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BEMER Me Up, Scotty


Horse people. We have opinions. ; ) I often repeat the ol' adage, "Ask ten horse people the same question and you'll get ten different answers". And often, that's a great thing. Differing opinions and methods bring diversity to the horse world. But there are instances when opinion can lead to myth, and myth leads to a great deal of misinformation.

Let's take a look at a seemingly popular topic in the modern-day equestrian circles that seems to be riddled with myths, theories, opinions and even half-truths sprinkled on top: the Magna Wave (MW) v. BEMER controversy?!?! (I didn't realize there was such a controversy until 2021, when people began sharing their opinions of one device or another with me, or asking me why I would dare use one device over the other.) This struck as something worthy of further investigation, and we are.

If you're a horse person, it is likely you've heard of both devices, and perhaps you've even formed an opinion of each device. But just in case you are not familiar with PEMF devices, the short version for the purposes of this article is this:

  • Coil Devices (such as MW aka Magna Wave) deliver a specific type of wave - pulsed electromagnetic wave into the horse's body, stimulating the circulatory process (blood flow) and thereby promoting the body's natural healing processes.

  • BEMER technology (bio-electric-magnetic-energy-regulation) uses a unique, patented wave form (a form of PEMF therapy) that stimulates microcirculation, and thereby promotes the body's natural healing processes.

If you're like me, then you can appreciate both types of devices for different reasons. There seems to be quite a debate over Magna Wave vs. BEMER comparison amongst practitioners and horse owners throughout the equine industry. Unfortunately, with wide-spread misinformation paired with social platforms, this controversy is often turned a cut-throat ploy to demonize one device/practitioner or another.

Let me start by sharing a fact about me: I have absolutely no interest in disparaging nor criticizing my fellow practitioners, or the the devices which they utilize, as I believe it is our duty as equine professionals to view our differing services and devices as an opportunity to collaborate and educate, rather than as a means to compete. If you find yourself in the midst of an equine professional who criticizes other practitioners, I would encourage you to question their professionalism and knowledge, and consider practitioners who are more concerned with healing your horse.

Another fact about me: I like FACTS. The MW vs BEMER comparison is a bit difficult for me to grasp, as we are talking about two completely different PEMF devices that in my opinion, are not similar enough to place in the same "playing field". To me, this is like comparing oranges and apples. Both devices have their place, but they both work differently and serve the horse in different ways. Yet, because so many are eager to know why one is chosen over the other, I addressed this with my own informal trial as well as my own science-based research. You may be surprised at my findings but at the very least, you'll know how and why I made my choice after careful consideration.

I want to first address the fact that when I've heard rumblings of the BEMER vs MW argument over the last several years, I have noticed a trend. Typically, the individuals who are voicing opinions, choosing one over the other, have NEVER actually tested both at length for themselves! Now call me crazy, but as scientists -- specifically those who study the equine, are we not obligated to look to science, and study closely before forming opinions, hypotheses, and theory? Unfortunately, I am not seeing this happen often enough in the PEMF circle, with consumers often touting lofty claims about their devices of choice, commonly based solely biased opinion or what I refer to as "brand brainwashing".

Segway (squirrel moment) -- "Brand Brainwashing": Lay term. Noun or Verb. Used by Heather to highlight the sad but real marketing schemes applied with gimmicky websites, lofty promises or special incentives, and biased, un-backed claims of certain products marketed to the public. When a brand provides false or skewed information via infographics, materials, false-education, and even compensation to recruit or otherwise imply "a family" exists and encourages users to "join that family" in order to create a false sense of belonging which allows said company to profit off of an individual "member's" money, time, and hard work. Clever marketing. Recruiting. Lofty promises. It's all over the equine industry and horse owners and equine professionals need to be cautious to avoid such ploys when purchasing horse related items.

In case you are wondering, YES, I really did study both devices for nearly a year on multiple horses as I wanted a tangible, real comparison before forming an opinion. I'll be honest. When I began my journey, I wanted so badly to get on the Magna Wave bandwagon. It all began when I had seen the positive effects that MW had on a horse who was near and dear to my heart, and I had seen all of the promising claims on the MW website, read commentary and research online, and just wanted to fall in love with it as my "device of choice".

My MW/coil device friends and colleagues are rolling their eyes by now or sighing in disbelief. (They're not. They knew before I ever wrote this post that I had turned to the "dark side". LOL) Seriously though, I have learned so much from each of them about the MW, and more importantly, I was able to witness positive results from using the device on horses.

Note: I am not an affiliate of either company, and I do not receive commissions / compensation of any kind for my use of certain products or my opinions posted on this blog. The opinions I share here are purposed to help my Clients and their horses, and fellow equine professionals.

As much as I wanted to go with MW, the practical, scientific parts of my brain stopped me from romanticizing with the idea that I could actually form a science-based opinion without further research....and off to the races I went. (Hashtag NERD).

Before I go further into details about my personal, informal trial of each device, I want to circle back to the differences between the two. Remember how earlier I said that to me, these are like comparing apples to oranges? That's because they really are so different. Different does NOT mean that one is better than the other.

BEMER: The BEMER does one thing. Make no mistake, the significance of it's primary function is truly astounding. The BEMER is a physical vascular therapy device that utilizes patented signal, carried by PEMF (pulsed electro-magnetic field) to improve microcirculation, which promotes blood flow in the smallest blood vessels. If you know a thing or two about circulation and capillaries, then you know how amazing this function of the BEMER is.

Microcirculation delivers nutrients to the cells, and removes toxins from cells, which is part of the greater healing process....on a CELLULAR LEVEL. BEMER is scientifically proven to support and improve that process by 30%. Just to give you an idea of how much of the body is influenced by the BEMER, the body is 70% vascular system. Wow!

BEMER's low intensity signal is patented, setting it apart in its own "class" of PEMF device with the FDA. The BEMER blanket covers the full body of the horse, allowing this patented signal to cover the body all at once, in a short session, with effects that take place immediately.

MAGNAWAVE (or similar coil devices): The MW uses a higher intensity, unpatented signal to target muscle tissues and larger vessels. The "rings" or "coils" are placed on specific areas of focus. MW delivers pulsed electro-magnetic fields (PEMF) through a coil placed on the body that helps “recharge” unhealthy cells with improved oxygenation and circulation, returning them to normal function. Because the "waves" are going directly into the tissues, you will often see horses "twitch" along their backs. This muscle fasciculation is normal and does not harm the horse. Similarly to the circulatory benefits that BEMER brings, the MW addresses circulation, and can therefore impact the entire body. Amazing!

PEMF therapy using higher frequency ranges can penetrate up to 18" deep into the tissues of the body according to research. It is often thought that because of this, the devices with higher frequency can have more advantages to deeper injuries or conditions from lower frequency devices but this is not scientifically proven. (Though, it would be cool if ever researchers can prove this!).

Now back to my observations when using the two devices...

I observed both BEMER and Magna Wave on multiple horses over multiple sessions. I also compared BEMER over one session and MW over one session so that I had a base-line for effectiveness of just one treatment. I was intrigued to say the least, and so began my study of these devices at length, reading the science-based studies, clinical trial results (BEMER) and perusing their websites and research papers for further information. I also sought out other informal trial findings like mine, to see what other practitioners were learning. Unfortunately, I did not find very many practitioners who have tried both devices at length (or at least none who had published about their studies).

After using both devices over the course of my comparisons, to my surprise, I ended up choosing BEMER as the device I would be purchasing, and that boils down to three major factors -- science (fact), practicality, and overall results.

SCIENCE: Well, friends. As much as I loved watching those big white coils of comfort roll along the horse's body, the truth is most of what we read online and in social media about MW are claims, hopes, dreams, or desires. PEMF is scientifically proven to perform certain functions, but at large the lofty claims of MW devices are yet to be proven scientifically. Unfortunately, the multitude of information we see about MW's ability to treat or "heal" conditions is just plain NOT PROVEN to be FACT. That is not to say that the device is not effective! As I said earlier, during my uses of different MW devices on multiple horses, I witnessed first-hand the positive impact that the device had. But for me, I wanted formal clinical backing and superior credibility like the research done by CSU on the BEMER for example. BEMER is named in clinical trials. I am a scientist. I've been studying the biology, anatomy, biomechanics, nutrition, and mind of the horse for nearly twenty years. I had to go with BEMER because it's clinical trials and comparative research were on-point. The BEMER is backed by physicians and is in place in thousands of hospitals across Europe, and is recommended by Veterinarians throughout the world because of the scientific backing behind it. BEMER is backed by the FEI and a host of other prestigious institutions as well as Universities. BEMER has been adopted by the NFL (for players and cheerleaders)! To date, the MW simply doesn't have the same level of backing. Yes, there is loads of PEMF research out there. But MW is not specifically named in the clinical trials that I have found. (If you know of MW being specifically named in formal testing on equines please do email me as I'd love to learn about it!) There is research paper upon research paper to be sure, but without formal clinical trials where the device is specifically named, it is difficult to compare it to BEMER's impressive resume and long withstanding rep. (Remember, I like facts.) As I mentioned earlier, I am not knocking MW. I'm simply presenting the facts (additional sources listed at end) which pointed my path toward BEMER.

Another observation I encountered was such that many people seem to believe a myth which needs to be dispelled in that there are claims that "more power equals better results." Unfortunately, my friends, I could find no scientific backing to that commentary and believe me, I've searched high and low. I even contacted an MW rep and a BEMER rep to inquire if they could help me find any research that would indicate those "high power" claims to be true. What I did find surprised me, and that is that research indicates quite the opposite -- that lower frequencies (low power) used over the course of time, yield incredible results. BEMER, being a low-frequency device with a unique wave pattern won again (in my book). PS - if you know where to find specific research on higher power devices yielding better results than low power devices, please message me, as I would love to learn about this.

I truly believe that MW and other PEMF devices can and do positively impact our equine friends, but believing and research aren't the same as proof. I want to know my clients are going to get results, what kind of results, and I want to know what is still considered "experimental". Unfortunately, I won't always get those cold, hard facts I'm after, because at the end of the day, I believe that PEMF therapy is still 'experimental' in many ways and the experts I've consulted with tend to agree with that statement. Don't misinterpret what I mean when I say "experimental". The experimental aspect doesn't mean that the devices don't help our horses. The issue is, there is much more research to be done, to prove some of the lofty claims that we hear or read about. So for now, I stick to what we do know to be true -- that PEMF such as BEMER is a powerful tool in stimulating the body's circulatory response, and in turn increasing cellular activity such as regeneration and waste removal, (which is the essence of the healing process) in the body. We know that PEMF devices reduce inflammation. And inflammation leads to disease. At the end of the day if we're helping our horses stay healthy, comfortable, and reducing the chances of disease, either device is a winner in my book.

PRACTICALITY: Horses are flight animals. Anyone who has worked with horses at length can appreciate that the average horse needs a little re-assurance with things that it has never seen before. The truth is, most horses I work on have been touched and handled by humans enough to be accustomed to a blanket and leg wraps. During my own research using each device, the BEMER blanket and "cuffs" did not typically startle a horse or make a horse nervous. Unfortunately, the MW (coil device) makes a loud ticking noise that seemed to make many horses nervous when introduced to it, or at least sensitive to the noise. This is understandable as most horses were not familiarized with that sound as there's nothing quite like it when we "desensitize" our horses in traditional training. Further, the coils, and large equipment (often rolled in on wheels), are simply not the most practical option of the two, as BEMER allows for a session without continually moving coils around a horse that may be nervous. I also found BEMER cuffs (fit like leg wraps) a safer option than coils around the legs and hooves. If a horse was to spook, and a practitioner was "underneath" the horse, a MW coil could easily entangle the horse, causing injury or equipment damage. If the horse spooks with the BEMER (which is securely fastened closely to the body parts), we can simply let go of the lead rope (if necessary), and allow him to "have his moment" with a likely anticlimactic end. Again, I'm not saying that a horse could never injure itself while wearing the BEMER, but you can see my logic during my observation that one device comes with more risk than the other. The BEMER is practical in that it requires no power source, is easy to apply, and easy to transport. (Ever see a horse have a meltdown when a MW device is rolling up on wheels?) I have. And the last thing we want is for our horses to be amped up and nervous prior to a session. In fact, its quite the opposite. We want the horse in a parasympathetic state -- relaxed and comfortable before, during and after a session.

RESULTS / EFFECTIVENESS: I mentioned earlier that I compared each device. I was impressed by the MW as it seemed to give the first horse we used it on noticeable results within just three uses (sessions). In the end, I absolutely believe that it helped heal that horse after about three months of consistent treatments, but here's the kicker: I also used BEMER on horses with similar conditions (body pain, tension, ulcers, underweight, stressed) and BEMER gave me excellent results in a similar time frame. Oddly enough, MW did not yield noticeable results in all horses in my trial, whereas BEMER horses treated ALL demonstrated reduced inflammation/pain. This is not to say that BEMER is factually better than MW in terms of overall efficaciousness. Obviously, my trial and comparison of each device was not clinical, but still allowed me to personally witness each device and results from each device (or lack thereof). However, it does challenge some of the common user claims of MW users stating that more power (higher frequency) equals better results. (See earlier commentary about that topic).

See also study/reviews at the end about the higher power, better results claims.

I had to base my decision on the real results I experienced in my research, paired with the aforementioned scientific studies, clinical trials, and practicality. BEMER simply yielded great results, in the same number of sessions (or less) as MW in my comparative study of the two devices. There was no evidence that the higher power MW yielded faster or "deeper" results in terms of reduced inflammation, or overall condition improvement. I used both devices on soft tissue injuries, and horses with hock and low back pain as well.

I concluded that for me, BEMER is the bomb and you can BEMER me up anytime. That said, if I had a horse with a deeper issue, such as a cancer of an internal organ, or a deep tissue injury in a specific area, I would not hesitate to call upon a MW practitioner to use their device paired with routine use of my BEMER. Why? Because I figure it could certainly help, and would definitely not hurt. MW is still awesome in my book, and I'm thankful for my MW friends and all they've taught me.

If the BEMER no longer existed would I buy the MW or a coil device instead? Probably. But the BEMER is here, and so it is my go-to device of choice.

Regardless, I still believe that it is possible for PEMF in any form to benefit our equine friends, and so I encourage you to consider your options (under the supervision of your veterinarian of course) that may help improve your horse's health, quality of life and performance....and that's what matters most.

Be well, friends. And happy trails.

Sources & References beyond my own comparison of the two devices:

Cited: King MR, Seabaugh KA, Frisbie DD. Effects of a Bio-Electromagnetic Energy Regulation Blanket on Thoracolumbar Epaxial Muscle Pain in Horses. J Equine Vet Sci. 2022 Apr;111:103867. doi: 10.1016/j.jevs.2022.103867. Epub 2022 Jan 23. PMID: 35081474.

Interesting MW and other device comparison Article Here:

PEMF Trial (Human) : Pain Res Manag. 2007 Winter; 12(4): 249–258.


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