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 Magnetic Therapy: Effects of Pulsed Electromagnetic Fields (PEMFs) on Stress 

Clearly not all of these problems happen to everybody under stress. They happen to varying degrees depending on genetics, life and environmental experiences and the level and duration of the stress. Most of us throughout our lifetimes will develop at least some of the above problems.

Once a stress reaction is initiated it is difficult to turn off immediately. The reaction is immediate but the recovery takes hours to days. Since the effects of stress are cumulative, a daily routine of reducing the physiologic response becomes necessary to ward off long-term damage. Many approaches are used to reduce the effects of stress, including relaxation, meditation, yoga and stress avoidance. A new, simple, easily useable approach to reducing the physical response to the effects of daily stress is whole body, pulsed electromagnetic field (PEMF) therapy.

The body is very sensitive to magnetic fields (MFs). The Earth is a large magnet. We are also bombarded by electromagnetic activity from outside the planet. Physiologic changes are seen during solar storms in healthy humans, in patients with cardiovascular diseases and in cosmonauts in SOYUZ spacecraft and the MIR space station. They had nonspecific adaptive stress reactions, with increased cortisol secretion, activation of the sympathoadrenal system (SAS) and suppressed melatonin.

There is much experimental evidence that almost all biological systems are highly sensitive to weak PEMFs, with a wide range of biologic effects. Research, on humans and animals, has shown that PEMFs alter stress responses by action directly on the nervous system, glands, cells, tissues and organs.

The SAS is activated by stress. PEMFs inhibit activation of the SAS and prevent decreases in nonspecific stress resistance. Through PEMFs, the plasma catecholamines, adrenalin and noradrenalin, chemical messengers associated with increased sympathetic nervous sytem arousal, decrease. PEMFs do this by acting on the hypothalamus and increasing urine excretion of adrenalin. Generally, the excitability of the nervous system also decreases and emotional reactions accompanying stress are corrected. Long term use of weak PEMFs may be able to help the body remodel tissues that tend to be hyper-reactive to chronic or acute stress so that over time they will become less and less reactive.

Environmental stressors, such as heat or sunlight, affect cellular homeostasis. Thermal stressors and electromagnetic fields (EMFs) interact to induce intracellular heat stress proteins (HSP), protective proteins in the cell. PEMFs can be used preventively prior to anticipated heat, toxicity or surgical injury to prevent cellular harm and thus increase cellular stress resistance and reduce damaging cellular stress responses. This phenomenon could be exploited as a protective presurgical cardiovascular treatment. Other potential uses include protection against viral infections, autoimmune diseases, inflammatory diseases and to enhance the normal stress response in the elderly, by counteracting the normal loss of a healthy stress response during aging.

PEMFs not only activate metabolic processes in the immediate tissues exposed but also act indirectly through the endocrine system and control centers of the nervous system. For example, exposing the thyroid area produces a similar response with a lower field dose vs. the higher dose required by local area exposure, e.g., to the heart in ischemia. In experimental hepatitis, microwave PEMFs to the thyroid were more effective in restoring liver function than exposing the liver itself. Exposure of the adrenals in patients with rheumatoid arthritis activated the body’s own natural cortisone and made lymphocytes function normally. Again, controlled exposure to short-term, weak PEMFs increases the resistivity of the organism to other more severe stressors, including low temperatures, physical load, ischemic heart damage, ionizing radiation, etc.

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 About The Author
William Pawluk, MD, MSc, is an Asssistant Professor at Johns Hopkins Medical School. He is a board certified family physician with training in acupuncture, nutritional/herbal medicine, homeopathy, hypnosis and body......more
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