While biomagnetic therapy may seem new, the idea of using magnets to boost health is older than you might think. About 2,000 years ago, folk healers from Asia and Europe apparently used magnets in their practices, believing that they could draw out the disease.
Today, studies on biomagnetic therapy continue as scientists try to understand the potential for magnets to boost your health or treat certain conditions. Research is still trying to understand the specific applications for magnetic therapy. Read on to learn more about the effectiveness of biomagnetic therapy.
What is Biomagnetic Therapy?
So, what is biomagnetic therapy and what is magnetic therapy used for? Biomagnetic therapy refers to a broad range of treatments that involve applying magnets to the body as a means of bringing about physiological changes. This can come in various forms. Many people are familiar with static magnetic field therapy, which involves touching a magnet to your skin, typically with magnetic bracelets, jewelry, or a special mattress pad. Electromagnetic therapy uses electrically charged magnets, which often means electric pulses.
The exact mechanisms involved with biomagnetic therapy are still not well understood, though research suggests that applying magnets can interact with the body’s natural magnetic fields. Molecules generate a small amount of electricity that contributes to a slight magnetic charge. Researchers hypothesize that certain health conditions can cause an imbalance in this magnetic field and magnetic exposure can correct it.
Alternately, molecules also contain charged ions, like potassium and calcium. These ions allow molecules to send and receive signals. Applying a magnet may alter or optimize the way that these ions operate, allowing for physiological changes.
Is Biomagnetic Therapy Effective?
Due to the broad mechanisms of action, magnetic therapy has been studied for a wide range of potential applications. It is most often cited for its potential to relieve pain, particularly for cases of rheumatoid arthritis. This is often where magnetic jewelry comes into play. Do magnetic bracelets work for pain relief? The jury is still out. There is actually little scientific evidence to suggest that magnetic bracelets affect pain in any way. However, there is some research that suggests that static magnetic fields may have some slight improvements in reducing pain symptoms related to fibromyalgia.
Some studies also suggest that magnetic therapy may be applied to cases of insomnia. Patients with insomnia were exposed to impulse magnetic field therapy. About 70 percent of the patients given the active treatment showed improved symptoms, including reductions in sleep latency, sleepiness after rising, and daytime sleepiness.
Biomagnetic therapy has been proven in the treatment of depression. This takes the form of transcranial magnetic stimulation, which involves stimulating nerve cells in the brain using repetitive magnetic pulses. This procedure has been used to great effect, particularly in those with depression who are unresponsive to medication and other treatments.
The application of magnetic therapy for cancer still requires further study. The noninvasive nature of the procedure is the biggest advantage. Studies have shown that magnetic exposure in mice injected with cancer cells contributed to reduced tumor size. Exposure to magnetic fields for up to 360 minutes per day for four weeks inhibited tumor growth. The use of magnets contributed to cancer cell death via apoptosis, though the exact relation of how the magnets caused this cell death requires further research.
Researchers have also looked at the potential of magnetic nanoparticles. Clinicians can inject these nanoparticles into or near tumors and then activate them via alternating magnetic fields. This heats the magnetic nanoparticles, which can then kill the cancerous cells. This is essentially a form of hyperthermia therapy.
Magnetic therapy benefits and the use of therapeutic magnets and magnetic energy to deal with the chronic pain of disease dates back to the alternative medicine cultures of ancient Asia. Today, biomagnetic therapy is still a growing field with more research and trials performed every day. Whether you wear a magnetic bracelet or magnetic jewellery in your magnet therapy regime, consult your doctor to determine if magnetic therapy is a viable treatment option for you.
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