Did you know that babies are born with more than 200 chemical toxins in their bodies? If babies have this many toxins, imagine how many more those of us who have been on this earth 40, 50, or 60 years have accumulated in our bodies!
Many of us are aware that environmental toxins of all kinds are harming us and that they are one of the foremost causes of most chronic and degenerative diseases. I talk about toxins in my recently released book, which I coauthored with W. Lee Cowden, MD, titled Create a Toxin-Free Body and Home, Starting Today (www.ConnieStrasheim.com). In this book, we provide a broad overview of the many different types of toxins that are contaminating our bodies and homes, along with simple tools and strategies for eliminating them, so that we can heal faster from whatever ails us.
While all toxins are harmful to the body and damage it in their own unique way, I've become particularly passionate about sharing what I know about what I believe is one of the most dangerous, insidious pollutants of our time: electromagnetic radiation (EMR).
Some of us don't take EMR that seriously, even though we've probably heard that it's bad for us. If we did, we wouldn't be carrying around our cell phones in our pockets in the "on" mode, or talking on them for hours daily. We wouldn't be using Wi-Fi in our homes, forgetting to turn off the circuit breakers in our bedrooms at night, or ignoring the smart meters installed outside our homes.
I suspect that this is because even if we have heard about how harmful excessive EMR exposure is, we figure that we have to function in this world with all the radiation-producing gadgets, so there's not much that we can do about it. Or, because EMR is a silent, invisible toxin and we often don't immediately feel its effects upon our bodies, we don't really believe that it's all that harmful.
Unfortunately, I think that EMR may be harming us more than some of us believe. Every month, I interview cancer doctors for a podcast interview that I do for the Alternative Cancer Research Institute, and those who have been practicing for over 20 years will often tell me that back when they started practicing medicine, it was rare to see children with cancer, and rare to find people with brain tumors. Now, they say, brain tumors are common – among the young and the old – and are a direct result of cell phone use, because the tumor always appears on the side of the head where the person uses his or her cell phone.
Numerous studies substantiate this finding, as well as others, which link different types of cancer with specific sources of EMR, such as leukemia and power lines. But because evidence about the damaging effects of EMR hasn't been widely published in mainstream media, people have been falsely led to believe that Wi-Fi, smart phones, and all the latest and greatest technological gadgets aren't that bad for you.
Anyway, these gadgets are fun, and make most of our lives easier because we can multitask while driving, cooking, or exercising, which makes it hard for us to say no to using them. A decorated smart phone or iPad that allows you to access Facebook or e-mail anytime, anywhere, is really hard to put down. So it's just hard to imagine that these fun, helpful gadgets are really causing cellular mutations and cancer. And even harder to believe that the radiation that we're exposed to from them could be what's keeping those of us with chronic health conditions from a full recovery.
However, if you take a look at the BioInitiative Report (www.bioinitiative.org), a 650-plus page report compiled by a group of scientists and researchers from 10 nations, you'll find plenty of evidence – over 2000 studies – about the damaging effects of cell phones and other sources of EMR, and the diseases that have been linked to them.
In my 2012 book, Beyond Lyme Disease: Healing the Underlying Causes of Chronic Illness in People with Borrelia and Co-Infections (www.beyondlymedisease.com), I also write about the dangers of electromagnetic pollution, and mention the late Dr. Professor Neil Cherry of New Zealand, a foremost pioneer in environmental health. According to Cherry, "EMR confuses and damages the cells' signaling system, which produces symptoms such as headaches, concentration difficulties, memory loss, dizziness and nausea, and long-term diseases such as Alzheimer's dementia, brain tumors and depression." Other researchers have confirmed Cherry's findings.
Lynn Quiring, RPh, CCN, NMD, in her paper "The Cell Phone Poisoning of America," lists a variety of conditions that can result from prolonged exposure to or are caused partly by EMR. These include Alzheimer's, autism, Parkinson's, heart disease, brain tumors, leukemia, fatigue, depression, immune system disorders, learning disabilities, memory loss, sleep disorders, lowered sperm counts, DNA damage, hormonal imbalances, and cancer. She cites over 66 scientific references in her work proving these associations.
Further, Dr. Thomas Rau, of the renowned Swiss Paracelsus clinic in Switzerland, stated in a 2009 interview published on www.emrstop.com that "… cultures of normal human endogenous bacterial cultures grow much less when exposed to EMR." This means that our bodies produce less beneficial bacteria when exposed to EMR.
Rau then states that this results in an overgrowth of bad bacteria that can bring about conditions such as Lyme disease. So he seems to be implying in his interview that EMR plays a huge role in allowing Lyme disease organisms to flourish in the body, and that by reducing our exposure to it, our bodies can mount a better defense against the microbes.
Some doctors and researchers, such as Cowden, have also found that infections such as mold multiply faster in the presence of EMR. Therefore, it is essential for all of us to avoid EMR as much as possible, so that our bodies have the best chance of recovery from chronic infections or other health conditions.
It doesn't help that the amount of EMR in the environment is increasing exponentially, as we construct new telecommunication and microwave towers, allow smart meters to be installed on our homes, use Wi-Fi instead of hardwired Internet, buy smart phones and computers for round the clock use, and so on.
I've experienced firsthand the detrimental effects of EMR upon my health. For years, I've lived in condominiums or apartment complexes, which are often awash in a sea of EMR from a multitude of Wi-Fi connections that come from the neighbors above, below, and adjacent to me.
But what has hurt me the most hasn't been the Wi-Fi exposure (although that in itself can be quite harmful), but rather the wiring in the ceiling in my most recent home – wiring connected to a huge outdoor lamp mounted on the exterior of my condo building.
Interestingly, I had measured the electromagnetic fields in my condo during the daytime, before I moved into it, but I failed to measure them at night, when that powerful outdoor lamp gets switched on. Which goes to show how challenging it can be to identify EMR sometimes!
It took me a while to figure out why my body was "buzzing" and vibrating during my sleep – and then I discovered that it was because of the powerful low-frequency electromagnetic fields from the wiring connected to that lamp! Imagine my dismay, when I'd thought I had finally found a home that was low in EMR.
The insomnia that had I suffered from, and which had been mild to moderate prior to my move to this home, suddenly became severe; and for over two years, my recovery from chronic illness was hindered as I lost the ability to function from severe sleep deprivation. To be sure, EMR wasn't the only reason that I wasn't resting and recovering, but it was a major one.
Some people might argue that I was susceptible to the effects of EMR because I've had chronic Lyme disease. Maybe so, but consider this: Lee Cowden, who is a very healthy, strong person, noted in our recent book that when a smart meter was installed on his home, within a very short period of time afterward, he became fatigued, and brain-fogged and developed atrial fibrillation (which is a potentially dangerous heart rhythm disturbance). Incredibly, his symptoms continued until he was able to get the smart meter removed from his home, at which time he returned to feeling healthy and energetic.
Not all of us can afford to live in a house out in the countryside, and putting our cell phone in airplane mode during the day is inconvenient, as is having to sit down to talk on a landline or use a computer on battery power. However, I believe that more of us would recover faster from our chronic health conditions and illnesses if we did whatever we could to reduce our exposure to electromagnetic pollution.
It's not easy. It's not a matter of doing just one or two things, but every step that you can take to reduce your exposure will bring you one step closer to total wellness. Below I mention some strategies that I have found to be helpful, which you can learn more about in Cowden's and my book,since it is beyond the scope of this article to describe them in great detail. I also mention these in my 2012 book, Beyond Lyme Disease. (www.beyondlymedisease.com).
First, turn off your bedroom circuit breakers at night. This reduces the amount of low-frequency fields to which you are exposed from your appliances and even the wall wiring while sleeping. Consider Graham-Stetzer filters to neutralize or mitigate the effects of the wall wiring (www.stetzerelectric.com).
Next, use a landline connection instead of Wi-Fi Internet, and use your cell phone only for emergencies, preferably on speakerphone. Headsets or Bluetooth devices will not protect you from the radiation emitted from cell phones, so I personally would not use these either. I have measured the fields that radiate from the headset using a Trifield meter and found them to be similar to when I hold the phone to my ear.
So-called radiation-free headsets that use air tube headset technology might be a bit safer, but it is more like using the speakerphone option on your phone than not talking on it at all, since the frequency signals still run up most of the length of the headset cord.
Sleeping under a metallic-lined Faraday cage at night is also a good idea. Faraday cages filter out high-frequency electromagnetic fields, such as those from microwave towers and Wi-Fi. If you are like me, though, and are exposed to low-frequency fields from appliances or wall or ceiling wiring, you'll also want to consider Graham-Stetzer filters or memon technology (mentioned later in this article). The Faraday cage will not filter out low-frequency radiation, which is just as dangerous as high-frequency radiation.
Also, avoid living close to microwave and other telecommunication towers. You can see how many antennas and towers are within a 4-mile radius of your home by doing a search on www.AntennaSearch.com. An area that is less densely populated might have 4 towers; denser areas might have 45 or more.
Next, do whatever you can to get the smart meter (if you have one) removed from your home. Some states, such as California, have created legislation that allows you to do this. For more information on how to get a smart meter removed from your home, visit www.stopsmartmeters.org.
During the day, when you are working, use a laptop computer on battery power whenever possible, rather than a desktop computer or laptop plugged into an outlet. Never place the laptop on your lap.
Finally, consider a technology such as memon transformers (www.memonyourharmony.com; note that the company's name is not capitalized), which are devices that will partially neutralize the effects of the EMR in your home or work environment. Not all EMR-protective devices are effective, and some can even be dangerous, especially when used improperly. Choose a company and device that have testimonials, studies, and a reputation to back their effectiveness.
I mention memon here because it has been studied in at least one university in Europe, and been approved for use in some schools in Europe. I have also personally benefited from this technology. (Note: I receive no financial compensation from memon for mentioning its products in this article).
Finally, you might want to try wearing an EMR-protective device, such as a pendant. I haven't personally found most of these devices to be effective, and some can even misalign your body's own energy even further, but you may find one that works for you.
One EMR expert whom I interviewed for the Alternative Cancer Research Institute, Dr. Elizabeth Plourde, a clinical laboratory scientist, medical researcher, and advisory board member of the American Anti-Cancer Institute, uses a product called bioDOT, which apparently has a homeopathic-like effect upon the body.
According to Plourde's website: "The bioDOT is programmed with powerful resonant Phi Technology®. The natural, coherent frequencies used in this programming harmonize your biofield. They remind it of its optimal functioning state, making it more coherent and resilient. It is like recharging your battery, restoring and rebalancing your energy." Thus, the technology is somewhat different from that of other devices that aim to block EMR.
Plourde sells these devices on her website, but she is also electrosensitive and believes that this product has been the only one of many that has enabled her to function and go out in public, when all kinds of other gadgets failed. I believe that there is no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to protecting the body against EMR, but the bioDOT may be helpful for some of us.
We can't avoid electromagnetic pollution, but by taking steps to mitigate its effects upon our bodies, I believe that many of us will find our energy increasing, sleep improving, and brain fog dissipating, among other positive benefits. I also believe that reducing our exposure to EMR will help those of us with chronic health conditions, such as Lyme disease, to heal faster, better, and more thoroughly.
Further Reading and References
A Rationale for Biologically-Based Exposure Standards for Low-Intensity Electromagnetic Radiation [online document]. http://www.bioinitiative.org. Accessed June 4, 2014.
Cherry N. Evidence that electromagnetic radiation is genotoxic: the implications for the epidemiology of cancer and cardiac, neurological and reproductive effects. extended from a paper presented to the conference on "Possible Health Effects on Health of Radiofrequency Electromagnetic Fields." 29 June 2000; European Parliament, Brussels. 2002.
Crofton K. Wireless Radiation Rescue. 2nd ed. Global Wellbeing Books; 2010.
Cowden W, Strasheim C. Create a Toxin-Free Body and Home Starting Today. Flower Mound, TX: ACIM Press; 2014.
Destructive interference [online article]. Memon International. http://www.memon-belgium.eu/en/research/principles/destructive-interference.html. Retrieved June 3, 2014.
Institute of Building Biology [website]. http://www.baubiologie.de/site/english.php. Accessed June 3, 2014. Plourde E. Interview [podcast]. Alternative Cancer Research Institute. 2014. Available at http://acri.cancerdefeated.com.
Quiring L. The cell phone poisoning of America [online article]. 2008. http://www.bibliotecapleyades.net/scalar_tech/esp_scalartech_cellphonesmicrowave17.htm. Retrieved June 11, 2014.
Rau T. Transcript interview with Dr Thomas M. Rau of the Swiss Paracelsus Clinic [online article]. Accessed June 2012.
Strasheim C. Beyond Lyme Disease. S. Lake Tahoe: BioMed Publishing Group; 2012.
Connie Strasheim is a medical researcher and the author of two books on Lyme disease: Insights into Lyme Disease Treatment: Thirteen Lyme-Literate Health Care Practitioners Share Their Healing Strategies, a best-seller within the Lyme disease community. She is also the author of the newly released book Defeat Cancer: Fifteen Doctors of Integrative and Naturopathic Medicine Tell You How. More information on this and her other books can be found at www.cancerbooksource.com and www.lymeinsights.com. She also maintains a blog on Lyme disease: http://www.lymebytes.blogspot.com.