Saturday, March 6, 2010

Do Magnets Have Healing Powers?

Go to a race in Japan and you'll find runners with small magnetic discs pasted all over their quad, hamstrings, and calf muscles.  Do they help performance?  I have no idea.

Searching the Internet, I've found a few articles that appear to support the theory that magnetic therapy can enhance healing.

"In fact, knee pain was down by 46% in the magnet-therapy group, versus just 8% among the placebo subjects"  -sportsinjurybulletin.com.   In this particular study, researchers used a Jacobson Reasonator, a device (not available commercially) inventor Dr. Jerry Jacobson is claiming has potential to treat a number of chronic conditions including Parkinson's, diabetes, chronic pain, and who knows what else?

Of interest to me was this:  "The best results were achieved with reduction in subjective pain in the heel spur syndrome category. 57.2% of all test persons in this category treated with magnetized pads expressed significant relief of symptoms."  -Therion Professional Magnet Products

Another group is using a hand held single pulse unit to treat migraines:  "In their experiments, the group members learned that the magnetic device was effective in completely annihilating migraines in about 40 percent of test patients"  - Softpedia

How does it work?  According to the Encyclopedia of Alternative Medicine, there are 2 theories- When magnets are applied to a painful area of the body, the nerves in that area are stimulated, thus releasing the body's natural painkillers. The other theory maintains that when magnets are applied to a painful area of the body, all the cells in that area react to increase blood circulation, ion exchange, and oxygen flow to the area. Magnetic fields attract and repel charged particles in the bloodstream, increasing blood flow and producing heat

Skeptics abound.  Looking up magnet therapy on wikipeda, other than possibly providing some relief from osteoarthritis, there is no evidence that magnets have healing powers .

Clearly some people are convinced that magnetic therapy, in one form or another, has potential for treating a number of ailments. Americans spent $300 million last year on magnetic healing products.

For more information on different magnet products that are available go to Dave's Running and Fitness Store

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