Pulling the plug on the cordless phone – how giving up the family's cordless phone dramatically improved their eight-year-old's behaviour.

This story was first published in Latitudes, the on-line newsletter of the excellent Association for Comprehensive NeuroTherapy, a non-profit American organisation which explores non-drug based, often nutritional, approaches to treating anxiety, autism, attention deficit/ hyperactivity disorder, depression, obsessive compulsive disorder, tics and Tourette syndrome, and learning disabilities.

From Mary in Michigan: When I unplugged our cordless phone system, I had no idea what a difference it would make in our lives. My reason for unplugging it was that within one year, two of my friends were diagnosed with terminal brain cancer. Both were big cell phone users.

Did cell phone use cause their cancers? I didn’t know, but I decided I should be proactive and reduce radiation exposures to my brain. So, in addition to avoiding cell phone use, I unplugged the cordless phone system we used throughout our home and switched to an “old fashioned” corded land-line.

That’s when I was hit with a big surprise. For years my eight-year-old daughter has been prone to bursts of anger. These usually occurred at home, once or twice a day, and it almost seemed as if she really couldn’t control herself. We were puzzled, and tried all the typical means of attempting to modify her behaviour. Well, ever since I unplugged the wireless phone we have not had one incident like this! The change has been truly miraculous. As a side note, the base set of the system sat only a few feet from where my children spent much of their time.

This child has suffered with Lyme disease for most of her life, and she deals with tics along with symptoms of obsessive compulsive disorder. When searching for help a year and a half ago, I found Sheila Rogers’ book Natural Treatments for Tics and Tourettes and the Latitudes.org website and Forum. These were a big help, and based on recommendations from those resources we keep life as clean as possible in terms of limiting toxic exposures in the home environment, and we focus on wholesome foods. As a result, my daughter’s tics and OCD symptoms improved, but the mood swings continued until switching the phone system.

I then started looking into the effect of electromagnetic field (EMF) exposure on health and behaviour, and I found lots of material, including an article that Latitudes had published. We started making other adjustments:

• We now very rarely turn on our wireless computer router, and when we do it is for a short period.
• We disconnected an interconnected smoke alarm system that ran on wireless.
• There are no plugged in lights or clocks in our daughters’ room at night.
• We would like to go the extra step in turning off the fuses to the bedroom at night, but we live in a complicated old house and are working on a way to do this.
• I bought a “Tri-Field meter” to measure EMF exposures in the home so I can see where the hot spots are.
• I contacted an EMF expert to see how we can further reduce the exposures in our home, but the recommendations are costly, so we have not yet gone forward with those changes.

While I think having less EMF exposure benefits our whole family, this one daughter has had the most obvious, dramatic results. She is quite neurologically sensitive, as are many of the kids whose parents seek help through Latitudes.org. I like to think of her as our canary in the coal mine.

Of course, I realize my daughter gets exposed to wireless/cordless emissions in a lot of places, including in her school (sadly!). I can't really keep her in a bubble. My thought has been to keep our home as much of a sanctuary as possible, and give her a "break" from the exposures she encounters everywhere she goes.
From what I have read, different people may react to different wavelengths, so some exposures may be more problematic for certain people than others.

This may sound a little “out there” for some people. But I’m a believer now. While I imagine many folks are not willing to give up the convenience of a cordless phone in their home, I can testify that it is worth the effort.

Note: I used to post on the ACNOnline Forum on Latitudes.org, then stopped when tics and OCD were better. After success with the cordless phone switch and major behavior improvement, I went back to the forum and posted a note. The responses have been both interesting and informative.


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First Published in 2010

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