The Magic of magnets

Cleopatra, Queen Elizabeth, Bill Clinton the list of celebrities who use magnets for the treatment of ailments is long and interesting. Cleopatra used magnets to preserve her beauty, Queen Elizabeth I had them for arthritis, and former US President Bill Clinton uses them for backache. While UK pop singer Mark Gillman use for cervical spondyloysis and eye ailments, Indian cricket stars use the magnets for stress and strain to the muscles of their body.
The devices employed in magnetic therapy range from small simple magnetic discs to large, sophisticated magnetic field generators capable of producing high intensity magnetism. The larger machines are typically used to treat bone fractures and other major implications. For pain management, small magnetic discs are usually taped to the body over the areas that radiate the pain, known as the pain trigger points. Magnets used for this type of therapy typically generate a field, about 10 times the strength of a typical refrigerator magnet. To hold the magnet in place, many people find sport bandages, head bands, elastic bandages or Velcro, more comfortable and less confining than tape.
To relieve stress and insomnia, some practitioners advocate magnetic blankets and beds, as these devices produce a much stronger field in order to compensate for loss of potency caused by their greater distance from skin. Although all magnets have two poles, (positive for South Pole and negative for North Pole), they vary drastically in size and strength. If you plan to try a magnet for pain relief, your best bet is to purchase therapeutic magnets from reputable medical vendors, and magnets delivering between 300 and 500 gauss (unit of magnetic flux density) are considered safe for home use.
Depending on the severity of the pain, the magnets may be left in place for as little as three minutes or as long as several days. Treatment frequency varies the nature and severity of condition. Often the magnet is applied several times per day for several days or for weeks at a time. Many people use this therapy at the first sign of reoccurrence of pain.
The rationales for magnetic field therapy are as controversial as the treatment itself, and some advocates ascribe the therapys purported benefits to its effect on the nervous system, which depends on electrical charges to deliver its signals. Others say that magnets exert a pull on charged particles within bodily fluids, thereby promoting the flow of blood to the damaged joints or muscles, boosting levels of oxygen and nutrients, thus ultimately relieving pain.
Some proponents say that a negative magnetic field applied to the top of the head has a calming, sleep-inducing effect, since stress is a factor in a wide range of ailments, the therapy can be beneficial as an adjunct in virtually any circumstances. Other therapists claim negative fields can destroy bacteria, fungal and viral infections. However there is no definitive proof of such an effect and mainstream physicians warn against any attempt to substitute magnets for traditional antibiotics.
 Practitioners of magnetic therapy recommend a number of additional precautions:
  1. Never use a magnetic bed for more than eight hours.
  2. Wait at least 60-minutes after heavy meals before applying magnets to the abdomen. Earlier application is said to interfere with normal contractions in the digestive tract.
  3. Remember that magnetic devices will stick to other metal products, possibly causing injury. Be cautious, for example, when removing a pan from stove while wearing a device on your wrist.
  4. Be careful to keep the devices away from anyone wearing a pacemaker or defibrillator.
  5. Although the treatments are usually administered at home, you shall need the advice of an experienced practitioner when starting therapy, since proper placement of magnets is considered very important. It is also best to remain under supervision of a qualified healthcare professional until your condition has resolved.