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

Use of PEMFs on acupuncture points may produce similar results to electroacupuncture (EA). The stress responses induced by painful tooth pulp stimulation in rats are reduced by electroacupuncture (EA). EA decreases nor/adrenalin, dopamine, ACTH, and cortisol. Stress-induced elevation of blood pressure is blunted by EA. In addition, stress can also induce brain neuron atrophy and death, especially in the hippocampus. Neurotrophic chemicals are implicated in stress-induced hippocampal degeneration. EA stimulation significantly restores these neurotrophic chemicals.

Healthy 20 to 24 yr. old humans treated with MMWs applied to the outer hand had improved heart rate variability (HRV). Stress-induced EEG changes include suppression of alpha rhythm, increased theta and other decreases in bioelectric activity. EEG rhythms caused by stress are reversed with MMW treatment. Stressed animals have precipitous decreases of non-specific resistance and activation of lipid peroxidation. Lipid peroxidation is very damaging to tissues. Normal control animals exposed to MMWs have a 10-15% increase in neutrophil metabolism and increased thalamic and hypothalamic anti-oxidant exchange. The abnormal changes in stressed animals are reversed by MMW PEMFs.

Soft tissue may also respond negatively to stress and high lipid levels. Stress and high lipid levels can lead to breakdown of elastin and collagen fibers of heart muscle and other tissues. PEMFs directed from the front to the back of the head reduce this tissue breakdown by inhibiting the enzyme that causes it and by anti-oxidant action.

PEMFs result in the several apparently related long-lasting effects, that reduce stress: an increase in blood volume, increase in tissue oxygen, increased pH (reduced acidity), increased depth of respiration, decreased heart rate and improved blood pressure. The magnitude of these effects in humans show significant inter-individual variability. The benefits appear to be caused by lowered blood acidity, as indicated by measurements of lactic acid and pyruvic acid concentration, blood carbon dioxide levels and hydrogen ion (H+) concentration. PEMF effects are increased during periods of high muscle activity, after drinking alcohol, while sleeping or after inhaling carbon dioxide. Conditions that raise pH such as hyperventilation and eating large meals could be expected to reduce the magnitude of the benefits.

Extremely low-frequency (ELF) PEMFs to the head and chest induce dilation of the larger blood vessels in these areas and increased tissue oxygen. Various kinds of PEMFs applied to the neck of human volunteers altered the respiration cycle, heart rate, blood pressure, and vessel perfusion. These effects showed wide variability and poor reproducibility.

To summarize, mild chronic daily stress causes untold damage to humans. Research has shown that PEMFs produce a number of anti-stress changes in the body, both to ward off stress, that is, create stress resistance, and to decrease the hormonal, immune, neurologic, soft tissue, cardiac, vascular, low pH and low-oxygen damage caused by stress. From this perspective, very low level PEMFs used regularly should be able to prevent or reverse many of the effects of stress that all of us experience daily.

Based on extensive research in Europe, this new healing concept is now being introduced into the United States. See

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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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