Side Effects Of Electromagnet Therapy

  • Priyanshi Sikka M.Sc in Pharmacovigilance & Clinical Research, Pharmaceutical Sciences, Chitkara University
  • Yuna Chow BSc (Hons), Medicine, University of St Andrews

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Electromagnetic therapy, also known as magnetic field therapy, is a type of alternative medical treatment that uses electromagnetic fields to address various health issues. This practice is usually non-invasive and is used for alleviating the symptoms of and treating different health conditions including migraines, chronic pain, tremors, and insomnia.1 The idea behind using this technique is based on the reliance that the human body has electrical and magnetic fields in the cells.

If these fields get out of balance, it might lead to illness, and that's where this therapy steps in to help. Various studies believe that by using magnetic energy, the balance of the human body can be fixed, thus making physical and mental health better. Now that we've talked about electromagnetic therapy, it's important to explore its safetyand any potential side effects or risks associated with this treatment. 

Who might find it unsuitable or not beneficial?

There are certain conditions and circumstances where an individual must be vigilant when taking electromagnet therapy. Examples include:

  • Patients with pacemakers/ cardiac stent3
  • Individuals with insulin pumps
  • Pregnant women3,4
  • Implanted stimulators
  • Individuals with metal plates
  • Facial tattoos with metallic ink

Is electromagnetic therapy actually safe?

Oxidative stress

While being aware of the benefits that electromagnetic therapy offers, we must be cautious of its effects. PEMF therapy is known to boost blood circulation in the body, which proves to be beneficial for individuals with poor blood flow.5 

Nevertheless, this elevated blood flow can lead to short-term rise in oxidative stress. This oxidative stress is prompted by surplus free radicals that the body struggles to eliminate. 

To counter this, taking antioxidants before, during and after the therapy is recommended. Some examples of antioxidants include apples, spinach, kales, strawberries, and other fruits and vegetables.6

Temporary pain elevation

Individuals taking PEMF might sometimes feel worsening pain. This happens because the therapy improves blood flow to the nerves and thus increases neural activity.7 For those who are already dealing with severe pain, the recommendation is to begin the therapy at the lowest intensity possible. This suggestion avoids a sudden surge in pain. The aim is to strike a balance where electromagnetic therapy delivers its beneficial effects without triggering a sudden and significant increase in pain.

Nutritional deficiency

Another side effect is experiencing a lack of essential nutrients in the body. This treatment encourages cells in the body to utilize a significant amount of nutrients.8 Thus, to mitigate these effects it is advised to opt for PEMF devices which are specifically designed for therapeutic purpose. Another action towards the same includes seeking guidance from a professional nutritionist who can provide personalized devices on maintaining a balanced diet to meet the requirements of nutrition.9 This collaborative approach could minimize the risk and optimize the benefits of electromagnetic therapy.

Decreased blood pressure

A decrease in blood pressure has been noticed in certain patients receiving electromagnetic therapy. This could be problematic for certain individuals, including:

  • Elderly patients
  • Patients with previous cardiovascular issues
  • Individuals on extensive bed rest

These sensitive groups of individuals are more prone and considering PEMF therapy might be at risk.3,10 Thus, suitable considerations are required to consult with healthcare professionals who can assess their specific health conditions and provide guidance. Regular monitoring for signs of dizziness or fainting during and after the therapy is essential for the treatment to be safe.

Lowering of blood glucose level

Electromagnetic therapy is also known to drop blood glucose sugar levels. This is something to be mindful of, especially for people who already struggle with regulating their blood sugar levels. The individuals who are susceptible to the stage of hypoglycemia or are administered oral hypoglycemic agents to manage their sugar levels should be approached with caution and closely supervised during the course of PEMF therapy.11

Stimulation of blood coagulation

Another significant side effect in electromagnetic therapy is promotion of blood clotting, which means it encourages the blood to form clots. Thus, administering medications like aspirin, warfarin and other anticoagulants, which are substances that prevent blood clotting and increase bleeding time might lead to unwanted complications.12 So, it's important to consult with a healthcare professional before using this therapy parallel to these medications.

Promotes cell division

While this effect can be beneficial for some individuals, it is contraindicated for patients undergoing chemotherapy PEMF. It is well known that PEMF therapy stimulates cell growth and repair, and this could potentially encourage the growth of cancer cells as well. As a result, the objectives of chemotherapy medications may clash with the outcomes of electromagnetic therapy.4 To compensate for this, it is advisable to initiate electromagnetic therapy after the completion of chemotherapy.

However, much is still needed to be explored in this particular field. As a result, the choice to combine these treatments need to be chosen after giving considerable thought and consulting medical experts.

The above discussed were some major side effects13,14 an individual might experience. Some common and minor side effects associated with the therapy include:

  • Lightheadedness
  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Tingling
  • Twitching
  • Muscle spasm

In severe cases, the side effects include:

  • Seizures
  • Hearing loss

Precautions to be taken

Electromagnetic therapy offers numerous benefits but it is imperative to prioritize its safety so that this technique maximises the positive outcomes. The following precautions should be considered to ensure a safe experience while minimising potential side effects:15,16

  • Consult with your Physician
  • Read the user manual
  • Cleanse the treated area
  • Avoid metal objects
  • Caution using ointments simultaneously
  • Choose non-woven fabric clothes
  • Avoid moist environment
  • Maintain distance from electrical devices


Electromagnetic therapy is a non-invasive treatment that uses electromagnetic fields to address health issues like migraines, chronic pain, and insomnia. While beneficial, it poses several risks, including increased oxidative stress from enhanced blood flow, which can be mitigated by antioxidants. The therapy may initially worsen pain, so starting at a low intensity is recommended.

It can also lead to nutritional deficiencies due to increased cellular activity, necessitating consultation with a nutritionist. Other concerns include decreased blood pressure, particularly for the elderly and those with cardiovascular issues, potential drops in blood glucose levels for individuals with hypoglycemia, and the promotion of blood clotting, which can complicate conditions for those on anticoagulants.

Additionally, its stimulation of cell growth may be harmful to chemotherapy patients. Consulting with a physician and following safety precautions are essential to maximize benefits and minimize risks.


  1. Electromagnetic Therapy [Internet]. [cited 2024 Jan 31]. Available from:
  2. Pulsed Electromagnetic Field Therapy - an overview | ScienceDirect Topics [Internet]. [cited 2024 Jan 31]. Available from:
  3. Mariangela. Contraindications of PEMF therapy: are there any risk factors? I-Tech Medical Division [Internet]. 2022 [cited 2024 Jan 31]. Available from:
  4. Zusman I, Yaffe P, Pinus H, Ornoy A. Effects of pulsing electromagnetic fields on the prenatal and postnatal development in mice and rats: in vivo and in vitro studies. Teratology. 1990; 42(2):157–70.
  5. Kıvrak EG, Yurt KK, Kaplan AA, Alkan I, Altun G. Effects of electromagnetic fields exposure on the antioxidant defense system. J Microsc Ultrastruct [Internet]. 2017 [cited 2024 Jan 31]; 5(4):167–76. Available from:
  6. [Safety First] Side effects of using PEMF therapy | Oxford MedicalsTM [Internet]. [cited 2024 Jan 31]. Available from:
  7. Abdelhalim NM, Samhan AF, Abdelbasset WK. Short-Term impacts of pulsed electromagnetic field therapy in middle-aged university’s employees with non-specific low back pain: A pilot study. Pak J Med Sci [Internet]. 2019 [cited 2024 Jan 31]; 35(4):987–91. Available from:
  8. ELECTROMAGNETIC FIELDS AND HEALTH PT.5: HOW THE UNSEEN AFFECTS OUR CELLS | Mya Care [Internet]. [cited 2024 Feb 2]. Available from:
  9. Kocaman A, Gül M, Yurt KK, Altun G, Zayman E, Kıvrak EG. Does omega-3 have a protective effect on the rat adrenal gland exposed to 900 MHz electromagnetic fields? J Microsc Ultrastruct [Internet]. 2017 [cited 2024 Feb 2]; 5(4):185–90. Available from:
  10. Kim C-H, Wheatley-Guy CM, Stewart GM, Yeo D, Shen W-K, Johnson BD. The impact of pulsed electromagnetic field therapy on blood pressure and circulating nitric oxide levels: a double blind, randomized study in subjects with metabolic syndrome. Blood Pressure [Internet]. 2020 [cited 2024 Feb 2]; 29(1):47–54. Available from:
  11. Shekoohi Shooli F, Mortazavi SAR, Jarideh S, Nematollahii S, Yousefi F, Haghani M, et al. Short–Term Exposure to Electromagnetic Fields Generated by Mobile Phone Jammers Decreases the Fasting Blood Sugar in Adult Male Rats. J Biomed Phys Eng [Internet]. 2016 [cited 2024 Feb 2]; 6(1):27–32. Available from:
  12. Beraia M, Beraia G. Electromagnetism, Blood Flow and Coagulation. Journal of Biomedical Science and Engineering [Internet]. 2022 [cited 2024 Feb 2]; 15(7):187–97. Available from:
  13. Magnet Therapy - an overview | ScienceDirect Topics [Internet]. [cited 2024 Feb 2]. Available from:,very%20small%20percentage%20of%20cases.
  14. Common Side Effects from Radiation Therapy | Fox Chase Cancer Center - Philadelphia PA [Internet]. 2015 [cited 2024 Feb 2]. Available from:
  15. PEMF Precautions and Contraindications [Internet]. 2022 [cited 2024 Feb 2]. Available from: Magnetic Therapy Safety: Is Magnetic Therapy Safe? Get The Facts.Access Possibilities [Internet]. [cited 2024 Feb 2]. Available from:

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Priyanshi Sikka

M.Sc in Pharmacovigilance & Clinical Research, Pharmaceutical Sciences, Chitkara University

Priyanshi Sikka, a Pharmacist equipped with a Master's degree in Pharmacovigilance and Clinical Research from Chitkara University, India. Proficient in ICSR processing, MedDRA coding, and narrative crafting, Priyanshi brings a depth of expertise to her practice. Beyond her professional role, she serves as a freelance science educator for senior secondary students, sharing her passion for learning. Priyanshi's dedication to advancing knowledge is evident through her published works in respected journals.

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