Chronic widespread body pain that often overlaps with moderate to extreme fatigue, headaches, problems with thinking and memory (“fibro fog”), and sleep disturbances – that’s fibromyalgia. It affects 3 to 6 percent of the world population, of which more than three-quarters are women. Experts generally think it is caused by a combination of many physical and emotional stressors. Although there are no Earthing studies on fibromyalgia, we have received feedback over the years from people with fibromyalgia who have been helped by Earthing. This article features three cases. We believe that grounding helps by reducing inflammation and pain, promoting sleep, and calming the nervous system.
Relief after Sixty Years
Colleen Flynn, 76, says she has had fibromyalgia for more than sixty years, generated and exacerbated by multiple stresses in her life: the early death of her father, growing up in various homes, caring for a new husband incapacitated by a back injury, then a son born with a severe immune system deficit, the sudden death of her husband hit by lightning. and a double mastectomy (breast cancer).
The Australian woman told us there were times, beginning as a girl, that her body was so painful that no one could touch her. Even a mere breeze made her feel worse.
“Over the years, I went to so many specialists to evaluate what I had, and after patting me on the back, they told me that there are just some people that doctors can’t help and I was one of them,” she said.
Finally, she received a diagnosis of fibromyalgia, along with medication that helped her to some degree.
Still, her pain issues continued. In the afternoons she would often collapse into a chair to watch TV, tired and in pain from just “doing the little bits around the house that I could manage.” She said she would frequently just stumble painfully to her room for a night of more pain.
In the spring of 2014, she heard about David Richards, an Australian physician not far from where she lived, who was grounding his patients “and getting great results for people with pain.” Although skeptical, she went to see him and obtained some Earthing bands.
She recalled the first time she used them. “My daughter had come over for lunch, and afterward we sat on the sofa. I put on a wrist band. After 45 minutes, my daughter asked me if I felt any different. I replied I didn’t think so. Then I fell asleep, a deep sleep. When I woke up, I was full of energy. I cooked pikelets (pancakes) for tea, then cleared up and wouldn’t let anyone help me. I did the lot. I went to bed and slept all night. Later I got an Earthing throw and a sheet. I soon realized that when I use them, I have little or no pain.”
One of Colleen’s doctors suggested she form a fibromyalgia support group in her home town. Since its formation in 2009, the group has attracted about 30 members and holds monthly meetings.
“We are all trying to control some level of neuropathic pain,” she said.
According to Colleen, Earthing has helped many individuals in her group. She offered several examples:
• “One lady also has Parkinson’s, restless legs, and incontinence. She obtained an Earthing sheet but couldn’t use it because of the incontinence. So she decided to go for a walk with her dog each morning barefooted. In about six weeks, the restless legs were gone as was the incontinence. She now sleeps grounded on her sheet. The change in her has been remarkable.”
• “One of the young women has several serious problems. She obtained an Earthing sheet but when she put it on her bed she felt silly, that it was probably just a gimmick and wouldn’t work. The next morning she texted me to say it was the first time she had slept all night in five years. When I saw her next, the difference was remarkable. Her face looked so rested. She said she was sleeping on the sheet pain free.”
• “At one meeting, I brought some grounding wrist bands for others to try. One women stood up at the end of the meeting and said she was now pain free. She suffered also with irritable bowel syndrome and had a pain that never left her.”
• “We have about sixteen people in our group grounding themselves indoors. All of them get great results.”
Colleen said that when she gets into bed and onto her Earthing sheet, she usually sleeps all night: “I am getting that deep restorative level of sleep. I wake up in the morning feeling fresh with energy and ready to face the day. If I have to get up to go to the bathroom, the pain will come back strong all over my body and sometimes I think I won’t make it. Once I get back on the Earthing sheet, I can feel the pain being drawn out of my body. The pain goes away and I usually fall back to sleep. If I don’t go back to sleep, I lay awake and simply marvel that I’m not in pain. When I am having a tough time through the day, I go to bed and the pain leaves me.”
Colleen said that Earthing has infused her with energy and enabled her to reduce her dosages of medication.
“I have discovered the magic of Earthing. When I go to see my specialists, I arrive fresh and alert, not tired at all. I am having a much better quality of life. I am now able to play and converse with my beautiful grandchildren and great grandchildren, instead of struggling and pretending when I really wasn’t coping very well at all. I teach scrapbooking, and can sit and work for two hours and control my pain. I am living. My challenge now is to pace myself and realize I can’t do everything. ”
One Massage Therapist’s Experience
Nancy Reid, a massage therapist in Gowanda, NY, first contacted us in 2010. Here’s what she said:
“Nothing so far has helped me as much as Earthing with my sleep and energy levels which were in the basement. My pain level was sometimes 6 to 8 on a 10 point scale. Now it’s down to 4-5 and sometimes I don’t have pain at all.
“There have been times when I would just sit in my chair knowing I had chores to do and not do them. Now I get up and do things and then find more things to do that I haven’t been able to do before. Clean out a closet, feed the birds, clean up the yard. I can actually do them instead of just thinking about them.
“I am having a wonderful response to grounding. I have had sleep difficulties for many years and can now say I sleep 100% better. I have been trying to repair my body for years with other natural health means, herbs, supplements, etc. and maybe after all this time, they have finally helped, however, it wasn’t until I had grounded for two months that I noticed SIGNIFICANT differences in sleep as well as energy during the day. It’s my understanding that Fibromyalgia is a very difficult syndrome to improve so this is an enormous difference.”
In 2015, Nancy wrote us to say that she’s still grounding routinely and “doing great.” She says she still has some muscle pain and attributes that to her massage work. “But I recover and the fatigue is much, much better. Compared to what I was experiencing a few years ago, it is incredible the difference. Grounding is not the only thing I did, but a huge part I believe.”
Relief: Gained, Lost, and Regained
In 2011, a Georgia woman commented on the Amazon.com webpage of the Earthing book that she had suffered from fibromyalgia, fatigue, and depression for several decades. “There has been no place on my body I could touch without feeling pain,” she said. “I’ve been puffy with a pallid, ‘dead fish’ complexion for years. But since I started Earthing, the painfulness has improved substantially, the puffiness is going down, and my coloring seems to be getting pinker. It even feels like I’m breathing a little better.”
Four days after starting Earthing, the writer said that “something came over me, and I got up and cleaned up my whole room (which was a disaster area), vacuumed, and did all my laundry and got it folded and put away. As I was working, I noticed that I was really ENJOYING the exertion, like I imagine people who are into working out must enjoy it. Instead of dead-tired and having to force myself to move, I felt a sense of vitality that I don’t think I’ve felt since I was in my twenties. I cannot tell you what a major thing this was for me. I have had such low tolerance for exercise that I’ve badly failed treadmill stress tests and cannot do anything the least bit physically taxing for more than about thirty minutes without getting dizzy and sick to my stomach. But now, I worked hard and it felt so GOOD to do that! This tells me something majorly good is going on.
“After a few weeks of really noticing a difference, I stopped noticing any benefits. I had to do some work on another computer for a week and did not feel like moving my Earthing mat, and it’s getting colder at night so I stopped trying to make sure my bare feet and legs were on the mat during the night. I was grounding at most maybe an hour a day, if at all, during that time, and I began to quickly slide back into my usual fatigued/not-feeling-so-good state. Then it occurred to me: I’m not earthing! Returning to using the mat at all times when working on the computer resulted in a quick return to my improved state. This thing WORKS.”
Featured photo credit: MerriJ