PEMF Machine Buyers Guide For Cancer Patients

Dr. William Pawluk, MD, is a formerly Board-Certified family physician with a practice near Baltimore, Maryland. He has had academic appointments at a number of universities, including Johns Hopkins and the University of Maryland. He has had training in acupuncture, homeopathy, hypnosis, and bodywork and is considered the foremost authority on the use of Pulsed Electromagnetic Field therapy in North America.

What is PEMF?

In just over 70 years, PEMF, or Pulsed Electromagnetic Field, has become one of the fastest-growing fields in medical therapy.  While this specific type of device is relatively new, its foundations are not. The use of magnetic fields for therapeutic purposes has been consistently used since as early as 4000 BCE through the twentieth century when sophisticated magnetic therapies first began to find their place in traditional healthcare settings. PEMF therapy takes electrical stimulation several steps further by inducing a charge in the tissue as opposed to applying current to the tissue. If we think of our bodies cells as batteries, PEMF therapy is the battery charger, delivering an electrical charge into our depleted or damaged cells until they are back to normal operating capacity. PEMF therapy has been found to reduce pain and inflammation, improve chronic pain, and limit the effects of diabetes, anxiety, and insomnia, among other conditions. 


PEMF Benefits For Cancer

PEMF therapy for cancer patients

Today, cutting-edge PEMF researchers are turning their attention towards the use of this therapy in helping to treat cancer. PEMF devices are now being used to stimulate acupuncture, accelerate the healing process, lessen pain, regenerate healthy tissues, and alleviate stress on the body. These are but a few examples on a long list of positive effects PEMF therapy has been found to have in cancer patients. (Dr. Pawluck’s book, Power Tools For Health, goes into much detail about the health benefits of PEMF) PEMF is such a powerful tool precisely because it is non-invasive and non-toxic for non-cancerous cells and can be used in conjunction with other available therapies. 



Research about PEMF Therapy

 Significant studies have already been conducted detailing the use of PEMF stimulation in patients with cancers of the skin, breast, prostate, hepatocellular, lung, ovary, pancreas, bladder, thyroid, and colon. 

In these studies, PEMF therapy has been found to:

  • Increase sensitivity to radiation
  • Reduce cancer proliferation
  • Reduce metastatic spread
  • Reduce chemo-toxicity 
  • Slow early and advanced tumor growth
  • Increase survival by as much as 30%


In the PEMF studies reviewed here, there was significant variation in the type of PEMF devices used as well as protocols, treatment times, follow-up times, etc. What appears to be clear is that most people have benefited from the use of PEMF therapies across the various types of cancers, standard treatments, and stages. There seems to be very little risk from the use of PEMF therapy, whether alone or in conjunction with other therapies.



How to Choose the Best PEMF Machine for cancer patients


The sheer variety of PEMF machines available on the market can make choosing the right one feel like a daunting task. Cost is certainly a factor but should not be the only or even the main one. What stage of treatment the patient is in, the size of the area of the body that is being targeted, and the duration of expected treatment are all significant considerations. 


Intensity Matters: The Higher, The Better


PEMF for cancer patients

The most important consideration in selecting a PEMF machine for cancer patients is the intensity or strength of the magnetic field. Two basic laws of physics – Faraday’s Law and Newton’s Inverse Square Law – have removed a lot of the guesswork when it comes to PEMF machines and their effectiveness in terms of intensity. From Faraday, we learn that how high and how fast the magnetic field reaches its peak determines the amount of energy production in the body.  The higher the magnetic field (in other words, the intensity or strength of the magnetic field) and the faster the magnetic field reaches its peak, the more energy production there will be in the body. 

The next major consideration is how rapidly the magnetic field drops its intensity once it leaves the source of the magnetic field; in this case, the applicators. Here’s where Sir Isaac steps in. He teaches us that a 1000 Gauss magnetic field will drop to about 15 Gauss at 3 inches into the body. Inflammation requires a magnetic field of about 15 Gauss for optimal inflammation reduction. Reaching 15 Gauss at the target tissue is typically the goal in determining the magnetic field intensity needed for treatment. All the physics jargon may be hard to understand, but its bearing on treatment effectiveness is not: higher-intensity PEMF systems produce deeper healing and faster results.

Many of the very low-intensity PEMF device companies claim that high-intensity PEMF machine is harmful or dangerous, although actual proof to back this up is rarely given. There is, in fact, a large body of scientific evidence that counteracts this claim. The FDA approved high-intensity transcranial (TMS) PEMF systems for the brain treatment of depression. These devices can achieve up to 1Tesla or 10,000 Gauss.


Before purchasing a PEMF machine, you should always ask what the peak intensity of the PEMF machine is. If the seller does not give you the maximum intensity, then you don’t really know what you’re buying and whether and how to get the most from your PEMF machine.


Local, Regional, or Whole-Body Treatments?

Where to target the treatment is another question in which the answer may vary based on the specific case.  Local treatment may be useful for a small area, such as an elbow, a hand, wrist, toes, etc., whereas a regional PEMF machine would be better suited to larger areas, such as the chest, abdomen, spine, lower extremities, etc. In general, for cancer treatment, whole-body treatments are recommended because maintaining the body’s overall health is important while it fights localized cancer cells.  Whole-body treatment also helps to reduce the risk of distant spread or metastases.  

Fortunately, whole-body PEMF machines can typically be used for local or regional treatments as well using smaller applicators that are also included.

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