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What sets them apart from each other are the parameter specifications typically expressed in electrotherapy language as waveform asymmetrical biphasic, symmetrical biphasic, etc , frequency, phase-pulse and burst duration, polarity, and amplitude. These terms describe the essential characteristics of electrotherapy devices used in medicine today.

Devices such as transcutaneous electrical neuromuscular stimulation TENS , interferential current IFC , direct current DC , micro-current MENS , high-voltage stimulation, and electric muscle stimulation EMS have their own unique electromagnetic signature but are generally non-thermal within the normal range of patient intensity values.

Other forms of electromagnetic spectral energy include the various forms of light energy used in lasers and sound energy used in ultrasonic applications. Other forms of thermal energy in medicine include shortwave diathermy, microwave, and hydrotherapy. Other non-thermal applications include percutaneous electrical stimulation PENS , iontophoresis, radiofrequency RF , infra-red and ultraviolet therapies.

It is thought that nonthermal exogenous EMFs have the potential to exert significant biologic effects in living organisms. These effects can either be harmful or beneficial, depending on exposure parameters and susceptibility factors bio-sensitivity. The cell membrane is perhaps the most likely site of transduction energy conversion of EMF bio-effects. The biophysical effects by which EMFs might act on bio-molecules are far too complex for this report.

However, work by Liboff might be helpful for those inclined to further study this phenomenon. There have been many reports in the past linking chronic exposure to EMFs with various types of morbidities, including various cancers and more recently diabetes. Claims of excessive microwave exposures cell phones causing brain tumors have been explored and findings continue to be debated.

There is evidence that brain function can be altered with chronic exposure to MHz radiation produced artificially by a generator using rats as the subjects under study.


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Electro-pollution, or dirty electricity as it is sometimes referred to, is ubiquitous and difficult to measure completely from all its sources. For this reason, an accurate risk assessment is challenging at this time and helps explain the controversial findings that exist in the literature today. There are many opinions espoused from just as many government agencies and special interest groups, including the World Health Organization whose task force on the subject concluded that there is not enough evidence to implicate EMF in childhood leukemia, which was, and is, perhaps the most suspected pathology linked to EMF.

The Canadian government seems to agree and has said it sees no clear link between common electromagnetic exposure levels and any morbidity. Several studies have found significant increases in relative risk for conditions, such as leukemia, as a result of EMF exposures from such sources as radio transmitters and electric transmission lines. A recent study by Havas et al found that EMFs were implicated in elevating blood sugar levels in patients with diabetes and in those with prediabetes. He went on to explain that this might be the reason why patients with brittle diabetes have such a hard time regulating blood sugar levels.

Furthermore, he estimates that as many as 5 to 60 million diabetics worldwide may be affected by high levels of EMF radiation. Havas refers to EMF-susceptible hyperglycemic individuals as type 3 diabetics. Unlike those with type 1 and 2 diabetes whose disease is caused by a lack of insulin or resistance to insulin, respectively, the type 3 diabetic patient has elevated glucose as a result of environmental triggers. The interaction between living organisms and electro-magnetic fields appears to be both subtle and complicated, with current research only having scratched the surface of this topic.

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The future will bring better and greater research efforts and hopefully uncover the mysterious and little understood relationship between EMF and life. The early discoveries by Robert Becker that injury and healing each have their own current characteristics, and later, Pohl observing an electric field in living cells in culture do lend credence to the possibility that living organisms have electrically mediated organization.

We now know that bone exhibits a piezo-electric effect through its electromechanical properties such that weight -. Our observation in astronauts nongravity-induced osteopenia is consistent with these findings. It is interesting to note that the piezo-electric property of bone has been attributed to the collagenous network inherent within bone. If this observation is accurate, the implications would be significant because collagen is fundamental to organs and soft tissue, especially the myofascial system. Using high-powered microscopy his work will take you on a journey never seen before, one that supports the connection between electromagnetic energy and the living organism.

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Electromagnetic Applications In Biology and Medicine

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Electromagnetic Applications In Biology and Medicine. Make the Family Your Best Friend. Medications for Chronic Pain—Opioid Analgesics. Unmasking Post-traumatic Headache. Examining the subtle and complicated relationship between living organisms and electromagnetic fields. Clinical Electrotherapy. Norwalk, CT: Appleton and Lange. NIH Report. Alternative medicine: Expanding medical horizons. Workshop on Alternative Medicine. Non invasive magnetic stimulation of human motor cortex. Sharrard WJ. A double blind trial of pulsed electro-magnetic fields for delayed union of tibial fractures.

J Bone Joint Surg Br. Athenstaedt H. Permanent electric polarization and pyroelectric behavior of the vertebrate skeleton III: The axial skeleton of man.

Z Zellforsch Mikrosk Anat. Burr HS. The Fields of Life. Becker RO, Selden G. The Body Electric. New York: Morrow, Electromagnetic effects-from cell biology to medicine. Prog Histochem Cytochem. Liboff AR. Geomagnetic cyclotron resonance in living cells. J Biol Physics. Electromagnetics in medicine and biology. Toward an electromagnetic paradigm for biology and medicine. J Altern Complement Med. Short Communication. Member In. Track Your Article.

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