Alternative Medicine
The Earth-Adrenal Connection

Throughout life almost all of us are repeatedly drawn to return to Nature in one way or another. We want to go on vacation, de-stress, and head for the mountains, rivers, lakes, deserts, and beaches. The Europeans have a healthier work schedule than we do, with a lot more vacation time, which drives millions of Europeans to rest at the Mediterranean Sea .

As we approach the end of our life journey, we give thought to where we want to be laid to rest. Very few of us want to be buried or have our ashes maintained in a concrete building. We think of our favorite river or the ocean. The idea of finally returning to the Source, to the Earth, is a comforting feeling. We experience a magnetic pull to the Earth. In fact, we have an electromagnetic relationship with the Earth in addition to a spiritual relationship.

This article will focus on the importance of adrenal function, how chronic stress leads to adrenal exhaustion, and the role that our connection with the Earth plays in setting our adrenal cycle. The adrenal response is our body's first line response to all life-threatening events. The fight-or-flight response is mediated by the adrenal glands, which are small, walnut-sized glands that sit on top of our kidneys.

Our mind-body system constantly strives to maintain balance or homeostasis, and is constantly adapting to various stressors, which throw us out of balance. While the adrenals go into high gear when our lives are threatened, they are continuously responding to minor stressors, and stressors that we interpret as dangerous. In fight-or-flight physiology, the adrenals pump out adrenalin, which makes the heart pump harder and faster, and prepares our muscles to fight or run. Most people are familiar with the idea that, unconsciously, we can respond to an angry or critical boss the same way our ancestors responded to a charging cave-bear. We can interpret the stressor of an angry boss as being life-threatening. As a result, our adrenals go into full-blown, life-and-death, fight-or-flight chemistry.

It is important to understand that stressors are not necessarily “bad.” A stressor can be something that either inspires joy or sorrow. Either way, the intensity of the experience changes our normal homeostasis or balance, and our adrenals will produce varying amounts of adrenalin, cortisol, and DHEA to bring us back into balance. ”“Stress” according to Hans Selye, M.D., the first person to define stress, “is the nonspecific response of the body to any demand made on it.” Every tiny bit of work we do places a demand on us, which must be met with appropriate adrenal hormone release. In the 1930's, Selye's research showed that regardless of the stressor, the stress response is the same. Whether the stressor is pleasant or unpleasant, the body has to come back into balance.

Dr. Selye observed a 3-step process that we go through when experiencing a stressor that does not go away. First, we experience the stressor as a hardship. Then we get used to it. Finally, we can't stand it any longer. To bring Seyle's language into the 21 st century, with chronic stress, we eventually reach a state of burnout in which we become exhausted and can no longer handle that stressor. With chronic stress our adrenals lose their ability to help us adapt and come back into balance.

A healthy diet, exercise, and a tranquil mind are the “foods” that keep our adrenals healthy. Before diving into the biology of adrenal function, and the importance of the hormones they make, such as adrenalin, DHEA, and cortisol, we'll look at what sets the daily, diurnal rhythms of our adrenal glands. Cortisol is the main stress hormone that helps us adapt to countless minor and major stressors every day. The adrenals produce different amounts of cortisol at different times of the day. Early in the morning, healthy adrenals produce the greatest amount of cortisol, which leads to our highest energy state. Around midnight our cortisol levels are at their lowest level. There is a biological clock that “sets” the adrenal glands. That clock is the Earth.

Life on Earth was born within the womb of the Earth's electromagnetic fields and electrical fields. Healthy living and healthy adrenals existed as long as we were in direct contact with the Earth.

The Earth's vibration is 7.5 Hz to 12.5 Hz. In practical terms, the Earth has a “heartbeat” like a drum beating about 10 times per second. The Earth pulse is complex. The main source of the Earth pulse is the hot, churning, electromagnetic, magma core of the Earth. Another source of the “drum beat” is the sea of electrons that covers the Earth. That sea of electrons creates a powerful electromagnetic field that travels thousands of miles out into space (and further).

At noon , the sun is closest to the surface of the Earth, which causes excitation of the surface electrons. Late at night, when the Earth is coolest, the surface electrons are in a decreased state of excitation.

The Earth pulse or vibration is a global phenomenon. Weather at the equator plays a major role in global electromagnetic fields. Around 2 pm every day there are equatorial lightning storms. Over a 24-hour period the entire world at the equator is covered with electric storms and lightning strikes. This powerful electrical activity at the equator pulsates across the surface of the entire planet, for the electrons covering the surface of the Earth are a sea of electrons, a sea in motion that is affected by activity thousands of miles away.

All these various electromagnetic and electrical fields contribute to the daily variation in the Earth's pulse, which is why the pulse is as low as 7.5 Hz and as high as 12.5 Hz. For billions of years, life evolved within this vibration, and “all” of our body clocks evolved as a direct reflection of Earth vibrations. The adrenal glands involve the most important survival clock. When we are in direct barefoot connection with the Earth, our body is in its natural state, and our clocks tick along in their natural state. When we live in barefoot contact with the Earth, and not just for a few minutes a day, the adrenals operate smoothly and efficiently, like clockwork.

When we lost our Earth connection, our adrenal clock lost its guidance system. In the Western world, we walk around with shoes with synthetic soles, which guarantees that we lose all electrical contact with the Earth. As a result, our body's vibration is 60 Hz, which just happens to be the same vibration as the AC electricity that runs through our homes, work areas, and everywhere else. AC current is 60 Hz. We live in 60 Hz electromagnetic fields, and as a result, our body vibration is a very unhealthy 60 Hz. When we take off our shoes and make contact with the Earth, our body vibration instantaneously becomes identical with the Earth, which is about 10 Hz. When we spend some time in Nature, we feel things slow down. Part of that “slowing down” has to do with “synch-ing up” with Mother Earth. The human drum stops beating 60 times per second and begins beating 10 times per second.

The moment you put on your shoes or step into a building, your body goes back to a vibration of 60 Hz. When did this disconnect begin? The first shoes were made about 10,000 years ago. Leather-soled shoes began the disconnect, but leather is partially electro-conductive. Between 1957 — 1960 all the soles of our shoes became plastic, which totally shields or disconnects us from the Earth's vibration. The process of Earth disconnection was complete. Around 1970, there was a sudden rise in inflammatory diseases, especially arthritis, lupus, and multiple sclerosis. One has to consider that the final Earth disconnect 10 years prior may have had something to do with the rise in inflammatory disease. In the early 1980's, a new set of illnesses sprung up, which collectively are called Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (including Fibromyalgia). In the 21 st century, CFS has become more difficult to treat than it previously was. It was easier for me to treat CFS in 1990 than it now is. However, there are new technologies that are helping us turn the clock back, reconnect to the Earth, stabilize adrenal function, and heal CFS at the deepest levels ever.

In closing this section on our barefoot connection to the Earth, one study needs to be mentioned. That study showed that when people were in prolonged, direct contact with the Earth, their adrenal function normalized. Now, let's return from our discussion of Earth's electromagnetic fields, and talk about stress and adrenal exhaustion.

Testing the Adrenals

There are dozens of different stressors in our lives that throw us out of balance, causing our adrenals to produce various hormones to help reestablish balance. Stressors include:

1. Mental/Emotional

Unresolved conflict; time pressures and deadlines; powerful experiences that produce strong emotions, whether positive or negative; and long-term effects of child abuse/neglect.

2. Physical

Infections. Toxins. Trauma. Malnutrition. Lack of sleep. Dehydration. . . and dozens more.

3. Earth Disconnection

As you've already read, by losing direct skin contact with the Earth, our adrenals lose virtually all of the natural signaling that sets their biological clock. There is a tremendous burden on our adrenals caused by loss of the Earth's pulse. The “Earthbeat” helps our adrenals work fairly effortlessly.

Regardless of the stressor, the “stress response” is the same. Saliva testing has proven to be an accurate way of measuring adrenal function. Adrenal Stress Tests are available through a number of cutting edge nutritional/metabolic/functional laboratories. In this test, one collects saliva at 4 different times of the day, starting first thing in the morning and ending before midnight . The Adrenal Stress Test examines cortisol, DHEA, melatonin, estrogen, and testosterone, all of which are made by the adrenals. As we age, more and more estrogen and testosterone are made by the adrenals, whereas that is not the case earlier in life.

Stages of Adrenal Stress

Stage I: Mild Adrenal Exhaustion

In early stages of chronic stress, our cortisol levels rise, keeping us artificially revved up. The other main stress hormone, DHEA, decreases. Later on in Stage I, evening cortisol levels remain high (making it difficult for us to fall asleep) and morning cortisol levels begin to drop (causing us to wake up without the energy we need to start the day). Adrenal function is part of a feedback loop with the hypothalamus and pituitary glands. When cortisol levels are low, the pituitary produces more ACTH, whose purpose is to direct the adrenals to produce more stress hormones. As adrenal exhaustion worsens, more and more ACTH is produced.

Stage II: Moderate Adrenal Exhaustion

Cortisol levels throughout the day decrease, leading to greater exhaustion. DHEA continues to drop. As adrenal exhaustion progresses, the action of pregnenolone, the mother hormone of the adrenals, changes. In the “pregnenolone steal” excessive amounts of pregnenolone are converted into cortisol, and less is converted into all the other steroid and sex hormones.

Stage III: Severe Adrenal Exhaustion

Cortisol and DHEA continue to decrease far below normal levels, while ACTH continues to rise as the pituitary struggles in vain to turn the adrenals back on. This stage is “burnout,” and you just “can't take it anymore.”

Stage IV: Burnout

Regardless of the stressors, adrenal burnout produces a consistent constellation of symptoms and diseases, including:

Anxiety and panic, fatigue, poor endurance, allergies, low blood pressure, constipation, muscle weakness, low resistance to infection and disease, lack of well-being, trouble sleeping, sugar cravings, caffeine cravings, cold hands and feet, irritability, obesity, accelerated aging, hypoglycemia (a huge issue), and inflammatory symptoms such as joint pains. With adrenal burnout, sleep does not leave you feeling restored. Instead, you wake up tired. All of these symptoms combine to make many people feel depressed, hopeless and helpless.

In addition, adrenal burnout predisposes to cardiovascular disease, diabetes, immune suppression (and everything that results from a weakened immune system), and poor thyroid function.

Obviously, most of us have varying degrees of adrenal exhaustion. In order to know where you stand, and whether your adrenals are overtaxed (or totally overwhelmed), salivary adrenal stress testing is a simple way to know the facts about how your adrenals handle stress. Once you and your doctor have that information, you are in position to have treatment that is tailored to your specific adrenal needs.

In the next issue, you will be introduced to a breakthrough technology that helps restore adrenal function in a natural way. While Vitamins C, E, multiple B, pantothenic acid, adrenal glandular extracts, and pregnenolone will give your adrenals the nutritional support they need, you can do something every day that will be enormously helpful. Stand barefoot on the Earth for 30 minutes a day, or walk on the beach barefoot for 30 minutes. In that brief time period, your body will re-synchronize with the Earth's vibration and your adrenals will get reset to the world clock every day. This used to be folk wisdom. Now, it's solid science.

David Gersten, M.D. practices Nutritional Medicine, Integrative Psychiatry, and Interactive Guided Imagery out of his Encinitas office and can be reached at 760-633-3063. Please feel free to access 1,000 on-line pages about holistic health, amino acids, and nutritional therapy at


Dear Louise

Dear Louise,

First, I'd like to thank you for your books and all that you've done to make a difference in the world. I'm so grateful to you! I'm a student in Germany and moved away from home to get a college education. I'm blessed to have lovely friends, a good job, and to be able to go to school, too, but I don't have a boyfriend and this worries me. Sometimes I put myself down and think I'm not good enough. I know this isn't true and that God really loves me, but I still let this bother me. What can I do?

G.P., Germany

Dear G.P.,

My sense is that even though you've done a tremendous amount of work on yourself, there's still some fear that is standing between you and the life you desire, and that you're holding back from allowing a relationship to be in your life in the way that you wish.

You may have to reach back into your childhood relationship with your father or mother to resolve deep-seated fears surrounding a relationship. Ask yourself: What do I have to give up to be in a relationship? How do I lose me when I'm in a relationship? What messages did I receive as a child that created a belief in me that relationships are painful or not forthcoming?

I suggest that you work on loving yourself nonstop. Treat yourself to romance and love. Demonstrate to yourself how special you are. Pamper yourself. Buy yourself flowers. Surround yourself with colors, textures, and scents that please you. Life always mirrors back to us the feelings we have inside. As you develop an inner sense of love and romance, the right person will be attracted to you like a magnet.

A great affirmation for you is: I am discovering how wonderful I am. I choose to love and enjoy myself.


Dear Louise,

My mother-in-law's house has been for sale since June (almost nine months), but there have been no offers. She and my husband own it together. I've cleaned and staged it and done my affirmations. I even buried a small statue of St. Joseph in the yard, but still nothing. She has moved to a senior complex, as she's elderly and could really use the money. We could, too, for that matter. Any suggestions you could give would be appreciated!

D.J., St. Louis, MO

Dear D.J.,

You certainly have started out well by clearing the energy in the house. Now it's time to get out of your own way! Unfortunately, the old adage is true: What we resist, persists. You can actually allow the universe to bring to you that which you desire by focusing on something else for a while. In other words, for the next week, do something else other than worry about the house. Spontaneously call friends and go to dinner and a movie; do your favorite exercise or walk every day—basically, be creative. What do you love to do? Paint, dance, knit, write, sing?

And remember, this is fun. Make a game out of everything you do this week and make sure you don't talk to anyone, even your spouse, about the house or your mother-in-law. Let me know what happens after the week is over!


Dear Louise,

I've suffered with neck, shoulder, and back pain on my left side for many years. What causes this? Thank you!

P.R., San Francisco

Dear P.R.,

Masculine energy (right side of the body) has to do with the rational, more analytical part of each of us. Feminine energy (left side) is our artistic and reflective nature. When these aspects of ourselves are not in balance, our bodies can get out of balance as well.

The problems you're experiencing with the left side of your body are most likely the result of challenges with your mother or a strong female figure. Was your mother overly strict when you were a child? Was she rejecting of you, and so now you are of her, and therefore the feminine side of yourself as well? Look closely at your physical symptoms. Then sit quietly in meditation and ask your Higher Wisdom Self, which is always present, to guide you to understanding. Ask how those symptoms are connected to old thoughts and beliefs (especially when this first started), then open yourself up to information on what needs to be released and forgiven for healing to take place.

An affirmation for you to use is: I release all that once contributed to challenges with my left side. As I lovingly embrace all aspects of me, I exist peacefully in radiant wholeness and perfect health.

Louise L. Hay is a metaphysical teacher and the bestselling author of numerous books, including You Can Heal Your Life , Empowering Women, and I Can Do It! . Subscribe to the Louise Hay Newsletter! Call for a Free Issue: (800) 654-5126. Questions for Louise? Write to: Dear Louise Column, c/o Hay House, Inc., P.O. Box 5100, Carlsbad, CA 92018-5100 (letters may be edited for length and clarity). Visit Louise and Hay House at: or