Flux Health Forum

Peripheral Neuropathy

Hello All,

I have idiopathic peripheral neuropathy bilaterally in feet/lower legs and hands/forearms. I’ve been using the M1 for a couple of weeks, mostly on feet and calves. I’ve used at different intensities (from 5 to 14) and different programs, but all have caused a slight increase in discomfort that usually lasts 4-8 hours after use (I usually place the coils side by side on location of pain). I’m wondering if this might be normal, or simply a sign that PEMF won’t be useful for my condition? I guess I’m wondering if lowering the intensity to a 2 or 3 would even be worth the effort, or if it’s normal to feel some discomfort before getting relief. A few notes that may be pertinent:

  1. I don’t believe the pain is due to compression or pinch in the spine (have had MRIs, etc.). It seems to simply be a degeneration of peripheral nerves, likely due to an undiagnosed autoimmune condition.

  2. I’ve had a six-month-long spike in pain which seems related to a mild bout of covid (I’ve had PN for 5 years, but since covid infection it’s double the pain).

  3. I know that the suggestion is to use at lower intensity for longer duration, but it’s difficult on the feet. And, frankly, after feeling discomfort after keeping the coils on for a couple of hours, I’m concerned about using them overnight.

Anyway, thanks in advance for any thoughts/suggestions/advice you may have. I appreciate the content and tone of this forum.


Good morning!

It’s been my experience over the past five years that the ICES draws the pain to the surface and then slowly dispels it as the body heals. Basically, your body “remembers” the injury, restores the pain signal and then as time (and gently applied pressure) goes on it slowly diminishes until the old injury is as good as new.

It takes awhile with stubborn injuries but the body wants to heal it which is why I believe it restores the pain signal.

I was in low grade perpetual pain 5 years ago. Now I no longer have poor posture or pain. But it was years of discipline “oiling the rusty joints on the Tin Man” to get to that point.

I hope that helps.


Thanks for the reply. As I read through the forum I came across examples of people getting immediate relief, eventual relief or no relief, but no examples and increase in pain. I do know that many chronic pain relief treatments do come with an initial increase in pain before relief.

Part of the explanation for this is a phenomenon of the brain known as “lateral inhibition”. This is when neurons are highly excited, the surrounding neurons become a bit suppressed or inhibited in their response. This has the effect that the main sensory stimulus to the brain gets most of the attention, whereas surrounding areas get less attention. This allows the brain to focus on areas of the somatosensory cortex that are getting the strongest stimuli. This is why, for example, if you suddenly get a serious painful injury, other painful areas seem less painful somehow. People reflexively take advantage of this: when you get stabbed or burned or twist an ankle, one reflex is to bite your lip, for example. Doing so can actually reduce the sensation of pain from the real injury.

But the flip side of this is interesting (and unfortunate). If your brain has been subjected to a chronic stimulus of pain in one particular location of the body, that major chronic pain signal can mask other, less intense pain signals. Then, when you reduce the major chronic pain signal to the brain many other areas that had little or no sensation of pain may suddenly feel much more pain, simply because the primary pain signal has been reduced, so now the lateral inhibition is reduced, allowing the brain to better sense and the process pain form other areas.

So, when you reduce the main pain signal, one weird effect is that you can feel more pain in many other areas. Usually this effect, which is actually a sensory illusion, subsides in a few days or a week or so. But if you are not mentally prepared for it, the sensation of “more pain in more places” can cause anxiety.

The illusion can be looked at this way: when you reduce a large pain signal, smaller signals of pain in other areas can give the illusion that your total pain has increased, when paradoxically, you actually have less total pain. But this illusion makes it difficult for your brain to perceive it correctly this way.

Many other types of sensory illusions result from the effects of lateral inhibition:

This is interesting, and makes a lot of sense. In my particular case the increase in pain I feel doesn’t seem to be in adjacent areas, but directly where the coils have been placed. Yesterday, for example, I placed the two coils side by side on the bottom of my left foot for two hours–protocol: Schumann 4 power level: 3. I felt a mild increase in discomfort during those two hour and a further increase for several hours afterward, right at the location of the coil placement.

I’m guessing this kind of response is not at all common. Pain is strange (especially nerve pain), so it’s quite possible that the pain I’m experiencing is some kind of “referred” pain from adjacent areas. It’s worth noting that I seem to have a very sensitive nervous systems, and many treatments that were supposed to have helped ended up causing an increase in pain. For what it’s worth, here are some of the treatments I’ve tried that had no effect or caused more pain:

Scrambler Therapy (no effect)
Spinal Cord Stimulator (increase in pain)
Acupuncture (increase in pain)
Ketamine infusion (no effect, except it was a horrible experience mentally)
Massage/physical therapy (increase in pain)
Prednisone infusion (increase in pain)
Tens unit (increase in pain)
Hyperbaric oxygen chamber (increase in pain)

Of course, I’ve taken all of the possible medications, none of which have helped. The only things that help with the pain (temporarily) are: whiskey, red light therapy, and a hot bath. The hot bath being the most effective by far.

I’m going to continue to experiment with the M1–hopefully I can find an approach that works, and I may have to live with more pain for awhile before I see results.

I think in your case, it makes sense to keep going at it, albeit low and slow to start. My 2 cents.

Dear Brady,

I am wondering how your pain is now. Have you continue with the stimulation?