By Christopher Pick, N.D. D.C.N. D.H.H. D.L.I (Inst)Naturopathic Physician, Clinical & Sports Nutritionist
Member of Health Practitioners Association
As an ex-smoker, I am only too aware of how difficult it is to give up the habit. As well as nicotine, which is a powerful addictive body stimulant, tobacco, contains many other deadly poisons, some of these are carcinogenic. That should be enough to encourage every smoker to quit. Move mountains to try and kick the habit, your body will be forever grateful.
Alcohol is also a poisonous substance as far as the body is concerned. Its toxic byproducts have to be detoxified by the liver (as do all toxins). I do believe that drinking occasionally is a burden that a healthy body can tolerate. Lest I be accused of saying that, because it suits me, I don't drink! Alcohol has never agreed with me, which on occasions I have found infuriating! As a justification for drinking, wine particularly, the French are always cited as heavy drinkers with a very low incidence of heart disease. From my point of view this is understandable, as grapes contain certain antioxidants. These substances protect the body in many ways. This is not all of the answer, however. French food and the general diet is far better than that in the UK The 'sting in the tail' of this story is this; research has now found that the French have a very high rate of liver cirrhosis, caused in the main by excessive alcohol intake!
Please stay clear of them if you want to attain and maintain health. Even the 'soft' drug cannabis, has serious effects on the body, particularly with prolonged use. The active ingredient in cannabis is THC that alters the normal immune response, making the white blood cells around forty per cent less effective. Cannabis is sometimes prescribed or taken by the sufferers of M.S. (multiple sclerosis), to alleviate pain. With this disease, the immune system attacks the myelin sheath that surrounds the nerves. By suppressing the immune system, the attack against the myelin is less severe which equals less pain. In this instance cannabis is a double-edged sword.
Lack Of Exercise!
Exercise that elevates our heart rate is vital for good health. It strengthens the cardiovascular system, bones, muscles, tendons, ligaments, etc. Exercise also 'fixes' calcium in the bones, helps detoxification via the stimulation to the lymphatic system and the sweating process. Regular workouts will give us more daily energy through increased oxygenation, help burn excess fat and ward off both external and internal aging, providing it is not overdone. The benefits cannot be overstated. A minimum cardiovascular workout program, such as running, aerobics, stepping, skipping or rebounding, should consist of three sessions of twenty minutes weekly. We should never think that we are never too old to start! The moderate expense of seeking professional help for a personalized training program is well worthwhile. Remember, use it or lose it!
Please seek the advice of your doctor if you have not exercised for some time, or have a medical condition that may preclude it. A gentle word of warning! As with everything else, too much (exercise) is as bad for us as too little! If you are addicted to exercise or you are a professional athlete, it is absolutely vital to seek out professional nutritional help. Intense training depletes the body of all vital nutrients, leading eventually to a decline in performance. From a health perspective, it can seriously effect the immune system, leading to ill health. Many athletes have to retire prematurely after falling prey to recurring 'viral infections' (which means the doctor doesn't know what it is)! The cause is more often than not, severe nutritional deficiencies.
Lack Of Sleep!
While we sleep, the body repairs the damage that is done throughout the day, particularly at a cellular level. Adequate sleep is of paramount importance in any health building program A shortage of it has many far-reaching effects, such as depressing the immune system. In my case, it also depresses me! Science tells us that the 'friendly' bacteria in the intestines produce sleep - inducing chemicals called muramyl peptides. Such is the strength of these substances, that it is said that an extra billionth (!) of a gram will add several hours to a night's sleep. When these peptides hit the brain they stimulate the production of interleukins, which in turn stimulate immune system lymphocytes.
Lymphocytes perform many tasks, such as killing bacteria and viruses. I have noticed time after time that many of my clients who have severe digestive problems also have difficulty in sleeping. With digestive problems the natural balance of 'friendly' bacteria is usually upset. By restoring digestive and absorptive capabilities and re-balancing the bowel flora, many sleep problems are resolved. This is only my own anecdotal evidence, however, it may have some basis in fact.
It has been shown on many occasions, that happily married couples live a longer life than people who live alone. The human race, on the whole, has a need for companionship and love. The fulfillment of these basic needs is an intrinsic part of basic health. Without a shadow of doubt, negative emotions cast negative energy into the body, which can and often does lead to ill health, due to the imbalances caused on every level. However, nutritional deficiencies can also lead to disrupted brain and hormone function, which in turn can effect emotional behavior. If you feel that your emotional stability is under threat, whether it is from childhood experiences, a current problem or anything in between, then please seek professional help. Many of us carry far to much old emotional baggage around with us that affects the here and now. Offloading it, is in a sense, a reprogramming of mind and body - I have had to do this myself and can testify to the positive results.
I have a book of poetry written in the 1860s. The author writes in one entry, of "... the press and hurry of these times...". Today, a hundred and forty years later the 'press and hurry' or stress in all our lives, has increased dramatically. The American Academy of Family Physicians says that two thirds of visits to the doctor are due to stress related problems such as indigestion, nausea, fatigue, headaches and asthma. There are many studies that have shown the link between severe stress and severe illness. I have seen this connection myself on many occasions. The stress response is regulated by our autonomic nervous system. A real or perceived threat will set the response into action, making us ready for 'flight or fight' that was designed to help protect our lives in prehistoric times. The brain sends a message to the adrenal glands, which pour hormones into the bloodstream.
The heart rate rises, blood pressure soars, blood flow is diverted from the digestive system and sent to the muscles, the pupils dilate, oxygen consumption goes up and blood sugar levels rise. This all takes place in seconds. We are now ready for action! As you can imagine this reaction is in itself, a major stress on all the body functions in its own right. The autonomic nervous system cannot tell the difference between a real or perceived threat and will therefore mount the same response. Is today any different to prehistoric times as far as threat to life is concerned? It is probably worse. Certainly, the perceived threats to us are infinitely worse and more prolonged. Many people are in a state of 'fight or flight every' waking hour for years on end. We all have enormous demands on our time; we have deadlines, children, work, shopping, cooking, cleaning, finances, expectations, disappointments, traffic jams, noise, aggressive bosses, surly shop assistants, service providers who treat us as cattle, advertisers projecting images that say we should feel, think and look like this or that.
We may feel that everyone else has a perfect stress free life and we alone are frazzled beyond hope! This creates even more stress. We are assailed from every point with no respite. It is no surprise that we very often become ill as a consequence. This level of stress can easily become a permanent, totally debilitating condition. In this situation, the adrenal glands become exhausted, causing among other problems extreme fatigue, blood pressure changes, muscle weakness, digestive disorders, poor carbohydrate metabolism, poor electrolyte (sodium & potassium) regulation, depressed immune function, a rise in cholesterol, cold extremities, tooth-grinding, memory loss, short temper, etc. Virtually all bodily organs and functions are affected during this stress response. To counteract this situation, we may crave artificial stimulants such as coffee, tea, alcohol, cigarettes, and sugar.
These do stimulate the adrenal glands, but it is the same as whipping a dying horse, it struggles to its feet only to collapse again. A more severe whipping is needed to get it on its feet once again. During the stress response the body uses large amounts of nutrients and generates masses of damaging free radicals. The adrenal glands particularly, utilize a great deal of pantothenic acid (vitamin B5) to support their function, this is assuming that there is an adequate supply from which to draw in the first place! There are many ways to combat the stress in our lives', such as relaxation techniques, biofeedback, time-management techniques, meditation and exercise. Bookshops carry many titles on these subjects. Relax and become more healthy should be a daily promise to ourselves.
The evidence of the effects of electromagnetic radiation on health is totally overwhelming. Articles by the score on this subject are to be found in scientific journals the world over and dozens of books have been written on the matter. Government is taking notice of the 'developments', (in other words they are doing nothing) and the power companies are being forced to admit to possible dangers. The power companies in the USA take this situation far more seriously than those in the rest of the world. This is not because of any high-minded ideals; it is because of the fear of litigation. The human body operates on a D.C. electrical system (this is scientific fact). This operation is primary, and therefore precedes all chemical processes.
Man made electromagnetic radiation is overloading and interfering with the normal electrically polarized cellular communicative system. For example, the endocrine glands that pour hormones into the body, may under or over react to man made electromagnetic stimuli. This can have a 'knock on effect' to any or all of the other finely controlled internal mechanisms on which we are so dependent. For those who are exposed to strong electromagnetic forces, higher than normal rates of miscarriages may occur, fetal abnormalities and cot death risks are increased. This potent, and unseen force for example, may cause headaches, memory loss, lack of energy, M.E.[??] and cancer, wholly or in part.
Other problems related by global research to Electromagnetic Radiation (EMR) are:
Allergies - Headaches - Stomach ulcers - Irritability - Fatigue - Impotence - Mood swings - Infertility - Cysts - Fibroids - Depression - Rashes - Cancer - Cataracts - Diarrhea - Travel sickness - Breast cancer - Anxiety - Abdominal bloating - Multiple sclerosis.
Note: The above symptoms have many other causes besides E.M.R.
Electromagnetic radiation is generated among others by:
Computers - Telephones - Televisions - Electric motors - Stereo systems - Electric tools - Fluorescent lights - Electric blankets - High voltage power lines - Washing machines - House wiring - Office machines - Underground cables - Radios - Electric trains - Satellite communications - Microwave ovens - Conventional ovens - Overhead cables - Hair dryers - Radar - Mobile phones
Spring mattresses, metal necklaces, earrings, bracelets, wrist watches, metal filing cabinets, household plumbing, TV and radio antenna, all act as powerful aerials or attractors of electromagnetic radiation.
Some ways to reduce EMR in your home.
Fit cut -off switches, either at the ring main or use the portable variety in any plug socket. A multi-gang extension lead may then be used to power different appliances from the protected socket. With the cut-off switch in place, electrical current will not flow into the appliance (or the house wiring if it is fitted at the fuse box) and create an electromagnetic field, until it is switched on. In my view, the most important area to be covered by a cut off switch is the bedroom, where we spend a third of our life sleeping. At this time the brain has reduced all bodily functions down to a minimum, so that it may maximize its communicative ability with every one of our billions of cells. In this way the ravages of daily existence can be repaired. Electromagnetic radiation can seriously interfere with this communicative and repairing ability.
If your bed has a mattress made with coil springs, change it for a foam rubber or a 'filled' type. Do not use an electric blanket while sleeping and preferably not at all. Site your bed away from radiators; these also attract EMR, as does most metal, including jewelry. If possible, also site your bed at right angles to the incoming power line. This action will reduce the effects of the magnetic field. Do not use fluorescent lighting tubes, these emit the same type of radiation as VDU computer screens.
Sit as far away as possible from your TV set. Televisions can accumulate tremendous voltages (even when switched off but plugged in) and radiate much harmful energy including X rays. As a rule, the more expensive a TV the better the shielding. If you have a TV in your bedroom do not leave it on standby, fit a cut out switch to the socket or unplug it. Sit at least 30 inches away from your computer VDU screen and it's peripheral devices such as printers. Use an EMR screen shield if possible. Make sure that the back of your computer does not face into a child's room. Unplug all electrical devices when not in use if you have not fitted cutoff switches. Sit as far away as possible from electric heaters; these can give off very high fields. Replace old mains fuse boxes with the latest variety.
Minimize the use of household and cellular mobile phones. Base and hand set communicate via radio waves. As these are held at brain level, the potential problem is obvious. Use room ionizers. Many electrical devices create positive ions that are linked to ill health. Ionizers. fill the air with negative ions that are very beneficial to health. Electric shavers, hair dryers, kettles' etc, also produce electromagnetic fields. For the most part we are only exposed to these fields for brief periods, therefore one has to apply a risk to benefit ratio. Coghill Research Laboratories produce protection devices such as VDU shelters, cutoff switches, an electromagnetic field measuring meter, etc. Please see the services section at the end of this book.
It is possible to screen many of the effects of electric fields generated by power lines and pylons, by growing trees and shrubs between them and your house. Note: The worst fields are often found in the middle of two pylons. I have a simple meter that measures electrical energy in volts per meter. Above 10 volts per meter. is considered unsafe for sleeping infants, small children, the infirm or the unwell. Above 30 volts per meter. is considered unsafe in the long term for adults. For the magnetic field the threshold is 1 milligauss or 100 nT (nano Tesla). I always use this device to check sleeping and working areas on my travels.
A major high street company asked me to check their research & development laboratory, as three of their workers had suffered miscarriages in a six month period. The large laboratory had three long rows of work surfaces with cupboards under. The cupboard doors had a metal trim that served as a 'grip' for opening purposes, this trim was at stomach height and created a continuous line of metal along the whole installation. Above this, double fluorescent tube lighting glared down. The EMR emitted by these tubes was strongly attracted to the metal trim, and readings taken in the whole area were high. The highest being directly around the area of the trim.
Note: *Electromagnetic & VDU News, volume 7 No 3/4, 1996-7, carries an article stating that Swedish researchers have discovered that VDU operators have significantly reduced levels of the important hormone, melatonin.
*Published by: Electromagnetic & VDU News, PO Box 25, Liphook, Hants, GU30 7SE.
- You Can Heal Your Life - Louise L. Hay - Eden Grove Editions. (Personal Development).
- The Body Electric - Robert O. Becker & Gary Seldon - Quill Books.
- Cross Currents - Robert O. Becker - Jeremy P. Tarcher Books.
- Electromagnetic Man - Cyril Smith & Simon Best - Dent Publishing.