Magnetotherapy uses magnets which are then placed on areas of the body that need treated. Several techniques are possible from a magnetic bracelets to trans-cranial magnetic stimulation. Magnetotherapy has been used for centuries in China, Greece and by the ancient Egyptians. Magnetic stones are used to relieve pain in your body.
Magnetotherapy: What are the techniques?
Several techniques can be used in magnetotherapy:
- Pulsed electromagnetic field therapy: a coil powered by an electrical source is placed around the affected part of the body,
- Trans-cranial magnetic stimulation: the brain is stimulated with electrodes to treat neurological and psychiatric conditions;
- Magnetic bracelet: wearing it for 12 weeks is meant to reduce hip and knee pain due to osteoarthritis, according to a study published in 2004 (British Medical Journal),
- Static magnets and electromagnets: According to a study published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine in 2005, they are effective in treating various types of pain.
- Magnetic knee brace: Magnets are placed directly on the body, hidden in a bandage, a shoe, a pillow …
- Magnetic corset: Magnets are placed onto the skin and then stuck down with a plaster.
What are the benefits?
Depending on the type of technique used, magnetotherapy can be an excellent natural remedy for:
- Increasing blood circulation and oxygen around your body,
- Relieving pain by releasing endorphins
- Combating water retention
- Relieving muscular pain
- Treating inflammatory pain
- Caring for arthritis
- Encouraging bone regeneration
- Improve movement for suffers of Parkinson’s
- Strengthen the immune system
- Lower your cholesterol level (Laboratoires Delawarr studies)
- Lower your blood pressure (Smirnov VV, Solov’eva FV, Liashevskaia SP et Selezneva LIu)
- Treating osteoporosis (NASA, magnets were placed in astronaut space suits)
- Treating insomnia (Journal of Electronic Healthcare, 2008).
According to a study that was presented at the 5th Congress of the North American Academy of Magnetic Therapy in 1999, organic magnets have the same effect as acupuncture. However they can reduce pain without pricking your skin.
Another study lead by researchers from the Medical University of Baylor in Houston in 1997 showed that exposure to magnetic fields quickly relieved arthritis pain in less than 45 minutes without any side effects. In fact 76% of the study participants noted that magnetotherapy treatments clearly decreased their symptoms whereas only 19% of those treated with a placebo believed their symptoms had been relieved.
Today there are some medical practices that offer magnetotherpy treatments to patients in Britain and abroad.
Magnetotherapy: when should you not use it?
This form of treatment should not be used by :
- pregnant women (risks are uncertain due to limited studies),
- people with a pacemaker or a similar device which could be affected,
- people with blood circulation problems.