Analog vs. Digital Electrotherapeutic
(Specifically Pulsed Electromagnetic Field Technologies)
PEMF explanations can get very technical, so we’ll get into those in a bit.
PEMF refers to a group fo devices that help repair broken or stressed bones by directing a series of magnetic pulses through injured tissue, stimulating cellular repair. PEMF also helps in healing soft-tissue wounds; suppressing inflammatory responses at the cell membrane level to alleviate pain, and increasing range of the motion.
The value of pulsed electromagnetic field therapy has been shown to cover a wide range of conditions, with well documented trials carried out by hospitals, rheumatologists, physiotherapists and neurologists.
For years many Pulsed Electromagnetic Field devices or PEMF’s, whether digital or analog, have all been viewed as the exact same technologies, merely offered in different packaging. However, that similarity would be like saying that a $650,000 McLaren and a Yugo are both cars. Certainly they both have wheels and both engage by pushing the accelerator, but the similarities end there.
In order to explain the differences between Analog and Digital PEMF devices, we first need to explain what a PEMF device actually is. There are a number of PEMF manufacturer websites, all attempting to market various alternative electro-therapeutic devices and technologies and it would seem that each has their own definition of what a PEMF actually is. Their descriptions of a PEMF, not so surprisingly, are tailored specifically to the unit that they manufacture or sell. There are even websites that claim to be “non-biased”, benevolently disseminating the truth about PEMF technologies, when in fact, the site is owned and operated by the people that are selling the units that they are actually promoting. Although this article does promote a specific type of PEMF device, please be aware that all the information and descriptions originate from totally independent sources.
So, let’s go back to the cars. McLaren may define a car as a luxury vehicle that can take you in style anywhere you want to go at 180 mph. While Toyota may describe a car as a vehicle that can get you to anywhere you want to go with 50 mpg. Notice there is really only one letter difference; the “H” (mph) and the “G” (mpg), but the difference in price is about $600,000 and, as we certainly can all agree, luxury and performance level as well. The information provided by PEMF manufacturers tailors their definition of PEMF so as to promote their product(s) with little or no scientific argument offered to substantiate or prove their claims.
The only difference between the PEMF units discussed here, in this article, will be the difference between digital and analog. Many people say that digital is better because far more information can be stored and/or delivered through digital output compared to analog output. When it comes to influencing the human body with electrotherapeutic technologies, we believe that this is a very inaccurate statement.
It is also important to clarify that a PEMF and a Multi Wave Oscillator are two different types of devices.
The Wikipedia Website definition of a MWO is as follows:
With assistance from D’Arsonval, Georges Lakhovsky invented the Multiple Wave Oscillator, that Lakhovsky claimed would revitalize and strengthen the health of cells. The device consisted of two broadband antennae (a sending and a receiving pair) composed of concentric sets of curved open-ended copper pieces suspended / held in place by silk threads, two metal stands to hold the two antennae, Oudin coil(s), and electromagnetic spark / pulse generator. In June 1934 he was awarded U.S. patent 1962565 for the device. In 1932, Georges Lakhovsky used aluminum and in some models multi metal, air filled tubes bent into nested circular dipoles for the antennae in his Multi-Wave Oscillator.1
Various Analog “PEMF” units, such as the “Biocharger”, use a very high voltage Tesla coil to bounce sparks off a series of plasma tubes filled with various gases to broadcast a huge range of frequencies to those nearby. Although these devices, technically could fall into the analog category, they are actually just a Multi Wave Oscillator and not a true PEMF. The great concern about these types of devices is, “What’s in the Bulbs or Tubes”? Some manufactures have been known to use things like Mercury, Cadmium, Bromine and other extremely toxic materials. You may ask, “Why is that a concern? They’re in sealed glass tubes.” The concern is that when a charge is applied to one of the tubes in order to create resonance emissions, anyone in close proximity is now resonating with the energetic potential of the substance in the tube. A familiar example would be a fluorescent light bulb. Within the glass bulb is a very small amount of mercury and usually argon gas under vacuum pressure; when charged, or excited, the mercury becomes a gas that emits mercury radiation. That radiation then reacts with a phosphor powder that coats the inside of the bulb and light is created. Please note that this creates “mercury radiation.” The actual distance in a normal household bulb, using standard 120 volts AC, are merely a couple feet, but what if the power source was 250,000 volts DC?
Pulsed electromagnetic field therapy (PEMFT), also called pulsed magnetic therapy, pulse magnetotherapy, or PEMF, is a reparative technique most commonly used in the field of orthopedics for the treatment of non-union fractures, failed fusions, congenital pseudarthrosis and depression2. In the case of bone healing, PEMF uses electrical energy to direct a series of magnetic pulses through injured tissue whereby each magnetic pulse induces a tiny electrical signal that stimulates cellular repair. Many studies have also demonstrated the effectiveness of PEMF in healing soft-tissue wounds; suppressing inflammatory responses at the cell membrane level to alleviate pain, and increasing range of motion. The value of pulsed electromagnetic field therapy has been shown to cover a wide range of conditions, with well documented trials carried out by hospitals, rheumatologists, physiotherapists and neurologists. There are several electrical stimulation therapy devices, approved by the FDA, that are widely available to patients for use. These devices provide an additive solution that aid in bone growth repair and depression.3,4
History of PEMF – The use of magnetic field therapy in clinical applications dates back over 500 years. In the 15th century, Swiss physician and alchemist Paracelsus used lodestones, or naturally magnetized pieces of the mineral magnetite, to treat conditions such as epilepsy, diarrhea, and hemorrhage. He believed that the ability of magnets to attract iron could be replicated by attracting disease away from the body. In the late 18th century, the Austrian physician Franz Anton Mesmer, who originated the idea of “animal magnetism”, described the healing properties of passing magnets over the open veins of patients.4 In the mid-19th century, magnetic ointments produced in New York were introduced as remedies for a whole spectrum of illnesses such as headaches, inflammation of the bowels, burns, fever sores, rheumatism, gout, and toothache.
Although electricity’s potential to aid bone healing was reported as early as 1841, it was not until the mid-1950s that scientists seriously studied the subject. Fukada’s and Yasuda’s discovery of the electric potential of bone provides evidence of electricity’s effect in promoting osteogenesis (bone growth), particularly in long bone non-unions.5 During the 1970s, Bassett and his team introduced a new approach for the treatment of delayed fractures, a technique that employed a very specific biphasic low frequency signal 6,7,8,9 to be applied for non-union/delayed fractures. The use of electrical stimulation in the lumbosacral region was first attempted by Alan Dwyer of Australia. In 1974, he reported successful initiation of graft incorporation in 11 of 12 fusion patients. Since that time, electrical stimulation has been shown to significantly increase the probability of bony arthrodesis in spinal fusions.10,11
In 1979 the FDA approved non-invasive devices using pulsed electromagnetic fields designed to stimulate bone growth.12
In 2004, pulsed electromagnetic field system was approved by FDA as an adjunct to cervical fusion surgery in patients at high risk for non-fusion.13
The use of PEMF stimulation has been found to be safe.14 It has also been proven safe and effective in treatment of delayed union in long bone fractures and patients at a risk of non-union following spinal fusion surgeries.
In 1963, Antoine Prioré described a way to treat living cells through a specific production of “radiation” and using this process to “Trans-mutate” damaged or afflicted cells back into normal healthy cells. The “radiation” he was describing was a broadcast of Analog frequency patterns, or spectrums. 15,16
Many PEMF manufacturers cite Prioré’s work to describe and validate how their systems work. For the most part, these are misleading claims, whether intentional or not. Prioré’s systems consisted of a massive computer system, a receiver, a transmitter, and a very large plasma tube suspended over a table upon which a person would lay. The computer’s workings were analog in the truest sense — processing complex information with tubes instead of chips. The receiver was also analog in nature. The shortened version of the concept was: a massive array of frequencies, broadcast, through the plasma tube, to a person lying on the table. A receiver would “pickup” the frequencies that were reflected back by the person’s body.Those frequencies would then be amplified and broadcast out through the plasma tube for a set period of time. This system would go through this cycle numerous times during which the resonance frequency patterns would be changed and updated as the person’s field changed. A standard session could last as long as eight hours.
None of the manufacturers discuss how Prioré’s system actually worked. They just cite the theories behind the technology. In December 2001, Tom Bearden, Ph.D. described the Priore technology in his Patent Application for a Method, System and Apparatus for Conditioning Electromagnetic Potentials, Fields, and Waves to Treat and Alter Matter17. In that application, Bearden describes how Prioré’s device worked and how he intended to replicate it using modern equipment. Unfortunately, Bearden was attempting to replicate Prioré’s device using all digital equipment and has yet to accomplish his goal.
In order to differentiate between digital and analog PEMF devices, we must first understand modern PEMF technology..
Current , mainstream PEMF technologies create their frequencies using a computer frequency generator that can regulate both the frequencies and the pulse rates. The frequencies created are both specific in modulation and in range (i.e. the frequencies are limited to specific frequencies – 24 Hz, or for higher quality units, 24.35 Hz; the difference being the .35Hz or two decimal places). Either way, the output is limited to a specific Hertz. The way many PEMF device technologies attempt to overcome this limitation is to “cycle” through series of frequencies, intending to duplicate the selected frequencies series which are believed to influence the human body.
The primary flaw in this concept is that the body’s cells (of which there are many1 and these are the parts of the body that are supposedly being influenced by these frequencies) are not specific, digital frequencies, but are analog in nature; consisting of a frequency spectrum of complicated sinusoidal waves. This will be explained further in this article.
A second glitch with most PEMF units can be found in the delivery system. High-Voltage units such as the PAP-IMI, PEMF 4000, PEMF 100 or the Magnapulse work by creating a pulsed charge of electricity into the body. These charges can create substantial muscle contractions and many users refer to their exposure experience as quite painful. The PEMF 4000, PEMF 100 and the Magnapulse are all considered “mini PAP-IMI’S” or PAP-IMI like. Interesting to note, currently the PAP-IMI itself is banned from import into the United States due to numerous safety and marketing issues.
Nearly all other PEMF units use an antenna or antenna array that delivers an ambient frequency broadcast, although there are a few that employ low voltage, direct contact. The major problem with an antenna type delivery system is the penetration of electromagnetic frequencies into the human body. ULF ( ultra low frequencies below 3 Hz) can penetrate nearly anything, so getting those frequencies into, say deep bone structure would be possible, but using ELF (frequencies ranging from 3 to 300 Hz) may not be able to penetrate as deep and higher frequency ranges may only penetrate to the depth of an organism’s skin. Direct contact delivery is accomplished using mats, pads, wraps, coils, cables, or other attachments. The vast majority of frequencies used by modern PEMF units are in the ELF or higher ranges.
Most units used today compensate for this by “turning up” the amplitude, or volume. This increase of amplitude may aid in tissue penetration, to a point, but there is also the increased the possibility for adverse reactions. Unfortunately, the mindset is: if something doesn’t seem to work, up the dose, or in this case up the volume.
A high-static, pulsed electromagnetic field device is a technology that uses a Pulsed Electromagnetic Frequency Field in combination with a contact system whereby the individual holds onto an energized plasma tube, with their feet on a charged “grounding” plate. This system creates what is referred to as a Bio-Compatible High-Static Delivery System, allowing for the total interaction between the PEMF system and the individual using it. This provides for a biofeedback loop to be formed whereby the individual’s own energetic systems seem to “pull” the frequencies that it requires, instead of using programmed frequency settings in hopes that they may help, but also tunes the amplitude of the field strength to the individual’s optimum level.
In order to more easily describe what HS-PEMF technology is, we first will explain the differences between PEMF and a HS-PEMF. HS-PEMF technology is a totally unique science that conquers both of these deficits by creating Harmonic Resonance Frequency spectrums that are purely Analog and unique to each person. These frequencies are not “programmed” by a digital computer or frequency generator and then forced upon the individual’s system, as if each person were exactly the same. The uniqueness of the output frequency pattern suggests that the individual is actually part of the HS-PEMF tuning process. These findings cannot be overstated.
A HS-PEMF system is a combination of these two developments and could be the most important breakthrough in Alternative Medical Device technologies to date. Its Unique Bio-Compatible High-Static delivery system is capable of delivering the frequency patterns throughout the body. A HS-PEMF is not an antenna broadcast system, but is a contact system that enables direct delivery throughout the entire organism. A HS-PEMF will never broadcast a series of fluctuating frequencies at varied pulse rates that may, or may not, have any positive effect on the human system.
The obvious differentiation between the two, are that one is analog and the other digital. The most profound difference, however, is in how they interact with the human system. The human bio-energy system is not made up of various circuit boards and chips. The human bio-energy system is organic. It is comprised of atoms, molecules, cells, and intricate interdependent bodily systems which are organic. These systems communicate via analog frequencies and light pulses.
Can an analog system be affected by a digital output? The simple answer is yes, most definitely. Many governmental, military and law enforcement agencies are using “Digital Output” broadcast devices for crowd control or crowd dispersal. The frequencies selected create a resonance with an individual’s bodily system that is amplified to achieve the desired effect; which would be disorientation or causing someone to feel actual pain. Experimentation is underway with very low volume, low power, devices that can be used for the same purpose. Again these technologies and devices are all outputting digital frequencies. When the vibrations of a sound-producing body cause another body to vibrate in the same frequency, not normally its own, the vibration is known as forced vibration. 18 Therefore a digital signal can have an effect on an analog system. The question becomes, are the digital frequencies having a positive effect, or are they just a stressor that can mask the true issues? Or the conundrum in some cases, can that stressor have some type of a positive effect?
A Manufacturer and Distributor of a “Digital” PEMF (or any other frequency device that is supposed to benefit the human body, i.e. a modern Rife machine) claiming that frequencies and frequency patterns have been developed through establishing resonance effects with cells within the body, may be technically correct. The true question is: Are those resonance frequencies actually positive for the body, or are they just overpowering the natural system to create a resonance without regard to the long-term effects?
A simple example would be the reduction of pain. If your big toe hurts; one way to reduce that pain is to hit your finger with a hammer. The amazing result is that your big toe no longer hurts. Did the underlying issue get resolved? No, but the pain has been overpowered by the new pain in the finger. Is it possible the use of digital frequencies work much the same way?
To explain the Analog aspect in more depth, it is important to first understand that the human body is made of atoms19 and each atom has a very specific set of frequenciesdepending on the state it is in (i.e. hydrogen line; 1420.40575 MHz is the precession frequency of neutral hydrogen atoms).20 The primary basis of an atom is that it is essentially energy. Each atom has electrons, protons, etc., and each atom has a specific frequency (those frequencies go out at least 5 decimal places, i.e. 23.18735 Hz).
Frequencies are measured in Hertz, which is the total number of waves, peak to peak, in one second, and the amplitude is the height of the wave; think of the volume of your stereo, the frequencies stay the same, but the volume, or amplitude, increases, or goes up, when you turn up volume.
Surprisingly, western medicine stops acknowledging any of these principles once two or more atoms are combined to form a molecule. Everything becomes chemical and the only energetic consequences are the positive and negative polarity and the charges that are required to bind the atoms together. However, according to the First law of Thermodynamics: Conservation of Energy, Energy can neither be created nor destroyed. Therefore, the frequencies don’t just go away, just because western medicine refuses to acknowledge it.
Now if several different atoms are combined to create a molecule, there is a combination of specific frequencies, and if a number of molecules are combined to create a part of a cell, again a combination, or resonance of frequencies, is formed. Now combine all the various parts of a single cell; you definitely don’t end up with a single, specific frequency that only goes out 2 decimal places, i.e. 32.4 Hz. Instead you have a resonance frequency spectrum of “complicated” sinusoidal waves, that measure out to 5 decimal places. In other words the harmonic resonance of that single cell is not digital, but is analog.
Are there any PEMF units that are effective? Yes. Some do seem to provide positive effects with certain issues, however the digital units do not provide anywhere near the effectiveness as can be expected from analog HS-PEMF device usage.
For many years the Energetic Fitness System™ (EFS) has been referred to as a Pulsed Electromagnetic Field device (PEMF). However, a more accurate description of the EFS would be a “High-Static Pulsed Electromagnetic Field device (HS-PEMF) – utilizing a “Pulsed Electromagnetic Frequency Field” in conjunction with a “Bio-Compatible, High-Static Contact Delivery System Technology.” The output frequencies for the EFS are “Purely Analog”; consisting of a frequency spectrum of “complicated sinusoidal waves” only present with the user engaged during a charging session with the device. We believe these complicated-sinusoidal waves closely match the type of resonance frequency spectrums of human cells. In addition, the frequency patterns that are created through the combination of the EFS unit and the individual using it are uniquely patterned for each person. These patterns seem to subtly change and fluctuate with the individual’s response to various stimuli.
These frequencies, or better termed, “Harmonic Resonance Frequencies” are not “programmed” by a digital computer or frequency generator to be forced upon the human system, as if each individual were exactly the same. The uniqueness of each person’s frequency pattern and subtle fluctuations thereof, suggests that the individual is actually part of the tuning process. Please note, that this would never be possible to accomplish with a digital frequency generator. As referenced previously, the human body is “analog” in nature, contrary to the notion of being, in any aspect, “digital.”
The Energetic Fitness System™ technology represents a major innovation derived from a very old technology, originally conceptualized by Nikola Tesla around 1897. Tesla’s theory was that it would be possible, via a unique resonance-frequency static field, to infuse bio-compatible energy into the human body energetically balancing the individual’s energetic system, and that by so doing, allow the body to function optimally. This energetic balancing would reinforce the frequency harmonics of the body’s individual cells thereby raising the “amplitude” or energy levels of those cells. Increased energy levels would then improve individual cellular functions, which in turn may alleviate stress on bodily systems, which in turn can optimize the performance of the whole body.
At the same time, the initial research seems to point towards a “turning on” or “turning up” of the cells. The energetic level, or field, of the body has been shown to expand during the 25 minutes of EFS use and will continue to expand even after the individual shuts off the EFS unit. In a study done by Wallace G. Heath, Ph.D. in 2003 on the Measurements of the Increased Human Energy Field Caused by the Energetic Fitness System, Dr. Heath measured the Human Energy Field of nine separate individuals (as part of the study) before and after EFS usage. The average increase, or expansion, was about 8.4 times (840%)21,22 during the initial usage. The field measurements were also done after the charging sessions were complete to get a better idea as to how long the expansion would last. Immediately after the EFS unit had been shut off, the measured fields would continue to expand an additional 10% over the next 30 minutes. The fields then remained stable for up to four hours before beginning to taper off. The expanded field affects also appeared to be accumulative with regular use. The Energetic Fitness Systems™ is both Analog and a PEMF in the truest sense of the word. Through the unique contact system, the device seems to act in a similar fashion to the Prioré device, except without a massive computer or 14’ plasma tube. Instead the individual’s own system seems to be the tuner in the process. When the unit is first turned on with someone holding the bulb (a small plasma tube), a fairly flat signal is read on an oscilloscope. When the feet are placed on the glass footplate, there is a massive output of frequencies across the spectrum, but that only lasts for a fraction of a second. The output signal then settles down into a relatively consistent pattern that will change over time and can be altered with intentional thought by the individual on the unit.
Another unique finding while working with the Energetic Fitness Systems™ technology concerns magnetic fields. A prominent university research team has investigated the magnetic fields produced by the EFS and/or the EFS user. Preliminarily, the research team observed that the magnetic field readings, with the EFS turned on and an individual engaged were not consistent with standard laws in relation to magnetic fields.
According to the inverse square law of a magnetic field, if 8mG is measured at 4 feet distance then we could expect 6.3mG would be measured at 4.5 feet distance. Or put simply, a magnetic field has a straight line decline from the point of origination to 0. This straight line decline is always diagonal. Although interesting, how does this actually fit into the analog explanation? Do other PEMFs create growing fields?
In the case of the EFS and/or the EFS user, the field strength reads as a stable straight horizontal line at a distance before dropping off dramatically from 100% to 0%. These magnetic fields would also expand dramatically during the usage period, with the same results of straight line growth and then dropping to 0.
When measuring these fields for the first time, the test was done indoors in a lab. Within a few minutes the field had extended through to the wall, so the measuring equipment was taken out of the room into the next room, where the field picked up and continued to expand. That expansion continued through 3 rooms.
It should be noted that these are natural fields that all living life-forms have. These natural fields are what have been observed expanding. In addition the magnetic field transfers from the EFS unit to the EFS “User” when the individual engages with the EFS and that field extends from the user not the EFS unit.
A HS-PEMF type of Analog Technology, such as the Energetic Fitness System, is not only a practical and efficient type of PEMF device, but it should prove to be extremely useful in other applications and uses. It may be possible, in the future, to develop many other devices using this type of technology for many types of applications.
- 1929, The Secret of Life: Electricity, Radiation and Your Body, Lakhovsky, Georges, ISBN 978-0-7661-4197-1
- Bassett CA, Schink-Ascani M, Lewis SM. (September 1989). “Effects of Pulsed Electromagnetic Fields on Steinberg Ratings of Femoral Head Osteonecrosis”. Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center.
- Markov, Marko S (2007). “Expanding Use of Pulsed Electromagnetic Field Therapies”. Electromagnetic Biology & Medicine 26 (3): 257–274. doi:10.1080/15368370701580806. PMID17886012.
- Mooney, V (1990) Mooney, V (1990). “A randomized double-blind prospective study of the efficacy of pulsed electromagnetic fields for interbody lumbar fusions”. Spine 15 (7): 708–712. doi:10.1097/00007632-199007000-00016. PMID2218718.
- Ross Roeser, Michael Valente (2007) Ross Roeser, Michael Valente (2007). AUDIOLOGY, 3-Volume Set: Diagnosis, Treatment and Practice Management. 342: Thieme. p. 2000. ISBN1604066970.
- Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Mississippi a b“Electrical stimulation of the spine as an adjunct to spinal fusion procedures”. Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Mississippi. “Pulsed electromagnetic field systems with FDA PMA include the EBI Bone Healing System from Electrobiology, Inc., which was first approved in 1979 and indicated for nonunions, failed fusions, and congenital pseudarthroses; and the Cervical-Stim from Orthofix, which was approved in 2004 as an adjunct to cervical fusion surgery in patients at high risk for non-fusion.”
- “FDA Executive Summary – Orthopaedic and Rehabilitation Devices Panel”. Fda.gov. Retrieved 13 May 2014.
- Boopalan, PRJVC et al. (August 2009) Boopalan, PRJVC et al. (August 2009). “Pulsed electromagnetic field (PEMF) treatment for fracture healing”. Current Orthopaedic Practice –20 (4): 423–428. doi:10.1097/BCO.0b013e318198e8b2.
- REC Rose, BA Bryan-Frankson (2008) REC Rose, BA Bryan-Frankson (2008). “Is there still a role for pulsed electromagnetic field in the treatment of delayed unions and nonunions”. The Internet Journal of Orthopedic Surgery 10 (1).
- Griffin XL, Costa ML, Parsons N, Smith N (2011) Griffin XL, Costa ML, Parsons N, Smith N (2011). “Electromagnetic field stimulation for treating delayed union or non-union of long bone fractures in adults”. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews (4): CD008471 (Orig. rev.). doi:10.1002/14651858.CD008471.