Magnet therapy had been in use for thousands of years from the first pockets of human civilization before in Egypt, China, Egypt and Greece. In those days, magnet types and sizes have not been correctly assessed. However, only a privileged few were the ones allowed to use them. .
Many theories and myths on their use came about later. Some of them were in conflict with each other causing confusion even among the practitioners. Some of these old stories have lingered until today.
Today, the use of magnets to treat illnesses has been discouraged pending further testing of the efficacy of magnets. Medical authorities have been reluctant to issue their approval on the use of magnets simply because they have not been formally tested.
If you really decide to use magnet therapy, you have to choose first the many different types of magnets and magnetic devices available today.
There are many theories regarding the sizes and types of magnets, how to use them, and where to apply them depending on the conditions and factors of being treated.
Unipolar magnets have been known to have greater depth of magnetic penetration. Because of this, users feel they are more effective in treating deeper tissues.
For low back pains, the unipolar type is said to be more appropriate because low back pains come from the deep tissues at the back.
On the other hand, the bipolar magnets are considered more effective in stimulating surface tissues. The two-pole configuration is deemed better to treat injuries like wrist sprains.
Additionally, some practitioners believe that the north side of the magnet calms a person while the south end stimulates. From a scientific view, however, there seems to be no differences between the two poles as to their effects on body tissues.
Another consensus is that the magnet should be as close as possible to the affected body part. The magnet can be taped to the skin.
One way of doing it is to slip the magnet inside a bandage over the injured area. The second method is to use a wrapping device that has magnets embedded in it.
One downside with tapes holding the magnets might be the possibility of skin irritation. Some scientists and practitioners also believe that the body, after a time, will accommodate to the magnetic field, thereby reducing its efficiency.
To prevent such incidences (irritation and accommodation), the practitioners recommend intermittent use of the magnets. (5 days on, 2 days off or 12 hours on and 12 hours off, etc.)
Generally, magnets seemed safe. MRI, on the other hand, subject people to massive doses of magnetic fields and there seemed to be no harm on them.
However, MRI subjects people under high levels of magnetism only for a short time, while magnets for their illnesses subject patients to long-term magnetic fields, however low those may be.
Totally prohibited is the use of magnets on people with defibrillators and pacemakers. There is fear magnets might interfere with the sensitive electronic parts.
The other prohibitions are the ban on magnet use for people who are pregnant and those with a history of epilepsy. Until magnet therapy and its physiological effects are better understood, these bans will stay.