We get asked from time top time about the similarity and differences between PEMF or PEMFT and Diathermy, RF (Radio Frequency) Therapy and even MW (Microwave) Therapy.

The Actipatch, RecoveryRX and other similar devices are Nonthermal SWD devices. SWD is Short Wave Diathermy at 13.56 MHz or 27.12 MHz. These are not classified as PEMF devices. The makers are obviously trying to make you think they are PEMF devices as the Short Wave Diathermy has taken a lot of heat from the FDA and other medical reviewers.

“It is the opinion of FDA and the consensus of experts that pulsing the output of r.f. diathermy (as opposed to continuous wave) produces no extra beneficial therapeutic effects. Any physiological responses produced by pulsed r.f. diathermy are attributable to heat produced by the average power output.”

NOTE: Remember the devices being discussed are Nonthermal SWD’s and produce no heat. So what do they do?

The above quote was taken from the FDA Website:


By definition Nonthermal SWD devices do not generate heat.

The typical Low Power Nonthermal SWD provides an energy density is 150 times lower than cell phone held to the head (energy density – 360 sec exposure). Ask yourself: How effective can this be if it’s 150 times lower than the energy of a cell phone?

On the other hand, PEMF (Pulsed Electromagnetic Therapy) is very low frequency technology, typically below 100 Hz while Diathermy is generally Ultrasound (Above about 20 kHz) RF and MW therapy are at frequencies well above 1 MHz. Diathermy is defined as “electrically induced heat”. The term diathermy is derived from the Greek words dia and therma, and literally means “heating through.”

PEMF does not create any significant amount of heat while Diathermy in fact does induce heat and if misused can actually cook the patient. You can read more about Diathermy HERE.

Radio Frequency Therapy is typically don in what’s called the I.S.M. bands allocated by FCC. I.S.M. is an abbreviation for Industrial, Scientific and Medical. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ISM_band

These are true radio frequency bands and for the most part when used on the body they actually heat the area in a similar way that Microwave are used to heat and cook. 2450 MHz is one of the ISM frequencies and that is the frequency of the microwave ovens in our homes.

Medical/Chiropractic use of these frequencies is more prevalent in Europe and Asia. There are very few if any who use it here. Incorrect usage of Radio Frequency Therapy can lead to very serious injury, typically by cooking the patient’s flesh.

  • The Curatron operates below 50 Hz and it’s behavior is in no way similar to that of the Radio Frequency Therapy.
  • Lots of confusion is going on in respect to safety of PEMF’s compared to EMF’s. Real PEMF devices (like the Curatron) only generate pulsing frequencies under 100 Hz which is classified as Extremly Low Frequencies (ELF).
  • PEMF is extremely low frequency pulsing energy ranging from 1 Hz to 50 Hz.
  • Shortwave and Radio Frequency Electro-Magnetic Fields (EMF) are not to be confused with 50/60 Hz electromagnetic radiation around high voltage power lines and transformers, which induce a continuous electromagnetic field.
  • The behavior of these short wave, microwave and radio frequency electromagnetic fields are completely different from low VLF (Very Low Frequency) PEMF and the warnings on these short wave, microwave and radio frequency may not apply to PEMF.
  • Short wave therapy devices are used by physiotherapists for internal body warming. These devices are called Short Wave Diathermy and they generate a frequency of 27.12 or 13.56 MHz.
  • Extended time exposure of these frequencies is potential harmful being the reason why this form of therapy is limited in time.
  • High frequencies like cell phones work with frequencies higher than 800 MHz and it is an open question if they might cause some issues. These discussions will definitely still take many years before firm conclusions can be drawn. So far there is no firm proof that indeed they stimulate cancer growth and at this stage the recommendations are not to let children use cell phones for extended periods because the device is held close to the brain still under development.

Microwave ovenMicrowave ovens use 2.45 GHz (2450 MHz) and are dangerous when applied directly to the eyes and testis as blood flow in these organs is limited and thus cannot “cool off” the heating effect. This is the reason why the microwave stops working when the door is opened in the middle to avoid danger. The heating of the food occurs due to friction of the agitated molecules.


Curatron 2000 Control Unit

Curatron 2000 Control Unit

Conclusion: Real PEMF is  probably completely safe and from all report does not cause cancer if the pulsing frequencies are kept under 100 Hz.


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