Any Grounding Experience?

Discussion in 'Health, Nutrition, Injuries & Medical Conditions' started by ThomDavid, Apr 3, 2013.

  1. Robin

    Robin Barefooters
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    running barefoot in the woods(or grass,no not weed:p) has an impact on my temperament,so for me there is definitely something happening that I don't experience while being shod.If I run shod for a couple of days I really need to go out and at least walk barefoot,running around the house barefoot on tiles doesn't alleviate my symptoms... I don't even want to know the science of it,to me its obvious.Maybe it's just instinct of a long forgotten time:D
     
  2. Robin

    Robin Barefooters
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    As far as the sleeping problem,could just be that it's a bioritm issue...not that that's easily fixed as society forces us to adapt to its ritm.
     
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  3. Sid

    Sid Barefooters

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    I try to go to sleep shortly after dusk and wake a bit before dawn. I try not to use artificial light when possible. I munch on food during work, so I can nap during my 30min lunch break, as per my body's rhythm. When I need energy during the day, rather than drink caffeine, I'll move around more or get some sunshine. It's not easy, but one can try to be more aligned with natural cycles.

    I try to stay away from society. Too many bad influences, nowadays.
     
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  4. Robin

    Robin Barefooters
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    yeah same here,I sleep when I'm tired(I don't work) so that's pretty easy:Dit seems that because of that I more.Feels great:)
    Going for a walk can clear you right up in the afternoon;)
     
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  5. Spinningwoman

    Spinningwoman Barefooters
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    I don't see the problem, and i think that suggesting that the claims are 'dishonest' is unfair, Sid. It's quite clear what the sheets are intended to do, ie ground/earth the body in the sane way that a piece of electrical equipment is grounded. They do that, as can be demonstrated with a voltmeter, the moot point being whether or not there is any benefit to that. They are well made for the purpose and the book makes it quite clear that the effect is no different than just standing or sitting on the ground.

    The guy that came up with the idea clearly believes that he and others have experienced a benefit to being so grounded and he has done some informal research while admitting that he is not in a position to do large scale medical style trials. Personally, i don't see why there shouldn't be a downside to being as artificially insulated from the earth as we have accidentally become; it is one of the reasons i enjoy being barefoot. I'm prepared to give it a go to see what happens. You're not, unless someone can explain exactly how the benefit might be achieved. That's fine. Nobody is misleading anyone that I can see.
     

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  6. Sid

    Sid Barefooters

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    I never said that I was not grounded. I don't go around wearing rubber gloves and boots, trying to electrically isolate myself from the Earth. It's not like I want a big voltage potential on my body, so that I can zap myself when turning on a light switch.

    I'm perfectly fine with people spending their money on whatever sheets they want, grounded or not.

    The book makes specific health claims citing biophysiological mechanisms that are not based in fact. Integrity is a concern. Putin can say that Russia has democratic elections, but it is not so. People can disagree with him, too.

    In all fairness, I've read their books. Now please, if a proponent of grounding would read the relevant sections of a physics textbook and cell biology textbook, that would be wonderful for the discussion.
     
  7. Spinningwoman

    Spinningwoman Barefooters
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    I doubt if anyone buys these things because of someone's stuff about ions and free radicals. They try them because of anecdotal recommendations.
     

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  8. Ahcuah

    Ahcuah Barefooters

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    I happened to find an article from 1890 talking about earthing, right down to using copper brads in his shoes in order to stay electrically connected to Mother Earth. And of course, it cured him of "dyspepsia, neuralgia, headache, and other innumerable pains". You can read it in my blog post for today:
    Nothing New Under the Sun
     
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  9. George Bucheimer

    George Bucheimer Barefooters
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    Hi David (or Thom?), I don't really have any experience with "grounding" exactly (other than running barefoot, I guess) but I would like to attempt to give some advice on dealing with insomnia, as I do have quite a bit of experience with that (my good friend also has a lot of experience with it and shares pretty much the same view on it.)

    First of all, how long has she been having trouble sleeping? I'm sure insomnia can occur for a variety of reasons and I am just curious how applicable my advice will be.

    Anyway, I started having to deal with insomnia as a result of multiple "concussions" (the term is much too widely used and very poorly understood, but I am using it just meaning 'extreme blow to the head'). Actually, not entirely, I think a lot of it had to do with the depression and anxiety that resulted from these multiple concussions.

    For various separate periods of time, some lasting as long as two years, I couldn't think about anything other than my head, whether the fuzziness was ever going to go away, or if I was going to have permanent damage, or if I would ever be able to exercise normally again...a lot of different things.

    Much of this time I was having a lot of trouble sleeping, and although I feel very good at this point in time, I still have terrible nights of sleep reminiscent of those terrible times. The one thing that seems to be the common component whenever sleeplessness occurs is "depression."

    Before, it was depression about my head injuries, but lately it has been anxiety about going to my new job. I hate this job so much that I am literally dreading going back at all times that I am not there (luckily its over in a few weeks). Basically, I sit at a computer for 7-8 hours straight and I just can't do that.

    I don't know what your wife's life is like, whether or not she likes her job, or if there is something else she gets anxiety or depressed about. But if everything in her life is good, other than the sleeping, then I would guess that her own mind is what is causing the continued sleeping problems.

    Our minds are VERY POWERFUL things, never underestimate them. If your body doesn't like something that is going on, it can literally start to shut down, which is basically what depression is, it "depresses" your bodily functions. I am GUESSING that your wife is continually worrying about not being able to sleep the next night, which is giving her anxiety/depression and the inability to relax the mind and allow her bodily systems to function correctly in order to sleep.

    In both me and my friends experience, the best way to get over these insomnia episodes (I know it sounds corny) is to just say "f*** it". You just have to tell yourself "I don't even care, I don't get any sleep at night anyway, so why worry about one more night of no sleep?" You just have to reach that point where it sucks so bad that you don't even care anymore. After realizing this the first time, it gets easier to deal with in the future because you've been there before.

    But yeah, we have the ability to worry ourselves greatly. That's the only way I can get over it, I just say "whatever, I don't even care if I never get to sleep" but the thing is, you really have to not care, because you have been dealing with it for so long. You almost just have to laugh at yourself for taking it so seriously, and then after doing this, your mind/body can relax (or whatever exactly is happening) and you can hopefully just fall asleep.

    Just my experiences with insomnia. Again, I don't know what put her in this state or how long it has been affecting her, but hopefully my advice helps...just say "f*** it".
     
  10. Spinningwoman

    Spinningwoman Barefooters
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    Well, a few months on my sleep patterns are still radically better than before. It stopped working for me at one point so I tested the sheet with a voltmeter and discovered that it had developed a loose connection. I used to think it was the circling thoughts and worries that kept me awake, but now I think that those thoughts themselves are a product rather than a root cause. I do have an occasional bad night when I have a genuinely worrying situation to deal with next day, but no longer waste nights on 'false worrying'.
     

  11. Ahcuah

    Ahcuah Barefooters

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    I think this is a perfect example of human cognitive bias and the whole reason that science works, because it really attempts to compensate for that bias. Humans are really good at finding patterns . . . even when those patterns don't exist. (See, e.g., pareidolia.)

    There is also priming, in which thinking about what you think you are about to see actually helps you see it (whether it is there or not). And of course there is always the good old placebo effect.

    Here's the thing: The fact that you thought it would help you sleep probably had a large effect on helping you sleep. But you don't really know.

    Now, regarding the loose connection, you have no idea whether that was related. But how can that be, you ask? When you had trouble sleeping you checked and found the loose connection. But that could have been broken on day 2 and you were sleeping fine for all that time without the grounding. It was only when you had trouble sleeping that you checked and found it broken, and then you associated it with your belief. But it demonstrates nothing, because you only checked for a loose connection when you thought it was no longer working.

    That kind of cognitive mistake is quite common.

    (There's another kind of cognitive mistake that could be coming into play, too. When we think we have a solution, on a day when that "solution" doesn't work we creatively come up with some other reason why it didn't work, e.g., bad day at the office. We hold on hard to our biases.)

    It's a real shame that ThomDavid didn't follow through and try to do a fair test that really tried to remove the cognitive biases to see if it really worked or whether it really was placebo.

    [Note: I'm not trying to dump on SpinningWoman. As I said, these are the sorts of cognitive biases that we all have, and it takes a certain type of mental discipline, and skepticism, not to fall prey to them.]
     
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  12. Spinningwoman

    Spinningwoman Barefooters
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    Not actually the case, though, in that I did check that the sheet was working shortly after I got it and again each time after washing it. But, I'm not really bothered. If a cognitive error has made that much difference to my sleep, that's fine by me, though actually I have tried quite a number of other things that might have been expected to have at least a placebo effect and this is the only thing that has worked. I don't really see why it couldn't be the sheet, though. I can measure the physical effect of touching it against not touching it. My body and brain are electrical systems. Why would grounding them not make a difference?
     

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  13. Ahcuah

    Ahcuah Barefooters

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    Well, no, your body is not an electrical system, and more than a car is an electrical system. They both contain electrical systems, though. And while the brain (and nervous system) are electrical, they are pretty well insulated, so a few stray charges without some hefty voltage behind them aren't going to do anything to it. Just like grounding the body of your car won't change the way the radio or alternator work.

    How do you measure the physical effect on you and your physiology of touching and not touching it? How is that relevant (and any more relevant than I can measure a physical effect when a car is grounded)?

    As I've written before, I don't see any obvious way it could be the sheet; that's just not how the physics, chemistry, and biology works (unless there is something quite exotic going on).

    What I do know that all the justifications I see are just scientific-sounding word salads.
     
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  14. Ahcuah

    Ahcuah Barefooters

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    I've decided to try testing this. But I want to run through my proposed protocol with you folks first, so you can poke holes in it.

    First, I'm not about to spend $200 for an earthing starter kit. If earthing works, I should be able to wear a grounding wrist strap for $3, as long as it doesn't come off.

    My thought is to do things for 30 days, with a computer-generated random list of on and off days. However, I will start with 5 days on (before the 30 days), just to get used to the strap and make sure I don't lose it during the night. I'll make sure I can get through 5 days of wearing the strap without losing it before I start the official data-keeping.

    The list will have 15 on days and 15 off days. I won't know which is which--my wife will have the list and set the switch for each night according to the list. The list will be generated and given to my wife in a fashion to make sure that I have not seen it. The switch itself will be in box so that I cannot see how it is set.

    In the morning I will decide whether I was grounded or not, depending on how I feel. Presumably, feeling "better" means I should say I'm grounded, and feeling "worse" means I should say I'm not. My decision will be dated and written on a sheet of paper and dropped into a (different) box. This is so that I won't be able to look at a sheet of paper and decide I don't have enough "betters" yet, e.g..

    If, when I get up on any morning, the wires to my grounding strap have come loose (due to turning in the bed), of course that night will not count. The setting for the next night will be the one originally set for that next night. At the end of the list, any "missed" days will be made up in the order that they happened.

    Analyzing the results: based on statistics (any statisticians want to check me on this?), I might get 19 out of the 30 right simply by random chance (95% confidence level). Or, if we want a 99% confidence level, 21 out of 30. Any thoughts on which I should pick?

    But basically, if we go for 95%, if I don't get 20 out of the 30 right, that's strong evidence that earthing didn't work.

    So anyways, what do folks think?
     
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  15. Spinningwoman

    Spinningwoman Barefooters
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    I see a few problems with this scenario. For a start, it would be like me testing aspirin as a painkiller for headaches when I don't actually suffer from headaches. I would not feel any better on days when I took aspirin, but that wouldn't mean that someone who suffered from headaches would feel no benefit. Do you currently feel any malaise that might be due to not being grounded or have any difficulty sleeping? If not, what kind of feeling better are you expecting to feel?

    Secondly, if you spend a lot of time outdoors in bare feet, you might already be reaping the benefits of that, so that spending additional time grounded might make little difference compared to someone who was always shod.

    Third, assuming that there was some room for improvement as a result of grounding, it might not be a straight on/off. In my experience it takes a few days of not being grounded before I notice my sleep deteriorating again. (Eg, on holiday)

    Fourth, what kind of earthing strap are you using, and how to you plan to test it for effectiveness? I have two sheets which differ quite substantially, for some reason. (Tested with a voltmeter).
     

  16. Sid

    Sid Barefooters

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    Skin is poorly conductive. When through-skin transmission is desired, steps must be taken to improve conductivity or increase surface area, such as use of abrasive and conductive gels, needles, or conductive pads.

    Also, static charges may accumulate on regular bedsheets and clothes.

    As such, a grounding strap may not be electrophysiologically equivalent to a large sheet.

    Ambient temperature, humidity, hydration level may affect results.

    Changes may take more than one night take effect.

    Results may be measureable but imperceivable, eg minor changes in blood pressure, heart rate.

    A washout period may be required to allow for effects to disippate.

    Good luck!
     
  17. mokaman

    mokaman Chapter Presidents
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    Besides what Sid posted I would check to make sure you have a good grounded connection every night then have your wife connect or dis-connect you from the ground on random nights but you wear the ground connection every night anyways to help take away bias from the experiment basically so you never know if your connected or not.

    I'm not fully convinced grounding has no effect even though my common sense and experience says otherwise...I have all the basic means to test this myself without spending any money but haven't tried it yet. I'm willing to suspend my dis-belief to see what you find for sure.

    Are you going to control other things like diet, activies, exercise etc? Would 6 months be a better time length to show any results...maybe you should wear non-conductive shoes 100% of the time when your not in bed so as not to throw off the experiment...confounding factors etc.
     
  18. Spinningwoman

    Spinningwoman Barefooters
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    There is also a problem with potential bias, that I can see, particularly since the results are subjective. Since you are doing this from a position of wanting to prove that grounding has no effect, it would be important to design the experiment so that your bias can't unintentionally skew the results. Unfortunately, it is hard to do that. It doesn't work just to avoid knowing whether the ground is connected or not, because in both cases (connected and disconnected) the result you 'want' is the same - ie, no effect.

    Imagine that you and I both ran the experiment. I have a preference for proving that grounding has a positive effect, whereas you would prefer to find that it has no effect. The experiment you describe would be effective to prevent my bias, since in order to produce the results I 'needed'. I would have to report good effects on grounded days and poorer results on non grounded days, which I couldn't do unless I knew which days were which. You on the other hand would only have to report no effect on all days in order to prove your theory - you don't actually have to know which days are which.

    I am not, of course, suggesting that either of us would deliberately skew the results, but only that the design of the experiment does not eliminate unconscious bias towards a negative result, only towards a positive result.
     

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  19. scedastic

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    I'll read the rest of your schematic later, but I have to agree w/ Dr. Crislip on this basic idea.
    What's the point in testing something that doesn't pass plausibility criteria?
    Depending on the power of the test, you will still get falsely significant results a certain amount of the time, but it will mean absolutely nothing.
     
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