Effect/Uses Of PEMF On Immune System And Viruses
You know your immune system, right? The sum total of cells, chemicals, processes, etc., that constantly come through to help you fight diseases against your knowledge. Well, this immune system can be boosted, not by supplements but by PEMF. If you’re wondering what this is; it is an acronym that stands for Pulsed Electromagnetic Field Therapy.
Normally, people use a lot of supplements to help boost their immune system in the fight against diseases. Such supplements include vitamin C, Zinc, etc. In addition, some health-conscious individuals watch their diet and do their bit of exercise to keep their immune system ready. However, supplements could come with their own reactions and problems. In the same vein, exercise may not always be possible, but you know what it is; PEMF therapy.
What Is Pulsed Electromagnetic Field Therapy?
If you have heard of this form of treatment and preventive therapy, you’re in the know, and that’s a good thing. If you haven’t, though, it’s probably because the therapy isn’t still as mainstream (in the way that it’s currently being marketed) as it should be. Nevertheless, PEMF therapy has been around for quite a while, is FDA approved, and has been adapted in making many PEMF therapy devices, ranging from mats to handheld magnetic pulsers.
The technology behind the therapy is not in any way alien. In fact, it has been applied in many forms of technology currently employed in the health and wellness industries, including ultrasounds. For starters, we always exist within a magnetic field, meaning that we are exposed. As such, exposure to this electromagnetic field therapy is not something you should be worried about unless you belong to certain classes of individuals (which will be discussed later).
The therapy works by introducing the body to a low-level electromagnetic field to aid the repair and replacement of cells. You might be wondering how the therapy came to be a thing, and you need not think too far. We can thank space exploration for this wondrous bit of health magic.
Apparently, time spent in space was rather harmful to the health of astronauts. They came back to earth, suffering from bone loss, depression, muscle degeneration, and a host of seemingly unexplainable symptoms. However, these symptoms only stayed unexplainable until it was discovered that the pulsed electromagnetic field of the earth had a part in maintaining our general health.
Long story short, we took the technology we serendipitously discovered and made of it a piece of medical innovation.
How Does PEMF Therapy Work?
The specifics to the tech. It’s hard to properly explain it without delving into a lot of scientific jargon, but two scenarios come to mind. The simpler one involves imagining each cell of your body to be batteries of sorts. Now, these batteries have been working a long time and are failing or tired. A PEMF device can recharge these batteries by sending pulsed waves of energy to a target area or to the whole body (as you may wish). This analogy is most accurate in explaining how the therapy deals with bones and joints or rejuvenates an exhausted body.
The second scenario isn’t as simple but is more realistic. The human body is a complex biological masterpiece with a valuable electrical component. This electrical component is present in various forms from the brain to the tip of our toes. For the body to be truly healthy, the electrical components need to keep sending out signals. In the absence of said signals, an individual becomes unhealthy or ceases to live. To prove this point, such electrical signals are relevant to the beating of the heart, movement of muscles and body parts, etc. PEMF therapy helps to keep the signals flowing and aligned. As a result, a patient receiving the therapy stays healthy. This second explanation provides an insight as to how PEMF improves circulation and enhances movement.
Benefits Of PEMF Therapy
It is very easy to get carried away with the mechanism behind the therapy or arguments on whether PEMF actually works. However, if experiments that have been carried out are to be believed, the therapy works in some regards. As for others, the proof is still being sought to verify its efficacy. Regardless of the specific condition that is to be managed, though, PEMF therapy has benefits to its use. Some of these benefits are:
- Reduction (and management) of pain intensity
- Enhanced circulation
- Reduction of swelling and inflammation
- Growth of muscles, improved muscular performance and movement
- Improved cellular and tissue oxygenation
- Improvement of cell/tissue repair and recovery
- Strengthening of the immune system
These benefits aside, though, we are more bothered about whether it has an effect on a virus. So let’s get down to that.
PEMF And Viral Infections
It’s quite normal nowadays to refer to an annoying, damage-causing, impossible-to-get-rid-of person as a “virus”. The reason is such people share a certain trait with the sub-microscopic organisms of the same name; their persistence. This persistence is why viruses (whose status as living or non-living is still under debate) are the most troublesome disease-causing organisms. Consequently, virus infections are hard to treat.
PEMF therapy has been touted as possibly showing efficacy against viruses. Still, for now, all we can truly do is keep our fingers crossed and keep testing. Recent studies have shown that pulsed electromagnetic fields have an effect on viruses in mice. Still, similar trials are yet to be carried out to the extent that the results could be considered conclusive. However, that’s not to say that the therapy is completely useless. NASA originally pointed out the effect of PEMFs in increased mitochondria and ATP (Adenosine Triphosphate) production. This, in turn, helps in boosting the immune system. As a result, while we do not know if this therapy can cure HIV yet, we do know that it can strengthen the immune system against common infections such as the flu.
Can PEMF Help With Covid-19 (effect on acute respiratory distress syndrome)?
Except if you have been living under a rock, you must have heard of Covid-19. The virus took the world by surprise in late 2019, then proceeded to steal most of 2020 from us. Luckily, we now have a vaccine, but not everyone seems to be buying into its effectiveness. We are not here to argue whether vaccination is right or wrong, though, but to share how PEMF therapy can help prevent and manage the coronavirus disease (COVID-19 virus).
There’s the immune-boosting effect of PEMF treatments to start with. This could help prepare the body to fight the Covid-19 virus, especially as a strong immune system has been indicated as significantly increasing the chances of recovery. The other argument for the use of PEMF lies in the fact that it has an effect on acute inflammation and conditions with underlying inflammatory occurrences. This is of importance to COVID-19 because of the Cytokine storm that is associated with COVID-19 mortality. A cytokine storm is a hyperactive immune response (characterized by a rush of inflammatory cytokines) that leads to inflammation of the lung tissue and possibly death.
To summarize current findings and research on the effectiveness of PEMF therapies in COVID-19 management, they can be used to decrease inflammation of the lungs and have been recommended as well in patients rehabilitating after the infection. However, further clinical trials to corroborate the beneficial effects of these conclusions are still underway.
Potential Complications Associated With PEMF Use
There are a few of these. In truth, the therapy itself is natural and safe. That said, it should be noted that PEMF devices made by different providers may differ in the intensity and frequency of their fields. As such, it is not unusual to encounter some discomfort. These are not the complications you should be worried about, though. The complications pointed out here are more accurately patient conditions that make them unsuitable for this form of treatment. Such conditions are:
2. Juvenile Diabetes
3. Severe Arrhythmia
4. Any condition that requires a patient to use a pacemaker
It’s been a long road for PEMF therapies, and that’s understandable. Their underlying mechanisms of action are not palatable to most, and pharmaceutical approaches to pain management/treatment of diseases are still more common. As a result, PEMF treatments are quite some ways from becoming mainstream. However, they have something going for them; they are convenient and non-invasive.