January 21, 2018

Categories: Skepticism , Tags: Pseudoscience, Grounding, NewAge

I'm in Nelson on holiday at the moment, and at a market today I saw a lot of nonsense - many bad medical claims being made about honey, jewellery, etc.

Nonsense Claims

One thing I saw was a "grounding stick".

Grounding Stick

Grounding is the idea that being in direct connection with the ground keeps us healthy, and that modern living has severed this connection, via paved roads, large indoor areas and rubber shoes. The usual way of grounding yourself is to walk barefoot, restoring your connecting to mother earth.

The grounding stick I saw today had a long copper wire wound around the bottom of the stick a few dozen times, and then routed to the top of the staff for another few winds. Presumably the idea is that, even when wearing shoes, the copper connection allows some kind of "energy" to flow from the ground to the user's hand.

Stephen Heard wrote a great article (opens new window) for Stuff recently joking about his attempt to try out grounding on a hot day.

He chronicles being prickled, getting sand stuck to his feet and stubbing his toe, and then quotes a popular grounding website as stating that:

"benefits include stress relief, improved quality of sleep, improved circulation and balanced blood pressure."

His conclusion seems nicely skeptical of this health fad:

"most [benefits] could be attributed to simply being active outdoors, shoes or not."