July 26, 2020
For electrical equipment, the idea is simple.
Earthing means having the equipment - generally the metallic body of the equipment - connected to the ground so that any current leaking out to the body from its electrical gets sucked by the ground and we don't get any shock on touching the equipment. This is done by having a wire touching the equipment body connected via the third big pin in the plug on its cable to the wiring that goes into a rod that is dug in the ground.
Because of its contact with the ground, the equipment body is always at the same voltage as that of the ground (which is zero), and hence, even if a live wire in the equipment comes in contact of its body, thus trying to raise its voltage, the voltage of the equipment body doesn't rise as there is a very convenient path for the current to go the ground via the grounding connection. And hence, when we touch the equipment body, its voltage being zero, and ours being zero, there is no current, and no shock.
When I was undergoing Yin Yoga training recently, it so happened that around the end of it we were shown this curious device that can provide earthing (or grounding) to human body! With supposedly numerous health benefits! Not that it was part of the training, but the trainees were introduced to it just for the sake of it. The tutor told that he was using it and he just wanted to show it to us 🤔.
Coming from a reputed teacher, this idea successfully aroused my curiosity up to the point that I decided to check it out.
Here I'm presenting my discoveries and knowledge that I gained in the process.
Here's how some of these devices look like:
The proponents of this idea say that by virtue of living in buildings with wooden or carpeted floors, wearing plastic or leather shoes and slippers mostly throughout the day, and then retiring on beds that can and do not conduct any electricity to the ground, we develop static electricity on our bodies which is positive in nature. This positive electricity, which is composed of "free radicals", doesn't get a chance to be neutralized by earth's electrons. This makes us "electron deficient".
If, on the other hand, if we come in contact of earth for sufficient time, or use specialized devices and equipment, we can increase our exposure to earth's electrons, and, lo and behold, this results in very generalized health benefits including, but not limited to, improvements in sleep quality, reduction in pain and stress, and betterment of many bodily cycles such as hormonal and gastrointestinal.
The idea is simple - most of these devices work by connecting your body to the grounding wire that is there in every building's wiring, which in turn, is connected to the earth's stabilizing field, e.g. it can be a bracelet, or a mat or a mattress cover made of some conducting material and having a cord with a plug that is to be inserted in the electric wall socket.
Similarly, there are shoes and sandals that have some mechanism to have your foot connected to the ground, e.g. by having a grounding strap, or conducting sole etc.
Why This Doesn't Make Sense
When we get to hear a lie from somebody, generally there are two possibilities.
With this idea of 'grounding human body', although my effort was just to verify its usefulness, over time I've also got the feeling that most of its proponents fall in the second category explained above - i.e. they are scamming. And I'll explain how.
Well, there are many reasons.
Now let's see how the champions are actually knowingly trying to fool us.
For a very detailed, point-by-point rebuttal, read this - http://www.sillybeliefs.com/earthing.html.
Finally, what about the experienced and knowledgeable yoga teacher who advertised one of such devices informally though during his class? It's even saddening that a google search on his name shows this on the first page - "... has had a passion for science..."!
Beyond doubt, he was exceptionally good in the training he provided - in both theoretical and practical areas. But he could not do a simple research about the human-body-earthing phenomenon before mentioning it to a class of hundreds of trainees! I can think of no other reason than paid-advertising.
This site has good explanation on electrical earthing. Check it out if you wanted to learn more - https://circuitglobe.com/electrical-earthing.html.
Picture credit: Circuit Globe
When a simple set of two pillow covers (with grounding feature, of course) can cost as much as $279 (see the picture above), one can guess how much money is being made. And with that kind of money, it's easy to get your propaganda pushed to sites like NIH (part of U.S. Department of Health and Human Services)!
Read this full out flattery here - https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3265077/!
It's wording like the following that immediately raises suspicion:
What about the fact that we, as apes during our evolution, spent most of our time either on trees, or grass covered forest floor!
Another one on similar lines - https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4378297/.