The Earthing Institute - Reconnecting People To The Planet

The Blood Pressure Connection

blood-pressureWe frequently receive comments about improved blood pressure from people after they start Earthing. High blood pressure numbers have dropped. Some individuals have told us that their doctors have been able to reduce their medication dosage, and, in some case, eliminate medication altogether.

Here’s a short sampling of comments:

● “My blood pressure, although still at the same dose of medication as before, runs at a consistently lower reading, something I haven’t seen since I started medication ten years ago.”

● “I have seen great results with my 86-year-old mother…who has been on four medications for high blood pressures for many years. Her blood pressure went down to a point where we had to take her off her medication and she is now taking one new medication which is not as strong.”

● “My son’s blood pressure has come way down just since he started grounding.”

To be sure, such comments are merely anecdotal. No studies have yet tested Earthing’s effect on blood pressure. However, the comments are supported by what we know about the way Earthing influences the physiology. The potential to improve blood pressure comes from several different mechanisms:

1) Earthing generates a shift in the nervous system away from sympathetic (the vigilant, fight-or-flight mode) mode associated with stress and toward the parasympathetic calming, relaxing) mode.

2) Earthing exerts a normalizing effect on cortisol, the stress hormone.

3) It promotes better sleep and reduces inflammation and pain.

All of these, and likely other factors as well, can benefit blood pressure.

Hypertension, or high blood pressure, is a description as well as a diagnosis. Medical research cites many contributing factors, and among them a heightened or chronic state of stress is high on the list. So it is easy to understand why Earthing can benefit hypertension. In our day and age, there is no shortage of factors in daily life that can lead to chronic stress. Just to name a few obvious ones: loss of job or mate, relationship issues, loss of child or problems with children, no money or loss of money, retirement, debt, poor sleep, no friends, no exercise, trying to come to terms with one’s age and perhaps not having accomplished as much as was hoped for in life, etc. And, of course, physical pain. The most dramatic drops in blood pressure we have observed after people start Earthing have been associated with reduction of pain and the anxiety and fear of chronic illness.

Earthing book co-author and cardiologist Stephen Sinatra remarks: “I am convinced that grounding does indeed lower blood pressure. And, if you are hypertensive and taking medication for it, and you want to ground to reduce inflammation, you need to tell your physician. He or she may need to adjust and lower your medication accordingly. Track your own blood pressure with a monitoring device at home and bring to your doctor a written record of your readings before and after grounding sessions.”

Occasionally, people have reported increased blood pressure after they start Earthing. Such a situation, however, has nothing to do with Earthing. There is nothing about Earthing that can cause a rise in blood pressure. Blood pressure either comes down or stays the same. Our observations suggest that any parallel rise in blood pressure among people who are Earthing is unrelated to Earthing. Rather, it is likely related to stress in their lives or where individuals taking blood pressure medication stopped taking the drugs on their own.

Earthing book co-author Clint Ober, who has inspired and promoted Earthing research for more than fifteen years, recalls the case of one male participant in an early study that measured the effect of sleeping grounded on cortisol.  The man’s blood pressure was very high and stayed high during the eight week duration of the study:

“His numbers changed very little. He was like 160. Meanwhile, the blood pressure of all the other people in the study dropped. I asked the doctor involved in the study what was going on with that individual. He told me that the man was having serious financial problems.

“In my experience, I have seen many people, and especially women, have significant reductions in their blood pressure. That happens because Earthing is changing the hormones and having a systemic effect on the body. People have less pain.  They become calmer.”

Mr. Ober also cites the case of a man who has been Earthing for many years who has a blood pressure that runs normally in the 110 to 130 range. The fluctuations depend on the time of day the blood pressure readings are taken and how much stress he is dealing with. When his spouse died, the man’s blood pressure went to 160 and stayed there for almost eight months. It was the trauma of the loss. When his son died suddenly of a heart attack, the same thing happened. The blood pressure went up and stayed up for quite a while despite many hours of Earthing during the night and day.

Mr. Ober also recalls an incident from his youth and growing up in rural Montana: “My uncle had a mink farm with several hundred mink. When my city cousins came to visit once, they were very noisy and rambunctious around the animals. I remember that several of the mink died, probably from a heart attack. The caged animals had become stressed, had no defense, and nowhere to hide. My uncle got good and mad at the cousins and never allowed them into the mink house again.

“Some people are in a constant stressed, fight-or-flight mode. They are in a corner. They can’t run, hide, or do anything. They feel helpless. That’s life today for many people. They get into a sympathetic state and whether they are Earthing or not they manifest their predicament as high blood pressure. Think of the word hypertension. Everything is tight and tense. You are ready to spring, launch, run, or fight.”