Electromagnetic Fields and People - Three Complementary Medicine Views

Practitioners of CAM are vaguely astonished at the blindness of the scientific world to many of the commonalities of CAM. One is the ease with which asthma (or, since we are not doctors, breathing difficulties which clients say their doctors have diagnosed as asthma) responds to treatment, while in orthodox medicine it remains as a “modern scourge”. Another, which I propose to deal with here, is the striking differences of opinion both outside and within CAM on the subject of the harmful effects of electromagnetic fields.

The orthodox view is well represented by the Institution of Electrical Engineers who mount regular seminars on the puzzle of public opposition to mobile-phone towers. Orthodox research has been going on for more than 20 years and nothing substantive has been discovered about radiation damage below the level at which EMFs actually cook people, as they will if you approach a radar aerial too closely. The IEE's advisory group of eminent doctors cannot draw the conclusion from this that there is no case for low-level radiation harm; they just say that there may be a problem but if there is, it hasn't shown itself too clearly.

If this advisory panel contained any doctors specialising in environmental medicine, which it doesn't, they would not be able to maintain this line, since there is a positive industry within complementary medicine “protecting” people from EMF influence and “clearing” them of past ill-effects. I am both an IEE member and someone intensively engaged in such activities and I hope what I have to say will go some way towards settling the puzzle for you.

The orthodox end of CAM in this field is represented by medically-qualified practitioners of environmental medicine. One of the current standard works on this discipline, Environmental Medicine in Clinical Practice (BSAENM 1997 ISBN 0 9523397 2 2), which deals principally with relatively easily-studied allergy conditions, concludes firmly that there is evidence for low-level damage, without going into any of the whys or wherefores.

This is probably because the people who do have a language for what is happening, the dowsers specialising in health matters, give most doctors an urge to back out of the room murmuring apologies about prior engagements, since they talk in highly speculative terms. Ever since the launching of dowsers' interest in environmental problems 80 years ago, the fields of influence have remained evident only to dowsers' reactions - and in a few cases, observation of the unusual behaviour of plants and animals - so have to be given names which accord with the dowser's particular set of beliefs, rather than any grand scientific consensus.

In dowsers' language, place-related illness is covered under the general title of “geopathic stress” (GS). Some but not all of this trouble is traceable to man-made EMFs and some but not all of it is, when undergone for five years or more, conducive to the contraction of serious systemic disease, especially cancer. Indeed, the discoverer of the GS effect, Baron Dr Gustav von Pohl, achieved fame in 1925 by showing that unidentified “earth currents” which he could locate precisely with a divining rod in a town strange to him, Vilsbiburg in Bavaria, tallied accurately with a plot of the location of all the town's known cancer deaths since records started.

This excited considerable interest in German medical circles until the advent of the Nazis, who considered that geomantic and related activities should remain in their privileged gift, after which it was left to dowsers in other countries to pursue. They gradually developed obscure theories of “noxious zones”, “adverse energies” and “black streams” which seemed to the medically-trained no better than a recourse to the occult. As so often happens in unorthodox medicine, the fact that dowsing also indicated excellent remedial actions for each sufferer was apt to suggest a veracity in the supposed causes which was strictly insupportable.

At this point I would like to introduce a third CAM viewpoint, which takes nothing away from the dowsers' world-view but marries it to terminology well respected elsewhere in CAM. Sense is made of the situation if it is hazarded that the GS dowser is doing nothing more obscure when plotting out his or her “energies” than mapping those points in a place where the client is most stressed. If the rules of interpretation are changed to accommodate this approach, then each of the apparent “adverse alignments” and “zones” can be identified with discrete elements of existence which the sufferer unconsciously finds threatening. These line up well with instinctive animal fears - fire, unsafe ground, drowning, strange animals, separation from the herd. Radiation intolerance proves to identify with fear of burning. Place-related stress treatment generally becomes a branch of psychotherapy and the curious measures employed to help people an unwitting form of hypnotherapy. Labels apart, the measures taken to treat GS are in general wonderfully effective, so once having identified EMFs as a danger, we can dismiss them just as quickly as no danger whatever once people have taken the right advice.

What proof is there that dowsers' indications have any bearing at all on what is happening?

Here dowsers rely on their success in arriving at retrospectively verifiable solutions to validate their unverifiable ones. As a therapist I am entirely used to telling a client they fell off a horse at the age of 12 or had a dessert with artificial cream in it the previous Wednesday. Often they have to verify it through a friend or relative since they have forgotten, but verify it they do. Even in the case of EMFs there can be verifiable elements. One of my distant-treatment jobs involved a woman who had felt tired ever since moving into a house in the Midlands. After a few seconds of internal Q&A I asked if she had a police station at the end of the street. How extraordinary! - yes, she did. Did it have a squat black metal tower on top of it with radio aerials? Heavens yes, how did I know? Stop the story for a moment: notice I have got it right so far. Self: “The police are putting out VHF signals to which you're sensitive. I will send you a neutraliser.” I have crossed into the unprovable: but why would dowsing take me this far if it was all rubbish, when in the case of food poisoning or distant severe injuries it remains entirely accurate?

The fact that "neutralisers" (crystals, metal shapes, wires, or in my case drawn patterns on small cards) invariably “sort” the problem is not, as I've already said, a proof. But a curiosity of them is that they will render the client insensitive to place-related effects only over the area they are “programmed” to by the therapist. In other words, we are talking mindstuff here, none of which in current scientific terms will ever be provable, since Carl Jung notwithstanding, current science outside psychiatry cannot bring itself even to believe in the existence of an unconscious mind, let alone one which can reach anywhere regardless of distance. Curious ! If 1920s radio engineers could make themselves happy with an unprovable EMF “ether”, why can't scientists with a mental-realm one ? I am what may be described as a hyper-sceptic: explanation is only ever a fairy story and we are fools to think our terminology can ever span the whole of reality.

How is it that the scientific epidemiological approach has managed to achieve complete blindness to this activity? Complementary practitioners are sure it is thanks to inability to contemplate alternative ways of viewing the world, but I suspect that proving any intolerance theories - outside merely trusting what sensitive therapists say - would be difficult for anyone. It is the immense complexity of personal intolerance that makes scientific investigation a near-impossibility. EMFs as pollutants can't be detached from the several thousand food additives, chemical leaks and cosmetic ingredients which have assailed our natural self-protective systems since 1945. The effect of one of them, in testing terms, is lost in the noise of all the others. Each by itself only affects a few people in a hundred and not in ways that are immediately perceptible like an allergy. Short-term symptoms at the worst comprise fatigue, irritability and a greater incidence of migraine or headaches and at the least are imperceptible except to a dowser or kinesiologist (a therapist who can identify stressors by muscle-testing procedures). Yet even at the least, a severe long-term danger may still lie in continuous exposure.

Then, we have to remember that since this is a unconscious psychological matter, normal topographical considerations - with radiation, the inverse square law whereby at twice the distance from a radar aerial you are a quarter as likely to be cooked by it - don't apply. A sufferer may well be attuned to a very distant source thanks to other mental defaults which render it significant, perhaps by virtue of the purpose behind the transmission or other sites having relevance to the default. For example, I had one client particularly disturbed by two high-power TV transmitters five miles away and a police VHF transmitter one mile away - principally because of the very narrow triangle formed by the alignments between them whose tail passed through her flat. Unconsciously she was experiencing this as a nightmare prison cell of the same shape.

I must emphasise, though, that EMFs are only one of the culprits. That same client was also disturbed by dishonesty and human antagonism, of which any police transmission would act as a reminder, helping to charge up the harmful effects in her mind, and other clients of mine have been subliminally yet quite seriously affected by extra-low frequency, very low level, sound from water rams and tube railway ventilation fans. Often people are affected by their house being situated on past marshland - in animal instinct terms, unsafe ground - or in places of past tribal warfare or epidemic. Since radiation intolerance is heightened unconscious fear of burning, sufferers often “attract” GS patterns connecting their home or workplace not just to radio transmissions, but HT pylons and places of past human sacrifice. The detected pattern, notice, is place- rather than person-related because most locations taken at random don't stimulate an intolerance, so someone on the move only suffers GS for occasional flickering moments. Gypsies and travellers display a far lower incidence of cancer than the rest of us.

So, to finish, if you ask why do people have unconscious intolerances in the first place ? my answer will be that we have instincts just as animals do, which in their case have the benefit of extending the experience of the totality of the species to the individual but in our case, have been suppressed by the advance of supposed reason which knows nothing of global experience, rendering us liable to foolish misjudgements which bring us needless misfortune and conflict. These in turn generate distorted familial instincts about genuine dangers which we inherit, making us unconsciously overfearful of them when their occurrence is in general rare. But this is a fairy story too. The point is, as in all science, does it work when applied ? Yes, I am sorry, but it does.

My coolness about theories is supported, in practice, by the Bristol Cancer Help Centre, famous for its fairly doctrinaire application of naturopathic treatments such as severe raw food regimes and creative visualisation. Faced with a client who says a dowser has diagnosed them as suffering “geopathic stress”, they smile knowingly, say “yes, dear, we've heard all that before, we don't need to know that”, put them through their regime with healers and visualisation; and hey presto ! the problem goes. Well, it would, wouldn't it?

About the author:

Article written by Dan Wilson
Dan stumbled into CAM in 1977 as a telephone trunk equipment engineer wanting to learn dowsing for identifying distant faults. His mentor was the healer and teacher Major Bruce MacManaway who ran a crusading school Westbank for combining healing techniques with therapies chosen clairsentiently to suit the practitioner. 26 years on, he is proprietor of the Acorn Centre for Natural Health in East Grinstead where he uses intuitive acupressure and orthobionomy and specialises in the resolution of mental problems, place-related disturbance and hauntings.

Website: http://www.acorncentre.org

Author: Dan Wilson
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