| Caroline Knight
We recently wrote an article on healing with magnetic therapy. Magnets have a powerful healing effect on the body, which is why we include Neodymium magnets in our vaginal dilator sets. The idea of magnets as a therapeutic tool is not a new one, but since it may not be immediately obvious how magnets heal pain, we decided to take a look at some of the studies done on this subject.
One of the best things about magnetic therapy is that it is non-invasive. Magnets are simply external tools that can be applied to the body in order to affect its energy field in a positive way. Greek physicians once used iron rings as an arthritis remedy, and Germans were using magnets to heal headaches, gout and even STDs back in the 17th century.
Fast-forward to today and magnetic therapy is used to speed up the healing of wounds (post-surgical and otherwise) and assist bone growth; they are also used to reduce pain, infections and even stress.
Studies demonstrate how magnets heal pain
Since there have been minimal studies done on magnetic therapy, with many yielding non-conclusive results, most evidence is anecdotal. However, there are studies that have dived deeply into the subject, with interesting results.
A systematic review of magnet therapy studies
Between 1946 and 2014, a systematic search of the Cochrane Library and Ovid Medline (two main medical databases) was performed in the name of investigating how magnets heal pain. The only reviews included were those in English, and which compared magnetic therapy with other conventional methods of treating local pain. Of the included eight studies, all of the results were thematically synthesized.
The conclusion was that magnet therapy is able to alleviate pain of many kinds, including arthritis, muscular pain and cramps, pelvic pain and carpal tunnel syndrome. It is even able to alleviate pain felt in bodily organs.
Phase one of magnetic therapy studies by University of Virginia researchers
Two University of Virginia researchers by the name of Thomas Skalak (professor and chair of biomedical engineering) and Cassandra Morris (former Ph.D. student in biomedical engineering) investigated how magnetic therapy works in detail. The first thing they looked at was the effects of magnetic therapy on microcirculation (the way blood flows through tiny vessels).
In order to scientifically investigate this, they put magnets (with a 70milli Tesla field strength) close to blood vessels on rats. What they found was that previously constricted blood vessels started to dilate. From this they could conclude that a magnetic field was able to induce vessel relaxation in tissues with a constrained blood supply. In other words, the magnets increased blood flow to the tissues.
Phase two of the magnetic therapy research
This awareness sparked off a second phase of research. The researchers considered that dilated blood vessels caused swelling in soft tissues that had been traumatized. They reasoned that by limiting the blood flow, swelling would be reduced. The research they did confirmed this, and was published in the American Journal of Physiology back in 2007.
This time, to simulate injury to the tissues, the researchers treated rats’ hind paws with inflammatory agents. After this, magnets were applied to the same paws. The study concluded that the magnets were significantly reducing the swelling, resulting in a much faster recovery process. The researchers commented that by preventing swelling, healing happens much more quickly, with less pain and improved mobility.
Watch this space for another article on how magnets heal pain. We will be taking a closer look into the effects of Neodymium magnets on pelvic pain. These magnets featured in our vaginal dilators and have very positive results on pain conditions in this area.