The belief in magnets being able to heal has existed since magnets were discovered. Usually these therapeutic magnets are put into bracelets, necklaces, shoe inserts, mattress covers and headbands. Even though there is not enough scientific evidence to prove it works, the use of these magnets is very popular. The global sale amount is estimated to be about $1 billion a year.
HOW IS IT SAID TO WORK?
There are 3 main ways in which people say magnets can help heal. If they actually heal, they should have some sort of physiological effect on human beings. In order to have an effect on humans it should influence the tissue, cells, fluid or blood in some way. I found that what people claim it could do was always rejected by scientific evidence, so I decided to include why these claims cannot be proven.
WHAT SOME SAY IT DOES:
Some say that since blood contains iron, the magnets increase the blood flow, which then heals the tissue and therefore reduces inflammation.
HOW THAT'S NOT POSSIBLE:
The iron in blood is not ferromagnetic (having high susceptibility to magnetization) and the magnets actually repel the blood.
WHAT OTHERS CLAIM IT DOES:
Others claim that magnets can line up the water molecules in a human body to remove swelling and heal that area.
WHY THAT DOES NOT MAKE SENSE:
A magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scanner (this uses a magnetic field and blasts of radio wave energy to scan and make images of things inside of a human body) generates about 30,000 to 40,000 gauss (a unit of magnetic induction, equal to 0.0001 of a tesla). But MRI scanners do not make any biological effects on a human. With this huge machine not being able to line up water molecules, is it definitely not possible that a typical magnet that generates 800 gauss can line up water molecules.
WHAT SOME CLAIM IT CAN ALSO DO:
Others even claim that the magnets can change the way our nerves and nerve cells transfer electricity.
WHY THIS CANNOT WORK:
This claim does not work because a 24 tesla (a unit of magnetic induction) magnet only lowers nerve transfer by 10% and MRI scanners have 1-1.5 tesla magnets, one tesla equals 10,000 gauss.
- Did you know that tesla, a unit of magnetic induction, was named after a scientist called Nikola Tesla and so was the car brand Tesla?
- Did you know that therapeutic magnets are also put into dog collars?
Many people buy therapeutic magnets because they think they can heal in some way, or the sellers claim it really has a positive affect on a human body. Personally, I have never used therapeutic magnets, but I formed an opinion through the evidence I found while researching. Based on my research, I think there is not a lot scientific evidence supporting the claim of magnets being used to relieve pain and heal illnesses. Usually, the claims that say these magnets can help heal in some way are not possible for specific reasons.
Some of the claims include that therapeutic magnets can help increase blood flow, line up water molecules, or change the way our nerves and nerve cells transfer electricity. But blood is not ferromagnetic so there is no way the magnet could help increase blood flow. Not even a huge MRI machine, which can generate 30,000 - 40,000 gauss, can't line up water molecules so obviously a small magnet, that typically generates 800 gauss, can't do this. A 24 tesla magnet can lower nerve transfer by 10% and an MRI machine has a 1-1.5 tesla magnet, so again the therapeutic magnet would be far too small. These facts prove that what buyers and sellers of therapeutic magnets say the magnet can do is not possible.
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- Davies, Alex. "Here's Why Tesla Motors Is Named For A Famous Serbian Inventor." Business Insider. Business Insider, 08 Aug. 2013. Web. 15 Mar. 2017.
- Senelick, M.D. Richard C. "Can Magnetic Therapy Relieve Pain?" The Huffington Post. TheHuffingtonPost.com, 30 Dec. 2010. Web. 15 Mar. 2017.
- Novella, Steven. "Can Magnets Heal?" Science-Based Medicine. N.p., 11 Jan. 2008. Web. 15 Mar. 2017.
- "Types of Magnets." Magneato. N.p., n.d. Web. 16 Mar. 2017.
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