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Magnet therapy is the
application of the magnetic field of electromagnetic devices or
permanent static magnets to the body for purported health
benefits. These benefits may be specific, as in the case of
wound healing, or more general, as for increased energy and
vitality. In the latter case, malaise is sometimes described as
"Magnetic Field Deficiency Syndrome". Some practitioners assign
different effects based on the orientation of the magnet; under
the laws of physics, magnetic poles are symmetric.Products
include: magnetic bracelets and jewelry; magnetic straps for
wrists, ankles, knees, and the back; shoe insoles; mattresses;
magnetic blankets (blankets with magnets woven into the
material); magnetic creams; magnetic supplements; and water that
has been "magnetized". Application is usually performed by the
What is magnetic therapy?
Magnetic therapy is a safe, non-invasive method
of applying magnetic fields to the body for therapeutic purposes. Whether used
independently or as an adjunct to your current treatment, magnet therapy
provides effective natural pain relief for a wide range of conditions, making it
an excellent choice for anyone. It helps speed the healing process and can
improve quality of sleep without any adverse side effects.
Does magnetic therapy have any side effects?
Health Organization issued a formal statement confirming that the
static magnetic fields (like the ones used in magnetic therapy) pose no health
risks whatsoever. No health complications have ever been reported with magnetic
therapy's proper use.
A few people have noted
sensations of warmth, sweating, or
tingling when they first begin using magnetic therapy. This is due to an
increase in blood circulation, and is normal. This sensation typically subsides
within the first 48 hours of use.
Conditions where magnet therapy should
not be used:
- If you have a pacemaker, defibrillator,
insulin pump, or any other implanted electro-medical device
- If you are pregnant
- Over the same area that has received a
localized cortisone injection within the past 2 weeks
What is the History of magnetic therapy?
Much like acupuncture, magnetic therapy
dates back thousands of years, but its use was much more widespread.
Its oldest origin traces back 100,000 years to Africa, and historic texts
describe its practice in ancient Greece, China, India and Egypt.
During the 1800s and early 1900s, doctors in the
U.S. often prescribed magnets for numerous ailments, from headaches to gout. And
as medical supplies ran low, Russian soldiers used magnets during World War II.
Today, Magnetic therapy is widely
accepted in Germany, France, Britain, India, Japan, Italy, Israel and about 45
Today, more magnetic therapy research is
being done than ever before. Scientists are trying to understand
exactly how magnetic fields affect different physiological processes – from
blood circulation, to bone formation, to the electro-chemical pain signals sent
Is magnetic therapy just a placebo effect?
In 2006, the
World Health Organization issued a 350-page report summarizing the
known effects and mechanisms of interaction of static magnetic fields on
animals, humans, and individual cellular processes. The report details expansive
recommendations for continued high-priority
research into the physical and behavioral effects of magnetic fields.
Today, more systematic approaches are being
used. Researchers have an increased understanding of the importance of magnetic
field strength, exposure time, polarity, and placement - leading to
more consistent findings.
The major evidence that refutes placebo effect
comes from studies conducted with animals, and lab experiments on cells
and tissue samples.
With this type of research, there is no
placebo effect. Animals do not "know" they are being treated, and
cannot expect a certain outcome. And differences in cellular and biological
activity can be accurately measured.
How does magnetic therapy work?
Presently, the scientific and medical community
is beginning to take much greater interest in magnetic therapy and other forms
of alternative and complementary health.
We're learning the body is not based
simply on biochemical reactions, but also electro-magnetic interactions.
A common misperception:
is that magnetic therapy attracts the iron in blood. This is false.
The iron in hemoglobin is in a chemically-bound state. It's not
Biomedical research explains that the vast
majority of the biological chemicals within our bodies are
actually electro-chemical ions. They
have either positive or negative charges, and produce electro-magnetic fields.
signals produced by nerves are the most well-known example of how the
body uses electro-chemical ions. The careful balance of positive ions
(sodium, potassium) and negative ions (chloride, calcium) in and
around nerves maintains a slightly negative charge.
When triggered, the balance of ions
shifts, and becomes more positive. This sends a pain signal to the brain.
Over decades, research has discovered that
all physical and behavioral functions
are controlled by electro-magnetic fields produced by ions. The balance and
movement of different ions signals and regulates different biological processes.
And most fascinating, is that these ions can be
influenced by external magnetic forces.
Studies have provided indisputable evidence that
negative (bio-north) magnetic fields actually
constrict and dilate the walls of capillary blood vessels. This
response assists the body with regulating blood circulation.
Capillaries constrict to reduce blood flow near
areas of injury and trauma, decreasing swelling
and pain. When swelling is removed, capillaries then dilate to increase
blood flow. This carries oxygen and nutrients more efficiently to
speed up cellular repair.
magnetic fields enhance the body's ability to quickly adapt and
regulate these biological responses. This leads to greater pain relief and
What else can
magnetic fields affect?
- The pineal gland is magnetically-sensitive.
It produces melatonin, the natural hormone that promotes sleep
and regulates the circadian rhythm (sleep/wake cycle).
- Nerve cells send pain
signals using a careful balance of positive and negative ions. When this
balance changes, the electric charge within nerve cells changes too.
Magnetic fields can reduce and/or block pain signals by helping to restore
- MRIs have shown the sinuses
are magnetically-sensitive. Magnetic fields can help reduce inflammation,
relieving sinus pain and congestion.
- Some Pulsed Electro-Magnetic Field therapy
(PEMF) devices are FDA-approved for healing non-union bone fractures.
(Currently, they are only used in about 20% of all cases.)
- Magnetic fields (Transcranial Magnetic
Stimulation) have been increasingly used and studied for treating
depression, insomnia, drug addiction, and Parkinson's disease.
- Clinical studies using magnetic mattress
pads have shown reduced symptoms in Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue
Syndrome, and Multiple Sclerosis.
- Clinical trials have shown magnetic knee
braces can provide significant arthritis pain relief and
improved knee function.
How effective is magnet therapy?
According to findings from research studies and
experts in the field, if magnetic therapy products are designed and used
properly they can be very effective
and pose no health risk at all.
When used correctly, magnetic therapy can reduce
swelling from a recent ankle sprain in as little as a few hours. However, it can
take several weeks before there is noticeable relief from a chronic condition,
Biomagnetics is more complex than most people realize
Aspects like magnet size, strength, and
polarity, how many magnets are used to cover a body area, and the duration of
use are just a few of many factors that must all be accounted for.
requirements will change depending on body area, the type of condition
being treated, its severity, and how long it has pre-existed.
There are also
different categories of magnetic therapy products, including jewelry,
orthopedic supports, pillows, mattress pads, and electro-magnetic devices. And
within these categories, there are many different product designs -
some more effective than others.
must be placed directly over an area of pain or swelling to have an effect.
Research results consistently show that magnetic health effects do not spread
out, and weak magnets offer little or no benefit. For example, magnetic
bracelets will not have any significant effects on back pain or widespread
When choosing a
product, think practically. For knee pain, wear a magnetic knee brace.
For headaches or trouble sleeping, use an eye mask or pillow. To treat
widespread pain or the entire body, a mattress pad should be used.
Is magnet therapy officially recognized?
Magnetic therapy is widely accepted in Germany,
France, Britain, India, Japan, Italy, Israel and about 45 other countries.
Most of these
government health systems officially recognize magnetic therapy as a
viable and cost-effective treatment option for pain relief and faster recovery
after injury and surgery. (The National Health Services in Britain is the most
recent to begin allowing doctors to prescribe magnets to heal and prevent leg
In the United
States, the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine
(NCCAM) classifies magnetic therapy as
a form of Energy Medicine