Electro-pollution sensitivity and computer mice

Now this is an interesting situation.  We found two posts entitled “Electro-pollution sensitivity” on the WDDTY webshite that start with the same question. Even more curious: both posts are incomplete.

Notorious quackery promotion site Healthy.net to the rescue! We leave you to savour their presentation of the merits of WDDTY and the fuckwittery therein contained on a regular basis:

“The informed consumer is a safer consumer”
The acclaimed monthly publication, What Doctors Don’t Tell You scientifically reviews both conventional and alternative medicine and tells you the truth about both. Below you can search over 5,000 articles by subject from 16 years of WDDTY archives, either alhabetically (sic) by subject or by keyword or phrase.

You may also access key WDDTY articles under “Informed Consumer”, “Special Reports” and “Drug Safety” in the right hand column. Archives include 1991-2006.

It’s alright, you can stop laughing uncontrollably now. We don’t have the issue numbers according to WDDTY’s official Volume/Issue count, but this loonbaggery appears to date from early 2004. Eleven years in science is even longer than a week in politics, but quackery never changes.

Here is the original question:

This woman feels pain in her palm after about a minute of using her computer mouse, and is wondering if she’s experiencing a sensitivity to the electronic impulses, or electro-pollution. Has anyone had a similar experience? Suggestions on how to handle this would be appreciated.

It’s not complicated, is it? We’ve got an obvious case of RSI. How does one cope with RSI?

  • See your doctor, if only to rule out all other possibilities.
  • Take frequent breaks. You should be doing this anyway.
  • Make sure you’re sitting properly. A lot of problems are due to bad position/posture.
  • Try using forearm/wrist supports
  • Explore alternative mice (trackballs, touchscreens…). This includes a mouse that fits your hand properly. Shop around.
  • Explore alternatives to mouse clicking (touchscreens, touchpads…)
  • Try using adjustable keyboards. Sometimes changing the typing angle is all that’s required.
  • Try using other types of alternative keyboards: Dvorak, curved…

AND IF ALL ELSE FAILS  or the doctor starts muttering about surgery:

  • Don’t touch the computer at all

So, what sage advice does WDDTY have for us? Let’s start with the first reply. Sit tight, because there’s some remarkable dumbfuckery  going down:

What Doctors Don’t Tell You © (Issue 179)
Regarding EMF sensitivity, a Q-link necklace can have some benefit…

I looked up Q-link and my immediate reaction was: “obvious frauds”. How else can one respond to such claims as: “(Sympathetic Resonance Technology™) is an array of proprietarily identified frequencies that support and enhance the efficiency and performance of various organic and inorganic systems” and similar Quantumbo-jumbo? Hugely overpriced magic talismans for rich idiots.

Try to minimise things like metal beds, which tend to attract electromagnetic fields. You may need a comprehensive approach of shielding and abatement if there is a lot of sensitivity.

Correct me if I’m wrong, but mice rarely resemble metal beds, even in a darkened room after a night on the tiles. None of this has any bearing on what the poor woman actually has. Quacks aren’t interested in that, of course; they’re interested in trying to sell her as much guff as possible for what she thinks she might have.  This “comprehensive approach” – on top of the ruinous magic amulets, bracelets and… USB keys??? – includes an instruction to:

Check out Roger Tolce’s website.

Roger Tolce is a fully paid-up conspiraloon who claims, for a price, to clear your premises of electronic bugs and wiretaps. He is convinced that voice-to-skull technology is a Thing, which possibly tells you more than you wish to know about his mental health.

However, WDDTY is broad-minded enough not to forget that there are less conventional views out there:

A few readers felt that this problem is more likely a result of mechanical strain, especially if other electronic devices (mobile phones, land phones, hair dryers, etc.) don’t cause a problem.

So what does WDDTY advise for “mechanical strain”, aka RSI?

In that case, take vitamin B complex (this is good for stress too).

Bollocks. Complete and utter bollocks. That’s like telling someone who breaks a bone to eat plenty of oranges. The B vitamins help you digest food properly and contribute to making red blood cells. End.

An osteopath recommends trying another “rodent” – a pointing device that isn’t a mouse, such as a trackball or joystick. The action of gripping the mouse between the thumb and little fingers while moving other fingers on the buttons can often cause a strain, especially if your posture is incorrect, the mouse is too far away, or there is not enough room on your desk.

Stone me: good advice – as far as it goes, which isn’t nearly far enough (see list at top of post for details). Extra minus points for the word “osteopath”.  You’d get the same advice from a systems administrator, and she isn’t a qualified medical professional either. Scrub that, the sysadmin would probably give better advice: it’s a professional injury for her.

There will now follow a short reading from the Second Reply, because it’s frankly insane and unbearably funny.

What Doctors Don’t Tell You © (Issue 181)
A progressive kinesiologist recommends Jane Thurnell-Reads book about Geopathic Stress, which explains how to De-Gauss the body. This is beneficial for people experiencing static shocks, electro-magnetic pollution, headaches and general fatigue, and not only helps with electric type problems such as computers and Playstations, etc. but is also great for people sensitive to plastics. And we live in a world full of plastic and petrochemicals!

Note for the incurably gullible: degaussing is the process of removing/reducing  a magnetic field. Magnetic fields require iron. Our bodies do not contain sufficient iron to be degaussable. Plastics contain no iron at all.

I cannot believe some people think plastic can be magnetic.

Now then, not only should you ensure your mouth is free of drinks or foodstuff while perusing the next part, but we strongly advise you to empty your bladder as a precautionary measure.

To De-Gauss: Use an electric hairdryer, switched on. Run the dryer against your own body, going along the arms, back, front, legs and head, taking care not to get your hair pulled into the motor!

I’m not sure I want details of the unconventional way this person uses a hairdryer, which… Yes, quite right, miss, a hairdryer produces a weak electromagnetic field.

Do this for about five minutes. Wearing special ‘shields’ can also help, but do not suit everyone.

Tinfoil hat

It may sound weird but it is very effective and you feel great afterward. This should be done weekly. Use of the mouse can also aggravate the carpus of the wrist, so wearing your watch strap on that hand and ensuring it is quite tight will also help this problem, as it releases the radius and ulna from spreading with wear and tear and trapping the tendon, which causes pain right up to the neck and into the fingers.

I’m pretty fucking certain that a tight watch-strap would make things worse. You’d be increasing pressure on the median nerve, not relieving it.

You may also want to look into Compensatory Magnetic Oscillation (CMO) by Tecno.

CMO-TecnoI couldn’t find Tecno’s website, but I did find what they sell. It looks like the thing on the right. Apparently it creates a sort of invisible bubble 11 metres across that shields you from Electromagnetic Waves.  All in all, it’s a snip at €99. No evidence required!

More seriously: all in all, this is a litany of stupid and expensive “advice” which could lead to real harm. Surgery for carpal tunnel is neither fun nor cheap, and it carries its own risks, as does any major surgery.  It’s the ultimate resort, when no other treatment is possible,  and it’s a risk you really shouldn’t run when the use of your hand is involved.

This isn’t health advice, in spite of WDDTY’s labelling. It’s health sabotage.

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