When it comes to depression, the truth is that the underlying causes of depression are about as varied as general medical conditions themselves. Most chronic conditions result in some form of depression. I mean, who can live with constant pain on a daily basis and not feel depressed in some way or another? That is why the studies on PEMF therapy for depression include studies on topics as diverse as fibromyalgia and rheumatoid arthritis.
This diversity is also the beauty of PEMF therapy for depression. Although not a cure all, PEMF therapy addresses some of the most common underlying causes of general chronic conditions like arthritis, fibromyalgia and other long-term conditions. By addressing the underlying causes and addressing these conditions you can help to alleviate some of the depression. In other words, if you reduce the pain, you reduce the underlying cause of depression. Similarly, if you reduce the inflammation, you reduce one of the underlying cause of pain and swelling and this in turn helps to alleviate some of the depression.
I do not mean to imply that all cases of depression are linked to an underlying condition. Depression is often also the main chronic condition. In fact, chronic conditions and depression can lead to the chicken and the egg situation. Depression causes lack of sleep, fatigue and anxiety and this contributes to a lack of exercise and a loss of quality of life which in turn contributes to conditions like depression, arthritis, joint pain and other chronic conditions. Conditions like arthritis and joint pain can make exercise painful which in turn contributes to an increase in depression. So it can be really hard to isolate whether depression is at the heart of other chronic conditions or whether the chronic condition is the cause of depression.
Luckily, unlike medication which is often only effective for a single of condition, PEMF therapy is proving effective for a variety of conditions including depression, arthritis, migraines, pain and inflammation.
How PEMF Therapy for Depression Works
In order to understand the effect of TENS and PEMF therapy for depression, you need to understand a little about how your brain and brain chemicals work. Your body and the environment are in a constant state of biofeedback. The environment, or your circumstances, interact with the body and the body in turn reacts to, and interacts with, your environment. In terms of emotion, your environment tells the brain what state it should be in and the brain in turn gives you a way to interpret your environment.
Think about a day that you had looked forward to for a long time. Your first date or a day you had a special evening planned. When you woke up and realized that the special day had arrived, you told you brain, it was going to be a great day. The brain in turn created all of the chemicals you need to enjoy the day. If you think back to that day, you will most likely find, the little things most likely bothered you less. The traffic was not as irritating, the waiter who spilled your water, was not as big a deal, and the day turned out to be a good day. Conversely, on a day you dreaded, the traffic was far worse, and everything went wrong.
Essentially, the state you are in affects your perception of your environment. It provides a “filter” that affects how you perceive the events around you. The state of mind you are in, is to a large degree, determined by the frequencies and chemicals manufactured by your brain. When the brain is in a relaxed state it produces lower frequencies, from 8 to 12 Hz for example, and it triggers the manufacture of compounds like serotonin and dopamine or the “feel good” chemicals. When your brain is in a stressed state, it causes chemicals like adrenaline and cortisol to be produced and it functions at higher frequencies.
As mentioned, the brain and the environment are in a constant feedback situation. Your brain chemicals change depending on the environment and your perception of the environment changes depending on the chemicals in the brain. This means that, by changing the environment you can change the chemicals your body manufactures and this can in turn affect perception.
There are many theories about how TENS and PEMF therapy for depression work. Some theories suggest that PEMF and TENS affect the chemicals manufactured by the brain, which in turn affects brain function and therefore these therapies affect mood. Other theories, like the entrainment theory, suggest that you can affect brain function by introducing frequencies that support relaxation and a general feeling of contentment and that by introducing these frequencies, the brain manufactures chemicals that support these moods.
PEMF Therapy for Depression – The Research and Studies
Irrespective of how TENS and PEMF therapy for depression actually work, the fact is that the FDA has approved numerous TENS, PEMF and CES therapy devices for the treatment of anxiety and depression.
In a recent study published in the Journal of Practical Pain management, researchers compared the effects of CES therapy for depression with Paxil, Zoloft and Prozac. CES an acronym for cranial electrostimulation. The review compared the results from several studies done on these pharmaceuticals with the results of 8 studies done on CES therapy. The results were amazing.
CES therapy was two to three times more effective than all of the pharmaceuticals that were included as a part of the study for treating depression. The study also concluded that patients spent about half as much for the therapy with an average $600 dollars spent on CES therapy compared with over $1600 being spent on Prozac for example, in the first year. What the study does not take into account is that in the second year zero would be spent on CES therapy since the machine was already bought and paid for and patients would still spend $1600 on medication.
The Rife PEMF device provides 8 – 20Hz and the handheld cylinders can be used for treating the upper body and head area. You can rent or buy a model MA200 device and experience the effects of entrainment for yourself.