I have recently come across a few homes where magnetic fields were causing health and sleep problems.
Elevated magnetic fields can cause health and sleep problems. This can occasionally be an overriding issue taking precedence over a traditional Feng Shui approach.
Electromagnetic radiation, EMR, is a by-product of modern life. It is the magnetic field created by the flow of electricity are one form of electro-stress. It surrounds electric appliances and wires. Magnetic fields easily penetrate walls and thus can affect us inside our homes.
Sleeping and living within high levels of fields affects the functioning of the immune system, and with that can trigger all sorts of health problems. It can cause susceptibility to sickness, sleeping difficulties, headaches, difficulty concentrating, irritability, depression, skin problems, and fatigue. In the extreme it can even be responsible for miscarriage, cancer, childhood leukaemia, brain tumours and Alzheimer’s disease.
The Good news
Electromagnetic Radiation is part of our lives but most of us are not subject to excessive magnetic fields. They can be measured with a GAUSS meter, which is what I now regularly do during Feng Shui consultations. Levels up to 2 milligauss are considered safe.
The good news is that the level of fields drops off very quickly, even from a strong source. Thus most of us don’t live within in high magnetic fieldlevels and modern life is fairly safe for most of us.
I have measured high voltage power lines, the ones we have running along the creeks in Melbourne. Even with those, the level of radiation around 50m away from the lines is almost negligent. This makes most houses near these power lines safe.
A meter box in a home is also a strong source of EMR, more so in older homes. But here EMR also drops off quickly. It is generally safe to sleep at a distance of 1.5m from it.
It is important that we don’t live in fear of this invisible threat – that itself would affect your health.
The Bad news
Sources for unhealthy magnetic fields- over 3 milligauss – are power lines, meter boxes, the main electricity wire entering the home, transformers and appliances, such as microwave ovens, TV sets, radio clocks and electric blankets.
You can handle the internal fields fairly easily. Don’t sleep or sit immediately behind the meter box, TV or fridge on the other side of the wall, unplug or do not use electric blankets, move radio clock at least 1m away from you, and don’t stand within 3m from microwave ovens, if you need to use one.
It is external sources of magnetic fieldsthat can be trickier. Occasionally I have found homes detrimentally affected. One cause of this can be the powerlines running along the street. If the current in these is relatively strong (this varies from distance to the source point), homes and rooms that directly adjoin the street and are close to these wires can be affected. I have seen half the home subjected to dangerous EMR readings in this situation.
Some homes are backing onto Substations or are next to transformers. Each of these emits high levels of EMR. However, in most cases I have found the radiation had dropped off enough at the boundary of the home. In an extreme case however – it had faulty mains wiring for the whole block under their unit – I found 25 milligauss of radiation throughout the home – and a lot of illness and irritation.
There can also be some unseen sources of EMR. The home can be insufficiently ‘earthed’, which can cause electric current to run through the water pipes, causing an overall high field of EMR. I have found this only in older homes, where I have seen overall field of 5-8 milligauss throughout the home. This problem can be remedied fairly easily by isolating the water pipes from the electric current with a piece of plastic piping.
What you can do
If you suspect a problem with EMR, find out! Most homes are fine and problems are relatively rare. If there is a limited local source of EMR you can control your exposure to these – Remember: radiation does drop off quickly!
However, there are some homes that are subject to unacceptable levels of EMR. This is rare and unfortunate. Whenever, I have come across a situation like this, people usually know that something is wrong, it feels heavy, dull and irritating. If it cannot be fixed, it is better to move – much less pain in the long-term!
If you are concerned, I take EMR readings during a Feng Shui consultation to determine if there is a problem – or mostly give you peace of mind that there isn’t. Please be in touch if you are concerned.
NOTE: This article was first published in 2011. Since then the amount of electro-stress has substancially increased in our lives because of high powered mobile and smart technologies. I have since qualified as a Building Biologist and can now accurately measure not only stress from magnetic fields, but also from electric fields, high frequency radiation and dirty electricity. These can all affect sleep and wellbeing.
Photo by Cameron Kirby on unsplash.com