Name: Mona Sen
Condition: Multiple Sclerosis
How long I’ve been living with MS: 34 years
My biggest challenges of living with secondary-progressive multiple sclerosis (SPMS) relate to mobility, spasticity, and energy level. Although SPMS brings with it a multitude of other difficulties, it is the day-to-day functioning that affects me the most.
My reason for trying the BEMER Pro Set — BEMER stands for bio-electro-magnetic energy regulation — was to see if I could reduce my spasticity, improve my mobility, and increase my energy level.
What Is the BEMER Pro Set?
The BEMER Pro Set is a device that delivers pulsed electromagnetic energy to the body generally or to specific body areas. Such devices, of which there are several on the market, are known as pulsed electromagnetic field (PEMF) devices. These devices typically cost thousands of dollars, and the BEMER Pro Set, with its many modules and parts, has a price tag around $5,990.
The promotional materials for the BEMER say that the device increases microcirculation, or blood circulation to the small blood vessels. They go on to say that this increased microcirculation is beneficial to a person’s immune system, overall health, and sense of well-being.
It should be noted that high-quality clinical trials conducted by scientists not connected to the company that makes BEMER are not easy to find. Those studies that have been done are small and do not provide scientific evidence of therapeutic benefits.
The BEMER Pro Set has several different parts, including the B Box, which is the main control unit, the B Body, which is a mat that you lie on, and various other components that serve to focus the electromagnetic energy on specific body parts.
Here’s What Happened When I Tried It
I was introduced to the BEMER Pro Set by a friend whose wife had used the device on her horses. She swore that it helped to calm her animals and give them more energy. My friend brought the device to me all packed up in a bag that looked like a sporty gym bag. It was mine to try for two weeks.
The BEMER was explained to me, the B Body (the mat) was laid out on my couch, and I was taught how to use the B Box to control the settings of the mat. I was left alone in the room as the B Box was set for eight minutes, the lowest time setting. What I felt was comfortable pulsating all the way up my legs and back. The feeling helped me relax.
On the B Box is a symbol for “plus,” which makes the pulsating more powerful. As I familiarized myself with the device over the next two weeks, I used that symbol a few times to increase the intensity of the pulsating.
Every morning I lay on the B Body for about eight minutes, feeling relaxed at the end. I tried using the B Light on some eczema on my skin. The warmth felt good, but I didn’t see any change over the two weeks. I also used the B Spot on my tight left quadriceps. The BEMER comes with a strap that allows one to strap the B Spot anywhere on the body. Once again, nothing noticeable there either.
Then, one day I was sitting at my desk for about an hour working on my computer, expecting the usual spasticity and stiff legs to plague me. When I got up, my legs were not stiff in the usual way and did not cramp! This change happened after at least three days of using the BEMER. My legs seemed loser, and I took an “effortless” walk up and around our driveway. This is exactly what I was hoping for.
But the results didn’t last. I had hoped the reduction in spasticity would carry through to the next day, but although the tightness was less, things were not as dramatic as the day before. A little bit of the spasticity had returned. I wasn’t sure how to explain this to myself or to anyone else. I was stumped! Almost like a teaser, it happened once and never again.
Three Things I Liked About the BEMER Pro Set
The three things I liked about the BEMER were:
- The idea that electromagnetic energy delivered at the appropriate frequency could have beneficial effects.
- The B Box controls, which encompassed many functions and were easy to use.
- The feeling of lying on the B Body mat. With its gentle pulsating action, it was relaxing.
Three Things I Disliked About the BEMER Pro Set
The three things I disliked about the BEMER include:
- Its large footprint. By this I mean there were too many pieces and parts that made up the whole unit. All these pieces individually plugged into the B Box, which were then were used on the body. Along with all these pieces came many wires — too many wires — that tended to get all tangled up.
- I have mobility issues, and if I used the B Light, I had to deal with plugging it into the B Box, and then strapping it onto my body. At times the wire and strap were too much to manage and ended up in a messy pile.
- Lastly, this unit is too expensive for what it is, and it is not covered by insurance. It is “FDA registered,” which is not the same as “FDA approved.” As the fine print on the BEMER website states, “These statements have not been evaluated by the [U.S.] Food and Drug Administration or Health Canada. This device is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.”
The Bottom Line
If the B Body mat had been more consistent with helping to reduce my spasticity, I might have considered buying just that part. Overall, however, while the BEMER may benefit others, it did not benefit me. I also feel strongly about the price being so high and definitely not proportional to the relief it provided me.
Other Ways I Manage Multiple Sclerosis
To read about other ways I manage multiple sclerosis and all of the challenges that go along with living with it, check out the Everyday Health My Health Story column.