The Rumors are True.
We Can Heal Body and Mind Magnetically.
One of the more interesting areas of medical study is the effect of magnetic fields on the brain. It shouldn't be surprising that magnetism affects the brain - neurons transmit their signals electrically as well as neurochemically. For more than half a century scientists have been studying electrical brain wave activity. And where you have electrical current, you've got magnetism.
When we move our brains generate detectable magnetic fields.1 Applying magnetic fields in particular ways can reduce anxiety,2 increase or block pain sensations3 and reduce the extent of the damage when brain tissue is inflammed.4
New work shows that magnetic fields can enhance cognitive performance.9 One recent study even compares the 21-year fluctuation in solar magnetic activity to Jehovah's Witness missionary activity records to suggest a meaningful statistical relationship between the natural magnetic cycles of the sun and the motivation to be involved in demanding spiritual pursuits.10
But don't try this at home. Most of these studies are done using pulsed electromagnetic fields requiring special equipment. Acupuncturists have used magnets for years in addition to needles, but special emphasis is placed on constructing the magnet in such a way that the north pole is in contact with the body and the south pole is away from the body. North pole magnetic fields have been found to be healing; south pole magnetic fields may be carcinogenic. Home-style kitchen magnets usually have their poles arranged in such a way that both north and south poles are along the edge of the coin-shaped magnet, not on the flat surface as is the case with magnets designed for healing work. So self-healing with magnets can be dangerous without the right equipment and training.
Here's how it may work: exposing atoms to magnetic fields causing the electrons in their shells to spin one way or the other. Positive magnetic fields cause electrons to spin clockwise; the north magnetic field causes them to spin counterclockwise. These opposite spins create different biological effects.
One theory of the neurobiological source of much mental and emotional pain involves allergic reactions in the brain.11 Allergic inflammation of brain tissue releases large amounts of free radicals; oxygen is depleted and acidity increased in inflammed tissue. Neurons so affected malfunction: depression, hallucinations, obsessions and compulsions and delusional behavior can result.
Negative magnetic fields appear to induce more alkaline and oxygen-enriched conditions. They activate enzymes that destroy free radicals. This can happen very quickly: any emotional or cognitive improvement is usually noted within minutes.12
1. Woldag, H. et al. 2003. Corticol neuromagnetic fields evoked by voluntary and passive hand movements in healthy adults. Journal of Clinical Neurophysiology. 20(2):94-101.
2. Kanno, M. et al. 2003. Effects of repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation on behavioral and neurochemical changes in rats during an elevated plus-maze test. Journal of the Neurological Sciences. 211(1-2):5-14.
3. Kanda, M, et al. 2003. Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) of the sensorimotor cortex and medial frontal cortex modifies human pain perception. Clinical Neurophysiology. 114(5):860-866.
4. Zhao, L. et al. 2003. Effect of extremely low frequency magnetic field on the focal brain injury in rats. Space Medicine and Medical Engineering (Beijing). 16(1):75-76.
5. Gershon, A.A., Dannon, P.N., Grunhaus, L. 2003. Transcranial magnetic stimulation in the treatment of depression. American Journal of Psychiatry. 160(5):835-845.
6. Schutter, D.J., van Honk, J. 2005. A framework for targeting alternative brain regions with repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation in the treatment of depression. Journal of Psychiatry and Neuroscience. 30(2):91-97.
7. van Honk, J., et al. 2003. Reductions in phenomenological, physiological and attentional indices of depressive mood after 2 Hz rTMS over the right parietal cortex in healthy human subjects. Psychiatry Research. 120(1):95-101.
8. Kanno, M., et al. 2003. Effects of acute repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation on extracellular serotonin concentration in the rat prefrontal cortex. Journal of Pharmacological Sciences. 93(4):451-457.
9. Klimesch, W. et al. Enhancing cognitive performance with repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation at human individual alpha frequency. European Journal of Neuroscience. 17(5):1129-1133.
10. Starbuck, S. et al. Is motivation influenced by geomagnetic activity? Biomedicine and Pharmacology. 56 Suppl.2:289s-297s.
11. Philpott, W., Kalita, D. 2000. Brain Allergies. Los Angeles: Keats.
12. Philpott, Ibid. xxiii-xxiv.