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Transcript of workshop training session recorded on 5th October 2004

The History of Magnetic Therapy

    Magnetic therapy dates back to around 2500 years ago. They were first discovered in Asia Minor where lodestone , the first magnetic substance was identified. There was a boy called Magnes, a Sheppard boy, who was walking with sandals that contained iron . He was walking on Mount Ida and he found that walking was not easy he had to put in extra effort and as he walked his feet were sticking to the rock. The rock in fact was lodestone which was found to have magnetic properties. Lodestone was the first documented magnetic material and it was named magnet after the Sheppard boy Magnus. The first magnets used in healing purposes are documented in Chinese medicine they were used in-conjunction with other alternative medicines such as Acupuncture and reflexology and the Chinese call magnets Chu Sui. Aristotle and Plato were also known to be talking about magnetic properties in their works. In the 1500’s a Swiss physician Paracelsus recognised the therapeutic powers of magnets and wrote papers to document this. In the 1600’s Dr William Gilbert an English physician wrote a scientific study on electricity and magnetism and wrote a leading book called De Magnet. Later in England in the 1700’s a scientist Dr Michael Faraday made discoveries into Bio magnetism and he became the father of Bio Magnetics . He wrote that all matter was either attracted or repelled by magnetic forces. His work still holds the foundations of modern Magnetic therapy today. Dr Messmer who is known as the father of Hypnotism or “mesmerism” was also one of the main pioneers of magnetic therapy as we know it today.

How Magnets Work?

    The blood contains both iron and positive and negative ions. Magnets have a positive effect on both iron and ions in the body. Magnets create a magnetic field that is believed to attract and repel charged particles in the blood leading to a production of heat this causes the blood vessels to widen which accelerates the healing process by allowing more blood to pass through the capillaries improving blood flow which help take away toxins in the system and brings in nutrient rich blood around the area. The improved blood flow helps fluid exchange in the tissues which reduces inflammation and swelling around the area. The magnetic field is also thought to block the nerve signals thus blocking the pain stimulus. When placed on the body magnets create a magnetic field. The magnets attract the iron particles in the blood. As the iron particles are stimulated the blood flow increases. The oxygen content is thus increased. Increased oxygen around the tissues speeds up the healing process, increases the circulation and increases the body’s amount of natural painkillers, endorphins.

    Every cell in the body has positive and negative ions. The cell itself has a positive and negative side. When the body has a chronic ailment or injury swelling occurs around the area. The swelling around an injury presses on the nerves causing pain inflammation pushes the positive and negative ions out of the cell. When magnets are placed around an area of pain they create a magnetic field. The magnetic field pulls the positive and negative ions back into the cell and realigns the cell, pushing the excess inflammation (fluid) out of the cell. When the excess fluid (swelling) has been reduced the pressure is removed from the nerves and the pain is alleviated. 

    The effects of magnetism are not instantaneous. It is not like taking a paracetamol or brufen tablet where you wait 15 minutes and the pain is gone but after 4- 6 hours the pain comes back again. Magnetic therapy does not work like this. It can take up to 4 weeks to have an effect.

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