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Magnetic Therapy - Can it Really Improve Your Health?
Magnetic Therapy - Can it Really Improve Your Health?

Posted on October 17, 2013 by admin There have been 0 comments

In recent years magnetic therapy has become a popular form of treatment for a variety of ailments and has developed a dedicated core of users and practitioners who swear by its positive health benefits.  Proponents of Magnetic therapy believe that electromagnetic fields created by magnets are able to penetrate the human body, and by improving blood circulation, increasing the flow of oxygen and repairing other disorders, improve overall body health and diminish pain and swelling in a natural, drug free manner.  

Magnetic devices have been used to treat conditions ranging from spondylosis of the neck, whiplash injury, shoulder pain and migraine headaches to insomnia.  Though magnetic therapy is enjoying current popularity, it has been employed as a pain reliever for centuries.  In the past magnets have been incorporated into jewelry, used under a pillow, inside a shoe, in an article of clothing or in a wrist or ankle strap.

 

How does Magnetic Therapy Work?

Although no one is sure exactly what magnetic therapy does, proponents claim that  it works by realigning the body’s magnetic fields and by drawing blood to specific  parts of the body to create a soothing and healing effect on nerves, tissues, muscles and cells.  It is generally believed that magnets work best when placed near an ailing body part in order to provide a therapeutic magnetic field.

Smaller magnetic devices are often fastened to the body with elastic bandages, tape or Velcro,  or used in the form of bracelets, shawls or wraps.  These devices usually produce a magnetic field which ranges from about 300 to 400 gauss, which is almost ten times larger than the power of a magnet in a domestic refrigerator (gauss is the standard unit used for measuring a magnetic field's intensity).

The strength of the magnetic field required for treatment and the length of time for a treatment episode depends on the ailment and type of pain experienced.  Treatment can vary from a few minutes to several hours a day for weeks at a time.  For treatment of insomnia, magnetic pillows, mattresses and mattress covers producing as much as 4,000 gauss are recommended.  Because of the wide range of treatment options available, it is wise to utilize magnetic therapy under the guidance of a trained physical therapist or doctor.

Magnetic Therapy Products

A sampling of some of the more popular magnetic therapy products include:

 

Magnetic Mattress pads - designed to promote better sleep and provide relief of insomnia, lower back pain, poor circulation and other ailments that affect sleep

Magnetic Pillows - intended to relieve headaches, neck pain and promote restful, all-night sleep

 

Magnetic Wraps and Shawls - to provide pain relief and comfort to targeted areas of the body

 

Acupressure Pads - aimed at helping smokers to quit the smoking habit

 

Magnetic Menstrual Pain Pads - intended to relieve menstrual pain by increasing the flow of blood in the uterine area, and stopping the build-up of lactic acid

Magnetic Bracelets - Aimed at relieving a variety of ailments, including stress  and lower back pain

 

Magnetic Water Wands - when dipped in water, is intended to ionize drinking water to make it useful in healing ailments such as kidney and stomach problems as well as skin ailments and high blood pressure

 

Magnetic Hairbrushes - designed to magnetically massage the scalp during brushing, for healthier and more attractive hair

Magnetic Elbow, Knee Ankle and other Joint Supports - intended to provide relief for a variety of joint injuries

 

Magnetic Animal treatment Products - Pet collars and other devices to promote better health of pets and other animals

 

How do we know whether Magnetic Therapy really improves Health?

To date no formal research studies have conclusively proved the effectiveness of magnetic therapy. Nor has there been enough research to determine what gauss intensity, if any, is high enough to be dangerous.  It is known however, that MRI machines produce powerful magnetic fields without any known negative effects. For this reason, proponents of magnetic therapy believe its use to be completely safe.

Even though there has been no scientific proof of the effectiveness of magnetic therapy, many users happily use it, feeling a sense of relief and comfort with the treatment.  Although this relief may merely a "placebo effect" (a benefit perceived by a person based on faith and belief in the effectiveness of the medication), improvement for any reason has some merit.

Although magnetic therapy has not demonstrated any health risks to otherwise healthy individuals to date, health professionals  express concern that some who might benefit from other, proven therapies forgo those treatments for unproven magnetic therapies.

Magnetic Interference and other Health Effects

It is known that magnets can interfere with the operation of devices such as cell phones, credit cards, digital cameras and flash drives.  While not a health concern, it is a practical consideration.  Because many people place these items on nightstands in close proximity to magnetic pillows and mattresses, they run the risk damaging these electronic devices.

However, an important health care electronic device that can be affected by a magnetic field is the heart pacemaker.  For this reason, some manufacturers warn pacemaker users against using magnetic pillows and mattresses.   And because of the limited research on the effect of electromagnetic fields on pregnant women and their fetuses, most manufacturers recommend against the use of magnets for those who are pregnant or who may become pregnant.

 

Should you use Magnetic Therapy?

It is estimated that the magnetic therapy market in the U.S. is worth $300 million annually, so it is clear that many people believe in this treatment whether or not its effectiveness has been scientifically proven.  A good rule of thumb is that there nothing wrong with using magnetic therapy if you can afford it and you are not forsaking clinically proven healing techniques to do so.  If magnetic therapy makes you feel better, then use it as long as you don't use it in place of conventional medicine.


This post was posted in Back Pain & Body Pain

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