An Integrative Approach to Total Body Wellness

Reducing Pain Inflammation Stress and Platelet Adhesion With PEMF Therapy2

PEMF, or pulsed electromagnetic field therapy, is a technique that is used for a variety of therapeutic purposes. Among the most common are relief from pain and inflammation, but it is also used to alleviate stress and improve circulation by reducing the adhesion of platelets. This is an alternative type of therapy that is fast gaining ground in the field of medicine, and the main benefit is that it can treat various conditions without the need to resort to medication or surgery.

Pain Relief

Every day, Americans live with pain, often to the point where it interferes with the daily business of living. It is estimated that on any given day, no fewer than 25% of American adults are experiencing some type of pain. Often, the first course of action is to resort to over-the-counter medications, and if they fail to provide relief, the patient visits a physician who will prescribe something stronger. The problem is that this can be a very slippery slope. The patient builds up a tolerance to the medication, needs more and more to get the same amount of relief they experienced in the beginning, and the stage is set for addiction. Additionally, many pain medications can cause gastric discomfort and may even lead to liver damage. Depending on the condition, sometimes surgery can be a means of alleviating pain, but it is often a temporary measure and not without the risk of complications.

There is an alternative. Studies have shown that PEMF therapy can reduce the brain’s pain receptors. In fact, in some studies, PEMF treatments have proven to be as effective as a 10mg dose of morphine, without the potential for addiction or undesirable side effects.

Relief from Inflammation

Inflammation is a perfectly natural process, by which your body works to repair tissue damage, deliver a proper blood supply to the damaged tissue, and finally to restore it to full, normal function. The problem with this natural process is that it can be painful. Inflammation is typified by redness, swelling, and a feeling of heat in the affected tissues.

Inflammation can be acute or chronic. Often, the acute stage (where the body has recognized and is reacting to the need for tissue repair) goes on for longer than it should, and then the inflammation becomes chronic. This is actually a malfunction of your immune system, and when it goes on for too long, it has the paradoxical effect of further damaging the tissue that should have been repaired.

T cells regulate the inflammatory process. They’re meant to correct the tissue damage, but sometimes T cell growth gets out of hand and the cells reproduce and live longer than they should. PEMF treatments can cause out-of-control T cells to die in a timely fashion, reducing inflammation and the risk of tissue damage. Normal cells are not impacted by PEMF treatment – only abnormal cells are destroyed. Lymphocytes (white blood cells) also play a role in the inflammatory process, and when they become too numerous, again the inflammatory process gets out of hand. PEMF treatment also facilitates the natural death of unwanted white blood cells, thereby reducing inflammation.

PEMF treatment has been used to treat virtually every inflammatory disease known to mankind, including arthritis and psoriasis.

Stress

It is a rare person who has never been affected by stress. Some day-to-day stress is to be expected, but when it becomes overwhelming, it can lead to other problems like depression and anxiety disorder. In fact, depression is amazingly common, affecting more than 20% of Americans and having a relapse rate of anywhere from 37% to 70% in its first year. Many types of anxiety and depression are highly resistant to treatment. The usual course of action by medical practitioners is to prescribe anti-anxiety medications, or selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). The problem is that they don’t always work, and it can often take several tries before the perfect medication is found – sometimes it is never found. And in the meantime, the patient continues to suffer. Even when medications do work, it often takes anywhere from four to six weeks for the patient to experience relief.

PEMF treatment is becoming more common as a means of treatment for various stress disorders. Research suggests that patients can even experience significant relief with just one treatment. Exactly how it works is somewhat unclear, but it is believed that the electromagnetic pulses affect the neurons in the brain that regulate mood. This is not to suggest that PEMF is a cure-all, but the results do seem to speak for themselves. Of course depression is a serious illness that must be closely monitored regardless of the type of treatment being used, particularly if the patient has suicidal thoughts.

Platelet Adhesion

Platelet adhesion relates to the viscosity of the blood. If the blood is too viscous (thick), clots can develop, adversely affecting the circulation to the point where heart attacks, strokes, and pulmonary embolisms can result. Many mechanisms in your body affect blood viscosity, and traditional medical approaches usually only target one or two of these mechanisms. Traditional methods of regulating viscosity (blood thinners, for example) are also not without side effects. It simply makes sense that if the entire circulatory system can be targeted, the benefits will be faster and more significant. That is exactly how PEMF treatment works – by targeting the whole body.

PEMF treatment works to improve the circulation in seven ways:

  1. By reducing platelet adhesion
  2. By dilating the blood vessels
  3. By making red blood cells more pliable so that they can move more easily through the capillaries
  4. By reducing fibrinogen
  5. By reducing edema
  6. By reducing inflammation
  7. By improving the salinity of the blood, thereby decreasing its viscosity

PEMFs are highly effective in reducing the viscosity of the blood, and work without the side effects of traditional medications.

Conclusion
The benefits of PEMFs on various functions of the body are still being studied, but the research and the anecdotal evidence seems to suggest that PEMF therapy is an effective alternative to many traditional medical treatments.

 
 

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Therapists

William Neckman Neuromuscular Therapist

William F. Neckman, LMT, NMT
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certified myokisthetic practitioner

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Annie Tam, LMT, NMT
Annie Tam, LMT, NMT
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