Ion Cyclotron Resonance

» Origins of Seqex®
Based on the original writings of Abraham R. Liboff
Professor Emeritus Ph.D., New York University

The Seqex® device was developed based on research conducted in the mid 1960s by the scientist W.R. Adey, who discovered that it is possible to stimulate the biological ions in living organisms using extremely low frequency and low intensity electromagnetic fields.
Over the following years, Carl Blackman, a scientist at the U.S. EPA (Environmental Protection Agency), discovered that these results were critically dependent on the direction of application of the electromagnetic fields.
In 1984 Prof. A.R. Liboff, interested at the time in the biological effects of cosmic radiation, hypothesized that the discoveries of Adey and Blackman could easily be explained by assuming that the terrestrial magnetic field, or geomagnetic field (GMF), interacted with the applied variable fields, producing a phenomenon known as ion cyclotron resonance (ICR) directly inside tissues.

The phenomenon of ICR is well known to physics: it requires the simultaneous application of two parallel magnetic fields, one static and one variable through time.
However, up to that time nobody had ever foreseen that ICR could also occur within biological systems, since this type of resonance is not common at low frequencies except in extreme vacuum, for example in outer space.
Notwithstanding this, Liboff assumed that the effects observed in the laboratory by Adey and Blackman were caused by ICR, and he was able to demonstrate that, on the basis of the frequencies used and the GMF values, the phenomena could be induced with precisely predictable results.
In particular, he demonstrated how the range of intensity of the GMF on the Earth’s surface corresponded with frequencies of ICR, so that very low physiologically significant frequencies were capable of affecting key biological ions, like for example calcium, potassium, and magnesium.
Subsequently Liboff also demonstrated how these discoveries were of revolutionary importance: the observations of Adey and Blackman had effectively revealed an intrinsic electromagnetic property in living beings.
He further demonstrated that the previous successes with pulsed magnetic fields (PMF, also known as magnetotherapy) for treatment of bone diseases like arthrosis, osteoporosis, and delayed consolidation presented by Dr. C.A.L. Bassett in the 1970s were very probably specific cases of ICR. These known physical effects were therefore derived from the probability of the wide band frequencies in the PFM signals also including ICR frequencies.
In order to verify these hypotheses Liboff, with the help of Prof. S.D. Smith, Prof. B.R. McLeod, Dr. J. Thomas, and the undergraduate K. A. Jenrow, undertook a long series of experiments on various organisms.
These experiments and many others around the world proved beyond all doubt that combinations of ICR from magnetic fields tuned to certain ions can have profound effects on living beings, be these cell cultures or complete organisms.
Another researcher, Dr. Mikhail Zhadin, observed the effects of ICR on various organisms in experiments that demonstrated sudden changes in electrical conductivity of water solutions of amino acids induced by magnetic fields at ICR frequencies.
However, despite the experimental confirmation and the contributions of Liboff, Lednev, Blanchard, Zhadin, Del Giudice, and others, to date there is no exhaustive theoretical explanation for the ICR hypothesis.
In 1987 the U.S. FDA (Food and Drug Administration) authorized the first medical application of ICR to treat delayed consolidation of bone fractures, and a few years later a second medical application was approved to assist spinal fusion (in cases of spina bifida). These treatments were administered locally in the area of the lesions or symptoms.
To date these applications of ICR generate an annual worldwide turnover of around 85 million dollars.

» The birth of a new device
At the end of the 1990s a new type of total body treatment was proposed in Italy by the company S.I.S.T.E.M.I. Engineers and researchers collaborated to develop an electro-medical device called Seqex® which applied ICR-like frequencies in a truly holistic way to treat not a localized area but the complete human organism.

The researchers at S.I.S.T.E.M.I. drew inspiration from the original intuition of Liboff that all living organisms have intrinsic ICR-like biological properties, and they considered it reasonable to assume that these properties extended over the entire organism. Starting from this supposition, the researchers proposed that the external application of ICR-like magnetic signals to the entire body could help restore the general wellbeing of individuals.

But how do you quantify the level of wellbeing?
S.I.S.T.E.M.I. found an ingenious answer to this question with a solution already widely used around the world to establish the state of health of individuals.
This is impedancemetry, a simple and quick method for measuring the electrical resistance of an entire body. It was discovered that this changes after the administration of ICR-like signals. Since these changes can be beneficial for patients, the individual variations in impedance is taken as an indicator of efficiency. On a molecular level it should be no surprise that ICR-like magnetic frequencies can modify the total impedance of a human body because this takes into account both the electrical resistance and the capacitive reactance of the same. The latter is mainly caused by the double lipidic layer of the thousands of millions of cells that make up the organism and almost all theoreticians agree that interaction with electromagnetic fields takes place at the cellular membranes.

How is treatment given?
The patient lies on a mat containing coils designed to generate variable vertical magnetic fields over the entire body. First the impedance is measured using a pair of electrodes connected to a wrist and ankle. Next the device sends a sequence of variable magnetic fields to the mat, synchronized to ICR-like frequencies and at the same time determines which of these is the most effective for modifying the impedance of the body. Finally, the most effective frequencies and wave forms are memorized on a personal card, which is readable by Seqex® devices and can be used for subsequent treatment sessions, each of which can last from 9 to 54 minutes.
Seqex® electro-medical devices are patented in Europe and the USA, in a Med version for professional use, and Fam and Smart versions for home use. They have been in production since 1999 and are marketed by the company S.I.S.T.E.M.I. srl based in Cirè di Pergine (TN), Italy, website

» Pulsed ion cyclotron resonance magnetic fields

International scientific studies have demonstrated that, depending on the parameters of intensity and frequency, electromagnetic fields can:

  • Reduce inflammation and pain in the osteoarticular apparatus.
  • Enhance ossification.
  • Accelerate healing of fractures
  • Induce a muscle relaxant effect.

The phenomenon of ion cyclotron resonance (ICR) has been known to mainstream physics since the early 1900s. The earliest observations of the biological effects of ICR were described in the 1970s by the researchers W.R. Adey and Carl Blackman. In 1984 the American biophysicist Abraham R. Liboff conducted a number of experiments on cell cultures in which the administration of ICR increased the transit through cell membranes of key biological ions like calcium, potassium, magnesium, sodium, etc. Liboff demonstrated that the phenomenon is based on the presence of two parallel magnetic fields with precise values of intensity and frequency: the Earth’s magnetic field (geomagnetic field) in combination with a variable magnetic field, the frequency of which matched the ICR frequency.

For a given value of the permanent magnetic field there is a precise cyclotron resonance frequency. For example in the presence of a magnetic field of 45 microtesla (45 microtesla = 0.45 Gauss: approximately the intensity of the terrestrial magnetic field at our latitude), the cyclotron resonance frequency of calcium is 38.5 Hz. As the permanent magnetic field varies so the cyclotron resonance frequency changes (the so called window effect). More detailed discussion of the basis of the ICR phenomenon are available in literature: “Electric Polarization and the Viability of Living Systems: Ion Cyclotron Resonance-Like Interactions”, pubblicato sulla rivista “Electromagnetic Biology and Medicine”.

In 1987 the FDA (Food and Drug Administration), the U.S. agency that authorizes the use of pharmaceuticals and health devices, approved the first medical application of ICR for the treatment of cases of failed/delayed bone consolidation. A few years later a second medical application was approved for the enhancement of spinal fusion. In the second half of the 1990s the northern Italian company S.I.S.T.E.M.I. srl constructed the first device based on the phenomenon of ICR for total body treatment called SEQEX, which has been on the market since 1999.

Eight Questions to Professor Emeritus Abraham Liboff

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Prof. Liboff’s background


The events that led up to the hypothesis of ion cyclotron resonance


The first experiments with ion cyclotron resonance


Why did it take so long before the idea of ion cyclotron resonance was accepted?


What are the practical applications for ion cyclotron resonance?


What are the most recent fields of research into ion cyclotron resonance?


What makes the Seqex device unique?


What are the future applications for ion cyclotron resonance?


The videos are also available on Vimeo

Academic Literature

More detailed discussions of the basis of the ICR phenomenon are available in academic literature: “Electric Polarization and the Viability of Living Systems: Ion Cyclotron Resonance-Like Interactions”, published in the journal “Electromagnetic Biology and Medicine”.