The healing action of magnets has been known for several centuries. The word “magnet” is derived from the Greek town of Magnesia, where magnetic material – ferrous oxide in its natural form – was mined. Rumour has it (no evidence is available) that the Chinese knew and used magnets as long ago as 4500 B.C. In history, magnetic powder would be used for medical purposes, for example, in pills, enema or poultices. It was an ingredient in drinks believed to bring “eternal youth” etc. and poultices with magnetic powder worked very well with injuries, or after accidents, for headaches or for pains in the joints or back – or, in addition to this, with contused or swollen joints as well. Claudius, the Roman Emperor, was known for healing his gout in a bath full of “electric fish”.
Nowadays, we understand that these “electric fish” were crampfish (discharging an electric current on contact, thus generating an electromagnetic field). Between 1649 and 1655, the first artificial
permanent magnets were made of carbon steel in Swiss and German iron works. Magnets and electromagnets designed for medical purposes were first made in 1826-1928, by W. Sturgeon (an Englishman) and J. Henry (an American). These scientists were followed by Faraday, Maxwell and Herz, who investigated the matter much more deeply.
However, the scientific foundations of magnetotherapy were established by the end of 19th century and at the beginning of 20th century, linked to the development of physics, chemistry and electrophysiology. The beginning of the theory of the electromagnetic field is connected with J. C. C. Maxwell, an English physician, who discovered the basic properties of the electromagnetic field and, in
1864, presented a general theory of electrical and magnetic phenomena through what were known as the Maxwell equations. As regards our country, the man who revived magnetotherapy was Mr. Gruner (in the 70s). Later, Mr. Jeřabek (80s) presented the practical results of magnetotherapy with various types of diseases, followed by Mr. Chvojka, who made a huge effort to heal serious fractures using magnetotherapy.
In Japan and the USA, patients have the opportunity to consult professional magnetotherapists about their health problems, who can prescribe a comprehensive regime including food supplements and physical exercise. It is a sort of paradox of these modern times that magnetotherapy, which in statistical terms has the highest success rate of all the known medical methods, the lowest cost and the lowest potential risk, is beyond mainstream methods. Moreover, it tends to be seen as a “last choice” method, being used after other “more traditional” methods have failed.
At present, many medical experts – perhaps more than before – accept the concept of prevention both in the general and the subclinical stages of diseases. Expert counselling provided by physicians in the field of magnetic instruments may be a great help for many people suffering from sub-clinical problems involving nerve disorders, the locomotive system, the skin, and other organs.
Recently, interest has been growing in various countries in the world and magnetotherapy is becoming more and more widespread.
Numerous medical devices and instruments have been designed and manufactured.
According to American sources, in 1996, magnetic therapeutic devices worth 1,050 million dollars were sold, while in 1999 the figure was more than 3 thousand million dollars. Nowadays, there are more than 200,000 scientists working in magnetism-related research in various countries.
The description of the processes relating to the magnetic field is inseparably linked with the description of a general natural phenomenon, the electromagnetic field. A changing magnetic field forms an electric field, and vice versa. If the properties of the field are derived and given by the intensity vector E, we call it an electric field. The intensity of the homogenous electric field E is the voltage U (in volts) divided by the distance between two points d (in metres). E = U/d (V/m).
If the properties of the field are derived and given by the intensity vector H, we call it a magnetic field. The intensity of the magnetic field H – is directly proportional to the current flowing through the wire, and indirectly proportional to the distance from the wire – expressed in units, it is (A/m), in other words, the principal characteristics are the density of the magnetic lines of force and the magnetic induction B – determined by the force that the magnetic field exerts upon the wire. The unit of magnetic induction (force) in the international CGS unit system is the gauss (G), after Friedrich Gauss, the mathematician; some time later the tesla (T) was introduced (T = 10 000 G (1 G = 0.0001 T).
In magnetotherapy, it is usually the militesla (mT) that is used (l mT = 10 G).
The rapid development of modern forms of technology, including those used in medicine and healthcare, is linked to the latest findings concerning the magnetic field put into practice. Magnetic fields are used in engineering, transport, information and communication. Without application of the magnetic field, we would not have many sophisticated diagnostic methods such as magnetic resonance
Are you interested in the History? Want to learn how magnetotherapy can help with your problems? Contact us. Our expert advisors will be happy to answer your questions.