I wrote here in more depth on electromagnetic fields (EMF) as a potential obstacle to cure: what it is, and how it affects the body.
In a nutshell, there are four kinds of EMF:
- Electric fields (EF), which are produced by the flow of electrons in a circuit. These come from wall sockets and appliances primarily.
- Radio frequencies (RF), which are the transmission of data through the air. These include radio waves (of course), cell phones and cell towers, baby monitors, bluetooth, wifi, and microwaves.
- Magnetic fields (MF), which are the magnetic fields produced perpendicular to the current, or flow of electricity. These occur near any powerful appliance while it’s in use.
- Dirty Electricity (DE), which is electric current that strays from its proper location. More on this below.
EMF’s Effects on the Body
I wrote here on the effect of these sources upon the body. The bottom line, so far as we can tell, is that EMF disrupts the flow of positively charged ions. Since your muscles (including the smooth muscle of your organs) and nerves function via the flow of ions, this has the potential for significant disruption of function. Not only that, but the subsequent free radical production from this disrupted flow can lead to mitochondrial dysfunction. Since mitochondria are the powerhouse of the cells, the possible symptoms from this are many and varied.
Some of the most common symptoms of EMF sensitivity include fatigue, headaches, insomnia, tinnitus, trouble with focus, concentration, and memory. It also seems that hardly a week goes by that I don’t see a new headline on the correlation between EMF and the worldwide decline in sperm count. All of these symptoms are fairly non-specific, of course, and can be caused by many other things too, though.
EMF is everywhere; unless you move way off grid, you can’t get away from it. Even if you did do that, there’s no guarantee your oasis would remain so. Also, as with every other kind of toxin, there are some “canaries in the coal mine”—but not everybody is noticeably susceptible to EMF. At least not yet.
So, is it worth worrying about?
Are EMFs YOUR Root Cause?
Because EMF is everywhere, this is a difficult question to answer for most people.
It might be a little more obvious if, for example, all your symptoms started after the a new cell phone tower went up right next to your house, or place of work. You might not always know about it (sometimes they’re not obvious), but you can find out if there’s a tower near you on this website.
Or, did you start noticing a downward trend in your health somewhere around 2019-2020? Obviously there were a few other things going on in the world at that time, but that time frame coincided with the rollout of 5G, too. If you felt like you got significantly worse just after upgrading to a 5G device, that could certainly be a clue.
Paul Harding of totalemfsolutions.com noticed that his EMF sensitivity began very abruptly after the installation of a smart meter on the other side of his bedroom wall. That was a clear clue, though these days nearly everyone has a smart meter; it’s unlikely that you’re just now getting one installed. If you moved into a new place and happen to have the smart meter located much nearer to your bedroom than in your previous residence, though, that might be a clue.
Did you suddenly (or even gradually) feel much worse after you began to work in front of a computer, or right next to a wireless router or modem, or in an office building under a panoply of fluorescent lights? Or after you began to use your cell phone as an alarm clock, and started plugging it in right next to your head every night? Or after you started using bluetooth earbuds?
If your answer is yes to any of these questions, or if you’re otherwise still suspicious, you might ask your doctor to run urine testing for secondary porphyria, which can be a potential consequence of EMF toxicity. These tests include urinary porphobilinogen (PBG) and δ-aminolevulinic acid (ALA), and also serum and urinary zinc (we’d expect zinc to be low in the serum and high in the urine). There are also specialty urine tests that can demonstrate DNA damage, and OAT testing can demonstrate markers indicating mitochondrial dysfunction. None of these are absolutely diagnostic of EMF toxicity, of course, as they can be caused by other types of toxic exposures, as well. But they can certainly provide another clue.
Another quick way to determine whether EMF might be your root cause is to go camping off grid for a few days, or turn off the breaker to the whole house at night, and see how you feel. If you suddenly feel like a million bucks, but don’t want to have to live like that indefinitely, read on.
Practical Steps to Mitigating EMF Exposure
For anybody who wants a deep dive on this subject, I’d highly recommend “The Non-Tinfoil Guide to EMFs” by Nicolas Pineault—it’s the most straightforward, least overwhelming source I’ve read.
So here’s the good news: the levels of EF, RF, and MF on the body decrease exponentially as you move away from the source. (You can prove this with a gauss meter, which you can purchase on Amazon for just over $100.) That’s very helpful—if it happens to be a source you can get away from.
Here are some of the practical steps you can take to minimize your environmental exposure.
Your cell phone:
- Turn it off, or put it on airplane mode with bluetooth and wifi off when not in use. If you can’t be unreachable, at least turn off bluetooth and wifi, and keep it as far away from your body as possible.
- If you typically carry your phone in your pocket, turn it on airplane mode, with bluetooth and wifi off when you do so. If you can’t do this, carry it in a faraday cage. This one will shield your body while still allowing the phone to work, as it’s shielded only on one side.
- When you are using your phone, use it on speakerphone, as far from your head as is practical.
- If you use your phone to listen to videos, books, music, etc, download them to your device first if possible. That way, your phone isn’t constantly reaching out to the satellite or cell towers for signal as you listen.
- Do not make calls or use your phone when the signal is weak.The weaker the signal, the higher the EMF, as the phone has to work that much harder to establish a connection.
- Don’t make calls while walking, moving, or driving; use the phone when still. If you’re moving, same issue: connections are constantly changing, getting stronger or weaker depending upon your position relative to the nearest cell phone tower. This requires higher EMF to maintain the call.
- Don’t use bluetooth. Get rid of earbuds; choose air tube headphones if you can (though honestly, I haven’t found any air tube headphones that have an audio connection that works with the latest generation of iPhones). If you can’t use air tube, wired headphones are still an improvement. If you must use earbuds, find out if they are class 1, 2, or 3; class 1 are the worst from an EMF standpoint. (You might have to reach out to the manufacturer to find out, as they’re not required to disclose this.)
- Don’t put your laptop directly on your lap, or protect your lap with a harapad (a pad lined with metal to block EMF penetration into your lap). Bonus points if you connect a plastic keyboard and plastic mouse via USB (the metal conducts; plastic doesn’t).
- Keep the router far away from bedrooms or high traffic areas.
- Turn off your wifi at night if you can; there are timers you can plug the router into that will automatically shut off at the designated time, much like the kind you’d use for your Christmas lights or a crockpot. If this isn’t an option in your household, you can purchase (or make, if you’re crafty) a faraday cage of cloth woven with silver wiring to drape over your router and modem. (This will attenuate the signal, though—just be aware of that.)
- Plug your computer into the ethernet rather than using wifi, if it’s an option.
- Turn off wifi and bluetooth on any devices that aren’t using them.
- Use your computer (and all devices) on battery power; only charge when not in use. This is especially important for any device that has a “brick” plug, not just a normal plug; the “brick” indicates that it’s converting the normal 60 Hz flowing from the outlet to the amount the device requires, which means it’s a significant source of dirty electricity (see below).
- Don’t keep anything plugged in near your head at night. Switch to a battery powered alarm clock if you can, and a battery powered lamp on your nightstand… or else, unplug the lamp at night, and use your cell phone as an alarm (but unplugged, on airplane mode, with wifi and bluetooth off, as previously mentioned.)
- Unplug appliances when not in use.
- For any appliances that require close proximity to your body, use them on battery power if you possibly can.
- It’s best to just not use your microwave, as it’s an extreme source of RF and MF when in use. But I get that this isn’t too practical for most of us—so at the very least, don’t stand in front of the thing while it’s on. Get as far away from it as you can.
- Especially if your smart meter is located near a bedroom or a high traffic area, call your utility company, and see if they’ll let you swap it for an analog one instead. If they refuse (which they might—it makes more work for them), get a shielding cage for it, and cover the back of the meter with metal. (Do be aware that this might mean it won’t work as well though… same issue as with the faraday cage for the wifi router.)
“Dirty” electricity occurs when electricity isn’t confined to its proper place. If, for instance, an appliance doesn’t use the 60 Hz flowing from the outlet, but requires some other amount, it requires a converter (which usually look like really big plugs). The conversion itself creates a bottleneck of current, and whatever doesn’t get funneled into the device dissipates into the surrounding environment. That’s dirty electricity.
Smart devices and appliances with brick converters are significant sources of dirty electricity.
So are energy-efficient appliances of all kinds. They achieve energy efficiency by interrupting the flow of current from the outlet thousands of times per second—which, again, creates that bottleneck. Lighting fixtures are often a source of dirty electricity, especially those with dimmer features (that of course requires a step-up or a step-down of energy), or those with LED or fluorescent bulbs. The old school incandescents are a far better choice, if you can find them. Solar panels are significant sources, too, so I’d think hard about whether you really want to install these.
Dirty electricity can also occur from the wiring in the house itself, propagating frequencies from appliances and wireless technology elsewhere in your home along the wires, and then radiating it out into your living space.
You can measure dirty electricity with a Stetzerizer Meter, designed just for this purpose. The same company makes dirty electricity filters that can plug into outlets, significantly reducing it. Of course it’s always best to get rid of the source if you can; this step, most sources agree, should come last, since the filters can only mitigate so much.
Connecting with the Schumann resonance of the earth is indisputably beneficial, as are negative ions from all natural sources. If you’re off grid or walking barefoot on the beach, then fabulous.
There are products that claim to simulate this experience, such as grounding mats, pads, and sheets, with three-pronged plugs. The idea is that the bottom plug connects to the “ground”… but what it actually connects to isn’t the clean earth, per se, but the ground in your building’s wiring system. If the wiring system is faulty, this is a big problem. Even if the wiring system was done properly, though, it’s still probably carrying some dirty electricity from elsewhere in your home, and possibly from your neighbors’ homes too. This is why sometimes people feel worse when they use these products.
There’s even some controversy regarding contact with the actual ground itself, in urban areas. This is because, according to many sources, power companies will dispose of stray current into the earth, creating yet more dirty electricity even outside. So if you’re not off grid, and you have a gauss meter, it’s not a bad idea to use it before making a daily habit of grounding in your backyard. You should also pay attention to how you feel; if you feel worse after grounding in your backyard, that’s a sign that there is probably some stray current where you are, and grounding there is likely not a good idea.
Grounding can be done barefoot, or through any footwear with a non-insulating surface (thick socks or leather soles work). Bonus points if you do this first thing in the morning, so that you can get the circadian benefits of early morning sunshine, too.
If you love your technology, and you’re healthy with no complaints, you might just want to take one or two of the recommendations above—whatever’s easiest for you to implement. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, as they say.
If you think this might be you, though, go for a long weekend off grid, or turn off the power to your house for a night or two. See what happens.