Tag Archives: pseudoscience

‘Grounding’ or ‘Earthing’ is still bollocks

It is disappointing to feel the need to write about ‘Grounding’ or ‘Earthing’ again. I have done it before here and here. Many others have done the same as it is great fodder for skeptical writers. ‘Grounding’ or ‘Earthing’ is still bollocks and made up pseudoscience nonsense. What is disappointing is those who have the benefit of allegedly developing the critical thinking skills that are supposed to come with getting a degree from a University fail to see through the nonsensical claims and blindly share it with no clue what is wrong with it. We have to do better.

The promoters and sellers of products for ‘Grounding’ or ‘Earthing’ claim that we can connect with the Earths negative surface charge by being barefoot in order to balance your internal circuitry and restore a lost electrical charge to help things like improving blood flow, reducing inflammation, reducing pain, treat cardiovascular disease and allow for better sleep. The claim is that free radicals in our bodies which are lacking an unpaired valence electron, need to get those electrons from the Earth to balance out and restore our health. Spending time indoors and in shoes is claimed to break this link with the Earth and have those negative consequences for our health. Going barefoot on the Earth or sleeping on a mattress that is connected to the earth or grounded (that you can buy from the promoters) is claimed to restore our health.

I did my best originally to learn what I could about it and have the book from from 2010: Earthing: The Most Important Health Discovery Ever! (the second edition is from 2014). The book claims that shoes are the most dangerous invention in the history of humanity. This most important health discovery ever has been there for over ten years now and they still have not been awarded the Nobel Prize for Medicine yet for it. That should be the first red flag.

Any physicist will easily point out that the claims are totally bunk and the mechanism of balancing “electrons” is impossible (it would have to break some of the basic laws of physics if it was possible!). Electrons are electrons – there is nothing special about the electrons that are in the Earth. The experiments demonstrated by the promoters (mostly in YouTube video’s rather than scientific peer reviewed journals) using voltmeters are meaningless and do not actually show what they think they show.

Any anecdotes that it works or helps make you feel better, then think placebo, natural history or wishful thinking.

There is nothing wrong with being barefoot and ‘connecting with nature’. We all like that sensation of walking barefoot on soft grass. Just don’t make up bullshit to justify it. Just do it and enjoy it (and watch out for what you are stepping on).

Come on, we have to do better. Stop falling for it.

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Bunion corrector gullibility

Some people must think some people are really stupid. I recently screen shot some pictures posted on a website that I stumbled across and has now been taken down. They must think that people really are that stupid. It was from a website promoting and selling a “bunion corrector”.

Here is the first image. This was the bunion allegedly before the use of the bunion corrector:

before the bunion corrector

Here is the image with the bunion corrector applied to the foot:

bunion corrector applied

And here is the image they posted after the alleged use of the bunion corrector:

The bunion after using the splint

They went on to say how incredible these bunion splints, braces or correctors are. You do not have to be Einstein to see that all the photos were taken on the same day (notice the shoe in the ground) and the before shot is the left foot and the after shot is the right foot … seriously?

That does not mean that there is anything wrong with them. From what I understand the evidence is that after a month of wear, they can reduce the angle of hallux valgus by a few degrees. I use the ones like these to help with that deeper pain you can often get inside bunions and find they are also useful at keeping the joint mobile which is probably a good thing.

Even though the evidence does show they can induce small changes in the angle of the hallux with regular use over a month, I am also realistic with patients and point out that during the day there is a lot of force produced from the footwear and biomechanics creating the lateral deviation. Is it really possible for wearing the splint at night undo all that? I have no idea if it does or does not, but need to question if it can and instil realistic expectations into patiensts when discussing this.

I have nothing against trying these bunion correctors. Its just the critical thinking skills needed for all the over hyped and nonsensical marketing claims that get made for them. The one above is obvious, others not so obvious.

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