PEMF stands for Pulsed ElectroMagnetic Fields, which are widely used these days to improve circulation and cell metabolism. The body can become accustomed to nonmoving (or static) magnetic fields, which are generally unable to deeply penetrate the body. A pulsed electromagnetic field, however, is quite dynamic, is able to penetrate all the way through the body, and creates a cascade of effects within the body.*
The body is electric. The water in a human body (or other terrestrial creature) is not unlike the electrolyte solution in a battery. It is composed of many electrolytes, along with saline. Electrolytes compose both positively and negatively metallic ions, including sodium, potassium, calcium, chloride, etc. Saline is composed of a combination of sodium and chloride. Because of their charge, electrolyte solutions and saline are highly susceptible to surrounding magnetic fields.
Magnetic fields cause or increase motion of ions and electrolytes in the tissues and fluids of the body.* This movement stimulates a vast array of chemical, mechanical, and electric actions in the tissues of the body.* Therapeutic magnetic fields are used to induce voltages similar to those produced naturally within the body at the cellular and subcellular level. The electromagnetically-induced field transfers charge to the cells of the body.* This induced current can lead to nerve firing, muscle contraction, stimulation of cell signal pathways causing cell growth, and a number of other effects.* Because of this most basic level of treatment, magnetic therapies have been shown to have positive effects in a myriad of conditions.*
Benefits of Cellular Recharging
PEMF changes your energy at the cellular level*
Remember you are made of over 75 trillion cells in your body. Cells are the basic building blocks of all living things. PEMF affects the capacitance of all the cells it contacts, improving their ability to hold a charge. Capacitance is the ability of a cell to store an electrical charge. Recharging the cells accelerates the body’s natural healing ability.*
PEMF directly affect the systems responsible for healing the body*
No healing, repair or growth takes place in the body without the signals, or electrical impulses, sent by the central and peripheral nervous systems. PEMF directly impacts the nervous system.
PEMF stimulates GABA (an inhibitory neurotransmitter that calms and relaxes nerve impulses)*
GABA is a neurotransmitter, which is a chemical used by our nervous system to conduct appropriate nerve impulses. GABA is responsible for calming the nervous system by improving the ability to turn off the sympathetic nervous system (the fight or flight portion of our autonomic or automatic adapting nervous system) and turn on the parasympathetic nervous system (the rest and digest portion of our autonomic nervous system).* PEMF has also been found to induce GABA in certain parts of the brain.* When the body relaxes, the parasympathetic nervous system takes control and the body can start or continue its natural healing process.
PEMF improves sleep and promotes relaxation*
According to the National Sleep Foundation, 48 percent orAmericans complain of occasional insomnia. PEMF increases GABA levels and counteracts the sympathetic nervous system response in the body. These actions help promote better sleep and reduce stress.
One of the most basic functions magnetic fields have in the body is to increase circulation. When a cell (such as a red blood cell) is injured or ill, it does not hold its ideal charge. This causes red cells to “stick” together, making circulation slow. When a magnetic field passes through the red cell, the membrane becomes properly charged, allowing the cell to repel itself and keep itself separate from other red cells, thereby increasing circulation. In addition, PEMFs increase various chemicals in the blood vessel walls that cause the blood vessels to dilate, improving the amount of blood flowing through the vessels and therefore increasing the amount of oxygen delivered to the tissues.*
Poor circulation makes tissues unhealthy and prone to disease and breakdown. Improved circulation helps tissues get the nutrition and oxygen they need, while expelling the waste they produce. Good circulation helps with tissue healing and regeneration. The result of improved circulation is the reduction of swelling and the removal of bruising.*
Enhanced Muscle Function*
Muscle energy, needed for muscles to work, is developed through a process called Myosin Phosphorylation. Myosin is muscle, and phosphorylation is energy (ATP) production. Optimal energy allows muscles to work harder and longer, and recover more quickly from their work. Muscles that are contracted or in spasm are better able to relax, decreasing tension and reducing the pain caused by spasm.
Inflammation is a cascade of physiologic processes initiated by the body to repair cellular damage in tissues by increasing the blood flow to the damaged area and increasing the number of good inflammatory cells. The process of inflammation is generated and supported by the interaction of a number of immune cell types, with other cell types (like T cells) playing a regulatory role in the cascade effect. Inflammation is a necessary and beneficial process, but it often persists longer than necessary, resulting in chronic inflammation. Chronic inflammation is frequently a cause of chronic pain. PEMFs have been found to reduce chronic, damaging inflammation.* Inflammation can be initiated by many causes, and knowing the nature of the cause is important in designing therapeutic approaches.
The body heals itself in many ways – either somewhat rapidly in response to a disease, a wound, or loss of tissue, or slowly over time, as part of normal functioning. Regeneration refers to the regrowth of lost tissues, and happens in response to injury or disease. Wound healing refers to the closing up of an acute injury with scar tissue. While we know the skin readily regenerates or heals, other tissues have long been thought to have no regenerative capabilities. But as research and time progresses, we are learning more and more that most all cell types can be stimulated to repair, regenerate, and heal themselves.
Regeneration and wound healing require a great deal of cellular communication and adaptation to take place. In the case of eyes, for example, cells expand and eat up old matter daily. Bones are “new” every seven to ten years. Non-injured skin is completely replaced every two weeks or so. Cell turnover slows as we age, but never stops completely, continuing until death.
Basic regeneration (that which does not happen as a result of injury) is part of normal cell function. Cells are always dividing, growing, and eating up their older or injured neighbors (this is called autophagy). This does not require any outside stimulation, although such stimulation can enhance and ease the process. Injury-induced regeneration and wound healing require significantly more energy and adaptation.
Whether or not it is as a response to injury, the process of cell regeneration is the same: a cell’s contents must be copied. DNA is made up of two strands, each able to serve as a template for a new strand. DNA synthesis or replication requires existing proteins to split and reassemble. RNA messengers help with the transfer of genetic information from the existing cell to the nucleus of the newly formed cell. This process requires electrical energy.
Since magnetic fields interact with and increase natural electrical charges, PEMF therapy can assist with this information transfer. These benefits of PEMF therapy are frequently seen with wound healing and often with tissue regeneration.*
*Results may vary by patient and treatment.
While the ways in which the body heals itself are known, there are various places in the healing process where the body may get “stuck”. This is where tissues are most vulnerable to the disease state progressing from acute to chronic. Cellular communication begins with a signal impulse and ends with a change in cellular behavior. When the cellular change is a destructive one, a condition can become chronic. Reestablishing normal cellular communication is the only way to combat the dysfunction.*
The purpose of this document is to provide a basic understanding of how magnetic fields, especially PEMFs, work in the body. In addition to these basic balancing actions, magnetic fields also help with many other functions and conditions, and new ones are discovered regularly.