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BEMER/BEAMER Therapy - CAMcheck

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BEMER/BEAMER Therapy

Posted 11 September 2010

“BEMER” (or “BEAMER”)  is an acronym for Bio-Electro-Magnetic-Energy-Regulation: “A device which, she claimed, has magical healing abilities and has cured everything from her sore back to her horses spider bites.”

Angela Meadon has written a beautiful deconstruction (which I agree with) of this apparatus in her blog, The Skeptic Detective.

There is also a nice article published in the Guardian on this device.

Extracts: “. . .  Edzard Ernst, professor of complementary medicine at the Peninsula Medical School, Plymouth, is wary of some of the Bemer promotional claims . . . .  having looked at some of the claims made for the Bemer, he is not convinced about the plug-in kind either”.

The machine was invented by one Dr Wolf Kafka, “who was a world expert in emphyspace”. It’s not quite clear what emphyspace is. It is my belief that if this product worked so well, that mainstream medicine would be extensively using this product – but this is not the case. 

As for the author of the article: “As for me, a week after treatment, I have no miracles to report. My knee showed no tangible improvement from its additional ten minutes of intensive treatment”.

[note note_color=”#f1f1e4″]Tapio Ala-Nissila from Aalto University posed this question to scientist who are experts in the field in which the Bemer claims to work: “Question: Influence of (pulsed) electromagnetic fields on “microcirculation”?  I have recently come across to what looks like a classic homeopathic scam, namely the pulsed EM field miracle treatment as advertised by a German-based company called Bemer. As a soft-matter/biological physicist I am extremely sceptical about the influence of EM fields on blood circulation. In fact, on physical grounds I can only think of adverse effects, not miraculous healing as advertised by Bemer.”

Read the responses from scientific community experts who basically conclude that the claims for the Bemer are without scientific merit. Prof Bruce Klitzman, Duke University, pointed out that “for many decades, if not longer, there has been interest in electromagnetic field effects on healing of cutaneous wounds as well as bone. Much of the evidence is anecdotal, but there are a few positive findings that are scientifically credible. There are some rigorous studies, however, that show no effect.” [/note]

Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence“. (Carl Sagan)

I agree, we have simply not seen any compelling evidence that this product can produce the claims it makes.

Update: 28 December 2013

Anthon has pointed out in the Comments section that there are 6 studies to date (December 2013) on the Beamer indexed in PubMed. I have pointed out above that the studies are “atrocious” and published in “alternative”, poor journals. Here we examine them to see if the authors are independent, or credible, or other aspects that will lend credibility to the studies:

1. J Complement Integr Med. 2013;10(Suppl):S1-3. doi: 10.1515/jcim-2013-0036.
The technological development history and current significance of the “physical BEMER® vascular therapy” in medicine.  Bohn W.

[note note_color=”#fbfbc5″ radius=”2″]Comment:
The author is in the employ of the BEMER Int company[/note]

2. J Complement Integr Med. 2013;10(Suppl):S5-12, S5-13. doi: 10.1515/jcim-2013-0037.
The effects of the “physical BEMER® vascular therapy”, a method for the physical stimulation of the vasomotion of precapillary microvessels in case of impaired microcirculation, on sleep, pain and quality of life of patients with different clinical pictures on the basis of three scientifically validated scales.
Bohn W, Hess L, Burger R.

[note note_color=”#fbfbc5″ radius=”2″]Comment:
The authors are in the employ of the BEMER Int company[/note]

3. Altern Ther Health Med. 2011 Nov-Dec;17(6):22-8. Long-term effects of Bio-Electromagnetic-Energy Regulation therapy on fatigue in patients with multiple sclerosis. Haase R, Piatkowski J, Ziemssen T.Med Teach. 2012;34(6):474-82. doi: 10.3109/0142159X.2012.682186.

[note note_color=”#fbfbc5″ radius=”2″]Comment:
This journal is not reputable at all. The Editor-in-Chief (Dr Campbell) claims: “Dr Campbell serves as medical director of a clinical practice in the Houston, Texas, area where he specializes in clinical immunotoxicology .  . .” when in fact, “on November 4, 2011, the Board entered a Voluntary Surrender Order regarding Andrew William Campbell, M.D., requiring Dr. Campbell to immediately cease practice. . . ” (A Medical Publisher with Some Problems) [/note]

4. J Drug Target. 2011 Dec;19(10):890-9. doi: 10.3109/1061186X.2011.622403. Epub 2011 Oct 10.
Synergistic effect of EMF-BEMER-type pulsed weak electromagnetic field and HPMA-bound doxorubicin on mouse EL4 T-cell lymphoma. Říhová B, Etrych T, Šírová M, Tomala J, Ulbrich K, Kovář M.

[note note_color=”#fbfbc5″ radius=”2″]Comment:
This journal is published by the same notorious publishers as study 3 above, with the Editor-in-Chief, Dr Campbell.

The study is not a clinical study but conducted in athymic (nude) mice. [/note]

5. Versicherungsmedizin. 2010 Sep 1;62(3):140-1. [BEMER (Bio-Electromagnetic-Energy-Regulation) therapy]. Ostendorf GM.

[note note_color=”#fbfbc5″ radius=”2″]Comment:
Difficulty accessing more information on this article. GM Ostendorf appears to write critically on “alternative” medicine. [/note]

6. J Altern Complement Med. 2009 May;15(5):507-11. doi: 10.1089/acm.2008.0501. Effect of BEMER magnetic field therapy on the level of fatigue in patients with multiple sclerosis: a randomized, double-blind controlled trial. Piatkowski J, Kern S, Ziemssen T.

[note note_color=”#fbfbc5″ radius=”2″]Comment:
 This study concludes: “In this pilot study, we were able to demonstrate a beneficial effect of BEMER intervention on MS fatigue. As this was only a pilot study, trials with more patients and longer duration are mandatory to describe long-term effects.” Also: “Although we recognized a placebo effect, there was a statistically significant benefit for treated patients after 12 weeks. From our personal experience, MS patients suffering from MS fatigue can benefit from electromagnetic field therapy. Because devices for pulsed electromagnetic therapy like BEMER are quite expensive, we recommend individual tests for several weeks to see whether there is an individual benefit for the MS patient with significant fatigue.”

Published in 2009, readers should wonder, as I do, why there have been no follow up or subsequent studies.[/note]

7. Electromagn Biol Med. 2007;26(3):179-90. Effects of weak, low-frequency pulsed electromagnetic fields (BEMER type) on gene expression of human mesenchymal stem cells and chondrocytes: an in vitro study. Walther M, Mayer F, Kafka W, Schütze N.

[note note_color=”#fbfbc5″ radius=”2″]Comment:
This journal is published by the same notorious publishers as study 3 above, with the Editor-in-Chief, Dr Campbell.

The study is not a clinical study but conducted cell cultures. The third author, Wolf Kafka, is not independent but is associated with BEMER. Published in 2007, readers should wonder, as I do, why there have been no follow up or subsequent studies.[/note]

18 Responses to BEMER/BEAMER Therapy

  1. Angela 12 September, 2010 at 8:02 am #

    Hmmmm…. Sounds like someone I know.

  2. Cindy Faull, physio 22 October, 2011 at 11:46 pm #

    BEMER Therapy works! There has been plenty of research in Europe and we are currently doing research in South Africa. It also works on animals – a placebo indicates that the person thinks it his helping him and then it does. Does the horse think it is helping him, when he can gallop pain-free again?

  3. Harris 23 October, 2011 at 10:14 am #

    I cannot find any research specific to the Bemer to show that it works. Therefore until I see peer-reviewed research to confirm it works, one has to consider this a scam. CamCheck is full of evidence of doctors, pharmacists, professors, and others, who claim that a product works, but in fact is a lie in support of commercial greed. And since Cindy Faull has a commercial interest in this product ( http://www.skillpages.com/cindy.faull ), we simply cannot take her word for this product – It needs to come from an independent expert. I have searched the credible literature for evidence that this product work, and find none.

  4. Bettina 28 December, 2011 at 8:25 pm #

    What utter nonsense to say that because someone has a commercial interest, a statement is not true……….what about all the allopathic doctors who have a vested interest (kick backs from pharma) to prescribe medicines and make people guinea pigs.

  5. Harris 28 December, 2011 at 10:30 pm #

    @Bettina

    Your comment is illogical. It is generally accepted that the opinion of an individual with a commercial interest in a product, is not sufficiently independent to vouch for that product. This applies to any evidence and product, whether for the Bemer, allopathic evidence, or in a court of law.

  6. Anthon E.Straat 25 December, 2013 at 1:29 am #

    Pubmed has now six articles about BEMER
    I” m rid of my tinnitus by using BEMER.

  7. Harris 25 December, 2013 at 12:47 pm #

    @Anthon
    Could you please supply the articles in PubMed on the Beamer?
    I certainly cannot find them for Beamer: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed?term=(Beamer%20NOT%20Beamer%5BAU%5D). For Bemer these are the ones displayed: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed?term=(Bemer%20NOT%20Bemer%5BAU%5D)

    However, these are atrocious studies, i.e., published in not very reputable/well known publications (although they are indexed by PubMed – initially PubMed only references very credible journals, they have extended their reach to reference more). All the articles are published in “alternative medicine” journals. Not one was published in a truly scientific journal. I have deconstructed the PubMed entries in the article above.

    • Mark Spain 3 October, 2015 at 8:26 pm #

      >> All the articles are published in “alternative medicine” journals. Not one was published in a truly scientific journal. <<

      So your understanding is that if a publication does not support the allopathic approach, then it cannot be scientific?????

      • Harris 4 October, 2015 at 10:11 am #

        @Mark
        There are many ‘journals’ that publish ‘research’. Scientists have developed a method of determining which journals have higher merit than others, and which evidence is acceptable or not, using well considered standards. For example, articles that are not peer-reviewed have a very low level of acceptability, for one is asked to believe the author without peer-input. Studies without control groups are of a low order, for they do not compare the results for a potential placebo response, Hawthorn effect, etc. Studies on small study groups are generally of lower quality than a large group, etc. So if a study supporting an allopathic approach is done properly and published in a very reputable journal, it will be accepted. An example is one showing that a specific Chinese herbal medicine benefits children with food allergy, conducted properly and published in the JACI. (This does not mean that all Chinese medicine therefore works, but that this specific formulation does).

  8. Ava 27 April, 2015 at 8:57 pm #

    I have been on a walker and cane after a head/body injury accident. I was in so much pain, in so many places that I was ready to hike into the hills with sleeping pills. I had tried physical therapy, swimming, stretching, adapted yoga positions, hot tubs, epsom salts bath, acupuncture, 4 hours a week of structural massage for 17 months. My husband left me and I lost my friends. Nothing worked for very long until my first BeMer session. Within 8 minutes my unbearable pain was bearable. An hour later I experienced a pain free body for the first time since my accident. In the short time I have used BeMer I notice that my symptoms return if I am longer than 2-3 days without BeMer usage. I went to my 30th reunion this weekend and hiked up hills and got to participate in all the activities with little or minor pain. For me that was a miracle. Yesterday I asked myself why there was a serious gap in my gum that wouldn’t heal if the BeMer was so great. Today, I forgot that I had used the specialized B-spot on my mouth unit I read something about a toothache above. The huge gap/canker/hole in the gum on the side of my dental implant is gone in 12 hours. It had proceeded to get worse even with special toothbrushes, floss, Waterpik, antiseptic periodontal/salt rinses, and now it does not even hurt or feel inflamed. It is not placebo. There is no pain in my mouth. Those of you who have no serious conditions should not be so quick to impact the potential for others to get the help and improvement they need. I personally respond better to this mode of health support than anything I have ever experienced before. Everyone who sees me and has not for a month or two exclaims “you look so much better… what are you doing?” I am not taking pain meds, I am losing weight and I have energy that I thought was gone, with my youth. I am a BeMer success story and it pains me to see that so many may not get the help that for me was life changing. Those who don’t have excruciating pain or terrible disability can afford to diss what they have not or cannot experience. I thought my dog was permanently lame as I got him as a rescue. 3 BeMer sessions later his limp is gone. 10 sessions later he is moving around better, is more active, has lost excess weight and has stopped coughing and choking with trachea collapse. I don’t own a Bemer, I borrow someone else’s when I start to have pain and get stiff. My partner did not know what to expect, I did not prime him. I told him it helped my back. His blood pressure is down, his weight is down, his ED has improved greatly, he is much happier and not so reactive or irritable. It has relieved his back after he has been lifting all of the things I wont. He also appears to be getting his hair back, much to his surprise. I have stopped taking all the herbs and other modalities that are time consuming and costly. The BeMer has so improved my quality of life and I am grateful enough to want others to know that it could help them. The Bemer folks do not make it easy to sell their product, and do not understand American marketing or networks. They do not understand that they need to offer better ways to access their product because of blogs like this. Only personal experience will truly make a believer out of you, when your symptoms go away. I had incurable granulosa that was all over my elbows, disappear after one session. My dead arm started to function again. The swelling in my knee diminishes almost entirely for 18-15 hours at a time, each time I use the BeMer. I am losing weight, people have commented about my skin improving. Annoying health issues, like my elimination problems are becoming a thing of the past. My hair is growing so much faster I have to dye it twice as often, likely because I am spot treating for migraines and have increased circulation to my head and scalp. Try it on an animal that is limping and whose eyesight is returning and then lets talk placebo. I have been existing in time, not living-Thanks to the BeMer I have a life worth living again.

  9. Tapioca 22 January, 2016 at 9:02 pm #

    The Bemer device has now been analyzed and measured at Aalto University during the fall of 2015. Theoretical and experimental analysis has revealed the following important facts:

    1. The Bemer signal creates an electric field across the cell membrane whose magnitude is about seven orders of magnitude smaller than that of the natural field in the cells. Thus the Bemer signal cannot possibly have any influence on living matter.

    2. The Bemer mat has only six coils, where the electromagnetic field resides. These coils lie on the sides of the mat (which is easy to see if you examine the mat) and thus most of the minuscule field does not even penetrate the body of a normal size person lying on the mat.

    ‘You can fool some people some time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time” (Bob Marley)

  10. Nancy 5 September, 2016 at 1:31 am #

    I so appreciate that there are intelligent people who are warning the public about scams. I, too, am very skeptical, and want to see both sides of every issue. I am not drinking the koolaid, but I have been using Bemer for a few weeks. I have no emotional placebo needs to be met, but I can’t understand why my raging shoulder pain was completely gone after 8 minutes. If Bemer does not affect microcirculation, I do not want to spend a moment of wasted time. I know that anyone can write testimonials to sell their product, but I must respond to crippling stomach pain that was simply gone after use. And a sinus/bronchial infection that vanished. I do appreciate you, and all you do, but to truly represent both sides of an argument, you may want to rent a Bemer for 6 months or so. I truly believe you will want to buy one. Energy medicine is taking the world by storm, and even Google Pharm is peeking out to see.

  11. Dr T 17 July, 2017 at 3:36 pm #

    How funny….that some scientists still think they know more than reality….Been to Germany? I was a student there… Pretty sure all those German Doctors that worked so hard for their degrees in a country that is VERY exacting would not be putting their professions on the line for a scam. In the US everything that is new is considered a scam because AMA is not doing it….been there watched that for decades….main stream is the LAST to know.
    Silly gullible horses!!!!

    • Harris 17 July, 2017 at 4:52 pm #

      @Dr T
      Your first sentence is nonsensical – “that some scientists still think they know more than reality”. Who has defined this ‘reality’? I am making the point that a perception is not proof.

      And the same for your belief that “all” German doctors use the Bemer. Who says that the majority of German doctors use the Bemer. Maybe only 0.5% claim it works. Who knows, there is no evidence to help us evaluate this position.

      In fact, in all parts of the world are doctors who worked hard for their degrees, who then started to believe and promote nonsense. Some do it to make money, others truly believe what they are advocating, etc. But without evidence, we have only their belief and/or anecdotes. That is why evidence matters – to differentiate between those selling nonsense, and the opposite. Surely you do not want to be tricked by clever magic tricks into believing something that is not true?

      (For context, Dt T who submitted the comment above, is a practitioner of naturopathy and acupuncture)

  12. Tapioca 18 July, 2017 at 12:09 am #

    Claiming that the Bemer signal has influence on biological matter is like claiming that:

    (i) While standing next to a power drill (120 dB) you can hear the rustling of the leaves in a tree nearby;

    (ii) A fly hitting the windshield of a speeding truck considerably slows it down.

    In our experiments turning lights on and off in the room where the Bemer signal was measured (using external induction coils) caused a much bigger signal than the coils in the Bemer mattress. That’s how weak the signal is. They had to make it vanishingly small to meet the EU limits for radio frequency transmitting devices not to cause interference.

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