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Side effects of using PEMF therapy

Posted by on 2/17/2019 to Oh My Health Education
Side effects of using PEMF therapy

Pulsed Electromagnetic Field Therapy (PEMF) is also referred to as low field magnetic stimulation (LFMS) or Tumor Treating Fields. (TTFs). It is one of the modern technological therapeutic techniques in the health sector today. Clinical studies have shown that PEMF therapy has many positive effects of human well-being. Some of these positive effects include decreasing the effects of stress, improving blood oxygenation, making bones heal more quickly, reducing inflammation and enhancing muscle function among other beneficial effects. 

The technique is also used for management of clinical depression. PEMF therapy works by the principle that passing low-frequency electromagnetic radiation stimulates organs, activates cellular energy, promotes natural repair mechanisms, among other advantages. Are there any side effects of using PEMF therapy? Yes, there are and some of them are discussed in the following paragraphs.

Side Effects of PEMF Therapy 

Oxidative stress

One of the effects of PEMF therapy is that it increases blood flow or blood circulation around the body. It is therefore a mode of therapy that is highly advised for people who have poor blood flow. It is, however, important to note that the increase in blood flow persists for a while even after the therapy has been withdrawn. This may have some unexpected negative effects on the body, for example an increased oxidative stress. 

Oxidative stress occurs when there is an excessive amount of free radicals in the body, which the body does not have the capacity to detoxify and their harmful effects cannot be countered. This side effect can be countered by administering anti-oxidants before and during therapy. Patients are also advised to eat foods that are rich in antioxidants. These include apples, spinach, kales, strawberries and other fruits and vegetables.

Temporary increase in pain

For patients who are suffering from severe or prolonged pain, excessive use of pain medication can result in internal bleeding, stomach problems, resistance and even addiction to some of the painkillers. PEMF therapy is therefore used as a suitable alternative. However, there are also some side effects that are associated with PEMF therapy as far as pain alleviation is concerned. For example, the pain may temporarily increase, which may have devastating effects on some patients. 

This temporary increase is caused by improved circulation to the nerves or improved traffic to the nerve cells. For patients in severe pain, it is advised that PEMF therapy should be started at the lowest intensity possible. Another side effect is nutritional deficiency since this therapy makes the body cells to use a lot of nutrients. These side effects can be avoided by using developing designed PEMF devices which can only be used by trained specialists, and my seeking a nutritionist's professional guidance when using the therapy.

red blood cells

Decreased blood pressure

Some other side effects of PEMF therapy are a decrease in blood pressure and a reduction in the heart rate. This side effect can be catastrophic to some patients, especially if the patient is elderly or if the patient has some defects in the cardiovascular system. Patients who have been under bed rest for a long period of time may also be negatively affected. Dizziness and fainting have been common symptoms among patients who are not used to the change in blood pressure. The impact is especially felt after change in position.

Fall in blood sugar levels

Often, there is a significant fall in blood sugar levels after PEMF therapy has been started. This should be taken as a precaution for patients who have a challenge in regulating their blood sugar levels. PEMF therapy also promotes coagulation or blood clotting. It should therefore not be used together with aspirin and other anticoagulant drugs.

Other Side Effects

Other side effects of using PEMF therapy include fatigue on exertion, sleep disturbances, loss of energy or interest in day-to-day activities, dizziness and increased urination. Patients may also have perceptions of warm or cold. The skin sensations vary from patient to patient because different patients show different levels of sensitivity to magnetic and electric fields. 

Some patients report feelings of tingling in the body, while others describe the feeling as one of discomfort. This type of therapy should be avoided for patients with dermatological conditions. The side effects of PEMF therapy are also exacerbated by pre-existing or underlying conditions such as chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia.

PEMF therapy also affects the utilization of nutrients and other medications in the body. For example, PEMF therapy is contraindicated for patients who are under chemotherapy. This is because PEMF therapy promotes cell growth and repair, and so it may promote the proliferation of cancer cells. Therefore, PEMF therapy has effects that are antagonistic to chemotherapeutic drugs. 

These side effects can be avoided by starting PEMF therapy after chemotherapy has been completed. However, there is more research that is required in this area as some studies suggest that PEMF therapy actually helps chemotherapeutic drugs achieve their objective.

Although there is still much more research to be done, pregnant women are advised to avoid PEMF because it is considered to be a teratogen. A teratogen is an agent or factor that causes poor, abnormal or inhibited development of unborn babies or embryos. Therefore, pregnant women should not be exposed to PEMF since it increases the risk of miscarriage, birth defects and it has other potentially grave side effects. 

In the first about ten minutes of PEMF, the cells in the body get exercised, which means that they undergo mild stretching and relaxation. Oxygen content in cells increases while toxins leave the cells. In light of these physiological changes, some side effects are experienced, for example nausea, vomiting, lethargy, headaches and muscle aches. Muscle twitching, stiffness and tooth sensitivity may also be experienced. Tooth sensitivity refers to a sensation of pain or discomfort in the teeth, and to some patients it may be very aggravating.


Many medical practitioners consider PEMF therapy as a generally safe and non-invasive technique. Most of the side effects disappear o decrease as the therapy progresses and the body becomes more and more accustomed to PEMF therapy. Most patients exhibit less side effects or adverse effects when nutritional supplements are administered before PEMF therapy is started. Take great care when choosing a PEMF therapy brand because you want to use a reputable manufacturer when it comes to your health. The side effects can also be managed by taking plenty of water before, during and after therapy.

For more information on PEMF therapy don't hesitate to contact Oxford Medicals for more information. Or continue reading with our PEMF Blog or our latest article on Low-Level vs. High-Level Power PEMF.

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