When people read the word “electromagnetic field” in therapies like Pulsed electromagnetic field therapy (PEMF), it creates fear in their minds. After all, people have heard so much about the health hazards associated with using the electromagnetic field. Thus, they want to know more about what it is and if electromagnetic waves always have the potential to cause harm or not?
To start with, without an electromagnetic field, human life on earth cannot exist even for a second. The primary source of energy, the sunlight, is electromagnetic waves. All visible light waves are electromagnetic waves. And so are the invisible waves like infrared waves transmitted by the remote control of your television device. Communication on earth would be impossible without electromagnetic waves, as radio waves are electromagnetic waves.
Not all electromagnetic waves are dangerous. However, some could be. For example, X-rays to gamma could be highly ionizing and damaging to cells.
To explain things more simply, there are two essential things to understand about electromagnetic waves: frequency and intensity/power.
Generally, low-frequency waves are pretty harmless. But, of course, they might also be harmful to a higher power. It is quite like a visible light which is essential for human existence. But again, at the high power, even visible light can kill people by burning them.
Electromagnetic waves are made up of electrical and magnetic waves traveling in synchronization. They can carry energy, too.
Generally, frequency decides their properties. Larger wavelength electromagnetic waves can travel huge distances. However, larger wavelength electromagnetic waves are also readily stopped by different barriers. Radio waves are an excellent example of such waves. They can cover massive distances, easily reflected by different surfaces, and thus can even be reflected by the atmosphere and circle around the earth.
On the other hand, shorter frequency waves have a more remarkable ability to penetrate objects and even pass through them. At higher energy, they can have a highly ionizing effect and can damage body cells. X-rays and gamma rays are good examples of high-frequency waves.
Since high-frequency waves can readily cross-specific barriers, they may also have usages. Thus, a small X-ray dosage of x-ray can help in imaging the human body. However, its high dosage can disrupt cellular functions and even kill humans.
If we see in the diagram above, it would be easy to see that electromagnetic waves of wavelength below the visible light are generally relatively safe. They do not harm humans even on prolonged exposure. After all, one can spend a whole day in direct sunlight. Skin cancer occurs mainly due to invisible and high-frequency UV rays and not due to visible lights.
But, of course, all electromagnetic waves can carry a significant amount of energy. It means that all of them can be dangerous for health at higher power or intensity.
So, what did we understand about electromagnetic waves?
They are the source of light and energy, and without them, humans cannot exist. Therefore, they are essential for our existence. However, they can also eradicate humanity at the wrong frequency and intensity. Thus, electromagnetic waves can be good or bad. It depends on their frequency and intensity.
What about PEMF?
These electric devices transmit electromagnetic waves or fields at an extremely low frequency and intensity. Generally, they have a 6- 75 Hz frequency and field strengths of 0.4- 2.3 mili Tesla (mT). You can learn more about the frequency of various PEMF devices at healthylineoutlet.
Thus, these waves can penetrate a bit inside the body, though they do not travel long distances. Their energy level is so trim that they cannot cause any harm. Harm from PEMF is almost impossible. It is like sitting 100 meters away from some light lamp, and as one can see, its dim light cannot cause any harm in any possible way.
These low-frequency waves are closer to the earth’s magnetic field. The human body has evolved in the way that it continually needs exposure to these waves to stay healthy. PEMF can thus provide some additional energy to inner cellular structures and thus help regularize body functions. So, yes, it uses an electromagnetic field, but of very low frequency and intensity – a safe and beneficial thing.