What is PEMF?

What is a Pulsed Electromagnetic Field (or PEMF) Device?

Any living organism contains electromagnetic energy that is created by electrical activity. That electrical activity is how the cells communicate, it’s what makes the cells operate and ultimately, what keeps the organism alive. If the electrical activity, or EM field, is removed, the organism dies. These electromagnetic fields control the chemical reactions that take place within the overall system. Reductions of, or adverse alterations to the electromagnetic activity within the organism can create an unhealthy state. This can also make it susceptible to various diseases, conditions or ailments and/or make it more difficult to correct the diseases, conditions or ailments. At the same time, correcting or increasing the EM fields has been shown to help to correct those diseases, conditions or ailments.

Each cell in our body has an electric potential, or electromagnetic field. Every time your heart beats it generates electromagnetic waves that flow through the circulatory systems and in turn throughout the entire body, affecting all those cellular fields. In addition, outside magnetic fields also influence the cellular system in a positive or negative manner, depending on the type and strength of that magnetic field.

There are now dozens of different Pulsed Electromagnetic Field (PEMF) devices produced and sold around the world. The primary theory of a PEMF is that by creating a pulsed EM field, of the correct frequencies, it is possible to balance, or correct, those cellular EM fields that are either unbalanced or have low energy levels. It seems as though the in depth definition for PEMF devices are different on nearly every website and the information provided by the various PEMF manufacturers tailor their definitions so as to promote their specific product(s) with little or no scientific argument offered to substantiate or prove their claims.

Definition of PEMF Technology

Definition of PEMF Technology from Wikipedia Website:

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.

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. 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. 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 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.

In 1979 the FDA approved non-invasive devices using pulsed electromagnetic fields designed to stimulate bone growth.

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.

The use of PEMF stimulation has been found to be safe. 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.

Other Electrotherapeutic Technologies

It is important to note that all of the original studies surrounding PEMF devices were done with Analog systems prior to the advent of the digital technologies available today. Although there are now thousands of studies that have been done with various types of PEMF devices, nearly all cite original studies done with Analog systems in their supporting documentation. Why is this important? The human body is an analog system and not digital.

It is also important to clarify that a PEMF and a Multi Wave Oscillator (MWO) are two totally 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.


Various units, such as the “Biocharger”, refer to themselves as PEMF units, but are actually a variant on the Multi Wave Oscillator. These units 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. The main question 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 radiation 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 (or greater) DC?

 It is also important to recognize the difference between PEMF units and those called “Rife” machines. The simple difference is that the goal of a PEMF is to reinforce the body’s cellular system, whereas the Rife machine’s intended use is to destroy or kill bacteria, viruses, etc.  Currently there are hundreds of different Rife type units manufactured and sold around the world, but only a handful that actually work like the original unit developed by Royal Rife. 

Please note: All work done by Rife was with Analog type systems, as is the human system.

Some of the accepted uses for PEMF units are: for increasing energy, decreased inflammation, increased circulation, stress reduction, reducing muscle tension, improving tissue healing, improved bone healing, reducing pain, slowing the development of arthritis, stimulating the immune system, improvement of COPD symptoms, helping the body to detoxify, improving the uptake of nutrients, reducing blood pressure, helping nerve function, helping liver function, balancing the acupuncture meridians, improving sleep, making soft tissue more flexible and reducing arthritic pain.

How often and why should someone use a PEMF unit?

Dr. William Pawluk, MD, MSc responds:
“Magnetic fields selected for treatment simultaneously provide health maintenance, not just treatment. PEMFs used in the home daily would be an important part of any prevention or health maintenance program, in addition to any treatment program. Magnetic therapies are usually complementary to other therapies, and they usually enhance each other’s benefits.”

In conclusion, there are various types of PEMF units; high energy output, low energy output, high gauss, low gauss, preprogrammed, custom program per user by technician, but probably the most important difference is that of the Analog vs. Digital type devices.

We encourage you to do your own research making sure you understand the differences, along with the pros and the cons of each PEMF unit.








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