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Aug 03

History of Magnets as Therapy

If you're a history buff, or just are wondering about the history of magnets and how long the practice of using therapeutic magnets has been around, browse through this time line ranging from the first reported discoveries of magnets to today's therapeutic magnet science.

     2500-3000 B.C.The discovery of magnets was first documented around during this time period. There are several reports about how this happened ~ one is that they were discovered in Asia Minor in a land called "Magnesia", where the earth was full of iron oxide which naturally attracted metals to it. The local citizens named that special substance "Magnetite".

     2500 B.C. Another report is that there was a young Greek shepherd named Magnes who was climbing Mount Ida. He was wearing sandals with iron nails in them, as was common in his day, and he noticed that it was extremely difficult to lift his feet off the rocky mountainside. Mount Ida was found to contain a high percentage of "Lodestone", which is the first known magnetic material. Lodestone was named "Magnes" after the boy who discovered it and later became known as "magnet".

     2000 B.C. Chinese doctors continued the history of magnets - and still are today - by combining magnetic therapy with reflexology and acupuncture.

     350 B.C. Aristotle and Plato talked about the benefits of Lodestone in their work.

Cleopatra's Influence on the History of Magnets


50 B.C. Cleopatra, the first "celebrity" to use therapeutic magnets, slept on and also wore a Lodestone to keep her skin youthful.

     Middle Ages - Doctors used magnets to treat gout, arthritits, poisoning, baldness, to probe and clean wounds and to retrieve arrowheads & other iron-containing objects from the body.

     1400's A.D. A Swiss physician named Paraclesus recognized the therapeutic powers of magnets. He wrote medical papers on the benefits of using magnets to reduce inflammation in the body.

     1500's Dr. William Gilbert published one of the first books about magnetic therapy. He was also Queen Elizabeth I personal physician, and it is reported that she used magnets as therapy under his direction.

     1700's The history of magnets continued in the 18th century when Michael Faraday, the "Founder of Biomagnetics" discovered significant information about magnetic healing, aided by Dr. Mesmer [the father of hypnotism] and Dr. Samuel Hahnemann [the father of homeopathy].

The History of Magnets after the Civil War
     1800's - After the Civil War in the U.S., magnetic devices such as hairbrushes, insoles, salves and clothes were popular.

     1905 Dr. Kreft of Germany researched the beneficial effects of magnets on rheumatic disease, sciatica and neuralgia.

     1926 Dr Criles studied the impact of magnets on cancer cells.

     1936 Albert Davis tested the effects of north and south poles on magnets.

     1975 Isamu Masuda of Japan founds Nihon Kenko Zoushin Kenkyukai, the parent company of Nikken Global, one of the world's largest network marketing companies. This company changed the course of the history of magnets when it began its product line with therapeutic magnetic shoe insoles!

     1980's Other firms began marketing therapeutic magnetic products.

     1987 The history of magnets was again exploded when The World Health Organization performed a study that showed that there is no adverse reaction when applying magnets to cancer cells.

     1990 The University of Hawaii tested magnetic fields on patients with osteoarthritis.

     1992 Stiller and associates performed a randomized a double blind trial of wound healing in venous leg wounds.

     1999 New York Medical College tested magnetic shoe inserts on diabetic patients.

     2001 The University of Virginia tested magnetic mattress covers on patients with Fibromyalgia.

     2003 Nikken made an endowment of $2 million to the University of California, Irvine Medical Center for a renovated, state-of-the-art facility named the Nikken Imaging Center.

     2004 The University of Exeter and Plymouth tested magnetic bracelets on patients with Osteoarthritis.

Clinical research on magnets and their therapeutic value has blossomed in the last 10-15 years! Some of the organizations that are dedicated to this study are:

     The National Center for Compementary and Alternative Medicine. NCCAM is a division of the National Institutes of Health, which is the United States' top agency for scientific research on new or alternative technologies.

     The Magnetic Health Science Foundation, one of Japan's leading scientific organizations, is dedicated to research in the application of magnetism in clinical studies, diagnosis and treatment.

     The Bioelectromagnetics Society is an international group of scientists, physicians and engineers that promotes the exchange of ideas concerning the science of natural and applied electromagnetic fields.

Magnetic devices are now registered as prescribable medical devices in 54 countries worldwide.

Magnetic therapy is gaining popularity with athletes and celebrities [people who are known to be conscientious about their health] around the world. For example:

Shannon Miller, Olympic Gold Medalist and Nikken Wellness Consultant
Cherie Blair
Bill Clinton
Anthony Hopkins
Prince William
Queen Elizabeth II
Venus Williams
Michael Jordan
Andre Agassi
Jack Niklaus
Evander Holyfield


"Regular" people like you & me are rapidly discovering the benefits of magnet therapy also!
     In a 1999 survey of patients with rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis or fibromyalgia, 18% had used magnets or copper bracelets.

Posted by Jay Roberts at 12:01 AM | Permalink


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