Humans are energetic beings. We have been dependent on the earth and the sun’s electromagnetic fields for survival as a species from the beginning of time. Nowadays, we’re beings of electricity. We’ve engineered electricity to power and run our modern-day world. Technology has become part of our lives, making us faster, smarter, and more efficient than ever. However, as we continue to develop new technologies, it’s important that we stop and consider the potential consequences of having our technology evolve faster than we are.
How do EMFs interfere with our biology?
Man-made electromagnetic frequencies, or EMFs, have been called into question for some time over concerns regarding their interference with our internal bioelectrical system . EMF expert Dr. Carlos Ritter joined me on my podcast to discuss this topic (you can listen to our full conversation here). He explained, and EMF researchers agree, that the mechanism of low-frequency EMF damage is its direct impact on our cell’s voltage-gated channels.
Voltage-gated channels, or receptors, move ions (i.e., potassium, magnesium, calcium, and sodium) in and out of our cells to create electrical gradients. These electrical gradients are responsible for conducting our heartbeat, firing neurotransmitters, regulating cellular division, clean-up, apoptosis (programmed cell death), and virtually all other cellular communication systems in the body. The central nervous system, cardiovascular system, and immune system especially rely on the movement of ions across cell membranes to function. Man-made EMFs interfere with our cell’s internal circuitry, resulting in free radical production, DNA damage , and lower antioxidant levels .
What the research says
In 2011 the World Health Organization classified EMFs as a Group 2B possible human carcinogen based on substantial evidence linking them to leukemia, brain cancer, breast cancer, tachycardia, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease, reproductive and developmental abnormalities, ADHD, autism, and more . Radiofrequency EMFs, or extremely low-frequency EMFs, include cell phones, Wi-Fi, computers, microwaves, satellites, power lines, radio, and television. More recently, a subgroup of studies from a meta-analysis found that cumulative cell phone use for 17 minutes per day over 10 years was associated with a 60% increased risk of brain cancer .
Apply the precautionary principle
Currently, there are no tests for the short-term effects of EMF exposure because the body is incredibly efficient at repairing and healing damaged DNA. However, most of us are within an arm’s reach of technology at all times—and we’re not 100% certain of the repercussions of chronic EMF exposure yet. Since we don’t know the long-term effects of chronic EMF exposure, we can apply the precautionary principle based on what we do know regarding the link between EMF exposure and adverse health outcomes, and start taking action to reduce our exposure.
EMFs are everywhere and not going anywhere anytime soon. That’s why this week, I wanted to use my evidence-based protocol to lay out some ways you can reduce your EMF exposure—no tin foil hat required—and “Splurge!” items and practices I’ve found helpful in reducing and counteracting my EMF exposure.
I. Protect your sleep! We live in the internet era, and for many, work requires the use of smartphones, laptops, computers, and tablets; there’s no denying that. We can’t always control our environment or avoid the fact that technology has become an integral part of our daily lives. However, when it comes to sleep, we definitely don’t need to be plugged in.
Our brain’s immune system, or glymphatic system, is on full steam while we’re asleep. It repairs damaged DNA, cleans up cellular debris, and is working to recover from the daily firing of its over 120 billion neurons . EMF exposure, while we’re asleep, interferes with our brain’s ability to hit the reset button after a long day’s work, and can cause brain fog, fatigue, poor concentration, memory loss, and headaches the next day 12]. This is why I’m such a big proponent for taking the steps necessary to get quality sleep—because so much needs to happen while we’re at rest.
1. Clean your bedroom of dirty electricity. Dirty electricity refers to the EMFs emitted from the electrical wiring of homes and buildings , in other words, it’s the outlets we plug into: TVs, power cords, smart devices, appliances, even light dimmer switches, and solar panels.
Minimizing dirty electricity in your bedroom is critical because anything plugged in is emitting EMFs (like your alarm clock, TV, or phone charger), even if it’s turned off. For example, lamps that are plugged in and turned off still produce EMFs that interfere with your sleep quality and your brain’s ability to detoxify, especially if they’re plugged in right next to your head. That’s why the safest bet is to unplug everything in your room before it’s time for bed.
2. Keep your cell phone out of reach while you sleep. Cell phones are one of the dirtiest forms of electricity because they constantly emit low-frequency EMFs (more on this below). Many people sleep with their phone right at their bedside, or worse yet, underneath their pillow! If you use your phone as an alarm clock, put it on airplane mode and keep it away from your head or in another room.
On-call? If you’re a professional on-call or afraid you might need to be reached in the middle of the night, keep one phone in your room and away from your head. If you sleep with a partner, you don’t need both phones in the room emitting double the EMF.
3. Turn off your Wi-Fi at bedtime. We aren’t exactly sure of the long-term effects of around-the-clock Wi-Fi exposure yet, so I don’t like to take any chances. When it comes to quality sleep and protecting my brain, I make sure to turn my Wi-Fi off before crawling into bed.
Pro-tip: Use a timer on the outlet you plug your Wi-Fi into and set it to shut off at night. That way, you don’t even have to think about it! Here’s a timer you can get from Amazon.
II. Ground yourself. Grounding, or earthing, is the act of being connected to the Earth’s surface and absorbing its electrical charge from the ground and into the body. The Earth’s surface holds an infinite supply of electrons and carries a net negative charge. This electromagnetic force played an evolutionary role in creating order in our bodies by stabilizing our own internal bioelectrical environment .
Humans went from sleeping outdoors and walking outside barefoot for most of history to living indoors, sleeping in beds, and wearing rubber-soled shoes in a very short period of time. This transition to modern-day living has caused us to become disconnected from the earth and its natural electromagnetic field .
An underexplored area of scientific research shows that grounding has a significant impact on human health. Earth’s electrons work similarly to antioxidants in the body by quenching positively charged free radicals and lowering inflammation. Absorbing earth’s electrons helps improve blood flow by increasing red blood cells’ surface charge, which reduces aggregation, viscosity, and clumping .
Earthing has demonstrated significantly beneficial effects on cardiovascular disease , chronic pain, fatigue, immune function , improved sleep , stress, anxiety, and depression .
1. Take a walk outside barefoot. After being exposed to EMF at high levels, whether it be on an airplane, working on a laptop all day, or in a space with overhead LED lights (school, work, shopping center), walking outside in the grass, or dirt with your bare feet for 30-40 minutes can help neutralize the effects of EMF exposure .
2. Go for a swim. Immersing yourself in a natural body of water like the ocean or a mineral-rich lake seems to have some benefits similar to grounding.
III. Minimize children’s exposure. Children are especially vulnerable when it comes to EMFs. Compared to parents, most children have been exposed to EMFs for their entire lives growing up in the era of laptops, iPads, smartphones, Wi-Fi, and digital assistants. These devices have become staples in school curriculums, offering benefits for interactive learning and education.
However, we aren’t 100% certain of the long-term effects of chronic EMF exposure on the developing brain yet, which is why this is a perfect example of where we can apply the precautionary principle . I believe that awareness is key, so if parents, teachers, and policymakers are informed on the effects of chronic EMF exposure we can educate our children on how to take steps to reduce their exposure. Here are some ways to reduce children’s exposure to EMFs:
1. Avoid the use of electronics within 1ft of children’s heads. This is the WHO’s general recommendation for handling low-frequency EMFs, but it’s especially important for protecting kids’ developing brains . Try not to let kids use cell phones (even air pods) or iPads right up against their heads, instead use speakerphone and wired headphones.
2. Be conscientious of Wi-Fi in children’s rooms at night. Everything I mentioned so far can also be applied to children. When it comes to their sleep, I highly recommend unplugging your Wi-Fi at night (especially if its in their bedroom or nearby). Cleaning their rooms of dirty electricity can also provide additional precaution.
3. Take a grounding break. Taking time away from electronic devices to read, talk or play can be a great way to break up the day. Spending time outdoors is amazing for children’s well-being and can be a perfect opportunity to practice grounding. If you can, join them! It can be a family activity that’s good for everyone.
I. Earthing. It can be difficult to get outside every day, let alone walk for 30-40 minutes barefoot—I know it’s hard for me on my busy days. That’s why I started using Earthing’s grounding products. Earthing’s product prices can run high (that’s why I included them on the “Splurge!” list), but their revolutionary technology is pretty incredible. Their products harness the earth’s electrons so you can literally “plug in” and get the benefits of grounding when you don’t have the time to go outside.
1. Earthing Sleep Starter Kit: Since I love anything that’s going to help optimize my sleep, I use their Earthing Starter Kit—and I swear I can feel the difference in my sleep quality and energy levels the next day (even though my fiancé thinks I’m a little crazy!). Their products are backed by over 20 years of research, guaranteed to work, and patent-protected as a method for treating inflammation and autoimmune disease.
II. Reduce your dirty electricity exposure. Dirty electricity is more common than ever before. Traditional electrical wiring must be converted to power modern technology, which creates erratic surges in energy that emit EMFs. What’s more, cell phones are one of the dirtiest forms of electricity. A recent study by the National Toxicology Program found that exposure to 2G and 3G networks was associated with an increased risk for cancer in male rats’ hearts, brains, and adrenal glands . These results can’t be extrapolated to 5G, but this is another scenario where we can apply the precautionary principle. Here are some ways you can reduce your dirty electricity exposure:
1. Greenwave Dirty Electricity Filter. You can reduce the dirty electricity present in the wiring of your house by using an electricity filter. This filter by Greenwave is top-rated by experts, super easy to use, and significantly reduces the amount of dirty electricity present in your environment. I haven’t used it personally, but it’s been endorsed by others who are well-versed in EMFs in the wellness community, like Ben Greenfield.
2. Safe Sleeve Cell Phone Case. Safe Sleeve’s radiation shielding technology has been shown to significantly reduce radiofrequency (Wi-Fi, 5G) and low-frequency EMFs (battery, AC power). Even though it’s not clear how fully protected you are, their products are laboratory tested, and they provide the research reports on their website. I use my Safe Sleeve phone case on top of carrying my phone away from my body and always talking on speakerphone because it’s better than not having any protection at all. Plus, their products are affordable and have a sleek design that fits comfortably in your pocket.
EMF pollution is the byproduct of our world’s explosion in technology. Just because we can’t see it, doesn’t mean that it’s not there and affecting us. My hope is that we can learn from our past and recognize that radically changing our environment usually comes with a cost. Looking ahead at the potential drawbacks of technology, like chronic EMF exposure, we can take the precautions necessary to protect ourselves and raise awareness to help inform and protect others. Try my protocol to lower your EMF exposure, and see if you notice any changes in your sleep, energy, mood, and overall cognition.
If you tried my EMF Protocol, I’d love to hear from you! Text me your feedback at 302-200-5643.
In health and gratitude,