Over the years, pulsed electromagnetic field (PEMF) therapy has become an incredibly versatile technology, providing a wide range of benefits to both animals and humans.
Today, it’s used to improve circulation and physical fitness, relieve minor pain, reduce inflammation, improve sleep, to treat migraines and even heal certain types of fractures.
But how – and when – was this revolutionary science developed? And who developed it?
Below, we’ll be going back in time to explore the history of PEMF technology and how it got to where it is today.
But the beginning of our story starts way earlier than you might think…
PEMF Therapy’s Ancient Ancestor
Although they’ve since been proven ineffective, magnets have been used as medical devices for over two thousand years. Ancient physicians used magnetic therapy in hopes of curing everything from minor joint pain to moodiness to digestive issues.
While their hunch about the effectiveness of magnetic fields wasn’t completely off, it would take some time for their idea to take shape.
Over 1700 years, to be exact.
Special Thanks to Tesla & Einstein
Believe it or not, Nikola Tesla was one of the pioneers of electrotherapy, the medical use of electrical energy.
His discovery that electrical current could be passed through the human body without causing any harm paved the way for PEMF therapy as we know it today. In fact, he used his famous tesla coils in early experiments in electrotherapy.
Following the discovery of the electron at the dawn of the 20th century, Einstein proposed that electricity and magnetism aren’t entirely separate in nature. His research suggested that they were, in fact, two sides of the same coin.
But despite these breakthroughs, scientists wouldn’t heavily research the use of electromagnetic fields until the 1950s.
After World War II, countries around the world began pouring their resources into the research and development of the first PEMF devices. Early versions of these systems looked like rudimentary prototypes of CAT scan machines.
By the early 1970s, horses became the first beneficiaries of PEMF therapy. Veterinarians in the United States used this emerging technology to heal leg fractures in racehorses successfully.
By 1982, scientists had conducted enough research to fill the first book on PEMF therapy, published in Bulgaria.
From there, researchers developed human applications to heal non-union fractures, or fractures that fail to heal correctly.
Until then, treatment for non-union fractures was invasive and involved implanting electrodes on either side of the fracture site. The electrodes would then emit a healing signal to mend the fractured bones.
It wasn’t until the late 1970s that Drs. Andrew Bassett and Arthur Pilla created a noninvasive PEMF device that succeeded in healing a non-union fracture. The device was called a bone growth stimulator (BGS), and they’re still in use today.
Thanks to Dr. Bassett’s research, in 1979, the FDA cleared the use of PEMF therapy for non-union fractures in the United States.
Over the next 35 years, the FDA would approve PEMF therapy for a variety of medical uses, such as:
Stimulation of muscle fibers
Treating urinary incontinence*
Enhancing bone formation after lumbar and cervical spine fusion surgery*
Treating other diseases*
In just 70 years, this new technology has become one of the most widely useful advancements in modern history. The power of PEMF therapy is truly incredible, and we discover new uses for it every year.
Who knows what we’ll use it for come 2030?
The Future of PEMF Technology
Dr. Bassett, a pioneer of the PEMF movement, stated that this technology would become just as, if not more important, than pharmacology and surgery.
And looking back at the history of PEMF therapy, it’s hard to disagree. At Vigo, our mission is to carry this movement into the future and empower people worldwide with the life-changing benefits of PEMF therapy. Vigo has a host of different benefits, such as enhanced:
Nutrient & Oxygen Delivery
Local Blood Flow
Endurance & Energy
Vitality & Well-Being
Stress Reduction & Relaxation
We’ve harnessed the power of this revolutionary technology to help you live your best healthy, active life. Whether you’re a recreational runner or an Olympic gold-winning swimmer, better circulation, better health, and better life are at your fingertips with Vigo.