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PEMF Therapy for Anxiety: What Does Research Say?

Introduction

Anxiety is a healthy adaptive reaction to stress that enables us to cope with challenging circumstances in daily life. 

However, anxiety becomes a crippling disease and is seen as pathological when it becomes excessive, out of proportion to the circumstance that generates it, or when there is no particular cause. In Singapore, 10% of the population experiences severe anxiety problems at some point in their lives.

Alternative methods are used with or without medication to treat anxiety disorders. Over the last decade, PEMF therapy for anxiety has become increasingly popular for enhancing the outcome of the anxiety treatment plan. 

Do you want to know how PEMF therapy treats anxiety? Keep reading to know what research says about PEMF therapy and anxiety.

Sign and Symptoms of Anxiety 

Anxiety can cause mild to severe psychological and physical symptoms, including:

  • Headaches, muscular aches, stomachaches, or strange discomfort.
  • Sleeping issues
  • Feeling jittery, restless, or uncomfortable
  • Faster heartbeat
  • Fast breathing (hyperventilation)
  • Sweating
  • Trembling
  • Feeling drained or weak
  • Having digestive system (GI) issues
  • A desire to stay away from things that make you anxious

Causes of Anxiety

Anxiety is a very complicated disorder. Some individuals feel it’s biological. Others feel it’s learnt. Most likely, it is someplace in between. Childhood, adolescent, and adulthood traumas are frequent causes of anxiety disorders. A few possible causes are :

  • Trauma ( physical or emotional)
  • Stress-related to an illness
  • Tension building
  • Other psychological illnesses
  • Being related to someone with an anxiety problem (i.e., parents, relatives etc.)
  • Substance abuse or alcoholism

Types Of Anxiety Disorders

A few major types of anxiety disorders are:

  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)

OCD obsessions are intrusive, recurrent, and undesired thoughts, impulses, or visuals that create distress or anxiety.

  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

PTSD is a disorder that develops in some individuals after encountering a startling, frightening, or hazardous incident.

  • Panic Disorder

Panic attacks cause panic disorder. Panic attacks are uncontrollable bouts of anxiety and fear that generate physical symptoms such as a racing heart, rapid breathing, and shivering. Some individuals become so terrified of these attacks that they develop panic disorder.

  • Generalised Anxiety Disorder (GAD)

GAD is described by excessive, exaggerated anxiety and concern over daily life occurrences for no apparent cause. People suffering from GAD often anticipate misfortune and can’t stop worrying about their health, money, family, job, or education.

  • Social Anxiety Disorder (SAD)

SAD is an intense, persistent, and chronic fear of being judged by others. It is characterised by an intense fear of rejection, disgrace, or public humiliation when confronted with the possibility of receiving unfavourable feedback from others during social interactions or public performances.

How to Deal with Anxiety Without Medication?

There are various non-pharmacological methods (treatment without medication) to treat anxiety, but this article will mainly focus on PEMF therapy for anxiety. 

Other alternative methods that are used to treat anxiety disorders include CBT relaxation practice, mindfulness meditation, muscle relaxation techniques, biofeedback, deep breathing, healthy eating, spending time in nature outside, interacting with friends and family, lowering stress, pursuing hobbies you like and lifestyle changes.

When alternative or non-pharmacological treatments don’t work alone, medication is given with these methods. So it’s better to treat it early with easy therapies and ask your doctor before starting any therapy.

What is Pulsed Electro Magnetic Field Therapy (PEMF)?

Low-frequency pulsed electromagnetic fields are sent to the body’s cells via a device to enhance cell function and communication. PEMF re-energises the mitochondrial energy inside a cell. 

Can PEMF Help with Anxiety: What Does Research Say?

Various scientific studies support the effectiveness of PEMF therapy for mental health disorders, i.e., anxiety, depression, GAD, PTSD, and so on. A few studies have been mentioned below.

  1. Researchers have discovered that low-level pulsed electromagnetic field (PEMF) therapy is very effective for GAD, sleep, and anxiety without any adverse effects. It increases natural energy, repairs damaged cells and enhances recovery. It works at the cellular level and revitalises the body’s cells to restore regular cell communication.
  2. Another research found that after 15 minutes of therapy, “anxiety-like behaviours” in mice decreased. Similar outcomes were observed in a study with rats.
  3. There is evidence that PEMF stimulation alters the EEG patterns in the brain. This is referred to as entrainment. Numerous entrainment techniques have been studied and used, including cranial electrical stimulation (CES) and audiovisual stimulation  (AVS). The advantage of PEMFs over other entrainment techniques is that they have the potential to stimulate entrainment in the same way but enter the brain more deeply and have the potential to treat the underlying reasons of a brain disorder.
  4. In a clinical trial conducted in 2013, 9 minutes of PEMF therapy resulted in alterations to the brain’s EEG. This shows it can lower the higher EEG frequencies seen in anxious people.
  5. Another study was conducted in 2021 using Pulsed Electromagnetic Field(PEMF) device. Pulsed electromagnetic field therapy was administered to a single arm for six 90-minute sessions to five patients. A questionnaire was given to the patients, and researchers asked them to rank their PTSD and trauma-related symptoms on a scale. All the patients spoke of a boost to their mental health, which gave them hope and optimism to deal with additional PTSD and trauma-related symptoms. 

What Does PEMF Do to The Brain?

PEMF therapy harmonises and restores the area of the brain related to mood. These fields enter the brain more directly and profoundly.

PEMF therapy mimics the rhythm the brain naturally follows at rest and trains the brain to do the same. By entering the brain directly and profoundly, it treats the hormonal and chemical imbalances linked to anxiety problems. Instead of putting foreign compounds into the brain, PEMF electrically activates the neurons to release their own natural chemicals, which helps to correct inadequacies and reestablish normal brain function.

How Long Does It Take for PEMF to Work?

Just 30 minutes of PEMF therapy before bed improve sleep quality and lessen anxiety symptoms. 

Long-term daily therapy for anxiety is a non-invasive and safe option. A home device like the BioMat is excellent for flexible, easy therapy. 

Best PEMF Therapy Devices for Anxiety

Recovery Systems  PEMF BioMats are a brilliant combination of five recovery modalities – PEMF, Far Infrared, Negative Ion, Heat and Red-light therapy (or Photon light therapy). 

bio mat cta 01

These combinations of treatments have been proven for promoting mental and physical well-being. 

Who Should Not Use PEMF?

Do not take PEMF therapy if you have any of the following diseases:

  • Tuberculosis
  • Malignancy (cancer)
  • Atrophic skin or scar tissue on the knee region 
  • Cardiac pacemaker or any implanted electrical device 
  • Pregnancy
  • Bleeding disorders 
  • Ischemia
  • Insensitivity

Conclusion

PEMF therapy is a non-invasive, effective therapy for treating anxiety disorders. The low-frequency waves enter the brain, excite neurons, regulate chemicals, and reduce anxiety symptoms. 

It’s important to note that PEMF therapy should not be used as a substitute for conventional treatment(medications) for severe anxiety. And it’s always recommended to consult with a healthcare professional before starting any alternative therapies.

Frequently Asked Questions:

How do I know if PEMF is working?

Some indications that PEMF may be working include improved sleep and mood, reduced pain, and increased energy levels. However, individual results may vary, and it’s best to consult with a healthcare professional to determine if PEMF is right for you.

How long does PEMF effect last?

The duration of the PEMF effect can vary depending on the individual and the condition being treated. Some people may experience relief for several hours, while others may experience relief for several days. It is important to take therapy regularly to achieve long-term effects.

How does PEMF heal the body?

PEMF therapy is thought to work by stimulating cells and tissues in the body, promoting healing and reducing inflammation.

What to expect after PEMF therapy?

After PEMF therapy, some people may experience a temporary increase in symptoms before feeling relief. Others may feel immediate relief.

Does PEMF Help the Vagus Nerve?

The vagus nerve is a cranial nerve that runs from the brainstem to the abdomen and plays an important role in regulating various bodily functions such as heart rate, digestion, and immune response. It also regulates the body’s stress response and has been linked to mental and emotional well-being.

PEMF therapy is thought to stimulate the vagus nerve by applying electromagnetic fields to the body. These electromagnetic fields interact with the cells in the body, including nerve cells, and help to promote healing and reduce inflammation.

PEMF therapy is beneficial in treating anxiety symptoms by influencing the vagus nerve’s activity and modulating the immune system’s activity.

It’s important to note that the evidence on PEMF therapy and its effects on the vagus nerve is still limited, and more research is needed to understand the full extent of its effects.

What is the best way to deal with anxiety?

The best way to deal with anxiety can vary depending on the individual. However, a few commonly used and efficient methods are:

  1. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) helps to identify and change negative thought patterns.
  2. Mindfulness-based therapies help to reduce stress and improve overall well-being.
  3. Medications such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and benzodiazepines can help reduce anxiety symptoms.
  4. Exercise and physical activity can help reduce stress and improve overall well-being.
  5. Relaxation techniques such as deep breathing and progressive muscle relaxation.
  6. Lifestyle changes such as getting enough sleep, eating a healthy diet, and limiting alcohol and caffeine intake.
  7. PEMF therapy, or Pulsed Electromagnetic Field therapy, is a form of alternative medicine that uses low-frequency electromagnetic fields to treat a variety of health conditions, including anxiety and depression. The therapy is said to work by stimulating the body’s cells and tissues, which can help reduce inflammation and promote healing. PEMF therapy is usually delivered through a device that emits electromagnetic fields. This device can be placed near the body or applied directly to the skin. There is some research that suggests that PEMF therapy may be effective in reducing symptoms of anxiety and depression. However, the evidence is still limited, and more research is needed to fully understand the potential benefits and risks of this therapy.

It is important to note that what works for one person may not work for another, so it’s important to work with a healthcare professional to find the best treatment plan for you.

What types of conditions can PEMF therapy treat?

PEMF therapy may be used to treat a variety of conditions, including pain, inflammation, and mental health issues. However, it is always best to consult with a healthcare professional to determine if PEMF therapy is right for you.

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Recovery Systems