PEMF therapy, although having the word “magnetic” in the name, does not use an actual magnet, but creates a magnetic field by running electricity through a circle made of a conductive metal. The pulse, or drop and surge in frequency, creates an electromagnetic field, and causes a small amount of electricity to flow through all of the tissues penetrated by the field.  PEMF fields directly affect cellular chemistry, causing a cascade of healing effects.


With PEMF therapy such as the Assisi™ Portable, the magnetic fields created by the device travel through and past the skin (including hair or fur, casts, and bandages) to penetrate soft tissue and bones, delivering current throughout the treatment area.  This differs from magnets, whose magnetic field can only penetrate a short distance from the magnet, and do not cause an electric current to flow.  This also differs from electrical devices that deliver electricity directly through paddles or electrodes.  These deliver electricity directly to tissue, causing current to flow through a channel of least resistance- which works more like a highway for current to pass through some tissue while leaving the rest unaffected.  The electromagnetic field created by PEMF devices reaches all the targeted tissue easily, creating healing effects throughout the treatment area.  The fields created by therapeutic magnets generally can not reach more than an inch or two into the body.


Through intensive research by the scientists who developed our technology, the mechanism of action is well characterized.  The technology of the Assisi™ Portable is FDA cleared and generally recognized as safe. 


The electrical field produced by the loop causes microcurrent to flow in the tissue, which affects a set of biological processes that cause the increased production of Nitric Oxide, a key chemical in the healing process.  More specifically, the electro-magnetic field created by the Assisi™ Portable causes Calcium to bond to another molecule, Calmodulin, (CaM) a calcium-binding messenger protein which is part of the anti-inflammatory cascade.  CaM is also active in other potentially therapeutic biological cascades.


The bonding of Calcium to the CaM molecule that triggers the cascade of healing effects occurs when a small amount of electrical stimulation reaches intracellular tissue where the reaction takes place.


The specific ratio of frequency to burst width is what makes the Assisi™ Portable so effective in triggering this cascade.  By using low power frequencies similar to what the body itself runs in, the Assisi™ Portable produces maximum healing effects without excess energy or electricity flooding the tissues.


The use of Magnets in Medicine


Magnet therapy is currently used by some doctors and athletes, although the practice is rare.  The use of magnets is supported by some anecdotal evidence and a handful of clinical studies that show marginal results.  The practice of using magnets in medicine dates back to Chinese medical literature at least 2000 years old.  Even Paracelus, one of the most famous doctors in early western medicine, suggests the use of magnets.


Stick-on magnets are often placed near acupuncture points.
Stick-on magnets are often placed near acupuncture points.

Using magnets for healing has been popular in Japan since the 1940s.  Recently, many athletes use magnetic wraps on injuries and attest to their success; however, there has been little proof beyond these anecdotes, and no explanation as to how they might work.


While it is not known exactly what effects magnets have on the body, it is known magnetic fields produced by static magnets are different from the electromagnetic fields produced by PEMF devices, which induce electrical current inside the body.


There have been a handful of case studies that demonstrate the efficacy of magnets.  None can determine a mechanism of action.


How do magnets work?


Unfortunately, despite the mixed studies, and the few cases in which magnets have seemed to be helpful, there is not enough reliable evidence for any solid hypothesis to have formed.  Much of the talk of “ion pumps” or the magnets affecting iron in the bloodstream are based on guesses that were made years ago, and no longer seem plausible given more advanced understandings science has gained about the electrochemical activity of cells and tissues.  While science is still struggling to understand the complex, interconnected processes of the body- great leaps in understanding have been made about the biochemical processes that happen in tissue.


A magnetic knee brace- a common therapeutic application of magnets.
A magnetic knee brace- a common therapeutic application of magnets.

For a magnet to work it is said it must have a strength of at least 100 gausses.  However, they do not seem to demonstrate a consistent effect.   A refrigerator magnet, in comparison, is about 20-50 gauss.  Even at the strength of 100 gausses, or even more, most magnetic fields extend only an inch or two from the magnet, and decrease in intensity from the center to the edge of that field.  Most magnets offered in therapy are far too weak to have any effect, and even the strongest ones do not have an effective field that extends more than an inch or two from the magnet. 


Further comparing magnets and PEMF therapy is difficult without consistent evidence of how magnets might work.   PEMF has a much deeper range of tissue penetration and an active magnetic field that is equally effective within the entire treatment radius and causes electrical current to flow.


It seems as though PEMF has now made it possible for the potential of electromagnetic therapy to be unlocked.


The Assisi™ Portable is designed for use on animals of all sizes.  If you are interested in a PEMF device for humans, please see


The technology in the Assisi™ has been proven in clinical studies to be effective at increasing post-surgical healing by up to 58%, accelerate tendon repair by up to 69%, and accelerate the growth of new blood vessels that support tissue healing.  More research is available at