Elite Athletes Swear by These Extreme Treatments. Scientists Think They Could Boost Your Health, Too (WSJ)


Cutting-edge sports-performance therapies using infrared light, electromagnetic pulses and cold potentially have longer-term benefits, researchers say

Full story here: https://archive.ph/kjZjx

1 Like

Does anyone here have experience with PEMF? Pulsed electromagnetic field therapy? I’ve also seen sleeping mats with super magnets for some sort of aligned magnetic fields. People love them but I have my doubts.

1 Like


I’ve reported on my use of PEMF elsewhere in the forum.

I use an ICES device from Micro Pulse.
The guy who runs Micro Pulse invented PEMF treatment.

I have used the device to:

  • repair a botched surgery on my right knee thus avoiding a proposed knee replacement,
  • advance recovery from eye surgery,
  • heal tennis elbow,
  • heal wounds, and
  • on my vagal nerve to improve sleep.

Note: I’ve tried using it to address benign enlarged prostate, but the small ICES device proved too awkward (maybe reason enough to spring for a PEMF device with a full body mat) .

PEMF’s mechanisms appear to (i) recruit stem cells to heal things and (ii) reduce inflammation.

My “repair” uses provide (at least for me) pretty convincing evidence “that” it works.
I’d like to better understand the mechanism of “how” it works.

Managing expectations

Significant injuries - like my botched knee surgery, which scraped away cartilage leaving me bone-on-bone, unrelenting pain, and serious loss of function - take a long time to repair. I used the ICES device on that knee every night, while I slept for probably over a year.

(Note: I have developed a bit of arthritis in the same knee. If it acts up I’ll use the PEMF device for a couple of nights.)

The PEMF use restored|regrew cartilage in my knee. I’ve got before and after imaging showing it and pretty astonished doctors. (All this before using rapamycin, so I can’t attribute the difference to to that particular medical miracle :wink:

I have less experience with PEMF’s affects of nerve tissue and brains (e.g., for migraines, depression, brain fog).

I see lots of reports from people who have.

I’d like to have an explanation for how it affects nerve tissue and brains. Stem cell recruitment and reducing inflammation might explain it, just not certain.

Full body PEMF mat or device

One can purchase the small ICES device for $429. One can do a lot with it.

That said, I keep thinking about getting a full body PEMF device. Lots of different kinds. Mats, blankets, giant coils. Finding one made by a reputable manufacture that actually emits true PEMF pulses could prove a challenge. Lot’s of charlatans in the field.

Micro-pulse sells a large array for “research purposes”, but doesn’t quote a specific price on its website anymore.

Full body devices can run from $1,000 to over $10,000.
They have a pulse generator that connects to a mat or array of coils.

Given they should last for years and one could replace the coils it they went bad and continue using the pulse generator, the price might make sense,

A Katalyst EMS suit runs $2,500+.
A year’s worth of Rapamycin can a run near that.
A full body PEMF device could make economic sense.

Hmmm, sounds like I want to convince myself,

A whole body PEMF device used regularly (e.g., under a mattress or mattress top pad while one slept every night, could prove a particularly effective life|health extension device.

Consider it for:

  • recovery from high intensity training.
  • repairing cellular damage.
  • skin (regular PEMF use at night might obviate the need for Rapamycin skin creams).

It could prove an ideal “stacked” modality with Rapamycin and maybe an economic one, replacing infrared saunas, cold baths, and so many other things, which take so much time.

Contra indications &/or questions

I don’t know of any, but I’d think it prudent to understand things like PEMF’s affects on cancer cells or microbiome populations (e.g., gut, sinus, oral, skin, etc).


And the equipment that the elite athletes are using is very different than what most people (using these devices) are using…

studies suggest photobiomodulation could stimulate collagen growth, decrease inflammation and even improve cognitive function. Olympic athletes lie in Thor Photomedicine’s NovoThor red-light therapy bed—which looks like a tanning bed and retails for $130,000—for 15-minute sessions, hoping to boost performance and recovery. Also used by sports pros, Vielight’s headband-and-nose-clip combination, at $1,800-$2,400, emits pulsed near-infrared light waves into the nostril toward the brain.


I do not think that statement is correct.

PEMF for use as a “medical treatment” has been know since the 1940’s .Discover/seen during the development of radar.

One of the first marketed devices approved for “medical use” by FDA was the Diapulse® unit. Still marketed, 60 year later.

A quick overview is at;



@Alpha Would you say PEMF is pain relief only or also a healing mechanism but over a longer timeframe?

Well, that’s interesting.

Definitely healing. The pain relief follows the actual healing.
TENS may actually give more immediate, but temporary pain relief.
PEMF fixes things.


I have a Hugo Intense which is quite a high powered system. It definitely has some effects

a) You can feel it when it operates (depending on intensity).
b) It has affected my digestion so that when I get drunk I no longer have loose stools.

The theory is that it improves mitochondrial quality. That would be a mechanism which could improve digestion.

I have stopped using my systems like this also (RIR) until after my next blood test which is Wednesday next week. That is because I wish to have a baseline before I reintroduce these things.

Hence from a personal basis I would say some PEMF systems (definitely the one I am using) have positive effects.

1 Like

Thanks for the information. I am going to look into this technology.

Thanks for this detail. Looking at the Micro Pulse website, I see that Dr Dennis invented a type of PEMF in the 90’s for NASA. He is a professor at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. I will reach out to Dr Dennis for an interview.

1 Like

I recently researched PEMF. After looking at all the options I bought a QRS Home 101 pemf system. After looking at so many options, I chose QRS because they actually have studies to back up the claims with their specific device. And, the have several global patents on the device. Not to mention it was developed in Germany by a team of scientists and still manufactured there today. Many other pemf manufacturers make bold claims by saying studies shows PEMF does this or that. Yes, what they are saying is true but the study wasn’t actually using same device they are selling.

I really had to educate myself on PEMF. These devices are very different from each other. The pattern of “pulsed electro magnetic frequencies” that come out of these devices might be a square wave form or a sawtooth wave form or many different kinds of waveforms. It might be rapid pulses or slow pulses. And then there is the strength of the pulses. Some PEMF devices might just be sending out magnetic “noise” much like any other EMF you get from cellphones and microwave ovens that could be doing more harm than good. If you by a PEMF device at least make sure it’s not going to harm you. I’m not a 100% believer in PEMF just yet. I’ve only had mine a few days. But I am certain it will do no harm.

My full body mat I put underneath the 2” foam topper. I can’t even tell it there. I have to programmed to run a “relax” mode for 16 minutes at 11pm. I’m usually already asleep at that time. Then it automatically runs a “basis” mode for 16 minutes at 5:15am shortly before I wake up. The basis mode is their proprietary waveform for multiple healths issues or just general health. There is also a “vital” mode that is supposed to give you energy which I can do as a pre-workout.

Have you heard of www.superhumanprotocol.com It’s interesting. Check it out. It’s a combination of three things. First you do PEMF. Next you do EWOT (exercise with oxygen therapy). And last, you do full body red light therapy. I mention this because the PEMF device they use is the QRS Home 101. If you look closely their device is actually called PureWave which is actually a rebadged QRS. Purewave is sold under that name at a much higher cost than QRS. Purewave just has a fancier website found here https://www.purewavelife.com/ It’s a good place to learn about it though. Then there is the main QRS.com website. Let me know if you want any more info. I have some YouTube videos referenced that are very informative I could share.


Thanks! Yes, please do share the YouTube videos.

  1. https://youtu.be/3cM90cIzzJ0?si=Urh_ITFVraMZ4ZVb

  2. https://youtu.be/UtfEt_WG5Q4?si=EgG3l4OmpEdBH3K3

  3. https://youtu.be/Ryg5FqDhyKY?si=KU2kAnhn40lW_BVm

  4. https://youtu.be/eSOpjSdrH8A?si=O0hpaQfG9ECB6rSW

1 Like
  1. https://youtu.be/3XKwz-BxSc8?si=xAr0eZQM7GxqqPqe

  2. https://youtu.be/xL0_0k-O4qI?si=t1vdpqD5-ieS9KAS

The next two videos are what made me turn away from some other high end/popular brands I was considering…

  1. (comparing various high end PEMF devices) https://youtu.be/DTPaFx7bmig?si=EdrdWMyRlEP8esKd

  2. (comparing various high end PEMF devices) https://youtu.be/X5OO_lniFEM?si=K7tUAdd_5ujjRJeG

  3. (warning. this is over 1.5 hours long but lots of information here) https://youtu.be/bsse3uwaDE0?si=Q2lv-mZgvzoqQ7VE

1 Like

Everyone, I’ve been researching this like mad since July-August, got a professional device that emits a field strength of 4 Tesla, and have been using it for over a week. Though I primarily bought it for my husband who turned out to have army neck (degenerated cervical vertebrae), since he demands that I be the Guinea pig before he subjects himself to a course of treatment, I have volunteered as tribute and here is what I can report so far:

  1. This thing makes pain disappear. Once I had burned my hand with capsaicin from the hot peppers I was cooking with. Nothing worked to remove the awful burning sensation but 15 min under the PEMF treatment at full intensity and I felt almost nothing after. It was magic.

  2. This thing instantly lowers inflammation. I had tried my plasma fibroblast pen on my knee as I wanted to test how the body’s skin reacted to treatment. And an hour later my knee was very swollen and the skin and surrounding soft tissue hurt from the inflammatory response. But after a half hour treatment the pain was gone and when I pulled down my pants I saw the swelling had also disappeared. It was crazy—actually I could feel the pain melt away during treatment, didn’t take the full half hour for it to disappear. I’d never seen anything work that fast, once tissues inflame like that they tend to run their course over 24+ hours. Lest you think it was a fluke, the next day I took a shower and the hot water inflamed that treatment spot again — it made it throb with pain. I ran a PEMF treatment and no more pain.

  3. I’ve been really struggling with urge incontinence — a complication after delivering my 3rd had me end up with a momentarily distended bladder which pushed around everything else downstairs and now my pelvic floor muscles are damaged. Lately I’ve had to wake up in the middle of the night to pee and I really hate it. After not even a full week of using this device 1-2x daily I’ve started sleeping through the night again. I’m now committed to using it every day to hopefully repair my pelvic floor entirely.

The best introduction I’ve seen to the subject comes from this guy:

And his book is:

It’s full of references to PubMed studies and they pan out. I’ve done my own research especially for my husband’s sake Re: bone / cartilage regeneration and it’s mind blowing. I wasn’t aware of anything that could do that other than possibly PRF.

I recommend anyone interested watch the video as a first intro. And if you’re considering buying a device, talk to me. I’ve done more research than I care to admit now about all the specs, and which of them seem to be supported by the research as important vs which ones are simply vanity metrics. While we’re at the brain dump stage, a couple more links of interest:


So what were the products that people actually bought and worked? Any links to Amazon or the like?

Can anyone past the article?

@medaura thanks. I’m preparing for a podcast on this technology. I’m skeptical of all woo woo but am now open minded. I didn’t want to look into NIR light therapy until I tried it. You have shared a lot of info here; I’ll digest it all.

How much $ did you have to invest?

1 Like

About $2k but I could have shopped it around more. What I’ve learned is that the wave forms of the magnetic field are irrelevant (or at least there’s no research proving the superiority of one over the others, except a slight preference for a high rate of rise — still mostly noise in the data). What matters first and foremost is the field intensity, as it decays in inverse proportion to the SQUARE of the distance from the coil, so if you want to achieve stimulation of deep tissues and bone it simply can’t be done without strong fields. The other metric is the frequency—as there are studies showing the higher effectiveness of certain frequencies in certain conditions so ideally you want a machine that lets you modulate the frequency so you can choose your range based on whatever you read on PubMed as matching your condition best.

A 4T machine will yield targeted treatment concentrated perpendicular to the coil. For whole body treatments a PEMF mat would be ideal — it has several coils in the mat but the field is weaker. You lie on top of it and can be used longer — theoretically you can sleep on it.

Time of exposure necessary for effects is also a function of field intensity so you can see how these two modalities complement each other. One is spread thin but targets the whole body the other is for problem areas you want to actively treat. I’ve found very high quality mats for around $300. These prices are only available if you order directly from the manufacturer in China.

As to the whole notion of it, I used to be what I now realize should be called a cynical skeptic. In my mind I was just averse to bullshit and felt embarrassed for hippies who fell for it but now I realize how close minded I’ve been. It makes me think of the tragic fate of Ignaz Semmelweis, how he was laughed to scorn by colleagues for making an empiric observation with an open mind and trying a reasonable expedient, aka washing hands: when surgeons delivered babies after touching corpses women got infections and died. Of course back then before germ theory there was no conceivable mechanism of action for why there should be a connection. I think these physicians too thought they were full of common sense and averse to hooey and bullshit but they were just mental midgets.

Just because we don’t understand and maybe can’t even possibly conceive of a mechanism of action doesn’t mean there’s none. Actually that Dr. Pawluk does a good job of conveying a sense of the known mechanisms of action though we clearly only understand the tip of the iceberg. Maybe you should interview HIM for the podcast.

“There are more things on heaven and earth than are dreamt of in thy philosophy Horatio.”

And I too only saw the light after experiencing a red + IR light panel (make of the pun what you will). Some of this so called hooey is actually legit and awesome. Even my cynical husband calls our panel a life changing purchase.

That PEMF does something is obvious. You can feel it. Whether what it does is good for the body or not is what the studies are and should be for.

The very interesting thing though to me is that to get the highest field possible the smartest investment might be into one of those high powered EMF muscle building machines. They go up to 14-17Tesla (though you can adjust intensity downward) and have programmable frequencies all in the PEMF range. The involuntary muscle contractions they generate are gravy on top. But you can use the handles for the PEMF exposure alone. Again around $2K for some really powerful machines, the latest models.