Pulsed Electro-Magnetic Field Therapy (PEMF)

Pulsed Electro-Magnetic Field Therapy, or PEMF, is not a new thing. People started experimenting with using electrical currents on various conditions as far back as the 1700s, but it wasn’t until the 1950s that scientists seriously started researching electricity’s bone-healing properties. PEMF treatment on fractures in people begun in the 1970s – today, it is approved by the FDA and is being used by Orthopedic doctors, chiropractors, veterinary surgeons, Olympic team members (both human and animal) all over the world, to name a few.

There have been many studies done (by NASA and the US Army among others) on the effectiveness of PEMF on a large variety of health issues (such as bone fractures, arthritis, depression, glaucoma, wounds, migraines, MS, damaged nerves, osteoporosis, spinal surgery, etc.) and everyone agrees that it does work. The low frequency pulses help to speed up recovery times after injuries and surgery, ease pain, reduce swelling, repair broken bones and torn tendons, ease muscle pain, regenerate tissue, etc. But it can also be used as a preventative and health maintenance tool.

I recently read a very interesting study where the researchers had treated the non-dominant arm of osteoporosis-prone women with PEMF daily for 12 weeks. At the end if the trial, they found that bone density had increased, not only in the treated arm, but in the other one as well!

How Does It Work?

To dig a bit deeper, we need to talk about ATP. At the center of each cell (in all living things) is alarge number of intricate molecules called ATP (adenosine triphosphate) that continuously generate energy. No living organism can exist without them, and a steady supply of ATP is so important that a poison that attacks any of the proteins used in ATP production kills an organism in minutes.

The cells use ATP for many functions such as moving substances across cell membranes, providing energy to the heart and skeletal muscles (for blood circulation and body movement), and supplying the energy needed for muscle contraction. An average adult male has around one hundred trillion cells, and each of those contain about one billion ATP molecules. The energy created by APT is only enough for a few minutes, which means these little molecules must work very hard to keep the body going.

How Does PEMF Help Healing?

The practitioner uses a device (there are many different PEMF devices) that delivers low intensity electromagnetic pulses to the patient. These pulses stimulate the cells’ metabolism (increases production of ATP), and when ATP production goes up, the circulation in the cells is increased. This means more oxygen and nutrients are delivered to the cells, while more toxins and waste products are removed, and that whole process is what speeds up healing and recovery.

Meet Theresa Gagnon & Jodi Clark

Today’s case studies come from Theresa Gagnon and Jodi Clark, founders and owners of Mending Fences Equine Wellness in Deer Trail, CO. They do barn visits in the Denver area andPEMF on horse offer Sports Massage, CranioSacral Therapy, Fascial Unwinding, Structural Integration, Myofascial Release, Propriossage™, Facilitated Movement™, cold laser and PEMF treatments.

Jodi and Theresa developed the Propriossage system, a blend of modalities that helps the equine body return to normal movement after an injury or pain has caused it to move in a restricted way for a period of time.

Theresa is a certified animal massage therapist, a licensed human massage therapist, a certified veterinary technician (she has also taught college-level Veterinary Technology), a Reiki II practitioner, trained in Repetitive Use Injury Therapy, Equine Natural Movement and CranioSacral Fascial Therapy. She is the former Director of the Animal Program at the Bancroft School of Massage Therapy in Worcester, MA, and is currently teaching at the Rocky Mountain School of Massage in Elizabeth, CO. Theresa has also developed a healing modality called Facilitated Movement, which is a blend of massage, TMJ-dental, energy work, fascial techniques, and craniosacral therapy.

In addition to Mending Fences, Theresa has her own massage practice, Free Movement Massage, where she offers both human and animal massage, Reiki, CranioSacral and Facilitated Movement Treatments and classes.

Jodi is a certified equine massage therapist with extensive experience in both traditional and complementary healing, rehabilitation, post-surgery care and hydrotherapy.

Theresa and Jodi are sharing three case studies with us – two horses and one dog:

Mending Fences PEMF Case Studies

Case 1 – Frisco
Frisco is a 3-year old Standardbred gelding who was diagnosed with a “bowed tendon” in his right hind. Excessive strain on a tendon disrupts its collagen fibers. After the fibers are torn, the tendon hemorrhages and collects fluid, creating swelling and lameness in the area as well as increasing the pressure. The increase in pressure may damage the tendon further by destroying the cross-linking of undamaged collagen fibers and preventing the flow of blood to the area. Ultrasound revealed a lesion in the tendon fibers of approximately .6 cm or 1/4 inch around. Treatment included cold hosing, poultice wraps, anti-inflammatory drugs and restricted turnout. The normal course of healing for this type of injury is several months. The PEMF device was applied to the lower leg for a duration of 9 minutes once a week for three consecutive weeks. Following the 3rd treatment, the veterinarian returned to check thehealing  progress by ultrasound. The resulting ultrasound revealed that the lesion was completely healed.

Case 2 – Ricky Ricky is an 18-year old Bashkir Curley gelding. He was diagnosed with navicular syndrome, an inflammation or degeneration of the navicular bone and its surrounding tissues on the front feet. It can lead to significant and even disabling lameness. Ricky has not been able to be ridden for 8 years and is lame in the pasture. The PEMF device was applied to the hoof area of each foreleg for 9 minutes to each hoof, once weekly for 3 consecutive weeks. Significant improvement in his lameness was evidenced by the fact that Ricky was running and playing in the pasture post treatment. Though still unable to be ridden, his quality of life was greatly improved.

Case 3 – Daisy
Daisy is a 13-year old Pug dog. No specific diagnosis has been given, but Daisy has developed significant weakness in her hind legs, more on the right side. She has trouble “righting” her paw pads and often “knuckles” or drags her toes. Her condition has been attributed to her age. Her previous treatments have included chiropractic and acupuncture, with limited success. The PEMF device was applied to her body with concentration to the spine and each hind leg. The duration was approximately 12-18 minutes. Following the first treatment, her gait was significantly improved to the point where she was no longer turning her paws over. The duration of the effect was about one week when her condition started to recur. Daisy has been treated weekly for about 5 weeks and then the duration increased to bi-weekly. She maintains stability when treated bi-weekly at this point.

Cattie Coyle

Cattie Coyle

Founder and Editor at Animal Wellness Guide
Cattie is the founder and editor of Animal Wellness Guide. She is a freelance photographer, graduate of Bancroft School of Massage Therapy’s small animal program, and has studied Applied Zoopharmacognosy. Learn more about Cattie
Cattie Coyle
Happy Midsummer (lots of celebrating going on in Sweden today) and Happy Anniversary… https://t.co/fvvEB0Vf8P - 3 days ago

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