Pulsed electromagnetic field (PEMF) therapy is an alternative treatment that may be beneficial in slowing cancer growth and helping patients with pain management.
So far, studies on PEMF and cancer in humans are limited. They show that PEMF is a safe treatment that may benefit cancer patients. However, it currently is not advised to be used as a solo treatment. Instead, PEMF therapy should be used to supplement cancer treatments, which will vary depending on the patient.
How Does PEMF Therapy Work?
PEMF therapy uses electromagnetic waves to emit magnetic pulses to cells in a particular part of the body, essentially “recharging” unhealthy cells so they can have the energy they need to do their jobs.
Our bodies are made of energy, and every cell has an electromagnetic field that operates on its frequency. In addition, every cell membrane has positive and negative magnetic charges, which cells use to exchange ions with each other. These ions carry critical chemical elements that our bodies need, such as potassium and calcium.
When our bodies get sick, our cells emit less energy than they should, which means they lose their magnetic charge and capacity to exchange ions. As a result, we experience symptoms such as pain, inflammation, and fatigue.
People have been using magnetic therapy for thousands of years, relying on Earth’s natural magnetic stones. For example, in 2000 B.C., the concept of using magnets to heal people was documented in the Chinese book The Yellow Emperor’s Book of Internal Medicine. In addition, Cleopatra is known for wearing a magnetic stone as a necklace to preserve her youth.
Today, PEMF therapy is done using a PEMF machine. PEMF machines can range from small devices targeting one specific body area to full-body machines. All PEMF machines operate using low-frequency magnetic fields, so they are entirely safe to use, no matter what stage of cancer you have. You can find a clinic offering PEMF therapy or a machine or PEMF mat for home use.
The Benefits for Cancer Patients
As we said, the research on PEMF and cancer is still relatively new. However, the benefits researchers have found for cancer patients undergoing PEMF therapy are promising.
PEMF can deliver drug-free pain relief to cancer patients undergoing other treatments such as radiation and chemotherapy. Specifically, a PEMF machine can relieve bone, nerve, and tissue pain.
Relief from neuropathy
Cancer patients can experience neuropathy after other treatments, which causes a tingling or numbing sensation in their limbs. PEMF can relieve this type of pain so you can get back to doing regular activities.
Reduce tumor growth
Research shows that PEMF therapy can actively reduce the growth rate of cancerous tumors and increase the capacity of membrane transfer.
When to Use the Therapy
Cancer patients who don’t have limiting conditions can use PEMF therapy throughout their treatment. It may be particularly beneficial to undergo it before surgery so your body is better situated to recover. It can also be helpful to undergo PEMF therapy before you start radiation or chemotherapy. Again, this can help your body strengthen and be better positioned to handle more rigorous treatment.
That said, there’s no right or wrong time to start PEMF therapy. The research on PEMF therapy for cancer patients shows that it is safe to use alongside other treatment methods.
When to Avoid Therapy
There are a limited number of people who should not undergo PEMF therapy. PEMF may not be safe if you:
● Are pregnant
● Have had an organ transplant
● Have a hemorrhaging condition
● Have an implanted electrical device (i.e., pacemaker, cochlear implants, etc.)
If any of the above apply to you, talk with a care provider before beginning PEMF therapy.