Talk:Electromagnetic therapy

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
WikiProject Disambiguation
WikiProject icon This page is within the scope of WikiProject Disambiguation, an attempt to structure and organize all disambiguation pages on Wikipedia. If you wish to help, you can edit the page attached to this talk page, or visit the project page, where you can join the project or contribute to the discussion.
WikiProject Medicine (Rated Disambig-class)
WikiProject icon This page is within the scope of WikiProject Medicine. Please visit the project page for details or ask questions at Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Medicine.
Disambiguation page Disambig  This page does not require a rating on the project's quality scale.


Electrotherapy (ET) does not belong under Electromagnetic Therapy (EMFT). The reason, as discussed at talk:EMFT, is because ET uses electrical current whereas EMFT uses electromagnetic fields. Please consider bioelectromagnetic medicine as a broader term which may encompase EMFT and ET, as may be infered through reference number 1 at talk:EMFT --CyclePat (talk) 06:40, 29 May 2009 (UTC)

I disagree. I don't think the terms are so well defined, and both use electromagnetism. Verbal chat 06:50, 29 May 2009 (UTC)
summary: I understand why you would dissagree (see below). But perhaps you can please provide a reference to help us out and develop the articles to explain this?
corpus: Okay before I head into getting a hole bunch of references explaining why it is different, perhaps you would care to explain why you believe the terms are not well defined? (rethorical question... I have a good idea now after writting this why... perhaps the lack of POVs to give a wider perspective per WP:NPOV?). Anyways, we have articles which clearly explain what EMFT and ET is. The first line of ET explains that it is 1) a difference of potential energy, "electrical energy", which is used as a form of medicine. The EMFT article explains that it is electromagnetic radiation. Furhtermore this not just some meandering thought to which "I think", it from a well sourced reference, which throughout most part of the book highlights the difference. "Electrotherapy" according to Electrotherapy: evidence based-practice (p.48, 3rd paragraph of the summary) says "It is proposed that part of the mechanism by which electrotherapy acts is via this biolectric system" (the first books, alluded to in my first post regarding talk:EMFT, talks about this and also how there is a difference of potential energy between even the inside of our body and the skin, which promotes wound healing, and further develops how the heart emits electrical currents)(also discussed on p.47-8). Most references talk about EMFT and ET. Take for example this Policy from United Health Care. Aetna also has a position on EMFT (in particula high-frequency PEMF), and keeps its policy/position on "electrical stimulation" seperate. Or take electrotherapy explained: principles... it explains what is ET. (please see p.1, What is electrotherapy?). It states: "Early names of clinicaly used electrophysical agents include "electrotherapeutics" (Neiswanger 1912) and "Medical electricity" (Cumberbatch, 1939). This second term was consistent with the early focus of using electric currents for patient treatment."
However, the author explains that nowadays the terms is broader and involves not only therapy but an assesment. In particular (see p.2) "...uses of the term in regions such as Europe and the Antipodes mean treatment or assesment using one of a range of modalities including electrical stimulation, ultrasound, different methods of heating and cooling,..." (ie.: the Wacky the dead horse therapy which warms up the cells) "...shortwave diathermy and clinically used electromagnetic radiation such as infrared and light therapies including ultraviolet and laser." However, the author cautions that in other countries such as the US, electrotherapy means treatment and assesment via "electrical stimulation". Interesting as well how author explains modalities vs. electrophysical agents (EPA) which can be applied externally or even internally to the body, such as implanted electrical stimulators like gastric or cardiac pacemakers. Still it would be nice if the author or if we had a better explanation for EPAs which is not an inference.
Anyways... what I was trying to get to is that electrotherapy (ET) has several meanings but that, when I started this I believed it should focuses on "electrical stimulation modalities". Whereas EMFT should focus on "electromagnetic field stimulation modalities". It's been segrated like this in the past. However, perhaps a merger of both articles could explain the difference? Or perhaps the same reference in both article could explain the similarities... If what you are saying is that they are the same, then the two articles should probably be merged together. Which, please let me make this clear, is not my intention because I believe both are distinct modes. However for Wikipedia it may be better to present these POVs in one article. If I look into your personal POV, it appears to be supported by one paper here from an orthopedic doctor. (note: I couldn't download the .pdf and the html is awfull but it works) Here is a copy of what it says "Pulsed high frequency electromagnetic energy ¡PHFEjis an electrotherapy to reduce pain and swelling and to enhance Iwaling. " I think we just need to be careful and explain why and who believes this POV, probably within the corresponding article (though my original thought was the disambiguation, but I see this might not work). Hence, could you please provide a reference, one perhaps better then the one I just gave, or perhaps the "Electrotherapy explained:..." article is sufficient? No matter the case we need to support the claim. Thank you. --CyclePat (talk) 16:00, 29 May 2009 (UTC)

I've noticed that you've made some edits since I made this post. Perhaps you'll need a little more time to answer? In the mean time can you please consider what you would suggest we do to better definition? --CyclePat (talk) 19:05, 29 May 2009 (UTC)

Electrotherapy is a more encompassing term than you might think...note chapter 5 in a book titled Electrotherpy, discussing electromagentic therapies. [[1]] Guyonthesubway (talk) 20:18, 29 May 2009 (UTC)


the fact that there is a lack of scientific evidence does not mean that it is unproven. It just means there is a lack of evidence to support it's widespread use, particullarly, pertaining to Cancer because this is a POV from one organization that treats Cancer. There are many other organizations which substantiate that EMFT is does work under certain circumstance. In psychology, if can't have both. That means... this is a contradictory statement (falacy). It's unproven, but it is proven to work. Which one is it? this dilema, should be discussed in the article and not here under the dissambiguation page (where we can't really attribute the facts). --CyclePat (talk) 16:48, 29 May 2009 (UTC)

There is no dilemma. The alt med treatments are not proven to work, it doesn't matter what people claim. Verbal chat 17:12, 29 May 2009 (UTC)
I will concede the idea of unproven (for now), however, can you please be more specific on which modalities you are refering to? Thank you. I still strongly believe ET involves electrical energy (as discussed in the afformentioned section of this talk page) and may involve EMF (per the POV from Europe as discussed above). Hence, if the modalities which are refered to in as electrotherapy, taken from the European POV are considered the slightest bit a form of alternative therapy (per the US Pov), then there is a dilema. Cross referencing the statements hence makes for a contradiction per those POVs. ie.: No electromagnetic field therapy (EMFT) modalities work, whereas, electrotherapy (European POV) consideres EMFT to work. Hence, there is a dilemma. Again, could you please care to define what you mean by "alt. med. treatments" and provide a reference because, my understand is that the ACS article that says this does not indicate alternative medicine but rather EMFT. (Which in short makes them look like a bunch of dinks if you ask me, considering the amount of times they get contradicted by other reliable sources.) --CyclePat (talk) 18:33, 29 May 2009 (UTC)
I'm sorry, but I'm still torn between reverting this "unproven". That because the way it's worded frames the article towards one POV which is that it is "unproven". Just because this disambiguation page, frame the article in such a way, does not preclude our ability to find well referenced sources which indicate that EMFT does in fact work in certain circumstance. These are facts, (though perhaps not the predominent one, but important facts held by a fair amount of people and peer-reviewed references). That's all I'm saying. So keep it as "unproven" for now... but the fact is, this will and should not inhibit the developement of the article to explore such modalities which claim to heal bones, and peer-reviews which do claim benefits. That's it. --CyclePat (talk) 18:53, 29 May 2009 (UTC)
It is unproven, hence that is a valid, correct, and verifiable POV. It is in fact a description. Note, "bettering" isn't a word. Verbal chat 19:26, 29 May 2009 (UTC)
Bettering sure is a word... [[2]] Guyonthesubway (talk) 20:16, 29 May 2009 (UTC)
Hehe... oops. It was the grammar :) I'm tired, apologies! Verbal chat 20:20, 29 May 2009 (UTC)
What is unproven yesterday may be proven today. As Ted Pappas said : "The premise of Wikipedia is that continuous improvement will lead to perfection, that premise is completely unproven…with many of the pieces you don't know who it's written by, and who the administrators are…one of the administrators overseeing the political coverage openly encourages people to vote for John Kerry…30,000 articles were created by a bot [an automated program that goes round causing havoc]…hyperlinks, bullet points and cut-and-paste press releases do not an encyclopaedia entry make."[3]. And yes, as Dogbert would most likely say to Dilbert... You can "...publish a book about an unproven medical condition." "Apparently you haven't been to the book store lately."[4].
In short, many things exist that can't be explained merely due to a lack of evidence. But any suggestions towards the truth or "hypothesis" which explains these things is quite verifiably a proven fact. In short, it's is a proven point-of-view. Personally, I try not to confuse the POV with fact. That's what's dangerous and unproven. ie. The many peer-reviewed articles which indicate there "may be" proof is, if I may say, a paradox which should be properly explained throughout the article. I imagine those at the global warming article must have a similar debate. With all humility, I hope you take no offense, I quote the Pissed off Redneck from Southpark (Warning some may find this offensive) :
“Pissed off Redneck: Chet, you are a fuckin' retard you know that? Even IF global warming were real, which all proven scientific data shows it isn't, it would take millions of years for a climate shift to happen. You think an ice age can just happen all a sudden like?
Chet - Redneck: Well I was just trying to be helpful.
Pissed off Redneck: Well help yourself to a fuckin' science book, cause you're talking like a fuckin' retard.”
A better quote which might help our current situation is that from the global warmin's talk archive. In particular "...It is beyond me how evidence equals clear proof. If it implies it, I think there is a misunderstanding of what either one of them really is. "Proof" as I see it is (i) logically irrefutable, as in mathematic derivations, or (ii) an extrapolation of "a huge amount of consistent and unchallenged evidence". But indeed, things can be real without being proven, and even without being able to be proven. Daniel Collins 13:45, 26 Apr 2005 (UTC)"[5] Can we discuss answer this question of "proof" and "evidence"?
Or finally, take the article Universe. How big is the universe? Infinite? But it hasn't been proven yet. You haven't seen it. How do you know for sure? There are other theories or, as we like to call them, POVs.
Perhaps, we just believe it? (Inspired by the 2001 Movie, A beautiful mind) Or take Second-hand smoke and how it's proven to be carcin--- uh... related to cancer. Anyways, as for clinically proven? You most likely have a valid point. Or do you? Actually, if the ACS article talks about EMFT being clinically unproven then perhaps you would be correct. But I believe the ACS article indicates that there is a lack of evidence. What that means is that, we are making an inference or violating WP:OR by equating "lack of evidence" to equal "unproven". Though this makes sense, it may not be the original intention of the authors (which I believe is our current problem regarding the use of the word "unproven"). So... yes... there's some truth in that it's unproven but one must carefully delimite according to what and who it is "unproven" which is why I believe it is innapropriate to use such a term in a brief summary. (plus like I said WP:OR violation)Finally, I would like to say, with all do respect and humbleness (no sarcasm intended here), that nothing would give me greater pleasure than to be proven an imbecile. Beeing proven wrong means that we can move forward in developing this article. So please go ahead and leave your comments. In the mean I'dd like to finish with a quote from the Illustrated Man (1969) "Each person who tries to see beyond his own time must face questions to which there cannot yet be proven answers."[6] (on a side note: "You know that everyone gives off energy!" It's a proven fact and quoted in popular media.[7]) --CyclePat (talk) 17:24, 2 June 2009 (UTC)

Please don't make any changes based on the above, as it is incomprehensible. Please propose your changes and justify with WP:MEDRS. Verbal chat

I don't reckon a disambig page is the appropriate place to discuss the validity of a linked topic. I suggest: "Electromagnetic therapy, the use of electromagnetic radiation in alternative medicine." The statement is consistent with the previous link, is completely accurate regardless of the validity of the practice, and it is the minimal possible description of the topic. Daniel Collins (talk) 09:51, 14 June 2009 (UTC)

An active exercise[edit]

Here's an interesting exercise I just though might help everyone. How would you classify the list of following therapies (Physical therapy, etc.): (See St. Luke's Medical Center for more details)


Where does bone healing fit in all of this? [8] How do we present the conflicting studies? (ie. see electrotherapy (ET) and EMFT is discredited)) Can our electrotherapy article:

  • Define the nature of electricity and the two types of electric currents?
  • Descibe the four types of electrotherapy and their use?
  • Explain electro-magnetic radiation and the visible spectrum of light?
  • Descibe the five types of light therapy and their benefits? ([9])

What is your opinion on these books which discussion electrotherapy? (See Uottawa libary search)


Okay. I guess electroweak was to big of a jump. but here is a good reference for EMFT a book called Advances in Electromagnetic Fields in Living Systems By James C. Lin. /--CyclePat (talk) 21:53, 5 June 2009 (UTC)

Pulsed Electromagnetic Field Therapy "unproven"?[edit]

The fact is that PEMF is widely used and approved by the FDA. There are many studies showing that it's effective. To say that it's "unproven" because it's not used is both poor logic and factually incorrect. --Dyuku (talk) 18:13, 7 November 2009 (UTC)

Take references to show that it is a proven and accepted treatment to the PEMF page please, and start a discussion there. Verbal chat 21:19, 18 November 2009 (UTC)

merger with Electrotherapy article?[edit]

Someone proposed that this disambiguation page should be merged with Electrotherapy. Why? Is there any reason for it? --Dyuku (talk) 21:17, 7 November 2009 (UTC)

I think that that was for what is now Electromagnetic therapy (alternative medicine). If nobody is moving forward with that, you can probably take the tags down now. - 2/0 (cont.) 06:48, 9 November 2009 (UTC)
Done! --Dyuku (talk) 00:48, 18 November 2009 (UTC)

TTF & PETF merger & discussion[edit]

This discussion could do with more attention. The suggestion is that Pulsed fields and Tumor-Treating-Fields be merged with Electromagnetic therapy (alternative medicine). Much of this is about the under-contention results of recently published trials of the Novocure device. All existing articles are problematic in one way or another and the more people who involved will get better article(s) at the end of it.--Cooper42(Talk)(Contr) 22:47, 17 December 2013 (UTC)