by Sabrina Martini

What is Magnet Therapy?
Magnet therapy involves using magnetized equipment or magnets themselves to transmit electromagnetic energy into one’s body to obtain healing benefits. It has been deemed as a helpful treatment for neuropathy because not only does it treat pain, it also aids in repairing the cause of pain.

It is believed that interactions between the body and its surrounding electromagnetic fields must be balanced to maintain good health.

drawing of a u-shaped magnet
Magnetic Therapy has been used for millennia

Three Benefits of Magnetic Therapy

  1. Increased Circulation: Magnetic therapy has been proven to increase blood flow in areas treated by the magnetic field. This increase in capillary circulation allows more fresh, oxygenated blood to be exchanged in capillaries which in turn removes lymph, lactic acid, and other interstitial fluids and chemicals that may be causing pain.
  2. Decreased Pain: Magnetic therapy is theorized to relieve pain by assisting in the relaxation of capillary walls, thereby boosting blood flow to pained areas. In addition, it is said that magnets may prevent muscle spasms that underlie many forms of pain by interfering with muscular contractions and electrochemical reactions that transmits pain messages to the brain.
  3. Increased Energy: Application of a magnetic field can replenish magnetic deficiencies in cells which have become depolarized. This supplementary magnetic energy re-polarizes cells and furthermore increases energy.

Magnetic Therapy Treatment Options

Pulsed magnetic therapy: uses pulsed electromagnetic field therapies PEMF to turn on the body’s ability to regenerate bone, muscle, and nerve tissues as well as reduce inflammation. This is done by depolarizing, re-polarizing, and hyper-polarizing neurons.

Static magnetic field therapy: consists of a magnet attached to the skin via permanent application to improve blood flow in underlying tissues.

Magnetic molecular energizer: a machine that transmits powerful electromagnetic energy which encourages the body to heal faster.

Healing magnets: magnetic products can be purchased and worn (as jewelry, insoles, etc.) to obtain healing benefits. The five types of magnets most commonly used in this practice is flexible magnetic rubber, ceramic magnets, neodymium magnets, samarium cobalt magnets, and lastly, hematite magnets.

 Acupuncture needles: magnetized needles can be used to treat energy pathways in the body.

Who Shouldn’t Undergo Magnetic Therapy?

There are some people who should not use magnetic therapy, they include: young children and pregnant women; people with medical devices or implants with a magnetic field (ex: pacemaker); and, people undergoing magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).

Scientific vs. Anecdotal Evidence

The above is based on anecdotal  evidence that suggesting the benefits of magnetic therapy; and, magnetic therapy product sales is in fact an estimated $300 million dollar industry in the U.S.  However, there are no significant scientific studies supporting the efficacy of magnetic therapy. The largest study on magnetic therapy published in 2007 in the Canadian Medical Association Journal — a systematic review of numerous previous studies on static magnets did not find sufficient evidence to support the benefits claimed.

 

References

Does Magnetic Therapy Work and Benefits. (n.d.). Retrieved July 25, 2017, 
from http://www.magnetictherapymagnets.com/does-magnetic-therapy-work-benefits.html

Magnetic Therapy Research: Foot Pain and Diabetic Neuropathy. (n.d.). 
Retrieved July 25, 2017, from 
https://www.energiamagnetica.com/magnetic-therapy-research/podiatric

Treatments for Neuropathy. (n.d.). Retrieved July 25, 2017, from 
http://www.peripheralneuropathytreatments.com/neuropathy-magnets.htm

http://www.emfscience.com/does-magnetic-therapy-work/
Sabrina Martini is a student entering the 4th year of her Bachelors of Science, majoring in Neuroscience at the University of Lethbridge.
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