Following is an extract from MRS book (p. 102-107) by Dr. Joel P. Carmichael on side effects and contraindications, which can served as a general guide for PEMF usage.
There are no known side effects from low intensity magnetic field application. However, we do recommend that people with orthostatic problems (dizziness when getting up) should get up very carefully after magnetic field therapy. This is a result of increased blood circulation that can lead to a redistribution of the blood.
The following precautions should always be observed:
- Do not use with acute inflammations
- For inflammation due to trauma, wait 24-36 hours
- For infectious inflammations, do not use PEMF therapy at all
- Do not use during acute flare-up of autoimmune diseases or rheumatologic conditions
Examples include an acute flare-up of rheumatoid arthritis or SLE – even though it is unclear whether the stimulating effect of a magnetic field on the immune system has ever activated auto-immune bodies. Nevertheless, without flare-up it is safe to use low frequency, low amplitude pulsing electromagnetic fields…
- Do not use during pregnancy
- Do not use with newborn babies younger than two weeks old
After this the baby may safely accompany the mother on the whole body mat applicator at the “Sensitive” or “10” settings
- Do not use with electronic implants such as pacemaker or insulin pumps. However this only applies to magnetic field therapy equipment with field strengths in the mT range. Magnetic field systems with the strength of Earth’s magnetic field (below 50 uT) are harmless.
- Do not use with serious cardiac arrhythmia
Cardiac arrhythmia manifests as either an increased heart rate (tachycardia) or a decreased heart rate (bradycardia). Arrhythmia can affect the atrium (upper chambers) or the ventricles (lower chambers) of the heart. When the ventricles beat too fast or out of rhythm, this can be potentially life threatening. Ventricular tachycardia (rapid ventricular rhythm) may represent a contraindication to the use of pulsing electromagnetic field therapy.
- Do not use during acute attacks of hyperthyroidism
Hyperthyroidism is triggered by the uncontrolled production of thyroid hormones. It results in inner restlessness, hot flashes, palpitations, weight loss despite increased appetite, sleep disturbances and exhaustion. Due to the potential of increased blood circulation and metabolism by magnetic field, PEMF is not suitable during such situation.
- Do not use concurrently with prolonged oral steroid use without the supervision of a physician.
Oral steroids causes changes to mood, bone metabolism, circulation and other cellular and systematic effects. Since the dosage of steroids must be carefully controlled, and since PEMF stimulation may enhance the stimulation of these compounds, magnetic field applications should not be performed without the supervision of a qualified health care specialist.
- Patients on immunosuppressant drugs
Magnetic fields tend to strengthen immune response in a variety of ways. Therefore in clinical scenarios where the immune system must be weakened intentionally, such as in organ transplant, magnetic field therapy may be contraindicated. d