Magnetic therapy or magnotherapy is an alternative medicine that cures certain medical disorders by exposing the body to magnetic fields. Although mainstream medical science pooh-poohs the claims made by magnotherapy and have stamped it as a pseudoscience, ardent proponents say that magnet therapy works in a non-invasive way to cure many painful conditions, primarily back disorders, arthritis and joint aches. Magnetic fields from permanent magnets are said to speed up the healing process of the body and relieve pains.
As people started looking for more and more cost-effective and holistic healing practices, a simple yet effective technique was found to be practiced in Germany, Japan and Israel. The principle behind this therapy is fairly simple. The powerful magnetic fields of a magnet stimulate the magnetic fields in the human body thus improving circulation and promoting healing. This paves the way to general good health.
Magnet therapy is most effective when used in conjunction with other forms of alternative healing therapies like acupuncture or acutouch. Magnets are placed at pressure points to relieve soreness. Magnets open up microscopic blood vessels and facilitate better blood flow. Conversely, magnets can also be used to change the direction of blood flow and thus prevent the spread of inflammation.
Magnetic products in the market come in various shapes, sizes and forms. The price varies from the nominal to very expensive depending on what kinds of materials are used. Magnets can be taped to the skin, worn as jewelry, inserted in shoes, or slept on as pillows or mattresses.
Some of the common ailments treated using magnetic therapy are insomnia, carpal tunnel syndrome, arthritis, headaches, and backaches.
It is believed that magnets must be placed precisely in order to reap the full effect of the treatment. Hence it is advisable to undergo treatment under the guidance of a professional.
If you are using magnets to relieve pain induced by minor but persistent problems like arthritis or back aches, you may be advised to use a strip of magnet that generates a magnetic field of 300-500 gauss (thats roughly 10 times stronger than the magnet on your refrigerator). Depending upon the intensity of the pain you are experiencing, you may need to wear the magnets for as little as five minutes or for as long as several hours every day over several weeks. A magnetic pillow is used to relieve neck pain and magnetic mattresses help patients suffering from insomnia.
Is magnet therapy really effective? While many advocates, including doctors, claim effective reduction of pain, there is no medical backing to the healing effects of magnets. On the other hand some of the most passionate supporters of the therapy include serious sportsmen who swear that they cannot go on playing their games without the aid of magnets. Some supporters even go so far as to claim that magnet therapy can fight infection and improve disorders of the central nervous system. There is some research that shows that magnets can indeed relieve pain. As for the rest, the healing powers of the magnet still lie in the realms of mystery.