nervous system

Does Earthing Affect the Autonomic Nervous System?

The autonomic nervous system (ANS) is critical in managing involuntary bodily functions, such as heart rate, digestion, and respiratory rate. Maintaining a balanced ANS is essential for overall health and well-being. Recent interest has emerged around earthing (grounding) and its potential benefits on the ANS. This article reviews existing studies and evidence to explore whether earthing can positively affect the ANS.


Does Earthing Affect the Autonomic Nervous System?

Yes, preliminary research suggests that earthing can positively affect the autonomic nervous system by promoting parasympathetic (rest-and-digest) activity and reducing sympathetic (fight-or-flight) responses.


Rating of Evidence: Moderate




The evidence for earthing's impact on the autonomic nervous system (ANS) shows promise but remains limited. While some studies and anecdotal reports support its benefits, researchers must conduct more large-scale studies to provide conclusive proof.



  • Positive Preliminary Findings: Initial studies show earthing enhances parasympathetic nervous system activity and improves heart rate variability.
  • Anecdotal Support: Many individuals feel more relaxed and less stressed after earthing.
  • Simple Practice: People can easily incorporate earthing into their daily routines as a natural, low-cost practice.


  • Limited Large-Scale Studies: Researchers must replicate most existing research on a larger scale for more convincing results.
  • Placebo Effect: Psychological benefits might partially result from the placebo effect rather than earthing itself.
  • Variability in Results: Individual responses to earthing vary widely, making it difficult to generalize findings.


Related Articles:

Earthing and Diabetes

Does Earthing Improve Sleep?

Can Grounding Help Heal Wounds Faster?

Does Earthing Help with Fatigue and Energy Levels

Review of Studies


red veins


Wendy Menigoz et al. found significant physiological improvements with grounding, particularly in stabilizing the autonomic nervous system (ANS). Earthing improved heart rate variability and vagal tone, essential indicators of ANS function (1). Additionally, earthing reduced inflammation, pain, and stress, enhancing overall well-being. The study also highlighted that even premature infants showed immediate and significant improvements in ANS functioning and stress response regulation through earthing.

In an article from the Neurologic Wellness Institute, researchers delved into the physiological effects of grounding and its impact on the ANS. Their findings were particularly compelling. They discovered that direct skin contact with the Earth improved sleep, normalized cortisol rhythms, and significantly reduced pain. Moreover, they found that earthing shifted the ANS from sympathetic to parasympathetic activation, a key indicator of improved health. The increase in heart rate variability further supported the notion that earthing significantly influences autonomic functions, promoting overall health and well-being (2).

The study "The Neuromodulative Role of Earthing" by Paweł Sokal et al. explored earthing as a neuromodulative factor (3). The research proposed that earthing changes the body's electric potential, influencing physiological processes and enhancing the nervous system's adaptability. The study's most striking finding was that earthing led to immediate changes in electroencephalography (EEG), surface electromyography (SEMG), and somatosensory evoked potentials (SSEPs), indicating significant alterations in the brain's electrical activity and improved nervous system function. These findings underscore the role of earthing in regulating the ANS and enhancing neurophysiological stability.

In "How Earthing Calms Your Nervous System" from Better Earthing, researchers discussed the effects of earthing on the parasympathetic nervous system (PNS), a key component of the ANS. A 2011 double-blind study compared earthing to sham-earthing in 28 participants, revealing that earthing significantly increased PNS function. The earthing participants exhibited twice the increase in PNS function compared to the control group, and the benefits continued even after the earthing period ended. This study concluded that earthing offers substantial benefits beyond simple relaxation, supporting deeper physiological balance and enhanced ANS function (4).

Current research suggests that earthing positively influences the autonomic nervous system by enhancing parasympathetic activity and reducing stress-related sympathetic activity. Although the evidence is promising, it is still moderate, and further large-scale studies are needed to establish more definitive conclusions. As a simple and natural practice, earthing holds potential benefits for those looking to improve their ANS function and overall well-being.



  1. Author links open overlay panelWendy Menigoz a, et al. “Integrative and Lifestyle Medicine Strategies Should Include Earthing (Grounding): Review of Research Evidence and Clinical Observations.” EXPLORE, Elsevier, 14 Nov. 2019,
  2. Nwi. “What Is Earthing? Can It Make You Healthier?” The Neurologic Wellness Institute, 5 Aug. 2020,,healing%2C%20and%20reduce%20blood%20viscosity.
  3. Author links open overlay panelPaweł Sokal a, et al. “The Neuromodulative Role of Earthing.” Medical Hypotheses, Churchill Livingstone, 18 Aug. 2011,
  4. “How Earthing Calms Your Nervous System: Relax Yourself with Earthing.” Better Earthing, 1 Sept. 2020,


About the Author:

Back to blog