The earth is a giant magnet, the soil and rocks are magnetized and normally there are strong magnetic fields in the atmosphere. Human biology, which developed and matures in this natural magnetic environment, is totally dependent on it. Magnetic fields have been found by accident over the eons, to help people. Rocks were reputed to be used by Hippocrates, the Father of Western Medicine, to relieve headaches. The Chinese wrote about how to use magnetic stones on acupuncture points in 200 BC. D’Arsonval in France used pulsed electric magnetic fields in the 1700’s to stimulate the body. In the 1970’s and 80’s in the west, scientists began to study the magnetic fields produced by the body itself. This new field is called bioelectromagnetics. We now know definitively that the body itself is a large electromagnet. We also know the body produces electric fields.
Ask any engineer and you will be told that where there is electricity there is a magnetic field. You will also be told that when a magnet moves past an object capable of reacting electrically, you will generate electricity. The opposite is also true. When an object capable of reacting electrically is moved past a magnet, electricity will also be generated. What this means is that when the body, which is very magnetically active, interacts with specific medically designed magnetic fields, tiny therapeutically beneficial electric charges are generated.
What does mean to you? It means that you will see magnetic fields that are energy medicine, being used more and more in the future to heal problems that medicines can’t or haven’t been able to do. Most medicines are used to relieve symptoms but don’t remove or heal the cause of the problem. They don’t help the tissues heal themselves. Most medicines were developed to deal with problems far along in their course. They can be very effective at this stage but often carry significant risks. Doctors and consumers must continuously weigh the potential risks and benefits. The risks of these medicines are greater than the benefits for preventing problems or when the problems are very early in their development. If this is so, what alternatives do we have?
Let’s take an example. When you have a skin infection, and damage has already been done to the tissues, antibiotics will typically be prescribed to halt the spread of the bacteria. The antibiotics don’t heal the infection; they only stop the bacteria from multiplying further and doing more damage. The infection has progressed because the body wasn’t able to handle it completely by itself. When the bacteria stop growing the body then has a fighting chance to heal the tissues and kill the remaining bacteria. What does medicine do to help the body to heal? Most of the time, nothing. The doctor relies on the body doing the rest of the job by itself. What can you do to speed recovery and assure better repair? Traditionally, herbals, vitamins and minerals, rest, good nutrition and moist heat will help. Also, now magnetic fields can be used.
Magnetic fields have been found in extensive research in Europe, in humans and all kinds of animal species, to have many positive actions in the body. The medical magnetic fields work by stimulating the acupuncture system, the immune system of the body, improving circulation and oxygen levels in tissues, relaxing muscles, stimulating tissue healing, healing fractures and strengthening bones faster, decreasing nerve irritability, removing swelling, decreasing clotting and improving cell metabolism. Some very strong magnetic fields can actually stimulate muscles and nerves – used for incontinence, rebuilding muscles, nerves and depression.
How can something do all these seemingly different actions? The primary reason is because magnetic fields affect the movement of calcium ions and nitric oxide, recently awarded the title of the molecule of the decade. Calcium is not just in bones. It is involved in a large number of cellular chemical processes that are impaired tissue injuries. There are many other actions, too numerous to list here.
PEMFs are produced by special machines that generate specific electromagnetic signals found to have beneficial medical effects. Important distinctions among them are how much of the body they cover, the strength of the field(s), the configuration of the field, flexibility and usefulness, length of time to be used, frequencies and waveform. PEMFs can produce actions in the body even with fields that are much weaker than the earth. Actions of PEMFs can be expected to happen faster than with static magnets. These wave-like or resonance fields act like “throwing pebbles in a pond”. The action continues long after the field is removed. These fields were the first ones to be approved by the FDA in the 1980’s. The first were for healing fractures that didn’t unite after 6 months. New ones are used to stimulate muscles and nerves. Others are very high frequency and have been used to decrease pain, swelling and heal wounds.
Magnetic fields are very safe. Even the strongest magnetic fields, generated by MRI machines, have been found to be safe, except for very limited circumstances. Do not use medical magnetic fields, except under expert advice, when people have implanted electrical devices, like pacemakers and defibrillators. They are not advised to be used in pregnancy either, since safety has not been conclusively established.
To summarize, more and more medical care will include magnetic
fields in all sorts of applications to heal the body. They will be
used in conjunction with conventional medicine and other complementary
health techniques. Many magnetic fields will be able to be
applied by people themselves with or without direction or order by
a physician or other practitioner. This is possible today because more
and more information about this new technology and more equipment are
becoming readily available at affordable prices.
of Pulsed Electromagnetic fields on Pain
The earth's magnetic field is essential to all life
The earth's natural magnetic field plays an important role in maintaining proper electromagnetic balance of the body's internal systems. Currently, the earth's magnetic field measures 0.4 gauss. Several thousand years ago the earth's magnetic field measured 4 gauss, which was 1000% stronger than it is today.
Why is this happening?
Scientists are able to determine the alignment of the earth's magnetic poles, as well as the strength of the earth's magnetic field through measurements of iron-rich minerals in sediment samples taken from deep within the earth. Samples dating back 3 billion years have shown that the earth's magnetic poles reverse approximately every 200,000 years, which is believed to be the result of directional shifts in the earth's molten core.
Recently, a team of researchers at UCLA used super computers to analyze data from 33 of these samples, and re-create a history of the earth's magnetic field dating back 800,000 years. The computer model clearly showed that the earth's magnetic field declines dramatically over a several thousand-year period preceding a magnetic pole reversal. This data has lead many scientists believe that the rapid decline in the earth's magnetic field over the past several thousand years is a clear indication that a pole reversal is underway.
How does this affect us?
Scientists are now certain that the declining magnetic field detrimentally affects life on earth. In addition, many scientists believe that modern technology, such as steel structure buildings, cars, and trains absorb the earth's magnetic field, causing a further reduction in its strength.
Since these conditions are very recent developments in the history of man's existence on earth, it seems logical that the human body has not had time to adapt to the earth's rapidly decreasing magnetic field; hence the rapid increase in the rate of chronic illnesses worldwide. Following 20 years of research, Dr. Kyoichi Nagawa, a leading scientist in the field of biomagnetics, concluded that the much weaker magnetic field of modern times has caused what he has termed magnetic deficiency syndrome. The symptoms include stiffness in the shoulders, back and neck; insomnia; chest pains; headaches; and dizziness. The long-term consequences of magnetic deficiency syndrome include the development of chronic and degenerative diseases; the loss of normal healing ability; and increased susceptibility to infections and the effects of environmental toxins.
A middle-aged, previously
healthy woman suddenly started having epileptic fits. Going from specialist
to specialist, she was fortunate to find another doctor specialising
in complementary medicine and particularly magnet-therapy (sometimes
called magneto-therapy). Using state of the art computerised equipment,
Dr David Dowson discovered that this woman’s house was in the proximity
of her local fire station. The onset of her epilepsy coincided with the
installation by the local fire service of a bleeper system to rouse its
part-time crews. The 80 MHz signal from the fire station had triggered
her fits. She has since been desensitised, lessening her chances of this
particular signal wave-length affecting her again.
Fundamental and practical aspects of therapeutic uses of pulsed electromagnetic fields (PEMFs).
The beneficial therapeutic effects of selected low-energy, time-varying
magnetic fields, called PEMFs, have been documented with increasing frequency
since 1973. Initially, this form of athermal energy was used mainly as
a salvage for patients with long-standing juvenile and adult nonunions.
Many of these individuals were candidates for amputation. Their clearly
documented resistance to the usual forms of surgical treatment, including
bone grafting, served as a reasonable control in judging the efficacy
of this new therapeutic method, particularly when PEMFs were the sole
change in patient management. More recently, the biological effectiveness
of this approach in augmenting bone healing has been confirmed by several
highly significant double-blind and controlled prospective studies in
less challenging clinical circumstances. Furthermore, double-blind evidence
of therapeutic effects in other clinical disorders has emerged. These
data, coupled with well-controlled laboratory findings on pertinent mechanisms
of action, have begun to place PEMFs on a therapeutic par with surgically
invasive methods but at considerably less risk and cost. As a result
of these clinical observations and concerns about electromagnetic "pollution",
interactions of nonionizing electromagnetic fields with biological processes
have been the subject of increasing investigational activity. Over the
past decade, the number of publications on these topics has risen exponentially.
They now include textbooks, speciality journals, regular reviews by government
agencies, in addition to individual articles, appearing in the wide spectrum
of peer-reviewed, scientific sources. In a recent editorial in Current
Contents, the editor reviews the frontiers of biomedical engineering
focusing on Science Citation Index methods for identifying core research
endeavors. Dr. Garfield chose PEMFs from among other biomedical engineering
efforts as an example of a rapidly emerging discipline. Three new societies
in the bioelectromagnetics, bioelectrochemistry, and bioelectrical growth
and repair have been organized during this time, along with a number
of national and international committees and conferences. These activities
augment a continuing interest by the IEEE in the U.S. and the IEE in
the U.K. This review focuses on the principles and practice behind the
therapeutic use of "PEMFs". This term is restricted to time-varying
magnetic field characteristics that induce voltage waveform patterns
in bone similar to those resulting from mechanical deformation. These
asymmetric, broad-band pulses affect a number of biologic processes athermally.
Many of these processes appear to have the ability to modify selected
pathologic states in the musculoskeletal and other systems.
Pulsed electromagnetic fields promote collagen production in bone marrow fibroblasts via athermal mechanisms.
Primary and passaged cultures of fibroblasts (RBMFs) raised from the
bone marrow stroma of young rabbits were treated with pulsed electromagnetic
fields (PEMFs) from the start of each culture until 1 week after they
became confluent. The PEMF treatment had no effect on cell proliferation,
estimated by phase contrast microscopy, by 3H-thymidine incorporation
into DNA, or by total DNA assay. Collagen production, estimated by conversion
of 3H-proline to 3H-hydroxyproline in nondialyzable material was markedly
elevated in postconfluent cultures, but not in cultures that had only
just reached confluence. About 65 of 3H-hydroxyproline was in low molecular
weight form, and a correlation between collagen breakdown and cyclic
AMP (cAMP) levels in RBMFs was demonstrated by adding dibutyryl cAMP
or prostaglandin E3 (PGE2) to the culture medium concurrently with 3H-proline.
The PEMF apparatus caused an insufficient temperature rise (less than
0.1 degree C) to account for these results. We propose that the rise
in collagen production is consistent with the hypothesis that PEMFs act
by reducing cAMP levels in RBMFs, and that thermal effects are insignificant.
Modulation of collagen production in cultured fibroblasts by a low-frequency pulsed magnetic field.
Primary cultures of chicken tendon fibroblasts have been exposed for
various periods to a low-frequency, pulsed magnetic field, and the effects
on protein and collagen synthesis have been examined by radioisotopic
incorporation. Total protein synthesis was increased in confluent cells
treated with a pulsed magnetic field for the last 24 h of culture as
well as in cells treated for a total of 6 days. However, in 6 day-treated
cultures, collagen accumulation was specifically enhanced as compared
to total protein, whereas after short-term exposure, collagen production
was increased only to the same extent as total protein. Levels of cyclic
AMP were significantly decreased after 6-day pulsed magnetic field treatment,
probably as a consequence of diminished adenylate cyclase activity. Exposure
to pulsed magnetic field had no effect on cell proliferation or collagen
phenotype. These results indicate that a pulsed magnetic field can specifically
increase production of collagen, the major differentiated function of
fibroblasts, possibly by altering cyclic-AMP metabolism.
Results of pulsed electromagnetic fields (PEMFs) in ununited fractures after external skeletal fixation.
Of 147 patients with fractures of the tibia, femur and humerus, in whom
an average of 3.3 operations had failed to produce union, all were treated
with external skeletal fixation in situ and pulsed electromagnetic fields
(PEMFs). Of the 147, 107 patients united for an overall success rate
of 73%. Union of the femur occurred in 81% and the tibia in 75%. Only
five of 13 humeri united. Failure to achieve union with PEMFs was most
closely associated with very wide fracture gaps and insecure skeletal
Osteonecrosis of the femoral head treated by pulsed electromagnetic fields (PEMFs): a preliminary report.
This has been a preliminary report with a short-term follow-up of a
small number of observations (28 hips of 24 patients). The follow-ups
ranged from 6 to 36 months, with an average of 17.8 months. Only eleven
hips (in eleven patients) were followed an average of 8 months after
cessation of the treatment. It should be emphasized that this was a "pilot" study,
in which no control series was used to determine the natural course of
the disease in a comparable clinical setting. Of note was the pain relief,
in 19 of 23 patients with moderate to severe pretreatment pain. Also
there was an improved function, which suggests that at least in approximately
two thirds of the patients there was some clinical benefit from this
mode of treatment. In eight hips, clinical conditions did not change;
and in two they worsened, requiring further treatment. Eighteen remaining
hips were thought to have benefited by the treatment. Six femoral heads
that had already developed varying degrees of collapse (Ficat Type III)
collapsed further (1 to 2 mm), and two round heads (Ficat II) progressed
to off-round (Ficat III). This preliminary study suggests that further
exploration of pulsed electromagnetic fields (PEMFs) is warranted in
the treatment of osteonecrosis of the femoral head.
Treatment of therapeutically resistant non-unions with bone grafts and pulsing electromagnetic fields.
This study reviews the cases of eighty-three adults with ununited fractures
who were treated concomitantly with bone-grafting and pulsed electromagnetic
fields. An average of 1.5 years had elapsed since fracture and the use
of this combined approach. Nearly one-third of the patients had a history
of infection, and an average of 2.4 prior operations had failed to produce
bone union. Thirty-eight patients who were initially treated with grafts
and pulsed electromagnetic fields for ununited fractures with wide gaps,
synovial pseudarthrosis, and malalignment achieved a rate of successful
healing of 87 per cent. Forty-five patients who had initially been treated
unsuccessfully with pulsing electromagnetic fields alone had bone-grafting
and were re-treated with pulsing electromagnetic fields. Ninety-three
per cent of these fractures healed. The residual failure rate after two
therapeutic attempts, one of which was operative, was 1.5 per cent. The
median time to union for both groups of patients was four months.
Effects of a pulsed electromagnetic field on a mixed chondroblastic tissue culture.
A mixed tissue culture predominantly composed of chondroblastic tissue
was perturbed by a pulsed electromagnetic field (PEMF). Some cultures
were nonconfluent, and purposely retarded in growth to resemble an atrophic
nonunion, while others were grown to confluence in about one-half the
time as a model for a hypertrophic nonunion. These two groups tested
the effect of growth rate upon the products of cell proliferation and
differentiation. The slowly growing cultures were stimulated to synthesize
hydroxyproline. The rapidly growing cultures showed a large increase
in lysozyme activity, and increase in hyaluronate and DNA, and a decrease
in glycosaminoglycan. Exogenous lysozyme further decreased the glycosaminoglycan
synthesis in the presence of PEMF. Chitotriose, a specific lysozyme inhibitor
abolished this effect. Cycloheximide, a protein synthesis inhibitor,
did not abolish the activation of lysozyme found in the matrix. Thus
lysozyme appears to be activated by PEMF. These observations of the rapidly
growing confluent cultures are consistent with events described in the
normal healing of a bone fracture or endochrondral growth. Thus, PEMF
appears to promote normal healing, probably by altering cartilaginous
lysozyme activity in the matrix, and possibly the sequence of events
leading to calcification.
Biological effects of magnetic fields: studies with microorganisms.
Five bacteria and one yeast were grown in magnetic fields of 50-900
gauss with frequencies of 0-0.3 HZ and square, triangular, or sine waveform.
Growth of these microorganisms could be stimulated or inhibited depending
upon the field strength and frequency of the pulsed magnetic field. Spore
germination and mutation frequency were unaffected by the magnetic fields
used in this study.
Influence of magnetic fields on calcium salts crystal formation: an explanation of the 'pulsed electromagnetic field' technique for bone healing.
In the search for a mechanism by means of which a magnetic field deparalyses
non-unions and enhances bone tissue formation, the influence of continuous
magnetic fields on the formation of calcium phosphate crystal seeds has
been investigated. From this perspective, an explanation is given of
a working mode in conventional equipment for pulsed electromagnetic field
treatment; this is compared with multifunction equipment.