PEMF therapy is a method of applying an electromagnetic field to the body. Research has demonstrated that this targets the cells, sending a low level electrical signal which in turn influences the flow of ions and exchange nutrients within the cell, helping to improve the way they function. When delivered at the right frequency and intensity, this can lead to widespread health benefits. 

When we consider that we each contain about 70 trillion cells, it is possible to start to understand why a seemingly subtle approach can have such a profound effect on the way we function and ultimately, on the way we feel. There are four key principles to consider but first we will take a look at the basic science.

What is an electromagnetic field:
iMRS Magnetic Waves
When an electric current flows it creates a magnetic field which surrounds it. Together these form an electromagnetic field. The greater the electrical current the stronger the electromagnetic field, the strength of which is represented by either gauss or Tesla. The relationship between electric and magnetic fields can be clearly explained with the help of Maxwell’s equations. These equations relate electric and magnetic fields to their sources, current density and charge density. When Maxwell’s equations are considered together with the Lorentz force law, they form the foundation of classical electromagnetism.

Research has repeatedly shown that the beneficial effect on the body is greatest when very low frequency and intensity pulsed electromagnetic fields are applied to the body.

There are four key principles to consider:

  1. Waveform The waveform is the shape of the electromagnetic field.

Extensive research carried out by Dr. Thomas Goodwin PhD in 2003 for NASA, has highlighted the importance of rapid, time varying waveforms for influencing cellular function. Goodwin’s team specifically found a square waveform to be most effective for stimulating healing within the body. Also fitting this criteria is the sawtooth waveform, first discovered by Andrew Bassett in 1974. Due to its sharp rise and fall time, this is one of the most useful waveforms that has been created, and is capable of producing the greatest electromagnetic stimulation to the cells within the body.

Why a Pulse?
Whilst the shape of the waveform is important, research actually suggests that it is the pulsed characteristic that is perhaps the most crucial component of the electromagnetic signal. The effectiveness of an electromagnetic pulse is highly dependent on how rapidly the rise and fall time of the signal occurs. A sharp fall time, for example, represents a high peak voltage value, which is responsible for ion displacement within the body. The greater the ion displacement, the stronger the biological effect exerted by the PEMF therapy.

2. Field StrengthThe intensity of an electromagnetic field is a measurement of it’s strength.

The Earth’s magnetic field is considered to be between approximately 30-60 microTesla. Influential PEMF researchers, Adey and Bawin (1976) demonstrated that extremely low electromagnetic field intensities were capable of stimulating the cell membrane of brain tissue, adding to our understanding of how PEMF therapy can exert a beneficial influence on the cell at a very low level. Interestingly, the research of Goodman and Blank (1998) also found that human cells most readily express a cell-preserving gene, heat shock protein 70 (hsp70), at the level of just 7-8 microTesla, as opposed to a stronger field intensity above 70 microTesla. The research of T.J Goodwin for NASA (2003) found that a low intensity electromagnetic field strength of between just 1 – 20 microTesla, far less than the earth’s magnetic field, was most effective for tissue healing and regeneration.

3. Frequency   Frequency is defined as oscillation per second and is used to transport the field strength in the form of energy.

It is now well established that cells within the body can be influenced energetically by electromagnetic waves of particular frequencies. The frequency of the earth, for example, is regarded to be between approximately 7 and 11 Hz. The research of Bawin et al (1975), together with Blackman and colleagues (1979) reported that brain tissue responded most positively to a very narrow frequency range of between just 6 and 20 Hz. Further to this, NASA (2003) found that a low frequency signal of 10 Hz had the greatest effect on tissue healing and regeneration. The ‘frequency windows of specificity’, which describe the healing effects of specific frequencies, were reviewed in the work of Sisken & Walker (1995). Their work documented that a frequency of 2 Hz can influence nerve regeneration, whilst 7 Hz can help to stimulate bone growth, 10 Hz can help promote ligament repair and 15 Hz can stimulate capillary formation, together with fibroblast (collagen producing cells) proliferation.

Schumann Waves
We all live within and under the influence of one large pulsating electromagnetic field and the effects of coherent fields are seen throughout the natural world. Schumann resonances are naturally occurring waves excited by lightning strikes within the cavity between the Earth’s surface and the ionosphere. This causes it to resonate at an extremely low frequency of 7.83 times per second, or 7.83Hz. Interestingly, this correlates with the average frequency of alpha brain waves in human beings.

4. Resonance – Resonance describes a phenomenon in which a vibrating system or external force is used to drive another system to oscillate with greater amplitude at specific frequencies.

The cells of the human body oscillate and it has been repeatedly demonstrated that electromagnetic impulses of appropriate frequencies can produce cellular resonance. According to the work of Benveniste (1998) molecules throughout the body can interact by co resonance, in a similar way to radio transmitters and receivers. His work asserts that because millions of molecules can communicate in this way, at the speed of light, only molecular electromagnetic communication can account for the rapid, subtle and integrated functioning found within living systems. The process of induction of co resonance throughout the body can help to explain why PEMF therapy, when delivered at the right frequency and intensity for the corresponding tissue within the body, can have  such profound influences on the process of communication, both between and within the cells in our body.

The four key principles governing the effectiveness of PEMF therapy are Waveform, Field strength, Frequency, and Resonance. When electromagnetic frequencies and intensities are delivered to the body via the correct waveform and within a specific value range, this triggers a process known as cellular resonance, which in turn stimulates the cell and improves the way it functions. It is the precise combination of these principles which accounts for profound and widespread health benefits that are achievable from daily low frequency and intensity PEMF therapy.

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  1. Found your blog. Its really nice on PEMF. I appreciate your article. Its important to get good medically approved pemf machine for human chronic pain. So thanks for sharing all that important information.


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