Using magnetic sources to influence the body’s state of health is, of course, not a new idea, but what is new is that today’s ever more sensitive electronic instruments can now track down and confirm the various effects. From this modern research into an ages-old therapy has emerged confirmation that some types of pain can be reduced by the application of magnets.
Just how magnetic therapy works is still a matter of some controversy and needs much further study. The most likely explanation is the one put forward by physicist and psychologist Dr Buryl Payne, a scientist who is the inventor of the first biofeedback instruments and former professor at Boston University and Goddard College, and who has made a lifelong study of magnetic therapy. He says that two specific factors now known to be involved in magnetic therapy are:
The promotion of increased blood flow with resultant increased oxygen-carrying capacity, both of which can help combat pain by assisting the body’s natural ability to heal itself.
The induction of changes in the migration of calcium ions which can help move calcium away from painful, arthritic joints, thereby reducing the accompanying symptomatic pain.
The use of magnetic therapy to control pain is usually applied through placing simple magnets directly upon the area of pain. They can either be used for brief periods or else taped into place for ongoing treatment. Information about self-therapy can be obtained from manuals or from a qualified practitioner. Alternatively, devices that emit much stronger magnetic fields, usually in a ‘pulsed’ form, are used by qualified therapists.
Apart from aiding in pain reduction, magnetic therapy has also been used to good effect to reinforce and improve spinal alignment, assisting the vertebrae of the spine to align properly, both vertically and laterally. Major successes have been obtained in patients suffering from sciatica.