Earthing to heal autonomic nervous system dysfunction & “adrenal fatigue”

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Earthing is a very interesting alternative therapy that may hold huge therapeutic potential for individuals suffering from autonomic nervous system dysfunction and health conditions such as anxiety, depression, PTSD, POTS and chronic fatigue syndrome.

Earthing (also known as grounding) refers to contact with the Earth’s surface electrons by walking barefoot outside or sitting, working, or sleeping indoors connected to conductive systems, some of them patented, that transfer the energy from the ground into the body.

To my surprise there is actually a handful of small studies that have now found earthing(grounding) to have many health benefits including balancing cortisol levels, better sleep, reduced inflammation and pain, improved autonomic nervous system tone, improved heart rate variability, reduced anxiety, depression and much more.

I have been wanting to dedicate a blog post to earthing(grounding) for some time now, both to share the scientific research and my own postivie anecdotal experiences with sleeping on an earthing bed sheet including improved POTS symptoms, less anxiet, more relaxed and improved autonomic nervous system balance.

Studies have found that earthing causes a rapid activation of the parasympathetic branch of the nervous system, reducing excessive sympathetic “fight or flight” activity in the process.

Most stress and mental health disorders tend to involve a pattern of excessive sympathetic nervous system dominance, typically coupled with an under-activity of the parasympathetic nervous system.

Dysautonomia is a notoriously difficult condition to address and drugs tend to just poorly mask symptoms at best and can often create their own serious side effects in the process.

Earthing may hold huge potential as a safe, non-drug, natural treatment for balancing the autonomic nervous system and the stress hormone cortisol.

Earthing To Balance The ANS(Autonomic Nervous System)

Earthing to heal autonomic nervous system dysfunction and postural orthostatic tachycardia syndromeSubsequent research has repeatedly confirmed the positive effects of grounding on the autonomic nervous system (ANS), including increases in parasympathetic activity.

Earthing the human body has shown significant effects on electrophysiological properties of the brain and musculature, on the BVP, and on the noise and stability of electrophysiological recordings.

Taken together, the changes in EEG, EMG, and BVP suggest reductions in overall stress levels and tensions and a shift in ANS balance upon earthing. The results extend the conclusions of previous studies. [1]

A multiparameter double-blind study confirmed the shit from sympathetic “fight or flight” to parasympathetic activation of the nervous system.

The immediate decrease in SC(skin conductance) indicates a rapid activation of the parasympathetic nervous system and corresponding deactivation of the sympathetic nervous system.

The immediate increase in SC(skin conductance) at cessation of grounding indicates an opposite effect. Increased RR(respiratory rate), stabilization of BO(blood oxygenation), and slight rise in heart rate suggest the start of a metabolic healing response necessitating an increase in oxygen consumption. [1]

One study from 2011 hypothesized that earthing through its complex action on bioelectrical environment of human organism and alternations in electrolyte concentrations regulates correct functioning of the nervous system. Earthing significantly influences on the electrical activity of the brain. [3]

Improved HRV(Heart Rate Variability) With Earthing

Earthing Improves Heart Rate VariabilityResearch has also found that earthing(grounding) improves heart rate variability(HRV), which is a measurement of the heart’s response to ANS regulation.

A decrease in HRV indicates autonomic dysfunction and is a predictor of the severity of progression of coronary artery disease. [2]

During the grounded sessions, participants had statistically significant improvements in HRV that went way beyond basic relaxation results (which were shown by the nongrounded sessions).

Since improved HRV is a significant positive indicator on cardiovascular status, it is suggested that simple grounding techniques be utilized as a basic integrative strategy in supporting the cardiovascular system, especially under situations of heightened autonomic tone when the sympathetic nervous system is more activated than the parasympathetic nervous system.

Normalize Cortisol Stress Hormone Levels & Improve Sleep

Earthing Balance Stress Hormone Cortisol Levels Adrenal FatigueResearch has found that earthing can help to normalize levels of stress hormone cortisol, by influencing a normal day-night cortisol rhythm.

This may potentially be of huge benefit, especially for individuals in the first initial stages of “adrenal fatigue” and stress disorders, where cortisol levels are often abnormally elevated, especially in the evening.

Often this is referred to as “cortisol reversal” where cortisol levels are abnormally low in the morning causing extreme fatigue and elevated in the evening keeping you wired and awake, which is the exact opposite of a normal day-night cortisol pattern.

The majority of subjects with high- to out-of-range night time secretion levels experienced improvements by sleeping grounded.  This is demonstrated by the restoration of normal day-night cortisol secretion profiles. [1]

High night-time cortisol levels is an extremely common factor, which can great disturb the quality of sleep and is also a reason why many individuals wake up several times during the night.

Sleep disorders such as insomnia, poor quality sleep patterns and staying up too late are all common culprits when it comes to contributing to chronic fatigue and burnout also.

Eleven of 12 participants in the study reported falling asleep more quickly, and all 12 reported waking up fewer times at night. Grounding the body at night during sleep also appears to positively affect morning fatigue levels, daytime energy, and nighttime pain levels. [1]

The results are significant in light of the extensive research showing that lack of sleep stresses the body and contributes to many detrimental health consequences.

Where To Buy An Earthing Bed Sheet ?

Earthing bed sheets are available to purchase from Amazon at: Earthing Fitted Bed Sheet

To learn more about Earthing, read Clinton Ober’s book at:  Earthing: The Most Important Health Discovery Ever by Clinton Ober

References

[1] Earthing: Health Implications of Reconnecting the Human Body to the Earth’s Surface Electrons

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3265077/

[2] Earthing (Grounding) the Human Body Reduces Blood Viscosity—a Major Factor in Cardiovascular Disease

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3576907/

[3] The neuromodulative role of earthing.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21856083

The information in this article has not been evaluated by the FDA and should not be used to diagnose, cure or treat any disease, implied or otherwise.

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