“I have been given this product as part of a product review through the Chronic Illness Bloggers network. Although the product was a gift, all opinions in this review remain my own and I was in no way influenced by the company.”
I first heard of magnet therapy when I was an intern at Fitness for Health while studying Public Health/Health Education and Exercise Physiology in college. My boss, the owner and founder of Fitness for Health, wore magnet bracelets based on their perceived health benefits. I remember reading about how magnets may or may not help the body, and while the theory was interesting — it wasn’t something I felt the need to try. Evidence supporting the use of magnetic therapy was not too convincing either. Fast forward through several years of college, my senior internship at Columbia Hospital for Women, 6 years of working for a Fortune 500 pharmaceutical company, and then eventually starting my own medical sales business after I was diagnosed with Ehlers-Danlos syndrome – what I learned is that magnets are used countless ways in the medical field (not solely in jewelry made for magnetic therapy).
A few examples of how mainstream medicine uses the principles of electromagnetic energy are:
- AED device (Automated External Defibrillator) used to treat cardiac arrest
- TENS (Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulators) which are another common therapy to treat chronic pain
- Electrical currents to stimulate bone growth
- Used as an adjunct therapy in acupuncture
- Alpha-Stim uses electrotherapy stimulation to help relieve the symptoms of anxiety, depression, and insomnia
Electromagnetic field therapy has been used in medicine since electricity was invented. It was first used by veterinarians to help “heal broken legs in racehorses” based on the belief that electricity could help bones heal (source – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pulsed_electromagnetic_field_therapy). In the mid-1900’s, scientists began applying the principles of electromagnetic therapy as a new treatment for fractures with delayed healing. Additionally, “the use of electrical stimulation in the lumbosacral region was first attempted by Alan Dwyer of Australia. In 1974, he reported successful initiation of graft incorporation in 11 of 12 fusion patients.”
The theory behind electromagnetic therapy “is based on the belief that an imbalance of the electromagnetic frequencies or fields of energy within the body can result in illness. Electromagnetic therapy is applied to the body to correct these imbalances (source – http://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/healthlibrary/conditions/complementary_and_alternative_medicine/electromagnetic_therapy_85,P00179/).
More about Electromagnetic field therapy:
“Magnetic field therapy uses magnets to maintain health and treat illness. The human body and the earth naturally produce electric and magnetic fields. Electromagnetic fields also can be technologically produced, such as radio and television waves. Practitioners of magnetic field therapy believe that interactions between the body, the earth, and other electromagnetic fields cause physical and emotional changes in humans. They also believe that the body’s electromagnetic field must be in balance to maintain good health.
What is magnetic field therapy used for?
People use magnet therapy for a wide range of health problems, including:
- Joint problems, such as arthritis.
- Migraine headaches.
- Pain, including mild to moderate pain after surgery as well as long-term (chronic) pain.
- Overstretched muscles or injuries to muscles, ligaments, and tendons(strains and sprains).
Studies on how well magnetic therapy works have been mixed.1″
About Pulsed Electromagnetic Field Therapy (PEMF):
Pulsed Electromagnetic Field Therapy (PEMF) was first introduced in 2004 after a medical device used as an adjunct therapy to cervical fusion was developed for patients who had a higher risk for surgical failures. And “on 10/13/2015 the FDA reclassified PEMF devices from the Class 3 category to a Class 2 status. PEMF devices that have been FDA cleared to make health claims require a doctor’s prescription for use.” Pulsed Electromagnetic Field Therapy (PEMFT or PEMF) “uses electromagnetic fields in an attempt to heal non-union fractures and depression.By 2007 the FDA had cleared several such stimulation devices.” (Source – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pulsed_electromagnetic_field_therapy)
About Oska Pulse:
Oska Pulse is a Class 1 Registered Medical Device. The development of Oska Pulse was based on the principle that change to an electrical field, “generates a magnetic field.” The magnetic fields created by the Oska Pulse are believed to exert a force on other on molecules both inside and outside of cells — particularly wherever the device is positioned. The therapeutic principle of PEMF is that the magnetic force generated may “increase the binding of different molecules within your body leading to the activation of repair systems.”
“Oska® Pulse mimics how the body naturally recovers. When cells are injured or have degenerated, they lose their electrical potential and are no longer able to exchange ions, causing inflammation and pain. Oska Pulse uses optimized PEMF to restore the electrical potential cells need to receive nutrients and oxygen, which stimulates cellular regeneration—relieving pain, and activating the body’s natural recovery process.”
Read more by going to https://www.oskawellness.com/pages/how-it-works
How is Oska Pulse different than a TENS unit?
TENS stands for Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation. TENS units deliver electrical impulses via sticky electrode-like pads that are applied directly to the skin. While a TENS unit is probably the closest consumer-grade therapy that provides an idea of what using an Oska Pulse is like, the experience is entirely different. When using a TENS unit, you need to make sure that the electrodes are in direct contact with the skin (or acupuncture needles). The electrical impulses are delivered at various strengths and speeds, which can sometimes be uncomfortable at higher settings. The most common “feeling” experienced with a TENS unit is the muscles “twitching” in response to the delivery of the electrical impulses. With the Oska Pulse, you feel nothing when you have it attached.
- First used the Oska Pulse when driving in the car to Florida over Thanksgiving. Long car rides have always been huge a trigger for pain, especially in my legs and back (see Long car rides and living with chronic pain). I also brought my TENS unit to compare the two. I was impressed right away, yet remained skeptical. I didn’t think it would do anything.
- Continued to use the Oska Pulse off and on until we drove to Florida again for the 2nd time after Christmas. I didn’t take it off the whole trip home or back.
- Cannot feel it, other than sometimes experiencing a slight warm sensation.
- Does take consistent use over a few week to notice how it’s working for you. I felt as if it helped after the first time I used it while driving to Florida over Thanksgiving. However, I had to keep using it to really assess see if what I noticed was from the Oska Pulse, was something else, or was just a coincidence.
- Oska Pulse became a staple item when presenting, teaching classes and sharing resources for living well with patients, providers, and caregivers. (see below)
- Much easier to put on and take off than a TENS unit. No disruption to clothing.
- Do not have to worry about finding the electrodes or replacing them. There are no wires to attach or stickiness to clean up.
- Approached Oska Wellness about donating a device to the silent auction at EDS Wellness’ 2017 Integrative Wellness Retreat, Wellapalooza 2017. They did and the device was a huge success!
- I use it every other day, sometimes daily, especially to help with leg, back and hip pain.
‘Pulsed electromagnetic field therapy for management of osteoarthritis-related pain, stiffness and physical function: clinical experience in the elderly’
‘Pulsed magnetic field therapy in refractory neuropathic pain secondary to peripheral neuropathy: electrodiagnostic parameters–pilot study.’
‘Efficacy of Electrical Stimulators for Bone Healing: A Meta-Analysis of Randomized Sham-Controlled Trials’ (2016)
‘The science of electrical stimulation therapy for fracture healing’
‘Electrical Stimulation in Bone Healing: Critical Analysis by Evaluating Levels of Evidence’
‘Bone stimulation for fracture healing: What’s all the fuss?’
Oska Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/OskaWellnessInc
Address: 300 Carlsbad Village Drive. Carlsbad, Ca 92008
Author note – In fairness to Chronic Illness Bloggers and Oska Wellness, my review of the Oska Pulse device is long overdue. And while I’ve had it written for months, I couldn’t seem to get my Oska Pulse review post published — or, in a way that I felt did this product the justice it deserved. Because of my experience working in the pharmaceutical and medical device fields, including starting a small medical sales company over 10 years ago, I prefer my product reviews to contain complete information – not just my personal experience. The product reviews that I share on Strength/Flexibility/Health/EDS website are always published with links to more information and resources that support the science behind a specific therapy or product. In my opinion, it’s imperative that readers do their own research on a product or therapy that they may be interested in trying, especially because so many products are made with the wrong intentions and lack credibility. The internet is plagued with websites and links promoting products and therapies that make big promises, yet they their sole purpose is to prey on the desperation of people who do not know better. Links that contain medical information from reputable sources and publications can be incredibly helpful, especially to help the reader understand how a specific therapy or product is used (or has previously been used) in both the mainstream and “alternative’ medicine.
When balanced information is provided, people often have a better understanding of the science behind a product’s efficacy, versus just believing it based on a published product review. Reputable information adds credibility to a product review as well. However, incorporating additional information into a product review post often adds to the length of time that it takes to write a review. I often spend several hours doing research to make sure that my review is complete and balanced. And because I have been completely overwhelmed with countless large projects and life associated with managing several small businesses, including a nonprofit that serves a community riddled with chronic pain, while also being a mom to my 3 babies, and dealing with my own “EDS Spiral,” I wasn’t able to publish my review until now. Oska Wellness and Chronic Illness Bloggers have been more than understanding and gracious in giving me extra time to post my review. As time went on, my experience with the Oska Pulse and the company grew — helping me find a surprising chronic pain ally from a great company who does their share to also give back to those in need. Thank you!