Long before the advancement of evidence based medicine, health practitioners used a variety of therapies to treat and prevent pain. From the earliest recorded history of medicine, physicians and scientists were fascinated with magnetic substances and the way in which they affected the human body.
The term ‘magnetic therapy’ refers to the use of static magnets placed directly on the body, generally over regions of pain. A static magnet is an ordinary permanent magnet, as opposed to an electromagnetic coil. Static magnets are either attached to the body by tape or encapsulated in specially designed products such as jewellery, belts, wraps or mattress pads.
Static magnets come in various strengths. The units for measuring magnet strength are gauss and tesla. One tesla equals 10,000 gauss. A refrigerator magnet, for example, is around 50 gauss. Therapeutic magnets measure anywhere from 300-5,000 gauss.
Today, magnetic therapy is a widely used form of alternative medicine with over 250 million people worldwide experiencing the purported effects.