Have you heard of energy medicine?

Do you know the difference between PEMF and TENS therapies and the health benefits associated with each?

If you suffer from chronic disease, pain, inflammation, or nerve issues then you might want to know the answers to just such questions.

This guide will walk you through everything you need to know about PEMF and TENS.


Energy Medicine 101

Medicine’s journey from ancient civilizations to today is fascinating.

It’s a sophisticated field that’s constantly evolving alongside innovative information, technologies, and practices.

The result? We are forever discovering novel ways to treat and prevent disease.

Energy and electricity as an alternative therapy is one such novel discovery.

Nerves, cells, and tissues can be influenced using various types of electrical impulses and signals.

Let’s take pain as an example. So, pain messages travel along the peripheral nervous system to the spinal cord, which is the gateway to the brain that controls the direction of the pain signal.

Based on several factors, such as the intensity of the pain signal and competition from other signals trying to reach the brain, the signal may be passed straight along, delayed, or blocked externally.

Electrical impulses step in as an impersonator to distract the brain and body.

PEMF and TENS are two of the most popular and studied types of energy medicine, or electrotherapy.

Both are steadily gaining traction for being able to treat and prevent a number of diseases.

One of the most promising features is that electrotherapy is almost always well tolerated among patients, and there are very few adverse effects or contraindications.

Users around the world are finding that they’re achieving healthier and more productive lives.

Users with chronic disease, pain, nerve disorders, and inflammation are finally finding relief with electrotherapy.

We will explore two of the most exciting and promising types of electrotherapy – PEMF vs TENS.

It’s easy to mistake one for the other. So, we will go over the differences in the two therapies.

You’ll discover how each therapy works and the associated precautions and benefits.

As always, our ultimate goal is to assist you through the due diligence process so that you can determine the best therapy for your own unique needs and expectations.


PEMF Therapy: What Is It?

Before getting into PEMF, also called pulsed electromagnetic field, you’ll need to remember a few things from science class.

Humans are made up of trillions of cells. Cells group together to form tissues, and tissues group together to form organs.

Your cells are about energy. They create it. They store it. They use it.

Your cells also emit an EMF (electromagnetic field.)

When cellular energy gets depleted due to illness, poor lifestyle choices, or so forth, the cell simply can’t function as it should.

This means that essential and specialized functions go undone or poorly done. The result? Organ and tissue damage. The result?

Disease and disorder symptoms.

Without a way to restore the energy to the cell, the cycle of damage continues.

PEMF therapy origins go back to before WWII.

The premise works with your body in its own recovery processes.

From brand to brand, these medical devices operate at different frequencies and wavelengths to target specific tissue types.

We have a handy full guide on all the configuration offerings from the most popular PEMF brands that can help you make a quick comparison.

Depending on the configuration, PEMF devices penetrate to different depths within the body.

That said, PEMF typically doesn’t require skin-to-device contact for the therapy.

This particular feature makes PEMF a top choice in treating tissues and cells that aren’t easily accessible to direct contact with a therapeutic device.

Aside from specs, PEMF devices also come in an array of styles, including smaller target mats, full-body mats, portable units, ring and pad applicators, and so forth.

Apply it to a target area. Sleep on a mat. Use it several times a day or once per week.

The great thing about PEMF is that it’s basically devoid of adverse effects, and the body doesn’t build up a tolerance to the PEMF.

So, the user is free to use it for short or extended times and across multiple areas of the body or targeted areas of the body.

The therapy is capable of meeting almost any expectation or need in terms of usage.

Most PEMF therapy delivers low-intensity pulses of electromagnetic energy to the cells.

The low frequency pulses enhance the cell’s ability to function.

Before you think of the bad EMF that you hear about concerning cellular devices and electronic equipment, know that PEMF isn’t the same.

PEMF’s low frequency is much akin to the energy your body’s cells are already supposed to be making, which is aligned with the earth’s own electromagnetic field.

The frequency helps rebalance misfiring cells. It helps calibrate cells that are confused and sending scrambled electrical signals.

Think of PEMF like a step stool to reach a higher level.

PEMF is an energy boost for damaged, aging, and diseased cells so that they can be more effective and efficient.

PEMF is designed to offer your cells restoration to their natural energy level and peak performance – nothing more or less.

In turn, these cells are better equipped to manage pain, complete metabolic processes, generate new cells, reduce inflammation, improve circulation, repair, and so forth

Of course, the cells do not have to be impaired for them to benefit from PEMF.

Even healthy cells can use the PEMF pulses to become energized and prevent dysfunction before it occurs.


PEMF Therapy: What Are The Health Benefits?

PEMF is one of the most commonly studied energy medicines in the modern world.

This vast body of research has unveiled innumerable applications and proven health benefits.

Of those studies, inflammation is one of the most diverse and extensive.

Countless studies have found that PEMF is capable of both significantly reducing inflammation and preventing the inflammatory response from being triggered.

This alone translates to all sorts of diseases and conditions that center around inflammation, including pain, arthritis, autoimmune, heart, and even acute injuries like strains and sprains.

Do keep in mind that inflammation is more than just a symptom.

It’s often a precursor leading to severe health problems and chronic diseases.

There’s an extensive list of medical conditions that PEMF’s pulses have yielded positive results, including:

  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Cancer
  • Neuropathy
  • Diabetes
  • Bone fractures
  • Insomnia
  • Depression
  • Atrial fibrillation
  • Epilepsy
  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Wounds
  • Migraines
  • Glaucoma
  • Enhanced muscle recovery
  • Circulatory issues


PEMF: What Are The Precautions?

PEMF is widely considered safe and effective.

However, as with any medical device, it does have some precautions.

If you have an implant, which includes both electrical ones like cochlear or pacemakers and non-electrical ones like breast implants or metal rods, you’ll want to carefully discuss PEMF use with your primary physician.

It may be that you can use a low intensity PEMF therapy away from the implant, or your physician may advise against any use of PEMF because more research is needed to establish a safe use for such specific situations.

Pregnant women will also want to have a conversation with their healthcare provider(s) before using PEMF.

Safety in this category hasn’t been established, which means your doctor will likely advise not using PEMF during your pregnancy.


TENS: What Is It?

TENS, or transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation, is in the same vein of electrotherapy medical devices.

However, the application completely differs from PEMF.

TENS uses a mild electrical current.

It’s most often a small, battery-operated device with electrode leads from the main device.

The pads attach to the skin near the area to be treated.

The pulses have a two-pronged approach.

First, they’re designed to reduce and/or confuse pain signals actually going through the spinal cord’s gateway to reach the brain.

Second, the pulses stimulate pain-relief endorphins to be released.

As such, pain management is the most common reason consumers consider TENS therapy.

It’s important to note that TENS pulses only reach the nerve cells immediately surrounding the electrode placement.


TENS: What Are The Health Benefits?

Again, the most significant benefit reported by users and scientific studies is pain reduction.

This applies to all types of pain – phantom, post-operative, chronic, acute, injury-related, or disease-related.

Anyone who’s ever suffered with pain in the short or long-term can attest that natural, non-pharmaceutical relief is hard to achieve, especially without taking on extraordinary risks.

Narcotics, for example, always hold the potential for abuse and addiction.

That’s not to even mention the other side effects that often accompany prescription drugs.

TENS offers a non-invasive, non-addictive, non-pharmaceutical, all natural solution to pain relief.

The compact size makes it easy to use at home, work, or on the go.

Of course, treating pain isn’t just about the immediate impact to the body’s comfort level.

Successfully managing pain can help you avoid a lot of secondary responses, including anxiety, depression, inactivity, and so forth.

Pain is highly connected to mental health disorders and your overall well-being.

While pain is the primary benefit of TENS, research has also shown positive results among stroke recovery, improved cardiac function, migraines, and improved respiratory function.


TENS: What Are The Precautions?

Like with PEMF, TENS is often contraindicated for pregnant women.

Some physicians will allow use so long as the electrodes aren’t placed anywhere on the trunk of the body.

It’s a discussion you should have with your healthcare team prior to using TENS.

Anyone with an electrical implant should never use TENS near their implant.

It can disrupt the implant.

TENS should also not be used frequently if you have an electrical implant.

Always discuss use with your healthcare team before initiating use.

Do not apply TENS electrodes over raw, broken, or otherwise damaged skin.

Using TENS over scar tissue may result in application pain.

Acne, dermatitis, eczema, hives, and other skin conditions may also increase application pain.

Anyone suffering from seizures, including epileptics, should consult their physician before use and be frequently monitored during use.

In most cases, TENS is recommended for short-term use.

It’s rarely appropriate as a long-term therapy.


How Does TENS And PEMF Differ?

You likely noted that TENS must be applied directly to your body and only offers relief in the vicinity of that placement.

Meanwhile, PEMF does not need to be applied directly to your body and circulation of treated cells means that PEMF is more whole body.

The next difference is in the mechanism used to deliver each’s electromagnetic energy.

While TENS uses low voltage electrical currents directly to the skin to stimulate nerves, cells, and tissues, PEMF uses low-intensity and low-frequency energy to deliver healing and preventative results.

Note that PEMF closely resembles the energy already within your body, and it uses that to help regenerate, repair, restore the cells to their normal function.

PEMF can be safely used daily and long-term. Users can even get PEMF therapy as they sleep.

TENS isn’t designed as such. In fact, TENS users often develop a tolerance for the stimulation, which results in higher and higher intensities being needed for results.

As such, it’s rarely a long-term therapy option.


PEMF vs TENS: Which Therapy Is Right For You?

With a few exceptions, both therapies are considered very safe.

Both have their benefits, and neither are associated with the same kind of adverse reactions and side effects that you’d get from prescription and invasive treatment options.

Don’t overly complicate your decision.

The guide above offers specifics on what each therapy uses and accomplishes.

Compare the information to your own health goals.

Ask yourself what you’re trying to accomplish.

If you need immediate pain relief for the short-term, such as for an acute injury, then TENS may be the best therapy option.

Meanwhile, if you have an acute or chronic condition that involves stifled circulation or the potential for damaging inflammation, then you may find it best to look at long-term therapy in PEMF.

Your body won’t assimilate to PEMF, and it can be used on your own schedule.

Because the electromagnetic waves penetrate deep into the body and circulation carries those benefits throughout the body, PEMF is a more well-rounded therapy.



In closing, it’s easy to see that you have two awesome options in PEMF and TENS.

As our other pages demonstrate in more depth, both PEMF and TENS have an array of science backing them as legitimate, safe, and innovative additions to the medical device world.

The evidence is almost overwhelming to behold.

PEMF isn’t designed to be a one-size-fits-all application.

It’s diverse and holds too much potential concerning too many pathologies to be pigeonholed.

The specs, configurations, and target benefits vary from brand to brand, which we also examine on our other pages.

In deciding between TENS and PEMF we invite you to look at what this various brands offer.

Compare it to your unique needs and what your doctor thinks about each therapy.

In doing so, you can easily select the best therapy and device brand.