What is Magnetic Therapy?

What Is Magnet Therapy?


Although healing with magnets has hugely increased in popularity in recent years it is a very ancient healing method.  Many ancient civilisations including the Greeks, Hebrews, Arabs, Chinese, Indians and Egyptians all used magnets for healing purposes.  Legend has it that Cleopatra wore a magnetic amulet on her forehead, near the brains magnetically sensitive pineal gland, to preserve her youthful appearance.


The 15th Century physician Paracelus, one of the leading figures in the development of medicine, believed that magnetic force could energise the body and promote healing.  At the turn of the century medical textbooks referred extensively to magnets but, as advances in medical knowledge and techniques progressed, magnet therapy lost its appeal.  With the growing awareness of the limitations of modern medical knowledge in recent years, magnet therapy has enjoyed a resurgence in popularity.  Sales of magnet therapy products worldwide currently total $2billion per year and many health insurance companies now include this therapy in their cover.   


Magnets nowadays are made by passing a strong electric current through an iron bar causing the electrons to spin.  Almost all substances can be magnetised although iron, with its many surplus electrons, is most suited for the purpose.  Combining iron with other elements can greatly increase magnetic strength.


Magnets come in all strengths, shapes and sizes but most magnets used for therapeutic purposes are encased in either elasticised fabric, ceramic or decorative metal.  To be effective the magnet should be close to the skin so close-fitting clothing (shoes for example) or jewellery is an ideal method of ensuring this proximity is achieved and sustained. 


The therapeutic strength of a magnet is measured in gauss (a measurement of magnetic flux) and also by physical size.  The size of a magnet is very important for therapeutic purposes as the larger a magnet is, the further it can penetrate through the body.  Very small magnets (which may only penetrate a few inches into the body) are used for treating localised conditions.  Polarity is also important as the side of the magnet that attracts the north pole calms and reduces inflammation and the south pole attracting side stimulates healing and growth. 


It is believed that magnets work on the body by stimulating the individuals own magnetic energy, which in turn causes the body to react in beneficial ways such as increased circulation, attracting calcium ions for healing purposes, boosting energy levels and affecting hormone production which can produce a range of benefits including relieving mild depression and reducing stress.


Although magnet therapy can be used to treat a whole range of ailments it is most commonly used in the treatment of painful conditions such as Rheumatism, Arthritis and Sciatica.  It is gaining increasing popularity amongst sportsmen and women, particularly in the field of golf where many amateur and professional players publicly advocate the use of magnetic therapy to treat strains and stiffness.  It is also used in the treatment of many other ailments including allergies, angina, anxiety, asthma, bronchitis, chilblains, constipation, deep vein thrombosis, diabetes, gout, impotence, insomnia, nausea, migraine, respiratory problems, sinusitis, tinnitus, travel sickness and varicose veins. 


Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) is already used as one of the most effective ways to visualize the brain and the spinal cord and many believe that electromagnetism will play a huge part in 21st Century medicine – particularly in the areas of neural regeneration and spinal injury.