatively recent and widespread disconnect with the earth had on the human body. If at all like the world of cable, he thought this case of habit could very well mean we’re passing a large part of our lives ungrounded and therefore disconnected from Earth’s stabilizing energy field. Could this disconnect have a detrimental effect on human health? After failing to rally support from the world of science, Ober took things in his own hands and began performing his own studies to see if his theory had any validity. In time, his work gained the attention of a few members of the medical community including renowned cardiologist, Stephen Sinatra.
For over a decade, Ober and a handful of supporters performed various studies that examined the effect that sleeping while grounded had on physical health. The results were consistent: participants reported sleeping better as well as a reduction in pain.
Initially Ober believed the elimination of static electricity (imagine minor blips within energy flows) to be the cause of such positive results. Although certainly true, the lack of static electricity only accounted for part of the answer of why Earthing works. In fact, Ober was inadvertently providing the world of science with a never before seen piece of the chronic pain puzzle.
Ober knew that Earth’s electrical surface is made up of negative charged electrons (also known as free electrons). These electrons have the ability to move more freely and reduce positive charges (free radicals). Free radicals continue to ravage our bodies healthy cells in search of the one thing they are missing, an electron. Once a free radical finds it’s missing electron, it is satiated and is no longer contributing to the inflammation in the body. While many of us may grow to be ‘electron deficient’, we now understand that the earth below our feet is the greatest source of these electrons.. if only we stay in contact with it.
Finally, after years of his initial research, Ober received scientific support in 2004 when the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine published one of his studies. The results were impressive: ‘Earthing during sleep resynchronizes cortisol secretion more in alignment with its natural, normal rhythm.’ Cortisol secretion is the body’s natural reaction to stresses.
The same study also reported numerous positive results including the following amongst others:
Evidence suggests that negative-charged free electrons on Earth’s surface are responsible for bringing the electric energy levels of the human body in accordance with that of the earth which in turn promotes overall health and vitality.
Although the science of Earthing is a relatively new field, more and more evidence suggests that suffusing the body with negative electrons produces virtually immediate positive results such as equalizing energy levels, synchronizing hormonal cycles and establishing proper physiological rhythms.
A key factor that has medical professionals intrigued is Earthing’s reported effects on inflammation. Currently, inflammation is linked to nearly eighty chronic illnesses including major diseases like cancer and type 2 Diabetes. Dr. William Meggs from East Carolina University claims that ‘inflammation may turn out to be the elusive Holy Grail of medicine – the single phenomenon that holds the key to sickness and health.’
Although science continues to play a game of catch up with nature, Earthing seems to be a valid and definitely low-maintenance approach toward living a healthy lifestyle. If possible, simply find a patch of earth, kick off your shoes and spend some time in contact with the Earth. Even 20-30 minutes can make a remarkable difference. Unfortunately, this approach to earthing is not always practical with our modern day life styles and synthetic footwear… Earthing Products exist as a convenient way to maintain contact during work, rest or sleep.
Sometimes the simplest things bring us the greatest health benefits. When is the last time you really felt connected to the earth? Today’s blog post is all about something called “grounding” and how it can help heal the body.
When is the last time you walked barefoot on the earth? Between wearing shoes, living in a house, and maybe even thinking of the ground as “dirty” and avoiding it at all costs, there’s a good chance it’s been a while since you truly got in touch with the earth as humans have always been meant to do.
Grounding, sometimes called earthing, brings us back to a neutral, balanced state when we make direct contact with the earth. Negative ions from the earth’s surface rush into our bodies to discharge the many unpaired positive ions, or free radicals, we’ve picked up in daily life. Those free radicals are associated with disease, aging, and inflammation, and when you expose your bare skin to the soil, grass, or even concrete, the earth’s healing powers swoop in to save the day.
We all have electrical energy, and modern technology has a way of throwing that energy off at times. Free radicals from just living a modern lifestyle and having daily exposure to pollutants, technology (EMFs), and more can build up in the body as free radicals. When we get back in touch (literally!) with the earth, the free radicals neutralize, our health can improve, and we bring ourselves back in sync with the earth’s energy field.
There are so many health benefits to grounding, from a reduced risk of heart attack to better sleep and less chronic pain. The earth gives us so much! If we don’t ignore it (or miss out on it unintentionally, like by always wearing shoes outside), there’s so much healing power we can take advantage of.
A study published recently in The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicinei found that grounding can reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and heart attacks. Contact with the earth naturally thins the blood and reduces inflammation. This could result in better blood pressure and blood flow.
Another studyii showed that grounding could improve heart rate variability, which could lead to not only cardiovascular benefits, but also reduced stress and decreased anxiety and depression. Lowered stress levels could mean fewer headaches and even recovery from adrenal fatigue (because remember, stress can contribute to that!).
Another side effect of grounding is better sleep. A different study from The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicineiii found that when subjects—especially females—slept in their own beds with conducive mattress pads, their nighttime cortisol levels dropped, they experienced better sleep, and were in less pain than they were before the study began. Better sleep may mean higher energy levels throughout the day, another perk that comes from grounding.
The Journal of Environmental and Public Healthiv discussed a possible reduction in the likelihood of developing osteoporosis when subjects spent time earthing. One night of grounding resulted in less calcium and phosphorous through the urine. The loss of these minerals over time is tied to the development of osteoporosis, so finding out how to reduce the loss could do wonders for bone health.
Free electrons’ role as antioxidants are explained in a paper by Dr. James Oschman in The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicinev. In the case of an “electron deficiency” (not enough contact with the earth’s surface), the immune system suffers and inflammation can’t be addressed and controlled as quickly as it should be. Once we’re able to neutralize the free radicals with the electrons from the earth, inflammation can begin to subside, and this is key to slowing or preventing so many chronic diseases.
Free radicals are some of the biggest offendersvi when it comes to aging, and if grounding is bringing balance to the body and neutralizing them, you’ll also be slowing down the aging process. Grounding’s effects on inflammation will also reduce premature aging, since inflammation is linked to not only the way you age on the outside, but a number of diseases that a lot of people accept as a normal, albeit heartbreaking, part of getting older.
Other benefits of grounding that have been reported include:
There’s not a “right way” to participate in grounding. It’s the most natural thing in the world, though it may feel oddly foreign when you first start practicing it. The quickest and easiest way to do this is to kick off your shoes and walk around in the grass (or dirt, sand, rocks, etc) or lie on the ground and take a short nap in the sun. You could even try yoga or meditation outside.
If you’re crunched for time and have some yard work to do, plant some flowers with your bare hands, dig around in the dirt, and remove the gloves for some of the work it’s safe to do with your hands uncovered. Even a couple of minutes spent in contact with the earth can work wonders. Just make sure you do it regularly to maintain the benefits.
There are also earthing mats and sheets on the market today that you just plug in and stay in contact with as you work or sleep. These are great if you really have no good way to enjoy some time in the grass, dirt, or even rocks.
If you want to know more, there’s a new movie, The Grounded, that discusses the amazing health benefits that contact with the earth can provide. It’s a true story about an Alaskan wildlife farmer who experiences pain relief through grounding and inspires others in his community to give it a try (they also see amazing results). The results are so fantastic, in fact, that doctors, scientists, and even Apollo astronauts become intrigued.
Even if you’re really skeptical about earthing and its benefits, it’s something that’s free to try and really can’t hurt! I encourage you to get outside, put your bare feet on the ground, and see if you notice anything different in the way you feel, whether it’s reduced pain or just better sleep and increased energy because of it. It’s really amazing to think just how healing this planet really is, from the beautiful food that grows here to nourish us to the benefits of just lying in the grass on a sunny afternoon.
Environmental medicine generally addresses environmental factors with a negative impact on human health. However, emerging scientific research has revealed a surprisingly positive and overlooked environmental factor on health: direct physical contact with the vast supply of electrons on the surface of the Earth. Modern lifestyle separates humans from such contact. The research suggests that this disconnect may be a major contributor to physiological dysfunction and unwellness. Reconnection with the Earth’s electrons has been found to promote intriguing physiological changes and subjective reports of well-being. Earthing (or grounding) refers to the discovery of benefits—including better sleep and reduced pain—from walking barefoot outside or sitting, working, or sleeping indoors connected to conductive systems that transfer the Earth’s electrons from the ground into the body. This paper reviews the earthing research and the potential of earthing as a simple and easily accessed global modality of significant clinical importance.
Environmental medicine focuses on interactions between human health and the environment, including factors such as compromised air and water and toxic chemicals, and how they cause or mediate disease. Omnipresent throughout the environment is a surprisingly beneficial, yet overlooked global resource for health maintenance, disease prevention, and clinical therapy: the surface of the Earth itself. It is an established, though not widely appreciated fact, that the Earth’s surface possesses a limitless and continuously renewed supply of free or mobile electrons. The surface of the planet is electrically conductive (except in limited ultradry areas such as deserts), and its negative potential is maintained (i.e., its electron supply replenished) by the global atmospheric electrical circuit [1, 2].
Mounting evidence suggests that the Earth’s negative potential can create a stable internal bioelectrical environment for the normal functioning of all body systems. Moreover, oscillations of the intensity of the Earth’s potential may be important for setting the biological clocks regulating diurnal body rhythms, such as cortisol secretion .
It is also well established that electrons from antioxidant molecules neutralize reactive oxygen species (ROS, or in popular terms, free radicals) involved in the body’s immune and inflammatory responses. The National Library of Medicine’s online resource PubMed lists 7021 studies and 522 review articles from a search of “antioxidant + electron + free radical” . It is assumed that the influx of free electrons absorbed into the body through direct contact with the Earth likely neutralize ROS and thereby reduce acute and chronic inflammation . Throughout history, humans mostly walked barefoot or with footwear made of animal skins. They slept on the ground or on skins. Through direct contact or through perspiration-moistened animal skins used as footwear or sleeping mats, the ground’s abundant free electrons were able to enter the body, which is electrically conductive . Through this mechanism, every part of the body could equilibrate with the electrical potential of the Earth, thereby stabilizing the electrical environment of all organs, tissues, and cells.
Modern lifestyle has increasingly separated humans from the primordial flow of Earth’s electrons. For example, since the 1960s, we have increasingly worn insulating rubber or plastic soled shoes, instead of the traditional leather fashioned from hides. Rossi has lamented that the use of insulating materials in post-World War II shoes has separated us from the Earth’s energy field . Obviously, we no longer sleep on the ground as we did in times past.
During recent decades, chronic illness, immune disorders, and inflammatory diseases have increased dramatically, and some researchers have cited environmental factors as the cause . However, the possibility of modern disconnection with the Earth’s surface as a cause has not been considered. Much of the research reviewed in this paper points in that direction.
In the late 19th century, a back-to-nature movement in Germany claimed many health benefits from being barefoot outdoors, even in cold weather . In the 1920s, White, a medical doctor, investigated the practice of sleeping grounded after being informed by some individuals that they could not sleep properly “unless they were on the ground or connected to the ground in some way,” such as with copper wires attached to grounded-to-Earth water, gas, or radiator pipes. He reported improved sleeping using these techniques . However, these ideas never caught on in mainstream society.
At the end of the last century, experiments initiated independently by Ober in the USA  and K. Sokal and P. Sokal  in Poland revealed distinct physiological and health benefits with the use of conductive bed pads, mats, EKG- and TENS-type electrode patches, and plates connected indoors to the Earth outside. Ober, a retired cable television executive, found a similarity between the human body (a bioelectrical, signal-transmitting organism) and the cable used to transmit cable television signals. When cables are “grounded” to the Earth, interference is virtually eliminated from the signal. Furthermore, all electrical systems are stabilized by grounding them to the Earth. K. Sokal and P. Sokal, meanwhile, discovered that grounding the human body represents a “universal regulating factor in Nature” that strongly influences bioelectrical, bioenergetic, and biochemical processes and appears to offer a significant modulating effect on chronic illnesses encountered daily in their clinical practices.
Earthing (also known as grounding) refers to contact with the Earth’s surface electrons by walking barefoot outside or sitting, working, or sleeping indoors connected to conductive systems, some of them patented, that transfer the energy from the ground into the body. Emerging scientific research supports the concept that the Earth’s electrons induce multiple physiological changes of clinical significance, including reduced pain, better sleep, a shift from sympathetic to parasympathetic tone in the autonomic nervous system (ANS), and a blood-thinning effect. The research, along with many anecdotal reports, is presented in a new book entitledEarthing .
The studies summarized below involve indoor-testing methods under controlled conditions that simulate being barefoot outdoors.
In a blinded pilot study, Ober recruited 60 subjects (22 males and 28 females) who suffered from self-described sleep disturbances and chronic muscle and joint pain for at least six months . Subjects were randomly divided for the month-long study in which both groups slept on conductive carbon fiber mattress pads provided by Ober. Half the pads were connected to a dedicated Earth ground outside each subject’s bedroom window, while the other half were “sham” grounded—not connected to the Earth. Results are presented in Table 1.
Most grounded subjects described symptomatic improvement while most in the control group did not. Some subjects reported significant relief from asthmatic and respiratory conditions, rheumatoid arthritis, PMS, sleep apnea, and hypertension while sleeping grounded. These results indicated that the effects of earthing go beyond reduction of pain and improvements in sleep.
A pilot study evaluated diurnal rhythms in cortisol correlated with changes in sleep, pain, and stress (anxiety, depression, and irritability), as monitored by subjective reporting . Twelve subjects with complaints of sleep dysfunction, pain, and stress were grounded to Earth during sleep in their own beds using a conductive mattress pad for 8 weeks.
In order to obtain a baseline measurement of cortisol, subjects chewed Dacron salvettes for 2 minutes and then placed them in time-labeled sampling tubes that were stored in a refrigerator. Self-administered sample collections began at 8 AM and were repeated every 4 hours. After 6 weeks of being grounded, subjects repeated this 24-hour saliva test. The samples were processed using a standard radioimmunoassay. A composite of the results is shown in Figure 1.
Subjective symptoms of sleep dysfunction, pain, and stress were reported daily throughout the 8-week test period. The majority of subjects with high- to out-of-range nighttime secretion levels experienced improvements by sleeping grounded. This is demonstrated by the restoration of normal day-night cortisol secretion profiles.
Eleven of 12 participants reported falling asleep more quickly, and all 12 reported waking up fewer times at night. Grounding the body at night during sleep also appears to positively affect morning fatigue levels, daytime energy, and nighttime pain levels.
About 30 percent of the general American adult population complain of sleep disruption, while approximately 10 percent have associated symptoms of daytime functional impairment consistent with the diagnosis of insomnia. Insomnia often correlates with major depression, generalized anxiety, substance abuse, dementia, and a variety of pain and physical problems. The direct and indirect costs of chronic insomnia have been estimated at tens of billions of dollars annually in the USA alone . In view of the burdens of personal discomfort and health care costs, grounding the body during sleep seems to have much to offer.
Voltage induced on a human body from the electrical environment was measured using a high-impedance measurement head. Applewhite, an electrical engineer and expert in the design of electrostatic discharge systems in the electronic industry, was both subject and author of the study . Measurements were taken while ungrounded and then grounded using a conductive patch and conductive bed pad. The author measured the induced fields at three positions: left breast, abdomen, and left thigh.
Each method (patch and sheet) immediately reduced the common alternating current (AC) 60 Hz ambient voltage induced on the body by a highly significant factor of about 70 on average. Figure 2 shows this effect.
The study showed that when the body is grounded, its electrical potential becomes equalized with the Earth’s electrical potential through a transfer of electrons from the Earth to the body. This, in turn, prevents the 60 Hz mode from producing an AC electric potential at the surface of the body and from producing perturbations of the electric charges of the molecules inside the body. The study confirms the “umbrella” effect of earthing the body explained by Nobel Prize winner Richard Feynman in his lectures on electromagnetism . Feynman said that when the body potential is the same as the Earth’s electric potential (and thus grounded), it becomes an extension of the Earth’s gigantic electric system. The Earth’s potential thus becomes the “working agent that cancels, reduces, or pushes away electric fields from the body.”
Applewhite was able to document changes in the ambient voltage induced on the body by monitoring the voltage drop across a resistor. This effect clearly showed the “umbrella effect” described above. The body of the grounded person is not subject to the perturbation of electrons and electrical systems.
Jamieson asks whether the failure to appropriately ground humans is a factor contributing to the potential consequences of electropollution in office settings . Considerable debate exists on whether electromagnetic fields in our environment cause a risk to health , but there is no question that the body reacts to the presence of environmental electric fields. This study demonstrates that grounding essentially eliminates the ambient voltage induced on the body from common electricity power sources.
Fifty-eight healthy adult subjects (including 30 controls) participated in a randomized double-blind pilot study investigating earthing effects on human physiology . Earthing was accomplished with a conductive adhesive patch placed on the sole of each foot. A biofeedback system recorded electrophysiological and physiological parameters. Experimental subjects were exposed to 28 minutes in the unearthed condition followed by 28 minutes with the earthing wire connected. Controls were unearthed for 56 minutes.
Upon earthing, about half the subjects showed an abrupt, almost instantaneous change in root mean square (rms) values of electroencephalograms (EEGs) from the left hemisphere (but not the right hemisphere) at all frequencies analyzed by the biofeedback system (beta, alpha, theta, and delta).
All grounded subjects presented an abrupt change in rms values of surface electromyograms (SEMGs) from right and left upper trapezius muscles. Earthing decreased blood volume pulse (BVP) in 19 of 22 experimental subjects (statistically significant) and in 8 of 30 controls (not significant). Earthing the human body showed significant effects on electrophysiological properties of the brain and musculature, on the BVP, and on the noise and stability of electrophysiological recordings. Taken together, the changes in EEG, EMG, and BVP suggest reductions in overall stress levels and tensions and a shift in ANS balance upon earthing. The results extend the conclusions of previous studies.
A multiparameter double-blind study was designed to reproduce and expand on previous electrophysiological and physiological parameters measured immediately after grounding with an improved methodology and state-of-the-art equipment . Fourteen men and 14 women, in good health, ages 18–80, were tested while seated in a comfortable recliner during 2-hour grounding sessions, leaving time for signals to stabilize before, during, and after grounding (40 minutes for each period). Sham 2-hour grounding sessions were also recorded with the same subjects as controls. For each session, statistical analyses were performed on four 10-minute segments: before and after grounding (sham grounding for control sessions) and before and after ungrounding (sham ungrounding for control sessions). The following results were documented:
The immediate decrease in SC indicates a rapid activation of the parasympathetic nervous system and corresponding deactivation of the sympathetic nervous system. The immediate increase in SC at cessation of grounding indicates an opposite effect. Increased RR, stabilization of BO, and slight rise in heart rate suggest the start of a metabolic healing response necessitating an increase in oxygen consumption.
Pain reduction from sleeping grounded has been documented in previous studies [10, 13]. This pilot study looked for blood markers that might differentiate between grounded and ungrounded subjects who completed a single session of intense, eccentric exercise resulting in delayed-onset muscle soreness (DOMS) of the gastrocnemius . If markers were able to differentiate these groups, future studies could be done in greater detail with a larger subject base. DOMS is a common complaint in the fitness and athletic world following excessive physical activity and involves acute inflammation in overtaxed muscles. It develops in 14 to 48 hours and persists for more than 96 hours . No known treatment reduces the recovery period, but apparently massage and hydrotherapy [23–25] and acupuncture  can reduce pain.
Eight healthy men ages 20–23 were put through a similar routine of toe raises while carrying on their shoulders a barbell equal to one-third of their body weight. Each participant was exercised individually on a Monday morning and then monitored for the rest of the week while following a similar eating, sleeping, and living schedule in a hotel. The group was randomly divided in half and either grounded or sham grounded with the use of a conductive patch placed at the sole of each foot during active hours and a conductive sheet at night. Complete blood counts, blood chemistry, enzyme chemistry, serum and saliva cortisol, magnetic resonance imaging and spectroscopy, and pain levels (a total of 48 parameters) were taken at the same time of day before the eccentric exercise and at 24, 48, and 72 hours afterwards. Parameters consistently differing by 10 percent or more, normalized to baseline, were considered worthy of further study.
Parameters that differed by these criteria included white blood cell counts, bilirubin, creatine kinase, phosphocreatine/inorganic phosphate ratios, glycerolphosphorylcholine, phosphorylcholine, the visual analogue pain scale, and pressure measurements on the right gastrocnemius.
The results showed that grounding the body to the Earth alters measures of immune system activity and pain. Among the ungrounded men, for instance, there was an expected, sharp increase in white blood cells at the stage when DOMS is known to reach its peak and greater perception of pain (see Figure 3). This effect demonstrates a typical inflammatory response. In comparison, the grounded men had only a slight decrease in white blood cells, indicating scant inflammation, and, for the first time ever observed, a shorter recovery time. Brown later commented that there were “significant differences” in the pain these men reported .
The rapid change in skin conductance reported in an earlier study led to the hypothesis that grounding may also improve heart rate variability (HRV), a measurement of the heart’s response to ANS regulation. A double-blind study was designed with 27 participants . Subjects sat in a comfortable reclining chair. Four transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) type adhesive electrode patches were placed on the sole of each foot and on each palm.
Participants served as their own controls. Each participant’s data from a 2-hour session (40 minutes of which was grounded) were compared with another 2-hour sham-grounded session. The sequence of grounding versus sham-grounding sessions was assigned randomly.
During the grounded sessions, participants had statistically significant improvements in HRV that went way beyond basic relaxation results (which were shown by the nongrounded sessions). Since improved HRV is a significant positive indicator on cardiovascular status, it is suggested that simple grounding techniques be utilized as a basic integrative strategy in supporting the cardiovascular system, especially under situations of heightened autonomic tone when the sympathetic nervous system is more activated than the parasympathetic nervous system.
K. Sokal and P. Sokal, cardiologist and neurosurgeon father and son on the medical staff of a military clinic in Poland, conducted a series of experiments to determine whether contact with the Earth via a copper conductor can affect physiological processes . Their investigations were prompted by the question as to whether the natural electric charge on the surface of the Earth influences the regulation of human physiological processes.
Double-blind experiments were conducted on groups ranging from 12 to 84 subjects who followed similar physical activity, diet, and fluid intake during the trial periods. Grounding was achieved with a copper plate (30 mm × 80 mm) placed on the lower part of the leg, attached with a strip so that it would not come off during the night. The plate was connected by a conductive wire to a larger plate (60 mm × 250 mm) placed in contact with the Earth outside.
In one experiment with nonmedicated subjects, grounding during a single night of sleep resulted in statistically significant changes in concentrations of minerals and electrolytes in the blood serum: iron, ionized calcium, inorganic phosphorus, sodium, potassium, and magnesium. Renal excretion of both calcium and phosphorus was reduced significantly. The observed reductions in blood and urinary calcium and phosphorus directly relate to osteoporosis. The results suggest that Earthing for a single night reduces primary indicators of osteoporosis.
Earthing continually during rest and physical activity over a 72-hour period decreased fasting glucose among patients with non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus. Patients had been well controlled with glibenclamide, an antidiabetic drug, for about 6 months, but at the time of study had unsatisfactory glycemic control despite dietary and exercise advice and glibenclamide doses of 10 mg/day.
K. Sokal and P. Sokal drew blood samples from 6 male and 6 female adults with no history of thyroid disease. A single night of grounding produced a significant decrease of free tri-iodothyronine and an increase of free thyroxin and thyroid-stimulating hormone. The meaning of these results is unclear but suggests an earthing influence on hepatic, hypothalamus, and pituitary relationships with thyroid function. Ober et al.  have observed that many individuals on thyroid medication reported symptoms of hyperthyroid, such as heart palpitations, after starting grounding. Such symptoms typically vanish after medication is adjusted downward under medical supervision. Through a series of feedback regulations, thyroid hormones affect almost every physiological process in the body, including growth and development, metabolism, body temperature, and heart rate. Clearly, further study of earthing effects on thyroid function is needed.
In another experiment, the effect of grounding on the classic immune response following vaccination was examined. Earthing accelerated the immune response, as demonstrated by increases in gamma globulin concentration. This result confirms an association between earthing and the immune response, as was suggested in the DOMS study .
K. Sokal and P. Sokal conclude that earthing the human body influences human physiological processes, including increasing the activity of catabolic processes and may be “the primary factor regulating endocrine and nervous systems.”
Since grounding produces changes in many electrical properties of the body [1, 15, 19, 28], a next logical step was to evaluate the electrical property of the blood. A suitable measure is the zeta potential of red blood cells (RBCs) and RBC aggregation. Zeta potential is a parameter closely related to the number of negative charges on the surface of an RBC. The higher the number, the greater the ability of the RBC to repel other RBCs. Thus, the greater the zeta potential the less coagulable is the blood.
Ten relatively healthy subjects participated in the study . They were seated comfortably in a reclining chair and were grounded for two hours with electrode patches placed on their feet and hands, as in previous studies. Blood samples were taken before and after.
Grounding the body to the earth substantially increases the zeta potential and decreases RBC aggregation, thereby reducing blood viscosity. Subjects in pain reported reduction to the point that it was almost unnoticeable. The results strongly suggest that earthing is a natural solution for patients with excessive blood viscosity, an option of great interest not just for cardiologists, but also for any physician concerned about the relationship of blood viscosity, clotting, and inflammation. In 2008, Adak and colleagues reported the presence of both hypercoagulable blood and poor RBC zeta potential among diabetics. Zeta potential was particularly poor among diabetics with cardiovascular disease .
Until now, the physiological significance and possible health effects of stabilizing the internal bioelectrical environment of an organism have not been a significant topic of research. Some aspects of this, however, are relatively obvious. In the absence of Earth contact, internal charge distribution will not be uniform, but instead will be subject to a variety of electrical perturbations in the environment. It is well known that many important regulations and physiological processes involve events taking place on cell and tissue surfaces. In the absence of a common reference point, or “ground,” electrical gradients, due to uneven charge distribution, can build up along tissue surfaces and cell membranes.
We can predict that such charge differentials will influence biochemical and physiological processes. First, the structure and functioning of many enzymes are sensitive to local environmental conditions. Each enzyme has an optimal pH that favors maximal activity. A change in the electrical environment can alter the pH of biological fluids and the charge distribution on molecules and thereby affect reaction rates. The pH effect results because of critical charged amino acids at the active site of the enzyme that participate in substrate binding and catalysis. In addition, the ability of a substrate or enzyme to donate or accept hydrogen ions is influenced by pH.
Another example is provided by voltage-gated ion channels, which play critical biophysical roles in excitable cells such as neurons. Local alterations in the charge profiles around these channels can lead to electrical instability of the cell membrane and to the inappropriate spontaneous activity observed during certain pathological states .
Earthing research offers insights into the clinical potential of barefoot contact with the Earth, or simulated barefoot contact indoors via simple conductive systems, on the stability of internal bioelectrical function and human physiology. Initial experiments resulted in subjective reports of improved sleep and reduced pain . Subsequent research showed that improved sleep was correlated with a normalization of the cortisol day-night profile . The results are significant in light of the extensive research showing that lack of sleep stresses the body and contributes to many detrimental health consequences. Lack of sleep is often the result of pain. Hence, reduction of pain might be one reason for the benefits just described.
Pain reduction from sleeping grounded has been confirmed in a controlled study on DOMS. Earthing is the first intervention known to speed recovery from DOMS . Painful conditions are often the result of various kinds of acute or chronic inflammation conditions caused in part by ROS generated by normal metabolism and also by the immune system as part of the response to injury or trauma. Inflammation can cause pain and loss of range of motion in joints. Inflammatory swelling can put pressure on pain receptors (nocireceptors) and can compromise the microcirculation, leading to ischemic pain. Inflammation can cause the release of toxic molecules that also activate pain receptors. Modern biomedical research has also documented a close relationship between chronic inflammation and virtually all chronic diseases, including the diseases of aging, and the aging process itself. The steep rise in inflammatory diseases, in fact, has been recently called “inflamm-aging” to describe a progressive inflammatory status and a loss of stress-coping ability as major components of the aging process .
Reduction in inflammation as a result of earthing has been documented with infrared medical imaging  and with measurements of blood chemistry and white blood cell counts . The logical explanation for the anti-inflammatory effects is that grounding the body allows negatively charged antioxidant electrons from the Earth to enter the body and neutralize positively charged free radicals at sites of inflammation . Flow of electrons from the Earth to the body has been documented .
A pilot study on the electrodynamics of red blood cells (zeta potential) has revealed that earthing significantly reduces blood viscosity, an important but neglected parameter in cardiovascular diseases and diabetes , and circulation in general. Thus, thinning the blood may allow for more oxygen delivery to tissues and further support the reduction of inflammation.
Stress reduction has been confirmed with various measures showing rapid shifts in the ANS from sympathetic to parasympathetic dominance, improvement in heart rate variability, and normalization of muscle tension [19, 20, 27].
Not reported here are many observations over more than two decades by Ober et al.  and K. Sokal and P. Sokal  indicating that regular earthing may improve blood pressure, cardiovascular arrhythmias, and autoimmune conditions such as lupus, multiple sclerosis, and rheumatoid arthritis. Some effects of earthing on medication are described by Ober et al.  and at the website: http://www.earthinginstitute.net/. As an example, the combination of earthing and coumadin has the potential to exert a compounded blood thinning effect and must be supervised by a physician. Multiple anecdotes of elevated INR have been reported. INR (international normalized ratio) is a widely used measurement of coagulation. The influence of earthing on thyroid function and medication has been described earlier.
From a practical standpoint, clinicians could recommend outdoor “barefoot sessions” to patients, weather, and conditions permitting. Ober et al.  have observed that going barefoot as little as 30 or 40 minutes daily can significantly reduce pain and stress, and the studies summarized here explain why this is the case. Obviously, there is no cost for barefoot grounding. However, the use of conductive systems while sleeping, working, or relaxing indoors offer a more convenient and routine-friendly approach.
De Flora et al. wrote the following: “Since the late 20th century, chronic degenerative diseases have overcome infectious disease as the major causes of death in the 21st century, so an increase in human longevity will depend on finding an intervention that inhibits the development of these diseases and slows their progress” .
Could such an intervention be located right beneath our feet? Earthing research, observations, and related theories raise an intriguing possibility about the Earth’s surface electrons as an untapped health resource—the Earth as a “global treatment table.” Emerging evidence shows that contact with the Earth—whether being outside barefoot or indoors connected to grounded conductive systems—may be a simple, natural, and yet profoundly effective environmental strategy against chronic stress, ANS dysfunction, inflammation, pain, poor sleep, disturbed HRV, hypercoagulable blood, and many common health disorders, including cardiovascular disease. The research done to date supports the concept that grounding or earthing the human body may be an essential element in the health equation along with sunshine, clean air and water, nutritious food, and physical activity.
G. Chevalier, S. T. Sinatra, and J. L. Oschman are independent contractors for Earthx L. Inc., the company sponsoring earthing research, and own a small percentage of shares in the company.
METHOD OF TREATING INFLAMMATION AND AUTOIMMUNE DISEASES
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
[Para 1 ] The present invention resides in a method to reduce and prevent inflammation and to treat inflammation related autoimmune disorders. More particularly, the present invention relates to a method of inhibiting the expression of chronic inflammation in an animal or human by conductively coupling the body with the earth to conduct earth’s mobile surface charge of free electrons from the earth to the body in order to restore the body’s natural supply of free electrons and thereby reduce and prevent residual immune system-produced reactive oxygen species (ROS) free radicals from oxidizing normal tissue. When an animal or human body is naturally charged with earth’s mobile free electrons, residual immune system-produced free radicals have a readily available source of free electrons to rapidly reduce their oxidative state. This inhibits free radical oxidation of healthy tissue and thereby speeds recovery from acute injury and inhibits the promotion and manifestation of chronic inflammation and inflammation related health disorders. Free electrons from the earth do not interfere with the normal and vital immune responses to tissue damage and/or infection and subsequent tissue repair processes; instead, electrons have a natural protective effect on healthy or undamaged cells and tissues near a site of trauma. In other words, free electrons from the earth augment and focus the body’s natural responses to injury. [Para 2] It is well established, though not widely known, that the surface of the earth possesses a limitless and continuously renewed supply of free or mobile electrons. The earth’s surface is electrically conductive and is maintained at a negative potential by the global atmospheric electrical circuit. The universal conductivity of the earth’s surface varies somewhat from place to place, depending upon water and mineral content, vegetation and other factors. However, these factors have relatively little effect on the ability of an earth connection to allow free electrons to flow from the earth to the body or vice versa. Further, any conductive object, coupled with the earth, will conduct earth’s mobile charge of free electrons and equalize with it and thereafter maintain the negative potential of the earth. Human and animal bodies are conductive and when they are coupled with the earth they also conduct and become saturated with the earth’s mobile electrons. Humans and animals and their respective progenitors lived in conductive
(barefoot) contact with the earth during their primary evolutionary period. The body’s reactive oxygen species immune response mechanisms also developed during this period when humans and animals lived in a natural grounded state. The inventor has linked loss of natural grounding via the integration of plastic and other insulative materials in our living environments as a contributor to the rapid rise in chronic inflammation and related health disorders. Non-conductive natural and artificial polymer-based soled footwear, floor coverings, bedding and the like now insulate most humans and domestic animals from routine conductive contact with the earth. Clinical case studies (Amalu, William, DC, DABCT, FIACT; Medical Thermography Case Studies) document that when the body is conductively coupled with the earth, acute injuries and chronic inflammation and related health disorders resolve naturally.
[Para 3] The primary defence mechanism of the body is the release of reactive oxygen specie (ROS) free radicals by the immune system. The immune system’s ROS response is triggered by injury or disease. White blood cells are constantly circulating within the tissues, essentially poised to respond to the presence of viruses, bacteria or injured cells (Garrood TL Lee L Pitzalis C, 2006; Molecular mechanisms of cell recruitment to inflammatory sites: general and tissue-specific pathways; Rheumatology 45(3):250-260). When an injury occurs, chemical, electrical and other messages are produced that attract white blood cells to the injured or diseased tissue. Chemical signals from the injured tissue can attract other, more specialized cells (Springer TA, 1 995; Traffic signals on endothelium for lymphocyte recirculation and leukocyte emigration: Annual Reviews of
Physiology 57:827-872). Inflammation increases blood flow to an area, producing redness and warmth.
[Para 4] Part of the inflammatory response involves various immune cells, known as neutrophils, as well as other types of phagocytes, which secrete an abundance of powerful oxidizing agents (free radicals) in a process known as the respiratory burst. The respiratory burst consists of a complex mix of very reactive molecules such as hydrogen peroxide, oxidized halogens, chloramines and oxidizing radicals such as hydroxyl radical, OH, that aid in the destruction of invading microorganisms. To restore their electrical neutrality, these agents tear electrons from the structures of invading organisms and damaged cells, rapidly destroying them. While these highly reactive substances are manufactured for use at specific sites of infection or tissue damage, they can leak into surrounding tissues, where they inflict various types of undesirable but unavoidable damaging side effects. [Para 5] While ROS free radicals are obviously vital to the immune response, problems arise when the process does not completely wind down after an injury or site of disease has been cleared of pathogens and cellular debris. Under these conditions, residual ROS free radicals continue to attack and oxidize healthy tissue. This oxidation of healthy tissue then leads to the release of additional chemical signals that re-stimulate the immune system. The immune system responds by delivering more ROS free radicals, establishing a destructive or vicious cycle that can continue indefinitely, even for dozens of years. Some biomedical researchers refer to this as silent inflammation, and it is being recognized as the culprit behind almost every modern chronic disease.
[Para 6] Scientists have known for a long time that the inflammatory response can backfire, causing a host of autoimmune diseases. There about 80 such disorders, the most common being rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, Graves’ disease, Lupus, and Crohn’s disease.
[Para 7] The idea that chronic inflammation could be involved in disease began to gain credence when doctors realized that stomach ulcers were not caused by stress or spicy food, but by inflammation triggered during bacterial infection (Marshall BJ Warren JR, 1 984; Unidentified curved bacilli in the stomach of patients with gastritis and peptic ulceration; Lancet 1 (8390): l 31 1 -1 31 5; also see the 2005 Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine awarded jointly to Barry J. Marshall and J. Robin Warren for their discovery of “the bacterium Helicobacter pylori and its role in gastritis and peptic ulcer disease.”)
[Para 8] It has also long been known that Type 1 diabetes is linked to
inflammation – the body’s immune system attacks the cells that make insulin. New research is suggesting that Type 2 diabetes, the kind that generally occurs in adulthood, often begins with insulin resistance, in which cells stop responding properly to insulin. Doctors now know that during chronic inflammation, one of the chemicals released is tumor necrosis factor (TNF), which makes cells more resistant to insulin. The TNF connection also helps explain why obesity, particularly abdominal obesity, leads to diabetes. Fat cells used to be thought of as storage depots for energy, as metabolically inactive; now we know that fat cells are little hotbeds of inflammation – excess fat in the belly is a source of
[Para 9] Recently evidence has accumulated to show that inflammation is a major factor in far more conditions than the autoimmune diseases, ulcers and diabetes. Some of the most thorough documentation of the role of inflammation in disease has come from research of Dr. PM Ridker and his colleagues at the Center for Cardiovascular Disease Prevention, and Division of Cardiology, Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School in Boston, MA, USA (Ridker PM Hennekens CH, Buring JE, and Rifai N, 2000; C-reactive protein and other markers of inflammation in the prediction of cardiovascular disease in women: New England Journal of Medicine, 342(1 2):836-43). Suspecting that inflammation is involved in the pathogenesis of cardiovascular events, these researchers measured the levels of markers of inflammation in a prospective controlled study among 28,263 apparently healthy postmenopausal women over a mean follow-up period of three years. They assessed the risk of cardiovascular events associated with a variety of established inflammatory markers, including high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP), homocysteine and a variety of lipid (e.g. cholesterol) and lipoprotein measurements. Cardiovascular events were defined as death from coronary heart disease, nonfatal myocardial infarction or stroke, or the need for coronary revascularization procedures. Of 1 2 markers measured, hs-CRP proved to be the strongest predictor of the risk of cardiovascular events. Markers of inflammation, when combined with lipid measurements, were significantly better at predicting risk than models based on lipid levels alone (P<0.001 ). The levels of hs-CRP and serum amyloid A were significant predictors of risk even in the subgroup of women with normal cholesterol levels. The study concluded that adding the measurement of the inflammatory marker, C-reactive protein, to screening based on lipid levels could improve the identification of persons at risk for cardiovascular events. In 2004, a group in Taipei, Taiwan essentially confirmed these results in a study of non-diabetic patients (Leu HB, Lin CP, Lin WT, Wu TC, and Chen JW, 2004; Risk stratification and prognostic implication of plasma biomarkers in nondiabetic patients with stable coronary artery disease: the role of hiqh-sensitivitv C-reactive protein; Chest, 1 26(4): 1 032-9).
[Para 10] In 2001 , Ridker and colleagues studied the risk factors for systemic atherosclerosis in 14,91 6 initially healthy US male physicians. Again, total cholesterol-HDL-C ratio and CRP were the strongest independent predictors of development of peripheral arterial disease (Ridker PM, Stampfer MJ, and Rifai N, 2001 ; Novel risk factors for systemic atherosclerosis: a comparison of C-reactive protein, fibrinogen, homocysteine, lipoprotein(a). and standard cholesterol screening as predictors of peripheral arterial disease: JAMA, 285(1 9):2481 -2485). [Para 1 1 ] In 2001 , another group at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts USA reported on high levels of CRP associated with hypopituitarism and growth hormone deficiency. This
phenomenon had already been reported in men, and this study extended the findings to women. Hypopituitary women have increased levels of IL-6 and CRP, both of which are inflammatory markers of atherosclerosis (Sesmilo G, Miller KK, Hayden D, and Klibanski A, 2001 ; Inflammatory cardiovascular risk markers in women with hypopituitarism: I Clin Endocrinol Metab., 86 (1 2):5774-5781 ).
[Para 1 2] In 2002, Ridker and colleagues reported measurements of C-reactive protein and LDL cholesterol in 27,939 apparently healthy American women who were then followed for a mean of eight years for the occurrence of myocardial infarction, ischemic stroke, coronary revascularization, or death from
cardiovascular causes. They found that base-line levels of each marker had a strong linear relation with the incidence of cardiovascular events.
[Para 1 3] Further study by Ridker and colleagues revealed a correlation between chronic inflammation and sudden cardiac death (Alenghat FJ, and lngber DE, 2002;
Mechanotransduction: All Signals Point to Cvtoskeleton. Matrix, and Inteqrins; Science’s STKE:
http://stke. sciencemag.org/cgi/content/fu 11 /OC.sigtrans; 2002/1 1 9/pe6).
[Para 14] As a result of these studies, and others like them, the American Heart Association and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended in 2003 that doctors include a test for free radicals in their medical check-ups, to determine a patient’s risk for heart disease (Pearson TA, Mensah GA, Alexander RW, et al.; 2003; Markers of Inflammation and Cardiovascular Disease Application to Clinical and Public Health Practice. A Statement for Healthcare Professionals From the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the American Heart Association; Circulation 107:499-51 1 ). Subsequently there has been a veritable explosion of research into the association of inflammation and inflammatory markers with a wide range of chronic illnesses. Today, nearly every branch of medicine and surgery includes the study of inflammation (Alenghat FJ, supra.) [Para 1 5] Inflammation is now thought to be the underlying mechanism of more than 80 chronic illnesses, in addition to the autoimmune disorders mentioned above. These chronic illnesses involve almost every human organ system. They include diseases of the nervous, gastrointestinal, endocrine and respiratory systems as well as the skin and connective tissues. In all of these diseases, the underlying problem is similar – the body’s immune system is attacking the very organs it was designed to protect. And inflammation in one organ can be associated with problems in other organs.
[Para 1 6] For example, in 2004, Knight and colleagues studied the association among kidney function, inflammatory biomarker levels, and coronary events. A total of 244 women with no history of cardiovascular disease that subsequently had incident coronary events were matched to 486 control subjects. High-sensitivity CRP (hs-CRP), IL-6, and sTNFR I and Il levels were all significantly associated with an increased odds of coronary events in women with reduced kidney function but not in women with normal kidney function. Kidney dysfunction is associated with an increased odds of coronary events, and inflammation, as assessed by higher inflammatory biomarker levels, specifically hs-CRP, IL-6, and soluble tumor necrosis factor receptor I and Il were significantly associated with coronary events only in women with reduced kidney function (Knight EL, Rimm EB, Pai JK, Rexrode KM, Cannuscio CC, Manson JE, Stampfer MJ, and Curhan GC, 2004; Kidney dysfunction, inflammation, and coronary events: a prospective study; J Am Soc Nephrol, 1 5(7): 1 897-903).
[Para 1 7] Subsequent ongoing research has confirmed a role for inflammation in atherosclerosis (Folsom AR, Chambless LE, Ballantyne CM, Coresh J, Heiss G, Wu KK, Boerwinkle E, Mosley TH, Jr, Sorlie P, Diao G, and Sharrett AR, 2006; An
assessment of incremental coronary risk prediction using C-reactive protein and other novel risk markers: the atherosclerosis risk in communities study; Arch Intern Med. 1 66(1 3):1 368-73), diabetes (Ben-Mahmud BM, Chan WH, Abdulahad RM, Datti A, Orlacchio A, Kohner EM, and Chibber R, 2006; Clinical validation of a link between TNF-alpha and the qlvcosylation enzyme core 2 GIcNAc-T and the relationship of this link to diabetic retinopathy: Diabetologia, 49(9):21 85-21 91 ), rheumatoid arthritis (Datta D, Ferrell WR, Sturrock RD, Jadhav ST, and Sattar N, 2007; Inflammatory suppression rapidly attenuates microvascular dysfunction in rheumatoid arthritis; Atherosclerosis, 1 92(2):391 -1 95), multiple sclerosis (Pleasure D, Soulika A, Singh SK, GaIIo V, and Bannerman P, 2006; Inflammation in white matter: Clinical and pathophysiological aspects; Ment Retard Dev Disabil Res Rev. 1 2(2): 141 -6), aging (Alvarado C, Alvarez P, Puerto M, Gausseres N, Jimenez L, and De Ia Fuente M, 2006; Dietary supplementation with antioxidants improves functions and decreases oxidative stress of leukocytes from prematurely aging mice; Nutrition, 22(7-8):767-77), Alzheimer’s disease (Di Rosa M, Dell’Ombra N, Zambito AM, Malaguarnera M, Nicoletti F, and Malaguarnera I, 2006;
Chitotriosidase and inflammatory mediator levels in Alzheimer’s disease and cerebrovascular dementia: Eur J Neurosci, 23(10):2648-56), osteoporosis
(Weitzmann MN, and Pacifici R, 2006; Estrogen deficiency and bone loss: an inflammatory tale; Clin Invest. 1 1 6(5): 1 1 86-94), asthma (Isidori AM, Giannetta E, Pozza C, Bonifacio V, and Isidori A, 2005; Androgens, cardiovascular disease and osteoporosis; J Endocrinol Invest. 28(1 0 Suppl):73-9), bowel disorders (Zilberman L, Maharshak N, Arbel Y, Rogowski O, Rozenblat M, Shapira I, Berliner S, Arber N, and Dotan I, 2006; Correlated Expression of High-Sensitivity C-Reactive Protein in Relation to Disease Activity in Inflammatory Bowel Disease: Lack of Differences between Crohn’s Disease and Ulcerative Colitis: Digestion, 73(4):205-209), psoriasis (Hamminga EA, van der LeIy AJ, Neumann HA, and Thio HB, 2006;
Chronic inflammation in psoriasis and obesity: Implications for therapy; Med Hypotheses, 67(4):768-773), meningitis (Keino H, Goto H, Mori H, Iwasaki T, and Usui M, 2006; Association between severity of inflammation in CNS and
development of sunset glow fundus in Voqt-Koyanaqi-Harada disease; Am J Ophthalmol. 141 (6): 1 1 40-1 1 42), cystic fibrosis (Clayton A, and Knox AJ, 2006; COX-2: a link between airway inflammation and disordered chloride secretion in cystic fibrosis?; Thorax, 61 (7):552-553), age related macular degeneration
(Seddon JM, George S, Rosner B, and Rifai N, 2005; Progression of age-related macular degeneration: prospective assessment of C-reactive protein, interleukin 6. and other cardiovascular biomarkers; Arch Ophthalmol, 1 23(6):774-82), and cancer (Allgayer H, and Kruis W, 2006; From chronic inflammation to metastasing colon cancer – the endless story of the NSAIDs; Z Gastroenterol, 44(7):61 1 -61 3). The individual references for the previous sentence are drawn from recent literature to show that studies of this kind are currently one of the most active areas in clinical biomedicine.
[Para 1 8] The details of these phenomena are being worked out. For example, in neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s, it has been found that whenever the brain is injured or infected, glial cells in the brain secrete cytokines. Normally, this response shuts down when the injury or infection is over. But in chronic neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s, these glial cells are activated too high or too long or both. The plaques and tangles in patients’ brains attract the attention of glial cells, making them secrete even more cytokines to try to repair this damage, and creating chronic inflammation (Ranaivo HR Craft JM Hu W Guo L Wing LK, Van Eldik LJ, and Watterson DM, 2006; GMa as a Therapeutic Target:
Selective Suppression of Human Amyloid-beta-lnduced Uprequlation of Brain Proinflammatory Cytokine Production Attenuates Neurodeqeneration; I. Neurosci, 26: 662-670).
[Para 1 9] The role of inflammation in cancer development is under active investigation. It has been discovered that recurrent inflammation and chronic infections actually contribute to a large number of different types of cancers.
Tumors arise from chronic inflammation that acts together with chemical carcinogens. A relationship between cancer and inflammation due to chronic infection has been suspected, but not proven, for many years. In a 1 986 study, for example, one researcher compared the inflammatory response to a wound healing response, saying tumors were wounds that do not heal. The recent findings establish a role of myeloid cells in inflammation-associated tumor promotion in addition to their role in tumor progression and invasiveness (Greten FR, Eckmann L, Greten TF, Park JM, Li ZW, Egan LJ, Kagnoff MF, and Karin M, 2004; IKKbeta links inflammation and tumoriqenesis in a mouse model of colitis-associated cancer; Cell, 1 1 8(3):285-96).
[Para 20] Modern research is confirming that inflammatory diseases are virtually epidemic and include some of the most devastating afflictions of our times. Over the evolutionary eons, “we developed these important host defenses to let us get to reproductive age,” said Dr. Peter Libby, chief of cardiovascular medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston. “Now, the lifespan has almost doubled, and these same [immune responses] contribute to diseases in the end.” Chronic inflammation is so similar in different diseases, Libby said, that when he lectures, he uses many of the same slides, whether he’s talking about diseases of the heart, kidneys, joints, lung or other tissues (Foreman J, 2006; Inflammation is Culprit in Many Ailments; On the web at:
http:/ /www. myhealthsense.com/ F060403_inflamation.html.). In “The
Inflammation Cure,” J. Meggs, MD states that, “Inflammation may turn out to be the elusive Holy Grail of medicine — the single phenomenon that holds the key to sickness and health.” (Meggs WJ, and Svec C, 2003; The Inflammation Cure: How to Combat the Hidden Factor Behind Heart Disease. Arthritis. Asthma. Diabetes. & Other Diseases; McGraw-Hill, New York). Everybody knows someone suffering from an inflammation disease. Many physicians, scientists, and patients wonder what has caused inflammation to become so common.
[Para 21 ] These observations and conclusions further relate significantly to the roles of inflammation and ROS free radicals in chronic disease that have been incorporated into an important new theory that has steadily been gaining support within the medical community. The new theory states that the immune reaction generally known as inflammation may be the underlying cause of a wide range of chronic diseases.
[Para 22] As a consequence of current research on inflammation, Time Magazine Newsweek and Scientific American have recently reported that inflammation is emerging as the “Alpha and Omega of disease”…that reducing inflammation is the most important thing a person can do to restore their health and prevent disease (The Secret Killer. Time Magazine; February 23, 2004); (Underwood A, 2005,
Quieting a body’s defenses; Summer issue); (Martindale D, 2005; Reactive Reasoning: Is an inflammation protein the next cholesterol?; Scientific
American.com, March 28 issue).
[Para 23] The familiar manifestations of inflammation should be short lived:
swelling, redness, decreased range of motion, heat and pain. However, when the inflammatory response does not shut down properly, inflammation can persist, causing the disruptive manifestations listed in the previous sentence to linger. The resulting discomfort and unnecessary damage to tissues stress the body, prevent proper rest and recovery, and give rise to a host of stress-related disorders (Cohen S, Kessler RC, and Gordon LU, 1 995; Strategies for measuring stress in studies of psychiatric and physical disorders. Ch. 1 , pp. 3-26 in Measuring Stress; Oxford University Press, Oxford, UK) as well as a long list of other problems. Those other problems, known by a variety of disease names, are being recognized as having a common denominator – chronic inflammation.
[Para 24] These problems are particularly significant for the athlete or performer or other person involved in strenuous exertion or physical exercise. The reason for this is that vigorous exertion can increase oxygen intake by a factor of 1 0 to 20 times. This in turn results in a condition called hyperoxia (elevated oxygen tension in the tissues). Oxygen is a highly reactive and toxic substance (Halliwell B, and Gutteridge JMC, 1 999; Oxygen is a toxic gas – an introduction to oxygen toxicity and reactive oxygen species: Chapter 1 in Free Radicals in Biology and Medicine, 3rd edition, Oxford University Press, Oxford, UK), and excess oxygen in the tissues leads to increased intracellular production of oxygen-derived free radicals to levels that can exceed the capacity of the antioxidant defenses that normally remove oxidants. When this happens, free radical damage can
overwhelm the restorative processes that normally repair cells and cellular components including DNA. When extreme exertion is coupled with injury, as often occurs in highly competitive sports, the result can be an even larger build-up of free radical damage that can severely inhibit and thereby prolong the recovery process.
[Para 25] The inflammation theory of disease has triggered the search for new anti-inflammatory compounds and other methods for neutralizing excess free radicals. Cortisone was the first steroid drug available. In 1 935, researchers at Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota, isolated the hormone cortisone from adrenal glands. In 1 948, doctors first used the new drug to treat a 28-year-old woman with severe rheumatoid arthritis. Cortisone remarkably relieved her inflamed, swollen joints after just a few days of use. People who normally couldn’t climb out of bed or into a bathtub could do so after using the drug. For a long period of time, cortisone injections, also known as Cortisol or corticosteroid injections were widely used for reducing pain associated with inflammation. But these drugs do not assist in the healing process. In fact, cortisone has actually been shown to slow healing. This is a central problem in sports medicine. The injured performer gets immediate pain relief from the treatment and is able to continue his or her activity, but this can lead to more serious problems in the longer term.
[Para 26] Because of problems with its side effects, the use of Cortisol and related drugs has been largely supplanted with non-steroidal anti-inflammatory
compounds (NSAIDS), which are available both by prescription and over-the- counter. As with Cortisol, however, experience is showing that prolonged use of NSAIDS can also lead to serious side effects. For example, people who have survived a first heart attack have a higher risk of dying or having a second heart attack if they are taking non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), including the newer class called cox-2 inhibitors (Salpeter SR Gregor P Ormiston TM
Whitlock R, Raina P, Thabane L, and Topol EJ, 2006; Meta-analysis: cardiovascular events associated with nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs: Am J Med.
1 1 9(7):552-9; Gislason GH, Jacobsen S, Rasmussen JN, Rasmussen S, Buch P, Friberg J, Schramm TK, Abildstrom SZ, Kober L, Madsen M, and Torp-Pedersen C; 2006; Risk of death or reinfarction associated with the use of selective
cyclooxygenase-2 inhibitors and nonselective nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drugs after acute myocardial infarction: Circulation. 1 1 3(25):2906-291 3).
[Para 27] Many people have turned to vitamins and nutritional supplements thought to have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, but there is debate about the effectiveness of these substances (Vivekananthan DP, Penn MS, Sapp SK, Hsu A, and Topol EJ, 2003; Use of antioxidant vitamins for the prevention of cardiovascular disease: meta-analysis of randomised trials; Lancet 361 : 201 7-23). [Para 28] In spite of these difficulties, it is obviously important to develop means to reduce free radical concentrations in tissues, and a variety of chemical methods continue to be disclosed to accomplish this. These methods have the disadvantage that once the antioxidant chemical has reduced a free radical by donating an electron to it, the antioxidant itself can become a free radical. The resulting charge imbalance can be passed in a series of reactions from molecule to molecule, causing further oxidative stress and disrupting metabolism. In addition, the antioxidant, once it has served its purpose, must be metabolized and excreted from the organism, posing an additional work load on the biochemical machinery of the body. Moreover, antioxidants and their metabolites can have deleterious side effects.
[Para 29] The many disadvantages to the prior art related to chemical control of the acute and chronic phases of inflammation are overcome in this invention, which provides direct conductive pathways for natural antioxidant electrons from the earth to rapidly reach sites of inflammation in the body.
[Para 30] There are two ways of describing phenomena that cannot be seen directly, such as electricity. The metallic wire in which electrons flow to an appliance, such as a light bulb, can be visualized as being composed of atoms that are more or less rigid and generally held in their positions like the atoms in a crystal. Through this rigid atomic matrix flows an electric current that can be visualized as a flow of particles called electrons that more or less resemble billiard-balls. A closer look reveals them as free electrons, because they are not held in place. None of these conduction electrons belongs to any particular atom in the lattice. In other words, the atoms are not localized, (the physics term is that they are “delocalized”) and are free to move when a force such as a voltage is exerted upon them. The free electrons can be described as a sort of electric fluid, or as a cloud, or as a gas. Physicists have used all of these terms: billiard balls, delocalized electrons, fluid or quantum fluid, cloud, and gas to describe
conduction electrons. The classical way of viewing this, the Newtonian model, is a mechanical perspective in which the billiard balls are discrete and localizable entities that have properties like velocity and acceleration and momentum and move when they are pushed.
[Para 31 ] Quantum physics teaches us that there is another way of looking at the situation. Yes, if you look at the electrons in a certain way, they behave as particles. But if you look at them in a different way, they behave as waves.
[Para 32] In the early years of the 20th Century, physicists were struggling to rationalize the two seemingly different perspectives on the electron: is it a particle or is it a wave? This came to be known as the wave-particle duality. Different measurements made on a system reveal it to have either particle-like or wave-like properties. The Danish physicist, Niels Bohr, contributed the important concept of complementarity: the wave and the particle perspectives are not mutually exclusive but are complementary: you cannot really understand electrons or atoms without considering both perspectives.
[Para 33] Complementarity emerged as a basic principle of quantum theory. Bohr, in collaboration with Heisenberg, used complementarity as a philosophical adjunct to the recently developed mathematics of quantum mechanics and in particular to the Heisenberg uncertainty principle. The uncertainty principle states that a single quantum mechanical entity can either behave as a particle or as wave, but never simultaneously as both; that a stronger manifestation of the particle nature leads to a weaker manifestation of the wave nature and vice versa.
[Para 34] A premise of this invention is that electrons are abundantly available from the surface of the earth and that these electrons can be conducted via the bare feet or other parts of the skin surface to the body surface and into the body to neutralize free radicals in tissues throughout said body.
[Para 35] As with any other phenomenon in nature, there are complementary ways of discussing the process. As with the wave-particle duality, the different ways of viewing the phenomenon are not mutually exclusive, but must be taken together to find the most accurate way of saying how nature is working in this situation. [Para 36] A major challenge is extending understandings at the quantum or microscopic level to larger scale or macroscopic phenomena. This is an important endeavor in relation to medicine as well as this patent because cells, tissues, organs and organisms function and behave at observable millimeter to centimeter or larger length scales, but the events creating and governing such behaviors occur on the subatomic and atomic scales measured at Angstrom and micron scales. Atoms and molecules described as free radicals are sandwiched between the microscopic and macroscopic levels. The challenge is to apply sophisticated quantum or microscopic understandings to macroscopic behavior. Much confusion arises when trying to stretch subjective understandings of the behavior of the visible or macroscopic world to events that are occurring at invisible electronic or quantum levels and that are therefore more precisely explainable by the physics that has been developed to explain events taking place at those small scales. For example, one observes that when one throws a light switch, electricity flows to the light and it begins to glow. To use this as an analogy of how electrons move through the surface of the earth or within living systems introduces considerable confusion and lack of clarity, as the behaviors of electrons and electric currents are invisible, and neither the earth’s crust nor living tissues behave like simple metallic wires. It is a central issue in modern biomedicine to bring to modern medical theory and practice the great discoveries of quantum mechanics, which have been awarded a series of Nobel Prizes over the last century.
[Para 37] The terms, microscopic and macroscopic are not exactly defined. A common perspective is that microscopic refers to objects and processes taking place at roughly atomic dimensions or smaller, while macroscopic refers to systems that are large enough to be visible in the ordinary sense. A more exact definition references the number of particles in a system. A system is macroscopic if conventional statistics can be applied to it with reasonable accuracy. For instance, if it is necessary to keep the statistical error below one percent, a macroscopic system would have to contain more than about ten thousand particles. Any system containing less than this number of particles would be regarded as microscopic, and, hence, conventional statistics could not be applied without unacceptable error. In this case, one would have to shift to a branch of physics known as quantum statistical mechanics.
[Para 38] The explanation of the phenomena involved in this patent begins with the more familiar models of electronic conduction, and then looks more closely, using the microscopic picture that has been developed by quantum physics.
[Para 39] It is accepted that the earth’s surface is electrically conductive and is maintained at a negative potential by a global electrical circuit (Williams ER and Heckman SJ, 1 993; The local diurnal variation of cloud electrification and the global diurnal variation of negative charge on the earth: lournal of Geophysical Research, Volume 98:5221 -5234; Anisimov SV, Mareev EA, and Bakastov SS, 1 999; On the generation and evolution of aeroelectric structures in the surface layer; J Geophys Res 104: (Dl 2) 1 4359—14367). It is also accepted that there are three main generators in the global electric circuit: the solar wind entering the
magnetosphere; the ionospheric wind; and thunderstorms (Volland H, 1 984,
Atmospheric electrodynamics; In: Physics and Chemistry in Space, edited by Lanzerotte LJ, Berlin; Springer-Verlag; Williams ER and Heckman SJ, supra).
[Para 40] An estimated 1 000 to 2000 thunderstorms are continually active around the globe, emitting thousands of lightening strikes per minute. This creates a constant current of thousands of amperes transferring positive charge to the upper atmosphere and negative charge to the surface of the earth. The earth’s surface is therefore an abundant source of free electrons (Geophysics Study Committee, 1 986, The Earth’s electrical environment; Technical Report.
Washington, D. C: National Academy Press).
[Para 41 ] In addition to the above mentioned solar and atmospheric sources of electrons, the earth’s molten core may participate because of its metallic iron-nickel content that is maintained at high pressure and temperature, conditions known to produce free electrons in molten metals.
[Para 42] Those familiar with the arts in the fields of electrophysiology and biomedical instrumentation will be aware that multiple conductive pathways exist between internal organs and the body skin surface, and vice versa. This is the basis for familiar clinical diagnostic tools such as the electrocardiogram,
electroencephalogram, and electromyogram, for example. In these examples, electrical activities produced by the activities of the heart, neurons in the brain, and muscles, respectively, follow conductive pathways to the skin surface where they can be conductively coupled via electrode patches and leads to appropriate measuring instruments. The conventional arrangement of electrodes for recording the standard electrocardiogram involves placing electrodes on the two wrists and left ankle, although many other arrangements have been used for specific purposes. That these conductive pathways work in reverse, from the skin surface to the organs within the body, is likewise well known. Electrical stimulation of the skin to affect the heart underlies cardiac pacing and defibrillation, for example. Likewise, electrical stimulation of the brain via electrodes on the scalp, in a method known as DC brain polarization, is being researched for effects on cognition and other aspects of brain function. Finally, it has been known since 1 867 that electrical stimulation at particular points on the skin surface can activate particular muscles. These discoveries and related methods, such as
electroacupuncture, document the presence of conductive pathways from the skin surface to the tissues and organs throughout the body.
[Para 43] A deeper and more holistic understanding of the conduction of free electrons in the earth and in the human body arises from consideration of the physics of electrons and electron conduction in various forms of matter. The study of electrons and electron conduction belongs to the largest area of contemporary physics known as condensed matter physics (formerly referred to as solid state physics, which is now considered to be one branch of condensed matter physics).
[Para 44] The free electron model contrasts with the tight-binding model, which treats the properties of the electrons that are tightly bound or localized in the individual atomic cores or nuclei of the matter in which they are found. A conductive material such as a metal can have both free or mobile electrons and tightly bound or immobile electrons. A semiconductor s a material with electrical conductivity that is intermediate between that of an insulator and a conductor. More importantly, a semiconductors’ conductivity may be modified by introducing impurities in a process known as doping. The ability to control conductivity in small and well-defined regions of semiconductor material has led to the
development of a broad array of miniaturized electronic devices that have become the basis for nearly all modern electronics. This is mentioned because most if not all biomolecules have semiconductor properties.
[Para 45] An electrical conductor ‘s defined as a material containing movable charges of electricity; electricity’s a general term for a variety of phenomena resulting from the presence and flow of electric charge; electric charge is defined as a fundamental property of some subatomic particles which determines their electromagnetic interactions.
[Para 46] Physicists refer to free electrons as being present as a “cloud” or “gas” composed of mobile electrons in a material such as a crystal or a metal. There are two basic models for the conduction of free electrons, the Drude model of electrical conduction, and the Drude-Sommerfeld model. Both of these models neglect Coulombic or electrostatic electron-electron interactions and assume limited interactions between the free electrons and the more localized electrons and protons in the solid matrix in which they exist.
[Para 47] The Drude model is based on classical or Newtonian physics and kinetic theory. The kinetic approach assumes that a material contains both immobile positive ions (protons) and mobile electrons that behave more or less as a c/oudor electron gas. The Drude model was improved in 1 933 by Arnold Sommerfeld and Hans Bethe, leading to the Drude-Sommerfeld-Model ‘that takes into account quantum effects. In particular, in 1 927 Somerfield and Bethe applied a branch of quantum physics known as statistical mechanics, or Fermi-Dirac statistics developed by Enrico Fermi and Paul Dirac. This is a particular case of particle statistics that determines the distribution of large numbers of electrons in the various energy levels that are available in atoms. Again, electron-electron interactions do not have to be considered, except for the Pauli Exclusion Principle, which states that no two electrons can occupy the same quantum state at the same time. Two electrons can occupy the same atomic or molecular orbital if they have opposite spin, a concept that arises in quantum mechanics. The significance for free radicals is that free radicals are defined as having one or more atomic or molecular orbitals with an unpaired electron.
[Para 48] These considerations lead to a more detailed physical explanation of how free electrons may be conducted in the surface layers of the earth and in the tissues of the human body, as well as how these electrons interact with free radicals in living tissues. Physical descriptions provide the most reliable and accurate picture relevant to this situation. The reason for this is that the chemical perspective focuses on atoms and molecules interacting with one another, dominated by atom-atom, atom-molecule or molecule-molecule collisions. The perspectives of physics, quantum physics, quantum chemistry and biophysics enable study of the forces and motions involved in chemical reactions at much smaller and more fundamental scales, the subatomic or electronic levels. Since free radicals are usually defined as molecules that have an unpaired electron, it is necessary to focus at the quantum electronic scale. As mentioned above, the very term, unpaired electron, relates to a phenomenon known as spin, a distinctly quantum phenomenon that is not referenced in classical physics.
[Para 49] Condensed matter physics recognizes that many of the concepts and techniques developed for studying fluid systems also apply to solids. For instance, the conduction electrons in an electrical conductor can form a type of “quantum fluid” with some properties that are similar to those of conventional fluids.
Obviously, the existence of quantum fluids implies that the laws of quantum mechanics must be taken into consideration, expanding our understanding of what is usually referred to as electronic conduction.
[Para 50] In the past, it was thought that the term “quantum fluid” applied only to clusters of atoms or subatomic particles that condense under extreme conditions of pressure and temperature. Much research has been done to demonstrate the existence of unusual properties such as superconduction, superfluidity and quantum coherence that take place at low temperatures or with other extreme conditions.
[Para 51 ] Over the years it has been discovered that the extraordinary subatomic properties that were first demonstrated at low temperatures and other special conditions can also be exhibited at room temperature or at body temperature. Driving research in this field is the need to reduce the size and increase the efficiency of electronic technologies. Engineers are constantly looking for applications that take advantages of the extraordinary quantum properties of materials so they can develop efficient circuits composed of atoms or molecules. [Para 52] There are two general types of condensation. A fermionic condensate is a superfluid phase formed by fermionic particles (electrons, protons or neutrons) at low temperatures. The earliest recognized fermionic condensate described the state of electrons in a superconductor. A system of identical fermions is called a Fermi gas or a free electron gas. If the temperature is low enough, the Fermi gas becomes “degenerate,” a state that provides a good model of the conduction electrons in a metal, even at room temperature. Hence physicists describe the electron clouds in metals and semiconductors in relation to Fermi gases. This will be important below in the discussion of the semiconductor nature of both the tissues in the human body and the earth’s crust.
[Para 53] Quantum physics recognizes two types of particles in nature, fermions and bosons. Fermions have half-integer spin, or spin A 1 , whereas bosons have integer spin. Here the term, spin, should not be conceptualized as an actual rotation about an axis, as spin is usually viewed in the macroscopic world. Instead, spin is a phenomenon that arises in quantum statistics and is a major distinction between bosons and fermions. Atoms and photons are composed of bosons and have integer spin, and therefore obey Bose-Einstein Statistics. This means that groups of bosons are capable of being organized into the same quantum state to produce coherence, as in a laser or maser. Assemblies of particles, such as atoms and molecules, can also behave as bosons or fermions. Depending on the number of electrons, protons and neutrons, an atom can have integer or half-integer total spin and, therefore, be a boson or fermion, respectively. Electrons are the best known fermions, have half-integer spin, and obey Fermi-Dirac statistics, whose consequence is the Pauli Exclusion Principle – no two fermions can occupy the same quantum mechanical state at the same time. The Pauli Exclusion Principle accounts for important features of free radicals and their reactions with electrons, to be discussed below.
[Para 54] Under appropriate conditions, fermions such as electrons and bosons such as atoms can be condensed into unusual states of matter known as the fermionic condensate or the Bose-Einstein condensate, respectively.
[Para 55] Recent research has blurred the distinction between the fermionic and Bose-Einstein condensates. For example, a fermionic condensate of bosonic atoms was created in 2004, and a number of research groups have shown that a Bose-Einstein condensate can fermionize, i.e. develop properties related to electrons. These include excitons, which are electron-hole pairs and anyons, which are particles with statistics intermediate between Fermi and Bose statistics in two-dimensional space.
[Para 56] One of the leading theorists in the field of superconduction, Herbert Frόhlich, demonstrated that the Bose-Einstein condensation can take place in living tissues at body temperatures and pressures because of the high degree of order or crystallinity in certain cellular and tissue components. Again, it had been thought that Bose-Einstein condensation could only take place at extremely low temperatures, as was demonstrated by Eric Cornell and Carl Wieman in 1 995 at the University of Colorado at Boulder NIST- JILA lab, using a gas of rubidium atoms cooled to 1 70 nanokelvin (nK). Under such conditions, a large fraction of the atoms collapsed into the lowest quantum state, at which point quantum effects become apparent on a macroscopic scale (Cornell EA, Wei man, CE, 2001 ; Bose-Einstein condensation in a dilute gas; the first 70 years and some recent
experiments; Nobel Lecture, December 8, From Les Prix Nobel. The Nobel Prizes 2001, Edited by Tore Frangsmyr, [Nobel Foundation], Stockholm, 2002).
[Para 57] In essence, Frόhlich concluded that giant dipolar molecules such as proteins, nucleic acids and lipids in cellular membranes, which can have enormous electrical fields of some 107 V/m across them, should vibrate intensely and coherently at characteristic frequencies and create a physical situation analogous to a Bose-Einstein condensation at body temperature. These vibrations can build up into collective modes of both electromechanical oscillations (phonons, or sound waves) and electromagnetic radiations (photons) that extend over macroscopic distances within the organism and perhaps also outside the organism. These electromechanical oscillators are coupled together to form an extended Frόhlich system.
[Para 58] Frόhlich began his work on biological coherence with a theoretical calculation that predicted a phenomenon. Frόhlich oscillations have now been repeatedly confirmed by experiment. A number of authors have criticized
Frόhlich’s application of coherence and Bose-Einstein condensation in biology, but the objections have been dealt with in other works.
[Para 59] The discovery that quantum effects become apparent on a macroscopic scale at body temperature in biological systems is extremely important as it allows theory and research on the movement of free electrons in cloud- or gas-like form through the tissues of the body. The phenomenon has been described as follows: the crucial distinguishing feature of Bose-Einstein condensates is that the many parts that go to make up an ordered system not only behave as a whole, they become whole: their identities merge or overlap in such a way that they lose their individuality entirely. This concept was first articulated by Albert Szent-Gyόrgyi at the Koranyi Memorial Lecture given in Budapest on March 21 , 1 941 , when he described the semiconductor nature of proteins: “If a great number of atoms is arranged with regularity in close proximity, as for instance, in a crystal lattice, the terms of the single valency electrons may fuse into common bands. The electrons in this band cease to belong to one or two atoms only, and belong to the whole system.” And, “A greater number of molecules may join to form such energy continua, along which energy, viz., excited electrons, may travel a certain
distance.” (Szent-Gyόrgyi, A., 1 941 , Towards a new biochemistry?. Science 93:609; Szent-Gyόrgyi, A., 1 941 , The study of energy levels in biochemistry. Nature
1 48(3745): 1 57-1 59). The concept of semiconduction in proteins encountered much resistance, but has now been accepted and has become a foundation of the new field of molecular nanoelectronics.
[Para 60] Because of barriers to communication between scientists working in different disciplines, the biological and biomedical significance of the discoveries of Bose, Einstein, Szent-Gyόrgyi, Frόhlich and others is not as well appreciated as it might be. In terms of biology, the significance is that much of the living organism is composed of highly ordered molecular arrays or crystalline-like materials (connective tissues, cell membranes, muscles, rods and cones,
microtubules in cilia, and so on), all of which can be described as being coupled oscillators and all of which will support the ordered conduction of electron clouds or gasses as described by Frόhlich and others.
[Para 61 ] The surface of the earth is likewise composed of materials that conduct electricity. The earth’s surface is dominated by the oceans which are composed of water and dissolved minerals which render the oceans highly conductive. The solid crust can be classified either as ‘continental’ or ‘oceanic’. Continental crust is on average older, more silica-rich and thicker than oceanic crust, but is also more variable in composition. Oceanic crust underlies most of the two-thirds of the Earth’s surface. It has a remarkably uniform composition (mostly 49% ± 2% Siθ2) and thickness (mostly 7 ± 1 km). The continental crust is composed mainly of basalt and granite. Basalt is a common gray to black volcanic or igneous rock. Volcanic rocks are usually fine-grained or aphanitic to glassy in texture. Aphantic (from the Greek αφαvης, invisible) refers to certain typically dark-colored igneous rocks which are so fine-grained that their component mineral crystals are not detected by the unaided eye. They often contain clasts or fragments of other rocks and phenocrysts. A phenocryst is a relatively large and usually conspicuous crystal distinctly larger than the grains of the rock matrix. The word granite comes from the Latin granum, a grain, in reference to the coarse-grained structure of such a crystalline rock.
[Para 62] The dominant mineral in the earth’s crust, Siθ2, (quartz), is a crystalline semiconductor and therefore capable of sustaining the movement of electrons much like the semiconductor materials that characterize the living state.
[Para 63] Not surprisingly, the conduction of electricity in the surface layers of the earth is well established (See Lanzerotti LJ, and Gregon GP, 1 986, Telluric Currents:
The Natural Environment and Interactions with Man-Made Systems; Chapter 1 6 in
Studies in Geophysics. The Earth’s Electrical Environment, Geophysics Study
Committee, Geophysics Research Forum, Commission on Physical Sciences,
Mathematics, and Resources, National Research Council. Published by the National
Academies Press, Washington DC).
[Para 64] Theory and measurement therefore show that free electrons migrate through the conductive surface layers of the earth as well as through the
conductive tissues of the human body, provided the two systems, earth and body, are in conductive contact with each other.
[Para 65] Oxidation and reduction and reduction potential are. frequently used but confusing terms in free-radical chemistry. There are serious limitations to the use of oxidation/reduction concepts when looking at free electron interactions with free radicals in the human body. First, the chemical species in living systems are not isolated as they are when their reduction potentials are measured in a
standardized system. Reaction conditions make a big difference. Moreover, the standardized reduction potentials are always measured at 25 ° C and corrected to pH = 7.0, but the actual pH and temperature in living tissues can be quite different from these values. The Nernst equation can be used to correct for the values of concentration and temperature. The resulting “effective” reduction potential can be used to predict which reactions are feasible, but this does not mean that those reactions will actually occur under the conditions present in a particular tissue (for a discussion of oxidation-reduction potentials as applied to free-radical chemistry, and the limitations of this approach, see Halliwell B, and Gutteridge JMC, 1 999, Free Radicals in Biology and Medicine; Chapter 2, The chemistry of free radicals and related “reactive species.” Oxford University Press, Oxford, UK, p. 36-104). Moreover, free radical reactions can be exceedingly fast, making it difficult to follow reaction rates based on changes in the concentrations of reactants and products.
[Para 66] A modern method for the direct study of free radical reactions is
femtosecond spectroscopy, which makes it possible to observe what actually happens to a reacting molecule as it passes through its so-called transition state during which bonds are broken and formed. The transition state is as fast as the electrons and atoms in the molecule move – about 1000 m/second – about as fast as a rifle bullet. The times involved typically tens of femtoseconds (1 fs = 1 O 1 5 seconds). Ahmed Zewail developed a method for observing the transition state, giving birth to a new scientific field called femtochemistry. What is essentially the fastest camera in the world is used to film the molecules during a reaction and get a sharp picture of the transition states. The “camera” is a pulsed laser. The reaction is initiated by a strong laser flash and is then studied by a series of subsequent flashes to follow the events. The result is a slow motion image of how bonds are stretched and broken. Ahmed Zewail was awarded the Nobel Prize for showing the decisive moments in the life of a molecule – the breaking and formation of chemical bonds (Zewail A, 1 999, Nobel Lecture: Femtochemistry: Atomic-Scale Dynamics of the Chemical Bond Using Ultrafast Lasers; From Nobel Lectures, Chemistry 1996-2000, Editor lngmar Grenthe, World Scientific Publishing Co., Singapore, 2003).
[Para 67] Thus, there are complementary ways of looking at the phenomena described in this patent. What emerges from current experimentation and theory in the fields of condensed matter physics and quantum mechanics is a holistic perspective that places the free radical molecule in the inflamed tissue of a person who is in conductive contact with the earth at the end of a continuum
encompassing the sun, the atmosphere, the earth’s oceans and crust and the tissues of the body. Indications are that this physical arrangement allows the human body to be permeated with a cloud or gas or quantum fluid composed of electrons that are capable of neutralizing free radicals and thereby preventing or reducing inflammation and its pathological consequences. The electrons are separated enough so that they do not interact with each other, and they are relatively disconnected from the atomic cores of the matrix in which they move. The electrons do not really travel, as in a wire. They are better described as waves than as particles. They are in a quantum state such that they can form the electron pairs that complete the occupancy of atomic or molecular orbitals that would otherwise maintain the free radical in its highly reactive and potentially harmful state.
[Para 68] It is well established that negative charges (free electrons) are instantly attracted to positive charges (free radicals). (Coulomb’s law: The electric force acting on a point charge as a result of the presence of a second point charge ((one positive and one negative)) attract one to the other). (Chemists use the term “electrophile” ((literally electron-loveή) to describe a reagent that attracts electrons. Most electrophiles are positively charged). Connecting the body to the earth automatically enables the conductive tissues of the body to become charged with earth’s free electrons. When the body is charged with earth’s mobile free electrons, excess or residual immune response free radicals have a readily available source of free electrons to couple with and reduce their oxidative state. This eliminates the need for residual immune system produced free radicals to oxidize healthy tissue to obtain their missing electrons. By readily reducing free radicals with earth’s free electrons, oxidation of healthy tissue is naturally inhibited, which helps the immune response ROS free radicals to wind down properly.
[Para 69] To verify the effects of speeding recovery from acute trauma and preventing or reducing chronic inflammation in the body with application of earth’s free electrons to the body, several research studies and a host of clinical case studies were performed. A series of clinical case studies (Amalu, supra) well document the therapeutic effectiveness of speeding recovery from acute trauma and preventing or reducing chronic inflammation and related health disorders by conductively coupling the body with the earth. The rapid healing of acute injuries and prevention or reduction of chronic inflammation that is consistently evidenced in the case studies support the concept that nature, throughout evolutionary time, relied upon earth’s mobile free electrons as a primal source of antioxidants to prevent oxidation of healthy tissue. Further, in considering that the immune system’s oxidative response mechanisms developed when humans and animals lived in conductive contact with the earth, the clinical case studies (Amalu, supra) strongly support that the modern practice of wearing synthetic soled shoes and living in environments that insulate the body from the earth is the primary contributor to the current epidemic of chronic inflammation and related health disorders (autoimmune diseases).
[Para 70] Current biomedical research (referenced above) confirms that chronic inflammation and autoimmune diseases are virtually epidemic in modern times. They include: high blood pressure, cardiovascular/heart disease, diabetes, multiple sclerosis and other neuromuscular diseases, respiratory disorders, digestive disorders, liver, gall bladder and kidney dysfunction, diseases of the colon, arthritis, chronic fatigue, osteoporosis, hormone imbalances, thyroid dysfunction, Alzheimer’s, premature senility/dementia, as well as the continuing rise in cancer. [Para 71 ] When the human body is conductively coupled with the earth by means of the present invention, the body naturally conducts and becomes charged with earth’s mobile free electrons, i.e. it equalizes with and maintains the natural electrical potential of the earth. In this state earth’s mobile free electrons are available throughout the body to readily reduce excess free radicals and thereby prevent oxidation of healthy tissue. Current biomedical research (referenced above) confirms that free radical oxidation of healthy tissue is the underlying cause of chronic inflammation and autoimmune disease. Clinical case studies (Amalu, supra) show that restoring the earth’s natural surface charge of free electrons to the body consistently speeds recovery from acute trauma and prevents or reduces chronic inflammation.
[Para 72] Accordingly, there is a need for a method to conduct and apply the earth’s mobile surface charge of free electrons to the bodies of humans and animals to treat acute injuries or to help reduce and prevent chronic inflammation and to treat inflammation-related autoimmune diseases. Such methods should be capable of being used while sleeping, during prolonged periods of sitting, standing and during other activities when the body is residing in an environment that would otherwise insulate the body from conductive contact with the earth. The present invention fulfills this need.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
[Para 73] The present invention resides in a method for reducing and preventing inflammation and treatment of inflammation related autoimmune diseases. More particularly, the present invention relates to a method of speeding recovery from acute injury and inhibiting or preventing the expression of chronic inflammation in an animal or human by conductively coupling the body with the earth to conduct earth’s mobile surface charge of free electrons from the earth to the body to restore the bodies natural supply of free electrons to help reduce and prevent residual immune response reactive oxygen species (ROS) free radicals from oxidizing normal tissue. When an animal or human body is naturally charged with earth’s free electrons, residual immune response ROS free radicals have a readily available source of free electrons to rapidly reduce their oxidative state. This helps to inhibit ROS free radical oxidation of healthy tissue and thereby speeds recovery from acute injury and prevents or inhibits the promotion and manifestation of chronic inflammation and inflammation-related health disorders in the body.
[Para 74] Sufficient conductive contact between the body and the surface of the earth, and its beneficial consequences, can be achieved most naturally and preferentially through the bare feet. This contact is preferably established via direct contact between the feet and a conductive footpad or bed sheet.
Conductivity is preferably established with fabrics containing silver fibers. Silver provides improved conductive coupling with the feet and also gives the invention advantageous anti-microbial, anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties.
[Para 75] The present invention resides in a process for reducing tissue
inflammation in a living body, comprising the steps of providing a grounded plane, bringing the body into extended contact with the grounded plane, and reducing the oxidative state of residual immune response free radicals in the body using free electrons provided through contact with the grounded plane. The grounded plane may comprise a conductive pad conductively coupled to a grounded anchor placed in the earth. The step of bringing the body into contact with the grounded plane comprises conductively coupling the body with the conductive pad.
[Para 76] The step of reducing the oxidative state includes the step of conducting a mobile surface charge of free electrons from the earth to the body. The step of conducting a mobile surface charge includes the step of restoring the body’s natural supply of free electrons and reducing residual immune response reactive oxygen species free radicals in the body.
[Para 77] The reducing step includes the step of speeding recovery of the body from acute injury. The reducing step also includes the step of inhibiting
expression of chronic inflammation in the body. The reducing step also includes the step of inhibiting free radical oxidation of healthy tissue in the body. The bringing step includes the step of bringing the grounded plane into contact with a body’s bare feet.
[Para 78] Thus, there are several objectives of the present invention, including reducing or preventing inflammation in an animal or man by supplying or applying the mobile negative surface charge of the earth to the body to provide an abundant supply of free electrons to the body to reduce excess free radicals in the body produced during a normal immune response, thereby speeding recovery and preventing or inhibiting the possible oxidation of healthy tissue, which comprises a conductive pathway between the earth and the body sufficient to maintain a natural flow of free electrons from the earth to the body, as would occur in nature if said animal or man were standing barefoot on the earth.
[Para 79] It is another object of the present invention to conduct and maintain the earth’s mobile negative surface charge of free electrons on the body to supply the body with an abundant supply of free electrons to reduce or prevent inflammation via a conductive pathway consisting of connecting a conductive floor covering that is conductively connected to a dedicated ground wire that is connected to a ground anchor placed in the earth or connected to the electrical ground or common ground wire of a modern home or workplace electrical system in which an animal or man maintains barefoot contact with the conductive flooring or the animal or human wears conductive footwear to maintain conductive contact between the body and the earthed conductive floor covering.
[Para 80] It is another object of the present invention to conduct and maintain the earth’s mobile negative surface charge of free electrons on the body to supply the body with an abundant supply of free electrons to speed recovery from acute injury and reduce or prevent chronic inflammation via a conductive pathway consisting of a mattress or sleeping pad that is covered with fabric containing conductive fibers that is conductively connected to a dedicated ground wire that is connected to a ground anchor placed in the earth or connected to the electrical ground or common ground wire of a modern home or workplace electrical system in which an animal or human maintains barefoot or body contact with the conductive mattress via sleeping on sheets that contain conductive fibers that make contact between the body and the conductive mattress covering.
[Para 81 ] It is another object of the present invention to conduct and maintain the earth’s mobile negative surface charge of free electrons on the body to supply the body with an abundant supply of free electrons to speed recovery from acute injury and reduce or prevent inflammation via a conductive pathway consisting of a fabric tape or body band containing conductive fibers that are conductively connected to a dedicated ground wire that is connected to a ground anchor placed in the earth or connected to the electrical ground or common ground wire of a modern home or workplace electrical system in which an animal or human maintains skin contact with the conductive fibers of the fabric tape or body band. [Para 82] It is another object of the present invention to conduct and maintain the earth’s mobile negative surface charge of free electrons on the body to supply the body with an abundant supply of free electrons to speed recovery from acute injury and reduce or prevent inflammation via a conductive pathway consisting of an electrode patch that is conductively connected to a dedicated ground wire that is connected to a ground anchor placed in the earth or connected to the electrical ground of a modern home or workplace electrical system in which an animal or human maintains skin contact in an area of the body with acute injury or localized inflammation.
[Para 83] It is another object of the present invention to conduct and maintain the earth’s mobile negative surface charge of free electrons on the body to supply the body with an abundant supply of free electrons to reduce or prevent inflammation via a conductive pathway consisting of a chair or seating mechanism that is covered with fabric containing conductive fibers that is conductively connected to a dedicated ground wire that is connected to a ground anchor placed in the earth or connected to the electrical ground or common wire of a modern home or workplace electrical system in which an animal or human maintains conductive contact with the earthed seat covering fabric with either bare skin contact or wearing clothes containing conductive fibers that make contact with conductive fiber in chair or seat covering conductive fabrics or via conductive hydration of clothing from normal body perspiration that occurs when sitting.
[Para 84] It is another object of the present invention to conduct and maintain the earth’s mobile negative surface charge of free electrons on a human body to supply the body with an abundant supply of free electrons to reduce or prevent inflammation via a conductive pathway consisting of clothes made from fabrics that contain conductive fibers that are conductively connected to a dedicated ground wire that is connected to a ground anchor placed in the earth or connected to the electrical ground or common wire of a modern home or workplace electrical system.
[Para 85] It is yet another object of the present invention to use a connecting device containing a circuit testing apparatus to test the working order of an electrical circuit outlet ground or common ground port for conducting earth’s mobile negative charge to an animal or human grounding apparatus. The connecting device displays a green light if the outlet is correctly wired and a working electrical ground wire is connected to the outlet ground port. This device may be fitted with one or more earthing port receptacles for connection of more than one animal or human earthing apparatus. Further each port will contain a current limiting device to protect against harm from an electrical event.
[Para 86] It is another object of the present invention to conduct and maintain the earth’s mobile charge of free electrons on a human body to supply the body with an abundant supply of free electrons to reduce or prevent inflammation via a conductive pathway consisting of a conductive desk pad or computer mouse pad or wrist pad made with a conductive surface layer that is conductively connected to a dedicated ground wire that is connected to a ground anchor placed in the earth or connected to the electrical ground of a modern home or workplace electrical system.
[Para 87] Other features and advantages of the present invention will become apparent from the following more detailed descriptions, taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings which illustrate, by way of example, the principles of the invention.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
[Para 88] The accompanying drawings illustrate the invention. In such drawings:
[Para 89] FIG. 1 is a diagrammatic view of an exemplary grounding system used in accordance with the present invention, including a grounding pad, grounding lead, interface device, and a grounding anchor placed directly in the earth.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION
[Para 90] The present invention resides in a method to treat acute injury or to reduce and prevent inflammation and to treat chronic inflammation-related autoimmune disorders. More particularly, the present invention relates to a method of treating acute injuries and/or inhibiting the expression of chronic inflammation in an animal or human by conductively coupling the body with the earth to conduct earth’s mobile surface charge of free electrons from the earth to the body in order to restore the body’s natural supply of free electrons and thereby reduce and prevent residual immune system produced reactive oxygen specie free radicals from oxidizing normal tissue. When an animal or human body is naturally charged with earth’s mobile free electrons, residual immune system produced free radicals have a readily available source of free electrons to rapidly reduce their oxidative state. This inhibits free radical oxidation of healthy tissue and thereby speeds recovery from acute injury and prevents or inhibits the promotion and manifestation of chronic inflammation and inflammation-related health disorders.
[Para 91 ] U.S. Pat. No. 6,683,779 discloses a personal grounding system for collecting and removing unnatural electrical charges from a human body. The grounding pad comprises between 1 0% and 20% carbon fibers. The grounded anchor is placed directly into the earth. The grounding pad could also comprise a sitting pad positionable on a vehicle seat, and wherein the grounding anchor comprises a metal component of a vehicle. Disclosure of this United States patent application is hereby incorporated by reference into this specification. The purpose of the present patent is to disclose discoveries obtained during the application of the ‘779 patent, and to further disclose improvements and enhancements to the methods of the previous patent based on further research and observation.
[Para 92] Experience with use of the previous patent has revealed that reestablishing electrical contact of a human or animal body with the earth produces rapid and extremely valuable anti-inflammatory effects, which therefore favor its application in the treatment of numerous inflammatory conditions.
[Para 93] This disclosure provides advantages and enhancements over the ‘779 patent, that disclosed grounding comprising a sitting or sleeping pad and including a mesh layer substrate comprised of a plurality of electrically conductive carbon fibers, and a conductor substantially extending across the substrate in conductive contact with the fibers, the grounding pad being configured to make field or conductive contact with the human body; a ground lead having a first end conductively coupled to the grounding pad conductor; and a grounded anchor conductively coupled to a second end of the ground lead. The ‘779 patent also provided for body bands, conductive patches and a conductive seat for use in a vehicle.
[Para 94] The chair and sleeping pads described in the ‘779 patent are effective, but it has been discovered that in order for the grounding pad to be in direct conductive contact with the skin of a human body through a covering sheet (in the case of a sleeping pad) or through clothing (in the case of a chair or sitting pad) it is essential for said body to produce perspiration, and thereby moisten or hydrate the sheet or clothing, respectively, to render them conductive. This slows and in many cases prevents the natural migration of electrons from the earth to the body. [Para 95] The previous invention also allowed for conductive coupling with the body through an adhesive electrode patch or through body bands containing conductive fabrics that could be placed around an ankle, foot or wrist, for example. While these methods are effective, they require a cord be attached to them while being used. This was found to be inconvenient for most users; whereas a conductive footpad or bed pad requiring only barefoot contact is more
convenient for use in most living space and work place environments.
[Para 96] The method of the invention comprises administration to an animal or human the natural negative surface charge of free electrons of the earth in an amount similar to the amount that would occur in nature if said animal or human were standing barefoot on the earth. The requirement of maintaining earth’s negative surface charge of free electrons on the body to therapeutically speed recovery from acute injury and/or reduce inflammation is shown to vary from minutes to hours to weeks depending upon the amount and extent of
inflammation and inflammation related disease in the body. To prevent
inflammation it is recommended that the body maintain conductive contact with the earth for a routine amount of time on a daily basis.
[Para 97] The method of the present invention grounds the body, such as by using the devices and systems in the ‘779 patent. More preferably, a grounding pad or strip is either directly attached to the body, or is conductively coupled to the body, the grounding pad or strip being connected to a ground anchor placed directly in the earth. Such grounding pads or strips include a mesh layer substrate
comprised of a plurality of silver fibers, such as silver coated nylon fibers, having a silver content typically comprising 5% of the fabric. Typically, this substrate comprises 95% polyester, nylon or cotton and 5% silver-suffused monofilament nylon knitted into a conductive grid pattern. Although 5% silver fiber content is preferred, the grounding pad or strip silver fiber content may vary, such as between l % and 10% silver fibers.
[Para 98] The grounding pad or strip can take various forms, such as a pad placed directly beneath the feet of the individual, a strip or pad removably attached to an appendage of the body, the pad may be in the form of a large rug or flooring surface, the mesh fabric as described above may be used to line a chair or sleeping bag or a bed sheet. The important aspect of the present invention is that there is conductive contact between the body and the grounding pad such that electrons can freely flow therebetween.
[Para 99] The grounding pad or strip is conductively coupled to the ground anchor by means of a ground lead extending from the pad or strip to either the ground anchor directly, or more typically to a wall plate connected to the electrical ground of the building or home. For example, the ground lead may be directly connected to the ground lead or other suitable wiring of the home or building. This may be done, for example, utilizing a banana clip or other appropriate conductive connector.
[Para 100] In a particularly preferred embodiment of the invention, a safety interface device is plugged into an electrical outlet of the home or building which includes a fuse or current limiting resistor to prevent potential harm from an electrical event. This device may also be provided with an electronic circuit and indicators that show that the apparatus is functioning properly, and that there is a free flow of electrons through the apparatus from the ground to the ground lead and pad or strip.
[Para 101 ] As described in the ‘779 patent, one end of the ground lead can include a connector such as a banana clip which can be removably attached to a wall plate. Although the connector can comprise a plug, such as a banana clip, for insertion into an outlet-like aperture of a wall plate, the connector may also comprise a snap-fit connector of the circular or ring variety which can be snapped onto a mating member of the wall plate so that children cannot accidentally insert the connector into an electrical socket. Alternatively or additionally a snap-fit connector of the circular or ring variety can be snapped onto a mating member coupled to the grounding pad.
[Para 102] A meter or fuse or current limiting resistor may be associated with the system, and typically installed within the ground lead 24 or electrical outlet ground port 30, as illustrated in FIG. 1 . The fuse or current limiting resistor is intended to prevent potential harm from an electrical event.
[Para 103] A ground system interface device 30 comprising a box containing electrical contact terminals that are connected to a test circuit residing in the device 30 that test the wiring configuration of the outlet and confirms that an earth ground wire is connected to the third prong electrical outlet port. If the outlet wiring is correct and a ground connection exists a green light will indicate that the interface device is in working order. This device will also contain banana jack type ground ports for connecting ground leads from personal grounding devices to the earth ground system as illustrated. Each ground port outlet of the device will contain an inline current limiting resistor, such as a 1 megohm resistor, which meets current known or established standards to protect a grounded person against harm from an electrical event. Further, a mechanism to reduce electrical noise on the common ground wire may be embedded inline on the ground port side within the test interface device to allow use of the common ground wire in homes that do not have a standard third wire electrical ground system.
[Para 104] The systems described above have been used in experiments with test patients having various physical maladies, including inflammation and
inflammation-related chronic diseases. The earthing or grounding systems used in the studies consisted of either a conductive sleep pad or two EKG-type adhesive electrode patches, one placed on the bottom of each foot. A 50-foot ground cord or lead with a snap attachment on one end (attached to the electrode patches or the conductive sleep pad), with another end attached to a 1 2-inch earthing rod placed in the earth (soil) outdoors. The purpose of using these devices and systems for the studies was to replicate a person standing barefoot or sleeping directly on the earth while residing or being located in an environment that insulates the body from the earth to measure the physiological effects that occur from conductively reconnecting the body with the earth.
[Para 105] The first study of the advantages of the ‘779 patent involved 60 people with sleeping difficulties and chronic muscle or joint pain. (See, Ober, A. Clinton, Grounding the human body to neutralize bio-electrical stress from static electricity and EMFs; ESD Journal, the ESD and Electrostatics Magazine, 2001 ).
Sleeping on a grounded mattress pad for 4 weeks led to significant improvements in sleep, muscle relaxation, and reduction of chronic back and joint pain.
Specifically, 85% of the subjects went to sleep quicker, 93% reported sleeping better throughout the night, 1 00% reported feeling more rested in the morning, 82% experienced reduction in muscle stiffness, 74% experienced less chronic back or joint pain, and 78% reported improved general health. Close examination of the results of certain subjects in this study led to the question why some subjects sleeping in very low EMF exposure environments vs. subjects sleeping in very high EMF exposure environments reported similar reductions in chronic pain. It was this observation that led to further investigations and eventually to the discovery that being conductively connected to the earth alone produced the reductions of inflammation related chronic pain.
[Para 106] A second study by M. Ghaly, MD and D. Teplitz of the advantages of the ‘779 patent showed that use of the grounded mattress pad over an 8-week period normalizes the day/night hormone Cortisol secretion rhythm. It is well known that Cortisol is a primary inflammation marker. The following is an overview of the study: Diurnal Cortisol secretion levels were measured and circadian Cortisol profiles were evaluated in a pilot study conducted to test the hypothesis that grounding the human body to earth* during sleep will result in quantifiable changes in Cortisol. It was also hypothesized that grounding the human body would result in changes in sleep, pain, and stress (anxiety,
depression, irritability), as measured by subjective reporting. Twelve (1 2) subjects with complaints of sleep dysfunction, pain, and stress were grounded to earth during sleep for 8 weeks in their own beds using a conductive mattress pad. Saliva tests were administered to establish pregrounding baseline Cortisol levels. Levels were obtained at 4-hour intervals for a 24-hour period to determine the circadian Cortisol profile. Cortisol testing was repeated in the same manner at week 6.
Subjective symptoms of sleep dysfunction, pain, and stress were reported daily throughout the 8-week test period. Measurable improvements in diurnal Cortisol profiles were observed, with Cortisol levels significantly reduced during night-time sleep. Subjects’ 24-hour circadian Cortisol profiles showed a trend toward normalization. Subjectively reported symptoms, including sleep dysfunction, pain, and stress, were reduced or eliminated in nearly all subjects. The results indicate that grounding the human body to earth (“earthing”) during sleep reduces nighttime levels of Cortisol and resynchronizes Cortisol hormone secretion more in alignment with the natural 24-hour circadian rhythm profile. Changes were most apparent in females. Furthermore, subjective reporting indicates that grounding the human body to earth during sleep improves sleep and reduces pain and stress. Ghaly M, MD, and Teplitz D, MA; The Biological 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,
November, 2004, Volume 1 0, Number 5, pages 767-776.)
[Para 107] The following subjective case study reports from the Gahly, Teplitz study show that all participants were experiencing pre-study symptoms from known inflammation related health disorders. All but one subject reported significant reductions of these symptoms at the end of the study. The results in total provide significant evidence that conductively coupling the body to the earth consistently reduces chronic inflammation and promotes recovery from a wide range of inflammation-related health disorders.
[Para 108] Subject 101 (female age 24) – Menstrual cycle regular
o Pre-Study Complaints o Long time to fall asleep, wake up after several hours and can’t sleep again; wake up exhausted
o Daily headaches
o Migraine one week before periods for last 4 years
o Hip misaligned since labor with child 2 years ago
o PMS: cramps, mood swings, bloating, irritability, depression, weight gain, easily upset, hot flashes
o Digestion: bloating, nausea, diarrhea, gas, constipation
o End of Study Reports
o “Decreased time to go to sleep”
o “Able to fall back asleep after waking-up”
o “Wake up refreshed instead of exhausted”
o “No more daily headaches”
o “Re: PMS – decreased food cravings, decreased bloating, depression and hot flashes”
o “No more nightmares”
o “Digestion improved with less bloating, constipation and nausea” o Additional End of Study Comments
o “By the third night [on the mattress pad] I slept through the night and it did not take me as long to go to sleep. I’ve had trouble sleeping for 1 7 years and was constantly waking up through the night…and now if I do wake up in the middle of the night it is because my son has woken me and even after that it only takes me a few minutes to go back to sleep. In the morning I feel extremely refreshed and ready to start my day…l wouldn’t want to give my
mattress pad up for anything.”
[Para 109] Subject 102 (female age 53) – Post Menopausal
o Pre-Study Complaints
o Difficulty going to sleep
o Wake up 2-3 times a night for last 3 years
o Whiplash (cervical sprain 24 years ago, re-injured 2 months ago) o Muscle cramps in legs
o Chronic muscle pain through-out body (myofacial)
o Hot flashes
o End of Study Reports
o “Fall asleep faster and easier”
o “My neck pain is lessened”
o “My leg and foot cramps have lessened”
o “Helped my chronic pain be greatly reduced”
o “Arm and lower back pain gone”
o “TMJ problem significantly improved”
o “Reduction in hot flashes”
o Additional End of Study Comments
o “Before using the mattress pad, I had a chronic pain in my left
upper arm and lower back which were both totally gone the very
first week and have not returned.” [Para 1 10] Subject 103 (female age 50) – Menstrual cycle regular
o Pre-Study Complaints
o Trouble falling asleep since childhood
o Trouble waking up from deep sleep
o Muscle aches and leg cramps – many years
o Lower back pain and intestinal pressure due to uterine fibroids
o PMS: fibrocystic breast tenderness, bloating, cramps, irritability, mood swings, easily upset, food cravings
o Night sweats
o TMJ causing occasional headaches
o End of Study Reports
o “Less stress about going to sleep after a lifetime’s worth of sleep disorders”
o “Somewhat less trouble falling asleep”
o “Have gradually woken up feeling more refreshed in the morning whereas I almost always felt fatigued upon arising”
o “Don’t need coffee in the morning to get going”
o “Leg cramps almost completely gone”
o “Less backache and pain”
o “Less PMS and even less fibrocystic”; “Less cramps and irritability with PMS”
o “More even tempered” o “TMJ greatly reduced”
o Additional End of Study Comments
o “I’ve definitely had a greater sense of well-being and feel a subtle sense of lightness and ease. A low-grade, background feeling of stress that I’ve always had seems to be diminished.”
[Para 1 1 1 ] Subject 104 (female age 42) – Menstrual cycle regular
o Pre-Study Complaints
o Trouble falling asleep
o Waking feeling tired; Trouble waking up from nap
o Light, restless sleep.
o Fibromyalgia since 1 992 car accident; a lot of joint pain – arms,
o Gastrointestinal upset – gas
o End of Study Reports
o “The general quality of my sleep improved – not immediate, but a gradual change”
o “Sleeping much deeper”
o “A lot less fatigue because of less pain”
o “My fibromyalgia has improved considerably because of diminished pain and fatigue”; “The joint pain is gone with occasional pain in
the left arm”
o “I am feeling much better, I haven’t been sick at all.”
o Additional End of Study Comments o “I think the mattress pad is extremely beneficial and I hesitate to
sleep on anything else.”
[Para 1 12] Subject 106 (female age 51 ) – Post Menopausal (last period one year ago)
o Pre-Study Complaints
o Some trouble falling asleep
o Wake up from hip pain; also wake up from a hot flash between 4
and 5 AM
o Wake up with a headaches every morning (last 3 months)
o Wake up feeling groggy (last 3 months)
o Wake up tired
o Hot flashes all day (for one year) as well as during sleep
o Hip pain, possible arthritis (1 -2 years)
o End of Study Reports
o “Disappointed that I did not sleep any better and my joint aches
are worse than when I started”
o “Less occurrence of hot flashes”
o Additional End of Study Comments
o “No significant change except for decrease in daytime hot flashes.” [Para 1 1 3] Subject 107 (female 52) – Post Menopausal
o Pre-Study Complaints
o Sleep very lightly
o Wake up feeling tense several times during the night o Wake up feeling tired in morning
o Feel tired during day
o Pain in left hip, sporadic for several years (began few years ago)
o Allergies (food and airborne) since age 1 3
o Digestion: gas
o End of Study Reports
o “Have felt more rested and feel like I need an hour less sleep per
o “Deeper relaxation”
o “Stopped having any pain at all in my left hip”
o “First few days, I experienced tingling and heat in areas of my
previous physical injuries – similar to an acupuncture treatment.
After approx. 3 days, the feelings subsided, and the vague sense of having a previous injury has subsided.”
o “Allergies have definitely lessened”
o “Better digestion”
o “I noticed that I stopped clenching my jaw at night”
o Additional End of Study Comments
o “It’s getting back into the rhythm of the earth.”
o “My husband, not part of this study, began sleeping fewer hours,
has more energy, and has stopped snoring.”
[Para 1 14] Subject 108 (female age 44) – Menstrual cycle regular, periods heavy
o Pre-Study Complaints o Trouble sleeping (not as heavy as before)
o Wake up 2-3 times each night with physical discomfort
o Anemic one year
o Less energy than in past
o Numb fingers left hand 4 months, carpal tunnel
o PMS: bad cramps, painful heavy periods and uterine fibroids many years, breast tenderness, mood swings, weight gain
o Hot flashes at night [or may be night sweats]
o End of Study Reports
o “Gradually sleeping better”
o “Two episodes of waking up between 4:30 and 5:30 with anxiety that is intense upon awakening, then subsides to lower level but remains during the AM, gradually subsiding by noon or 1 :00PM. First episode was 5 days at the beginning of study and second episode was 8 days at the end of the study” [subject has past history of anxiety attacks; subject reports stress in daily life due to problems in relationship]
o “Less numbness in hand and fingers, especially at night; not needing to wearing a brace at night”
o “Menstrual period not as severe; cramps not as strong”
o “Feeling better physically and emotionally”
o Additional End of Study Comments
o “My experience has been strange. I don’t know what to think” [Para 1 1 5] Subject 109 (female age 31 ) – Irregular menstrual cycle; period ceased for one year and restarted 3 weeks prior to study start date, then ceased again during study
o Pre-Study Complaints
o Problems getting to sleep
o Trouble sleeping, discomfort from neck, toss and turn till 3AM
o Feel unrested in the morning
o PMS: bloating, breast tenderness, weight gain, acne (during
o Allergic to some foods (last 2 years)
o Digestive problems: gas, constipation, bloating, heartburn
o End of Study Reports
o “At first my body responded quickly by feeling completely relaxed.
After a week I went through several weeks of soreness in my neck
area due to an increase in stress [subject reported crisis at work
along with stress from planning her wedding]. I couldn’t get
comfortable – woke up feeling unrested. But even though I’ve been dealing with these stress-related struggles, I’ve noticed I sleep a lot more comfortably overall than I have in the past couple of years.”
o “Deeper relaxation once I get to sleep”
o “Digestive system is getting better…less stomach pain and
o Additional End of Study Comments o “My overall experience has been very positive”
[Para 1 16] Subject 1 1 0 (male age 72)
o Pre-Study Complaints
o Trouble falling asleep
o Wakes up during the night
o Don’t want to wake up in morning
o No pain
o Some depression since surgery (aortic aneurysm ruptured 2 Vi years ago)
o Digestion: gas, diarrhea
o End of Study Reports
o “Falling to sleep more quickly”
o “Falling to sleep more quickly after going to the bathroom at night” o “Sleep is deeper”
o “Dreams more vivid”
o “Feeling somewhat more refreshed upon awakening”
o “Stress and tension is improving”
o “No more pain”
o “Digestion is better”
o Additional End of Study Comments
o “The mattress pad is a very good health aid by helping you sleep
deeper and relaxing you from stress and tension.”
[Para 1 1 7] Subject 1 1 1 (male age 37) o Pre-Study Complaints
o No problem going to sleep but sleep is not as deep as it should be o Wake up not feeling rested (4 years)
o Sleep 7 hours at night. Need 2-3 hours more
o Wake up feeling achy in back
o Knee joint ligament problems – knee goes out of joint (several
o Skin irritation/fever blisters
o End of Study Reports
o “My overall experience was impressive. I felt from the very first
time a very relaxing effect. It is like you lay down and don’t want to move”
o “Definitely slept better”
o “Woke up in a better physical and psychological state.”
o “Felt calmer and with better mood”
o “Felt more centered and patient”
o “Felt more relaxed”
o Additional End of Study Comments
o “I felt the physical effect of the pad, but I also felt the soothing
psychological and spiritual effect of being connected to Mother
Earth. It’s like sleeping on your mother’s lap again.”
[Para 1 1 8] Subject 1 1 2 (male age 50)
o Pre-Study Complaints o Sleep deeply 4 hours and then sleep is not restful
o Get fatigued during the day (several years)
o Arthritis (several years); achy joints
o Leg cramps
o Tore rotor cuff (one year ago) – almost better
o Bone spur on left heel (started months ago)
o Digestion: acid stomach problems, heartburn and gas
o End of Study Reports
o “Better sleep. I hardly wake up from early morning dreams where I used to wake up every night.”
o “I wake up more refreshed and my aching joints are almost gone.” o “Less body pain in morning”
o “Feeling better the rest of the day”
o “My shoulder and heel have almost completely healed”
o “Leg cramps are much less frequent”
o “Stomach reflux has disappeared”
o Additional End of Study Comments
o “Something definitely worth trying if you are having problems with sleeping.”
[Para 1 19] Subject 1 1 3 (male age 39)
o Pre-Study Complaints
o Trouble falling asleep o Wake up all through the night for a few minutes [subject reports his
4 dogs wake him up by barking frequently]. Trouble getting back
o Sometimes wake up from shoulder and back pain
o Tired in the day
o Occasional headaches
o Occasional sore muscles in shoulders and back from basketball or heavy lifting
o Some back and hip pain
o Digestion: gas and heartburn
o End of Study Reports
o “Fall asleep quicker”
o “Seem to sleep deeper”
o “No trouble falling back to sleep”
o “In the morning I do not want to get out of bed”
o “No shoulder pain”
o “Less headaches”
o “Digestion/heartburn less”
o Additional End of Study Comments
o “Sleep was better”
[Para 1 20] A third study conducted by G. Chevalier and colleagues measured changes in electrophysiological and physiological parameters from coupling the body with the earth. Fifty-eight healthy adult subjects (30 controls) participated in a double blind pilot study. Earthing was accomplished with a conductive adhesive patch placed on the sole of each foot. An earthing cord led outdoors to a rod driven into the earth. A biofeedback system recorded electrophysiological and physiological parameters. Upon earthing, all subjects presented an abrupt change in rms values of surface electromyograms (SEMGs) from right and left upper trapezius muscles. Signal variance in rms muscle potentials also increased significantly. The results of the Chevalier study show that conductively coupling the body to earth significantly affects the electrophysiological properties and the autonomic balance of the body. Chevalier G, PhD, Mori, Kazuhito, PhD, Oschman, James L., PhD, The Effect of Earthing (grounding) on Human Physiology, European Biology and Bioelectromagnetics,
http://www.ebab.eu.com/dsp_abs.asp?s_aid=41 &s_vol = l &s_iss=5.)
[Para 1 21 ] A fourth investigative study using the prior disclosed invention in testing the effectiveness in enhancing human performance, speeding injury repair and facilitating recovery has been performed by Jeffrey Spencer, D. C, who used the method to treat high profile athletes, including members of the US Professional Cycling Team. Spencer reported that the success of the Lance Armstrong team in their final three Tour de France victories (2003, 2004 and 2005) in part is due to the rapid healing and recovery produced by application of the prior invention. The following summarizes the clinical outcomes observed on the Tour.
o 1 . Sleep was universally improved.
o 2. Tendonitis (inflammation) was virtually eliminated
o 3. Wound healing (abrasions) was vastly accelerated o 4. All members of the team completed the Tour
o 5. Illness frequency and duration were much diminished over
o 6. Consistency of performance was significantly improved
o 7. Team morale remained high throughout the entire Tour
o 8. Recovery from exertions and injuries of the previous day was
[Para 1 22] Minkoff, David I., M. D., Best Cases in Biological Medicine. Series #6. Explore! Volume 1 3, Number 6, 2004).
[Para 1 23] A fifth study was an electrical study using the prior disclosed invention to define the electrical network model of the human body and to measure and confirm the effects of applying earth ground to the body to measure reduction of environmentally induced body voltages. The study was performed by R.
Applewhite. Voltage induced on a human body by capacitive coupling to the external environment was measured using a high-impedance measurement head. The body was then earth grounded by means of a Conductive Patch and a
Conductive Bed Pad. Each method reduced the coupled 60Hz mains voltage by a factor of at least 70. This result, along with the measurement of the voltage drop across an in-line resistance in the Conductive Patch provided evidence of a simplified electrical network model of the human body and the flow of electricity between the earth and the human body. (Applewhite, Roger, P.E., The
Effectiveness of a Conductive Patch and a Conductive Bed Pad in Reducing Induced Human Body Voltage Via the Application of Earth Ground. 2004.) [Para 1 24] A sixth study was performed by William Amalu, DC, DABCT, FIACT: (Amalu, supra). The case studies presented were performed at an out-patient clinical treatment center in Redwood City California. The subjects were randomly selected from the treatment database as they presented for care. Each subject consented to inclusion in the study. Pain levels were assessed and followed using the standardized fourpoint visual analogue pain scale. Thermal imaging of each subject was undertaken utilizing standardized pre-examination preparation protocols and strict image acquisition according to published guidelines. Some of the subjects were supplied with an earthing sleep system consisting of bedding, containing conductive fibers, which was placed on top of the subject’s mattress and thereafter connected to the earth via a conductive ground cord and an earthed ground rod. Other subjects were given clinical earthing treatments, which entailed the use of conductive electrode adhesive patches that were attached to the skin at specific points and thereafter coupled to the earth via a conductive ground wire that was connected to an earthed ground rod. All of the subjects were followed over time and their results recorded and summarized. Use of high-resolution medical infrared imaging as an objective assessment of both inflammatory and neurophysiologic conditions demonstrated significant immediate changes in both acute and chronic inflammation-related conditions.
[Para 1 25] The research and case studies reveal that conductively connecting the body to earth effects the electrophysiology of the body and produces rapid resolution of both acute and chronic inflammation and its numerous consequences using the methods disclosed in the prior patent. The research to date confirms that re-establishing conductive contact of a human or animal body with the earth produces rapid and extremely valuable anti-inflammatory effects which favor its application in the treatment of numerous inflammatory conditions.
[Para 1 26] Although several embodiments of the invention have been described in detail for purposes of illustration, various modifications may be made without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention. Accordingly, the invention is not to be limited, except as by the appended claims.