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Email Us: info@wellwellusa.com

Grounding’s Uncertain Benefits

Limited Research Undermines Claims

Groundings Uncertain Benefits

The Skinny:

Most people think being grounded is a good thing. It just sounds right, making a person seem stable and secure. But of late, grounding or earthing has taken on a new meaning. It is now defined as a body having direct (barefoot) electrically conductive contact with the Earth’s surface. It supposedly leads to all sorts of spiritual and physical benefits. The concept isn’t exactly new. It has ancient roots and now more than 250 million modern views of the practice on TikTok. Ultimately, it maintains a split decision on its worth with proponents claiming it is an easily implemented noninvasive low-risk therapy. Critics respond that grounding is just another New Age fad supported by old, poorly designed research that may be more tied to selling grounding seminars, mats and shoes than determining its worth. So, what are the purported benefits? Read on.

The Slate:

Aids Cognition and Coordination

Going barefoot aids brain function by supplying complex sensory-motor feedback. Studies also suggest children benefit by improving their motor performance. Going barefoot also helps circulation, muscular strength, proper anatomical alignment, motor control and sensitivity in people of all ages. 

Mood Enhancement

Grounding may improve a person’s mood. One research project, in fact, reported just one hour of indoor grounding in a recliner chair significantly improved the moods of those going barefoot compared with those who weren’t grounding.

Improved Sleep

There is some research that supports the belief that grounding improves sleep. The evidence is limited, but a 2004 study reported that grounding at night improved sleep, reduced pain and lowered stress. Unfortunately, there has not been a lot of additional research since then to support these claims.

Barefoot Running

Running without shoes is an increasingly popular activity, The Barefoot Runners’ Society, in fact, claims grounding helps their running through negatively charged ions. Others complain this is nonsense and that all the grounding research comes from “pseudoscience” journals. The trend was launched a decade ago when barefoot marathoners reported better oxygen consumption and others followed suit. A 2023 report, however, countered this claim, noting that shoe weight, not grounding, affects oxygen needs. It also noted that barefoot running promotes medial tibial stress syndrome, Achilles tendinopathy and plantar fasciitis.


Some research indicates that grounding has anti-inflammatory effects that can help fight diabetes as well as cardiovascular, autoimmune and communicable diseases. Grounding purportedly produces favorable physiological changes including “attenuation of the inflammatory response, decreased red blood cell aggregation, improved heart rate variability and a favorable impact on blood viscosity.” 

Covid-19 Connection

Can grounding help prevent and treat Covid-19? An Iraqi study claims that Covid patients walking barefoot or wearing chest grounding patches had “improved” in “fever, dyspnea, cough, weakness, headache, chest pain, taste and smell sensation loss, anorexia and body pain.” The study’s impact is limited, however, since no matched control group was used to compare their results against the grounding patients. 

Helps Premature Babies

Since neonatal intensive care unit equipment generates potentially stressful electrical fields for premature babies, some research suggests grounding infants could help alleviate problems. Additionally, large-scale studies are needed to pin down the benefits of grounded vs. ungrounded preemies.  

Wound Healing

One study on grounding’s anti-inflammatory action suggests the practice can help heal wounds and relieve pain. The research was based on anecdotal reports and there has been limited follow-up, which limits the worth of the findings.

Eyes Up:

Are you into grounding? Tell us why at info@wellwellusa.com.


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