Manataka American Indian Council

Proudly Presents







Do You Have Knowledge

of the Past to Share? 

Martin Zucker, co-author of the Earthing book



Since the beginning of the year, I have provided a series of articles to Smoke Signal News – and you, the readers – about the “discovery” of remarkable healing benefits that occur when we humans make direct skin contact with the ground beneath our feet.


The discovery – called Earthing (or grounding) – has been validated by a series of unique studies over the last ten years indicating such contact generates better sleep, less inflammation and pain, better blood flow, and greater energy. The sum total of these clearly effects rises to the status of a magnificent environmental influence on the physiology and a missing link in the common formula for better health: eating well, getting adequate physical exercise and sunlight, and stress reduction. 


Connection with Mother Earth belongs smack in the middle of that list. 


That’s because we are disconnected.  Modern lifestyle includes the use of synthetic-soled footwear that insulates us from the natural, gentle electric energy on the surface of the Earth that, surprisingly, has so many significant benefits.  Unlike past generations – those of your ancestors up to perhaps your grandparents and great-grandparents − we no longer wear footwear made from animal hides that conduct the energy.  And, of course, we no longer sleep on the Earth or on conductive hides as we did in the past. Today, most of us live and work separated from the ground, and in high rises very high off the ground.


Unlike the past, today we are disconnected!

And, as a result, we may be suffering in terms of widespread and increasing chronic, non-communicable disorders.  Cardiovascular disease, hypertension, diabetes, auto-immune conditions, and cancer are prime examples. 


These diseases all have an inflammation cause or component…something that researchers say is linked to most common chronic diseases.


Earthing research, along with observations throughout the world from people practicing Earthing, indicate a reduction of inflammation and pain, as well as across-the-board health improvements.  The body seems to function better when it is connected to the Earth.  Changes to the physiology can be measured with sophisticated instruments.  Some of those changes occur instantly, as if the touch of the Earth is like a magic touch.  


The Earth indeed seems to have healing and nurturing magic, which people feel when they walk barefoot routinely outside or work, relax, or sleep indoors in contact with conductive grounding sheets, mats, bands, and patches.


What is clear to us in the Earthing Project is that reconnecting with the Earth offers remarkable health and healing benefits.  With today’s lifestyle that separates us in so many ways from Nature, it isn’t so strange to think of the Earth beneath our feet as an aspect of the overall abandonment, and truly a missing link.


Animals are connected.  We aren’t. 

The physiological effects of grounding the human body (Earthing) have been documented only recently, yet physical contact with the ground has been understood by cultures throughout history in terms of connectedness or attunement with the spirit of the Earth.


Indians certainly honored the connection to the Earth. The late Ota Kte (Luther Standing Bear), a writer, educator, and tribal leader from the Lakota tradition, summed it up this way:


“The old people came literally to love the soil. They sat on the ground with the feeling of being close to a mothering power. It was good for the skin to touch the Earth, and the old people liked to remove their moccasins and walk with their bare feet on the sacred Earth. The soil was soothing, strengthening, cleansing, and healing.”


It was a quote that I found, and resonated with, and decided to use in the Earthing book. Many people around the world who have read the Earthing book and in more than a dozen translations have commented on that particular quote from Ota Kte.   

I have looked for more information and more details about what Indians – or any indigenous people, for that matter – know about how the healing properties of the Earth were accessed in the past and even currently.  I have not found much, or perhaps have not knocked on the right doors.  


In the Earthing book, we have a few stories, related by my co-author Clint Ober, who has pursued research for fifteen years in order to help explain in scientific terms the health benefits that he discovered as a result of contact with the Earth.  Clint grew up in Montana with Indian friends and recalled these events:


*   I vividly remembered the time when the sister of one of my friends developed a bad case of scarlet fever. She was very sick. Their grandfather dug a pit in the ground and placed the

girl in the pit. He built a fire, for warmth, near the pit, and sat next to it for a few days while the girl mostly slept. At the end of that time she was much better.


*   I also remembered going to the home of one of my friends after school and hearing his mother tell him to remove his shoes. “They will make you sick,” she said.


Can you help me? 

The Earth was clearly part of “good medicine” but where do I find the details as to how it was accessed?


Are there traditional healers who have the knowledge that was passed on to them? 


If so, how do I find them and will they share the specific knowledge I seek?  


To what degree was there understanding that Earth contact had specific healing properties?


How was such understanding applied therapeutically or preventively?


What happened to the health of the people when they no longer went barefoot or used traditional hides for footwear, and instead, had to wear shoes?


There are many questions to ask. 


Finding specific references is challenging, particularly since past cultures typically lived barefoot or used conductive animal hides for footwear and bedding. Keep in mind that when the body perspires, the moisture creates a channel of conductivity that permeates the hide. So either used as footwear or for sleeping, such natural material would allow the Earth’s natural energy (we now believe that nourishing energy is in the form of free electrons) to be transferred into the body. Thus, most cultures would have been routinely grounded to the planet’s surface electrical charge, even though there was likely no awareness of the dynamics of this contact.


Being thus connected in ordinary daily life could have been sufficient to keep chronic inflammation and many typical modern diseases at bay, as well as to create other health benefits we attribute to Earthing.


Earlier cultures would probably not have known the effects of being disconnected with the Earth, as they didn’t have many options to be insulated other than time spent living or sleeping in elevated structures made from wood. Stone or dirt floors would have been conductive.


If you have any expertise or stories about how grounding was utilized specifically for health purposes in the past, or even in contemporary settings, kindly contact me at


I personally thank you in advance for sharing any information. 


Do You Have Knowledge to Share about the Healing Benefits of Mother Earth?


Manataka Smoke Signal News featured the following articles by Martin Zucker of the Earthing Institute

02/2014 -   Earthing: Real Healing Power Right Under Your Feet

03/2014 -   Reconnect to The Healing Earth

04/2014 -   Mother Earth and Stress Relief:  Earthing

05/2014 -   How the Earth Protects Your Cardiovascular System – Part One

06/2014 -   How the Earth Protects Your Cardiovascular System – Part Two

07/2014 -   Earthing and Insomnia

08-2014 -   Mother Earth − A Missing Link in Women’s Health

09-2014 -   Do You Have Knowledge of the Past to Share?  


Health writer Martin Zucker has written or co-authored fifteen books, including Earthing, Move Yourself (Wiley), Reverse Heart Disease Now (Wiley), and Natural Hormone Balance for Women (Atria/Pocket Books).  He is a former Associated Press newsman in Europe and the Middle East.