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Magnetic Therapy: Living Up To All The Hype It's Not Getting

Feb 13, 2008
I just finished reading an article about an alternative medical treatment that might just live up to all the hype this method is NOT receiving. Ancient Greeks used magnetized metal rings to treat joint pain as far back as the third century AD. Even today, magnetic therapy is being used worldwide and has been approved for medicinal use in 50 countries including Germany, Israel, and Japan.

There have been numerous studies involving the possible pain relieving effects of magnets on the human body. Studies ranged from control groups afflicted with post polio syndrome to studies with severe menstrual periods in a group of women. In all cases, overall pain and discomfort were lowered 25% to 50%. Some experienced pain relief after just 45 minutes of magnetic treatment. Granted, these are not your everyday refrigerator magnets that hang children's artwork but, rather, are ten times as strong and permanently magnetized.

These magnets work (in theory) by stimulating positively and negatively charged particles in the blood stream. When these particles start moving around at an accelerated rate, heat is a byproduct. The body's natural tendency is to pump more blood to the area that is warm to try and cool it down thus transporting more oxygen to the area. This also allows the blood to remove more waste from the surrounding cells which increases the potential for the body to heal itself effectively. One argument with this theory is the idea that the magnetic fields somehow dull pain receptors in the brain and, in turn, release endorphins into the body resulting in an almost euphoric feeling within the patient. In this, the magnets aren't really helping the body heal, only masking the pain through some sort of chemical reaction.

The recipe is simple. Some examples of these magnets can be found worn as jewelry either as a bracelet, a necklace, or even as a piece that goes around one's ankle. What seems to be the preferred method of magnetic therapy is that of integrating the magnets into your sleep system. Thin magnetic strips are contained in a plush, quilted cover and laid on top of the mattress like a mattress pad or topper. Once you replace your sheet over the mattress/magnetic topper, you can't tell anything about your mattress has been changed. The magnetic strips run the length of the body providing total body exposure to the effects of the magnets. Supposedly, the magnets foster a much deeper, more regenerative sleep experience.

As in many other alternative treatments, magnetic therapy has its own naysayers. There are those who argue the validity of the studies with regards to the age and sex of the participants as well as the methods by which the results are measured saying the patients in the control group were older by a marginal amount compared to those actually treated. The older you get, the harder it is for the body to naturally heal itself. Either way, the proof is in the pudding. If one tries it and finds relief, magnetic therapy might be a great alternative to generic medicine. If one tries it and sees no difference, perhaps magnetic therapy is not for them.
About the Author
Chris is marketing director for Ultimate Sleep who specializes in 100% natural latex and other comfort products to help customers find relief from fatigue, back and joint pain, and sleep disorders.
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