Anxiety, OCD, depression and other clinical mental health issues are on the rise amongst children, teens, and adults.
What is PEMF?
PEMF is an acronym for Pulsed Electromagnetic Field. PEMF Therapy has been used to treat a variety of conditions for decades and has been studied since the 1950's. A PEMF device is FDA approved and has a long history of being used to treat pain, injury and other health issues.
PEMF is used to impact energy within a cell that is damaged by directing repeating electromagnetic pulses toward those damaged cells, stimulating a healthier cellular communication and activity.
How PEMF Therapy Works
Through the use of a device, a low frequency magnetic pulse is sent to the cells within the body with the intention of improving how the cells are working and communicating. PEMF gets the energy within a cell, the mitochondria, to re-energize.
When PEMF magnetic fields are directed toward cells that aren't working properly, PEMF can correct cellular communication resulting in healthy communication. Those changes can have a variety of positive effects but most report physical and mental relaxation.
PEMF devices can be small handheld devices or come in a mat format. Portable devices such as the one we use at our center are great because they can be used for long-term treatment at home.
PEMF isn't the same as transcranial magnetic stimulation or TMS although PEMF can be directed to specific areas of the brain with certain PEMF devices such as the one we use at our Connecticut neurofeedback center.
How PEMF Helps Calm the Anxious, Obsessive or Moody Brain
PEMF helps improve mental health in three ways.
- PEMF helps the body go into a relaxed parasympathetic state
- PEMF improves cellular communication
- PEMF improves detoxification and reduces inflammation
PEMF helps the body go into a relaxed parasympathetic state
When one is dealing with a clinical mental health issue such as anxiety, depression or OCD, the brain and body are stuck in a stressed, sympathetic dominant state. A racing mind, negative thinking, muscle tension, physical pain, sleep problems, and gastrointestinal difficulties are all common issues that come when one is in a stressed, sympathetic dominant state.
PEMF calms the brain so a person can have bandwidth to think, pay attention and take action. We use PEMF/BRT in our BrainBehaviorReset™ Program to calm the brain for kids and adults who struggle with issues such as ADHD, anxiety, mood issues, OCD, PANS/PANDAS and Lyme Disease.
PEMF is a wonderful treatment for anxiety because it calms the body and releases those uncomfortable body sensations.
When the nervous system is in a parasympathetic state, brainwaves are more regulated and excitatory neurotransmitters decrease. Healthy brain chemicals such as serotonin, GABA and endorphins increase, which supports mental health conditions such as mood disorders and anxiety.
PEMF improves cellular communication
When the cells work better, so does the brain and body. In mental health, we only talk about neurotransmitter dysfunction and inherited genetic issues as the only sources of mental health challenges. The reality is that most people with mental health issues have underlying medical issues, nutrient deficiencies and genetic mutations that are at a minimum exercarbators if not the direct source of these challenges.
When we improve how the cells function, we restore the body's own ability to heal itself. That means the body can address issues that are contributing to or causing stress and mental health difficulties.
PEMF improves detoxification and reduces inflammation
Inflammation is one of the greatest threats to the mental and physical health of people today. Our body simply can't manage all the toxins we are bombarded with, poor food quality, illness, and stress we are confronted with everyday.
With an increase in environmental toxins and genetic mutations that interfere with how our body excretes toxins and waste, the body detoxification system is ill equipped to do the job. That means that our body is flooded with waste that has nowhere to go but our organs, including the brain.
PEMF supports the body's ability to detoxify and thereby reduces inflammation. When we reduce inflammation, then we improve clinical outcomes for those with anxiety disorders, OCD, PANS/PANDAS, Lyme Disease, autism, depression, chronic pain, and other conditions that clinical studies have shown are associated with inflammation.
Benefits of PEMF Therapy
PEMF is used to treat a variety of conditions including pain, anxiety, depression and improve the quality of life for people (Hattapoğlu, 2019), as well as chronic medical conditions (Sutbeyaz, 2009).
- Improves cellular health, communication, and function
- Support efficient cell function and regeneration
- Restores damaged tissues
- Stimulates the immune system
- Reduces pain
- Reduce inflammation and swelling
- Helps with muscle and joint aches
- Aid in circulation and blood oxygen level
- Improves digestion
- Improves nutrient absorption
- Reduce muscle tension
- Improve sleep
- Help to dissipate allergies and hypersensitivities
- Supports detoxification
- Improve sports preparation, performance, and recovery
- Increase relaxation
- Reduce stress and anxiety
- Provides brain stimulation
- Improves brain function
- Calms the brain and body
- Help to decrease therapy resistance and break through physical and emotional blocks
- Create synergies with other allopathic and integrative modalities to improve results
- Safe and effective
Is a PEMF Device the Same as a TENS Unit?
A PEMF device isn't the same as a TENS unit. Although both can be in the form of small, portable units, they have very different effects on the body and work in different ways. With a TENS unit, it uses a low-voltage electric current to stimulate the nerves.
In contrast, a PEMF device uses magnetic fields that are applied to the whole body and with some devices to specific areas of the body, with the purpose of improving cellular health.
How Improving Sleep Helps Mental Health: Using PEMF for Sleep
When we don't get enough sleep, there are increased mental and physical health risks. Sleep disturbances has been shown to be associated with mental health issues such as anxiety and depression, cognitive and memory issues, weight gain, hormone function, insulin sensitivity (Steiger, 2002), impaired blood-brain barrier function (He, 2014), increased inflammation (Meier-Ewert et al, 2004), and decreased immune function (Cohen et al., 2009).
It has even been shown to be related to premature death (Cappuccio, 2010). Lack of sleep also worsens pre-existing conditions, seizures, high blood pressure, and migraines (Institute of Medicine (US) Committee on Sleep Medicine and Research, 2006).
If you aren't sleeping, then one's mental health and focus will be impaired. PEMF can improve the quality and duration of sleep. PEMF also reduces muscle tension, which is almost always a factor in stress-related sleep issues. PEMF also affects brainwave activity and helps the brain go into the more optimal Delta frequency for sleep. Improving sleep quality can improve clinical conditions such as depression and anxiety, so getting good sleep should always be a priority.
The Advantages of Natural Remedies for Anxiety
In a world filled with a pill for this and that, we aren't looking to the research to see what actually improves mental health. In my book, It's Gonna Be OK!, I provide 40 pages of research citations that demonstrate just how effective natural treatments can be in improving conditions such as anxiety, depression, OCD, ADHD, autism and so on.
Yet, most people aren't familiar with these evidence-based therapies until they reach a breaking point and do a Google search. That isn't something I am okay with, which is why I do what I do… so you can have healthy, happy brains and families using safe, natural, and effective holistic remedies, tools, and therapies.
Despite what your physician or therapist has told you, there are many advantages to using natural remedies for mental health:
Advantages to Natural Remedies for OCD, Anxiety, Depression and Other Mental Health or Neurodevelopmental Issues
- Limited to no side effects
- Many have research to support efficacy
- Can be used synergistically with other therapies
- Preserve the growth of developing brains
- Calm the brain
- Can be part of plan that addresses root causes
- Integrated into family lifestyle
- Many tools and techniques can be implemented immediately
- Parents can use tools with training to create change
PEMF can be used to relieve depression and even treatment resistant depression. The clinical studies show significant improvement for those with mental illness issues such as mood disorders, pain, anxiety, as well as other conditions.
Whether you are searching for options because conventional treatment failed you or you want natural treatments for depression, OCD, anxiety, PANS/PANDAS, Lyme, and autism, PEMF should be considered. We work with clients locally at our Connecticut center or remotely all over the world, so contact us today.
Cappuccio, F. P., D'Elia, L., Strazzullo, P., & Miller, M. A. (2010). Sleep duration and all-cause mortality: a systematic review and meta-analysis of prospective studies. Sleep, 33(5), 585–592. Oxford Academic
Cohen, S., Doyle, W. J., Alper, C. M., Janicki-Deverts, D., & Turner, R. B. (2009). Sleep habits and susceptibility to the common cold. Archives of Internal Medicine, 169(1), 62–67. JAMA Network
Hattapoğlu, E., Batmaz, İ., Dilek, B., Karakoç, M., Em, S., & Çevik, R. (2019). Efficiency of pulsed electromagnetic fields on pain, disability, anxiety, depression, and quality of life in patients with cervical disc herniation: a randomized controlled study. Turkish journal of medical sciences, 49(4), 1095–1101. TUBITAK
He, J., Hsuchou, H., He, Y., Kastin, A. J., Wang, Y., & Pan, W. (2014). Sleep restriction impairs blood-brain barrier function. The Journal of Neuroscience : The Official Journal of the Society for Neuroscience, 34(44), 14697–14706. JNeurosci
Institute of Medicine (US) Committee on Sleep Medicine and Research; Colten HR, Altevogt BM, editors. Sleep Disorders and Sleep Deprivation: An Unmet Public Health Problem. Washington (DC): National Academies Press (US); 2006. 3, Extent and Health Consequences of Chronic Sleep Loss and Sleep Disorders. Available from: NCBI
Meier-Ewert, H. K., Ridker, P. M., Rifai, N., Regan, M. M., Price, N. J., Dinges, D. F., & Mullington, J. M. (2004). Effect of sleep loss on C-reactive protein, an inflammatory marker of cardiovascular risk. Journal of the American College of Cardiology, 43(4), 678–683. Science Direct
Steiger, A. (2002). Sleep and the hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenocortical system. Sleep Medicine Reviews, 6(2), 125–138. Science Direct
Sutbeyaz, Serap Tomruk MD; Sezer, Nebahat MD; Koseoglu, Fusun MD; Kibar, Sibel MD Low-frequency Pulsed Electromagnetic Field Therapy in Fibromyalgia, The Clinical Journal of Pain: October 2009 – Volume 25 – Issue 8 – p 722-728. The Clinical Journal of Pain
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She is the founder and director of The Global Institute of Children’s Mental Health and Dr. Roseann Capanna-Hodge. Dr. Roseann is a Board Certified Neurofeedback (BCN) Practitioner, a Board Member of the Northeast Region Biofeedback Society (NRBS), Certified Integrative Medicine Mental Health Provider (CMHIMP) and an Amen Clinic Certified Brain Health Coach. She is also a member of The International Lyme Disease and Associated Disease Society (ILADS), The American Psychological Association (APA), Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA) National Association of School Psychologists (NASP), International OCD Foundation (IOCDF) International Society for Neurofeedback and Research (ISNR) and The Association of Applied Psychophysiology and Biofeedback (AAPB).
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Disclaimer: This article is not intended to give health advice and it is recommended to consult with a physician before beginning any new wellness regime. *The effectiveness of diagnosis and treatment vary by patient and condition. Dr. Roseann Capanna-Hodge, LLC does not guarantee certain results.