I get questions all the time from readers who are told that the negative symptoms they feel while grounding are a “grounding detox.” They are told that the tingling electrical sensations they feel, or the resultant restlessness, anxiety, insomnia & headache, are all part of the grounding process and that if they continue, it should go away.
But then it doesn’t, and they email me asking for advice.
So today, I want to share what I tell these folks — there is no such thing as a grounding detox. What you are feeling is a measurable, palpable AC current that is running through your body, and that having symptoms from this simply means you are electrosensitive. And believe it or not, that is a good thing. I’ll tell you why below.
And not only is being electrosensitive a good thing, but luckily there are lots of ways to continue to reap the enormous health benefits of being grounded while removing the AC current from your body.
All it takes is an understanding of what electrosensitivity is and how to address it. I’ve got you. And it’s actually fascinating… so let’s dive in!
What is the ‘tingling and stinging’ you feel from unfiltered grounding cords?
Many people felt uncomfortable sensations when they are grounding with regular grounding cords.
It’s been described as ‘tingling’ and ‘stinging’ on many pages such as Earthing’s: “Why do I feel a stinging or tingling” and Earthing Institute’s: “I feel a kind of shock or an uncomfortable stinging, tingling in my hands.”
The most common symptoms are:
- stinging or tingling sensation
- decreased concentration
- tinnitus/ringing in the ears
- skin reactions
- mood changes, including anxiety or depression
- heart palpatations
- muscle pain/tension
Many non-medical grounding advocates will tell you these symptoms are a “grounding detox” and that you will eventually get used to it if you keep grounding through their products.
But what is it, really?
If you’ve seen my previous posts and videos you know the difference between the natural direct current (DC) flow of electrons that is necessary for the natural, earth mediated grounding process, and the harmful alternating current (AC) electricity that is only from unnatural, man-made electrical power and EMFs.
What people are feeling with the stinging and tingling is the AC current flowing from EMFs through the sensitive parts of their body as the circuit is connected with a standard ground cord that has no filter in place to stop an AC current from traveling through it. You don’t need the AC current to get grounded, since grounding is a purely DC mediated process.
There are way more people that can feel this AC current than you might think. If you can feel these “grounding detox” sensations, you are absolutely not alone. It turns out that some people are more sensitive to this AC current than others, and in today’s post we’re going to explore how prevalent that sensitivity is.
‘Perception’ levels of electricity
In the electrical safety community, where they study what levels of electricity can hurt or harm you, the amount of electricity that people can start to feel the tingling is called the ‘perception’ level.
100 years ago, back when electricity was being developed as a power source, people conducted a lot of experiments to determine what these different levels of electricity are. And those findings are still being used today!
The most commonly cited source of electricity safety is the The Electrical Safety Manual of the U.S. National Institute for Occupational Safety . The sources for the levels they use can be traced back to a series of key experiments conduced in the 1950s .
Photos from Dalziel’s testing in the 1950s
Photos from Dalziel’s testing in the 1950s
The main set of experiments conducted for electricity levels involved hundreds of men and women subjected to different levels of electricity. They tested all sorts of levels of current in various ways, including a ‘gripping’ test where the subject starts off holding a metal probe and AC current was slowly increased until the person could start feeling it, as well as a touch test where the subject repeatedly touched a metal plate as the electricity was increased until they could start feeling it.
What did the researchers find?
There is a big range of sensitivity!
They found many things from these tests, and I’ll show you the data right now so you can see it for yourself.
First, there was a wide range of sensitivities – the data follows a traditional bell curve, showing a middle where most people are but also long tails on either side. The least sensitive people couldn’t feel AC electricity until levels three times the most sensitive people!
Also, women were more sensitive then men, which is a fact that is further confirmed in the medical literature on studies about electrosensitivity — more women than men are electrosensitive, and this data shows us exactly why. Women have a lower threshhold to perceive electrical current than men do. But that doesn’t mean if you are a male that you are not electro sensitive — not at all. Many men (and even more women!) all around the world are electrosensitive, and we will get into those numbers next.
Another thing that researchers found is that touching an object with current (touch tests) were more sensitive than gripping. In other words, if you touch an object that with AC current in it, you will feel it at a lower threshold than if you are holding onto the item as the current increases. One reason they feel this happens is that during an initial touching event a very small surface area — for example, your finger — will make first contact, so all the electricity will be focused on that area, making it easier to instantly feel.
Another reason test subjects could perceive current more acutely during the touch tests is similar to the boiling frog analogy you are likely familiar with: a frog placed in water that is slowly heated will not perceive the temperature increase and will stay in the water until it is cooked to death… whereas a frog placed in water that is preheated will immediately jump out! Similarly, if you touch a grounding tool you may be able to feel symptoms from AC current at much lower levels than if you have a current slowly introduced into the grounding tool.
This is why I say that being electrosensitive is a good thing! If you can perceive the current entering your body when you touch a grounding tool, you’ll know immediately how to protect yourself — remove the source of the current. If you can’t feel it, and you need a much larger current to be able to perceive it’s presence, then you will blindly allow a current to run through your body unaware.
Current perception levels for men and women using the gripping test (adapted from Dalziel, 1954)
Touch tests on the same range as gripping
What Does This Mean for Grounding?
This type of data can be used to examine the sensitivity of people to grounding.
First, we will use the touch test since the grounding tool will already be connected when you first touch it, so EMFs will already have induced a voltage on your body and you when you make initial contact with the grounding tool it will feel similar to the touch tests.
Second, we will convert the x-axis from current to AC body voltage – the kind you can measure with a voltmeter. This is done by multiplying the current by the resistance (V=IR) found in most grounding cords (100k Ohms).
Third, the y-axis will be converted from a probability distribution value to number of people in the US and world.
Last, we will focus on the lower ‘tail’ of the bell curve to examine more sensitive people.
Close-up of sensitive tail of original tapping data, converted to AC body voltage and population sizes (adopted from Dalziel, 1954)
This shows us that there are millions of people who are sensitive to low amounts of body voltage when grounding!
In the video I created for you right here (to show you the difference between grounding through an unfiltered ground cord (known as a standard ground cord) and a filtered ground cord (known as the PureGround cord) I show you that have an AC body voltage of 4.57, and man could I feel it! In fact, by the time I had finished recording that video for you, I had a pretty bad headache from that exposure. As you can see in the graph above, I’m not alone. At a body voltage reading of 4.57, more than 3.5 million people all over the world would feel this as well. And unfortunately it is not uncommon to find body voltages shown on the graph, and even higher.
It also shows that at very small voltages there will still be people who will experience uncomfortable sensations; these people could now be diagnosed as ‘electrosensitive’ in the modern medical community. In medicine we call feeling sensations at this level of exposure Electrosensitivity. In the non-medical community, grounding companies will call this a “grounding detox.”
But these tests clearly show that theses are real symptoms, not a “detox” effect. People who sense electrical currents at very small levels are simply more sensitive to electrical stimulae, and there are millions of us.
Non-medical grounding advocates will try to convince you to keep grounding through a standard ground cord, allowing this AC current to run through your body — they are counting on the fact that when you continue holding on to an electrical current, you become less sensitive to it — turning from a ‘touch test’ to a ‘gripping test’ as we talked about above. Prolonged gripping allowed test subjects to be desensitized to AC current and it took a higher current to reproduce the same symptoms that were immediately felt during a touch test.
But in medicine, we do not want you to become desensitized to AC current and to numb yourself to the sensation of it. We want you to remove this exposure from your grounding experience entirely. This is why we developed the. PureGround cord, so that now you have a solution to remove AC current from your ground connection.
Read on for more ways to get grounded without having an AC current running through your body.
We can make a few conclusive statements from this data:
- 1 in 750 women can detect 5VAC body voltage
- Over 7 million people worldwide can detect 5VAC body voltage
- About 1 in 10,000 people can detect super small levels of body voltage, like 1VAC
- This means almost 1 million people worldwide are that electrosensitive
- In other words, if you are feeling symptoms of a supposed “grounding detox”, you are not alone
Even going with the lowest commonly agreed upon prevalence of perception (0.1% of the population, or 7 million people) this is roughly the same worldwide incidence of many other illnesses that no one would brush off as a “detox” reactions. A quick look through the WHO Global Burden of Disease report shows that this incidence is similar to the incidence of stroke, for example. Electrosensitivity is more common than congestive heart failure. It is more common than Parkinson’s disease. It is more common than breast, lung, prostate and colon cancer combined.
So yeah, let’s not ignore this huge population of electrosensitive individuals who want to improve their health by connecting to the earth.
In fact, I think electrosensitivity is vastly under-reported, as the data from the touch and grip tests on electrosensitivity suggests there are people who can sense extremely small amounts of electricity, well below the threshold that we’ve been talking about in the above charts. The original tests report that people with cuts on hands or fingers could detect voltage “almost too small to measure.” It turns out, many skin conditions such as micro abrasions, rashes or other issues that cause a break in skin integrity, as well as different moisture levels and dry, cracked skin (common during winter months, common for those who live in arid environments, common when folks are dehydrated, etc.) means it is entirely possible that there are people who can detect electricity in very small, almost unmeasurably small, amounts.
The researchers also found that other parts of the body can be more sensitive — such as the neck. This is one reason I don’t advocate grounding through a pillow (besides the fact that sleeping with a cord at the head and neck area is an obvious choke/entanglement risk — not a good idea when unconscious.) I am always shocked when other grounding advocates try and sell grounded pillowcases! The neck is one of the most electrosensitive parts of the entire body.
Recent medical research has found this to be true — millions of people are affected by electrohypersensitivty  and in population-based surveys, the prevalence of electrohypersensitivity (EHS) ranges from 1.5% of the population (found in Sweden) up to 13.3% (found in Taiwan) .
So these numbers fall well within those ranges and explain, clear as day, what a grounding detox really is. It’s simply the ability of electrosensitive people to detect an AC current when grounding through an unfiltered ground cord. Because it is so common that it affects millions of folks all around the world, we set out to upgrade a standard ground cord into a filtered ground cord so that electrosensitive people can still reap the positive health benefits of being grounded, without the negative experience of receiving an AC current.
I think I am electrosensitive… what can I do?
Here are three great ways to get started in protecting your conductive health:
1. Learn more.
First of all, know that it is an actual diagnosable and treatable condition. In every other country than the USA, that is. Jeez. I don’t know why we are so late to formally diagnose and treat EHS, but throughout Europe and in Canada, you can get a formal diagnosis and even disability support, including letters from your physician to request employers and schools to accommodate your needs (and your children’s needs) to reduce EMF exposure and safeguard your health.
Physicians can write:
- letters requiring employers to provide you with a hardwired ethernet connection
- recommendations to your employer to have you work in a place that is furthest from the wifi router
- letters to school educators to seat children in the class seat that is furthest from router
- letters to school educators to create a cell phone free classroom, with all cell phones put on airplane mode at the beginning of class
- letter to school educators requesting they allow students intermittent times to go outside and ground to the natural energy of the earth to help offset EHS symptoms
You don’t have to wait for your local health care professional to get on board with diagnosing and treating electrosensitivity, because I will be your healthcare advocate and help you. I developed a class to teach you everything you need to know about your conductive health — including both positive ways to boost your conductive health through safe grounding practices, as well as ways to protect your conductive health through lowering your EMF exposures.
In this online class I will even walk you through how to get your own, in person physician comfortable with diagnosing EHS and writing those recommendations listed above on a Rx for you to hand to your employer or you child’s teacher.
It’s absolutely possible to be EHS and safeguard your health, while still living in the modern world. I walk you through exactly how to do it, starting with a self assessment tool that will help you figure out if you are electrohypersensitive (EHS) and walk you, step by step, through all of your living spaces to making them safer for you and your entire family.
Plus I give you tons of encouragement and additional tools to boost your health, decrease the reactivity and inflammation in your body, as well free printables and worksheets that you can keep forever, as well as lots of medical literature to validate exactly what you are experiencing and why.
No longer will you be brushed aside and told that your legitimate, valid ability to perceive electrical currents and EMF fields imposed on your body are simply a “detox” to ignore. Nope. In this 7 day online class we will go over together:
- Day 1: What is electrosensitivity and how to assess if you are electrosensitive
- Day 2: Removing the exposures you can remove (I’ll walk you through it!)
- Day 3: Reducing the exposures you can further reduce (let’s do it together!)
- Day 4: Shielding from any remaining exposures: key concepts & actions to take
- Day 5: Grounding to rebalance your conductive health with natural earth EMFs
- Day 6: Boosting your body’s resiliency to mitigate the symptoms you may already be feeling
- Day 7: How to talk to your physician about further in person diagnosing & treatment of EHS
Reserve your spot today and take action to protect your well being (and forward this to your family and loved ones so they can take it with you!)
Taking this with an accountability buddy is a great idea so you can encourage each other and stick with it. And I’ll be your ultimate accountability partner, walking beside you the entire way:
It absolutely doesn’t have to be overwhelming, I’ll break it down for you into easily actionable steps that will leave you feeling empowered, not scared.
2. Switch Your Unfiltered Ground Cord To A PureGround Cord
The second action I highly recommend taking is to replace all standard ground cords with PureGround cords. The PureGround cord blocks AC current so you can get the benefits of the healthy direct current from the earth without experiencing any uncomfortable tingling or stinging from EMFs.
You can order this AC filtering, EMF shielding ground cord right here, and start grounding again with confidence.
3. Offset Man Made EMFs Indoors with Natural Grounding Outside
The third thing I highly recommend you do is, even if you ground indoors through grounding tools (and a PureGround cord) head outside for at least a few minutes daily to rebalance your conductive health. It doesn’t have to be for long — grounding is as instantaneous as flipping on a light switch. When you turn on a light, the entire room is illuminated — and that’s exactly what happens when one cell in your body becomes grounded: your entire body becomes grounded.
While there are cumulative benefits over time to grounding, there is really no time too little for grounding, either. I never want you to miss an opportunity to be grounded just because it’s might only be for 30 seconds while you stop at a street crossing, or lean against a tree while you take a break during lunchtime, or when you stop for a second to pull a weed out from a garden bed.
Within seconds your skin surface conductance has changes throughout your entire body and your muscle tension has decreased. As seconds turn to minutes, your brain and vagal tone have gotten a calming boost from grounding, and you might notice pain decreases and mood lifts. Over time, as minutes turn to hours, your metabolic processes get a boost and your circulation (which supports every single organ system in your body) is running more smoothly. Grounding day after day means nighttime sleep is more restorative, stress hormones normalize, inflammation decreases, and health benefits begin to accumulate, often resulting in noticeable health benefits on a large scale.
Grounding daily to reset the conductive health of your body is ESSENTIAL — it is not enough simply to remove EMF insults, you must replace those toxic frequencies with the natural healing frequency from the earth.
To help you with that, I wrote a book for you: The Earth Prescription.
This book will fill your mind, heart and spirit with exciting ideas on how to get grounded to support your particular health goals best, whether you want to sleep better, get more energy, feel more spiritually connected or even boost your creativity.
My goal in writing this book is to give you tons of solutions on how to get outside no matter what the weather, no matter what the season, no matter where you live, no matter if you have a yard or not, live in a city or not, nothing can stop you from resetting your conductive health with the earth you live on. I’ll also inspire you with hundreds of uplifting ideas on what to do once you get there:
The Bottom Line:
In a nutshell: electrosensitivity is a well defined, identifiable, treatable, and preventable neurologic disease.
And awesomely, the human body is an incredibly resilient force of nature and we naturally go back to vibrant health when we allow our body to bounce back by giving it time to heal between insults.
The basis of life is a natural ability to repair and recover and a natural adaptability as well. Your body simply needs time and space, away from a constant toxic onslaught, to do so. This is even more crucial for those of us who are electrosensitive. I truly hope today’s article helps to reassure you exactly what you are feeling when you notice symptoms of electrosensitivity, to give you a fuller understanding of what is really happening when you are having a “grounding detox”, and tons of solutions to help release those symptoms and feel better than you’ve ever felt.
To your incredibly resilient health!
xoxo, Laura Koniver, MD
 The Electrical Safety Manual of the U.S. National Institute for Occupational Safety
 C. F. Dalziel, “The threshold of perception currents,” in Electrical Engineering, vol. 73, no. 7, pp. 625-
630, July 1954, doi: 10.1109/EE.1954.6438873.
 Belpomme, D.; Irigaray, P. Electrohypersensitivity as a Newly Identified and Characterized Neurologic
Pathological Disorder: How to Diagnose, Treat, and Prevent It. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21, 1915.
 Hedendahl L, Carlberg M, Hardell L. Electromagnetic hypersensitivity–an increasing challenge to the
medical profession. Rev Environ Health. 2015;30(4):209-15. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26372109/