Scientists have now proved that Magnetic Therapy really does work
Can placing magnets on your skin really cure aches, pains, and sprains? Magnetic Therapy is often considered to be a hoax under the guise of "alternative medicine." But now a study by biomedical engineering researchers at the University of Virginia has found that magnets really do provide biological healing.
The scientific evidence for the controversial magnet therapy is highly likely to lead to mainstream acceptance and use of magnets for athletes, the elderly, and others.
Thomas Skalak, professor and chairman of biomedical engineering at the university, has been studying the effectiveness of magnetic therapy for several years now. He is an established expert in microcirculation research - the study of blood flow - through tiny blood vessels. With his expert background, he began investigating whether or not magnets really can increase blood flow - one of the major claims made by companies that sell health magnets.
Up until now, the main argument against magnetic therapy was that the magnetic field generated by health magnets magnets could only reach a few millimeters into the skin - nowhere near enough to affect the blood vessels. Those who claimed to have felt better after using magnets were thought to be experiencing a placebo effect.
Now, Skalak and his team have shown in the peer-reviewed American Journal of Physiology that a magnetic field - created by magnets with a strength of 70 milliTesla, or about 10 times the strength of refrigerator magnets - really can cause blood vessels with dilated walls to relax and constrict, which actually does increase blood flow through the vessels.
"Increasing blood flow could be used to reduce the swelling of muscles, ligaments, and other soft tissues" Skalak explains. "Swelling is a very common side effect of minor and major injuries, such as muscle bruising and joint sprains.
"If an injury doesn't swell, it will inevitably heal faster, and the patient will experience less pain and better mobility," says Skalak.
"If used immediately after an injury, a magnetic therapy elbow support for example can reduce the swelling of sprains, bumps, and bruises similar to the effect of ice packs and compression packs - but with far more beneficial results.
Skalak's experiment involved testing the effectiveness of magnets on rats. They first treated the hind paws of the rats with an inflammatory agent that caused tissue swelling, and then applied magnets to that area and found that the swelling subsided.
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