This week I’ll be sharing a thought-provoking guest post by Matt Fisken. Matt is a stay-at-home Dad and environmental consultant who specializes in bio-electromagnetism and permaculture. He recently moved from Vermont to Central Pennsylvania with his wife and two-year old son.
I’d like to thank Janet for creating a super blog and for the opportunity to share some information with her readers. My hope is to encourage anyone with obsessive-compulsive disorder and/or other anxiety-related disorders (and their family members) to look for ways to reduce their exposures to electromagnetic fields (EMFs), as many who study the issue believe this is a key factor which is causing many of us to be stressed out.
Five years ago, I was working in academic information technology, but going to work became increasingly difficult over time. On most days, my ears would ring or feel pressurized (like on a plane), my focus would be impaired and my stress levels would go way up. Occasionally I would experience a rapid heart-rate, even though I was simply sitting at a desk doing work I enjoyed. People around me also seemed overly-stressed as well, so finally I decided to resign and recover from this challenging and confusing experience.
After a few months of feeling great, by pure luck I figured out I had been experiencing a form of radiation sickness called electromagnetic or electrical hyper-sensitivity (EHS) caused by an over exposure to EMFs. Upon visiting my former office with its scores of computers and electronics, those unpleasant symptoms returned within minutes, proving to me that—despite my skepticism—this was very real.
Next, I purchased a couple EMF meters to try to understand what was surrounding me and how it was contributing to my previously unexplained symptoms. I found that by turning off wireless devices in my home and keeping electronics out of the bedroom, I began sleeping better than ever and finding that daily life was much easier.
It didn’t take long to learn that I wasn’t the only one who was being affected by electricity or who found relief spending time in natural areas away from EMFs. People who had me test their homes also felt better and I became increasingly convinced that everyone—especially those with chronic stress and anxiety—had much to gain by reducing this invisible, energetic form of pollution.
There are a number of simple (and some not-so-simple) steps we can take to make our homes safer and more comfortable. It is critical for anyone who has children (especially with autism), is pregnant or trying to conceive, suffers autoimmune or environmental sensitivities (allergies) or has depression or anxiety to minimize their exposure to EMFs, which are generally divided into four categories:
1. Radio frequency (RF), microwave or wireless signals – Wifi, cordless phones, baby monitors, cell phones
2. AC (alternating current) electric fields – any live wiring in a home
3. AC magnetic fields – power lines and appliances
4. Dirty electricity – fluorescent lighting, dimmer switches, and power supplies
EMF pollution can vary widely from place to place, but levels typically depend on proximity to the source. Using corded phones or wired internet connections (ethernet) are a good place to start, but it is also best to avoid having things plugged in around your bed at night. RF exposure from cell phones can be easily limited by using airplane mode, speaker mode or an air-tube headset. Walking barefoot on the earth and taking an Epsom salt bath are two very effective ways to “discharge” and relax.
Since EMFs are invisible and the sources are not always obvious, testing is an important next step. A good entry-level meter is the Cornet ED78S, which measures both RF and AC magnetic fields. To detect all four kinds of EMF, I recommend the Acousticom 2 (for RF), the Gigahertz Solutions ME3030B (for AC magnetic and AC electric fields) and the Graham-Stetzer meter (for dirty electricity). Antennasearch.com can also be a very useful tool for locating radio/cell towers and safer areas without them.
While it is tempting to believe that we needn’t worry about EMFs due to their sheer ubiquity and the veiled assurances from industry and government, scientists who study bio-electromagnetism know that over-exposure to these modern, man-made frequencies can unnecessarily burden our bodies and minds. However, it is important to know that not all EMFs can be ameliorated, so we should focus on the “low hanging fruit” first and remember to avoid becoming overwhelmed by this new information. While there are many things that cause stress and anxiety in our fast-paced world, by limiting our exposure to EMF whenever possible, I have found the rest become much more manageable.