A Scientist Explains What It's Really Like To Live With EMF Sensitivity
By Rachel Straub, mindbodygreen.com, 21 January 2017
Just a bit of warning, before you read
What you are about to read may seem hard to comprehend. If you choose to continue, please do so with an open mind. For those of you who don't know me, I am a scientist by training and have published several peer-reviewed studies in highly reputable journals (and am also the author of a multi-award-winning book). So I, too, have had a difficult time wrapping my head around this. I am sharing my story only in an effort to hopefully help someone else find a possible answer to his or her long-term struggle with chronic fatigue, Lyme disease, or other mystery illness.
In January 2013, I was forced to leave my job, quit graduate school, and move home with my parents. I began to develop unexplainable fatigue that forced me to bed―many days, simply showering was too exhausting. In simplistic terms, you could say I had chronic fatigue and Lyme disease (though technically, it's much more complicated than that). I saw endless doctors and underwent both conventional and experimental therapies over the course of three-plus years in an effort to recover. However, come March 2016, I was still struggling, and I knew something was still missing.
Was EMF sensitivity affecting me? As a scientist, I had to research
Being a natural-born researcher, I have spent countless hours reading blogs and research papers in an effort to uncover the missing item impeding my recovery. I have had the best of care, but it wasn't enough to be effective. Finally, on March 2016, I read an abstract that mentioned EMF sensitivity can lead to considerable immune impairment―and that is exactly what I had. After reading this, I then began perusing blogs and uncovered some research that detailed the first step in healing Lyme patients was addressing possible EMF sensitivity. However, assuming this was a problem, drastic measures are advised: protective clothing to shield from incoming microwaves, turning off all wireless internet, putting shielding paint on your house, etc. Sounds crazy, right? You have to laugh! Of course, the Emmy-nominated series Better Call Saul actually contains a character with EMF sensitivity―Chuck McGill―who some may call "crazy" as he uses space blankets to impede EMF, requires visitors to leave their cellphone in his mailbox before entering his house, uses gas lanterns to light his home (as opposed to standard electricity) and doesn't even use a refrigerator.
Here was my protocol for healing from EMF sensitivity
So after considering all of the above, it was determined that I needed a body bioelectric shield―please note I had an extensive medical team (four people to be exact), so I did not make this decision alone. It should also be noted, at the time, I had no overtly obvious symptoms of EMF sensitivity. I used a cellphone, laptop, and endless other sources of EMF (refrigerators, microwaves, stoves, air conditioners, lights, etc.) and didn't experience any issues―at least, not any that I could overtly feel. However, as soon as I began using the bioelectric shield, specifically within five minutes, I was ill with flu-like symptoms. In essence, I was experiencing die-off (or a Herxheimer Reaction), which is a familiar term to those with Lyme or chronic fatigue as it equates to toxic release from pathogen decimation. It was determined I could use the shield for only 30 minutes daily―I had to build up to wearing this device to avoid overwhelming myself with die-off reactions. Yes, it was that bad―migraines, nausea, joint pain, etc. It took me approximately six weeks to adjust to this shield and even that was an exceedingly painful process. But I pushed through, as I knew in order to beat this, this is what you must do.
Living with EMF sensitivity and facing hybrid cars and planes
Once I had adjusted to the bioelectric shield, I unknowingly rode in a hybrid car while using one. Well, that did not go well―thankfully I wasn't driving! Within minutes, I was extremely fatigued with flu-like symptoms. My car ride was only 30 minutes, and thereafter, I spent the entire day in bed. I realized soon after that I had been advised to avoid hybrid cars, as the amount of EMF could overwhelm my body. But I had forgotten, as I had never felt problems from any source of electricity before this!
So, how did this problem get remedied? Through time and more treatment. Eventually, I reached a point where I could ride in a hybrid using a bioelectric shield and not get sick. And soon after this all ended, I actually went to Boston (six-hour plane trip!) to present at the American College of Sports Medicine's annual meeting. So, yes, I was beginning to turn the corner!
How did the plane ride go? It was not enjoyable―I felt sick the entire time. However, considering that I went from being forced to bed from a 30-minute hybrid car ride, to being able to ride a plane for six hours and not collapse was immense progress. And yes, I did successfully deliver my presentation.
Please note that before getting sick, I rode in hybrid cars and traveled on planes and never felt a thing. Does that mean I wasn't EMF sensitive then? Who knows? I probably was and just didn't know it. All I know is right now and in the present time, to recover from a severe case of chronic fatigue (and endless other infections), EMF sensitivity had to be addressed. And that's all that really matters. If you think you might have EMF sensitivity, it's definitely worth getting it checked out!
Rachel Straub, M.S., CSCS, is an exercise physiologist, nutritionist, biomechanist, certified strength and conditioning specialist, and co-author of Weight Training Without Injury: Over...