GP Dr Elizabeth Evans turned her health around after discovering she was sensitive to electrosmog. Here's her story, as told to Guy Hudson, and what you can do to prevent
or treat electrosensitivity
Ihad just had my fourth child, and already had three other children aged under six, when I started to notice that I couldn't sleep, felt 'wired', and was becoming more and more anxious.
After 12 weeks, when the baby started sleeping through the night, I continued to have problems sleeping.We then moved to rented accommodation and my symptoms got worse. That first night I could not get to sleep. Eventually I slept for about two hours and, when I awoke, I had a racing heart. It felt like an anxiety attack but in my body, not my head.
Over the next few weeks, I became increasingly bad-tempered and irritable. I noticed I was forgetting words when talking on the cordless phone and, when sitting next to our router, I felt a pressure sensation in my head and ear. For the first two weeks our landline wasn't connected, so I had to use my mobile a lot; my laptop also had a 3G dongle.
I was getting headaches and felt pressure in my head whenever I used a cordless phone, and if someone was using a mobile nearby in the playground, I would feel pain in the muscles across my back. But whenever I went for a walk in the middle of the countryside, I began to feel normal again.
Something in the air
Eventually I realized that something in my environment was causing these symptoms and began to work it out: we had a new digital baby monitor and a new Wi-Fi router directly below our bed. I was using a mobile-phone dongle on my laptop and our rented house was in direct view of a mobile-phone mast. By then I was severely incapacitated. I was sensitive to the electrosmog in town and became almost housebound trying to avoid wireless radiation. Luckily I was able to identify the problem because the time between my symptoms easing or going away and any reduced exposure to electrosmog was short. It's far more difficult to identify electrosmog as the trigger if your symptoms take a long time to appear. Soon I was able to really see which signals were causing the problem. I suspect I was slightly electrosensitive before the symptoms really hit me; I had always resisted Wi-Fi and didn't like using my mobile phone.
After my fourth pregnancy and breastfeeding, I was clearly run down and susceptible, and the massive increase in my exposure to wireless radiation coinciding at this time was the likely cause of my dramatic symptoms. I couldn't go to other peoples' homes; I couldn't even be in our living room because of the neighbour's Wi-Fi. Some areas of the house made me feel particularly unwell whereas other places, like the hall, were fine and I naturally gravitated to them. Subsequently we were able to confirm that microwave levels were lower in these neutral areas.
Once I suspected I was sensitive to electrosmog, I began searching on the internet to find out more about electrosensitivity and its symptoms-which range from headaches, heart arrhythmias, depression and mood swings to lack of concentration, allergies and even tinnitus.
We also immediately got rid of the Wi-Fi router and got a wired router instead and, after throwing away the baby monitor, my symptoms started to improve. We then had an electromagnetic survey done and got advice on how to further avoid ambient microwaves. I avoided hot spots and also tried various forms of shielding. I bought specially designed clothes from the US made from materials that block radiation, which helped me on the school run. Next we concentrated on the bedroom, where we installed a bed net and put shielding material over the windows; if you create a radiation-free sleeping environment, you have the best chances of healing.
Like many electrosensitive people, I had had a previous environmental condition-in my case, two years of myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS) in the 1990s-from which I fully recovered by addressing adrenal fatigue through a combination of nutritional therapy, homeopathy, acupuncture and osteopathy.
That experience made me realize that the body has an amazing power to heal itself when given the right support and nourishment; it also gave me an interest in the various complementary treatments available.
I joined the British Society of Ecological Medicine in 1999 and attended several of their teaching modules on allergies and environmental and nutritional medicine over the last few years. With my four children, I have learned a lot about the natural approach to health by treating their various illnesses and health complaints.
Once I started sleeping better, my health and tolerance of wireless radiation outside the home began to improve. I then began an intensive nutritional/supplement programme to support my adrenal glands. This often consists of boosting key hormones like cortisol, insulin and aldosterone by eating lots of eggs, dairy, nuts and seeds, and good fats like butter and coconut oil, while avoiding sugar (including from too much fruit) and refined carbs like white bread and rice.
The final piece of the puzzle
Supplementing with B-complex vitamins, and Chlorella and wild yam can also help. I also found that Nambudripad's Allergy Elimination Techniques (NAET)-an East-meets-West blend of non-invasive healing practices like spine manipulation and acupressure/acupuncture to clear away allergies and sensitivities of all sorts (see box, top right)-speeded up my recovery considerably. The final piece of the healing jigsaw was moving to our currently electrosmog-free home.
Since then, I have trained as an NAET practitioner, as I was very excited by the dramatic effect it had on my health. Most NAET practitioners in the US are qualified medical doctors, often allergy specialists whereas, in the UK, most are complementary practitioners.
I would advise anyone with an environmental or chronic illness to clear their home of all wireless and other electromagnetic-field-generating devices. They can stress out your system, which reduces your ability to heal.
One reason why conventional doctors generally overlook the possibility of electrosensitivity when diagnosing their patients' complaints is that they usually confine their questions to their patients' symptoms, not their environment. They are not trained to ask about the presence of baby monitors, Wi-Fi and cordless phones, and the use of mobiles, and they never visit their patients' homes.
Without this line of questioning, it's virtually impossible to identify whether a patient is electrosensitive. And as the idea of electrosensitivity is not taught in medical school, unfortunately
most doctors are unaware of it.
What is NAET?
NAET (pronounced 'nate') stands for Nambudripad's Allergy Elimination Techniques, and was developed by Devi Nambudripad, a chiropractor and acupuncturist based in California. The drug-free system uses kinesiology to diagnose, and acupressure/acupuncture to treat, allergic-type responses. NAET defines an allergy as a negative reaction to any agent that for most people would be neutral or even beneficial; it's a technique that can help with most conditions, not just the usual food allergies and hay fever.
NAET seeks to reduce allergic reactions and sensitivities by balancing and unblocking qi (chi) energy to help the body heal itself, using a blend of techniques like acupuncture/acupressure, chiropractic, nutrition and kinesiology. One allergen is treated at a time. It may take several visits to desensitize a severe allergen.
Beginning in 1983, over 12,000 practitioners all over the world have been trained by Dr Nambudripad.
All about Dr Liz
Elizabeth now leads a very full life as the mother of four children and as a NAET practitioner working with patients who have a wide range of conditions, including environmental allergies, chronic fatigue and electrosensitivity. She has also cofounded Stop Smart Meters (UK) (www.stopsmartmeters.org.uk), an organization with links to other Stop Smart Meters movements worldwide. This campaigning group aims to stop the use of meters that monitor, measure and communicate your gas, electricity and water usages to utility providers wirelessly through constant bursts of microwaves, 24/7.
In this role, she gave evidence last year to the House of Commons Select Committee overseeing the UK Smart Meters rollout on the adverse health effects of wireless radiation. She is also medical advisor to the Safe Schools Information Technology Alliance (SSITA; www.ssita.org.uk), which campaigns against Wi-Fi and mobile phones in schools to protect children from the adverse effects of wireless radiation, and has given lectures on these topics on several occasions. She can be contacted on firstname.lastname@example.org. Other British GPs who recognize and treat electrosensitivity include Dr Erica Mallery-Blythe (based in the US) and Somerset-based Dr Andrew Tresidder.
Physicist Guy Hudson is a electromagnetic surveyor, who helps consumers lower their exposure to excessive radiation and protect themselves from electrosensitivity, particularly to 'dirty' electricity.
Seewww.ben-e.co and www.ES-UK.info for more information.