Electro-Magnetic Field (EMF) sensitivity – Insights & Tips.
Where would we be without a mobile phone and, for many people, Fitbits or smart watches? These devices make life easier and can be beneficial to our wellbeing if used to monitor steps, heart rate or sleep patterns for example. Naturally, mobiles can save lives as we can call emergency services pretty much from anywhere, anytime. However, have you ever wondered what effect the constant exposure to these devices may have on your body, underlying systems and your overall health?
Invisible to the human eye, we are literally surrounded by Electro-Magnetic Fields (EMFs) – they can be of natural origin (the Earth has its own magnetic field) or, man-made. There are a vast range of EMF sources and given the age we live in and the ongoing evolution of technology, the list will undoubtedly keep growing.
Sources of EMFs include:
Mobile phones, laptops, smart watches, Fitbits, Blue Tooth earphones, computers, TVs, stereos, electric devices or tools, baby monitors, fluorescent lights, microwaves, mobile towers, Wi-Fi, smart meters (newer versions of electrical meters so power companies can read the data remotely through wireless transmission, can also be used for gas or water), cordless phones, any wireless technologies, bad electrical wiring (so-called ‘dirty electricity’), radio waves, X-rays.
The parts of the electromagnetic spectrum are characterised by their frequency or wavelength. It ranges from X-rays, UV light, visible light, infrared light, microwaves, Radio-Frequency energy to magnetic fields from electric power systems. How the body reacts to an EMF source depends on the frequency1.
My intention with this article is to help create awareness, give insights and provide some tips to protect yourself from EMF influences, if you see the need to do so. The content is by no means extensive, nor should it be considered as advice. Everyone has different needs - please conduct further research and/or consult with your GP or qualified healthcare professional to ensure the approach you select is tailored and right for you.
It is important to note that:
- Not everyone is sensitive to EMF - a lot of the times it affects people who are already sensitive to other things such as chemicals, certain foods, airborne particles and/or have significant health issues
- A very low-intensity EMF can have a therapeutic effect - it aids tissue repair and healing at a cellular level, examples are pulsed EMF or Red-Light Therapy (the latter I offer in the clinic for certain cases).
What is EMF sensitivity?
Electromagnetic Sensitivity (ES) or EMF sensitivity is a progressive debilitating condition due to exposure to electromagnetic radiation and fields. Researchers have been aware of it for ‘more than two decades’ (Dodge, 1970). Over the past 20 years, interest has increased and there is a lot more research available (if you go looking for it). Still, the EMF risks and impact on our health are not necessarily widely recognised (or don’t filter through effectively), this includes the medical world. This doesn’t mean they don’t exist right?
Effects of EMFs – Key call out’s.
EMFs influence metabolic processes in the body and have a biological effect on the cells via a range of mechanisms. EMFs disrupt the chemical structures of tissues since a high degree of electromagnetic energy absorption can change the electric current in the body. Subsequently, organ functions can be affected, according to the authors of the publication Effects of electromagnetic fields exposure on the antioxidants defense system (Kivrak et al, 2017) 2.
This review explains that biological effects of EMFs can be classified as:
- Thermal – associated with heat generated by EMFs in a certain area i.e. the interaction between radiofrequency (RF) fields and living tissues causes an energy transfer, resulting in a rise in temperature
- Non-Thermal – such as radiation emitted by mobile phones is absorbed by the skin and other superficial tissues, causing an insignificant increase of temperature of the brain or other organs; the effects can still be seen as an increase in free radical production in tissues.
This review also mentions that it doesn’t matter where EMFs occur in the frequency spectrum, they can cause a rise in levels of oxygen free radicals (reactive molecules), resulting in oxidative stress in body tissues.
You have probably heard of oxidative stress and free radicals and the damage they can cause to our cells including the DNA (and our genes!); inflammation forms part of it. This is why it is so important to have an antioxidant-rich diet to help balance the effects of oxidative stress.
Low EMF frequency (0-300Hz) and RF (10MHz-300 GHz) have been found to change the permeability of the important blood-brain-barrier (which protects our precious brain). These changes may allow heavy metals and in particular iron into the brain, triggering neuronal disorders and/or damage to the DNA. It can also lead to disorders that disrupt for example fertility and may even pre-dispose the development of autism. The hormone Melatonin can cross this blood-brain-barrier and provides some protection against EMF including oxidative stress, however, melatonin production is also impacted by EMFs.
EMFs are thought to affect calcium channels and predispose the body to lipid peroxidation where free radicals ‘steal’ electrons from lipids. Since the cell membranes are composed of lipids, this is a vital and ongoing concern.
As part of my ongoing professional development and EMF lecture (and related advanced kinesiology protocols), I also learned that EMF can be linked to mast cell activation - mast cells are a type of white blood cell found in our connective tissue, in particular under the skin, near blood vessels, lymph vessels, in nerves, lungs and the intestines. Mast cells are involved in wound healing, allergies and in anaphylaxis. Note, a very low frequency of EMFs can increase specific substances that are needed for mast cell differentiation and growth. However, EMF sensitivity is seen like an allergy due to the potential for mast cell activation. This occurs when the mast cells release too many mediators from within the cell such as histamines, cytokines, growth factors as a response to allergens, stress or danger, leading to inflammation and relevant signs and symptoms. For some people, this can happen when exposed to EMFs. Mast cells have been associated with many conditions including asthma, gastro-intestinal disorders, allergies or cardiovascular disease.
What are some of the signs & symptoms?
There is a vast range of signs and symptoms and some of the most common complaints relate to skin and nervous system issues including skin rashes, redness, burning, tingling as well as headaches, dizziness, heart palpations, profuse sweating, depression, memory issues, decreased learning ability or concentration difficulties.
EMF can impact sleep, the functioning of the immune system and the release of melatonin (the sleep hormone made by the pineal gland) and can also affect our circadian rhythm and connected hormone release from the hypothalamus in the brain.
Other signs or symptoms:
Nausea, digestive issues including abdominal pains/ diarrhoea, fatigue, fertility impacts, food intolerances or sensitivities, especially to carbohydrates, anxiety, blood pressure issues, tinnitus, sharp or tingling pain in fingers, hands, arms, weight gain, hair loss, unable to fly in comfort/ extreme jet lag, muscle aches.
There are many possible causes and connections as to how EMF can impact the body and systems. We are all unique and it depends on the individual’s genetics, environment, lifestyle and medical history. If a person’s system is already unstable due to stress or exposure to toxins/bacteria/mould/viruses etc, it is a lot more likely that EMF may have an effect.
Ways to decrease EMF exposure.
The reality is it is difficult to escape EMFs. Unless of course you go camping somewhere remotely and completely unplug. This type of scenario presents an ideal opportunity to destress body and mind and, nurture the soul – on a variety of levels. If you suspect that you have symptoms due to EMF exposure, it could be a great way to work out whether they ease when you are going off grid.
Generally, think of applying phone and electricity hygiene - there are plenty of suggestions on the internet and in the links provided under resources further below. Here are some ideas to get you started:
- Limit exposure to devices, especially in the bedroom – to ensure the best sleep quality possible, after all, the body repairs itself during sleep, grows tissues, renews cell energy and the brain consolidates learning / memories;
- Avoid charging your mobile phone next to your bed while you are sleeping
- Turn your mobile phone off or if you use it as an alarm, turn on flight mode when sleeping
- Switch off any electric devices and turn off power sockets (in the bedroom and elsewhere)
- Consider turning off Wi-Fi routers at nighttime – it is suggested to use an ethernet connection to minimise the impact of Wi-Fi (refer to reference links for more information)
- Avoid carrying your mobile phone directly on you – i.e. not in your pockets or shirt pockets (near the heart!)
- Use the speaker functionality when on your mobile – or use (wired) headphones rather than holding your phone against your head (near the brain!)
- Avoid any devices close to the body – this includes wireless accessories such as smart watches, Fitbits, Bluetooth headsets, even electric blankets
- Laptop – avoid using it on your lap or at least sit it on a pillow (you can get EMF radiation shields that the laptop rests on) – don’t use the laptop on your lap when charging
- Take regular breaks if you are working on a PC all day – walk away from the screen, take a few deep breaths (this is also beneficial for your mind and, your eyes)
- Microwave – while handy, consider not using it or minimise its use; personally, I haven’t had a microwave for 10 years, not necessarily due to EMF awareness, but because of a talk I listened to by Dr Charles Krebs, who tested the nutritional value of microwaved food (it wasn’t good, the majority of the nutrients are destroyed)
- Himalayan Salt Lamps – I have one in the clinic as they give off negative ions, which, despite the name, are good for us, thus help balance out the EMF exposure (which are positive ions)
- Epsom salt – filling it in a clear glass and keeping it next to your computer monitor helps absorb damaging radiation; I have been doing this for a long time; it is vital to swap the Epsom salt out on a regular basis (note, it is also beneficial to take a bath with Epsom salt to clear your energetic field)
- EMF blocking devices – these can be purchased online from a variety of providers
- From a personal perspective, I felt the impact of EMF a couple of years ago and while I don’t think it was the exclusive cause of my eczema flare up, it was identified (through kinesiology) that it contributed i.e. I was hyper-sensitive at the time; this is why I decided to buy these devices to protect my home, clinic, mobiles & laptop
- Do they help or is it a placebo effect? It is tricky to tell, but I figured it couldn’t hurt and was prepared to give them a go; interestingly, my skin issues resolved after putting them in place; I know the recovery was attributed to a variety of factors, like it typically is with skin conditions, yet I continue to use these blocking devices
- Consider plants – certain plants are known for removing toxins and purifying the air, such as peace lilies; my kinesiologist told me 15+ years ago that yarrow plants absorb harmful radiation; it is an outdoor plant, so it has to be swapped out on a regular basis
- Curious, I did a quick google search and came across a site which mentions a variety of other plants such as aloe vera, spider plant or the snake plant (which I know as mother in laws tongue)
- The author recommends the cactus as the best plant for absorbing PC radiation
- It is an interesting read, and some is backed up by NASA research, it also provides other links if you like to educate yourself more, refer to sources below.
My thoughts and other helpful practices.
The body is amazing and can cope with a lot. Yet when stresses compound and there is no end in sight, they build up in the system and eventually, it takes only one extra stressor to make it all collapse. To me it makes sense that if a person is highly stressed, run off their feet plus doesn’t look after themselves in terms of diet/ sleep/ hydration to call out some basics (and potentially has already some health issues), that this person is a lot more susceptible to EMF than a fit and healthy person.
We are all familiar with the cornerstones of a healthy body and mind such as being aware of and managing stress levels, getting enough sleep, incorporating movement and exercise, hydrating and eating nourishing foods. I would add conscious breathing and mindfulness practices to help keep our system stable and strong so we can deal with any type of challenges or influences with more ease.
I also believe that regular grounding and energy shielding practices are beneficial in protecting us from EMF and any other negative influences really, and this includes stress, viruses, other microorganisms or people’s energies. If this interests you, find more resources from the Complete Connection library below - click on the link to access the article:
- The Value of Grounding
- Maintaining a strong and balanced auric field
- The value of cleansing your energetic field & environment
- Switching on your relaxation response
- Thymus Tapping - Enhancing immunity & vitality
How can Kinesiology help?
I support clients in my clinic every day, clearing stresses and imbalances so they can leave feeling centred, aligned and more aware. Each session is uniquely tailored to each client. As an Advanced Kinesiologist, I have specific protocols that help with EMF sensitivities to help balance and strengthen the body and underlying systems to aid sensitivities and reactions. If you are experiencing any unexplained signs and symptoms or suspect EMF being the cause, feel free to give me a call and we can have a chat – Lexi :)
- Lecture and research notes provided by O’Neill Kinesiology College, special thanks to tutor and Advanced Kinesiologist Kim Moore (2021); this training included the publication by Marija M. Hughes, Nutrients in the treatment of electromagnetic sensitivity, an emerging disease available at http://francisholisticmedicalcenter.com/images/Electromagnetic_Sensitivity.pdf
- 1Information on the Electromagnetic Spectrum, provided by my esteemed tutor Ann Parker, The Power of Extraordinary Channels
- 2Publication by Kıvrak EG, Yurt KK, Kaplan AA, Alkan I, Altun G. Effects of electromagnetic fields exposure on the antioxidant defense system. J Microsc Ultrastruct. 2017 Oct-Dec;5(4):167-176. doi: 10.1016/j.jmau.2017.07.003. Epub 2017 Aug 2. PMID: 30023251; PMCID: PMC6025786 – available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6025786/
- Information by the EMF Academy, created by Christian Thomas, a premier source for EMF safety knowledge – he shares blogs and collection of articles; I referred to these links: