The term “electromagnetic field” might initially sound like something out of an engineer’s textbook, or a something to discuss with your local electrician.
Although both of these professions may deal with EMFs on a regular basis, electromagnetic fields can be found in all walks of life, and play a vital role in day-to-day life, for people all over the world, from diverse backgrounds.
What Are EMFs?
An electromagnetic field is a type of radiation that can be found virtually everywhere, from the microwaves gracing countless homes, to the thriving earth below your feet.
Electromagnetic fields make up the natural energy found in all living things, and also make up the electricity that powers your morning cup of coffee. Not all electromagnetic fields are created equal, however.
As part of their makeup, EMFs have two important factors called wavelengths and frequencies.
These are the primary determinants in whether an EMF is harmful to one’s health, beneficial to one’s health, or largely benign, with neither health benefits nor health risks.
Benign EMFs may be among the most common EMFs in existence, but there are plenty of sources of good and bad electromagnetic fields, as well.
How Harmful EMFs Do Damage
Harmful electromagnetic fields are characterized by a high frequency, and shorter wavelengths.
These EMFs are harmful to the body, because they have the potential to unnaturally heat, excite, or break apart molecules in the body, which can create a domino effect of ill health, largely in the form of free radicals.
Free radicals have reached something of “buzz word” status in many health and wellness circles, but the potential hazards of free radicals cannot be understated.
Free radicals are essentially atoms that have been removed from their chemical bonds, and roam the body, in search of replacement bonds.
As they roam and find new bonds, they break apart other bonds, which creates a cascade effect of free radical generation in the body.
Long-term difficulties with free radicals have been linked to a wide variety of health conditions, including cancer, inflammation, and fibromyalgia.
What Is PEMF?
Because PEMF has EMF in its title, it may be erroneously associated with the harmful electromagnetic fields known to cause cellular disarray and dysfunction.
This could not be further from the truth, however, as the electromagnetic energy generated in PEMF machines possesses frequencies and wavelengths that actually support cellular health and communication, thereby mitigating or staving off the effects of harmful EMFs.
This is accomplished because the frequencies used in PEMF therapy are far too low to create an adverse effect in the body.
PEMF therapy delivers a type of non-ionizing energy that is used to excite molecular behavior and increase activity in and communication between cells.
Increased cellular communication can support health in myriad ways, by supporting the body in its own healing avenues.
Ionizing and Non-Ionizing Radiation
The further understand the difference between helpful and harmful EMFs, take a look at the two most common identifiers for EMFs: ionizing radiation and non-ionizing radiation.
Ionizing radiation is the most problematic and harmful of EMFs, and includes obvious culprits, such as nuclear energy, and less-obvious culprits, such as MRI machines.
Although nuclear energy and MRI machines certainly have their place in modern society, they are a prime example of how too much exposure to EMFs can prove dangerous to the human body, and lead to long-term health consequences.
The term “ionizing” means that radiation delivers enough heat and energy to damage chemical bonds.
The dissolution of chemical bonds can have immediate health effects, such as headaches and feelings of nausea, and have been linked to long-term ill effects, such as cancer.
For this reason, ionizing radiation is heavily monitored and used with great caution.
Nuclear energy has many protocols guarding workers from exposure, and MRIs and other x-ray technology requires infrequent and rapid use, and protective gear for technicians.
Non-ionizing radiation is a type of radiation, but does not generate or impart enough heat or energy to damage bonds.
Non-ionizing radiation is the most common type of radiation people come into contact with, and makes up most of the products found in people’s homes and cars.
The Spectrum of Electromagnetic Energy
As many a chemistry class can attest, electromagnetic energy exists on a spectrum, which is used to identify the different EM waves.
These waves exist from the most innocuous (radio waves) to the least innocuous (gamma rays).
The spectrum delineates the different types of EMF that exist, and offers a clear picture of electromagnetic fields as a whole, and the presence of beneficial, benign, and harmful EMFs.
Why PEMF Therapy Is Different
Understanding electromagnetic frequencies can raise some questions about the frequency (measured in Hz) of power lines, and the frequencies often found in PEMF machines.
Power lines are typically said to measure between 50 and 60 Hz—a frequency often found in PEMF machines.
The difference between the two involves exposure time and the presence of surges.
The concern typically reserved for living close to power lines involves the constant exposure to EMFs, and the surging experienced when households inadvertently release energy back into the lines, creating unpredictable frequencies.
PEMF devices typically come equipped with devices to minimize or altogether prevent surging, which ensures that the human body is not exposed to any surges.
Although the spectrum identified above demonstrates just how wide the array of EMFs are, the frequencies associated with PEMF are extremely narrow.
Most PEMF machines deliver frequencies at or below 10,000 Hz, with many delivering as little as 1-50 Hz frequencies.
These frequencies are too low to incur any cellular or tissue damage, providing PEMF therapy with a high safety rating, and a positive reputation regarding healing.
To eliminate the possibility of tissue damage, PEMF machines must use a low frequency and a long wavelength, in order to penetrate the body and deliver the frequency successfully.
A long wavelength and low frequency are two components in direct contrast to the wavelengths and frequencies of EMFs that are considered harmful or a cause for concern.