Coach JPMD remains passionate about bringing you guests, ideas, stories, and discussions about the business of medicine. In this episode, Coach JPMD interviews a grounding pioneer, Clint Ober.
In 1998, after a successful career grounding systems in the cable television industry, Earthing Pioneer Clint Ober began investigating the potential to improve human health with grounding. Today, he is the founder of earth FX Inc., a grounding research and development company based in California through which he helped to develop, and patent, the first indoor Earthing products.
Welcome to the practice impossible podcast. Where your host, Jude Pierre MD, also known as Coach JPMD discusses medical practice topics that will guide you through the maze that is the business of medicine, and teach you how to increase profits and help populations live long. Your mission should you choose to accept is to listen and be transformed. Now, here's your host, Coach JPMD.
Coach JPMD 0:24
Welcome to the practice impossible podcast with your host, Coach JPMD. And that's me. So I have a question for you. Who do you learn from? In Episode One, I described how physicians learn, this episode will help you understand and have an idea of how our brains work as physicians, and the habits that we have developed that make us the person that we are, after my life experiences, I tend to learn from older folks, people who have done it before me, people that are better than me, people that are healthier than I am. And so today we have a distinct honor and privilege to have a discussion about something that I didn't know about many years ago. And that's on grounding, and earthing. And if you know nothing about it, I really encourage you to stay tuned and listen. And I am sure you'll be enlightened by this conversation, conversations with Clint Ober. And he's a pioneer in the field of earthing and grounding, and even has a documentary on it on YouTube, it's actually free. And I'll link that on the show notes. And I really am happy to be able to bring this conversation to you to help you guys also practice impossible. So here we go. And we are alive and recording. And by the way, at the end of the session, if you can keep your browser open, which most people do that we'll upload the audio from your computer into the cloud. So it takes some time, sometimes, especially in longer sessions. So welcome to the practice impossible podcast with your hosts Coach JPMD. And today we have the privilege and honor of interviewing and having a conversation with Clint Ober who is a pioneer in researching, grounding and earthing and how it affects our health in this age of technology. And I reached out to Clint a couple of weeks ago, and it was to my surprise that he agreed to be on the practice impossible podcast. So I'm going to let Mr. Ober introduce himself and tell us a little bit about grounding and the work he's done.
Clint Ober 2:30
Okay, well, first of all, I'm 78 years old. So when I talk, sometimes I'm referencing things that happened in the late 40s in the 50s, which most people are not, cannot relate to. But anyhow, I grew up in Montana, on a ranch. And I was taught in the early days, we was all about prevention, you know, if there's in how we got to that is like we ran cattle. And so my job as a boy was a cow boy, a young man, you sit on a horse all day and babysit cows. And what you're doing is you're kind of looking at him most of the time, make sure they're healthy. Make sure that you know that they're all good. And but if you see one that's glassy eyed or bawling, or it's not acting like the rest of the herd, and you take them out of the herd, put them in a holding pattern, then you go ride the pasture, check the weeds to make sure there's no noxious weeds. Make sure the grass is not too short. Make sure the water is okay. Go upstream, you know, right upstream, make sure there's not a dead animal upstream, some, you know, just a there's a litany of small things you do. But there's always something in the pasture. It means there's a sick if a cow gets sick, there's something wrong in the pasture. So it's about terrain, you know? So anyhow, I grew up with that. Anytime I looked at anything regarding health or what's caused it, you know, like one of the kids who got sick, well, what caused that, you know, what are you eating, what's going on What's eating you, you know, all these kinds of things. And so anyhow, but I ended up basic background. But anyway, I after I left that environment, I spent 30 years in the communications industry, primarily cable television, and microwave satellites, all that kind of stuff. But anyhow, in that industry, when we built the cable systems, we learned early on back in the 50s that you have to ground everything the drops are the wires that go into the house otherwise, they're static electricity builds up on the lines and or there's lightning in the air or just any number of things but in order to maintain a high quality picture and a signal I mean make sure that no noise and and all this kind of stuff from static and just electrical noise. So you have to grounded and grounded so you spice the wire you're connected to a ground rod and reconnected run it in to the TV set. And so that way if there's any lightning Your discharge of any kind, then it goes to the ground and doesn't go into the house. Or it could otherwise, burn up the TV, blow up the TV, start a fire. It's all about its all about fire.
Coach JPMD 5:12
So so I know, this is a podcast for physicians, and now we're talking about grounding electrical devices. What does that have to do with us? What does that have to do with humans?
Clint Ober 5:24
Okay, well, first of all, the Earth is maintains a slight negative charge. And the word negative means in this case, means no charge. But it means an abundance of free electrons that can move rapidly, and reduce charge, like reduce, you know, lightning is a reduction of charge, or static electricity. If you anything, anytime you ground anything, what you're doing is you're connecting it to the earth, so that the, the electrical service charge of the earth migrates up the wire, and then it grounds the chassis of a refrigerator or a computer, or anything in order to prevent the possibility of an electrical event where somebody might get hurt. Because if it's at earth potential, then it'll just blow a fuse. Okay, if there's a problem in a refrigerator or something, so, but anyhow, the human body, again, you got to use cowboy logic here.
Coach JPMD 6:23
You're a wise cowboy, because at the beginning of you said, you know, you may need some direction, the we like to hear wise counsel at practice impossible, because, you know, we're younger physicians, and you know, sometimes we think we know everything, but I think our wiser counterparts probably know more than we do.
Clint Ober 6:40
Well, it's, you know, what age brings to the table is experience. And it's not that you know exactly what to do, but you know, what not to do more than anything, and then you're only left with those few things that seem seem to work. And, but anyhow, the human body is conductive. It's electrical first chemical second, because you have to move some electrons in order for, you know, chemical changes, or just anything goes on in the body. So you have to think about the body being electrical first. And then you then you have to go back and think like, well, before 1960 We were mostly barefoot, I was as a kid. And we wore shoes to go to school, or events, and they were leather. And if they got wet, the water would, when they dry, they would ruin them. So you had to if it was wet outdoors raining, he took his shoes off and carried them or you had those dark yellow galoshes. But anyhow, the point was before 1960 we were primarily barefoot. Okay, so when a human being stands on the earth, because it's conductive. It conducts Earth's negative charge, bodies an electrical conductor. So, so it's negative. And there's only one thing the ground does is reduces charge. We don't know that it does anything else. But it does maintain electrical stability in the in an electrical, like a computer or an internal, the internal workings of anything electrical. Well, human body is the most electrical thing on the planet. There is nothing more electrical, every cell every every thought, everything everything is frequencies and electrons and protons and you know everything from metabolism to ATP, you name it, it's all electron base, the electron transport chain.
Coach JPMD 8:44
We do we do EKGs we do electrocardiograms, we do electroencephalograms those things are conductive.
Clint Ober 8:50
Exactly, it's all Electro. So anyhow, there's more to the story. But in short, I just one day accidentally was messing around. And I had a computer that crashed kept crashing, and it was back in the 90s. So you get static electricity on your body and you touch an Apple computer or one of those that weren't grounded, and the computer would glitch up. Then you'd have to shut it down, bring it back up, and then continue on. And I got really tired that day. So I took a piece of metal copper tape layered across my desk, connected it with an alligator clip bring a wire to an electrical ground so then I would touch the ground strip before I would touch the computer got rid of my problem.
Coach JPMD 9:37
So let's let's dive into that because you said you connected a copper wire onto your computer and you connected it...
Clint Ober 9:46
It was tape. I just laid it down... I just laid it down on the desk in front of the computer.
Coach JPMD 9:51
So where was that? Where was it connected to?
Clint Ober 9:54
Well, I connected it with a wire to the electrical ground. You know the third...
Coach JPMD 10:00
Ah so you actually did in the third hole. So some of the people in the audience may not know what that is. So where does that third hole go? What what does that? We means third hole in the socket in the in the...
Clint Ober 10:11
Yeah, in all electrical sockets have a ground and any home probably after 1970 they all have a ground wire in the walls. So that little hole is connected to a ground wire that goes throughout the house and then it's connected to a ground rod that is driven into the earth. So it has nothing to do with the current electricity has everything to do with bringing the electrical potential of the earth to that point or to anything that's has a ground pin on it in order to maintain it at Earth potential. Safe air potential. So...
Coach JPMD 10:48
So you were talking about the.. I interrupted you Sorry about that. So the copper the copper wire connected to the computer desk. You touched it and it didn't have the interference with a static electricity.
Clint Ober 11:01
So anyhow, I went outdoors shortly after that, and I was sitting on a bench and a big tour bus and a tour group and they were from Japan. So they're a little shorter in stature, General. And they were all wearing white Nike tennis shoes, or I should, it could have been Adidas, I don't know. But you know, the white tennis shoe. And it looked like, you know, there must have been a sale because everybody was wearing a similar pair. And they're white, and they were big. And so they just kind of stuck out like a sore thumb. I didn't think anything about it. But all of a sudden, I just had this intuitive hit that I wonder if there's a consequence to humans no longer being naturally grounded. I did not know, I had no reason to ask the question. Other than I was playing with static electricity. And I just pondered a little bit. So that night, I went home. And I started measuring the difference on my body, the electrical potential of my body versus the earth when I'm not grounded, and I'm just walking around in my house or laying on my bed. And then I recognized all of these huge voltages, especially static electricity, lots of high voltage. If you see a spark come off your finger on a doorknob, that's four or 5000 volts. So it's huge. Yeah, so it's big numbers. And it's like in the early days in cardiovascular when they were doing open heart surgery, the number one thing that killed people was static electricity leaking into the body. So they, they didn't eve, people weren't even aware of static electricity. I mean, except for gasoline and gasoline companies and dynamite. And then the chips and everything came later. But so anyhow, I started playing with this. So I thought what just out of curiosity, I did the same thing I did at work, I went to the hardware store and bought a roll of three inch wide metal duct tape. And I laid it on my bed and connected it to an alligator clip through a wire out the window connected to a ground rod in the earth. And then I took a electric meter and a voltmeter and connected it to the ground rod and then I would lay on the tape and then I touched the voltmeter with my body and then I wouldn't if it went to zero. I knew I was grounded. I know it was like standing barefoot on the earth. And when I wasn't then I would have all these voltages on me. So I thought wow, there's something here. And so the most amazing thing I was at that time most of a 50 years old. I had you know I was a skier cowboy I tennis I've done it all. But I have more aches and pains in my body than a drunk punch, Boxer, punch drunk boxer, whatever you call it. And anyhow, so I so for me to go to sleep, I usually had to take Advil or, or I would just leave the TV on until I went to sleep. And but anyhow, that night I all I remember is I was playing with a meter and the next thing I knew it was mourning, and the meter was down by my side. And I thought, wow, there's something going on here, because I don't fall asleep like that. So anyhow, a couple days later, I did the same thing over for a couple of days times. And then I went to and got got a hold of a couple of my friends that lived in the neighborhood. And I said, You guys need to try this. You know, I could be nuts, but you need to try it. And I said because everybody has. Nobody sleeps well, nobody in America sleeps well. So anyhow, I said, you know, let's do it. And so we connected them up. Sure enough, a few days later, they came over and said, Well, yeah, this really helps you sleep. And then the one guy he said, you know, he says do you think this could be helping my arthritis because my arthritis has gone way down? And I said I don't think so. I think it just helped sleep by getting the voltage off your body. And then I realized that wow, my pain is way down. So then I knew I didn't know what was going on. I had no idea. I just said, you know, this is really interesting. And so I just thought well he's something we don't know about something that everybody in the world knows about, but we just don't know about it. So then I started doing research, and nobody, there's nothing in the literature that speaks to reducing pain or improving sleep by grounding. Nothing whatsoever. Now, there's a lot of now that I wrote the book and everything, there's a lot of people stepped up and brought things forward that were historical 100 years ago, 200 years ago, and it's 1000 years ago, they would tell people to bury their feet in the earth and, and it would heal your moral bones meeting arthritis. And, and then Native Americans where I grew up. I mean, I had often talked about a story about a young girl, she was maybe six or seven, she had scarlet fever. And she was native and we lived on the reservation. And my best friends growing up were Native Americans. So I we spent a lot of time in there in that environment. And one day, we went home and I saw, I mean, they had broughten the girl home. And they said, there was nothing they could do for us. So one of the elders, they went out, and they dug a pit in the ground that was about maybe, I don't know, because I was younger than, but they dug this little pit in the ground, put some straw in. And they put her in a cupboard or with a blanket, and they built a fire next to her. And the elders took turns just sitting with her 24 hours a day. And three or four days later, she broke fever, got up and started moving around. And they didn't expect her to live in. It was a big cause of death back in those days. But anyway, so there's a lot of anecdotal stuff. Yeah. But that all showed up after the fact.
Coach JPMD 16:45
So and you're not a physician, you're not medically trained, right? So...
Clint Ober 16:51
The only thing I know is electrical. I look at everything electrical.
Coach JPMD 16:54
So you're an engineer, you have an engineering background? Or what was your... what did you...
Clint Ober 17:00
I was an entrepreneur, I'm more of an entrepreneur. And I used to hire engineers, right and left just to help build cable systems. I was the first person to ever put data over a satellite and feed it to a personal computer. I think differently then everybody else. I saw computer as a TV set without a signal. So I needed a signal. So we went around the world and gather gathered up all of the news wires and international feeds, you know, from Kaido, from Japan, you know, tasks from Russia, all of them and put them in a unified data stream, put them over the satellite, feed them into into the back of a computer. Now you can have your own little keyword, do your keyword search on a data stream, and create your own little newspaper. This is back in the time when Steve was in the garage. And the internet was not something any of us ever heard of. But so I've always Yeah, I always, I guess I just see things differently. I don't know why. But anyhow, back to.
Coach JPMD 18:01
So you created your own experiments. And those, your those experiments now have been reproduced. And so what have you seen as and by the way, we're going to share a lot of this research in our show notes at the end. But what have you seen as one of the major effects of grounding in terms of illness, you had the anecdotal, arthritis and sleeping but, you know, I've seen studies where they actually show increase in blood flow in your face. When you ground there, you're faced with skin lesions and things of that nature. What have you seen as the study that kind of is prominent? Well,
Clint Ober 18:41
I see. Yeah, I've seen it all because I, I didn't do the studies, but I promoted them sponsored them. Okay, push, prodded and got everybody to get them done. But I think the most important thing, I mean, first of all, you have to understand that what we recognize first of all was pain disappeared when you're grounded. It didn't matter whether it was flaring arthritis or crippling, you know, the you know, that chronic pain or later we found out lupus, MS, you know, any of these flaring diseases. Well, inflammatory flares. But you know, at that time, nobody heard the word inflammation. Back in the late 90s. Wasn't it wasn't in the language. Doctors never nobody talked about inflammation. They talked about oxidative stress. But anyhow, inflammation was the first thing that I ran into a doctor by the name of Stephen Sinatra was cardiologist. And I liked him because he was he understood electrical. No other doctor out there knew what I was talking about. They thought I was nuts. But again, this is back in the late 90s. So anyhow, I went to Steven and I asked him, I said, why, you know, this is what we're doing. And he says, first of all, Clint he says, if you're reducing pain, you should be looking at inflammation. And this is when some of the early studies were being done in two or two, two or three. On inflammation. And so you need to be looking at inflammation because you can't have pain. Pain is a byproduct of inflammation, body's on fire, inflamed, body's inflamed, body's on fire. And I said, Okay, we got to make sense of this. Because we're grounding somebody is putting out a fire inside the body. Well, I understand the grounding a cable to prevent a fire in the home from a lightning or being a wet, not grounded and so on. So I just, again, it was cowboy logic and intuition all the way. It didn't make sense, because I could go to the literature, there was nothing there.
Coach JPMD 20:36
Yeah. So so what? Sorry, go ahead.
Clint Ober 20:41
But you had to ground somebody before you could do open heart surgery. I found that out.
Coach JPMD 20:45
Yeah. And you know what, after doing some research, I didn't know that either. Myself. So, you know, I tried to do some research on Coastal Living, and populations that live on the coasts, do they live longer than we do? And there's, there's a couple of anecdotal research studies that show that if you do live in the on the Beach Coast that you live longer, have you seen that? Because my idea is, hey, you live on the coast, you're probably near a Beach, probably on sand, and you're probably grounding more. What have you seen in terms of that type of research?
Clint Ober 21:15
Well, here's a good example. Like, if you get it from around Montana, going into Canada, that's called the auto immune belt around the globe. Okay, there's only two or three, maybe 10 days a year that you could have a picnic outdoors and go barefoot, and that you're wearing shoes, shoes all at all times. And then you're wearing heavy fur lined boots all winter, and so on, where did you go towards the equatorial area, autoimmune disease is very low. And so the corollary to me it was very simple. It's people a, you know, south of a certain latitude, they, they wear flip flops and go barefoot.
Coach JPMD 21:58
Now. So does the leather conducts? Sorry.
Clint Ober 22:02
Yeah one, if you wear a leather boot, or leather shoe, your feet sweat profusely. I mean, as time goes on, even with socks on, they sweat. And they and so that perspiration hydrates the soul of the shoe. And then the body salts build up. So they're very, there's some, they're gonna they're semi conductive. So in nature, if you're wearing moccasins or whatever, or leather or some kind of then, your grounding.
Coach JPMD 22:31
You know, it's, it's fascinating that we haven't had the large clinical trials, or have we had the larger clinical trials sponsored by big universities to look at this research. Have you seen any of that?
Clint Ober 22:45
Well, I've been trying for, you know, I've sponsored all the studies that have been done to date. There's about 30, peer reviewed published studies, they were all proof of concept studies, just to show that no matter what you do to the human body, because it's electrical and systemic, no matter what you do, grounding affects everything in the body. And I can tell you how and why but people are interested in the scientists, the researchers, and well, I'm saying how in the hell did we missed this? But then five minutes later, they go back to what they're doing, because their life and their livelihood is about what they do their research, they're their thing. I'll give you an example. This is not to pick on doctors at all..
Coach JPMD 23:26
You can pick on me, you can pick on me.
Clint Ober 23:27
Well I don't want to... I wouldn't be here if it weren't for good doctors. So But anyhow, I have some friends in Southern California, cardiologists. And one of them a runs a, he has like three or four cardiologists, and half a dozen staff, all that kind of stuff. And they started buying our recovery bags, or some of our grounding products. And he would buy every six months, you'd buy some more. And one day, he called me on the phone, he says, I said you I'm going to be gone by, I'd like to stop by and just drop him off. And but I'd like to just meet you. And so I went in met and sat there and listened with him. And I said, Well, what do you do with these things? And he says, Well, we use them to get things stay off the hypertension vents. And I said, What are you talking? Doctors don't need hypertension, cardiologist supposed to be smart, healthy people? And he said, No, he says, you keep the staff happy and so on. I said, Well, why don't you give them to your clients? He says, Oh, we could never do that. He put his hand on my shoulder. A pointed up the door. And he said, Look, he says every time somebody walks through that door, they're worth about $10,000 to us in testing, and all that stuff. And we have I don't get them script. I don't write them scripts. They're going to go to somebody else. But once I get them on the test, get them on the script, then they're going to come back and see me you know, every three months or whatever, and that's my cable system. My cable television anyhow, but the point was this. He says, Listen, I went to school for 12 years, maybe 13. And I still have debt. I'm married to a woman who is married to a doctor who likely expects to live. Like come on she's married to a doctor. And I have all this staff, and I have to pay them. So I can't tell anybody to go home, take your shoes off get grounded and get grounded. Get well for free, get grounded and get well for free. You said this, not the model. You know, we have grocery stores, we have automobile theaters, we have doctors we have. We're all we're caught up in the system. And we can't break free from it. Because we have to have great revenue to pay taxes and to pay wages.
Coach JPMD 25:46
Yeah, so it's cool that and I'm here to say that we can break it. And that's what we try to do.
Clint Ober 25:53
And you can. I think that's happening more today. 20 years ago, it was not
Coach JPMD 25:57
Yeah oh so you're talking about 20 years ago?
Clint Ober 25:59
I was talking. I was talking about 20. Yeah, this was 20 years ago. So So anyhow, you know that but you have to get back to the story for a little bit. Yeah, the first thing that we had to learn is, what's the mechanism of action, how does grounding divided reduce pain, we know how it reduces prevents fire by grounding charge, and not letting it get into the get up to the earth, rather than burn up a house or burn up something. So as time went on, I started doing a little bit of research. And I ran across a paper that explained white blood cells and neutrophils, macrophages and cytokines and everything. And I, when I read that neutrophils, when you if you have a pathogen in your body, and neutrophil will swim over, your immune system sends it over however, that all works. And it will encapsulate wrap itself around a pathogen or a damaged cell. It's kind of like a jelly cell, as you can actually see pictures of it. And when it does it, once it encapsulates the pathogen, then it will release which called reactive oxygen species. Now the word reactive to me, that's an electrical term. So what it is these reactive oxygen species are electrically charged molecules, and they're electrically charged because they're missing an electron, or they have an electron imbalance. And so what they do is they can, because they're reactive, they can strip an electron from a pathogen. And that's how the body oxidizes and destroys pathogen or debt or damage cells is pretty simple. And so I understood that was my first clue. The second clue was, it took a little while to figure this out. But once we realized that, because people are no longer, you know, when you ground the body, it puts the fire out. So that means the body's short electrons, short of redox potential, short of potential potentially reduce hydrogen, however, you want to know whether it's pH imbalances, it's all the same thing. It's all a measure of voltage, and it's all a measure of electrons. So I started looking at it and looking at it and then all of a sudden, one day a light bulb went off, that there's not enough electrons in the body. So when we ground the body, then the body becomes saturated, instantly touches the Earth, it equalizes within absorbs and becomes in the bodies at earth potential meaning it has the same amount of free electrons, as the Earth itself does, you know, parada, so then we started grounding people and immediately pain would go away. And then we started to recognize that it was the immune system itself. Back then it was about oatmeal's for antioxidants and blueberries, and all of this craziness. The body doesn't work that way, the body's systemic, and it's a whole different thing that people on Main Street understand. So I thought, Well, okay, what's happening here is the backstory. So basically, in 1960 90% of the visits to a practitioner were for infectious disease, childbirth, and acute injury, maybe 10%. For mental, you know, stress, those kinds of things. Today, probably 95%, or more of all visits to a practitioner, are for an inflammation related health disorder, meaning everything from autism, to cancer, to lupus, to MS to Parkinson's. All of these modern degenerative health disorders are inflammation related health disorders. So what I figured out was, it's the immune system itself, that is causing the inflammation because the immune system is sending our neutrophil oxidizes the pathogen, if there's not enough redox potential or enough free electrons to reduce any remaining radicals, then they're going to go snatch an electron from healthy cell damage yet, it screams out to the immune system, hey, something's still here getting me via system sends another neutrophil. So all the sudden you have a chain reaction, and it's just continued collateral damage. And that's what starts the fire of inflammation. That's where the word fire comes from, when you're burning along because that's exactly what you're doing.
Coach JPMD 30:35
So, so, so I think I think what you're describing is something that we as practitioners, as providers don't necessarily understand sometimes. And we treat it we put band aids on the on the problem. We have had a patient today that was asking for a drug that she used to take that was to treat a disorder that she had that I had never prescribed before. Because I think it was for diabetes and and I said, Well, have you been walking? No, I haven't been walking. I haven't been doing anything physical and but yet they're looking for patients are looking for answers, looking for band aids looking for things, but they're not looking at the root cause of the problems. And I think, at least from my experience, I have to say that after using some of the things that I've seen, that you actually provide through your, your organizations, I actually have my keyboard on a grounding pad right now. And I used to have wrist pain that I don't have anymore since I started using it. I used to have very restless sleep. And now I have a blanket that I'm sleeping on. And I want to touch on that. I think we're hitting a hard stop on time. But let's pause and we'll come back to that.
Clint Ober 31:55
Coach JPMD 31:56
So there you have it, grounding what earthing is with Clint Ober and in two weeks, we're going to come back and talk about what you can do to ground yourself in your practice in your life and then just your everyday living, so we'll give you some practical tips couldn't fit everything in this episode. Stay tuned in two weeks. We'll be back with Clint Ober for more