What is PEMF?
Pulsed Electromagnetic Field (PEMF) therapy has been making a lot of headway amongst competing complementary and alternative therapies (CAMs) in recent years.
It has demonstrated much promise in its ability to treat and alleviate a number of different health problems.
But the market for PEMF devices still has plenty of room for expansion, and one subset that is often overlooked is the application of PEMF therapy to animals.
Just as with humans, PEMF provides the same advantages for animals.
In fact, the first approved use of PEMF therapy in the United States was not on human recipients, but on racehorses.
Thoroughbred horses used in racing would be exposed to PEMF in order for them to help their muscles recover, and treat fractures and/or other injuries sustained during training or contests.
It was only after the evident success of PEMF in veterinary medicine that it was accepted as being a safe and viable option for people, as well.
But, even now, what many people don’t realize is that PEMF therapy can still be used for all types of pets—from farm animals to cats and dogs—for general health purposes, as well as for improving specific health conditions.
How Does It Work?
To understand how PEMF works—which is essentially the same for any animal, homo sapiens or not—you first need to think of your cells as batteries.
As with batteries, the charge in your cells can get depleted.
This happens when levels of adenosine triphosphate (ATP) are imbalanced, since ATP stores and transports chemical energy within cells.
In the case of such an imbalance, cells cannot function optimally. PEMF has the ability to prevent and correct this by catalyzing positive intracellular activity.
One of PEMF’s most helpful effects is improvement in microcirculation.
Because of this, each of the body’s cells can receive a higher concentration of oxygen and nutrients, and consequently perform at a higher capacity.
Although the mechanisms of how PEMF causes changes in human and animal health is still being investigated in the scientific community, it is known that PEMF primarily achieves all that it does through its regulatory effects on nitric oxide production.
Nitric oxide is produced by different cells within the body, such as the vascular endothelial cells (the cells that form the interfacial layer between the walls of blood vessels and the bloodstream) or neuronal cells.
It plays a very important role in cellular signaling in most mammals, as it is a key biological messenger molecule.
As a signaling molecule, the synthesis of nitric oxide is dependent on the availability of calcium (Ca2+), and its function as a binding agent. PEMF modulates calcium binding, and thereby activates nitric oxide synthase.
This ensures that levels of nitric oxide remain normal, as both deficiencies and abnormally persistent expressions of the free radical gas can be highly dangerous to various organs and biochemical systems in vertebrates.
When generated in normal amounts, nitric oxide plays an imperative function in maintaining health through a range of processes.
For instance, nitric oxide is used by endothelial cells to convey to blood vessel walls that they should relax.
When these smooth muscles relax, the entire vessel widens and blood flow increases, while blood pressure decreases.
Similarly, nitric oxide is used up by the brain and the peripheral nervous system in neural transmitting for various specialized nerves.
Other functions include, but are not limited to, tissue generation/remodeling, antitumor activities, and antipathogenic activities.
Therefore, PEMF is helpful for all organisms that require nitric oxide to activate cell signaling pathways.
Just as it is considered one of the safest complementary and alternative therapies for humans, it has also been proven to be completely safe for animals.
Moreover, it may be even more efficacious for pets and animals: Since the animals on which we use PEMF tend to be smaller and/or have a higher metabolic rate than humans, the same exposure can bring faster and higher-level improvement in them than in us.
Although it is difficult to get an objective evaluation, it also appears that animals receive some form of intrinsic satisfaction from PEMF exposure.
This we can conclude through hundreds of pieces of anecdotal evidence, wherein pets have shown to gravitate toward active PEMF devices and enjoy basking in the exposure.
A PEMF device at home will thus not only improve your pet’s health, but it will also give them more fulfillment on a daily basis.
What Benefits Can You Expect?
Generally speaking, you can expect your pets or other animals to derive the same benefits from PEMF exposure as humans.
And as we mentioned earlier, these benefits might even be more pronounced, and show up faster, in pets.
However, there are a handful of issues for which PEMF is especially helpful.
These are health problems from which animals tend to suffer, and PEMF can be effective to treat them either as a standalone or a complementary solution.
The reason why PEMF became so popular for racehorses was because of its ability to heal muscle soreness.
As the radiation from PEMF therapy can penetrate deep within the tissues, the PEMF device does not have to be placed directly over the muscle injury.
That is why a whole body exposure session can reach all the important muscles, and especially muscles that other treatment options might not get to effectively.
Muscle soreness is a common experience not only for just racehorses, but other animals, such as the greyhounds used in racing and farm animals that carry load.
Chronic pain—agonizing, debilitating, and persistent—is one of the primary reasons why humans opt for PEMF.
But animals too have similar sensory experiences as humans, and they also can suffer from chronic pain for reasons we do not yet understand properly.
What is worse is that animals cannot articulate their pain, and it is often overlooked or misunderstood.
However, if you think your pet might be experiencing pain, or shows symptoms of sustained distress, PEMF could ease their discomfort a great deal.
While your veterinarian will provide a traditional solution to bone fractures, it might be that that is not enough.
If the fracture is complicated, does not get adequate blood supply, gets infected, or moves too much, then it might not heal using only conventional methods.
At this point, the fracture is termed either delayed-union or nonunion.
The great news is that in such cases, PEMF can come in very handy.
Since PEMF can improve microcirculation, and also promotes tissue healing as a whole, it can help remold nonunion fractures in your pets.
Joint Pain and Inflammation
As your pets grow older, their joints and muscles are not as strong as when they were younger.
Just as with people, aging pets tend to suffer from inflammation in the joints which limits their range of motion and is often painful.
Symptoms such as reduced movement, limping, and abnormal behavior might signal that your pet is suffering from degenerative joint disease (also known as arthritis).
For these pets, routine PEMF exposure can be just the right solution.
You will notice that with each subsequent session, your pet appears more flexible and comfortable than before.
Depression and Anxiety
Unfortunately, pets—especially more emotionally-expressive ones, such as cats and dogs—suffer from the same mood disorders as we do.
The reasons behind these disorders are varied, and might involve a mixture of different factors.
For instance, some may suffer from imbalances in hormones and neurotransmitters.
Some might be affected by past trauma, such as abuse or neglect.
If your pet shows signs of depression (low motivation for food or activity, low spirits) or anxiety (frightened by new stimuli, high levels of timidity) then frequent PEMF treatment can help them overcome it.
Asthma is more common in animals than you would think—particularly in cat, dogs, and horses.
While it might not be the exact same as asthma in humans, and may have different medical terms (“recurrent airway obstruction,” or “heaves,” or “allergic bronchitis,” for example), the experiences are comparable to those of human asthma.
Your veterinarian will likely suggest a number of treatment options, such as lung-training activities and anti-inflammatory medication.
PEMF too can work precisely because of its anti-inflammatory benefits.
If you don’t want to make your pet too dependent on medication over the long term, you can manage their symptoms by incorporating PEMF into their treatment regime.
From orthopedic injuries to post-surgical wounds, PEMF can be a suitable treatment approach in any situation in which tissue healing is required.
Because PEMF improves circulation, the necessary microparticles and phagocytes that prevent infection can reach the site of the wound properly.
PEMF also promotes tissue regeneration, so that your pet can bounce back much faster.
Moreover, it will experience less swelling, inflammation, and discomfort during recovery.
While tissue heals naturally, given time, PEMF will penetrate those tissues and speed up the entire process so that there is less overall suffering and inconvenience.
Did you know that cancer is actually one of the leading causes of death in household animals, such as cats and dogs?
Cancer is the rapid, uncontrolled growth of abnormal cells, and might be caused by a vast number of factors.
As with cancer treatment for humans, cancer treatment for animals is often very expensive, painful for the patient, and not always effective.
Adding PEMF therapy to regular treatment can ease your pet’s pain and discomfort by a great margin.
Moreover, it can help aid apoptosis of the abnormal cells so that the tumor shrinks, and is prevented from spreading.
Helps with Allergies
Any animal may suffer from allergies, but your household pet is more likely to than those in the wild.
They can experience a number of uncomfortable symptoms, such a swelling, redness, itching, sneezing, or abnormal snoring.
Sometimes, the allergies can be severe, and your pet might experience vomiting, diarrhea, and more.
In these cases, the best protocol to follow is to visit the vet for an allergies test, and try to remove the allergens from your pet’s regular environment.
But if removing allergens completely is not possible, PEMF exposure can help your pet tolerate the allergen more.
Helps with Aging
You love and cherish your pet, and want them to remain with you for as long as possible.
But what you probably don’t know is that you don’t have to wait for a health condition or injury to start administering PEMF to your pets.
Because PEMF has so many positive effects (many of which we may not have even realized yet), regular exposure will ensure that your pet remains healthy and vigorous.
Based on reports by owners, pets tend to act more youthful and rejuvenated after PEMF exposure.
They also tend to survive longer into old age.
And since PEMF is perfectly safe despite the duration of exposure, you can bring home a PEMF device even if your pet is already perfectly healthy.
Just like a healthy diet and exercise will keep your pet young longer, so will PEMF.
Richard Hoover is a PEMF expert and content contributor to PEMF Advisor. With a bachelor’s degree in physics and multiple certifications in natural health programs, he is one of the best PEMF experts around.