Introduction to Waveform
A wave is a disturbance traveling through space, transferring energy from one point to the next. Those of us who studied physics or algebra are familiar with the graphic depiction of sine waves. Mathematically, sine waves can be drawn on a coordinate system consisting of “x” and “y” axis. The y-axis contains both positive and negative values. A sine wave varies cyclically both above and below the y-axis, and is symmetrical about the zero-axis (or x-axis).
The most positive value is at the “peak” of the sine wave. This is called the “peak amplitude.” This is the point of maximum displacement of the magnetic signal from zero. In bioelectromagnetic medicine, peak amplitude, or wave intensity, is usually measured in milliGausss, milliTesla or microTesla.
A magnetic wave that has alternating polarities (e.g., both positive and negative peaks (or cycles)) is called a bipolar wave. Magnetic signal shapes and behaviors can be manipulated by altering the electrical currents that generate them. This is usually done by computerized controls. By combining cycles of electrically generated magnetic pulsations, “pulse trains” can be created which enhance biological effects of the magnetic stimulus.
The most critical component of the waveform is its rise time and fall time. According to Liboff the therapeutic value of a given pulsed signal is highly dependent on how rapidly the rise time and fall time happen. This signal characteristic cannot be underemphasized, and is perhaps the most important thing to note in our discussion about the 4 key parameters of an electromagnetic signal. The abrupt fall time represents a high peak voltage value that is responsible for ion displacement in the body. Greater ion displacement exerts a stronger biological effect. More effective than a simple sine wave, and more effective than a static magnetic, the iMRS produces powerful electromotive forces in the cell membrane, inside the cells, and in the tissues of the body.
To summarize so far, the waveform, or shape of the electromagnetic signal, is something to which very close attention needs to be paid. One of the most useful waveforms created is the “sawtooth” wave.
Both the sawtooth signal shape and the square waveform have rise and fall times that are far more abrupt than a simple sine waveform. Again, the more abrupt the rise and fall time, the greater the biological effect. Clinicians and health technicians using this form of energy medicine have a full appreciation of the relationship between signal shape and bioelectromagnetic interaction with the body.
The sawtooth waveform
The most well-known signal shape is the sawtooth waveform introduced by Bassett in 1974.Dr. Bassett observed that changes in the electromagnetic signal induce an electrical current within the treated tissue, with maximum current being induced when the signal changes most abruptly, namely when it falls from its peak value to its lowest value (fall time). The piezoelectric current induced within bone accelerated the bone healing. As a result of Bassett’s work, this waveform has been FDA approved in the United States since 1979 for the treatment of non-union fractures and to aid in spinal fusion operations.
All iMRS devices come with a whole body mat applicator. The signal shape delivered by the mat is a sawtooth waveform.
Research has shown that the sawtooth carrier waveform provides the best magnetic resonance stimulation of all the waveforms. The sharp rise time and fall time produce the maximum impulse or stimulation to the cells, recharging them in the most powerful way. Within the low-to-mid frequency ranges of wellness application used by the iMRS, the waveform (or signal shape) may be as important, if not more important, than the intensity or field strength of the electromagnetic pulse being used.