The 2019 EMF Conference for Healthcare Practitioners in California this past weekend was equally overwhelming, inspiring and empowering. It was overwhelming in so far as the scientific evidence supporting the seriousness and enormity of the deleterious impact of electromagnetic frequencies (EMF) upon both human health and the biosphere is incontrovertible.
Unless we learn to choose safe technology practices, today’s wireless technology continually pulses toxic microwave radiation at us. This includes our wi-fi routers, cell towers, cell phones, tablets, wearables, Bluetooth, baby monitors, gaming devices and more. This reality is frightening and enraging, particularly the official callous denial of the problem in the face of long standing and abundant scientific evidence.
At the same time it was moving and inspiring to be in community with brilliant scientists, concerned health care practitioners and responsible engaged citizens, all dedicated to learning more and raising consciousness about this most urgent issue relevant to us all. It was empowering in so far as there are a few relatively simple protective practices that we can all implement that will mitigate against the exposure. (tip sheet at the end of the post)
Topics that I have written about in the past such as mold or copper toxicity, mast cell activation syndrome or histamine intolerance pertain specifically to individuals suffering from these conditions. Exposure to EMF’s is a reality that effects all of us, and our children are particularly vulnerable. One of the best lectures at the conference was given by a child psychiatrist, Victoria Dunkley, MD who has written a book entitled “Reset Your Child’s Brain: A Four-Week Plan to End Meltdown, Raise Grades and Boost Social Skills by Reversing the Effects of Electronic Screen-Time.” She reported on cases from her practice where a radical improvement in levels of anxiety and depression, severe behavioral dysregulation and school performance resulted from a four week fast from electronics. Of particular concern is children’s exposure to EMF in the classroom. Education and activism in order to effect policy change is essential.
Two years ago I wrote a blog post entitled Electromagnetic Radiation: A Public Health Crisis, which I encourage all of you to read. It covers many of the fundamentals and includes a couple of informative videos. That post was inspired by a wonderful and accessible book, Overpowered: The Dangers of Electromagnetic Frequencies and What You Can Do About it. The author, the late Martin Blank, Phd, was a professor of physiology and cellular biophysics at Columbia University.
After reading his book I began to routinely talk with my patients about basic EMF safety measures, like turning off your router at night so that you are not bathed in electromagnetic frequencies as you sleep, putting your phone on airplane mode when carried on the body and keeping your lap top off your lap. But it was only after attending the conference this past weekend, did the clinical impact of this issue really sink in. I realized that I needed to be much more careful not only personally, but also in terms of thinking about EMF as a potential cause of the symptoms afflicting my patients.
Here is a list of early symptoms related to EMF exposure from an excellent e-course for families and schools created by Wireless Education, an organization focused upon education and training about the safer use of technology and the reduction of microwave radiation exposure.
The early symptoms may include one or more of the following:
- Inability to concentrate (also known as brain fog)
- Chronic fatigue and muscle fatigue without exercise
- Nose and/or ear bleeds
- Sleep disorders
- Tinnitus (ringing in the ears)
- Nervous and connective tissue pains of unexplained origin
- Skin rashes and/or tingling
- Susceptibility to infection from a lowered immune system
One of the most striking insights for me was that the symptoms which can result from EMF exposure can be indistinguishable from Mast Cell Activation Disorder, Mold Toxicity, Chronic Lyme Disease and Multiple Chemical Sensitivity. This is because the physiology underlying all of these conditions is the same: cellular inflammation. In addition it appears that these same conditions make a person more vulnerable to electro hypersensitivity. There seems to be a particular synergistic effect between exposures to chemical toxins and electro hypersensitivity.
Building biologists certified through the Building Biology Institute in Santa Fe can be consulted who will assess your home and make recommendations about how to improve its EMF health and safety. One of the most important areas of the home is the bedroom. EMF suppress melatonin production and lower sleep quality. Deep restorative sleep is essential to healing and supporting the health of the immune system.
There were individuals at the conference who were electro hypersensitive and would become very ill from exposure. Thus in the conference auditorium there was no wifi allowed and also none in the sleeping areas. Since attending the conference, and being more mindful to practice EMF safety, I have noticed that I feel cognitively sharper and am having less trouble with my memory and word finding. In addition my mood is improved and I feel less anxious. This has occurred only after one week of reduced exposure.
I also spoke with my children about EMf safety measures and ordered these headphones for them that offer EMF radiation protection. Two of them were using blue tooth ear buds which is linked with a higher risk of developing brain tumors. The website Tech Wellness offers a number of products that reduce EMF exposure.
I encourage all of you to make changes in your self care practices with regard to EMF exposure, as well as becoming engaged in your communities to raise consciousness about this public health crisis.
In the words of an ancient rabbi named Hillel: If I am not for myself, who will be for me? If I am only for myself, who am I? And if not now, when?
Here is a list of EMF safety tips from the Wireless Education Organization. Click on it to enlarge the image.
See the bibliography from “Overpowered” Martin Blank Seven Storie Press 2014 pp 249-267 for multiple references