Pulsed Electromagnetic Field (PEMF)
Omnipresence on earth, the electromagnetic field is everywhere around us. The term “electromagnetic field” may sound like a 20th-century product, but it is actually a phenomenon exist naturally since the very beginning of earth and maybe, universe. It presents itself in many forms. From earth’s natural electromagnetic field, natural sunlight to the man-made magnetic fields (i.e., power lines, radio waves, satellite), the electromagnetic field is just as important as oxygen and water for life on earth. It’s significant, however, is much less emphasised and understood, due to the wide-spectrum nature and forms EMF can take. Over the last century, we start to better appreciate the impact and application of the various form of the electromagnetic field to better our lives and society as a whole. Today, microwave, radio, mobile network, fast wireless network, and X-Rays are the result of human ingenuity in applying EMF. Pulsed Electromagnetic Field (PEMF) is another form of EMF that mankind has started to appreciate its positive effect on our health.
The Good and Bad of EMF
Our understanding of Electromagnetic Field (EMF) is mostly from the mainstream media on the topic of electromagnetic radiation from the wireless network like 4G and 5G mobile networks, or home wireless network. These are shortwave frequencies running between 2 – 30Ghz that many scientists around the world are concerned about the long term impact on our health. Just as much as one has a rightful concern about if such wireless frequencies are bad to our health, it also demonstrate the fact that EMF has an impact on our body one way or the other, regardless we can feel it or not. The question is, at what scale and form that is damaging to us, or just as importantly, beneficial to us? In this section, we shall explore further on the Good of EMF – which we refer to as Pulsed Electromagnetic Field (PEMF) for curative purpose.
Pulsed Electromagnetic Field (PEMF)
PEMF is a subset of EMF to be exact. The key differentiation is PEMF is the application of the electromagnetic field for the purpose to induce biological effect to our body, at the cellular level, for the better. There is no hard definition on the frequency range, but most PEMF systems for curative purpose lie between 0.1 – 100Hz, and some may go up to the range of 1,000Hz. Scientifically, this is classified as extremely low frequency (ELF) or very low frequency (VLF). PEMF today is still a sideline treatment option against mainstream medical treatments, as this is not a traditional treatment modality learn in the medical school. However, we start to see more medical schools are starting to include PEMF as part of the curriculum as a new treatment and research topic (i.e., NUS life science institute’s tissue engineering course incorporate PEMF as part of the study https://www.lsi.nus.edu.sg/corp/tissue-engineering). Today, the solution is mostly adopted by alternative and complementary health practitioners or used at home. However, to date, there are thousands of clinical studies done worldwide. A simple search of the keyword “pulsed electromagnetic field” at PubMed will already show you close to 2,000 studies on this topic. Some of the more recent studies on PEMF can be found here at https://pemf.sg/recent-studies. Many medical institutions already start to apply PEMF technology on a limited scale targeted treatment like bone fracture recovery, pain-relief, tissues and muscle regeneration, and rehabilitation. We are seeing more health professionals and institutions start to pay attention to this subtle and unglamorous technology due to the ease of application and low-risk factors.
PEMF and Cellular Health
The next obvious question here will be how PEMF affect our cells biologically? Although there is more than one-way PEMF can affect our body, we shall discuss this on the cellular level here, which we believe is the most important factor. Our body contains 70 trillion cells, and the health of each of these cells is paramount to our overall health. Each of the cells types though may serve different functionality, but they all share one common characteristic – cellular membrane, which is surrounded by a membrane composed of a lipid bilayer with proteins embedded in it. The plasma membrane serves as an insulator and diffusion wall between the movement of ions in and out of the cell. Almost all plasma membranes have an electrical potential across them, with the inside usually negative with respect to the outside. The membrane potential can serve two purposes. First, it allows a cell to function as a battery, providing power to operate a variety of “molecular devices” embedded in the cell (discussed below). Second, in electrically excitable cells such as neurons and muscle cells, it is used for transmitting signals between different parts of a cell.
In order for our body to function optimally, the battery (the cellular membrane) has to be healthy and in optimal condition. While our body is engineered by our creator to maintain the optimal cellular potential throughout our living years, this is not always achievable due to various external and internal factors that are beyond our control. Illness, toxic environment, stress and many other factors can cause the cells to lose their optimal potential voltage. When this happens, the operation efficiency inside our cells will start to decline. Less energy is generated, and this will slowly cause a various chain of reaction throughout our highly interconnected body functions, resulting in various chronic ailments (refer image cellular voltage and impact below)
How PEMF Improve Cellular Health
Before getting into the end stage of restoring membrane potential, let’s start from how PEMF signal induces the chain of reaction in a cellular function. This starts with the neuropeptide receptors at the surface of each cell.
1. Cell Membrane Neuropeptide Receptor Effect (& Messenger cAMP)
The outer boundary of the cell is called the membrane. The proteins within the dynamic surface of the cell membrane, is known as neuropeptide receptors, is responsible for the behaviour of cells in response to stimuli. Each cell has over one million such receptors. The receptor can be responsive to a hormone, enzyme or electromagnetic impulse. This, in-term affect the secondary messenger inside the cell, known as messenger cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP). The main function of cAMP are:
- Increase protein synthesis
- Promotion of cell differentiation
- mRNA and DNA synthesis
2. PEMF increases intake of Calcium (Ca++) ions
Free Calcium ions, similar to cAMP acting as a secondary messenger inside the cell, plays an important role in cell functioning. Calcium ions enter a cell very rapidly when exposed to PEMF that is tuned to the appropriate biological frequencies and intensities. These fields improve the ability of calcium to act as a second messenger, bind with calmodulin-dependent protein kinase, and increase the number of mitochondria within the cells. The result – increased ATP and energy needed for physical activity and healing.
3. PEMF restores membrane potential
The cell’s plasma membrane needs to provide a stable environment for the proper functions of the biological processes inside the cell. This is achieved through the exchange of ions (Na+/K+) ions between internal and extracellular environment, through Sodium / Potassium Pump. To summarize the complex process, the cell needs sufficient energy to fuel the Ions pump (opening/closing of the ions channel) operation. Electromagnetic impulses signal neuropeptide receptors and instruct the cells to increase the synthesis of ATP via enzyme activation. This, in turn, increases the ions pump operation so to maintain the optimal level of cellular membrane potential for the healthy function of the cell.
Unique Advantages of PEMF Technology
There are many other technologies, approaches towards cellular health. However, over the last decade, PEMF technology gaining popularity around the world, especially for home use due to the following unique properties
- PEMF is based on inductive technology (i.e., think wireless charging). It can be applied with cloth-on and contactless. It can come in many forms depending on its application, and some are portable and are battery-powered.
- PEMF (low intensity) is very safe and has no known side effects, aside from some specific contraindications like electronic implants, epilepsy, pregnancy, etc..
- Application time is relatively short, usually between 10-15 minutes per session, especially with full-body application technique. As PEMF is inductive, the magnetic field can easily penetrate the full body and stimulate all the 70 trillion cells during the single session. There is no other known technology or technique that offers such efficiency in terms of energy delivery!
Benefits of Pulsed Electromagnetic Field (PEMF) Technology
1. Stronger Bones
2. Endorphins and Pain Relief
3. Better Sleep and HGH secretion
4. More Energy ATP
5. Better Oxygenation and Circulation
6. Improved Immunity
7. Relaxation & Stress Reduction
8. Nerve and Tissue Regeneration