EMFs: Keep Your Distance

When it comes to electromagnetic frequencies (EMFs) there’s not much good to say about them and plenty of cause for alarm. Amid the concern about the short-term effects of EMFs, there’s growing evidence to suggest that EMF’s long-term effects may include a rise in malignant brain tumors, some cancers and neurological disorders. While the debate rages on and studies continue, my advice is to be smart about EMFs and limit exposure as much as possible.

Why so cautious? Well, think of it this way: every day we’re being virtually steeped in a bath of “electro-smog” emanating from the gadgets of modern life. For the sake of convenience, we’re soaking up EMFs from wi-fi connections, Blackberry’s, Iphones, cordless phones, laptops, game consoles, plus refrigerators, blenders, coffee grinders, dishwashers, washer/dryers, microwave ovens, electric stoves, air conditioners, electric toothbrushes, electric blankets, baby monitors and so on. You may not be able to see it, but I and many others believe that your body responds as if it were a mass of toxins. If exposure to EMFs is as dangerous as I and many scientists believe, then it’s our duty to educate everyone we can on how to reduce exposure. Here’s a roundup of the current thinking on what to do to keep the ‘waves at bay and put a layer of protection between you and EMFs:

Ditch and switch.
Reduce exposure to radio frequencies by ditching the cordless phone and switching back to an old-fashioned, corded phone, just like the ones we used way back in the early 90’s. If the thought of being tied to a corded phone is too impossibly retro, at minimum keep the cordless phone far away from where you sleep (some suggest several rooms away) and use it only for short conversations. When friends and relatives call for a long chat, answer on the cordless, but quickly switch over to the corded phone to minimize exposure.

Say farewell to the cell.
Not bloody likely for most people, but the idea is to cut your cell phone usage as much as you possibly can – it could save your brain plus a few bucks on the monthly cell phone bill. Avoid long conversations on your cell. If you must have a long one, put the cell on speaker to expand the distance between your cell and your brain. Text rather than talk as much as possible. When in standby mode, keep your cell phone in a bag or briefcase, and off your body to lessen exposure. At night, turn the cell off completely. Most important, restrict cell phone use during pregnancy.

Manage your bars.
If the signal on your cell is weak, say only one or two bars worth of reception, wait till you’re in an area with a full deck of bars before dialing. Calling from areas where reception is weak forces the phone to work harder to get and maintain the connection, and delivers more potentially damaging EMFs to your body.

Turn off the juice.
If you’re not using it, unplug it. By keeping the majority of your appliances, gadgets and non-essentials turned off and unplugged from the wall will help reduce the EMF influx, but may save a little money too. Most of us forget that plugged-in appliances, even though they’re turned off, still pull power that you wind up paying for.

Sleep smarter.
Consider switching over to a metal-free futon, all-fabric mattress or tatami mat, as some studies suggest that traditional, metal spring mattresses and box springs may act as giant in-home EMF antennas – not an appealing thought. If a new bed isn’t in your immediate future, EMF-minimizing alternatives include bedding made with Swiss Shield Wear fabric, a Faraday fabric canopy or a microwave protection sleeping bag. And your trusty alarm clock? Switch to a battery-operated one to rise and shine without the EMFs.


For Dr. Frank Lipman, health is more than just the absence of disease: it is a total state of physical, mental, emotional, spiritual and social wellbeing. Dr. Lipman is a widely recognized trailblazer and leader in functional and integrative medicine, and he is a New York Times best-selling author of five books, How To Be Well, The New Health Rules, 10 Reasons You Feel Old and Get Fat, Revive and Total Renewal.

After his initial medical training in his native South Africa, Dr. Lipman spent 18 months working at clinics in the bush. He became familiar with the local traditional healers, called sangomas, which kindled his interest in non-Western healing modalities.

In 1984, Dr. Lipman immigrated to the United States, where he became the chief medical resident at Lincoln Hospital in Bronx, NY. While there, he became fascinated by the hospital’s addiction clinic, which used acupuncture and Chinese medicine to treat people suffering from heroin and crack addiction. Seeing the way these patients responded so positively to acupuncture made him even more aware of the potential of implementing non- Western medicine to promote holistic wellbeing. As a medical student, he was taught to focus on the disease rather than the patient, and now as a doctor he found himself treating symptoms rather than the root causes of illness. Frustrated by the constraints of his training, and the limitations in helping his patients regain true health, he began a journey of discovery to search for the path to meaningful long-term health and wellness.

He began studying nutrition, acupuncture, Chinese medicine, herbal medicine, functional medicine, biofeedback, meditation, and yoga. Dr. Lipman founded the Eleven Eleven Wellness Center in 1992, where he combines the best of Western medicine and cutting edge nutritional science with age-old healing techniques from the East. As his patient chef Seamus Mullen told The New York Times, "If antibiotics are right, he'll try it. If it's an anti-inflammatory diet, he’ll do that. He’s looking at the body as a system rather than looking at isolated things."

In addition to his practice, Dr. Lipman is the creator of Be Well, an expanding lifestyle wellness brand he founded in 2010 to help people create, sustain and lead healthier lives.