The use of magnets in the medical field

            The use of magnets in the medical field began in the 16th century by Paracelsus who used iron in magnets to treat diseases from humans. Many physicians have cured gout, poisoning arthritis and baldness in the middle Ages period.  A researcher Albert Roy David discovered the effects of positive and negative charges on cancerous cells.  The magnetic charges were found to cure arthritis pain, glaucoma and infertility.  The magnetic therapists argue that there are electromagnetic charges emitted by some body cells and tissues.  There is a claim that the magnetic field helps the body to align the cells after the disruption caused by ailments. There is a proposal by magnetic therapist that the procedure can cure headache, fractured bones restore body circulation cure cancer and remedy degenerative conditions. (Berger 2007) The presence of a magnetic field next to painful areas is argued to hasten the healing process.  The magnetic charges are believed to help improve emotional well being, improve circulation and blood flow, change the impulses on nerves reduce the deposits on arterial walls and replenish oxygen supply in cells and body tissues (Hemlin)

            There is no scientific evidence to back some arguments by magnetic therapist.  The effect of negative magnetic charges on cuts, bones, foreign toxic drugs and harmful substances has no convincing backing in medical fields. The modern sedentary lifestyle has resulted in many health problems.  These problems have made people more observant about their diet, work routine and physical exercises.  Some traditional disciplines like yoga, mediation and tai chi from china have gained ground in many people as appropriate exercises.  For chronic conditions and problems the usual medical treatment has been effective.  This has led people to look at acupuncture, aroma therapy, homeopathy and ayurvedic treatment.(

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             Magnetic therapy has been adopted in N. America, Asia and parts of Asia as safe inexpensive kinds of treatment as opposed to conventional medicine. Many patients suffering from Parkinson’s disease in Holland have found this treatment quite remarkable several conditions have been treated in Japan with over 95% success rate for magnetic therapy.  Japanese have used this form of treatment for lumbago, rheumatism and stiff shoulder and necks. Over a hundred million people in the whole world currently use magnetic therapy to cure pain.

            The procedure involves the use of permanent magnets of 590 gauss which is a measure of electric field in length for a period of over three days to relief pain. Despite the immense success of the magnetic therapy many persons have considered the treatment as traditional or considered alternative in the sense of lesser effectiveness. Magnetic therapy uses magnetism found in living organisms. It has been recently considered a sound and effective therapy for many ailments. The proper use of this therapy relives insomnia and migraines.

             A clinical research by Baylor College of Medicine found out that the use of magnets helped to relieve pain in polio patients .Furthermore electromagnetic energy has been claimed to cure ailments.  The electromagnetic energy results from infrared light, microwaves, radio waves and electricity.  The use of magnets is not advisable for users with various implants like defibrillators, infusion pumps and pacemakers.  The magnetic charges interfere with the working of the medical gadgets. Though the use of magnetic therapy has not been fully accredited by the medical partition, Phyllis Berger in her publication The Journey To Pain Relief has found the magnetic therapeutic procedure effective in relieving pain.  The procedure is cheap and simple procedure that helps in treatment of fractures.  The body of human conducts the electrical charges for use in reconstructive therapy. (Berger 2007)

            Iron is a magnetic material which is also found in a blood component called haemoglobin. Haemoglobin absorbs oxygen from the air sacs in the lungs and takes to cells in the rest of the body.  Iron attracts electric charges in the body. The electrical changes cause a flow of ions from the negative pole to the positive pole of magnet.  The transmission mechanisms of ions occur when the body comes into contact with a magnetic field or an electric current.  The exposure of iron in haemoglobin to a magnetic fields helps to attract molecules of iron to the part with the injuries and the particles are bound to the affected areas of the body.  The magnetic field in contact with the body helps to improve oxygenation of the tissues.

            A mechanism has been put forward by scientists to explain the action of a magnetic field on an injury. Body fluids, blood and water contain charges.  The intermolecular bonds of the body fluids are broken by exposure to a magnetic field and these help in fastening the healing process. Research in medical fields has shown that magnets have assisted in curing several conditions like tension in muscles, pain in joints, and rheumatoid arthritis. The use of magnets on patients after burns and surgery has helped to reduce big scars.  A negative pole of a magnet placed on a fractured part has shown to fasten the healing process.

            The pole seeking ability of magnet helps to give its polarity.  A south seeking pole is found to be attracted to the north pole of a compass and said to have a positive magnetic field. A north seeking poles is attracted to the South Pole and has a negative magnetic field.  The application of different poles of a magnetic has been found to cause different reactions.  A north pole is used to help in the healing process, reduce inflammation and pain, replenish oxygen in cells, alkalize the tissues to restore acid-base balance to avoid retention of fluids in tissues, help in constriction of blood vessels furthermore it has been observed that a north pole helps restore sleep and reduce bleeding of capillary.

            A south pole has counteractive effects on body cells. A south pole in a magnetic field cause loss of sleep, reduces oxygen in cells, hampers the healing process and facilitates expansion of blood vessels. (Berger 20070 Furthermore a south pole facilitates production of red blood cells and softening of capillary walls.

            The magnetic field strength of the earth is about 0.5 gauss. The medics recommend about 600-2000 gauss for treatment. Usually a type called biomagnet is used in therapeutic magnets.  These magnets can also be referred to as dual magnets since they have both polarities. The gadgets are inexpensive, available at pharmacies and easy to use.  When applied well over three to four days magnets help to relieve pain in patients.  The use of magnets for therapeutic causes considered safe and less injurious [] the body effective in compared to conventional surgery.  Magnets can be considered as a very natural way to relief pain and muscle tension. (Hemlin et al 1999)

            The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not approved the use of magnetic therapy in the treatment of diseases. The use of magnetic therapy is significantly in the clinical trial stage. Only in management of depression has the FDA recognized the use of magnetic therapy as stimulators. The presence of various types of magnetic product and intensive advertisement of magnetic therapy gadgets has posed a real challenge for the potential users of the magnetic products.


Berger.P (2007) The Journey to Pain Relief: A Hands-On Guide to Breakthroughs in       Pain Treatment   Hunter House

Hemlin.C Birla G.S, (1999) Magnet Therapy: The Gentle and Effective Way to Balance   Body Systems.  Inner Traditions / Bear & Company

Electromagnetic Therapy. Accessed from



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