Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Magnets in Natural Healing

Magnetic therapy is considered a safe, non-invasive method of applying magnetic fields to the body for therapeutic purposes. It may help to speed the healing process and improve quality of sleep without any adverse side effects. Whether used independently or as an adjunct to any current treatment, magnet therapy may be effective for natural pain relief due to musculoskeletal injuries and chronic conditions.
Many indigenous and ancient civilizations, including the Hebrews, Arabs, Indians, Chinese, Egyptians and Greeks used magnets for healing. According to legend, Cleopatra wore a magnetic amulet on her forehead to preserve her youth; this placement put it near the brain's magnetically sensitive pineal gland.
As early as 1960s, clinical studies in the United States have shown that magnetic therapy may be an effective method for relieving pain and discomfort. Japan and many eastern European countries have conducted studies for over 30 years and researchers continue to find that it provides tremendous benefits for a wide range of conditions.

Life’s Magnetic Orientation

Examples of life's magnetic nature are abundant and found everywhere. Many birds and insects, such as homing pigeons, butterflies and bees navigate using Earth's magnetic field. Even humans can roughly sense magnetic direction. These abilities, in part, appear to be mediated through a magnetic substance called magnetite, which has been discovered in the tissue, including the human brain, of many living organisms. Researchers have found magnetite clusters near the brain's, magnetically sensitive pineal gland, which secretes hormones affecting the entire body.
Some supporters of magnetic therapy seem to base their belief on a metaphysical assumption that all illness is due to some sort of imbalance or disharmony in energy. This balance or flow of electromagnetic energy must be restored in order to restore health, and magnets are thought to be able to do this. Until recently, scientists believed that life was mostly a biochemical process. The idea that magnetic fields could significantly influence living systems seemed far-fetched. Perspectives have shifted rapidly, however, and many scientists now believe that at some level we are fundamentally "electromagnetic creatures."

Magnetism is created primarily by the spin of electrons within a substance. If the spin of sufficient numbers of electrons is aligned, the substance becomes magnetic. Although iron is readily magnetized because of its many surplus electrons, virtually all substances can be magnetized. Natural magnets called lodestones were created when iron-containing lava cooled and was magnetized by Earth's magnetic field.
Healing may be regarded as restoring balance to the body. The physical body can generate electrical energy and is affected by anything with an electromagnetic field - such as magnets. If used corrected magnets may relieve pain and speed healing.Not only are we affected by magnetic fields but we also generate them. For example, scientists can measure the brain and heart's magnetic fields with instruments called the magnetoencephalograph and magnetocardiogram, respectively.
Measurements of Magnetic Field used in Healing

The force or magnetic field of energy from a magnet is measured in gauss strength. Magnets used for pain relief and healing typically measure between 300 to10, 000 gauss. There are three main types of magnets currently in use, these are as follows:

1. Neodymium magnets have a 12,300 gauss rating
2. Ceramic magnets have a 3,900 gauss rating
3. Flexible magnets have a 2,750 gauss rating
How does magnetic therapy work?

Different theories have been put forward by researchers and scientists. Here is the most accepted theory. When a magnet is applied to the body, muscle and soft tissue lengthen and relax. Magnetic waves pass through the tissue and secondary currents are induced. When currents clash with magnetic waves they produce impacting heat on electrons in the body cells. This impacting heat is suggestive of bringing about healing. The application of a magnetic field to an injured area helps restore the normal electromagnetic balance. The magnetic field relaxes capillary walls, as well as surrounding muscles and connective tissues, allowing for increased blood flow. More oxygen and nutrients are transferred to the injury site, while pain and inflammatory-related electro-chemicals are more efficiently removed. The overall process restores the normal electromagnetic balance of the area, relieving pain and inflammation and promoting accelerated healing. Individual response time will vary and can range from a few minutes, to a few weeks. The effectiveness of magnetic therapy is dependent upon using the correct magnetic products, the length of time they are applied, and the type and severity of the problem.
Effectiveness of magnetic therapy

To be effective, a product must create a magnetic field of sufficient strength and coverage at the affected area. The problem is that the strength of a magnetic field dissipates rapidly with increasing distance from a magnet. Many times an injured area can be several inches below the skin. If a product is not properly designed, the magnetic field could easily stop before it even reaches the injury site, rendering the product completely ineffective. The Manufacturer's Gauss Rating (MGR) of a magnet indicates the amount of energy that a particular magnetic material can conserve. It is identical for all magnets made of the same material regardless of their size or the total number of magnets used.
Four factors determine the strength and penetration depth, that is, how far the magnetic field can reach when applied to the body:
1. Mass (surface area and thickness) of magnets.
2. Quantity of magnets used.
3. Polarity facing the body.
4. Manufacturer's gauss rating.
Direct Application of Magnets

• Start with localizing the painful area or zone.
• Probe by pressing the painful zone, particularly the depressions, for finding the points most painful. If necessary mark them with the tip of a pen.
• Prepare the magnet by gently washing with soap and drying it well with a soft cloth.
• Cut a piece of micropore surgical tape or a sticking plaster and attach the magnet with its help with the shining face towards your skin at the selected areas or painful zone.
Magnetic poles in therapy

Different magnetic poles have different effects on the body. The negative magnetic field or North Pole is the one to use on the body. It calms the body and is believed to expand capillaries resulting in increased blood and oxygen to the area. The positive field or South Pole stresses the body and can be dangerous with long-term exposure. Only doctors should apply the South Pole to their patients for special treatments. Some of the effects of the South Pole and North Pole are given below:
Positive/South Pole
Increases acidity
Reduces oxygen
Increases cellular swelling
Negative/North Pole
Calms the body
Neutralizes pH
Increases oxygen
Reduces cellular swelling
Storage of Magnets

Keep unused magnets inside wooden boxes, which will block their magnetic fields. Handle them with care, since they are fragile. If it falls, it can break or it can get scratched. If exposed to a temperature above 80° C, it would loose forever its magnetic properties. Store magnets in a cool, dry place.
Reported uses of magnetic therapy

• It helps alleviate pain and improve mobility of arthritic joints;
• Recovery of nerve sensation;
• It aids recovery of thorn ligaments, muscles and tendons;
• It reduces bruising and swelling;
• It speeds recovery in sports injuries;
• Greater resistance to infection;
• It improves circulation in the body and extremity warming;
• It helps removal of waste products from the blood such as lactic acids, calcium, cholesterol and fat deposits;
• It increases energy and strength;
• It speeds healing for example bone fractures;
• It helps recovery or can prevent Carpal Tunnel Syndrome;
• It alleviates migraine and headache.
Use of Magnetized Water

Like oxygen, water is paramagnetic, meaning that it holds a magnetic charge. Some researchers think that magnetized water has a reduced surface tension due to water clusters being separated. In other words the water is better able to penetrate cell walls because it's thinner and more absorbable. Magnetic energy can be transported to every cell in the body by drinking magnetic water. Magnetized water is sweet with a pH of about 8-9. Water can be magnetized simply by placing magnets on the water intake pipe or by placing a jug or glass of water on a circular magnet for several hours.
Magnetic therapy has been reported to be safe so far. No complications have ever been reported with its proper use. However, there are certain conditions where magnet therapy should not be used if You,

· Have a Pacemaker or other implanted electrical device;
· Received a localized cortisone injection in the past 2-3 weeks;
· Are pregnant;
· Have metallic strips after a surgical operation inside your body;
· Have convulsions;
· Have open wounds or during the period of menstruation;
· Just had a meal or one and half hour following a meal;
· Have placed a magnet on your head for a period exceeding 48 hours; Experience pain or increased pain, remove magnet and reverse them or discontinue use.
Side effects of magnetic therapy
There are no reported side effects of magnetic therapy thus far. Occasionally a person may feel a slight tingling sensation, which may be due to improved circulation.

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Sharp K. Gale Encyclopedia of Alternative Medicine. Kristine K and Jacqueline L, Longe Eds, Gale Group, Detroit 1114, 2001.

Vallbona C, Hazlewood C.F, Jurida G. Response of Pain to Static Magnetic Fields in Postpolio Patients: A Double-Blind Pilot Study. Arch Phys Med Rehabil 1997; 78: 1200-3.
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