Magnetic Therapy

1812 Words8 Pages
Magnetic Therapy Probably one of the largest contemporary trends in the therapeutic world is the use of magnetic therapy. However, it is also one of the least researched modalities, and has very little sound explanation for it's effectiveness. Winning over its clientele with testimonials by everyone from doctors to elite athletes, magnets are making a place for themselves in the health and therapeutic fields. This is accomplished by utilizing many different marketing strategies and very little research. "The trend is so lucrative, athletes are adding brand-name magnets to their list of endorsements" (Ruibal, p. 3C). This method of rehabilitation and treatment dates back thousands of years to when they were used by Greek, Persian and Chinese physicians. These physicians used magnetic rocks, now called lodestones, to treat conditions such as gout and muscle spasm (Borsa, p. 150; Meyer 1997). In the early 1500s, Paracelsus, a physician in Greece, thought that magnets were effective therapeutically due to their ability to attract iron. He hypothesized that because of this capability, they would also be able to leach diseases from the body. However, Paracelsus was also very aware of the tendency the human mind has in playing a role in the healing process: "The spirit of the master, the imagination is the instrument, the body is the plastic material. The moral atmosphere surrounding the patient can have a strong influence on the course of the disease. It is not a curse or a blessing that works, but the idea. The imagination produces the effect" (Livingston, p. 25). This role imagination plays, known as the placebo effect, is a true thorn in the side of magnetic therapy as a practice. And this is where the debat... ... middle of paper ... ... Press. Larson, Leonard. (1971). In Encyclopedia of Sport Sciences and Medicine (pp. 861-862). New York: The MacMillan Company. Livingston, James D. (1998) Magnetic therapy: a plausible attraction? Skeptical Inquirer, v2 2, n4. pp. 25-27. Meyer, Martin (1997). Magnetics for Healthy Healing. [online]. Available: (Nov. 8, 1999). Robinson, Richard. (June, 1999). In Gale Encyclopedia of Medicine (p. 1846). London: Gale Press. Ruibal, Sal. (1997, Aug. 20). Ironclad cures for pain? Athletes put their faith in power of magnets. USA Today, Final Edition, p. 3C. Vallbona, Carlos, MD; Hazelwood, Carlton F, PhD & Jurida, Gabo, MD. Response of Pain to Static Magnetic Fields in Postpolio Patients: A Double-blind Pilot Study. Arch Physiological Medicine Rehabilitation, 1997; vol. 78. pp. 1200-3.
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