How Can PEMF Supplement Physicians Other Treatment Options?
Pulsed Electromagnetic Field Therapy (PEMF) is an effective alternative healing modality for patients with numerous medical ailments, including chronic and acute pain, sleep disorders, fatigue, circulation problems, depression and mood disorders, among many others.
A wide array of medical research has confirmed the effectiveness of PEMF over four decades. And while it is increasingly offered at alternative healing clinics and holistic wellness centers, more traditional medical practitioners have been slower to adopt it in their practice.
In this post, we look at how PEMF works and the role it can play in supplementation to physicians’ other treatment options.
How Does PEMF Work? A Physician’s Introduction
A common analogy used to describe PEMF therapy is that our bodies are like batteries that need to be recharged for optimal health. PEMF provides that “recharging” by delivering low-level magnetic energy to our bodies’ cells.
That’s a useful way to explain the idea of PEMF on a very basic level (particularly to patients who are new to the practice), but in reality the science is more nuanced.
Dr. Donna Klucharich and her team at Klucharich Whole Body Healing in Florence, South Carolina, provide a more precise overview, particularly in regard to how PEMF can relieve pain and support the body’s natural healing systems:
“[A PEMF device] produces a variable pulsating electromagnetic field, which improves cellular metabolic function. The cells within this electromagnetic field are being exercised and the cells that have low energy can be felt as a mild discomfort or slight pain. While these low energy cells are exercised, they are beginning to have toxins permeate out their membranes and therefore the PEMF unit helps to detoxify cells. [PEMF] also increases blood circulation and oxygen flow, which helps the cell to repair. PEMF puts a healthy energy charge into the interior of the cell behind the cell membrane that raises cellular energy so the cell can heal itself faster.”
The process of delivering PEMF sessions in a healthcare setting is straightforward. Patients simply lie down on a specialized PEMF mat (and/or use specialized applicators), usually for about 30 minutes per session. Physicians and their teams can adjust the electromagnetic frequency according to the patient’s specific ailment or healthcare objective.
PEMF as Supplementation
Several studies have shown that PEMF can be especially effective when used in conjunction with patients’ other treatments, such as prescription medication or physical therapy. Additionally, as a non-drug option, it may be preferred by patients and physicians who want to avoid the risks of dependency or other side effects of medication.
A 2020 medical review in Biomedicine & Pharmacotherapy wrote that “Increasing evidence suggests that this noninvasive, safe and effective therapy might be a promising adjuvant for treating various musculoskeletal disorders.” Researchers concluded that “Considerable studies have explored the underlying cellular and subcellular mechanisms of PEMF stimulation on various musculoskeletal diseases, providing a molecular basis for extending its clinical application.”
In a separate systematic review from 2020, researchers noted the growing body of evidence that “electromagnetic field therapy relieves pain and improves function in patients with various pain musculoskeletal diseases. Electromagnetic field therapy is well tolerated with no reported negative side effects in the analyzed studies. [Thus], it could be a helpful component during drug therapy for chronic and acute pain in musculoskeletal disease.”