Electro-Magnetic Fields (EMF) are mostly invisible with the notable exception of visible light. Why should you care about EMF?
Put very simply, electric activity causes vibrations resulting in energy waves, known as electromagnetic radiation (EMR). And depending on their strength, they can cause harm to living organisms, like our bodies. The bad news is, we’re around them daily, when we use our mobiles, the microwave or watch TV.
Nature, well, naturally, gets it right. Animals follow their instinct, fine tuned to live in harmony with the environment.
The human brain overrides this instinct more often than not, to pursue ‘development’ perceived as enriching lifestyles, what that entails is entirely subjective, and that’s fair enough. However, what isn’t subjective, is that we can’t outwit nature’s laws - mess with them too much and they hit back, climate change being a prime example.
The solution, the more we fit in and connect with nature, the better everyone feels.
Most of us feel more relaxed in nature, animals are instinctively aware of this fact, and people, even if only at a subconscious level, are as well. Why talk about nature? Well, we want to tell you all about earthing! A practice defined by spending more time in nature and putting your bare feet and bodies on the ground.
Imagine what we can’t see — electric charge — it's all around us from the ground up. Electric charge is of course a good thing, but too much charge accumulated in our bodies with nowhere to go can create an unnatural state, and an overload!
The static electricity (your charged body) becomes visible, when your hair suddenly ‘stands up’, and we all have experienced rubbing clothes, or touching the metal frame of a car’s door, causing an electric shock.
There generally is a mild natural positive charge in the air around us, but anything with an electrical current, such as the power lines keeping the lights on, or the cables, plugs and chargers powering our computers and gadgets, can raise that charge to unnatural levels. The closer we are to our electronics the more our bodies can become electrically charged. For example, an elevated state of charge in our bodies is pretty common especially when we are in close contact to cables or electric devices, but if we were barefoot in contact with the ground it would be zero, which is our natural state.
On the other hand, if we live close to power lines we can be exposed to greater voltages, varying from 400 volts to a whopping 750,000 volts supplying the grid to our homes. And this menu is ever expanding, 5G networks, although useful to living faster, are a highly debated subject.
Will this positive charge kill us?
No, but we would be running around with an elevated level of charge in our bodies. Given the limited research on the topic, nobody really knows at what point this starts to create health issues or damage otherwise healthy cells.
The body restores to a natural (and neutral) state of balance by exchanging electrons from the ground. It’s instant and measurable.
And it's as simple as putting our paws and feet on the ground. However, contrary to our furry friends, we rarely run around barefoot, the electrons can’t get through our shoes’ and other insulating barriers, may it be rubber, or other types of soles, therefore preventing the exchange.
Earthing isn’t anything new or high-tech, and there certainly isn’t a 24/7 need to do so, we discharge pretty much instantly. But we recharge pretty quickly too, of course depending on the electric charges we’re exposed to. So, we’re running around charged again until the next time we get the chance to earth ground!
If all this seems a little odd to you, think about electronics. Yes, you may say we’re not a computer, or a microwave. We most certainly are not! But we are ‘electrical beings’. Our body functions thanks to an electrical circuit, our heart pounds, and cells, which use electrons, send signals to our brains and throughout our bodies. Grounding physics applies to us just as it does to our electronics.
We know for a fact that not everyone survives a lightning strike, around 300 kV. When lightning strikes, our cells overcharge, blood vessels burst, neurons die and with that brain signals change. Our heart's electrical rhythm then gets out of sync - resulting in a heart attack.
As we can’t escape the electric charges hovering around us, should we just turn the clock back and live without? Probably not. For one, it's impractical, more humans on this earth have made cities a necessity. And one has to admit, it's nice to have the comforts coming with electricity.
For starters, without it you wouldn’t be reading this! Secondly, living a la natural, does make one feel more in harmony with the environment, but trust us, you’ll start to miss your fridge pretty quickly!
Kids, still more instinctive than adults, may prefer to run around barefoot, but even where one may imagine a more natural life, flip flops are a must. Just take the nomads of East Africa. The Masaai, jumped at the opportunity to protect their feet from the hard ground, scorpions lurking about, the moment they came across rubber old rubber tires to use as soles for home-made flip flops.
Our ancestors walked the earth barefoot, or with naturally conductive soles, and they slept on the bare ground with no artificial electrical charges flying around them. Whilst one could argue that many moons ago we were more balanced beings without shoes or high rise buildings, there is only one way to transfer what our ancestors took for granted to our modern lifestyles - we must make the effort to earth ground ourselves from time to time, it’s not possible to do away with shoes or buildings or electronics but awareness of earthing can help in adapting our urban architecture.
Bio-electricity is still a science in motion, not least thanks to the fact that body cells aren’t the easiest of study partners. The effect of electrical charges entering the body’s electrical circuit - due to the recent electrification of our world - is still a relatively new field. So, have the early researchers seen any benefits from earthing?
There are quite a few studies out there that look at the science of earthing, and why it could be an important tool for our well-being. To date, a key discovery is earthing’s link to a notable reduction in inflammation, known to play a key role in the development of many diseases.
“Grounding reduces or even prevents the cardinal signs of inflammation following injury: redness, heat, swelling, pain, and loss of function. Rapid resolution of painful chronic inflammation was confirmed in 20 case studies using medical infrared imaging.”
Oschman J.L., Chevalier G., Brown R. The effects of grounding (earthing) on inflammation, the immune response, wound healing, and prevention and treatment of chronic inflammatory and autoimmune diseases, Journal of inflammation research, 2015, 8: 83–96.
The full list of benefits identified range from better moods and pain relief, to faster healing injuries, and improvement in managing - possibly even preventing - chronic diseases. Let’s look at some more research!
Earthing could be extremely beneficial for our cardiovascular health. A study from 2013 illustrated that earthing may reduce the clumping of red blood cells due to its positive surface charge (inside cells are negative), resulting in a good blood flow positively influencing the heart, reducing blood pressure and inflammation.
A study from 2015 found creatine kinase (CK) to be lower when earth grounding after exercise, indicating help with muscle recovery and damage in athletes. Hemoglobin, carrying oxygen, as well as platelets, were noted to be higher, another indicator of increased repair.
Our immune system is known to function thanks to electrical conductivity, numerous studies have found that our skin charges can help us to heal faster and more effectively from wounds and possibly even from cancer. These discoveries have sparked interest among those studying bio-energetics, who believe the illness could ‘just’ be a miscommunication between our cells communicating on a bioelectric level.
In general, earthing is risk-free. However, one word of caution: a current, such as lightning, will look for the path of least resistance. So, running around barefoot in a storm may not be the best of ideas! In this case rubber soles are a real plus.
Choosing wisely, where one earthes is also advisable to avoid any (very rare) negative side effects of earthing. If you should happen to earth ground on top of major underground electrical currents, your attempt to neutralize may go the other way. Don’t stress though! The majority of cables are insulated and will never present such an issue, the earthing danger arises in the case of a break or leakage. The earth is then drawn into the circuit and may become electrified before it neutralizes once again, similar to the situation when lightning hits.
Anything that’s an electrified object, including wires, produces an electrical field.
In a nutshell, our bodies complete the electrical circuits around us. We are conductive, we can take on whatever an object we touch tries to discharge, and we become its negative earthing wire discharging into the negative earth. If we aren’t grounded we may get a shock, or simply accumulate positive charge, depending on how strong the current we came into contact with was.
When we are close to said current without touching it, we can still be the target of discharge as currents and voltages are inducted into our bodies in a more subtle way from an Electromagnetic field (EMF), not leading to an electric shock, but changing our negative charge nonetheless. Consequently, the wires in our homes can lead to induction by proximity. A phenomena, which would be amplified, were our electrical circuits in the house, office, etc. not properly grounded, if by a fault of an appliance, or a shoddy electrical job.
If you’ve got this far, you will probably have made your own mind up about whether or not earthing is worth a try.
We certainly think it is, and believe that much of what earthing can offer is still not yet carved in stone, but may well be in the near future. So whilst we can’t proclaim that earth grounding provides a sudden cure for all, we do believe that a daily dose of earthing offers a healthier mind and body, just as your daily dose exercise, sunlight and fresh air does.
There are quite a few media personalities who are early adopters of earthing! We’ve listed a few below.
Brad Fittler - Australian Rugby League coach and former player
Gwenyth Paltrow - American actress and founder of Goop
Naomi Harris - English actress
Bianca King - Filipina actress, model, music video director, and host
Justin Langer - Australian cricket coach and former player
Most studies list daily earthing of 30 minutes to an hour as beneficial. Earth grounding happens pretty much instantly, so there is no need to call in sick, be late to work - again, or walk around the office barefoot all day. It's not entirely practical!
Let’s imagine that you built up some charge whilst sleeping. In this scenario, ideally you would wake up in the morning and go straight outside before getting ready for the day. This early morning earthing practice would bring you back to neutral and essentially free you up for any charges you may pick up later. Then, once you get home after work all you need is another ‘dip’ in the earth, and presto you’re back to zero!
The longer you’re grounded the better, as you recharge nearly all the time, in part due to the electronics you’re surrounded by on a daily basis. But it’s not that simple for all of us! If you live in the countryside, or at least have a garden, and it's not winter, daily earthing is a lot easier to do.
The amount of earthing time needed to stay at zero, depends (more or less) on your location. The earth is more conductive than sand, for example, so you may want to hang out for a little longer in the sand if you’re earthing there.
The earthing benefits of walking barefoot on grass aka earth just underneath are also indisputable. Pavement is earth grounding, as long as its stone, not asphalt, earthing on concrete also conducts, so you should be discharging as you pop out for lunch, for example. In buildings - assuming that the building is properly grounded - it rather depends on the flooring: with marble, or stone floors, you could stay earth grounded while sitting at your desk! If you instead have carpet and wood flooring, you would have to step outside, or maybe onto a tiled terrace, or rooftop to get in some earthing time.
Whatever earth grounding techniques you may use, if you feel changes in your mood and well-being, that could be a sign! if you really want to know for certain that you are grounded, or how much charge you’re carrying around wearing rubber soled shoes, or even see how earthing has affected your body - there are several ways to do it!
The Voltmeter: A voltmeter is used to measure the difference in electrical potential (the voltage) between two points of an electrical circuit. Using a voltmeter is a simple and easy means of establishing how much voltage is in your body. Whether you want to use it before earthing, during and after earthing, the measurements will tell you where you’re at.
The Thermal Camera: Follow up your earthing practice with this nifty device for some deeper insights into the internal changes that can be attributed to earthing.
A thermal camera takes a photo of your body temperature. You’re essentially not looking at, but inside your body. You will see colours ranging from cold - purple, blue, over green, yellow, orange, to red - hot. Wherever there is more heat it equals inflammation*, where it's cold, depending on the body part it could be a lack of circulation. You can experiment with this to your heart’s delight. Take shots before and after earthing, or even a few days later.
*when using a thermal camera, make sure the conditions - environment (cold/hot) and your state (exercising/resting) - are always the same, as they generally influence the results. This could mislead you into thinking that you have inflammation when actually, it's just normal body heat!
We’ve laid out all the facts, and now it’s time for you to come to your own conclusion, to write your own story! Are you thinking about adding more earthing time into your life? With the potential to increase your well-being, mental and physical health, you’ve got so much to gain and nothing to lose.
You now understand that research into the effects of excess charge and the associated benefits of earth grounding is still in its early days. Looking into the future, we hope to enable more studies that will allow us to paint a much clearer picture for everyone. We want to understand the effects of any excess electrical charge on our health and the full range of benefits that come with earthing. With your help and that of the wider community, we’re hoping to eventually build a public database illustrating the impact of earthing on the body via the changes captured by thermal imaging cameras.
One of the key barriers to earthing - faced by pretty much everyone - are our jam packed schedules and always-connected lifestyles. We’ve become inextricably tied to technology and many of the other pollutants in our environment, that serve to increase the positive charge that surrounds us and that we're susceptible to each and every day.
Team Inner Mettle has created the world’s first everyday earthing shoe to solve a problem. A problem that most of us share: we don’t always have the time to practice good habits such as earthing! We’re struggling to keep our bodies in balance. When not at the beach, going barefoot usually isn't an option, nor safe, nor very comfortable!
The Inner Mettle Earth Connect Shoes are here to bring your body back to where it is supposed to be. And they are coming soon to Kickstarter! Sign up to be first in line for the early-bird offer when we launch.
Copper is very effective in the fight against bacteria and viruses. A number of studies have proven that copper surfaces destroy viruses in just a few hours compared to days on other more common surface materials. Copper is a natural antimicrobial that we have been using to our advantage for thousands of years — at first without even realizing its true power!
First, let’s start with bacteria. The research team at the University of Southampton in the United Kingdom explains that copper is effective against bacteria because it releases positively charged ions that act very quickly to destroy the bacteria’s DNA. Another important quality of copper is that its use can prevent mutation and antibiotic resistance by destroying plasmids — which can move between bacteria and develop into superbugs.
The super metal has also been found to neutralize a wide range of potentially fatal viruses on surface contact: infectious bronchitis virus, poliovirus, human immunodeficiency virus type 1(HIV-1), and other enveloped or nonenveloped single- or double-stranded DNA and RNA viruses. It can also destroy that human norovirus — an annoying and easily spread virus that is typically resistant to many cleaning products.
Research indicates that brass and copper-nickel surfaces lead to a rapid inactivation of the human coronavirus. In the 2015 study, copper’s antiviral activity happened at varied time points. The virus was shown to be completely killed in less than 40 minutes on brass and 2 hours on copper nickels made from less than 70% copper. Copper nickels were seen to require a higher proportion of copper to reach the same viral inactivation quality as brass — 90% in nickel compared to just 70% required for brass. Stainless steel and nickel (that does not include copper) failed to present any antiviral action. And very mild antiviral activity was seen in the metal zinc.
When a virus comes into contact with copper, it is killed via the breaking apart of its genome.
The copper kicks into action with some irreversible damage — that virus is not coming back to life any time soon.
The scientists who delved into copper’s defences against the coronavirus 229E discovered that after exposure to copper the virus particles were smaller, less rigid and folded up on themselves. Interestingly, similar changes were not observed when recovering the virus particles from stainless steel surfaces.
The way in which copper kills viruses is complex. Ultimately the most important attribute is that copper ensures that microbes are continuously attacked and killed — and quickly. Similarly to how copper stops bacteria in its tracks, the super metal completely destroys the virus’ DNA. Effectively giving the virus no chance to adapt and develop any resistance that would make copper less effective against it in the future.
It’s very effective.
Many of our metals — copper, silver, iron, zinc, titanium — display some antimicrobial properties; copper is the best of the best and continuously works to kill microbes despite varied temperatures and levels of humidity.
In a 2015 study — which looked at how long the human respiratory virus 229E stays active on various surfaces — copper emerged as the best performing surface by far. Teflon, PVC, ceramic, glass and stainless steel all retained the virus particles for 5 days. Virus particles could still be identified on silicon rubber after 3 days. Copper, on the other hand, acted very quickly to eliminate all traces of the virus. The speed at which the virus particles were eliminated was directly proportional to the percentage of copper in the material. In the last month the US government also conducted some testing on the new coronavirus COVID-19 and they found that it could only survive on copper for 4 hours in comparison to 2 to 3 days on plastic and stainless steel.
Stainless steel is an iron-based alloy with a minimum of 10.5% chromium. The alloy typically includes carbon and nitrogen. Since iron itself doesn’t display strong antimicrobial properties — it’s alloys are even less capable of killing microbes. Iron and steel are significantly less expensive than other metals. The cost factor combined with the materials strength has led to its extensive use in construction.
Stainless steel is one of the most widely used surfaces in public spaces and kitchens around the world. However, many studies have shown that both bacteria and viruses can survive on the surface for a number of days. In order to keep stainless steel kitchen surfaces clean and free of microbes, strict hygiene practices must be constantly maintained. This is often impossible for public spaces.
It’s pretty obvious that copper wins hands down in the competition for the most hygienic surface material. Although there is mounting evidence of the benefits of the use of copper surfaces, more large scale studies are needed before there is widespread acceptance and major decision-makers start to take action on the topic. An important milestone for copper researchers is the advocacy for antimicrobial copper by the ECRI institute, a world-leading research institute with influence on over 5000 healthcare organizations around the globe.
The answer to why we’re not yet making the best use of the incredible super metal is a topic for another day. There are a number of factors that have held back copper’s popularity since it reached its height in the industrial revolution.
What we are sure of is: copper is making a huge comeback.
Have you reached your recommended daily dose of copper today? When you consider minerals that your body may be lacking for good health — copper is probably the last thing that comes to mind.
It’s time to bring you up to date! Our ancestor's favourite metal has more health benefits than we can count on two hands.
Copper is a naturally-occurring element in our environment and essential for all living things. It is present everywhere you look. Copper is found in our oceans, lakes, rivers, sediments, and soils. Despite being essential to life, copper is not formed in the body.
Generally, we easily get enough copper from food sources and drinking water as part of a balanced diet. Unlike its metallic cousin iron, human copper deficiencies are not common. But when they do happen it can lead to very serious health problems.
Without sufficient copper, our well-being is severely impacted; it is essential from foetal development right through until old age. Copper is especially important for healthy brain development, and for nervous system function. It is also required for blood vessel formation, a healthy heart, collagen production, and healthy bones and teeth. Today, we have a significant body of evidence to remind us that copper intake is essential for our immune function. Our animals are equally susceptible to illness when faced with a copper deficiency, and for this reason copper supplementation is also a matter of serious concern for cattle farmers.
The composition of copper, which includes a number of very useful properties, made it a perfect fit for countless uses throughout history — an extremely important use being health.
The first recorded medical use of copper was to sterilize chest wounds and drinking water in Egypt 1500 - 2500 B.C.! The Greeks and the Aztecs are also known for using copper to treat wounds and skin infections. In the Paris cholera epidemic of the 19th century, the copper workers emerged as the only group with proven immunity to the disease.
As you can see, we’ve known about the antimicrobial benefits of copper for centuries. Years later — with all of our increased knowledge and technology advancements — we still use copper for areas of public health such as the sterilization of drinking water and wounds. Copper alloys are used for touch surfaces worldwide, especially in public areas with high footfall. Copper is the first and also the only metal with antimicrobial properties to be registered by the American Environmental Protection Agency.
Studies in hospital wards have found up to a 100% reduction in live bacteria on regularly touched surfaces that use a copper alloy. A 58% reduction in infection rates was also observed when using copper alloy surfaces.
Copper ions have shown antimicrobial activity when coming into contact with a range of different microorganisms including the commonly known Salmonella and E. Coli. When microbes land on the copper surface this activates the release of copper ions which act to prevent cell respiration by effectively punching holes in the bacterial cell membrane and quickly destroying the DNA and RNA inside. According to the research team at the University of Southampton, the speed at which copper works means that the bacteria is very unlikely to develop a resistance to the metal.
The antimicrobial properties of copper mean that metal can be very useful if you run into problems with foot odor and fungus. Studies have shown that when copper oxide is added to polyester it is very effective against foot tinea. The use of copper is a great way to inhibit the growth of bacteria and fungus that could otherwise thrive in your clothing and contribute to infections.
Copper-infused fabric may also eliminate that lingering stinky odor your feet have when you take off your socks! Researchers have also found that copper’s qualities extend to odor removal. In the 2010 study scientists looked at copper-coated silica nanoparticles and found that they well and truly outperformed active carbon at removing odor from ethyl mercaptan (the nasty smell from natural gas).
Did you know that copper is a key ingredient in many popular anti-aging creams? As we mentioned earlier, copper is important for numerous functions in our body as well as collagen production. Copper peptides — a form of copper that is easily absorbed into the skin — is commonly used in popular creams such as those from the French beauty giant L’Oreal.
Copper’s ability to reduce inflammation and speed up healing makes it an excellent quality for keeping your skin healthy, not only on your face but your entire body! Scientists have been studying the effect of copper oxide containing yarns for the last decade. They found that the addition of copper to our everyday products can transform them into super products! When copper oxide was added to pillowcases it led to a clear reduction in facial wrinkles and fine lines. The cosmetic benefit of wearable copper garments comes down to skin rejuvenation - fewer wrinkles and softer, more elastic skin.
Researchers have discovered that copper is not only effective when faced with bacteria. Copper can actually go a long way in protecting us from viral illnesses.
The super metal has been found to neutralize a wide range of potentially fatal viruses on surface contact: infectious bronchitis virus, poliovirus, human immunodeficiency virus type 1(HIV-1), and other enveloped or nonenveloped single- or double-stranded DNA and RNA viruses.
A study in 2015 discovered that a human respiratory virus, coronavirus 229E, remained infectious on common surface materials such as glass, silicone rubber, and stainless steel for several days. In comparison, the virus is destroyed within just a few hours when exposed to copper surfaces. Earlier studies have also proven that human norovirus — a stubborn virus, resistant to many cleaning agents — can be quickly destroyed on copper and copper alloy surfaces.
Very recently, spurred by this year’s worldwide Coronavirus pandemic, a study conducted by the US government reported that “the SARS-CoV-2 virus, which causes the disease COVID-19, remained viable for up to 2 to 3 days on plastic and stainless steel surfaces vs. up to 4 hours on copper.”
Surfaces made of copper and copper alloys are extremely effective at killing a number of dangerous respiratory illnesses that we currently don’t have cures for.
Despite the initial cost outlay to implement resurfacing, more copper surfaces in public areas and health institutions are expected to provide long term cost savings. The copper surfaces effectively limit the virus’ ability to spread to new hosts via constant antiviral activity against surface recontamination from sufferers — who don’t always show symptoms. The use of copper oxide infused protective masks has also been proven to limit the spread of respiratory viruses when given to healthy individuals for protection from influenza sufferers.
These days many of us depend on technology for almost every aspect of our lives: from the alarm, we wake up to and our careers to our preferred entertainment options and keeping in contact with friends. Over the past decade the number of devices we use daily that emit electromagnetic radiation has rapidly increased. With this elevation in exposure to electromagnetic radiation also comes a real concern for the possible adverse effects on our health. Exposure to EMR is uncharted territory, and it is hard to determine the full extent of the damage it is doing to our bodies. One thing researchers have come to a conclusion on is that long-term electromagnetic radiation exposure is causing us harm.
Copper is one of the most reliable materials available for creating a natural EMF shield. This is largely because copper can shield from both radio frequencies and magnetic waves.
To put it simply: the copper can absorb radio and magnetic waves to stop them from reaching us! Copper for EMF shielding is used for a variety of common applications such as hospital MRI machines in hospitals, computer equipment, and server rooms. Since electromagnetic radiation reaches almost all aspects of our lives we need to move towards EMF shields that can stay closer to our bodies. Researchers have been working hard to make copper-infused clothes with EMF shielding capabilities available to the wider public. As the threat of 5g looms closer, copper may be the most effective shield we have.
Numerous studies suggest that just underneath our feet lies an incredibly powerful resource for health — the ground we walk on. There is mounting evidence to show that contact with the earth keeps us healthier and happier. Grounding can be achieved by either standing or lying directly on the ground outside or via conductive systems (made with copper) that can be used indoors. The ground you walk on may be as essential for your health as getting sunshine, breathing clean air and keeping up exercise routines.
Keeping yourself grounded can be a challenge, most of us aren’t able to spend all day outdoors without shoes on! Even an hour of grounding time can be hard to come by for many. Copper has been proven to be an effective grounding tool when used as a conductor to achieve contact with the earth. This can be used in shoes or in bed frames to keep you grounded as you sleep at night.
Research indicates that grounding or earthing is very important for our immune system, wound healing, and the fight against inflammation in our bodies. For our bodies to be able to work at optimal efficiency our defense systems require regular recharging — this may be best done through contact with the electrons on our earth’s surface!
There’s no doubt — Copper is a glorious gift from mother nature. It is not formed in our bodies but we need it for pretty much everything: from brain development to healthy skin! Without copper we simply couldn’t function. Copper can also help us to fight harmful bacteria and viruses that linger in the environment. Copper kills microbes fast and gives them limited chance to adapt their defenses.
But that’s not all, there’s still more that copper can do for city folk. Our reliance on technology that emits radio and magnetic waves plus our inability to spend sufficient time grounded in nature may see some significant long term health consequences for our urban communities. The use of copper in our daily lives can play a big part in lowering our exposure risks and reconnecting us to the earth.
Copper could be the answer to keeping our communities healthy. We certainly think so.