Magnet Therapy Aids Healing Process

magnetic-therapyMagnets have been used for thousands of years to treat numerous health conditions. Most recently though they have been in the news in regards to pain management, facilitating wound healing and relieving stress. I have known about magnet therapy for years but my first experience with magnets began when I injured the ligaments in my left knee earlier this year. I was amazed at how it helped to reduce pain and inflammation almost immediately. I want to share this information about how magnets work. Let’s look at the history first.

In a Chinese text dating back to 2000 B.C., it describes how lodestone (magnet) applied to acupuncture points could relieve pain. Ancient Indian and Hindu scripture refer to the medicinal use of lodestone. Early sailors used lodestone to steer their ships as a compass. The term magnet originated from magnes lithos or stone from magnesia a region of Greece where mysterious stones attracted anything containing iron. By the mid 1800’s carbon steel magnets were being made and magnet mania was sweeping Europe. Franz Mesmer a Frenchman reported numerous cures with magnets. Magnets were used during the civil war in America and their use has waxed and waned since then. The popularity of magnets declined with the onset of pharmaceutical drugs in the early part of this century. In the last decade magnet therapy has had a resurgence. Annual sales for one U.S. company were over 3 million dollars in 1989 but are currently exceeding 100 million dollars today. There are over 2 dozen manufacturers world wide and it equated to a 2 billion dollar a year industry.

So how do magnets work? Let’s first discuss magnetism and then look at how to use them. The earth and we as humans on it are magnets. We are surrounded by magnetic fields continually. As Dr. Zimmerman reports “ the healing potential of magnets is possible because the body’s nervous system is governed, in part, by various patterns of ionic currents and electromagnetic fields.” There are numerous forms of magnetic field therapy, including static magnetic fields produced by natural or artificial magnets, pulsating magnetic fields generated by electrical devices. These field are able to penetrate the human body and can affect the nervous system, organs and cells. Scientific research documents the following physiological effects of biomagnetic therapy:

  • It promotes blood and oxygen circulation along with the nutrient carrying potential of the blood.
  • It is able to affect the pH balance (acid-alkaline) which is often imbalanced in disease tissue
  • It positively speeds up migration of calcium ions to facilitate the healing of nervous tissue and bones.
  • It can powerfully influence the production of certain hormones from various endocrine glands
  • It stimulates and fosters enzyme activity.

All magnets have two poles; a positive and a negative pole. Or as some of you might know a north and a south pole. In relation to therapeutic effects it is important to know which is the north and south pole due to how the poles have an effect on its activity. The north pole is considered the calming pole and tends to help normalize. The south pole is the activating or exciting pole and it can cause negative effects. It can interfere with metabolic functioning, produces acidity, reduced cellular oxygen and encourages replication of latent microorganisms. If you don’t know the proper pole a device called a magnetometer is available to make this determination.

The strength of a magnet is measured in units of gauss (a unit of measuring the intensity of magnetic flux). Every magnet manufactured has a gauss rating. This rating can be as low as 500g or as high as 12000g. The actual strength of the magnet at the skin surface is often much less than this gauss rating. An example is that a 4000g magnet transmits approximately 1200g to the person.

Therapeutically magnets are used to control pain, to stop infection, heal bones and scar tissue, aid sleep, reduce inflammation and reduce stress. According to dr. Philpott magnets have helped eliminate toothaches, periodontal disease, kidney stones and calcium deposits and aid mobility. When using this therapy for specific conditions it is important to consult with an experienced professional trained in magnetic therapy. When choosing this type of therapy the following considerations are important:

  • The magnet strength, shape and size
  • Duration of the ailment
  • Severity of the condition
  • Total area to be treated
  • Whether it is superficial or deep
  • The person’s sensitivity

Magnets are very safe but need to be used with awareness and understanding. They are effective for approximately 75 % of the conditions and people using them. The following cautions are recommended:

  • Don’t use them on the abdomen during pregnancy.
  • Don’t sleep on a magnetic mattress pad for more than eight to ten hours.
  • Wait sixty to ninety minutes after meals before applying to the abdomen. It can increase peristalsis.
  • Do not apply the south pole unless under medical supervision. It can produce seizures, hallucinations, insomnia, hyperactivity, stimulate tumors and promote addictive behavior.
  • Do not use if history of epilepsy, wearing a pacemaker, or metal implants.
  • Do not use strong magnets on young children.

There are numerous forms of magnets available. Mattress pads, knee and elbow wraps, bracelets, insoles, and small circular one on Band-Aids. Ask for specific information about the companies product when purchasing and get written documentation as to strength and polarity.

For more information read Biomagnetic Handbook by Dr. Philpott, Williams and Taplin, Sharon, Choctaw or Cross Currents by Robert Becker Md.

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