Mosby's Complementary Alternative Medicine: A Research-Based Approach

By Lyn W. Freeman; G. Frank Lawlis | Go to book overview

16
Electromagnetic Medicine

G. Frank Lawlis


WHY READ THIS CHAPTER?

Tales of electromagnetic effects have entertained us for generations. The fascinating antics of Mesmer and his "animal magnetism" and the tales of Frankenstein restored to life by electricity have provided fodder for movie scripts and books. These tales also fueled unbridled enthusiastic belief in electromagnetic effects as the hidden key to health and life. Early supporters' attempts to demonstrate that electromagnetic effects alter health outcomes were inconclusive. Although broadreaching claims were made for electromagnetic effects, proponents failed to demonstrate scientifically validated health benefits. As a result, a tremendous outcry grew in the medical and scientific communities concerning the elaborate claims made for electromagnetic therapies.

Today, claims are still being made as to the wonders of electromagnetic medicine. In this chapter we explore the aspects of electromagnetic effects that are worthy of consideration.

The chapter presents a brief history of discoveries related to electromagnetic approaches since the eighteenth century. A review is provided of the electromagnetic approaches that have applied scientific methodology to the treatment or diagnosis of disease states. There are exciting medical possibilities for the use of electromagnetic effects, including bone repair, soft-tissue wound healing, treatment of autoimmune diseases, pain management, immune restoration, and neurology. Certainly, the student needs to understand the current controversies that exist.

Although there are historical accounts of medical uses of electromagnetic forces, bioelectromagnetics as a field began to emerge with the development of computers and other technology. Today, a few courageous scientists are leading the way in the development of this new field, and this text highlights a fascinating new chapter in medical history.


CHAPTER AT A GLANCE

This text on electromagnetic forces is intended to familiarize the reader with the history of electromagnetic medical approaches. The chapter includes a brief history and general information of the mechanics of electromagnetic forces and fields. The terminology used in the field, such as gauss and volts, is explained. Research on clinical applications for disease categories is reviewed. There are relatively few studies to confirm medical benefits from electromagnetic applications; however, these few are of substantial quality and serve to create more interest in the field. Medical and scientific researchers are, nonetheless, justified in questioning the unproven use of electromagnetic devices as treatment for illness and disease. These concerns are profiled for the reader.

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