What is PEMF?

PEMF stands for Pulsed Electromagnetic Fields.  PEMF therapy works by directing powerful but gentle pulsed waves of energy toward the body.  It can be directed to a specific area of damage, injury, disease, or malfunction or it can be introduced to the body as a whole to boost natural physiological processes.  In this article, we will highlight some of the different applications of PEMF therapy.

The History of PEMF

Evidence of electromagnetic fields being used to address physical maladies and boost physical and emotional well-being have been reported as early as 4000BC.  The Hindu community is known to have used magnetized stones called lodestones to treat any number of physical ailments. Whether knowingly or not, these ancient healers were the first in recorded history to employ the power of magenitized energy fields.  

The use of electromagnetic fields progressed through documented history being used in the 14th century to address seizures and psychiatric disorders.

The first truly scientific exploration of electromagnetic fields began in the late 19th and early 20th century through the research of Servian-American inventor Nikola Tesla.  His name is known globally today in connection with Tesla automobiles that run on electric energy. Tesla possessed a unique understanding of the relationship between magnetic fields and electricity.  He experimented with numerous coil configurations and their interaction with alternating currents of electricity. Tesla is credited with developing the magnetic loop coil which is used in all PEMF devices today.

As scientific understanding of anatomy and physiology grew, research and development of PEMF began to gain ground, especially in Europe.  The earliest applications of PEMF were primarily used in veterinary medicine and the equine industry. The use of PEMF devices quickly began to transfer to human applications, ultimately leading to the first FDA approval for human use in the late 1970s.  

FDA Approvals and Therapeutic Applications

Although PEMF is not officially categorized as a medical device, it does hold several FDA approvals.  To date, PEMF has FDA approval in the following areas:

1979:  FDA approved PEMF therapy for stimulating bone growth

  • This has applications for bone degenerating diseases like osteoporosis and boosting the healing of fractures.

1987:  FDA approved PEMF as an adjunct therapy for reducing post-operative edema and pain

  • Edema plagues millions of people in the U.S., and it is specifically an issue for people with diabetes.

2004:  FDA approved PEMF to be used as an adjunct to cervical fusion surgery.

  • Cervical fusion is a permanent change to the spinal anatomy. Often, patients still experience residual pain even after this surgical procedure.  PEMF is used to reduce this residual, chronic pain.

2008:  FDA approved PEMF for use with depression patients who have shown to be unresponsive to medication.

  • The applications of this are monumental! Depression and anxiety go hand in hand and are a struggle for millions of Americans.  Both are highly responsive to PEMF

Continued research shows remarkable results with wound healing and recovery, reduction of prostate inflammation, urinary incontinence, gout flares, chronic migraines, and the list goes on.

How does PEMF reduce pain?

The use of PEMF to address both chronic and acute pain is on the rise in the U.S. as the epidemic of opioid addiction is reaching epic proportions.  

PEMF therapy reduces pain as it restores the body’s natural functions and processes.  Every organ, every system, and every process of the body is built out of trillions of microscopic cells.  These cells functioning properly are essential to our whole body health. When cells are weakened by disease or injury they no longer have enough energy (fuel) to function properly.  When the body has a component that is compromised, pain is often the signal used to make the brain aware of an area of need. PEMF restores energy (fuel) to injured or diseased cells, allowing them to rehabilitate and return to normal function; thereby eliminating the need for the pain signal.

Once the function of individual cells is optimized, body systems and processes are enabled to work at therapeutic levels that allow the body to literally heal or repair itself.  Proper blood circulation is a key body system that is boosted through PEMF therapy. PEMF improves circulation by maximizing the energy (fuel) in the cells that make up the circulatory system… heart muscle, arteries, veins, and capillaries.  Improved circulation has a positive impact on every single body system. Oxygen exchange is improved, nutrient absorption is elevated, swelling is reduced, and brain activity is maximized. Proper circulation allows the body to deliver all the necessary components to areas that need healing or repair.


PEMF therapy is leading the way to the future of pain relief and whole body wellness. It can be used to address existing pain-causing conditions or it can be used in a preventative role to boost the body’s innate protective processes to fight against illness and protect from injury.  With no negative side effects, medical practitioners are beginning to recognize the supportive role PEMF can play in the health and wellness plan for people of all ages.

Published by Roxanne Clark


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