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NASA Validates the Advantages of PEMF Therapy

March 20, 2024

astronaut in outer space

Evidence supporting Pulsed Electromagnetic Field (PEMF) therapy continues to grow. A NASA PEMF study has once again demonstrated the value of this promising treatment. NASA’s interest in PEMF stretches back to the early days of the Space Race, when they first encountered the health effects of microgravity and radiation in low-Earth orbit. Returning astronauts complained of nausea, dizziness, and headaches, which would sometimes last for days. With the launch of the Salyut 1 in 1971 and the International Space Station in 1998, NASA doctors had to deal with the long-term effects of space travel, such as:

  • Bone Loss. Bones thin by about 1-2 percent a month in space, putting astronauts at risk of fractures and early-onset osteoporosis when they return to Earth.
  • Muscle Loss. Muscles atrophy in microgravity. It’s not uncommon for astronauts to lose up to 10-20 percent of their muscle mass after short missions and up to 50 percent after long missions. Cartilage deteriorates as well, around eight percent a week in load-bearing joints.
  • Inflammation. Solar radiation is significantly more intense outside of Earth’s atmosphere. Prolonged exposure increases oxidative stress, leading to chronic inflammation.
  • Lowered Immunity. Heightened radiation kills off white blood cells, weakening the astronaut’s immune response.
  • Heart Atrophy. Blood volume drops 10-20 percent after a few days in space. With less blood to pump, the heart weakens and gradually loses its shape. Because it doesn’t have to beat as hard outside Earth’s gravity, heart muscles begin to atrophy as well.
  • Insomnia. Astronauts see 16 sunrises and sunsets over the course of a day. Since light is central to our circadian rhythm, many astronauts develop sleep disorders while in orbit.
  • Depression and Anxiety. The cramped environment, physical demands, and lack of communication with friends and family can take a toll on an astronaut’s mental health.



NASA began experimenting with PEMF after observing the negative side effects of space travel on the human body. NASA engineers believed that simulating the Earth’s magnetic field would help counteract them, which is why they installed PEMF devices in their spaceships. The astronaut’s health improved, though not for the reasons the engineers thought.

PEMF therapy energizes a person’s cells by replicating the bioelectric signals used to control cellular respiration ‒ the process by which cells break down glucose to form energy. This provides more fuel for the cells’ basic functions and helps them grow and divide, stimulating the body’s regenerative processes. As a result, patients who undergo PEMF therapy heal faster and experience better outcomes than those who don’t.

Though the restorative properties of PEMF have been known for over 50 years, NASA wanted to discover which magnetic frequencies produce the best results. To this end, they commissioned a $3.5 million study examining the effects of low-amplitude, rapidly time-varying electromagnetic fields on osteoblasts, chondrocytes, and vascular cells (i.e. bone, cartilage, and blood vessels). The cells were suspended in cultures and exposed to PEMF devices, while their gene expressions were recorded and analyzed. After four years of repeated experiments, researchers found that PEMF had a “potent effect on the proliferation, morphology, and gene expression of the cells.”

In basic terms, NASA found that PEMF helps cells multiply rapidly. What’s more, the new cells are healthy and develop the shape, size, form, and structure necessary to carry out their intended functions. These results were replicated several times over the course of the study, leading NASA biologists to conclude that PEMF is a stable and reliable method for controlling high-level cellular processes, thereby improving health and mitigating the negative effects of space travel.


NASA PEMF Technology

Because of its positive effects on physiological regeneration, NASA scientists have begun expanding their PEMF technology, with obvious applications for the civilian healthcare sector. In 2009, the agency was awarded a patent (US 7,601,114 B2) for its research into pulsed electromagnetic fields. Though PEMF devices are already widespread, NASA drew on its findings to create a device specifically designed to rebuild cartilage in synovial joints. Regardless of their cause (rheumatism, joint dysplasia, injury, etc.), joint disorders degrade quickly, limiting mobility and leaving patients in a great deal of pain.

Cartilage loss is a common side effect of both space travel (without regular mechanical stress, cartilage loses its ability to resist tensile and compressive forces) and osteoarthritis. Initial studies on early-stage arthritis patients used low-frequency magnetic pulses and showed encouraging results. NASA doctors found that PEMF increased the magnitude and rate of cellular growth, leading to restoration of compromised tissue within the targeted joint.


Find Relief with Aura Wellness

Though the benefits of PEMF were already well known, the NASA PEMF study is one of the strongest pieces of evidence demonstrating the value of this emerging technology. While before we were only able to see the final results of PEMF therapy, NASA has given us a closer look at the power of PEMF in real time. By tracking the growth of vital tissue on a cellular level, NASA scientists have shown how effective PEMF therapy is at promoting regeneration and recovery. But you don’t have to be an astronaut to benefit from PEMF. Contact your local AuraWell provider and experience its power for yourself.

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