Managing electrosensitivity - could oxygen be an answer?
Michelle Berriedale Johnson charts her progress in dealing with her electro-sensitivity (including a run down on ES, what it is and how to manage it) and describes the oxygen treatment which appears to have made a crucial difference. If you just want to read about the oxygen treatment, click here. If you would just like to read the subsequent discussion on oxygen therapy, click here.
To get here I had to take the Eurostar to Paris, then a metro across Paris to The Gare de Lyon. A two hour wait in the station and then an electrified train with fluorescent lighting took eight hours to get me to Bourg St Maurice in the Haute Savoie from whence I took a taxi to Tignes, a French skiing village.
For those who are not familiar with ES or EMS (electro sensitivity or electromagnetic sensitivity) – a short primer:
Avoidance and protection
Locating the sourceThe first thing to do is to try to establish where your major sources of radiation are coming from. You can rent or buy detectors from EM Fields and The Health House and these will give you an idea whether you area being directly ‘targeted’ by a phone mast, a wifi system or a hands-free phone – all major sources of radiation.
Although the more sophisticated meters are obviously more accurate, I have found that the hand held A-COMED Electrosmog Detector which is relatively cheap to buy is not only useful for establishing EMR around your home or office but to carry with you on a daily basis so that you can dodge the worst areas of electromagnetic pollution.
Although phone masts emit 360degree radiation, they do also have a strong directional beam which you want to avoid if you possibly can. Although radiation can, and does, penetrate through buildings they enormously reduce its levels so moving around in your own house may even help. For example, I managed to escape the direct beams from my local masts by moving my office from the first floor (in direct line of fire) to the basement where the main beam was two floors above my head.
If you can possibly avoid it, do not use a mobile. If you have to, then text only and turn the phone off when you have finished with it.
Try also to avoid gatherings of people, all with their phones on, even if they are not actually speaking on them. If necessary, just ask people to turn them off while you are in the room – they all have answer phones so their lives will not come to an end!!
For what it is worth, I thought that I would really miss my mobile when I stopped using it but, apart from the odd occasion when I have been trying to meet someone and failing to link up, I have not missed it at all. I do now carry a mobile but only use it for texting and do not turn it on unless I wish to send a text or am expecting to receive one.
For a huge amount of research and comment on phone masts, mobile phones and their effects on health see mobile phone section of our website.
Hand free phones, baby alarms and chargers
At the same time you might want to try to minimise your ‘dirty electricity’ – if you have read the article about lighting above you will already have read about ‘dirty electricity’ - if not, read now… For a more technical approach read this article.
You can buy dirty electricity filters from the UK supplier of the Stetzer filters www.ark8.co.uk and I have certainly found them very helpful.
TVs and computers
Ideally, you would also have an LED screen (see my piece on LED screens). Since I got mine I have been able to use a computer fairly normally whereas before I was having to sit about three feet away from the screen and could only work in relatively short bursts!
To achieve this you need to ensure that you sleep in a room with the lowest possible level of electromagnetic radiation – walls or windows shielded if necessary. You can also get shielding bed canopies (like a mosquito net) if it is not possible to shield the room – again from EMFields.
You should have no electrical equipment in your bedroom (no TVs, phones, phone chargers, electric blankets, radio alarms) and ideally you should not have any metal either as metal is a good electricity/radiation conductor – so, if possible, a wooden framed bed.
However, to get a really clean sleeping environment, the ideal is not just to unplug all electrical items but to be able to turn off the electricity altogether while you are asleep. Depending on how your wiring is organised you may be able to do this by installing an ‘on demand’ meter (from EMFields and others). Due to the quirky installation of our wiring I cannot turn off my bedroom without turning off the burglar alarm and the central heating… but I can, and do, turn off the ring mains on my bedroom floor every night.
Many people also find other complementary therapies helpful – I regularly have acupuncture from a Chinese medicine practitioner – others find many of the relaxing therapies such as yoga very good. You really need to experiment with what works best for you. See our CAM section for some ideas – and my blog post about Yoga Nidra.
It was of course, John Scott (who has largely ‘cured’ his total food intolerance and crippling rhinitis with helminthic therapy) who pointed me in the direction of oxygen therapy via an American book by Madison Cavanaugh called The One-Minute Cure: The Secret to Healing Virtually All Diseases.
The premise of the book – and the therapy – is very simple. What is the element without which we cannot survive for more than 15 minutes, which makes up nearly 70% of the body and provides us with 90% of our biological energy – that is, effectively, our ‘life force’? Oxygen.
Madison Cavanaugh touches on ozone machines and hyperbaric oxygen chambers as other ways to deliver extra oxygen (see Jane Dean’s article on Hyperbaric oxygen and inflammation) but his preferred delivery system is food grade hydrogen peroxide.
Addendum – long term fall out....
There has been some long term fall out from eight days of exposure which the oxygen has not been entirely able to counteract.
This week I have noticed that my senstivity to EMR has been significantly heightened and that I am uncomfortably aware of things such as car radios, which have not bothered me for a long time. Yesterday (exactly two weeks since I got back) I think I had an encounter with a hidden phone mast which certainly got to me. But I went to bed (in my virginally pure, electric-free bedroom) at 9.30pm and slept for nearly 10 hours and this morning I felt fine...
Watch this space...
Six months later
I am well back to pre-ski-ing levels and probably better. I still feel uncomfortable (and even get chest pain) if I remain too close to any of the usual triggers for more than a few minutes but am much more tolerant of street level electrosmog and am able to visit theatres, cinemas, other peoples' houses, use buses (ideally not tube trains although I have done twice without too many ill effects), shop (provided the ceilings are not too low) and generally lead a more normal life. That said, I do still spend most of my time in my well shielded, low emmission home but that is from choice and because my work lies there – I am certainly no longer imprisoned in it as I once was!
In a recent email exchange with Dr Andrew Goldsworthy I mentioned the success that I had had with the hydrogen peroxide. (I had previously discussed this with members of the McCarrison Society who, though interested, felt that there must be some other mechanism at work as they believed that the active constituents of the H2O2 would have been destroyed by saliva and stomach acids long before they could read the blood stream.) This was Dr Goldsworthy's response:
Your trick with the hydrogen peroxide looks interesting. It must be effective at much lower concentrations than you are drinking since your saliva (and the rest of your body) contains a very active catalase enzyme, which would destroy most of it before it entered the bloodstream.
He then, in a subsequent email, enlarged on this in response to my comment that although I had dramatically lowered my exposure to EMFs I had not eliminated it. For those who are struggling to get their heads around the first three paragraphs of the explanation, there is a 'layman's' version below.
Regarding the hydrogen peroxide, surprising as it may seem, it is possible to have too little radiation. To all intents and purposes, non-ionising radiation has much the same biological effects as ionising gamma rays in that they both give most of their effects by damaging cell membranes and generating reactive oxygen species, albeit by different mechanisms. Consequently, our body's mechanisms for coping with non-ionising microwave radiation probably makes use of those that evolved originally for dealing with ionising radiation.
With regard to why too little radiation is harmful, there have been a number of experiments on microorganisms and animals that suggest that this is true, at least for ionising radiation. The phenomenon is called radiation hormesis.
January 2012 - Ed:
Sarah Dacre, a trustee of ES-UK and herself a sufferer from ES made the following helpful comment:
I have been advised that if you take H2O2 while you have dental amalgam then it will increase the leaching into the body of mercury which is a toxin known to cause various environmental diseases. As a result my own therapist advises against hydrogen peroxide therapy until all mercury amalgams have been removed.
First published in April 2011, updated January 2012