My dad has been a musician all his life, building up a reputation as one of the best in his field. Yet, in my opinion, I never heard his talent recorded in the way it should or could have been, hearing sounds in my head that told me of other possibilities, other ways to make music with the steel guitar that no one else dared to attempt. As I grew older and set out upon my own artistic career, the desire to create those sounds, though lying dormant just below the surface, never left me. Only the high cost of studio recording in those days had kept the dream of making those sounds a reality.
That being said, when the age of computers and digital technology allowed musicians to record their own projects at home for a fraction of what studio time had previously cost, the message from on high to record the old man was a no-brainer. Barely knowing how to even turn the computer on, I set out to digitalize myself, taking classes at the local community college and enrolling in an audio engineering school. Though the learning curve was a steep one, within a few years I began to be able to translate the frequencies taking place in my head into audible sounds in the real world. Art had never been so enjoyable.
Along the way, there were many meetings with other gear-heads to talk shop or swap ideas, one of whom was a father who, no matter where we were or whatever we were doing, kept in close contact with his young son on the cell phone. Though I didn't use the device myself and had no direct experience with its effects, I had known of the possible health risks. When I warned him of what I knew, the message was not a welcomed one, as it was a threat to a lifestyle of, excuse the overused term, "convenience."
My friend was young and healthy. He was a talented engineer and had big plans to re-establish his musical career. Yet, his son would grow up fatherless, the result of a brain tumor, coincidentally or not, on the side of the head where the cell phone was used the most.
After finishing school I dove into my own work, recording and mixing whenever time allowed. Always operating against the curve, it was a slow and tedious process. Toward the end of our first two projects, I began to notice effects such as headaches and an uneasy anxiety within my body. There were also memory lapses, nausea and insomnia, even when I was deathly tired. When my wife entered the studio, she couldn't stay long, complaining of the over abundance of electrical devices, especially the wi-fi unit which sat at arms length on my desk. I reacted as my friend had done earlier. It was all in her head, I thought, my symptoms merely being the result of old age. When I woke up in the middle of the night after one particularly long session, burning from inside out, I was still in denial. My experience in this world had suddenly turned upside down, yet I had still not connected the dots.
Burning was, in actuality, not the best description to offer as to what my body was experiencing. I had been micro waved, melted to the core. My skin felt as though it had an intense sunburn, even if its outward temperature was cool. My mind was in perpetual panic mode and I couldn't think, any stress sending me further over the edge. Ironically, it was the computer that I went to with the hope of educating myself as to what was going on and finding out what to do about it. It didn't take long to find an over abundance of related material.
There was much to be said on the web concerning burning and anxiety. In truth, there can be many causes, and as it appeared, many people were dazed and confused and searching for the same answers. While oftentimes tests revealed no abnormalities, doctors pronounced anxiety or depression as the culprits or simply considered the condition idiopathic, meaning of no certain cause. And since prescribing relaxants or anti-depression pills gave temporary relief, it merely confirmed their diagnosis as being all in the mind.
But this was not anywhere close to being a figment of my imagination. To add to my predicament was the fact that not only could I no longer work behind my gear, I could not remain in any electrical hot spots like coffee shops, libraries, etc., where any wireless communication transpired. It was as if I was a radiated antenna sensitized to the unseen forces of technology. No doubt my case was one of extremes, but I found other electrical engineers who had to literally quit their work and search for other jobs.
For the most part, the overriding evidence I gathered pointed to nerve damage. Small-fiber neuropathy, or damage to the finer endings of the nerves, cannot be detected by standard nerve conduction studies or tests, but it is known to easily produce the symptoms of pain and temperature extremes like burning. There is mounting evidence to suggest that EMF's (electro-magnetic frequencies) are the cause of other "low-grade" effects on the human body such as fatigue, depression and impotence, which appear to be reaching epidemic levels. Yet, like many other issues in our modern world where big bucks are involved, education or regulations concerning electro-magnetic frequencies that can cause serious health risks, in this country at least, has been discouraged by both the mainstream media and the corporations that control it.
Europe takes the effects of EMF's more seriously. In America and Canada those who reassure us that wireless technologies are safe say that there must be scientific proof before taking action, allowing it until it's proven harmful, whereas the public health approach taken by the European Environment Agency is to take action when there is only reasonable evidence of harm. In Swedish schools, for example, if only one student is affected by wi-fi, the system is removed. In September 2007, the European Union's environmental watchdog, the European Environmental Agency, warned that cell-phone technology "could lead to a health crisis similar to those caused by asbestos, smoking, and lead in petrol." Another study sponsored by the International Agency for Research on Cancer, in Lyon, France concluded in 2008 that after just a decade of cell-phone use, the chance of getting a brain tumor, especially on the side of the head most used, goes up as many as 40 percent for adults. Unfortunately, the damage done to children can be considerably more devastating.
Because children have thinner skulls and a developing nervous system, they are particularly vulnerable to EMF's, or RF's (radio frequency radiation, the part of the electro-magnetic spectrum used in wireless communication today), and subsequently, can absorb 50 to 70 percent more radiation from hand-held phones than adults. In France, cell towers are not allowed to be erected anywhere near schools. A new Swedish study now claims a five-hundred percent greater risk for children to develop cancer within ten to twenty years just from the proximity effect. The implications of what the next generation will endure by the breakdown of DNA and the body's ability to repair itself are frightening. When communication between the cells in the brain or body is disrupted by these radio frequencies, the cells merely create more of themselves to bridge the gap between each other. Without a strong DNA blueprint to correct itself, the over growth of cells runs rampant.
I could go on about the negatives of microwave technologies that are bombarding our bodies, but the best way to gain more knowledge and insight of what to do about it is through the source material provided. The Bioinitiative Report is an excellent place to start.
There is an upside of sorts to my own personal story of electro-sensitivity. I did go on to finish our first two projects, albeit a bit hurriedly considering the circumstances. And as adversity can oftentimes do, this challenge has brought me more in tune with not only myself and how my body works, but also with the healing powers of nature, water, and grounding with and to the earth. There is also much that can still be done to lessen or negate the effects of environmental toxins and pollution through diet and the use of living foods, detoxification programs, re-programming of the mind, spiritual healing at the level of the soul and DNA, and as I have just experienced, the healing powers of journeying with plant medicines, gifts given by our nurturing Mother herself. But this is another story in itself.
Cell Phones, Invisible Hazards in the Wireless Age, by Dr. George Carlo and Martin Schram
Image by waferboard, courtesy of Creative Commons license.