Flux Health Forum

Is NEMF the same technology as ICES?

In searching for a solution for a friend’s sciatica on this forum,I found that ICES appears to work in 50 - 60% of cases.
Searching the internet for PEMF and sciatica, l found an ad for this device:

Here they have supposedly discovered PEMF as “the holy grail of sciatic nerve relief, or any lower back pain.”

nope, as I understand it, it is just a make-over of TENS, a very old shock-therapy technology, a crude and old-fashioned “pain blocker”, basically equivalent to slapping a painful area with a wooden ruler.

1 Like

Thanks for the reply, Bob, but on their site they explicitly compare their NeuroMD device to TENS devices in a way that makes their device sound very much like a PEMF device. In fact it, being portable, looks like another knockoff, like MiraMagic. I just asked because I wondered if perhaps there was another technology with an acronym I had not seen before.

this is the way of the slick marketing tactics… use sciencey words and pretend they have some special sauce… scary how they come across when they can put up a polished site with pseudoscience copy and sound so official and convincing when you don’t know what to look for or are getting familiar with the tech

1 Like

I certainly could be wrong, which is why I started with the phrase “as I understand it…”

Let me frame this in a larger perspective:

For about 15 years I spent a lot of my time mapping out all the different technologies that could be considered electromagnetic medicine. It turns out there’s really very few core technologies.

First, most companies do some variation on electrical stimulation because there are a lot of regulatory loopholes. Almost no matter how you do electrical stimulation, it actually works, but it’s very crude and inefficient and of only marginal effectiveness.

The second category, the use of magnetic pulses has much greater potential for clinical outcomes but it is much more complicated in terms of regulatory barriers and our basic scientific knowledge of its mechanisms.

The third category is basically pure fraud: zero point energy, spooky action at a distance, quantum field coupling, dark energy, and so forth. While these are legitimate areas of scientific study, in terms of being clinically usable, any reference to these is purely fraudulent, and I discussed this at length in many places.

So far as I know (because I don’t know everything), every device on the market related to electromagnetism fundamentally works by one of these three mechanisms:

1 - Conduction (electrical shock)
2 - Induction (magnetic pulse)
3 - Fraud, (placebo, or the cognitive dissonance of buyer’s remorse)

When you get to a certain technical level of experience, it is almost like having X-Ray vision. In your area of expertise, generally you can just look at something and tell a whole lot about how it must work because of the shape and the various external features that it has. For example, If you’re an expert astronomer you can glance at a telescope and then probably spend two or three hours talking about how it must work internally.

In the general field of electromagnetic therapy devices, they take on certain shapes and forms because they have physical requirements for their configuration. I used to for many years, more than a decade, take these devices apart when i had access to them and study them. When you do this for 10 or 15 years you start to see a lot of patterns emerge. It’s not 100%, but after a while you can just look at something and tell what’s going on technically.

I do also have some familiarity with the device you’ve mentioned, so I’m pretty sure I can say with confidence that it’s really nothing new.

As @OptimalHealth points out, most of what you’re going to read is marketing hype and pseudoscience. Any electro-magnetic devices that come to the market are going to fall into one of those three classes that I list above.

Marketers spend all of their time trying to distinguish their product from everything else on the market. They literally assign teams of people to spend months to twist the technical language around to try to find some distinguishing difference that will win over the confidence of the consumer. Outside of highly regulated device markets, a lot of what is said is just technically inaccurate.

I could go on like this for hours or days, but as I have posted recently, it only takes 5 or 10 seconds to tell a lie, and it can take a decade or longer to prove the truth. This is the huge disadvantage of being honest. So as an informed consumer you need to try to see through their marketing tripe to see if there’s any actual technical truth in the background. And you’re not going to find it in their marketing material, you have to do a lot more research than that.

And finally, reverse engineering or debunking every device that comes along on the market is way more than a full time job. So my strategy is that everything seems to fall into this pattern that I described above, and unless a new device comes along with really strong science and a legitimate engineer or scientist attached to it, it’s a safe bet to assume that it’s just a knockoff or a rebrand of something old. I need to focus on going forward, not fact checking everything that comes along, and hey if somebody designs something better than what I’ve got, that’s great!!! My goal is to get this technology released out into the wider world so that our children and grandchildren have access to it. When someone comes along that can do it better than me, hurray!!!

But in the end all that matters is this: does this new device work?

And there is only one way to find out for sure; try it yourself

It would be a great service to our community if people would actually do this, and try out devices that they have been tempted to try through slick marketing, and then report back here and tell us what their experiences were.


I also have some experience with these kinds of devices. As a user, not a scientist.

These are not PEMF devices.

They describe them as Neuro EMS.

You need to read about EMS, which is sometimes found on TENS machines, sometimes separate.

EMS makes muscles jump and contract.

I dealt with a company that sold machines that sounded a lot like these a while ago. The rep tried to upsell me to that machine. I was only interested in a smaller machine that did microcurrent (I have since abandoned microcurrent, first in favor of red light, then both red light and PEMF).

The newer EMS machines seem to have some newer way to do it and the sales people think it’s great and really works. Neuro EMS sounds like gobbedly gook, but I don’t know the details, and I have no idea how these work on the body.

If you need PEMF, don’t waste your time on these machines.

Asking the users of these machines how they experience them, and then ask them to try an ICES machine would be much more interesting. Coming from PEMF to these isn’t likely to be optimal.

Electrophysiology is actually quite interesting. I did my PhD in a muscle electrophysiology lab, and it is much more nuanced than it appears at first glance, so there is a lot that could be done with a properly-designed electrical stimulator. It requires a pretty detailed understanding of how different tissues respond to different types of electrical stimulation. For example, it is possible to generate electrical pulses that will make muscle contract but will not affect the heart or gut muscle, for example. It is also possible to generate electrical pulses that will primarily activate either slow or fast muscle, but not necessarily both. And it is possible to apply electrical fields to activate certain cell membrane receptors, but not others.

This is all certainly possible, but it takes a pretty deep technical understanding of electrophysiology. I just don’t see any evidence of that level of knowledge or technical skill in any of these consumer products. So, basically what I think they are doing is just copying some older device exactly, or they make a random tweek here or there to the stimulus pattern and discover, quite by accident, that their wild guess causes muscle to contract (or it does not), or they get some type of different sensation (or they do not), or their change has some other noticeable effect. Then they try to pack sciency-sounding words around it, give it a new name, and try to sell it as something new.

That is a lot like people all trying to sell the same old brand of AM radio, but re-naming the product as something new because they randomly tune the radio to different stations. Well, it’s really not just like that, it is precisely the same as that.


I bought one before finding PEMF. It really works on your muscles. For me with my nerves problem, it made everything way worse and I sent it back. I do think for someone with just tight muscles, it may be helpful.

1 Like