“Something is wrong with my heartbeat. Is it serious?”

Every cardiologist and family practitioner hears this question from frightened patients. It usually refers to arrhythmias, a common occurrence involving an irregular heart rhythm. In essence, your heartbeat goes off cadence.

Arrhythmias can range from simple skipped heartbeats called premature ventricular contractions, or PVCs, to the more serious varieties like atrial fibrillation and malignant ventricular irregularities. They are frequently set off by emotional stress and turmoil that generate heightened sympathetic activity.

PVCs are generally benign arrhythmias involving skipped or extra heart-beats, or combinations of the two, that can also be generated by too much caffeine and alcohol, deficiencies of magnesium and potassium, and different cardiac conditions.

PVCs may occur when you settle down in bed, may wake you up in the middle of the night, or may grab your attention when walking the dog or working on the computer. They can happen randomly. If they happen frequently enough, they scare the heck out of you, and send you running to your doctor or even the emergency room.

PVCs involve a misfiring of the bundle of cells that regulate the electrical conduction to the ventricles, the two lower chambers of the heart due to some “irritability” of the heart muscle.

Earthing can be very helpful to curb PVCs, as the following story illustrates.

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