This blog post is designed to help those with more complex requirements as they look to successfully introduce low level PEMF therapy into their lives. You may be a therapist using the iMRS system with a client who has complex needs, or you may yourself wish to start using low level PEMF therapy but are unsure how to proceed. We hope you find the following information useful.
At EMPpad we take pride in combining our extensive clinical experience as osteopaths with the application of low frequency and intensity PEMF therapy using the world leading iMRS system. Therefore, when such a complex case presents itself, we apply the same principles of clinical reasoning in order to plan and refine an effective approach. Low level PEMF therapy works with the body, not against it, and for this reason it is ideally suited to daily use, with the potential to deliver many profound health benefits.
However, there are times when a complex case presents, perhaps due to a history of trauma or the presence of a chronic condition such as fibromyalgia or chronic fatigue syndrome, which makes the individual much more sensitive to change and the margin for error when introducing PEMF therapy significantly smaller. These same individuals may even have already tried higher frequency and intensity PEMF systems and experienced a negative reaction, further increasing their uncertainty to try a different approach.
Sensitivity is on the rise
In most homes across the UK today, high frequency electronic devices such as mobile phones, tablets and laptops are in constant use, communicating via high frequency signals such as GSM networks, WIFI and Bluetooth. The negative health effects of this high frequency, particularly on children, is now starting to become better understood and is being linked with numerous health conditions, including disorders of the nervous system, poor sleep patterns and allergic type inflammation responses. Although current guidelines from the International Commission of Non-Ionising Radiation Protection (ICNIRP) suggest a safe level of exposure to electromagnetic fields should be up to 300GHz, the harmful effects of so called ‘dirty electricity’ from energy efficient household appliances have been demonstrated at much lower levels, in the range of 1-100KHz.
Molecules within our bodies interact via a process called co-resonance. Our cells communicate much like radio transmitters and receivers at extremely low frequencies, using electromagnetic signals passed around the body at the speed of light. When this process is in balance, the cells within our bodies can communicate efficiently and we are healthy. However, when we are frequently exposed to high frequency signals, this process can become disrupted and negative health consequences can develop. As a result of this, up to 5% of the UK population may now be affected by symptoms of Electromagnetic Hypersensitivity (EHS). Other conditions such as Mast Cell Activation Syndrome (MCAS) and Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (MCS) are also on the increase. The rise in these such conditions should perhaps come as no surprise when we consider that we are surrounded by an increasing number of environmental toxins, and that the electronic environment around us has changed beyond all recognition in recent years, since the introduction of mobile phones and WIFI.
The EMPpad approach to the complex case
Whilst there are always many factors to consider when determining the most appropriate approach to take with each client, there are five main variables that can be helpful to consider when applying PEMF therapy using the iMRS system in a complex case setting. One important concept to be aware of at this stage is the healing crisis or “Herxheimer Reaction.” This is a normal process that individuals may well encounter on the path to improving their health and well-being, often typified by a temporary increase in symptoms which subsequently subsides as the body is able to eliminate toxins more effectively. By considering the application of low level PEMF therapy as a number of adjustable variables, it is possible to successfully guide and support an individual through this process. To learn more about how to use the iMRS system please also make sure to read our 10 essential EMPpad tips blog.
(It is important to note that on rare occasions, when extreme sensitivity to electromagnetic fields is present, low level PEMF therapy should not be used).
The five iMRS PEMF therapy variables to consider:
When considering the application of PEMF frequency in the complex case, it can often work best to begin with the ‘Evening’ frequency setting (which operates within the theta brainwave range of 3-8Hz), by scheduling one initial daily session at approximately 5pm. At this time of day the iMRS system will have automatically selected the “Evening” frequency in accordance with its in-built Chinese organ clock. Increasing interest is being paid to the theta frequency range due to its ability to help trigger a deep relaxation state within the body, alongside many other benefits, and it can be a very effective starting point in these situations.
Enhancing sleep quality is the next consideration, so introducing the ‘Night’ frequency (which operates in the delta range of 0.5-3Hz) just prior to going to bed and even again during the night, can be an important step to take when the individual is ready. Over time the aim is to appropriately introduce further low frequencies where possible, eventually incorporating the ‘Morning’ frequency (beta range 12-30Hz) and ‘Noon’ frequency (alpha range 8-12Hz) with 2-3 whole-body mat applications per day, whilst closely monitoring the response and making adjustments as necessary.
The iMRS “Sensitive” intensity setting (90,000-270,000 Picotesla) operates within the Picotesla range and can be particularly effective to use in these situations. The concept of ‘less is more’ certainly applies here and research has demonstrated that PEMF therapy using Picotesla magnetic fields can enhance parasympathetic nervous system stimulation and help to promote a rest and repair state, leading to body-wide benefits including improved regulation of immune and nervous system activity. Because of the remarkable effectiveness of this setting, it is interesting to note that a intensity level of “10” (0.54-1.35 Microtesla) can often be better tolerated by the individual in the early stages. When this intensity level is a necessary starting point, it is best to then aim to incorporate the “Sensitivity” intensity setting at an appropriate time during the program, whilst remembering the importance of supporting a temporary healing crisis should this develop. The concept of ‘bracketing’ intensities can be effective in this situation to successfully introduce the “Sensitive” setting, by scheduling half a session using intensity “10”, followed by the remaining half using the “Sensitive” intensity setting.
Type of applicator:
Consideration needs to be given to the influence of different PEMF therapy waveforms. The whole body iMRS applicator mat, for example, incorporates a triple sawtooth waveform with a broad frequency spectrum which is ideally suited to initiating resonance effects within the cell. This type of waveform can also influence the activity of the parasympathetic nervous system, and the crucially important vagus nerve in particular, further helping to promote repair processes within the body. In time, also incorporating a square waveform using the pillow and probe applicators can be of great benefit, especially to target local tissues such as the vitally important gut region. Research by TJ Goodwin (2003) for NASA, highlighted the importance of the square waveform and its ability to promote healing and regeneration within neurological tissue.
Location of exposure:
Whilst whole body exposure is the eventual aim, it is not always possible to begin with this. The presence of long term pain and sensitivity, history of trauma or even a general overwhelm state within the autonomic nervous system can mean that reducing the area of PEMF exposure is necessary in the early stages. With this in mind, it can often work well to first begin with PEMF exposure to only the lower extremities, even with just the feet contacting the applicator mat, and then gradually move up the body as the program progresses. It is important to bear in mind that the electromagnetic field extends up to 1.5 metres from the applicator mat when considering location of exposure. A process of monitoring the response to each area of exposure before progressing can significantly help with successful acclimatisation to low level PEMF therapy for the individual. For clients where it is not possible to begin with direct bodily exposure, encouraging them to drink water that has been subjected to the intended frequency and intensity that you would like to introduce can be remarkably effective.
Duration of PEMF session:
With longer term symptom patterns, an 8 minute whole body PEMF session can be very effective. However, this length of exposure in the early stages may be too much for the sensitive individual. It can, therefore, work best to initially begin with one daily four minute session, allowing for one north-south polarity switch during the session, and to work from there noting the response as you progress. Aiming to establish one 8 minute daily session before progressing to an additional session, and then beginning the same incremental duration process, can work very well as the program progresses. A similar process can also be applied when introducing the local applicators using the square waveform.
There are many components to consider in the approach to the complex case when using low level frequency and intensity PEMF therapy. By dividing this approach into five main variables and plotting an appropriate timeline of progression, it is possible to help ensure the successful long term integration of this remarkable therapy and enable it to play a crucially supportive role in the health of many clients with complex requirements. To find out more about the work we do at EMPpad please visit www.emppad.com.