PEMF or Pulsed Electromagnetic Field therapy
You may have seen some buzz online around an apparently new type of medical treatment known as PEMF, magnetic therapy, or electromagnetic therapy. This increase in interest has been spawned by the documented success rates of alleged faster healing after medical surgeries, bone and tissue recovery, and even transcranial stimulation that appears to help with depression and bipolar or mood disorders. (More on the documented uses of PEMF later in this article)
PEMF therapy has actually been regulated for use in North America since the 70's starting first in veterinary clinics, but in 1979 the FDA began approving PEMF for bone growth stimulation in humans as can be seen here in the Wikipedia history section. This later began to open up more fully for human use as it became clear that the types of magnetic frequencies used in these therapy devices were not harmful but were indeed beneficial to humans. In 2004 PEMF devices were reclassified from a more restricted Class 3 status to Class 2 which reduced the regulations and allowed FDA approved PEMF manufacturers to begin releasing and marketing their devices.
The delay in getting devices and the costs in purchasing along with the general misunderstanding or negative impressions of magnetic therapy put PEMF on a bit of a back burner though steadily growing in private clinics and specialty therapists (sports therapy for example). But the real story is the improved access and demonstrated benefits of this type of "earth" magnetic field therapy for a very wide range of treatments and ailments.
Open Access: Personal and Professional Units with Funding
The real news story here is the open availability and access that is growing for PEMF services and not just services but the actual devices themselves. No longer is this therapy just for professionals, but home and regular customer high quality PEMF units are available. The market has really blown wide open here and a little research online will find a large assortment of PEMF units. Prices for good units are still quite steep in the $6500 to $30000 + range. PEMF Lab is an example with their release of the PMT-120 home and office units in conjunction with Pulse 4 Life (PFL). These units are considered top of the line in power and performance while still being on the mid-range end of the price spectrum.
There are multiple types of units available including units for home and office, portable units, all-terrain units that can be maneuvered around on two wheels like a military suitcase for outdoor uses (farms and ranches can use these on horses and large animals). There are also much bigger machines for clinics which look more like a water massage table or tanning bed. Many of the small units are able to be used in homes personally or in clinics on multiple patients.
There are two main accessories that are often included with these units: The Loop and the Mat.
- The Loop:
The small, medium, large and butterfly loops are designed to create a focused loop of electromagnetic pulsing field to soothe targeted areas. For instance inflammation, tissue/bone repair after recent surgery, plantar fasciitis, cranial areas etc.
- The PEMF Mat:
Is a foam mat with a broader dispersion of electromagnetic field and it is designed for the torso and large areas. Treatment can occur by lying on top of the mat, or placing it over general areas like the hips, legs, upper back etc.
Though the price of an effective PEMF unit can be costly and even out of the question to some who may greatly benefit from the treatments, there are some programs being offered to assist. PEMF Lab, as an example, has access to a one-time special discount and they also offer business and consumer lease options to allow for a payment plan that can be used by medical professionals and home users alike.
Other manufacturers offer similar options, so be sure to do your research before diving into a purchase. You will want to consider, quality, power, accessories, and cost.
What is PEMF Therapy Capable of?
Dr. Oz included a segment on his show not that long ago that had a look at PEMF as the new "invisible" treatment that is making waves including help with chronic pain, fatigue, back pain, arthritis pain, swelling. He interviewed Dr. James Dillard and Dr. William Pawluk both convinced that PEMF treatment is needed everywhere that treatments can take place.
A quick search of PubMed shows that there are indeed some good tested results for the use of PEMF. For example here is a PubMed extract on periprosthetic bone after hip or knee implant surgery. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26753669
As with all new breakthroughs, caution and research are advised. No one is claiming in legitimate medical practice that PEMF is a cure for disease and pain, that being said, there is good documentation to say that it is a method of helping the body help itself.
This is a brief list of noted benefits:
- Pain relief
- Improve blood circulation
- Aid post-surgery healing
- Treat psychological disorders
- Improve sleep
- Reduce stress and fatigue
- Promote relaxation
- Chronic pain relief
- Regenerate nerves
- Improve wound healing
- Improve immunity
- Increase bone density
- Improve energy and vitality
- Eliminate toxins in the body
- Improve muscle tone and weight control
More can be found online by researching PEMF, PEMF Mat or PEMF treatments etc. There are also videos on YoutTube and elswhere demonstrating how to use the Loops and Mats on humans and animals, even children.