Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Medical EMF therapy: Should you use it?


Patients are increasingly using pulsed electromagnetic frequency devices.  They have been doing so for a long time.  The question for me is: what is it all about?


EMF, electromagnetic frequencies are a form of energy which made come from a variety of sources.  It is made up of waves (which are also particles photons-- quantum mechanics – skip this part).
Think of waves on the ocean. If the waves are close together the frequency is higher. When the waves are more spaced out the frequency is lower.  Taller waves have more energy than shorter ones.

EMF is similar.

The waves are usually invisible to our eyes, the exception is light.  Color is determined by frequency of the related EMF wave.
The properties of these waves of energy are amazingly different.  Very high frequency waves are harmful to our tissues and DNA – we call this radiation.  Other frequencies are responsible for infrared saunas, microwaves, radio and TV, medical devices and much more.

Sound is also transmitted by waves but is not considered EMF energy directly.

Devices using EMF and sound (ultrasound) are promoted for medical reasons.  The intensity of the waves – the amount of energy makes a huge difference.
There is a lot of good published evidence regarding potential uses of very low frequency electromagnetic energy and very low wave (ultra-low wave) sound energy in the treatment of various ailments.  I can find no peer reviewed data for rife.

Magnets produce EMF and are in clinical use, especially for depression (transcranial magnetic therapy).  Of note, scientist still don’t know how magnets work.
Doctors swear an oath “first do no harm.”

People can get sick from EMF waves, including childhood leukemia. This energy is usually intense and constant, e.g. electrical transformer next to house.  Some people feel they are so sensitive to EMF energy that they “get off the grid” and live in homes without electricity.  
EMF medical devices appear to be safe – so far.

I am conservative, so I like treatments I consider safe like ultrasound therapy (which also speeds up bone healing) and hyperbaric oxygen therapy.

People with Lyme and its various manifestations can be desperate looking for a magic bullet. We have not found it. Patient usually require a multi-modal approach.  
I am not a naysayer.  I am not saying EMF therapy is quackery. It may work well for you. 

I am a fan TMS therapy for depression: it really works. 

I do worry about slick purveyors overselling benefits of devices. If it sounds to good to be true it is likely untrue. 

If well informed patients want to use or try EMF devices go for it.  

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