Nowadays, magnetic therapy is part of our everyday life, but where does it come from ?

Magnetic therapy is both very ancient, as the first users were people from ancient Greece, but also very modern as medicine and science keep on discovering new ways and benefits to use it.

Fascinating and appealing, these magnets also attract a lot of questions, the 3 most common being : How does it work, what to expect, why is this therapy not more well known.

The answers can be found in the busy history of magnetic therapy, divided in 4 significant periods.

  • 1st period : It goes from ancient time until the end of the 16th century. Back then, Aristote and Esculape already mentioned the pain relief and healing benefits of the magnets as well as its capacity to take out of the body any arrow tip and other metallic things. In this case they were talking about natural magnets with low power such as lodestone or hematite. Since the first written records, magnets’ healing benefits and utility are linked.
  • The 17th century represents the development of metallurgy and the appearance of artificial permanent magnets, cheaper than natural magnets and that have different shapes : cross, horseshoe, ovale..

Thanks to some news paper from back then, we discovered that magnets were used a lot in dentistry, limb pain, paralysis but also to cure gout disease.

The numerous usage of the magnets

But magnetic therapy will go through some dark times. Father Hell, famous physicist and astronomer, lent some magnets that he made to the famous Mesmer to use them and experiment on his patients, which will bring him fame and success. But quickly Mesmer abandoned using magnets to elaborate his theory about animal’s magnetism. His excessiveness will discredit the use of magnets for a long period of time. Then the revolution happened and the magnetic therapy will be more or less forgotten.

  • Third period : During the second half of the 19th century the magnets are back and attract a few well known medicine experts including the stethoscope’ creator, Laennec, who treats intercostal and heart neuralgias, found in cases of angina pectoris and nervous disorders of the arteries. Magnets are also used by Blundel, an English doctor, to treat cluster headaches, and Beydler, a Belgium doctor, to treat rheumatic diseases. The anesthetic effects of the magnets were particularly noticed and studied during the 19th century with the beginning of the double-blind placebo study.
  • Finally, the fourth period : The last decade of the 20th century marks the great return of magnetic therapy, due to, notably, the neodymium magnet, which in a small volume, provides a strong power and efficiency. These magnets are the key to the magnetic therapy success and the regain of prestige and credibility that has been lost over the centuries.

The pain relief action of the magnets is not a common belief but has been proven to have physical action from their field of application. For example, experimental medicine has shown interest in magnetic therapy to cure severe depression using transcranial magnetic stimulation.

Nowadays, everybody agrees that magnets do have an effect, provided that they are powerful and high quality such as the Auris neodymium magnets.