By the application of stimuli to points on the surface of the body, acupuncture, moxibustion, application of low-power laser, massage and allied physical therapies de-facto alter the electrical characteristics of the stimulated points. These therapies have potent physiological effects via the neuroendocrine, and other homeostatic mechanisms of the body. As shown by thermographic and other methods, one of the effects of physical stimulation of the AP points and autonomic nervous system is to alter the electromagnetic characteristics of the body, often in regions far removed from the locally stimulated areas. One might expect that electromagnetic therapies might have some uses in common with acupuncture and allied therapies.
Materials and Methods
On Sept 26th 1998, a search of PubMed Medline for the profile [electromagnetic AND field AND therapy] returned >360 titles, most with abstracts. Titles relating to EMFs or waves for purposes of measurement, imaging, or guidance, or for diagnostic, surgical or local hyperthermic purposes were excluded. Effects of metallic, magnetetic and magnetic intracellular technology were excluded also, as was the use of cautery, cryotherapy, gamma rays, implantable EM hearing devices, nuclear / ionising radiation and X-rays.
The remaining titles and abstracts were sorted by author within their main areas of application (sections 1 to 8, below).
Organisation of the Bibliography
The bibliography is presented under the following headings:
Clinical uses of EMF therapy have much in common with the clinical uses of AP and allied methods. In contrast to AP-type therapy, EMF therapy is used widely in the healing of bone fractures and non-union fractures.