A Brief History of Pulse Electromagnetic Therapy

A Brief History of Pulse Electromagnetic Therapy | PEMF Therapy


Pulsing Electromagnetic Field Therapy

Pulsing electromagnetic field frequency therapy (PEMF) was in use well over 100 years ago, but competition from pharmaceutical approaches in the West led to a rapid eclipse of virtually all electrotherapy techniques ( However, in the former Soviet Union, the use of electrotherapy continued to flourish and was regarded as complementary to pharmacology. During the Soviet space explorations, pulsing electromagnetic field therapy (PEMF) was used by the cosmonauts to help reduce the loss of bone density that occurs when they are removed from the Earth’s gravitational and magnetic fields. Back on Earth, this form of therapy was embraced by Soviet medical doctors, who wanted to use the technology on their patients. Eventually, it was used in hospitals throughout the Soviet Union and in Eastern Europe, in particular, East Germany, Hungary, and the Czech Republic. When these countries gained their independence, their scientific medical research and electronic devices became available to the Western world via nearby German-speaking countries: Germany, Switzerland, and Austria. These countries incorporated the technology into their healthcare systems, and it became available in hospitals, medical clinics, health spas, and to the general consumer. Hundreds of studies from Eastern Europe and decades of experience in Western Europe have led to a detailed understanding of how various frequencies and waveforms work best with each other for specific conditions.

In the meantime, the American space program operated by the National Aeronautical and Space Administration (NASA) recognized a critical need to develop effective prevention and treatments for bone loss and muscle atrophy to enable future human space exploration to the moon, Mars, and beyond. Progressive muscle atrophy leads to weakness, fatigue, and the inability efficiently perform tasks, including emergency procedures. Bone loss causes an increased risk of bone fracture and kidney stones, which can also compromise astronaut health and mission objectives. Consequently, NASA mobilized its resources to develop methods that can enhance bone retention, prevent or alleviate muscle atrophy, and augment natural healing/regeneration processes in a space environment with little access to conventional treatments. On Earth, this device was found useful in the treatment of various muscle diseases, age- and cancer-related muscle atrophy, osteoporosis, and other bone diseases. By the time NASA began research in this area, it had been accepted that weak, non-ionizing electromagnetic fields can exert effects on biological targets without heating them. Moreover, the use of pulsing electromagnetic fields for stimulating healing in fracture nonunions had become an established orthopedic practice and had been approved by the FDA in 1979.

Research by NASA identified which PEMF frequencies are most effective in producing biological responses in bone and muscle cells. Studies were undertaken at the molecular and cellular levels to define the alterations induced by microgravity and the ability of PEMF to reverse these effects. The long-term goal was to produce garments incorporating PEMF devices that could be worn by astronauts. Eventually, NASA contractors patented systems for this purpose. The patent claims that the apparatus is for enhancing tissue repair in mammals. The apparatus includes a sleeve, an electrically conductive coil, a sleeve support, and an electrical circuit that supplies the coil with a square wave time-varying electrical current sufficient to create ~ 0.05–0.5 gauss magnetic field. When in use, the time-varying electromagnetic field is from ~ 0.05 to 0.5 gauss and is used long enough to produce tissue regeneration at a rate that is faster than what would take place without the use of the device. Figure 6.6 shows one such device for use on a limb. The illustration is from the NASA patent.

In 1952, at the Technical University of Munich in Germany, Professor Winfried Schumann mathematically predicted that the Earth had a pulse, a resonant frequency of around 10 pulses per second. His theory stated that this pulse should arise from the resonance taking place between the surface of the Earth and the charged layer called the ionosphere, some hundreds of miles above the Earth. As we shall see in Chapter 15, Schumann’s theory was confirmed. This frequency corresponded to some of the measured frequencies taking place within the brain, the so-called brain waves, as measured with the electroencephalogram. Subsequent research on test subjects in Germany showed that if the Earth’s natural magnetic resonant field was removed, health would deteriorate. In an attempt to reverse that process, a frequency generator was utilized to introduce artificial magnetic fields into a test chamber, and it was discovered that 7.83 Hz was the ideal artificial frequency to support life. That frequency, 7.83 Hz, is now known as the Schumann Resonance. This discovery, virtually ignored by Western medicine, was embraced by the Soviet Union. It was decided to develop a healthcare system based upon an earlier form of electrotherapy that now utilized frequencies for electric acupuncture and electromagnets. Like NASA, the Soviet space program provided its citizens with many medical breakthroughs that were used to keep the cosmonauts healthy in space.

A resurgence of interest occurred in the United States and Japan in the 1950s and 1960s. The validity of DC stimulation of bone healing was confirmed in animal studies (Bassett et al., 1964; Yasuda, 1953). Subsequently, an ever-broadening search for mechanisms of action began at the cellular level. NASA patented two chambers for studying cellular effects of PEMF signals (Wolf and Goodwin, 2002, 2004) Simultaneously, efforts were launched to bypass the need for surgical implantation of electrodes and to place electric stimulation of fracture repair on a more practical, less risky, and less costly basis. As a result of these parallel but interlinked efforts, great progress was made in the care of fractures that fail to heal and in opening new horizons to the benefits to be gained in other diseases and disorders by inducing purposeful and precise modifications in the electric microenvironments of many different cell types.

In 2009, NASA released its PEMF patents. Two of the patents were for studying the effects of pulsing electromagnetic fields on cells in culture (Wolf and Goodwin, 2002, 2004), and the third was for a system that a person could wear that would enhance tissue repair in mammals (Goodwin and Parker, 2007). In 2011, the FDA approved PEMF for difficult to treat depression. In the same year, Dr. Oz, a popular television show host, introduced PEMF therapy to millions of his loyal viewers who were asked to help ‘spread the word’. The North American medical community is now starting to examine this form of frequency therapy as a method for pain management, cell rejuvenation, and the treatment of a wide variety of neurological disorders. An example of one of these devices is shown in Figure 6.7.

Western medicine has now begun to return to its early roots in electrotherapy and has brought frequency therapy into the healthcare system. It was invented for space travel and is now available on Earth. The scientific literature in support of this conclusion is very compelling.

The earth, mind & body connection

earth mind body

Everything is Connected

Our entire biological system, the brain and the earth itself all work on the same frequencies.’ Nicola Tesla

The earth’s fluctuating magnetic field , also known as the geomagnetic field emanates from the earth’s interior and ranges between 22 to 65 microteslas. According to scientists, the magnetic field has decreased by up to 50% over the last 300 years… some say more. The earth’s magnetic field has a frequency of 11.79 Hz (cycles per second) .

There is also a second frequency within the earth’s ionosphere called the Schumann Resonance, which resonates at 7.83 Hz. This frequency is created mainly by lightning strikes… approximately 7 million per day.

Both the geomagnetic and Schumann create harmonic frequencies that range up to 32Hz. Any higher harmonics are indistinguishable. This 0 to 30 Hz range is known as the ‘biological window’ or Adey window of biological frequencies.

The brain produces certain naturally occurring frequencies:

  • Delta – 1 to 4 Hz – dreamless and rejuvenating sleep
  • Theta – 4 to 8 Hz – dreaming and deep meditation
  • Alpha – 8 to 12 Hz – relaxed focused state of mind
  • Beta – 12 to 30 Hz – awake, problem-solving consciousness

Scientific research shows that the cells in the human body respond positively to particular pulsating electromagnetic frequencies. Here are a few:

  • 2 Hz – nerve regeneration
  • 7 Hz – bone growth
  • 10 Hz – ligament healing
  • 15- 20 Hz – capillary (small blood vessel) repair and formation

PEMF Technology – There Are Years of Science Behind PEMF Therapy

National Library of MedicineThere are numerous podcasts about PEMF by the likes of Ben Greenfield, Dave Asprey, etc. Of all the technologies listed, I know of only one system, product or device is such a simple and safe system to use. This is natural and earth-based PEMF (pulsed electromagnetic field) therapy.

Unlike light, sound or electrical currents, pulsed magnetic waves penetrate and activate every cell within the body all at once. Pulsed (dynamic) magnetic waves bring into play Faraday’s Law. This induces microcurrents within each and every cell, which may stimulate the body to repair itself.

PEMF: NASA Study Proves High Potential

Pulsed Electromagnetic Field therapy (PEMF) has become one of the hottest topics in both the treatment of pain and regenerative medicine. PEMF is widely used as a treatment in hospitals in Europe and by professional athletes around the world, but it is relatively new to the Australian market.

4 Year NASA Study Shows PEMF Therapy More Effective Than Lasers, LEDs, Static Magnets and Other Forms Of “Energy” For Healing And Repairing Tissue

Over 30,000 studies, including 2,500 placebo-controlled, double-blind studies have proven the applicability and efficacy of PEMF using low frequency, low intensity, pulsed electromagnetic fields for human health and wellbeing.

It is the most scientifically researched and documented field of energy medicine. PEMF is approved by the FDA and other international certifying organizations for the treatment of many diseases… and more are on the way.

Early research on PEMF was initially conducted by the Soviet space program due to their cosmonauts experiencing negative effects following reduced magnetic exposure during spaceflight. Outer space and the surface of the Earth are very different in their magnetic environment i.e., the magnitude of the Earth’s magnetic field decreases as the distance from the earth increases. Due to the reduced magnetic field strength in space, both the Russian and NASA space programs equip their space capsules and space suits with magnetic field generators to simulate the Earth’s magnetic field. Prior to the discovery of the importance of magnetic fields to the health of the early Soviet cosmonauts, the astronauts returned to Earth very ill with their strength and energy depleted. NASA soon followed with its own magnetic research, and ongoing research into the physiologic effects of PEMF has continued since. Research is even addressing the effect of PEMF on cancer cells, and through affecting both the cellular membrane and intracellular mitochondria from a bioelectromagnetic standpoint, PEMF will play an important role in the topics of longevity and wellness healthcare.

There have been thousands of scientific research papers published on the subject of PEMF over the last fifty years. Our planet generates a geomagnetic field from its molten iron core and the rotation of the earth. Additionally, within our ionosphere is the Schumann frequency, which is produced by lightning strikes and solar flares. This Schumann frequency resonates within our ionosphere at 7.8 hertz (Hz), which is classified as a very low frequency. It becomes clear that all of life on planet earth has developed in both this geomagnetic and Schumann frequency environment. Furthermore, Dr. Thomas Goodwin, a NASA scientist, patented a magnetic field generator that uses a low frequency similar to the natural Schumann frequency of the earth that is designed to heal tissues of mammals. This magnetic generator was patented in 2009.

In regards to magnets, there are static magnets and pulsed magnetic field generators. Both have their place in health and wellness management. When we think of electricity, we think of the movement of electrons, but what is PEMF? It is more like gravity in that the force of a magnetic field is applied to all of our tissues and cells that are in the magnetic field just like gravity affects all of our cells.

Current research shows positive results for PEMF in the treatment of inflammation. PEMF can also have a great impact on cellular physiology on the cellular membrane and the intracellular environment. Through its effect on cellular physiology, PEMF has a high potential for improving our cellular health, which means over-all health. Research into the uses of PEMF has continued to broaden due to its direct impact on cells, which are the basic units of all life and make up our entire body. Generally speaking, PEMF reduces oxidative damage, inflammation, and pain, while at the same time increasing circulation and tissue regeneration

The National Institutes of Health manage this website, which used by doctors and nurses around the world, to research published, double-blind, placebo-controlled, clinical studies on thousands of medical topics. Below are just some of the applicable abstracts on PEMF therapy. In total, over 10,000 studies have been done on PEMF’s – two-thousand of which have been double-blind studies.

First, NASA’s landmark research on PEMF, which opened the floodgates:

NASA’s Long Association with

NASA recognized the critical importance of maintaining the health of astronauts in space, using PEMF. In 2009, NASA was awarded a US patent – US 7,601,114 B2 – for their research on PEMF. As an adjunct to the NASA tissue repair patent, pulsed magnetic fields were also used to stimulate the growth of stem cells.

The story behind PHx’s space technology certification

The Space Foundation evolved from NASA’s research and development of space technology. After the launch of the first humans into orbit, it was observed that human bodies cannot be separated from the Earth’s magnetic field without dire consequences. After approximately one hour in orbit, U.S. and Russian astronauts began to suffer a major loss in bone density and muscle deterioration. Research into the effects of Pulsed Electromagnetic Fields became an urgent priority at NASA.

Ongoing research is studying some of the following areas:

  • Alzheimer’s
  • Anti-Aging & Longevity – More ATP; the Mitochondrial Theory of Aging in Reverse
  • Arthritis
  • Athletic Performance Enhancement
  • Autism
  • Cancer – O2 & ATP levels
  • Depression
  • Epilepsy, traumatic brain injury
  • Endometriosis
  • Eyes – Glaucoma – Optic Nerve
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Lyme Disease
  • Insomnia, thyroid disorders
  • Migraine, tinnitus
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Nerve Regeneration / Spinal Cord Injury/ wound healing
  • Neuropathy
  • Osteoporosis
  • Parkinson’s
  • Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
  • Stroke