The history of Geopathic Stress is a long one. The unhealthy spirals which dowsers detect above subterranean water have probably always been with us and the energy leys are believed to have existed for thousands of years. By comparison, electro-stress is the merest new-comer, with a history measured in decades. In the context of the length of time that humans have inhabited the earth, that is almost insignificant. There is consequently still much to be learned about electro-stress, but especially about the ways in which geopathic and electro-stress are related. It is already clear that the two have many similar characteristics and can cause similar diseases. Where they combine, as when a sub-station or television 'earths' itself into a spiral in the home as described later, the result can be especially dangerous. This part of the book will concentrate on electro-stress, but the interrelation should not be forgotten.

Safe as Houses?

It seems very much that the pattern of disease has markedly shifted in this century. The most threatening diseases up to the 1950s were diphtheria, tuberculosis, influenza, polio, heart disease and some forms of cancer. Since then there has been a great increase in the immune deficiency diseases such as allergies, asthma, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (M.E.), AIDS, arthritis, and cancers linked to the immune system like leukemia, lymphatic, liver and intestinal.

No conventional authority has given a satisfactory explanation for this remarkable change, or for the enormous scale and rapidity of immune system vulnerability, but it has to be a large and widespread source. Candidates such as vehicle emissions, chemicals in water supplies and food, acid rain, urban stress – though all of them might be contributory – none stands out as an obvious trigger.

One has to look for a source that was not threatening 50 years ago, but which has grown very rapidly and universally. Unnatural electromagnetic fields fulfil all the criteria. In 50 years radio has increased ten thousandfold, TV more than a million fold, and the uses which are part of our contemporary way of life, such as microwave communications, radar, low-frequency fields (VLF & ELF) and the many devices for transforming and transporting electric currents have spread rapidly everywhere without thought of the consequences. This has immersed us in an ever denser and more complex electromagnetic 'soup' that is quite unnatural. Because electric fields cannot be sensed and are hard to measure, ordinary people are generally unaware of their dangers.

Our bodies need centuries to start to adapt to critical environmental change. The most immediate reaction in the short term (that is decades), is to cause widespread sickness and extreme psychological stress. We are so caught up in the glamour of new technologies and by the riches that have accompanied them, that we have become blind to the possible effects of this technological assault on our bodies. However, the combined weight of independent research studies and clinical experience is already enough to convince many researchers that electro-stress is a key factor in the creation of the physical and psychological stresses from which so many people suffer – and which in many cases lead on to acute and chronic disease.

20th Century Ailments

In addition to the better documented research regarding the effects of electromagnetic fields of various types, some of which has been referred to above, a whole spectrum of different health-related factors have at some time been laid at the door of electro-stress. You will find in Table 1 (below) a summary of some of the suggested links which have been made. This is presented not as an authoritative statement of proven effects, but rather to give the reader some idea of just how much about this topic still remains to be researched.

Table 1 – Occupations with chronic exposure to
electromegnetic fields and reported diseases
Author/Date Occupations Relativefield
occurance of
Milham 1979 Aluminium workers over 100 guass Lung cancer
Lymphatic cancer
Blood cancer
Benign brain tumors
US Marine 1983 Service personnel
Electronic assembly workers
50-70 Hz
Increase in serumtriglycerides
Milham 1982 Various electrical workers weak to strong
60 Hz (and others)
Lung cancer
Lymphatic cancer
Blood cancer
Wright et al
Various electrical workers weak 60 Hz
(and others)
Leukaemia          Leukaemia
McDowall 1983 Electrical workers weak 50 Hz (and others) Leukaemia
Coleman 1983 Electrical workers weak 50 Hz
(and others)
Nordstrom et al 1983 Control-room operatives   Abnormal pregnancies
Congenital pregnancies


Electronic assembly workers 50 Hz (and others)  


Table 2 – Health problems which have been linked to eletro-stress
Dizziness or Faintness   
Bloated Feeling   
Swimming vision
Disturbed or light
superficial sleep
Loss of potency
Effects on the NervousSystem
Functional disturbance of the central nervous system

Functional disturbance of the sympathetic nervous system    
Neuro-dynamic events in the cerebral cortex    
Loss of concentration   
EEG changes    
Reduction of sensitivity and function in the

neuromuscular system of the hand
Symptoms of neurasthenia
Tendency to perspire
Slight tremor of the fingers
Weak pulse
Low blood pressure
Cardiovascular disturbances    
ECG changes
Changes in the Blood
Qualitative and quantitative changes in peripheral

blood system
Various changes in composition of blood components
Reaction Time
Changes in reaction time
Stimulation affect
Disturbances in temperature regulation


One question that the idea of electro-stress may help to answer is why there are today so many people who are permanently stressed and tense, who are apparently unable to relax, who do not sleep well or who wake up tired or aching (or both) morning after morning. Or why so many feel eternally run down or that they 'cannot cope', although their diets and general life-style show no obvious reason why this should be so. Eventually such people may become depressed, even suicidal.

The link with suicide was demonstrated in England in the early 1980s by Dr. Perry, a physician whose practice was in the Midlands of England. He found a significant correlation between suicides and attempted suicides in his locality and the proximity of patients' homes not only to overhead, but also to the underground high-tension power distribution lines (of whose existence they must have been as unaware as he originally was – so a psychosomatic effect seems unlikely). A later study gave similar results.

In 1988 he published a study showing a correlation between illnesses of people living in a tower block and whether they lived near to the high-voltage supply cables which rise up the side of such buildings. Those in apartments near to the supply lines accounted for 62% of the hospital admissions from the block for heart attacks and ischaemic heart disease and 71% of those admitted with depressive illness.[1] Drs. Dowson & Lewith have also showed that headaches and depression could be linked to power lines.[2]

Allergies have also become much more common, almost epidemic, especially amongst children. Allergy seems very much a classic twentieth century ailment. Asthma, hay fever and skin problems such as eczema have all escalated alarmingly in the last twenty years.

It is just possible that the upsurge in skin problems might be explained by the increasing use of new and aggressive chemicals in cosmetics and toilet products, cleaning materials and just about everything else. (As just one example, consider how carbon paper has been largely superseded by carbonless duplicate sets, replacing a simple substance [lamp-black] with complex encapsulated chemicals.)

However, this explanation fails to convince when we consider the growth of allergies causing respiratory problems, which abound even in infants. Various sources suggest that between one in ten and one third of school age children suffer to some extent. It is surely highly unlikely that there are more pollen granules or house dust mites in the air than there were previously, and thanks to clean air laws, levels of most industrial pollutants in the air have actually diminished. It's likely that the significant increase in air pollution from vehicle exhaust emissions is at least partly to blame, but increasing numbers of asthmatic children are found in rural areas as well as in traffic-clogged cities.

Dietary allergy is also alarmingly common and although there is no doubt that improved public awareness may have led to a higher level of diagnosis, the increase cannot be explained away by this factor alone. Children in particular are not likely to develop asthma or hives after eating particular foods, just because there has been press publicity!

Another intriguing puzzle is the typical response to treatment. There are effective techniques in both allopathic and homeopathic medicine by which the sufferer's sensitivity to an allergen can be reduced or even removed. Another approach is to design strict exclusion diets so that all traces of irritant foods are avoided. The problem is that in many cases no matter how many allergens are identified and cleared, the general level of sensitivity is apparently not diminished. The sufferer's body simply seems to move from one irritant to another, in the worst cases eventually ending up reacting to almost every substance in the environment. In other words, it is as if some other factor has made the sufferer hypersensitive and that almost everything has become a potential allergen for these unfortunate individuals. Could this sensitising factor be exposure to a variety of electromagnetic fields?

Dr. Jean Monro, together with Dr. Cyril Smith, did much work at the Breakspear Hospital in Kings Langley, England, during the 1980s to investigate the connection between allergy and electrical sensitivity. They showed that severely allergic patients can react violently to minute electrical fields. Most strikingly, they could produce reactions just like those produced by allergens by generating weak but specific radio- frequency signals near to the patient. Work like this suggests that electro-stress may well be at least a part of the story.

There are some who argue that the widespread use of vaccination is another sensitising factor. Vaccines are intended to increase the efficiency of the immune system by using a supposedly harmless form of a disease to stimulate the production of appropriate protective antibodies in the blood. Statistics seem to support the effectiveness of vaccination, but it is also true that a significant number of those treated suffer definite if apparently short-lived adverse responses to the vaccine. The suggestion is that the vaccines may also produce an unwanted long-term response, causing the body to make antibodies for anything that it does not immediately recognise. These may be not just bacteria or viruses, but also new foods, unfamiliar air-borne substances and so on. If this is so, the scope for adverse reactions has certainly increased as genetic engineering produces new forms of staple foods and the food industry processes ingredients in many new ways. It would certainly be interesting to see research into the relative levels of allergy in those who have and have not been vaccinated – or whether allergic responses are seen to increase in Third World countries where vaccination is introduced for the first time.

In parallel with allergy, many apparently unrelated illnesses have also been more prevalent, some of them seeming to appear 'out of the blue'. Tinnitus, myalgic encephalomyelitis (M.E.), multiple sclerosis (M.S.) and glandular fever are just a few of this mixed bag. Could electro-stress, with or without geopathic stress, provide a clue to some or all of these? It certainly appears highly likely that many such sufferers have in fact become sensitive to exposure to geopathic, electrical or magnetic fields.

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (otherwise known as M.E.) is a good example. Many attempts have been made to track down the causative agent which was originally widely suspected to be of a viral nature (it was often called Post-viral Syndrome in the early days of investigation). This research has ruled out mononucleosis or Epstein-Barr virus and in fact potent anti-viral drugs generally do not work with people diagnosed as having Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Many doctors dealing with M.E. or C.F.S. patients suspect sensitivities to electromagnetic fields and of course this ties in with one of the original large outbreaks of the disease in the computerised dealing rooms of the financial markets in the City of London. Some support for this thesis is found in the fact that many Chronic Fatigue patients feel much better if they take holidays in the country or even move there permanently away from the cities, offices or factories where they have lived and worked.

Conventional ideas on the mechanism leading to AIDS have also been questioned. Some researchers have expressed doubts as to whether the HIV virus in itself inevitably leads on to full-blown AIDS. It certainly seems likely that there must be other immune system factors that are playing a part. It is interesting that in experiments in California, Dr. Daniel B. Lyall[3] showed that if human T-cells (lymphocytes which are important in the human immune system) were exposed while in culture to a low strength electromagnetic field for 48 hours their ability to deal with invading cells was significantly reduced. If there is a similar mechanism taking place in human beings exposed to electrical fields then, of course, their immune systems would be much less able to cope with a serious infection such as HIV.

Roger Coghill, who has conducted a great deal of research into the effects of electromagnetic fields on people in this country has shown that 11 of 12 American cities with the highest incidence of AIDS also have the highest general level of electromagnetic 'traffic' of all kinds. He believes firmly that the huge growth in electromagnetic pollution (especially radio, TV and microwave communications traffic) is a major, if not the, root cause of the AIDS epidemic.[4]

At the moment the mechanisms causing sensitivity to normal electromagnetic fields are unknown. However, it would appear that there is a direct effect upon the nervous system and that the immune system is very probably also involved. It has been shown that electromagnetic radiations can disrupt the flow of calcium through the walls of cells in the body – and this can affect a number of important cellular functions, including cell division. If it is correct that certain electromagnetic radiations can promote the proliferation of cancerous cells, as has been suggested, then this could explain how it happens. Another theory is that the effect on calcium flow changes in some way the cell's ability to fight cancer.

Recently-published research at Bristol University has put forward the suggestion that the cancer-producing effects of mains electricity may be due to the fact that it seems to bring about a localised increase in the concentration of radon gas, which is known to be carcinogenous. Much scepticism has greeted this suggestion, but it does interestingly echo the theory which Tom Williamson advances regarding radon gas and unhealthy energy lines (see chapter 17). It also has some parallels with the observation of the German researcher Dr D Aschoe that he detects higher than usual levels of slow-moving neutrons above areas of unhealthy earth energies.

People can suffer for 'conventional' reasons many of the ailments discussed above, such as allergy and M.E. Perhaps they do not sleep because they are worried or weighed down by work or family problems. They develop rheumatism because of heredity or poor living or working conditions or viruses, or one of the many other accepted causes. They may also be reacting to poor diet or polluted air and water. But the case can be made that many of these factors have become less severe in the recent past. In this country, living and working conditions have improved in some ways, reducing some physical and mental stresses. Many epidemic diseases have been virtually eliminated and yet so many immune-related health problems are increasing rather than fading away.


1. Perry, S. & Pearly, L., Power frequency magnetic fields and illness in multi-storey blocks: Public Health, (1988); p.102, 11-8.
2. Dowson, D., et al, Overhead high voltage cables and recurrent headaches and depression: Practitioner, (April 1988), pp.435-6.
3. Lyall, D.B. et al, Bioelectromegnetics, 9, (1988): p.303.
4. Coghill, R., All Fall Down — The Cause of AIDS: Coghill Research Labs, Pontypool (1992).

Extract from the book Safe as Houses? Ill Health and Electro-stress in the Home by David Cowan & Rodney Girdlestone. Published by Gateway Books, The Hollies, Wellow, Bath BA2 8QJ, UK. £8.95. 1996


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