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There’s a lot of confusion around the differences between Pulsed Electromagnetic Field (PEMF) devices and other electrotherapy and electrical stimulation (e-stim) devices, especially Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS) machines. Although there are some similarities, there are also some very big differences – particularly in the way each is applied and how this impacts the way they interact with the body.

TENS units use electric currents while PEMF devices use pulsed electromagnetic fields. PEMFs have effects on the brain and at the cellular level in your body, rather than simply stimulating nerve activity. This means that PEMFs offer deeper healing as well as the pain management effects TENS units provide.

The purpose of TENS units are to help patients manage pain. They work by a distraction technique, called the gate control theory. Basically, TENS operates by confusing the brain through the stimulation signals it produces, competing with the signals from another pain source. So, TENS stimulation is like stomping on your big toe when you have a headache. The pain in the toe now is stronger than the headache pain, overshadowing the headache. This is usually a very temporary benefit.

PEMFs, while they also tend to offer more longer-lasting pain relief, are designed to stimulate repair of tissues at the cellular level. Repair and healing of the cause of the pain is what produces longer-lasting pain relief. While TENS is mostly used for pain, it does so mostly without healing the cause of the pain. In addition to giving pain relief, PEMFs have a whole range of other health care applications. Research has shown that PEMFs can stimulate healing for wounds and bone fractures, have a positive impact on depression and anxiety, improve sleep quality, and many more benefits beyond pain relief.


Thousands of research has proven that PEMF is a useful and practical therapy that can be used to address over two hundred (200) minor, major and chronic illnesses. 


To learn more about PEMF go to or PubMed.


Incorporating PEMF & Wave Mats into your practice helps to improve your clients overall health and well-being.


Consumers can also benefit from purchasing a PEMF or Wave Mat for home use.

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