An owner’s guide to PEMF therapy

An owner’s guide to PEMF therapy

Pulsed Electromagnetic Field (PEMF) therapy is an innovative and safe way to support wellness by supporting the body’s own anti-inflammatory system. It can be used to target specific areas of concern or be used for whole body treatment ranging from soothing stiff joints to supporting recovery.

What is PEMF?

PEMF is a type of electromagnetic waveform. A PEMF device delivers this to the body via an antenna and  it is a non-invasive process that does not have any heating properties. The devices emit these signals in short bursts at a low frequency, at a strength 1/1000th of that of a mobile phone, making it safe to use, with minimal side effects.

The science behind PEMF technology is based on Faraday’s law - where a pulsing electromagnetic field will lead to an electrical field in a nearby material, for example, bone or soft tissue.

How does PEMF technology work?

PEMF devices work by emitting a waveform into the body, which has an effect on damaged cells. It causes a disruption on the outer surface of the injured cells. This causes a domino effect of actions, the end result of which is the stimulation of the body’s own anti-inflammatory system.

How does the anti-inflammatory system help?

Inflammation is the body’s response to harm. If your dog has an infection or a wound, the body responds with inflammation as an initial phase of the healing process. The five signs of inflammation are –

  1. Heat
  2. Swelling
  3. Redness
  4. Pain
  5. Loss of function

While inflammation plays a part in recovery, if left unchecked it can result in longer term damage, chronic inflammation and pain.

As well as having this inflammatory response to injury or infection, the body also has an anti-inflammatory response to counter it. This is to help achieve a balance, so that inflammation does not become so severe that it is no longer helpful.  

How does PEMF help with inflammation?

PEMF devices support the body’s anti-inflammatory system, helping to reduce the swelling, pain and loss of function often associated with areas of injury.

Interestingly, only damaged cells respond to PEMF - the mechanism of action specifically activates damaged cells into healing themselves. Healthy cells do not respond to the signals, and as such side effects are minimal.

Another strength of PEMF is that it works via multiple pathways. Along with the calcium pathway, PEMF treatment can also increase the production of heat shock proteins, which play a key role in preventing cell death. Further anti-inflammatory actions are stimulated by increasing the number of adenosine receptors which are found on cell membranes. When activated, these receptors reduce the production of certain inflammatory chemicals.

Targeted therapy with PEMF

Not all waveforms emitted by PEMF devices are the same. Changing the frequency, duration and shape of the waveform can activate the desired anti-inflammatory process in different parts of the body. This is known as targeted Pulsed Electromagnetic Field therapy (tPEMF). Some target inflammation in the brain, which is useful for reducing anxiety, whereas others target systemic inflammation, which aids in managing pain and promoting healing. Multiple studies have shown the efficacy of differing PEMF devices for varying cases. Understanding the different models, intended uses and science behind each model is essential when choosing a device.

What do PEMF devices look like?

The devices themselves all consist of a battery and an antenna. Some are mats, others are handheld portable units. The variation between them is not only defined by its size, but also the shape and strength of the waveform it emits. The size of the antenna, duration of pulses and the effective working zone, can all vary from unit to unit.

Can I use PEMF devices at home?

A standout feature of PEMF is that it can be used at home, by pet owners. It is simple to use, safe and well tolerated by pets. Animals with chronic or complex problems may already be receiving other forms of care, be it medicinal, rehabilitative or alternative, but PEMF devices are safe to use alongside. They also have the benefit of being drug-free, which is appealing to a lot of owners, especially in cases which require long term management.

To see if PEMF would be useful to your pet, and to discuss this further, speak to your vet. Our veterinary team can answer any of your technical queries at

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