Mini Tech Detox
OUR BODIES PHYSIOLOGICALLY DEPEND ON ELECTRICAL CURRENTS—our nervous and cardiac systems being the core systems of course that rely on tiny electrical impulses. Even though you can't feel it, our modern world is increasingly exposing us to larger and larger volumes of electro-magnetic fields (EMF), emitted through the use of electricity and particularly from our increasing dependency on "wireless" technology (not only are we dependent in terms of modern-day conveniences, but our entertainment often revolves around it too). The advent of smart, connected homes, the use of wireless routers in every home, or simply the simple act of plugging things into an electrical outlet, even things like lamps, mean that our exposure is 24-7.
In 2011, the WHO classified cellphones as a possible carcinogen and have launched an International EMF program—after years of research, the results are still inconclusive but there is enough cause for concern that limits on exposure have been suggested. We know that EMF affects our body, placing stress on our systems as the electrical "flow" within our bodies becomes agitated and disturbed. The trouble is that technology has evolved faster than the research, and we don't truly know what the long-term effects of exposure are. But we suspect... and it's not very encouraging. Chronic conditions such as fatigue, headaches, adrenal fatigue or sympathetic system hyperdrive (fight or flight stress response) are rampant, and tumours located in the vicinity of where people hold their cell phones have increased. And nearly everyone I know experiences sleep problems—a physiological function that seems to be heavily affected by EMF—and sleep is when your body does most of it's regenerative work.
In my own life, I have found that as I remove toxins of all kinds from my life I become more sensitive to them as my body has lowered it's 'tolerance' levels. It's a positive thing as I can detect pollutants in my immediate environment really easily, but EMF has been a form of pollution I had not yet tackled until now. It's a tricky field, as it operates on a level we cannot directly feel, and the symptoms can be attributed to any number of things. A quick internet search of EMF-blocking products yields results that can feel, shall we say, dubious. It's left me questioning how best to deal with the issue, and the easiest most immediate solution has been to make massive efforts to reduce my personal exposure by changing my habits (and I say massive because I truly think we're addicted to our devices and modern conveniences—it's taken a lot of conscious effort to leave mine alone).
The following are some super quick, very simple changes you can make in your own home to reduce how much EMF you're exposing yourself to (and your kids too, whose delicate systems have shown to be even more sensitive).
- Replace your cordless phone with an old-school plug-in. The reason this is important is because cordless phones, like cell phones, are constantly emitting a signal to the "home base" within the confines of your own home. A bonus is that you'll never have to hunt for the handset in the couch cushions again.
- Make calls from a land-line whenever possible (such as when you are at home or at work).
- Don't charge your phone (or keep any wireless electronics) in your bedroom, and DON'T use your phone as an alarm clock—get a battery-operated one (and then use recharcheables!).
- Don't keep your cell phone on your body all day long (especially in your pocket).
- Create a "drop spot" in your home, where you automatically place your phone (and maybe keys, etc.) when you get home. Make a conscious effort to leave it there and resist the urge to check it for messages or updates too frequently.
- Don't use your laptop on your lap, and even avoid if you can using an iPad resting against your body for too long.
- Use hard-wired internet connections for desktop computers at home and at work.
- Turn your devices off at night.
- Unplug your modem/wifi at night. If this sounds too inconvenient for you, you can purchase powerbars with built-in timers so that they will shut off and turn back on automatically at the time of your choosing, say 11 p.m. and 6 a.m..
- Don't make checking your device and browsing Facebook etc. the first thing you do in the morning. Give your body time to wake up and use the time for something different instead (family time, meditation, breathwork, yoga, etc.).