PEMF Therapy – Scams, Lies and What To Watch Out For
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If you’ve been considering purchasing a PEMF device and conducting research online, you might be very confused. How can you know what information is simply marketing, and what is real? Who do you believe about what type of PEMF device is the best? Are PEMF devices really helpful, or is this just the newest fad designed to separate you from your hard earned money?
It’s a good idea to be skeptical about what you read online. Anyone can post anything – whether they have the proper background or not! That means you’re likely finding information from sales and marketing departments, medical professionals. Some of these who are well informed, and others who have little to no information about PEMF. Also, you can hear from both satisfied and unsatisfied customers. Again, who should you believe?
I began learning about PEMF therapy decades ago. I’ve gathered ample information about the research behind magnetic therapies. Furthermore, I learned how magnetic field therapy can be beneficial to a wide range of health conditions. This extends into how to properly select and use PEMF devices. Much of this information has been summarized in my book, “Power Tools for Health: how pulsed magnetic fields (PEMFs) help you.”
I will tell you something you probably won’t hear from many people in the business of PEMF therapy. There is no best device on the market! PEMF devices offer a range of intensities, waveforms and frequencies, and the right one for you is probably not the right one for someone else. In order to find the best unit for you, many factors must be considered: what intensity do you need, what frequency is best, your personal biology, and what condition(s) do you want to treat with PEMFs?
There are a lot of myths, and some outright lies and scams, perpetuated about PEMF therapy. My goal is to dispel some of these and help you determine the best PEMF device for your personal needs.
COMMON MYTHS ABOUT PEMF THERAPY
1. PEMFS AREN’T EFFECTIVE
With all the research available on the effectiveness of magnetic field therapies I find it very frustrating that this is still a common refrain. What that tells me is that people simply aren’t doing the review of the research required to discover the benefits of PEMF therapy. Decades of research support the effectiveness of therapeutic PEMFs, though there is still a lot to learn about how and why this type of therapy is so effective. But, this is true for most other types of therapies too.
PEMF therapy impacts the body on a cellular level, which means it can have a positive impact on a wide range of health problems and conditions. The research is out there if you look for it, including studies that show how PEMFs help fractures heal, have a positive impact on pain in knee osteoarthritis, and so much more. Much of the research on PEMFs is detailed in my book, Power Tools for Health: how magnetic fields (PEMFs) help you.
2. PEMFS ARE DANGEROUS
Again, this myth comes from lack of understanding. The research easily refutes this claim. In fact, every study conducted has backed up the safety of this type of therapy, showing no significant adverse side effects — which certainly can’t be said for treatment with prescription drugs! Most often you’ll hear that high intensity PEMFs are hazardous – but the research says otherwise. Even research examining high intensity PEMF therapy to the brain supports their safety. For more information, check out my other posts on high intensity PEMF safety here.
3. ONLY CERTAIN FREQUENCIES WORK
The best frequency for specific pathologies varies widely. While some like to debate the “best” frequency for PEMF therapy, I like to remind my clients that what is best right now, for a specific condition, may not be best later. The problem you are trying to treat makes a difference! Your biological makeup also has an impact, which is why what works for one person may not work well for another.
Some companies put great stock in the fact that their products use “earth-based frequencies” only. These range from 1-32 Hz, and may be great for some conditions, but will prove ineffective on others. Acute problems often respond well to lower frequencies, but chronic conditions typically respond better to higher frequencies. Available frequency should be one of the top considerations when purchasing a PEMF device – and your reseller should be able to effectively explain the difference between frequencies, and what might best suit your needs. But, intensity is often much more important than frequency.
4. ONE INTENSITY IS BETTER THAN ANOTHER
Another myth you might come across is that one intensity is the only effective, safe type of PEMF therapy. In reality, the intensity needed depends on the health condition you are treating. Most of the PEMF systems available are considered low-intensity in terms of magnetic field strength.
Think of it in comparison to an MRI machine, which produces a magnetic field between 10,000 and 30,000 Gauss. The high end of intensity for PEMF systems is the 10,000 Gauss range. Many don’t even reach 1 Gauss, but are still helpful for certain conditions. The deeper your problem is within your body, the higher intensity it will take to see results. That’s why quicker, more effective results are seen with higher intensity treatment. Low intensity treatment, on the other hand, offers mostly benefits for health maintenance and improving circulation in the body.
5. THERE IS AN “IDEAL” TREATMENT TIME.
You might hear that you should only use a PEMF device for a few minutes at a time. Many systems promote the use of 8-minute treatments, though there is no research to substantiate this claim. In fact, most studies have used longer and varied treatment times and shown great benefits.
Your condition, the system you are using, and other factors all impact the ideal treatment time. It’s best to talk with a physician well versed in PEMF therapy before beginning your treatment to find the best amount of time for your specific needs.
You may also hear that there is a maximum treatment time per day with some systems. This usually has more to do with the engineering of the system, not any adverse effects resulting from long treatment times. Some PEMF systems can be used for 12 hours per day with no adverse effects, and great benefits. Again, your condition, personal biology, the specs of the PEMF device and where you are in your therapy will all impact the amount of therapy time you need.
BEWARE OF SCAMS AND OUTRIGHT LIES
When people are misinformed, it’s easy to be taken in by inflated claims and purchase machines that seem legit, but are ineffective for the specific problem that you have. The truth is that any PEMF machine is likely to have some benefit to health – but it may not be the level of benefit you were looking for.
Even medical professionals have to do extensive research to really understand the science behind PEMF therapy. Conventional medical training simply doesn’t include this information. If your only source of information about PEMFs is a general internet search, you probably won’t have the scientific knowledge you need to make the best selection.
Below are some common claims made by some companies whose primary interest seems to be making money, not helping people heal. I have a detailed blog post about common lies/myths about PEMFs if you want more information.
LIES ABOUT PEMF TREATMENT AND DEVICES
1. FDA APPROVAL IS NECESSARY/BEST
Most manufacturers of PEMF devices actually choose NOT to seek FDA approval. Why? It’s far too limiting. If a device is FDA approved, there are strict parameters around what it can be marketed for. There must be clear research to support the claims – and research is expensive! And if a device is FDA approved for a particular use, you can’t claim other benefits easily. Don’t be confused by claims of being FDA registered either. All that means is that the FDA knows the device is being imported into the USA – and all PEMF machines imported have to be registered, whether that information is part of the marketing plan or not.
2. ONE MACHINE IS THE BEST ON THE MARKET
The simple truth is there is no one best unit. You can’t find a one-size-fits-all model – or even a model that is best for most. The device best for you will depend on what you need it for now – and perhaps how you might use it in the future. Another consideration is whether other family members will use it as well. Manufacturers love to make claims that their machine is the best on the market — and it might be for specific purposes, but not for every need!
3. PEMF MACHINES CAN’T BE USED FOR SPECIFIC CONDITIONS.
PEMF devices are first and foremost wellness devices. Magnetic field therapies are safe for almost any application when used properly – even at very high intensities (such as an MRI machine). Although some will say that you shouldn’t use PEMF therapy in conjunction with certain medications or with certain conditions (ie, cancer), there is no evidence that PEMF therapy will have any adverse effects. In fact, the opposite is true. Ample evidence exists that shows that PEMF therapy can be a very effective complement to most other treatments, especially in the area of pain relief.
4. ONLY ONE PEMF DEVICE WILL WORK FOR YOUR CONDITION.
Again, some manufacturers will say almost anything to get you to buy their device. But the truth is, there are many devices available on the market, and if you understand what signal you need, many different PEMF systems can offer relief for the same conditions. Research is expensive and it’s nearly impossible to find evidence for every system out there – which is why understanding frequency and intensity, as well as whether you need a whole body system or a targeted system is so important. I often say that whatever PEMF system you use will benefit your health, regardless of specific conditions. That’s because the overall positive effects on your body will indirectly help you cope with the specific condition. Your body will decide what benefits it will see.
WORKING WITH A TRAINED PROFESSIONAL IS THE BEST WAY TO FIND THE PEMF DEVICE THAT’S RIGHT FOR YOU
This blog post is intended to help guide you in understanding the complexities of choosing the best device for your needs. You can find more detailed information on some of the misconceptions around PEMFs and what to consider as you purchase a device in my buyer’s guide, designed solely to help you make the right decision for the treatment benefits you desire.
Because there are so many factors involved in selecting the best PEMF device, I always recommend that you work with a physician or medical team well versed in PEMF therapy. I have studied PEMF therapy for years, and I am always happy to help you make the right selection. Call my office at 1-866-987-0514 or click here to apply for a complimentary consultation if you are considering purchasing a PEMF device. We can help you make the best choice for you.