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The Wide-Ranging Benefits of Pulsed Electromagnetic Field (PEMF) Therapy

by Sandra Bryant(more info)

listed in energy medicine, originally published in issue 255 - June 2019


PEMF or Pulsed Electro Magnetic Field therapy is now widely studied and used within integrative medicine and therapy. The process involves directing energy waves to the human body. Each one of our trillions of cells vibrates at a certain frequency, which balances and continually recalibrates the body. Waves from a PEMF device communicate with each cell, in essence aiming to balance our electrical and magnetic fields.


A Human Cell Photo

A Human Cell Photo by Eraxion for Can Stock Photo


There are various commercial PEMF devices available which affect our magnetic field, and act in different ways; but essentially, the waves utilized by a PEMF device painlessly and quickly pass through the cells in the body, increasing the ‘charge’ of the cell’s electrons, helping to stimulate them and promote healing.


Structure of a cell

Structure of a Nerve Cell Photo by rob3000 for Can Stock Photo


The Human Battery

The process is widely compared to a battery charging. Our bodies contain tiny ion surges created by the flow of sodium and potassium ions both inside and out of our bodies’ cell membranes (as well as the flow of calcium and magnesium). In unhealthy bodies, the ‘flow’ through the ion channels is disrupted and slowed, in terms of both the flow of water and nutrients in, and harmful cytotoxins (toxic agents) expelled out of the body.

Importantly, in addition to aiding the ‘flow’ of energy, PEMF has the potential to create antioxidant electrons which stop free radicals, and restore cell metabolism to a higher, more optimally-charged level. 

Different Levels of Frequency

PEMF devices utilize different levels of frequency, wave-form and intensity, with some offering high, and some providing low intensity sessions. True PEMF devices provide a pulse, as in ‘Pulsed Electro Magnetic Field’, creating a pulsed waveform.

Broadly speaking, low intensity PEMF devices are resonant systems, e.g. they resonate the magnetic fields, and are used for longer durations during a session, maybe 90 minutes at a time, depending on the manufacturer’s instructions. They are described as switching systems, and ‘disturb’ the lower-end frequencies on the electromagnetic spectrum.

High intensity PEMF devices are impulse or spark gap systems, utilizing higher intensity waveforms, and they’re used for shorter durations of maybe 10-15 minutes, depending on the manufacturer’s instructions. The latter affects the cells deeper in the body by ‘disturbing’ all of the frequencies on the electromagnetic spectrum at once, and targeting the intracellular structures, as well as all-important mitochondrial function (see below).

Support in High Places

PEMF is a form of integrative medicine that has support in high places; NICE, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence, has a resource at of over seventy documents available to clinicians and individuals, with many extolling the benefits of PEMF. It lists reviews and studies on areas such as osteoarthritis of the knee, postoperative pain, oedema and fractures.

NASA, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, has also researched electromagnetic fields, finding in studies that with abrupt releases of energy at nanosecond speed, the magnetic fields stimulated nerve cells (including sites for collagen production), regenerated traumatised tissues, and even moderated some neurodegenerative diseases.[1] (Interestingly, it was NASA who determined that our bodies are naturally conditioned to a magnetic field of 7.8 Hz.) NASA discovered that waveforms with this steep, nanosecond rise-time, e.g. that act instantaneously, deliver a deeper and more high intensity provision than lower frequency versions (which also have their place, clinically).

Many Potential Benefits

As a high frequency model, in addition to the benefits mentioned above, e.g. stimulating nerve cells, regenerating traumatised tissues, and potentially moderating neurodegenerative diseases, PEMF has also been advocated for improving the symptoms of asthma,[2] and at all frequencies, is widely said to improve skin health and boost collagen synthesis (as NASA found); something that is also backed up in animal studies.[3] Nanosecond PEMF has also garnered some very interesting results in the field of cancer studies – see below.

(Incidentally, America’s FDA, or Food and Drug Administration, advocates PEMF for the aiding of symptoms of depression and anxiety, among other uses, so its potential benefits are clearly wide ranging).


The ‘HUGO’ PEMF device utilises two mats for a full-body, high-intensity sandwich session of nanosecond

The ‘HUGO’ PEMF device utilizes two mats for a full-body, high-intensity sandwich session of nanosecond PEMF



If you’re wondering just how PMEF can easily be administered in a holistic setting, there are various options, according to its desired purpose and whether it is a low or high intensity platform. (There are for example mats that the user lies on (and beneath); contacts that wrap around a joint or around the head, or smaller mats that affix to a chair and are leant against.)

The latest technology sees Signature Health’s HOCATT™ ozone ‘bio-chamber sauna’ incorporate a high-intensity PEMF setting, which the manufacturers have dubbed ‘HUGO’.

The HOCATT™ units, effectively steam sauna cabinets, are designed to introduce ozone (trioxygen) transdermally via the skin, with desired outcomes including correcting oxidative stress (which causes chronic inflammation), and boosting bodily health and function. The addition of a PEMF setting, among other modalities, is very exciting. However, of equal interest is Signature Health’s stand-alone ‘HUGO’ PEMF device that utilizes two mats, one above the body and one below, for a full-body, high-intensity ‘sandwich’ session of nanosecond PEMF.

PEMF and Cancer Studies

Nanosecond PEMF is also increasingly being cited as a useful resource for those suffering from cancer, with experts in one study hypothesizing that the ‘charge’ can cause ‘rapid electromechanical deformation’ of the tumour cell nucleus, in a study on whether melanomas could self‐destruct.[4] A further study identified the ‘first evidence’ that nanosecond PEMF could inhibit tumour growth.[5]

Helping to Prevent Mitochondrial Damage

Interestingly, high intensity PEMF is known to stimulate mitochondria, the cell structures that orchestrate cellular energy production, synthesize adenosine triphosphate (ATP), and transfer the ‘ion exchangers’, like calcium and magnesium.[6] We now know that mitochondrial dysfunction is linked to a wide range of human disorders, including neurodegenerative diseases, obesity, cancer, autoimmune diseases, and diabetes.[7] Therefore, if mitochondrial damage is central to so many serious disorders of the human body, it makes sense to take steps to optimize our health utilising integrative systems and therapies such as PEMF.


1.         Goodwin. Physiological and molecular genetic effects of time-varying electromagnetic fields on human neuronal cells. (Special Publication). Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center. 2003.

2.         Gerasimov, Sergei, Tkachenko, Coghil. Extra high frequency PEMF in supplemental management in childhood asthma. World Congress on Magneto-therapy. 1996.

3.         Ahmadian, Rezaei Zarchi, Bolouri. Effects of extremely‐low‐frequency pulsed electromagnetic fields on collagen synthesis in rat skin. Biotechnology and Applied Biochemistry. 2010.
4.         Nuccitelli, Pliquett, Chen, Ford, James Swanson, Beebe, Kolb, Schoenbach. Nanosecond pulsed electric fields cause melanomas to self‐destruct. Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications 343:351–360. 2006.
5.         Beebe, Fox, Lec, Stark, Schoenbach. Nanosecond pulsed electric field (nsPEF) effects on cells and tissues: apoptosis induction and tumor growth inhibition. IEEE Transactions on Plasma Science. August 2002.

6.         Funk. Coupling of pulsed electromagnetic fields (PEMF) therapy to molecular grounds of the cell. American Journal of Translational Research. 10(5): 1260–1272. 2018.

7.         Medical Research Council - Mitochondrial Biology Unit (MBU).


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About Sandra Bryant

Sandra Bryant represents Ozone Therapy UK and distributes the HUGO PEMF range. She may be contacted via Tel: 01264 736108 / 07595 161946;


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