Ian Spohn, ND, is a staff naturopathic doctor for Energique who enjoys challenging the dogmas of both conventional and alternative medicine. He is a passionate supporter of the paleo diet and classical homeopathy.
The year 2019 saw the deployment of 5G cellular networks worldwide, and while COVID-19 continues to occupy the center of everyone’s attention, the consequences of the 5G rollout on those with electromagnetic field (EMF) sensitivities have gone relatively unnoticed. This might be because, even though EMF radiation has been classified as a Group 2B carcinogen (meaning it possibly causes cancer but more research is needed to say definitively), the medical and scientific communities continue to ignore the existence of EMF sensitivity syndromes. The official scientific consensus, in fact, is that any symptom purportedly due to EMF exposure must be due to the nocebo effect, because the levels anyone might be exposed to are all within established safe limits. But all of the guidelines for what constitutes a “safe” EMF exposure limit are based on studies which only analyzed the thermal effects of EMFs; in other words, if the exposure was not sufficient to warm the skin (literally the same way as a would a microwave oven), then it is presumed to be a safe level. This is because the microwave warming effect is the only officially recognized effect of EMFs on humans, despite an abundance of research suggesting otherwise. So when they say a certain exposure is safe, all they really mean is that it won’t literally microwave you. They’re not taking into account other potential effects on cells or the electrical functioning of the body. Almost all of the studies on EMF exposure have chosen to examine only its thermal effects because, according to circular logic, these are the only effects which exist, while the potential nonthermal effects of EMFs, the basis of EMF sensitivity syndromes, have been largely unexplored. This means the electromagnetic consequences of the 5G rollout for our physiological functioning are likewise unknown.
The G in 5G refers to the fact that it is the fifth generation of wireless communication, as opposed to referring to an actual frequency. What the 5G network actually represents is a range of electromagnetic frequencies operating between 6-100 gigahertz, that is up to one hundred billion hertz. To put this in perspective, human hearing is able to detect frequencies between 20 hertz and 20,000 hertz (the kilohertz [KHz] range). Certain animals, like bats for instance, can perceive and communicate using higher frequencies. Bat echolocation occurs between 20-200 KHz. A thousandfold increase in that frequency would be measured in megahertz (MHz), which is where most microwave ovens operate, and increasing that frequency another thousandfold would put you in the range of gigahertz (Ghz). The new wireless internet is being ramped up from a range of 2-8 GHz (4G) to 6-100 GHz (5G). In other words, not an insignificant change. What 5G does is provide faster data transfer speeds and more extensive wireless coverage; i.e., you can spread the wireless network further and connect more things to it. 5G is considered crucial to the so-called internet of things and will be required to realize such dreams as self-driving cars connected to the smart city grids or transferring the gargantuan quantities of data that would be demanded to achieve compelling virtual reality. In other words, they’ve been “turning up” the internet again, which spells bad news for anyone who suffers from electromagnetic field sensitivities and possibly the rest of us as well.
One theory put forth to explain EMF sensitivity syndromes involves the overstimulatory effect that EMFs have on the ganglia of the sympathetic nervous system.[i] Activation of the sympathetic nervous system via EMF exposure can lead to vasoconstriction via the activation of the renin-angiotensin system, which might explain common symptoms associated with EMF exposure like headaches, neuralgias, and paresthesias. Overstimulation of certain ganglia within the sympathetic nervous system might also explain symptoms like nausea, chronic diarrhea, heart palpitations, and chronic fatigue, which are commonly reported by those who are sensitive to EMFs or through their occupation have been exposed to very high doses. It is also common for people with EMF sensitivities to report flu-like symptoms, including respiratory symptoms like cough,[ii] and many people by now have heard the conspiracy theory that COVID-19 may have been caused by the 5G rollout. In fact, an argument has been made that every time we cover the globe in a new wireless frequency, we experience an outbreak of epidemic illness:
- Radio Waves: 1918, Spanish Flu
- 1G: 1979, epidemic influenza
- 2G: 1991, epidemic cholera
- 3G: 1998, epidemic influenza
- 4G: 2009, H1N1
- 5G: present, COVID-19
In response to these remarkable correlations, several counterarguments have been made. One, the data are largely cherry-picked. Two, the rollouts of each wireless generation occurred gradually over time; that is, they cannot really be assigned a certain year so as to match an epidemic. Third, influenza has been around for much longer than have radio waves, so if EMFs cause influenza, how did we have it before? One suggestion is that even before radios were invented, a potent source of EMF exposure would have been coronal mass ejections from the sun (the bizarre semantic association between a coronal mass ejection and the corona virus being an apparent coincidence). The alternative theory that increased EMF exposures are and always have been the cause of flu pandemics may have originated in a book called The Invisible Rainbow by Arthur Firstenberg, which goes back even further than 1918 and chronicles intriguing correlations between periods of increased electromagnetic radiation, first from solar maximums throughout history and later from the gradual electrification of modern society, with historical bouts of flu-like illness. It is also relevant to consider where the disease we call the flu, influenza, actually got its name. An excellent post on the Nourishing Traditions blog of Sally Fallon Morell summarizes the origin of the word influenza:
“As early as 1799, researchers puzzled over the cause of influenza, which appeared suddenly, often in diverse places at the same time, and could not be explained by any theory of contagion. In 1836, Heinrich Schweich, author of a book on influenza, noted that all physiological processes produce electricity and offered the theory that an electrical disturbance of the atmosphere may prevent the body from discharging it. He repeated the then-common belief that the accumulation of electricity in the body causes the symptoms of influenza and that outbreaks were due to atmospheric ‘influences’—hence the name influenza.”[iii]
So the viral disease Influenza was literally named according to a theory that electrical fields “influence” us by interfering with the discharge of our own electrical buildup in a way as to cause flu-like symptoms. It should be noted that many people who report EMF sensitivities say that the condition does indeed cause them to experience flu-like symptoms.[iv] One of the easiest, most simple ways to discharge this accumulated electrical energy is through human touch. This is why if you build up too much static charge and then touch something highly conductive like a metal doorknob, it will discharge from you as a bolt of static electricity. Many of the benefits of so-called therapeutic touch: massage, shiatsu, reiki, possibly even acupuncture, may involve their power to discharge electrical buildup accumulated in the body, especially along certain meridian lines in the body’s electromagnetic field, hence a condition which the Chinese classically refer to as Qi stagnation. Could the stagnation of Qi be another way of saying built-up electrical charge? If this theory is true, it would be savagely ironic that touching each other is exactly what we are being told not to do right now through social distancing!
Regarding the possible association between introducing radio signals on a global scale during World War I and the subsequent worldwide outbreak of Spanish Flu, it is noteworthy that the main homeopathic remedy used during the Spanish Flu epidemic was Gelsemium sempervirens, which was also the main remedy for the nervous strain of shell shock experienced by soldiers in World War I. Homeopaths use Gelsemium to calm fear and excessive nervousness, and in herbal medicine it was traditionally used to lower blood pressure, suggesting that it acts to calm the sympathetic nervous system. So it’s interesting that a remedy which seems to calm an overstimulated nervous system and ease hypertension would also be so useful for treating influenza, in light of the theory that flu outbreaks might be caused by EMF exposure which can overstimulate the sympathetic nervous system. Another strange fact is that patients with preexisting hypertension have a two and a half times greater risk of developing severe COVID-19 infection.[v] This would actually make sense if EMFs were a contributing factor, since people who already have high blood pressure would be more sensitive to an atmospheric influence that overstimulates the sympathetic nervous system and, through this, the renin-angiotensin system. Stimulating the sympathetic nervous system increases the secretion of renin in the kidneys, which activates the angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) leading to vasoconstriction. This pathway also leads to fluid retention by increasing aldosterone, a perfect storm for increasing blood pressure. ACE is also highly active in the lungs, which explains why patients who take ACE inhibitors for high blood pressure often develop a nagging dry cough. The renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system is also highly relevant to COVID-19, since the pathogenesis of SARS-CoV-2 is presumed to involve its ability to down-regulate ACE2 receptors in the lungs.[vi] But if a virus is the cause of COVID-19, would that not conclusively disprove the EMF theory? How could both the virus and the 5G rollout be involved?
The concept that certain negative states can be transmitted through intimate contact is almost universal and long predates the discovery of viruses. In mythology, bats can turn into vampires and vampires can convert you via a kiss, a transfer of bodily fluids which is also known to transmit many viruses. Does the mythological prejudice against bats represent an intuitive understanding that they carry so many of our viruses? It has long been known that bats have a mysteriously intimate association with emerging human viruses. No fewer than 66 different viruses have been isolated from bats, among these being the two known SARS-CoV viruses[vii] and the MERS virus.[viii] The virus causing COVID-19 is 96 percent identical to a coronavirus first found in bats,[ix] and, in fact, all three of the pandemic coronaviruses are believed to have originated in bats before mutating to infect humans through an intermediate mammal:
- SARS-CoV-1 (China): Bats -> Civet/Raccoon Dog -> Human
- MERS-CoV (Middle East): Bats -> Dromedary Camel -> Human
- SARS-CoV-2 (China): Bats -> Pangolin -> Human
According to one scientific paper, “The roles played by bats in the maintenance and transmission of viruses require consideration of the unique characteristics that distinguish bats from all other mammals.”[x] But what is it about bats that might cause them to transmit so many of our viral illnesses? Could the purported association between EMF radiation and our viral illnesses possibly provide a clue to the missing link? 5G is basically a high-frequency form of communication. One of the things that makes bats special, and indeed unique among land mammals (whales and dolphins can do it too), is their reliance on high-frequency echolocation, which they rely on both to locate prey and for social communication. So one thing bats and high-tech modern humans have in common is that we both rely on high frequency emissions for much of our social communication! We also, like bats, use high frequency emissions to locate and track objects in midair, which we call radar; hence why you’re not supposed to use your cell phone on a plane. So with 5G going into effect we’re becoming more like bats every day, and one might expect that if 5G is affecting the environment, bats might be more sensitive to it than other animals.
It’s interesting that EMF radiation, by overstimulating the sympathetic nervous system, would be expected to increase ACE activity, and the SARS-CoV-2 virus causes a down-regulation of ACE receptors. Could it possibly be that the virus is counteracting the effect of EMFs? There’s no doubt that the virus SARS-CoV-2 is involved with COVID-19, but having a certain disease and testing positive for a certain virus does not actually imply any causation: merely a correlation. What if the EMF radiation was causing the symptoms of the disease, and the virus itself, always found in association with the disease, is actually nature’s attempt to correct it? Viruses have long puzzled researchers because they are not technically living things. They have genomes, in the form of DNA or RNA, and so because all living organisms have genomes, it is presumed that viruses must be living organisms. But while all that is living has a genome, it does not logically follow that everything with a genome is a living organism. Bacteria, for instance, can release plasmids: small bundles of genetic information that other bacteria can take up and actually incorporate into their own genomes. This allows normally asexual bacteria to share potentially useful genes with one another. What if viruses were actually a way for multi-cellular eukaryote organisms to transfer genes between one another, possibly even across different species? Viruses work by penetrating cells, despite not actually being alive, to have their genetic information spliced into the host genome. In some ways they can be seen as a software patch, an additional genetic program or update that can be downloaded for the purposes of correcting a bug caused by, say, a massive change in the environment’s electromagnetic field. Or they can be seen as a maliciously invading program akin to a typical computer virus, but given the fact that viruses need to infect living cells in order to reproduce, how could something evolve to kill off the very thing it requires to reproduce? What would be the evolutionary advantage to viruses killing us?
Whether viruses are benevolent or malicious depends on how one views nature as a whole. For a long time, nature has been conceived as a brutal, Darwinian survival of the fittest, a savage competition in which every species benefits only at the direct expense of another. But nature does not actually work that way: it’s an ecosystem where each individual part is required to maintain the system’s integrity. Remove one species from an ecosystem, and the entire thing collapses, causing all of them to die. Nothing actually benefits from destroying other elements of the ecosystem. Rather, the more species diversity, the stronger everything in the system becomes. If bats, which occupy a specific niche in a very tangled web of life, could help preserve that tangled web it would doubtlessly benefit their own survival as much anything else’s. Is life on earth really to be regarded as a competition, or is everything actually interconnected by a universal consciousness? Maybe bats should be held sacred instead of being associated with death and evil. They are, after all, the only mammals who can fly.
[i] Bergman, W. The Effect of Microwaves on the Central Nervous System. W. Bergman, 1965. Accessed online at https://ecfsapi.fcc.gov/file/7521095727.pdf
[ii] Belyaev I, Dean A, Eger H, Hubmann G, Jandrisovits R, Kern M, Kundi M, Moshammer H, Lercher P, Müller K, et al. EUROPAEM EMF Guideline 2016 for the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of EMF-related health problems and illnesses. Rev Environ Health. 2016;31:363–397. doi: 10.1515/reveh-2016-0011.
[iii] Fallon Morell, Sally. Is Coronavirus Contagious? Nourishing Traditions 2020, accessed online at https://nourishingtraditions.com/is-coronavirus-contagious/
[iv] Belyaev et al 2016
[v] Lippi G., Lavie C.J., Sanchis-Gomar F. Cardiac troponin I in patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19): evidence from a meta-analysis. Prog Cardiovasc Dis. 2020
[vi] Verdecchia P, Cavallini C, Spanevello A, Angeli F. The pivotal link between ACE2 deficiency and SARS-CoV-2 infection [published online ahead of print, 2020 Apr 20]. Eur J Intern Med. 2020;S0953-6205(20)30151-5. doi:10.1016/j.ejim.2020.04.037
[vii] Calisher CH, Childs JE, Field HE, Holmes KV, Schountz T. Bats: important reservoir hosts of emerging viruses. Clin Microbiol Rev. 2006;19(3):531‐545. doi:10.1128/CMR.00017-06
[viii] Banerjee A, Kulcsar K, Misra V, Frieman M, Mossman K. Bats and Coronaviruses. Viruses. 2019;11(1):41. Published 2019 Jan 9. doi:10.3390/v11010041
[ix] ZhouP., Yang X., Wang X., et al. A pneumonia outbreak associated with a new coronavirus of probably bat origin. Nature 579, 270-273 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41586-020-2012-7
[x] Calisher et al 2006
Any homeopathic claims are based on traditional homeopathic practice, not accepted medical evidence. Not FDA evaluated.
These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.