Magnetic healing proof comes from the reported experience of those who use it and science.
Individuals have long provided proof by their willingness to spend their hard-earned cash on magnetic healing. Worldwide, sales of static magnet devices alone were about $5 billion in 1999.
Now, if your doctor isn’t keeping up with magnetic therapy research, the growing scientific evidence for magnetic healing proof may surprise her or him.
Here we’ll expand on the “Magnetic Healing” article to explore magnetic healing theories, review research on its effectiveness, and check out its safety, side effects and cautions.
Magnetic Healing Theories
Scientists and manufacturers alike propose theories for how magnetic healing works. Here’s some of the major theories:
- Static magnets might change how cells function.
- Magnets might alter or restore balance (equilibrium) between cell death and growth.
- The iron in blood might act as a conductor of magnetic energy. Static magnets might increase blood flow thus increasing the delivery of oxygen and nutrients to tissues.
- Weak pulsed electromagnets might affect how nerve cells respond to pain.
- Pulsed electromagnets might change the brain’s perception of pain.
- Electromagnets might affect the production of white blood cells involved in fighting infection and inflammation.
- Magnets might increase the temperature of the area of treatment.
- “Magnetizing” or “re-magnetizing” drinking water or other beverages might help them hydrate the body better and flush out more toxins.
In its report on magnetic healing proof in the treatment of pain, The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) notes that though studies supporting these theories are intriguing, none are proven decisively yet.
Show Me Magnetic Healing Proof
In my search for magnetic healing proof, I found there’s quite a lot of magnet therapy research. You can visit PubMed.gov to review the latest research. PubMed comprises more than 19 million citations for biomedical articles from the well respected MEDLINE and life science journals.
I entered “static magnetic therapy” in the search box and was presented 566 studies. Entering “electromagnetic therapy” in the search box turned up 5,789 studies!
Well… I don’t know about you, but for me that many research articles are a bit overwhelming to review.
Another way to look at research is to look at review studies. Review studies analyze and report on the significant findings of multiple individual studies. Let’s take a look at a sampling of recent review studies from the PubMed.gov site:
- A 2009 review of 18 studies in the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews concluded that they couldn’t make a definite statement on the effectiveness of pulsed electromagnetic field therapy (PEMF), repetitive magnetic stimulation (rMS) and transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) for treating neck pain.They said the quality of the evidence was too low and that more research should be funded with larger numbers of patients and more precise standardization and descriptions of all treatment characteristics.
- A 2005 review of 21 studies in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine concluded that the evidence from published, well-conducted controlled trials support the use of static magnetic fields for analgesia (pain relief).
A 2009 review of 9 studies in the Journal of Rehabilitation concluded, “Pulsed electromagnetic therapy helped relieve pain and improve function in patients with osteoarthritis of the knee and should be considered along with other therapies.
- A 2008 review of 111 studies in the Chinese Medical Journalreported that low-frequency pulsed electromagnetic fields (PEMFs) relieve the pain of primary osteoporosis quickly and efficiently, enhances bone formation and increases bone mineral density of secondary osteoporosis.They also noted that the effects of PEMFs on bone mineral density of primary osteoporosis and bone resorption were controversial.
- A 2008 review in Injury reported agreement in 49 studies that electromagnetic stimulation is effective along with conventional therapy for treating difficult to heal (non-union) long bone fractures.
Overall, my review found that more recent research showed greater confidence in magnetic healing proof compared to earlier research. Studies using electromagnetic therapy tend to show effects that are more consistent over those using static magnets.
Some of the authors noted concerns regarding the quality and rigor of the studies conducted, leading to a call for additional, higher quality, and larger studies. These types of studies take time. They’re expensive to fund.
The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) says it will continue to fund magnetic healing research. Recent projects supported by NCCAM include:
- Static magnets, for fibromyalgia pain and quality of life
- Pulsed electromagnets, for migraine headache pain
- Static magnets, for their effects on networks of blood vessels involved in healing
- Transcrainial magnetic stimulation (TMS), for Parkinson’s disease
- Electromagnets, for their effects on injured nerve and muscle cells
Safety, Side Effects, and Cautions
Magnetic healing is generally considered safe. The only side effect reported in static magnetic therapy studies was a small amount of redness or bruising of the skin at the magnet’s site in a small percentage of the studies participants.
Short-term side effects can occur with transcranial magnetic therapy. These side effects are usually mild and usually occur during the treatment:
- Discomfort at the treatment site
- Tingling or twitching of facial muscles
- Headaches during and sometimes after treatment
- Rarely seizures can occur during the treatment. People at risk of seizures are generally excluded from treatment.
Do not use magnets if you fall into any of these categories:
- If you are pregnant, as the effects on the fetus are unknown.
- If you use implantable electronic devices as they may affect the magnetically controlled features of these devices: pacemakers, defibrillators, and medication pumps.
- If you have a metal implant in the head or chest such as a stent, aneurysm coil, or clip. Applies to magnets used around the head and chest as in transcranial magnetic therapy.
- If you use a medication patch delivery method, as the magnet may cause dilation of the blood vessels and increase the amount of medication received.
As science catches up with what individuals have known throughout the ages, magnetic healing is gaining more and more credibility. Magnets don’t work all the time and in every situation.
But, if you suffer with chronic pain or some of the other conditions noted in the studies, magnetic therapy may be worth a try to support your natural healing. If you decide to use a magnetic device, ask to see the product’s magnetic healing proof. Be a well-informed consumer and make a decision that’s right for you.
Sources and Resources
Aleta Capelle, ed. “Magnetic Stimulation as Therapy, ” Mayo Clinic Health Letter 27, no. 12 (2009).
Brent Bauer, ed. “Magnetic Therapy,” Mayo Clinic: Book of Alternative Medicine (New York: Time Inc., 2007).
National Center for Complimentary and Alternative Medicine: Research Report, “Questions and Answers About Using Magnets To Treat Pain,” December 10, 2009, http://nccam.nih.gov/health/magnet/magnet.pdf.
Pubmed.gov. at http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/sites/entrez, retrieved December 12, 2009.