What is PEMF?
PEMF stands for Pulsed Electromagnetic Field Therapy and is possibly one of the most significant discoveries in the history of alternative health care. This energy therapy was actually discovered over 60 years ago and uses energy from electrical circuits.
Since its discovery, PEMF therapy has been the subject of a large body of research into its effectiveness for treating a range of conditions from treating injuries and arthritis to protecting against oxidative stress and emotional healing.
Approved Uses of PEMF Therapy
- In 1979, PEMF therapy was first approved by the FDA in the US for treating non-union fractures. In 1998, it was also been approved for stimulating the muscles and treating incontinence. In 2006, the FDA approved its use for treating depression and anxiety.
- PEMF therapy has been approved in Israel for treating migraines.
- The European Union has approved of the therapy to improve motion and also to help recovery from trauma and degeneration.
- In Germany, Switzerland and Austria, PEMF devices are sometimes used as a treatment for cancer. High powered devices have been used to induce apoptosis or programmed cell death.
How it Works
According to the manufactures, PEMF therapy works by delivering fields to the cells and stimulating their function. When electomagnetic energy is disrupted, it impairs cell metabolism which can happen at any point of a disease or illness and harm your ability to recover. PEMF addresses this issue by delivering electromagnetic fields to your cells.
According to advocates, as the electromagnetic fields pulse through your body, they help stimulate the chemical and electrical processes in your tissues which helps improve cell metabolism and helps the body’s ability to repair and regenerate.
An electric current is run through a coil made of copper creating a magnetic field that can penetrate your body, tissues and even the bones. One of the great benefits of PEMF devices is their convenience and safety. There are no known risks of side effects and treatment need only be 20 to 30 minutes at a time
Benefits of PEMF Treatment
PEMF therapy has many different applications for a person’s health from reducing inflammation and relieving pain to helping people with the symptoms of depression and anxiety. The following are just some of the many uses of PEMF treatment according to scientific studies.
1) Pain Relief
PEMF therapy represents a great alternative to pain medications without the risk of adverse side effects and dependency that powerful pain killers can bring.
It can be used as a treatment for recent injuries and trauma, managing chronic pain or recovery from surgery.
A study published back in the 1990s demonstrated that PEMF therapy could result in significant reduction in pain. This particular study was looked at the effectiveness of PEMF for pelvic pain caused by conditions such as endometriosis and dysmenorrhea but the therapy can be used to relieve pain all over the body whatever the cause. (1)
Millions of people worldwide suffer from the painful and debilitating symptoms of rheumatism and osteoarthritis. The majority control their symptoms with powerful steroids or NSAIDs which come with a number of adverse side effects. Fortunately, there are safer alternatives to NSAIDs and PEMF therapy is one of the best.
A study published in 1998 was conducted to examine the effectiveness of PEMF therapy on patients with rheumatoid arthritis. All of the patients involved in the study experienced a reduction in symptoms and pain making PEMF therapy an exciting option for people with arthritis. (2)
3) Improved Blood Circulation
PEMF therapy helps improve healing by also improving the circulation of blood through the body. According to research, PEMF works by increasing vasodilation allowing the blood to flow through the arteries more easily.
A study published in 2004 found that applying PEMF to a local area resulted in better circulation in that part of the body. By stimulating the blood vessels to dilate, PEMF could also help reduce blood pressure and allow blood to flow more effectively to the other parts of the body. (3)
4) Bone Healing
According to research, PEMF therapy can help repair broken bones especially those which do not heal in the expected time frame known as non-union fractures. These types of fractures often require orthopedic surgery but PEMF treatment may offer a less intrusive alternative.
In one study, researchers found that PEMF therapy had a significantly positive effect in healing these types of fracture. 13 patients with non-union fractures underwent the treatment and following 14 weeks, all but two of the patients had healed completely. (4)
5) For Migraines
Many people suffer from chronic migraines which can have a very damaging impact on your life whether at work, school or at home. Fortunately, PEMF therapy may help both to manage the frequency migraine headaches and the pain they cause.
One study published in 1999 looked at the effectiveness of PEMF therapy on 42 patients with chronic migraines. After a month of treatment, all of the patients in the treatment group were experiencing fewer migraines and the reported that their headaches were less severe. (5)
Depression is a very common condition but unfortunately at least 30% of sufferers do not respond to traditional antidepressant medication and the risk of adverse side effects is very high. This is where PEMF therapy may come in.
Research carried out in Denmark found that when PEMF therapy was used in combination with antidepressant medication, it had very positive effects in those who were resistant to medication alone. (6)
Animal studies have also found that PEMF therapy could decrease fear and anxiety reactions as well as improving the emotional behavior of rats. (7)
Given that antidepressants do not work for everyone and the list of side effects is so long, PEMF therapy may represent an exciting new treatment for the millions of people suffering from this terrible condition.
7) Nerve Repair
According to research, PEMF therapy might help repair damaged nerves. In one study published back in the 1990s, researchers discovered that rats treated with PEMF recovered more quickly from injury to the sciatic nerve. The precise mechanism behind the effect is unclear but the study indicates that PEMF therapy may have a role to play in repairing damaged nerves.
8) Range of Motion
Many patients with osteoarthritis and rheumatism suffer from a significant difficulties when it comes to their range of movement. PEMF therapy can help people with these conditions improve their range of morion and get them back on their feet again.
One study published in 2006 looked at the effect of PEMF therapy on motion range on patients with osteoarthrits. They found that it both helped improve movement and reduced pain and muscle spasms. (9)
9) Diabetes Symptoms
Many people with diabetes experience a condition called diabetic polyneuropathy. This is a very common complication of diabetes involving numbness and weakness to the body. For people suffering from this condition, there may be hope in the form of PEMF therapy.
One study published in 2003, found PEMF treatment could help treat diabetic polyneuropathy and boost nerve function. (10)
This unusual form of treatment is deveoping quite a following as wll as accululating a healthy body of scientific evodence to support its use. Have you ever tried PEMF therapy and what did you make of this novel alternative treatment? Please let us know, we would be delighted to hear from you.