Magnet therapy is a system based on the idea that our bodies form an electromagnetic field that responds to the healing power of magnets. That is because iron makes up about four percent of our blood content and every ion – or atom – contained in our cells produces an electrical impulse. These three elements make up our bodies own electrical, magnetic field.
How Does Magnetic Therapy Work?
When the north side of a magnet – which is negative – is placed on a painful part of the body, it draws fresh oxygenated blood to the area of complaint. That, in contrast, is a positive energy field. That creates a two-pronged result. As magnets are alkaline, it counteracts any acidity in the body caused by the disease. Also, fresh blood helps to remove any acidity from the body which, in turn, accelerates healing.
In some cases, magnets applied to illness-affected areas with the aid of wraps, shoe inserts, self-adhesive strips, belts, or “magnetic jewellery” like bracelets, necklaces, and earrings. Other products include magnetic mattress pads and blankets, as well as magnetic-field-generating machines and even magnet-conditioned water.
Growing Body of Evidence Suggests Effectiveness of Magnet Therapy
Fibromyalgia – Researchers at Tufts University School of Medicine in Boston showed that magnets help relieve muscle pain caused by this mysterious condition. In the study, patients who slept on magnetic mattresses experienced greater pain relief than patients who slept on conventional mattresses.
Diabetic neuropathy – In research conducted at New Your Medical College of Valhalla, magnetic foot pads were more effective than nonmagnetic foot pads at relieving numbness, tingling and pain associated with this diabetes-related problem. Evidence suggests that roughly 80% of chronic pain sufferers could benefit from magnetic therapy. That is true for virtually any form of pain.
How Magnets Relieve Pain
When held against the skin, magnets relax capillary walls, thereby boosting blood flow to the painful area. They also help prevent the muscle spasms that underlie many forms of pain apparently by interfering with muscle contractions. And they interfere with the electrochemical reactions that take place within nerve cells, impeding their ability to transmit pain messages to the brain.
Of course, you can control chronic pain with aspirin and other over-the-counter and a prescription painkiller. But unlike pain medications, magnets do not carry any risk of side effects.
Aching Feet – Magnetic insoles can relieve leg pain and the achy feelings in the legs after you’ve been standing all day.
Arthritis – If the pain is limited to your fingers, a neo magnet taped to the affected joint should do the trick. Or, you can wear a magnetic wrist band.
Back Pain – Place four magnets about 1.5″ on either side of the spine, two per side. If applying and removing several magnets proves troublesome, use a three to four-inch ceramic strip magnet or a magnetic back brace.
Headache – Tape magnets to your temples or the back of your head, just above the neck. Or use a magnetic headband.
Tennis Elbow – Use a magnetic band around the elbow. The same band also relieves hand and arm pain caused by repetitive strain injury.
Selecting Medical Magnets
Medical magnets come in a dizzying range of shapes, sizes and strengths. They range in price from about $5 all the way to $900. It is usually best to start with one or more coin-shaped magnets made of the rare earth metal neodymium-boron. For most applications, these “neo” magnets work just as well as and cost less than other magnets.
Magnetism measure is gauss. A typical refrigerator magnet is about ten gauss. That is too weak to penetrate the skin and unlikely to be helpful for anything more than a minor bruise. Medical magnets range in strength from 450 gauss to 10,000 gauss. The higher the gauss, the better the pain relief.
Putting Magnets to Work
The magnet should be affixed to the skin directly over the sensitive area. Some people use regular adhesive bandages to attach the magnets. But Transpore, a paper tape made by 3M, works better. It holds well, and it doesn’t pull the hairs from the skin when you remove it.
The magnet can fail to provide relief. In that case, reposition the magnet over the nearest acupuncture point within a few days. To locate these points on the body, consult a book on acupuncture.
If repositioning the magnet fails to bring relief within 30 days, odds are it’s not going to work. Switch to another type of magnet or speak with your doctor about using pain killing medication or another conventional approach.
If you’re undergoing radiology, it’s important to avoid the use of magnetic devices. Pregnant women and people with cardiac pacemakers should also forego magnetic therapy.
Moreover, it’s important to consult a healthcare professional about the condition you’re seeking to alleviate through magnetic therapy, rather than letting a potentially dangerous health problem go untreated.