It is common knowledge that a geomagnetic storm can disrupt the electrical grid, However would you be surprised if I told you it could also effect your nervous system? Ever since the abiogenesis of life we have been awash in a much larger electromagnetic field emitted from the Earth. As such all the functions of the human body occur within this same frequency range of the planets own geomagnetic field i.e. 0-30hz. We have co-evolved with this Schumann cascade and respond to subtle changes in it’s frequency pattern of oscillation, range and strength throughout our lives.
You see, electricity passes through human neural tissue much in the same way as it does through a circuit-board. Except that the “wiring” in our brain is made out of axons wrapped in myelin rather than metal in rubber. In circuit-boards, the cross-talk is further reduced by design but in organic life forms the insulating tissue allows for more cross-talk to occur at certain times (i.e. creativity, dreaming, geomagnetic storm) Remember, this signal crossing not only occurs between different parts of the brain and body, but also between the organism and surrounding planetary field.
A geomagnetic storm for example is interesting because small or moderate storms can gently stimulate the organism and amplify cross-talk in the brain while larger storms activate more of the whole brain but also increase the likelihood of seizure, and heart attack in people who are more susceptible, such as those with epilepsy/heart disease. In other words, a geomagnetic storm can have an invigorating, boundary dissolving effect on our psyche, but also during a larger storm we run the risk of “overloading”the circuit. Especially for the prison and clinical population, whose health is more vulnerable to abrupt fluctuations in the geomagnetic field. It’s important for these demographics that way pay attention to the Kp – Index in order to determine their potential risk factor each day.
The planet is basically akin to a giant magnetic oscillator, except that usually those frequencies stay within a certain range and don’t change very much too quickly. During a geomagnetic storm however, this is not the case, instead – there is several abrupt changes in frequency up and down coupled with a higher overall average frequency. This occurs more often during solar maximum when there are more sunspots and therefor a higher chance of solar activity in the form of solar flares and coronal mass ejections that can interact with the Earths magnetic field (resonating as a geomagnetic storm). Other more obscure but equally important contributors to geomagnetic turbulence will be explained in later articles.
The most relevant fact is that it has been proven over and over again how geomagnetic activity has an impact on the heart, brain and hormonal systems of the human body. This evolutionary story needs to be told if we are to gain an accurate estimation of what it takes for life to survive on our planet for longer periods of time. Lets go with the heart for now considering that it is one of the first things to develop. Geomagnetic storms appear to both simultaneously increase heart rate and decrease a specific measure of heart rate variability (HRV) called rmssd that “reflects the integrity of vagus nerve-mediated autonomic control of the heart”. RMssd has also been implicated in SUDEP i.ee Sudden Unexpected Death in Epilepsy
The Vagus nerve is the part of your body responsible for parasympathetic “rest and digest” functions of the autonomic nervous system. In the heart, a parasympathetic response would manifest as a decrease in HR. What this means is that a geomagnetic storm decreases your ability to inhibit the excitation response by slowing down your breathe, which would decrease your heart rate. This is further supported by the deleterious affect of powerful geomagnetic storms on stop-go breaking mechanisms within the brain, making it more difficult to”slow yourself down” or begin on time. Similar findings demonstrate how this impacts your behavior directly as an increase in sensory-motor reaction time.
The good news? For the longest time, we thought the parasympathetic nervous system acted entirely on it’s own but now we’re learning it can be controlled to an extent through training in breathe control, meditation, exercise, or taking a cold shower just to a name a few methods. There are even some herbs that calm the nervous system down, such as Jt Johns Wort and Passion Flower. Here’s the key – even though it may become more difficult to control your heart rate during a geomagnetic storm, it doesn’t mean it isn’t possible – this is just where any training and knowledge in medicine comes in most handy.
Remember that in the case of light to moderate geomagnetic storms there is a more benign stimulation of the brain that may be advantageous to mentally engaging activity. In other words, there are also more neutral effects on the brain that don’t necessarily indicate pathology, but suggest an accurate inter-generational adaptation to increased probability of natural disaster during a geomagnetic storm. This includes slowing down the overactive left hemisphere and increasing inter-hemispheric communication, especially between the left and right temporal lobe. It also includes a general increase in frontal and central lobe activity renown for it’s importance in judgement, process management, deduction, classification, navigation and strategy.
Note how all of those cerebral characteristics appear to complement the demands of a high pressure demanding environment, while the more social and artistic parts of the brain such as the temporal and visual cortex are not as active. This connection is further supported by an increase in Thoracic breathing (with the chest), which is a more fight/flight ready stance that forces the shoulders back and open, prepared for a change to the environment.
In the case of a powerful magnetic storm however there is an “overwhelming” effect where the bio-electrical circuit begins to breakdown, resulting in a greater chance of epilepsy, heart attack, crime, psychiatric admissions, and dysfunction of the central integrative apparatus within the brain, leading to an enhancement in “negative emotional background”. Again this probably has a lot to do with the decrease in Heart Rate Variability which is deeply related to emotional self-regulation. “Inhibition” appears to be the key word here. It becomes more difficult to “inhibit” your emotional response during a powerful geomagnetic storm, at least without repercussions (higher HR, heart attack in those prone, likely due to hypertension etc).
Might this have something to do with the correlation between solar storms, geomagnetic storms, earthquakes, and volcanic activity? It all seems to suggest that our body is preparing for an increase in literal physical demand, rather then simply mirroring an electrical signal from the atmosphere. In other words- it is as if we have evolved to neurologically prepare ourselves for the greater probability of selection pressure from natural disasters that are more likely (but not certain) too occur during a geomagnetic storm. With that being said, there does appear to be an upper limit to what we are capable of withstanding before it turns from stimulating to debilitating.