PEMF therapy has been around for over 40 years, but has been enjoying far more scrutiny and use in recent years. Consequently, PEMF has been more closely evaluated for side effects in recent years, and the most common side effects associated with PEMF have been identified. What are these side effects, and how severe are they? First, let’s take a look at what PEMF therapy is, and how it works.
What is PEMF Therapy?
PEMF therapy is a type of energy therapy that utilizes pulses of electromagnetic fields to deliver energy to the body’s cells. It is through this process that cells begin the process of rebuilding, repairing, and communicating with other cells in the body, in order to facilitate the body’s natural healing pathways. It is through this process that PEMF provides changes to the body, and is able to improve wound healing, alleviate symptoms of depression, serve as a catalyst for muscle stimulation, and more. PEMF therapy does not actually inject or fill the body with foreign substances, like most therapies and medications, but instead focuses on utilizing energy frequencies that mimic those of the earth or other natural forces, which allows the body to maintain its own natural energy frequencies while improving healing.
What Qualifies as a Side Effect?
Although most of us are familiar with the notion of side effects via the seemingly never-ending list of potential hazards associated with various medications, and the clever way they are inserted into the corresponding ads and commercials, knowing precisely what is and is not a side effect is a little bit more complex.
Potential Side Effects of PEMF Therapy
There are several notable possible PEMF therapy side effects. These include pain, an increase in appetite, drowsiness, decreases in blood pressure, decreases in blood sugar, improved circulation, and dizziness. To fully understand each fo these symptoms and when they are most likely to appear, we will take a close look at each of the possible side effects and how they affect the body.
Pain is most likely to affect people who sought out PEMF therapy specifically for pain relief. This is due to a number of factors, the most common being the repair of nerve pathways and cellular communication that transmits the presence of pain from one bodily system to another. Because PEMF therapy boosts the body’s ability to communicate within and between cells, you may experience a temporary increase in pain during PEMF sessions. Most users report a lessening of pain within the first 10 sessions, but precise times will vary from person to person.
Increased appetite may seem strange, but the body is undergoing a great deal of change during PEMF therapy, and as such, it can burn through energy and prompt feelings of hunger—even ravenous hunger. Some of this can be alleviated by eating food prior to every session or having a snack on hand for the conclusion of each session. PEMF therapy is not linked to nausea, and eating before or after a treatment has not been identified as a problematic or unwise practice.
Decreases in blood sugar could be attributed to the increasing ability for cells to communicate with one another, which may result in blood glucose being regulated more effectively, but could also be attributed to the more efficient use of blood overall; after all, increased circulation is a common side effect of PEMF therapy, which can also decrease blood pressure.
Dizziness has also been linked to improvements in circulation and corresponding blood pressure levels, as dizziness is commonly accompanied by a sudden drop in blood pressure.
PEMF and Side Effects: Positive and Negative Reactions
Some of the side effects identified above have given people pause, because they seem less like the standard side effects—headaches, nausea, etc.—and more like benefits. Certain responses are considered side effects, even when they may be beneficial to your health, because they are not the target goal of the therapy, and they can be hazardous in some populations.
PEMF Therapy and Safety
As the information about PEMF therapy above can attest, PEMF therapy is an extremely safe type of intervention. Despite the presence of side effects, the side effects are extremely minimal and they do not typically persist past the first handful of sessions. Some cases will necessitate longer side effects, while others will see a reduction in side effects within a session or two. Knowing precisely when side effects will diminish is impossible, but the severity of the side effects will usually provide a window into how long they will persist before eventually abating.
One of the interesting things about the safety and efficacy of PEMF therapy is the reason for the side effects: in increased pain, for example, the increase is all too often due to the repair of nerves responsible for recognizing and transmitting pain signals. Healing is ideal to attain, but the journey getting there can be scattered with some unpleasant setbacks, including a temporary increase in pain symptoms. Lower blood sugar, too, can be a side effect, but may demonstrate the body’s reduction in inflammation or increased ability to process and regulate sugar intake, yet again demonstrating that the side effects can be difficult to deal with, but can also signal healing.
Should You Use PEMF Therapy?
Despite the possibility of side effects, PEMF therapy is considered an extremely safe intervention; even in the most significant cases of side effects, these side effects are considered mild, and typically only persist for the duration of the treatment itself. Consequently, there are few groups that are considered at risk for side effects or complications when utilizing PEMF therapy, with two notable exceptions: those who are pregnant, and those who have electrical implants, such as a pacemaker. There are no safety studies regarding pregnancy and PEMF, and there is concern that the pulses of energy emitted by PEMF machines could interfere with electrical implants in the body and decrease their function.
Provided that you are not a member of these two small groups, PEMF therapy can be a worthwhile and powerful addition to your wellness toolbox. Even the most severe side effects of PEMF therapy pale in comparison to the side effects linked to standard pharmaceutical medications, and can provide relief from symptoms and ailments without a large amount of risk or concern.