Barefoot Groundology Barefoot

Earthing for Health & EMF Protection

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Frequently Asked Questions

General questions

Q. Why is it important to be grounded?

A. Being grounded restores our natural electrical connection to the Earth, which is missing due to our rubber or plastic soled shoes and insulated sleeping arrangements.  This Earth connection has been reported to bring numerous benefits such as pain relief, improved immune function, improved sleep, stabilisation of the body's basic biological rhythms, reduction of chronic inflammation, and protection from the effects of electromagnetic fields (EMF).  For a fuller answer to this question, please see the About Grounding page.  Please note that this does not constitute medical advice in any way, or claim cure or treatment of any medical condition.  Always consult a medical doctor regarding any personal health issues.

Q. How can I ground myself?

A. The simplest way to be grounded is to go outside and place your bare feet or hands on some grass or earth.  To be grounded while indoors, we offer a range of products to make this same electrical connection to the Earth.  These products connect either via the domestic mains ground, or via an external grounding rod driven into the earth.

Q. Is grounding via domestic mains the same as using an external grounding rod?

A. Yes.  In fact a modern domestic electrical system has just such a grounding rod buried in the ground (usually just outside the house).  This grounding rod is connected via the domestic wiring system to the earth pin on every mains socket.

Q. Is a mains earth connection present in all countries?

A. In the UK a mains earth connection is required by law and is almost universally present.  If you are concerned that the wiring in your property may be incorrect then we sell an inexpensive socket tester to verify a correct earth connection and properly wired socket.

European countries also have an earth connection, although the style of socket varies, with some having a pin which sticks out of the socket (e.g. France), while others having a spring connection at the top and/or bottom of the socket (e.g. Germany).  The European plugs we sell are a dual type, suitable for either style of socket.  There are a couple of exceptions in specific countries, so please read the user guide included with our products.

North American sockets do not always have an earth pin.  The 2 pin sockets are not suitable for grounding, but importantly not all of the 3 pin sockets are suitable either.  In properties which have not been re-wired since the 1960s, there may be 3 pin sockets fitted, but no earth wire actually connected.  So unless in a new property, we recommend use of a socket tester to verify presence of an earth connection.  For this reason we include a socket tester as part of our kits intended for use in the US.

Q. Is it safe to ground myself via a domestic electrical outlet?

A. Yes, absolutely.  The systems we sell have a built in protection resistance which makes them completely safe.  In the very unlikely event that a mains socket was mis-wired, the protection resistance would limit the current to a safe level and prevent a noticeable electric shock.  Obviously if a mains socket was mis-wired then you would not be grounded, and so we recommend the use of a socket tester if you have doubt about the state of your mains wiring.

Q. For how long do I need to stay grounded to feel the benefits?

A. There is no simple answer to this as everybody is different.  Many people do feel an immediate benefit when grounded, and even physical symptoms such as inflammation and pain can show improvement within minutes.  However, in general we would say that the more time you can spend grounded the better.  Ideally, use grounding equipment (such as a grounding band or mat) whenever is practical, and particularly when near powerful electrical equipment such as a computer.  Grounding while sleeping is important: not only do you spend a large proportion of your time sleeping, this is also the time when regeneration takes place and the body is most receptive to healing.

Q. Is it ok to combine grounding with medication / alternative medicine / complementary therapies?

A. Grounding is as natural as walking barefoot on the Earth, but of course we would always advise that you consult a medical doctor.  If you are taking blood thinning medication, then be aware that grounding can also reduce blood viscosity.

Q. Do you have any testimonials from people who have used your products?

A. While we do have a large collection of feedback emails from our customers, we have been advised that legally we are not allowed to share any kind of testimonial that claims treatment or cure of a medical condition (which covers most of the feedback we have). Therefore I would have to recommend you search the internet for forums, etc. where people share their experiences of grounding. The only information we can provide are the results of scientific studies, rather than anecdotal reports. You can find many of these studies here:

Specific product related questions

Q. When grounding via a mains outlet, does the socket need to be switched on?

A. No.  The socket earth is always connected, whether the socket is switched on or not.  Conversely it doesn't matter if the socket is turned on, since there is no connection to the live pins.

Q. Can I plug the grounding plug into a mains extension lead?

A. Yes, provided it is an earthed extension lead, and correctly wired, then this will work fine.

Q. Can I use the grounding products in another country with a mains adaptor?

A. You can, but be sure that the mains adaptor is the type where the earth/ground pin is actually connected.  Many travel adaptors do not have a proper earth connection and so you would not be grounded if using one.  We recommend purchasing the correct type of connection plug for your country, or a grounding rod which can be used in any country.  These can be found here.

Q. I've seen similar products used in the electronics industry for electrostatic discharge (ESD) protection.  Can I use these for grounding?

A. Yes, you can, and they will have some benefit.  However such systems have quite a large resistance built in which dampens the effect of the grounding, specifically the induced voltages in the body due to EMF are not reduced so effectively with such systems.  The equipment we sell is designed for lowest ground resistance, while still being safe to connect via a mains electrical outlet.

Typically, ESD equipment has 1 MegaOhm resistance per component in the system, and so generally a complete system will have at least 2 MegaOhm (2000 KiloOhm) resistance (e.g. a plug plus a cord).  Additionally, ESD equipment is often dissipative rather than fully conductive, which adds further resistance.  Our systems are manufactured with a total resistance of 100 KiloOhm, a much lower resistance, and all our equipment is fully conductive, not dissipative.

Q. How long do the grounding mats last?

A. The Grounding Mats should last many years provided they are not cleaned with anything abrasive or with strong chemicals. If cleaning is needed, wipe with a soft cloth and mild soapy water. As they get older, we would recommend to test occasionally with a conductivity tester. As well as checking the conductive surface of the mat, testing also verifies that no internal damage has occurred to the connection wire.

Q. How long do the grounding bands last?

A. If in daily use, and with occasional washing, we recommend replacing grounding bands yearly to ensure optimal conductive function.

Occasionally washing should be done by hand in warm water, with mild liquid soap. Avoid detergents which contain bleaching or whitening agents, or other strong chemicals.

Q. How long do the grounding sheets last?

A. The conductive life of the sheets will vary depending on factors such as skin type, skin products used, washing detergent, washing method, etc.

Typically the sheets have a conductive life of around 2 to 3 years.

This is due to a natural oxidation process that occurs on the silver thread, in response to the factors listed above. Inappropriate washing, etc. may shorten the conductive life.

In order to obtain the longest life from your sheet, be sure to follow the washing and usage instructions. This includes to wash the sheet regularly (every week or two if in nightly use). Some people think that they will extend the life of their sheet by not washing so often, but in fact this can be harmful as it allows the body oils and other organic deposits to build up on the silver thread. It is very important to avoid detergents containing bleach or whitening agents as these will drastically reduce the conductive life.

The simplest way to test if your sheet is still working ok, is to use a conductivity tester.
We recommend to test occasionally once around 2 years old.

Q. Can you recommend which washing detergents are suitable for Earthing sheets?

A. Our specific recommendation is Greenscents Laundry Liquid, Nonscents (unscented)

We've also had good experience with Bio-D Laundry Liquid (fragrance free), and there are other suitable washing detergents out there.

Generally it's best to use simple liquid soaps, containing no additives that could potentially be harmful to the silver. With gentle detergents such as these, it's best to wash at 40°C (not lower). Use a synthetics programme which will avoid the highest spin speeds. Wash regularly (at least every week or two).

Here is a list of what to avoid in your washing detergent for maximum life of the sheets:

Fabric conditioner (built-in or separate)

Bleaching/whitening agents:
Chlorine based (Sodium hypochlorite, Calcium hypochlorite, etc.)
Peroxide/Oxygen based (Hydrogen peroxide, Sodium percarbonate, Sodium perborate, etc.)

Strong fragrances (chemical or essential oil based)

Note: Please also check/clean the detergent drawer of your washing machine for residues of other detergents, since many detergents (particularly powders) contain whitening agents which will harm the silver, even in small quantities.

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