In this article we will explain everything you need to know about PEMF therapy. What is it? How does it work, and what are the evidence-based benefits?
In case if you are looking for a PEMF device, please read this article where we compare the best PEMF devices currently available on the market.
PEMF therapy is definitely not a new type of treatment.
It has been around for thousands of years, and it has stood the test of time.
However, it is still not as popular as some other commercial types of treatment like physio, chiro, or massage.
So what is PEMF therapy?
This acronym stands for Pulsed Electromagnetic Field Therapy, and has been used by Chinese medical practitioners for around 4000 years.
They figured out that certain magnetic stones could be used in medicine because they had a positive effect on many illnesses.
Moreover, these stones also had a positive effect on the prevention of many diseases.
At that time, however, the only method they could use to determine the health effects was purely observational.
Nowadays, however, our medicine and science have developed enough so that we can understand the principle by which PEMF works.
In the late 1800s, the science reached a point where we could understand electrons and how they affect the way our body functions at a cellular level.
Not long after, we realized that if we stimulate the electrons in specific parts of our body, we can remove many health problems that we might have, and improve our overall physiology.
Today, when we ask the question, “What is PEMF therapy?” we can refer to more than 2000 studies to provide an answer.
And studies are already on the way to explain the workings of PEMF in even greater detail.
Governments around the world have approved and regulated the use of this therapy, once they have realized all of the health benefits that it has.
- The FDA regulated the application of PEMF therapy for treatment of urinary incontinence, bone fracture, depression, and anxiety, as well as for muscle stimulation.
- Israel and Canada recognize the use of PEMF technology for the treatment of many illnesses.
- The European Union approves of PEMF, especially for treating motion illnesses.
- Austria, Switzerland, and Germany widely use PEMF therapy to treat cancer, among many other diseases.
What Is Pulsed Electromagnetic Field Therapy?
When in grade school, our teachers used to teach us that energy is everywhere and in everything around us.
We learned that all energy is also dynamic, and that it moves all the time, so we know that it also has a frequency.
This is important to mention when we are answering the question of “What is PEMF Therapy?”
All of the atoms, chemicals, and cells in our body produce their own electromagnetic pulse.
Therefore, we can conclude that all the energy that we can observe in nature is of electromagnetic origin.
Moreover, it is important to know that every organ in our body also emits electromagnetic energy.
In our body, we have more than 70 trillion cells.
Every one of them is able to emit its own electromagnetic energy, but also to receive electromagnetic energy from outside.
EMF is synonymous with life, in a way, because as long as we live, our body and cells emit electromagnetic impulses.
Once we are no longer alive, this activity ceases.
Another important note is that the cells in our body are extremely sensitive.
They are responsive to very low frequencies and amounts of electromagnetic waves.
PEMF therapy is important because we cannot keep track of every single one of the 70 trillion cells in our body.
Often these cells show signs of dysfunction, and PEMF therapy is the ideal way to deal with these microcellular pathologies that we might not even know about.
A bad characteristic of our cells is that they can easily run very low on energy due to internal and external stresses.
By exposing them to electromagnetic waves, we can replenish their energy storage, and we won’t feel sluggish or susceptible to disease anymore.
So, what is PEMF therapy? It is essentially a charger for our cells.
The Importance of Frequency
Many studies that have been done throughout the last century, including some done by NASA, claim that very low frequencies of PEMF therapy are the most beneficial for our body.
They stimulate cellular growth and our body’s healing mechanism.
The frequency at which the planet Earth and our body operate is the same.
It is in the range of 0-30 Hz (Hertz), and electroencephalograms (EEGs) prove this.
In addition to this proof, there are many other studies that also prove it.
Therefore, the best way to get the most out of PEMF therapy is to go with low frequencies.
Some electromagnetic pulse therapy devices advertise being able to produce very high frequencies.
However, don’t fall for this trick, as high frequencies can often do more bad than good to our body.
The Importance of Amplitude
When we are answering the question ‘What is PEMF therapy?’, we need to mention amplitude, as well.
Getting the amplitude right is just as important as choosing the right frequency.
If the amplitudes that our electromagnetic pulsed therapy devices produce are too strong, they can cause significant damage to our cells.
Many studies show that, just like the frequency, the ideal amplitude is also very low because of how responsive our cells are.
We measure the amplitude in Teslas, but since we need very small amounts, we will be using micro-Teslas (uT).
So, the ideal amplitude for our body is between 30-60 uT.
As is the case with frequencies, many PEMF devices for sale are able to produce amplitudes that are very strong.
Such intensity is unnecessary, and we should stick to the low values.
Why Is Biorhythm Important for PEMF?
When we talked about the ideal frequency of PEMF therapy, we mentioned that it is in the range of 0-30 Hz.
However, this frequency can be adjusted even more precisely, according to several parameters.
One of these is our biorhythm clock that determines what the best electromagnetic frequency for our body is at a specific time of day.
In the morning, when we wake up, ideally we want to feel more alert.
If we want to start taking care of our daily routine, we should aim for a higher frequency.
In the morning, the ideal frequency would be between 15-30 Hz.
This will allow us to start producing more cortisol and to wake up a lot faster.
On the other hand, at night, just before going to bed, it is ideal to have as little cortisol as possible in our system and as much melatonin.
Therefore, we should aim for frequencies between 0-7 Hz. This will usher our body into a rest-mode, and we will fall asleep more easily.
The Earth has a biorhythm clock, as well.
Its frequency is higher during the day and lower during the night.
That is one of the reasons why we naturally feel drowsy when the night approaches.
Therefore, if we want our body to be perfectly synchronized with the Earth, we should pay attention to what frequency we use when.
PEMF Therapy Benefits
PEMF therapy has many proven health benefits for humans.
Numerous studies have been conducted to prove these known benefits and find possible new ones.
New studies are being done frequently since PEMF is such a popular topic and therapy.
PEMF therapy is beneficial in treating simple problems like fatigue, or range of motion, but also for some more pressing illnesses like arthritis, cancer, depression, and more.
It is not only beneficial in reversing illnesses, but also in preventing them.
By using PEMF therapy regularly, we can keep ourselves in good and strong condition so that we can better deal with the struggles and stresses of everyday life.
Let us go through some of the many health benefits of PEMF to answer in its entirety the question ‘What is PEMF therapy?’.
In 1993 a study was completed with the aim of investigating what effects PEMF use had on sciatic nerve issues.
After completion of the study, the results were positive.
The conclusion was that a pretreatment with PEMF on rats’ sciatic nerve caused positive stimulation.
Even though the study was not conducted on humans, we can see that PEMF may stimulate and improve the function of nerve tissue in the body, as well. (1)
Lower Pelvic Pain
In 1999, a study was conducted and featured in the European Journal of Surgery that found there was at least a short-term positive effect on pelvic pain from PEMF treatment. (2)
Treatment of Arthritis
Certain Indian researchers have come to a definitive conclusion that PEMF therapy can have a very positive effect on patients that struggle with arthritis symptoms.
A study was completed in 1998 that found a correlation between PEMF and rheumatoid arthritis.
The patients who took part in the study experienced numerous beneficial results. (3)
Fast Cell Regeneration
The Annals of Plastic Surgery published a study in 1986 that dealt with possible health benefits that PEMF therapy could have on cell regeneration.
The main point was to determine what the relationship is between soft-tissue healing and PEMF. (4)
Even though the results were not definitive, there was a correlation and an effect found.
The study especially focused on the effects of PEMF on faster wound healing.
Many scientists believe that more research is necessary before these correlations can be proved with 100% certainty, so many studies are already on the way.
Better Range of Motion
In 1996, a study was featured in Clinical Rheumatology that proved a link between a range of motion issues and PEMF.
And a correlation between cervical osteoarthritis-induced pain and PEMF has been found, as well.
Namely, 34 patients were involved in the study; all of them reported positive effects at the end.
The patients reported decreased neck pain, a lower number of muscle spasms, and improved range of motion as a consequence. (5)
Helps with Migraines
In 1999, a study was conducted to find a correlation between PEMF and migraine issues.
The study took place in the U.S., and involved 42 patients who reported chronic migraines.
The study lasted for 60 days, and after the conclusion of the therapy, all 42 patients reported that their condition had improved and that their migraines had disappeared or become less severe.
Therefore, the scientists concluded that a minimum of 20 days of consistent PEMF therapy can help patients who are struggling with migraines. (6)
Better Blood Flow
A study was completed and published in 2004 in the Journal of Orthopedic Research whose aim was to find a link between the function of arteriolar microvessels and PEMF.
It is important to mention that the study was not conducted on humans, but on rats.
The diameter of these arteriolar microvessels was measured both before and after PEMF stimulation.
The scientists came to the conclusion that PEMF had definitive positive results for vasodilatation.
Local use in areas where blood flow is impeded can lead to a widening of blood vessels and improve blood circulation. (7)
A study that was completed in early 2000 found that there is a strong link between PEMF therapy and depression.
In the study, PEMF therapy had beneficial consequences for the emotional state and motor activity of rats.
These rats were more active and more emotionally stable.
Specifically, the study proved that the effects of PEMF therapy with a frequency between 4-6 Hz decreased the adverse effects of anxiety, fear, and depression in these rats. (8)
Low Diabetes Factors
In 2013 a study was completed on 121 patients.
These patients all suffered from a state called diabetic polyneuropathy.
At the end of the research, a strong correlation was found between PEMF and improvement of this diabetic syndrome.
While the patients were in the study, there were clear signs that PEMF was helping with this state.
The main symptoms of diabetic polyneuropathy were alleviated, the peripheral nerves showed improvement, and spinal motor neurons performed better.
These are all areas that are affected by the disease, as well.
Finally, the scientists concluded that PEMF therapy had beneficial effects in treating both diabetic polyneuropathy and diabetes mellitus. (9)
Better Bone Healing
In 1999 a study took place in Bangladesh that proved a correlation between bone healing and PEMF.
The complete mechanism of the process was not completely clear, unfortunately.
Therefore, more research is underway to explain the mechanism more fully.
However, the fact that PEMF has positive effects on bone healing is undeniable. (10)
As you can see, in order to answer the question “What is PEMF therapy?” we had to discuss aspects like frequency, amplitude, and biorhythm.
In addition, we mentioned just a fraction of the numerous health benefits of PEMF therapy.
So, finally, what is PEMF therapy?
It is a great way to recharge your cells in a natural way, prevent diseases, and give your overall mental and physical condition a quick boost.
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.