Used in ancient Egypt, rediscovered by NASA; favoured as a cure by the famous yet accessible to all. It is, of course, bio-magnetic healing, the therapy that helps the body heal itself.
Bio-magnetic therapy is simple and natural. Take the fact that iron makes up about 4 percent of our blood content and then imagine magnets attracting metal and you have the basis of the therapy. Magnets placed on the body increase blood flow in a specific area, much as exercising does; indeed often giving a similar feeling of euphoria. Capillaries carry increased oxygen and nutrients to the cells accelerating the healing process. Meanwhile, muscles lengthen and relax as magnetic waves pass through tissue, thus helping reduce muscle swelling and pain as the magnets neutralise the acidity in the area and assist by kicking in the body's own beta endorphin system (the body's own pain-relieving defence).
Not only does the modern environment shield us from much of the natural geomagnetic field around the earth but research shows that over the last century it has actually declined by 5 percent, yet it is fundamental for our health and well being. Proof of the pudding is that early astronauts returned from brief bursts into gravity-free space with diminished bone density and compromised immunity. Nowadays space suits are lined with magnetic material and astronauts suffer no ill effects after months aloft. So NASA were the first people in the West to accept the premise of what the Chinese have long called magnetic deficiency syndrome. Magnet therapy helps redress the balance.
It can benefit virtually any condition and because magnets temporarily alter the molecular structure of the blood in the specific area where they are worn, it flows more easily into places like cartilage and bone; this speeds up the healing process.
Fibromyalgia has been getting a lot more attention in the last few years as various universities through out the world carry out clinical trials using magnetic mattress pads and keep getting the same positive results. The most recent research carried out was from the University of Virginia in the US, which concluded that, although the overall results of the research were inconclusive, magnet therapy reduced fibromyalgia pain intensity enough in one group of study participants enough to be "clinically meaningful". Dr Alan Alfano, lead researcher of the study, said, "Finding any positive results in the groups using the magnets was surprising, given how little we know about how magnets work to reduce pain."
The team gathered data for six months on 94 fibromyalgia patients randomly divided into four groups. Pain was measured by functional status of the patients, number of tender points and pain intensity ratings.
One control group was given sham pads containing demagnetised magnets, and another control group received the usual treatment for fibromyalgia, which consists of drugs in combination with an exercise programme.
The other two groups received active magnetic pads: one group used Pad A, which provided whole body exposure to a low, uniformly static magnetic field of negative polarity, while the other used Pad B, which provided a low static magnetic field that varied spatially and in polarity.
Dr Ann Taylor, a member of the research team, said, "When we compared the groups, we did not find significant statistical differences in most of the outcome measures."
She said, however, that they observed a statistically significant difference in pain intensity for one of the pads, and both groups with pads showed improved scores after six months, unlike the sham pad group and group receiving usual care.
Dr Taylor said this was the largest and most rigorous study on the therapy conducted so far, but additional research was needed to assess safety and efficacy.
So how do the magnetic mattress pads work. First of all, it is important that all the magnets, that you are lying on are north facing. Since the north side of a magnet will bring down trauma, swelling and bruising and most importantly reduce the acidity in the body by neutralising it. Most people who are in pain generally have a problem sleeping. This can mean you can toss and turn in pain changing positions up to 140 -160 positions a night, this in itself is stressful. These magnetic mattress pads are used in insomniac clinics in America. For the simple reason, the energy from the magnets calm down the circadian rhythm of the brain waves and help to induce an alpha state of sleep. It is only when you are in a deep state of sleep that your pineal gland is activated, which is in charge of all of your healing systems and all of your energy systems. So if you do not sleep well, your batteries are not charged in the morning, worse still the badly needed healing has not been able to be carried out during the night.
For anybody suffering from any form of bone degeneration, arthritis, rheumatism, general stiffness in the mornings or lack of energy these are wonderful. Apart from helping to remove the general aches and pains it will rebalance the hormones in the body, lower the acidity, boost the circulation and immunity and generally give you greater energy. Another thing which magnets do is to help the bones to absorb more calcium, whilst at the same time preventing the calcium which is suspended in the blood flow from adhering to areas like finger joints causing swelling and deformations. This is achieved by the magnets raising the pH balance in the body. This enables the body to function more efficiently, and helps prevent unwanted calcification and crystalisation from occurring in joints whilst also preventing further stiffness and soreness.
It is, however, important that people treat magnets with caution. They can be very powerful and you do need to know what you are doing., knowing what is needed, where and of what intensity. Often only one or two repeat visits are needed and then a very occasional top up when necessary. A key factor is whether the N or S Pole of the magnet is next to the skin. The N energy appears to have a calming action, it also increases blood flow over an area in about five minutes. N energy also dislikes acidity so helps disperse lactic acid and bi-products that make up the ouch factor in any area of trauma and injury. Not only is pain removed but bruising and swelling is quickly and greatly reduced. The S energy appears to have a very different action. It stimulates enzyme action, lymphatic function and helps remind the body how to balance itself back to good health.
Magnet therapy has also been shown to be highly effective in the control and treatment of chronic depression and sleep-related disorders. Melatonin, the central hormone that controls the entire energy system of the body, is highly responsive to N pole magnets. This hormone has a dramatic effect on our immune and enzyme functions, it is not only antibiotic, anti stress, anti cancerous but also responsible for controlling degenerative diseases. It has been medically proven that sleeping on N pole magnetic products enhances deep alpha sleep, thus helping activate the thyroid gland and increase melatonin production. This also contributes to the improvement of all body processes especially those related to energy production and ageing. Many users have reported a more youthful appearance as well as feeling physically rejuvenated; it also stimulates hair and nail growth and, because increased circulation helps flush out cholesterol, toxins and other waste products that normally lodge in the arterial walls, it helps prevent blocked arteries and associated increases in blood pressure, too.
By Lilias Curtin
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