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The Power of PEMF for Horses

PEMF in action on horse

When it comes to caring for our equine companions, we are constantly searching for effective ways to ensure their well-being. One such method gaining popularity in the horse community is Pulsed Electromagnetic Field (PEMF) sessions. It might sound like something out of a science fiction novel, but PEMF has been used for decades in human medicine and is now making its mark in the horse world.

I had never heard of PEMF until I attended a massage certification class. I really wasn't interested in what the instructor had to say about it because I had never heard of PEMF and thought, “Well, it can’t be that great if I have never heard of it and no one else I know has heard about it either.” After all, I was only attending the class to learn massage for my own horse and didn’t really care to hear about something I thought was just a sales pitch or just plain nonsense. My opinion of PEMF changed significantly as our instructor, who works on some of the top performance horses in the states, began telling us his accounts and testimonials of PEMF and how it is done quite regularly on top athletes, both horses and human. The owner of the ranch who provided the horses for our massage class, also provided us with very favorable accounts about PEMF when used on his show horses. My interest was sparked and that was the beginning of my PEMF journey.

Despite some mixed reviews and opinions of PEMF, my personal experience working with horses and PEMF has shown evidence of positive results and outcomes. In a short period of time providing PEMF sessions, 

I have witnessed numerous success stories with horses, pets and people alike. For example, I was called to help an older Tennessee Walker rescue horse diagnosed with degenerative disc disease that struggled to trot or canter due to his hind legs giving out on him. After receiving just a few PEMF sessions he was able to not only trot and canter, but also engage in playful behavior such as kicking up his heels and running with his herd mates. Similarly, my sister-in-law's 4 year old dog was unable to walk due to a slipped disc in her neck. 

It was advised that the dog undergo surgery. They held off on the surgery and decided to give PEMF a try before any other alternative options. The dog received regular sessions a few times per week and after three weeks is now walking, playing and back to a normal life due to undergoing PEMF sessions which allowed her body’s natural healing process take effect, and get a boost; thus avoiding the need for surgery altogether. These examples are just a couple among countless others showcasing the effectiveness of this non-invasive alternative form of helping the body heal.

Understanding PEMF

PEMF stands for Pulsed Electromagnetic Field. It uses electromagnetic waves to stimulate and heal the body's cells. It works by producing low-frequency electromagnetic waves that can penetrate 16 inches into the body’s tissues and bone, helping to trigger the body’s natural healing processes. PEMF works at a cellular level helping to eliminate toxins out of the cells and bring in oxygen and nutrients. It can be delivered by a coil placed on the body, a mat, or handheld devices, like a paddle. PEMF has been shown to provide a number of benefits by way of decreasing pain & inflammation and increasing circulation.

Renee using PEMF on a horse
Renee using PEMF on a horse

The Science behind PEMF

PEMF is the science that electromagnetic fields influence a body at a cellular level. A body’s cells have their own electromagnetic fields. When these fields become disrupted due to stress, inflammation or trauma, it can lead to further inflammation, pain, and general health problems that the body works to repair. PEMF helps to restore the cell at a molecular level. This supports the body’s natural healing processes. When these fields are applied to a horse’s body, they are able to stimulate cell metabolism, improve circulation, uptake nutrients, improve oxygen intake and help promote healing more quickly and effectively.

Earth has its own magnetic field, which is crucial to our survival. In fact, it holds the same importance as food, water, sleep and sunlight. When we walk barefoot or spend time outdoors on grassy or earth surfaces, we naturally absorb this magnetic energy. However, in most cases this absorption is impeded by rubber-soled shoes and indoor living spaces dominated by concrete and blacktop. Fortunately, PEMF technology can mimic the natural magnetic field of the earth and restore it within our bodies.

How PEMF Became Associated with Horses

NASA first employed PEMF technology back in the late 1960s to help astronauts maintain their health while orbiting in space. By the 1970s, commercial PEMF machines had become available for use on horses competing in shows and races. It was found PEMF aided in recovery of fractures and injuries as well as provide pre-competition preparation support that extended into post-competition recovery assistance, 

and more.

How can PEMF help our Horses?

1. Joint Health: PEMF has been shown to help reduce inflammation and pain, allowing the horse suffering with stiff and painful joints to move more comfortably. It can be very beneficial for horses as they age who have developed osteoarthritis. PEMF has been shown to enhance the production and quality of synovial fluid and to slow down degeneration of cartilage in joints, improving joint function and range of motion. 

2. Rehabilitation: PEMF has been known to expedite the healing process by supporting the regeneration of damaged tissue, thus shortening recovery time from surgeries or injuries. It has been useful in soft tissue injuries, tendonitis, and ligament strains. PEMF’s ability to help modulate an inflammatory response from injury helps minimize pain and swelling. 

3. Performance Enhancement: PEMF helps improve muscle function and overall performance by stimulating muscle cells, thereby promoting better contraction & relaxation. The enhanced muscle function can lead to increased strength & endurance. Improved muscle health helps alleviate muscle soreness & stiffness allowing horses to recover faster from training regimens. 

4. Stress Reduction: Horses are sensitive animals, and can easily become stressed or anxious. PEMF’s health benefits can also reduce stress and anxiety in horses, promoting a calmer and more focused demeanor. Chronic stress can contribute to physical, psychological and even behavioral problems in horses, such as cribbing or weaving. The stress reducing effects of PEMF can aid in managing these issues. PEMF plays a positive role in stress and recovery from competing, traveling, and training. 

5. General Wellness: While PEMF is used for acute injuries, it can also contribute to long-term wellness. Regular sessions can help prevent the development of chronic issues or recurring injuries. It leads to a happy, comfortable and overall healthier horse. 

6. Other Benefits: PEMF has such a wide-range of health benefits that can help relieve colic symptoms, pull an abscess quicker, assist with bone fracture repair, increase bone density, aids in muscle repair, relieves anxiety & laminitis pain, allergy relief, tendon & ligament repair, and a plethora of others.

PEMF, A Magic Bullet? 

Is PEMF a “one-and-done” cure-all modality? No. Similar to other modalities, the body takes time to heal, whether aided by medications, surgery or physical manipulations (massage, chiropractic). It is an excellent modality for pain, inflammation and circulation and works well in conjunction with massage, kinesiology taping, red light, laser, chiropractic, acupuncture and others. As new studies are frequently being published about PEMF, it is my opinion that PEMF will be a top contender in helping our horse friends live happy, long and comfortable lives. Every day, I see and hear how effective PEMF has been for a variety of beings and the positive changes it has made in our horse’s health. 

It is important to note that the effectiveness of PEMF can vary depending on the horse’s condition and specific parameters used during the sessions. Working with your veterinarian and a certified PEMF practitioner who can tailor your horse’s PEMF sessions are crucial for achieving the best results. It is not a substitute for veterinary care. 

This article is not intended to make any medical claims or guarantees.

Article submitted by Renee Martinson

Equine Unwind Therapeutics

Renee Martinson is a Double Certified PEMF 

Practitioner and Certified Equine Massage Therapist at Equine Unwind Therapeutics in Arizona.

Learn more about Equine Unwind Therapeutics at:



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