If I touch a tree, am I earthed/grounded?

“Earthing is a fast-growing movement based upon the major discovery that connecting to the Earth’s natural energy is foundational for vibrant health.”

Are you referring to this.?

Yes, it appears to be a movement associated with alternative health issues.

I guess you’re “grounded” if you’re walking barefoot on the ground and that you aren’t grounded if you just touch a tree since it’s not a conductor. But I hardly can see what could be the meaning or the point of being grounded since you’re not an electrical circuit

I reckon the body is an electrical field.

A tree can conduct lightning to ground

The body has an electrical field; it’s made of meat.

Not very well, that’s why it tends to be destroyed in the process. Poking a finger into the dirt would work better, not that there’s much point to it usually.

The benefit does seem a little… outweighed by being hit by lightening :slight_smile:

The rule is to avoid tall trees during a lightning storm, as (being a sack of salty water) you may be a better conductor than the tree (insulating cellulose fibres) you are standing near. If the tree is struck, the lightning path may include a jump off the tree through you to ground.

Crouch on your heels (keep them together) under a bush or shrub - you are closer to the ground, and the tangle of wet branches and air gaps are more likely to divert the lightning around and not through you.

So I guess (in general) you are grounded - more grounded than a tree, anyhow :wink:


We are kind of losing the intention of the thread by dwelling upon lightening strikes and death… both important subjects. :slight_smile:

I will occasionally walk barefoot on the earth…

In my exercising… I climb a steep hill, sometimes i rest midway and lean on a tree. I was wondering if I am earthed by this contact.

Sounds like confused people confusing different definitions of ‘grounded’.

This is a bit odd. Immediate thought was this is typical new age woo. References to a “major discovery” - unspecified - generally set alarms ringing but following links from the web site to the “Earthing Institute” you do get to at least one peer reviewed research paper in what appears to be a respectable journal (The Journal of Environmental and Public Health).

Still sounds like woo! Anybody know more?

ETA To answer the OP - No, touching a tree will not “ground” you. You have to be in direct contact (or connected through a conductor) with the ground and its “limitless and continuously renewed supply of free or mobile electrons”. As a tree is not a conductor it won’t ground you…

Forget the woo about grounding and keep on leaning on the tree, as a form of meditation / awareness that’s a good thing whether or not you are “grounded” in the earthing sense.

The article cited by Indian in the second post notes that asphalt and wood don’t work because they’re not “conductive surfaces”. Then again, the article claims that concrete and sand are conductive surfaces, so their grasp of electrical theory may not be strong. Green wood has a fairly high water content, so you’d think it’d be at least as conductive as concrete, but maybe mystical electron flows follow different rules.

Further, you’re already barefoot , so unless you’re actually climbing the tree, you’re apparently already fulfilled the necessary “grounding” conditions.

Bottom line: According to the rigorous scientific standards of the website cited in the second post, if leaning against the tree feels good, then yeah, you’re probably “earthed”.

Yeah, when you’re on the ground, you’re grounded. Trees don’t come into play at all.

If you really wanted to make a good electrical connection, you should have metal pads in the soles of your shoes that connect to large spikes on the bottom of your shoes. Again, nothing to do with trees.

But why? Ideally, what you want is not to be grounded at all. Having a large resistor between you and ground (such as the air, or rubber soles) keeps you out of the path of flowing current. That’s a good thing.

just about anything can do that.

Tress (wood) conduct electricity much better than air does, but not as well as moist earth. It’s the reason why wood power poles have insulators used to hold the conductor (wire) away from the pole.

Without commenting on the validity of “natural energy grounding” the proponents of that practice claim that there is benefit to creating skin to ground contact.

They further reason that wood has enough resistance to spoil any beneficial effects of skin contact.

So to answer your question - No, the tree is not considered to be part of the “natural energy ground”. But it is enough of a conductor to fry your ass in a high voltage situation ie lightning, power line touching tree etc.

No, but I did notice some interesting things. From the linked article

which makes me wonder how unbiased their research is.

The article does sound like woo.

I have to think that if you’re buying into that woo, you’re not very well grounded in reality. :stuck_out_tongue:

This seems to be a new offshoot of the venerable negative ions scam. Here’s one debunking page. Searching for negative ions scam will bring up many others.

Apparently some people have figured out that selling products that are worthless may cause them legal problems. So why risk those problems on a $15 ion watch when you can sell an Earthing Bed (from Indian’s link) and make big money before you’re shut down? Note that the actual bed is made by CertiPur, and that site doesn’t contain the word ion. It’s an arm’s-length relationship. IANAL but I sense the presence of one.

It is conceivably possible that negative ions have some effect on some people. The paper linked to by MarcusF is both interesting and frustrating. If you regularly read medical journal articles you’ll see review articles similar in type frequently. A team scours the literature and pulls out every article that is close to their subject. Placing them in proximity may indeed show a pattern that the articles in isolation wouldn’t reveal. The problem is that a pattern that is an inch deep and a mile wide isn’t more meaningful than one that is an inch deep and a foot wide, if thickness is your criterion. The studies referenced are small pilot studies, often of 12 or even 8 people, each testing something different in conception. Further research may show that the linkages are real and significant, but only after many large-scale studies have been done and replicated.

Then there are the red flags. “The Journal of Environmental and Public Health is a peer-reviewed, open access journal.” My understanding is that means it’s published free on the Internet. It may be scholarly and one hopes that the peer-review process is properly done, but it isn’t an old-school name journal. And here’s something to think about.

How did I find that quote? There’s a direct link to the Earthing Institute in the body of the paper. Yes, that’s Indian’s quacksite. Why in the world would a paper in a scientific journal do this?


Becoming a literal tree-hugger might do ya good, for all I know. It gets you outdoors. But I’d still say that negative ions are 99% woo. And no real science has yet shown otherwise.

Not anymore than you already are.

There’s nothing at all special about the earth, its composition, its magnetic field, atmosphere, or anything else than any other ordinary matter, from which you are made.

Consider all the atoms in your body came from the earth, all those atoms came from a star, and those atoms started from the first emergence of hydrogen atoms in the early universe.

What “energy” is being referred to here?