Glossary Of Magnetic Therapy Terms
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A Glossary of Magnetic Therapy Terms and Definitions – An Attractive Alternative for Many

Magnetic therapy, which has been practiced in the east for centuries, has been on the rise recently. More and more people in the western world are being attracted to this remedy for common aches and pains.

Though dismissed as a rogue theory by some doctors, others in the medical world are increasingly taking a look at some new clinical research, which shows there may very well be provable substance to the long claims of believers that magnets can have beneficial effects on human and animal health and wellness when properly applied.

So if you or a family or friends have problems with nerves, muscles or joints; let’s now take a closer look at many common terms from this subject which may very well be on the verge of widespread acceptance:

  • Acupoints

    This is an abbreviation of acupuncture points; the points in the body where some believe needles or magnets can be placed for a beneficial effect on energy and health. (See below).

  • Acupuncture

    This is an ancient medical practice almost certainly originating from China, where needles are placed into various parts of the body to restore health by affecting the flow of energy through the body. Some people use these special points of the body known in acupuncture for the placement of magnets. (See above).

  • Alnico Magnets

    A magnet of made up of an alloy of Aluminum, Nickel, Cobalt and Iron. First developed in the 1930’s they are no longer widely used for therapeutic magnets because they can demagnetize (lose their magnetic properties) when constructed in the smaller and thinner sizes needed for magnetic therapy due to internal forces. Also, many people have an allergic reaction from their skin to Nickel. The classic horseshoe magnets are alnico magnets.

  • Alternate/Alternative Medicine

    See below.

  • Alternate/Alternative Therapy

    These many and varied (sometimes related) systems of medicines say that in most cases, modern drugs are as much part of the problem as the solution to human and animal health. They espouse different techniques such as healing herbs remedies or weight loss programs often but not necessarily with a spiritual dimension included, for the promotion of well being.

  • Nearly all of these alternative therapies are copied or derived from traditional medicines and beliefs formed in ancient cultures around the world. Results in some cases can be astonishing in their effectiveness, and literally hundreds of millions of people strongly believe in at least some of them, though most are constantly under attack from established medical authorities in supposedly `developed’ countries.

  • Anions

    See Ions.

  • Anisotropic Magnets

    This is one way of constructing magnets to develop a strongly aligned crystalline structure which involves their being pressed in the presence of a magnetic field. Consequently, they have simpler but higher magnetic qualities with a predetermined direction of magnetization being able to be better controlled along a preferred axis. (See also Isotropic Magnets).

  • Auricular Therapy

    This is a special form of acupuncture which centers attention entirely on the outer ear (the auricle). It is claimed there are somewhere more than 120 acupuncture points (acupoints) on each ear which can help various parts of the body system when stimulated by either massaging (acupressure) or a needle or a magnet.

  • Barium

    This is one of two elements (the other being Strontium) that are alternatives for combining with iron to form ferrite magnets. (See also Ferrite and Strontium).

  • Biomagnetic Therapy

    This is another term for magnetic therapy.

  • Biomagnetism or Biomagnetics

    This is the science of studying the effects of magnetism and magnetic fields on humans, animals and plants.

  • Bipolar

    This is when both positive and negative poles of magnets are simultaneously used for therapy. (See Multipolar and Poles).

  • Boron

    This semi-metallic element is combined with Iron and the rare earth element Neodymium to make the latest most powerful magnets. (See Neodymium Magnets and Rare Earth Magnets).

  • Carpel Tunnel Syndrome

    This is a condition of the nerve junction of the wrist and hand which can be effectively treated with magnetic therapy.

  • Cations

    See Ions.

  • Ceramic Magnets

    See Ferrite.

  • Cobalt

    An element which is similar to Iron, combined with Samarium to make one type of rare earth magnets and one of the constituent parts of alnico alloy magnets. (See also Alnico and Rare Earth Magnets).

  • Demagnetizing

    Older magnets such as steel and alnico use to suffer from demagnetization (which is a severe lessening of their magnetic strength over time), when constructed in the small and thin sizes needed to be worn on the body in magnetic therapy.

    This occurred because the poles were too close to each other. But now used are the ferrite or more expensive rare earth magnets, which are resistant to this, and hence can be produced in the thin disc shapes which are regarded as the best for wearing next to the skin; for the better flow of magnetic fields from the surfaces of the magnet into the body of the wearer. (See also Ferrite and Rare Earth Magnets and Poles).

  • Diamagnetic

    This term is used for anything that is slightly repelled by a magnetic field; the atoms of such substances will have their motion altered at right angles or slightly away from a strong magnetic force. (See also Paramagnetic).

  • Electromagnetic Therapy

    This therapy involves conditions affecting the nerves, and it is claimed that some of these are caused by improper brainwave patterns. Patients have their brainwaves analyzed, then are given a pulsing electromagnetic device which they carry around with them to produce the proper frequency of magnetic field to stir the brain into correcting its’ brainwave levels.

  • Electrons

    These are particles with a negative charge that orbit around an atom. When they are present in equal numbers to the protons then the atom is neutral, or not charged either positively or negatively. (See also Protons).

  • Ferrite

    This word comes from the Latin word for Iron; 'Ferrum'. First arriving in the 1950’s, Ferrite magnets are very commonly used as they are cheap and easy to produce using mass manufacturing processes in a wide variety of shapes and sizes, and retain their magnetic properties for a very long time. They are ceramic in nature and are composed of around 80% ferric oxide (hematite, a form of Iron ore) and around 20% of either Barium oxide or Strontium oxide. (See also Demagnetizing).

  • Flux

    This is a word that means to flow, in this case; a magnetic flux is the total of varying force lines found in different areas of a magnetic field.

  • Gauss (G)

    This is the standard international measurement for magnetic strength; the higher the Gauss number denoting a stronger magnet. This is named after Johann Karl Friedrich Gauss (1777-1855) who was a German physicist and mathematician, and did a lot of pioneering work in the field of magnetism.

    Other factors like the size, the shape and the nature of its internal construction can also affect a magnet’s performance.

    Some manufacturers use a Gauss number which refers to the magnet’s internal or center strength which is always higher, and others use one which reflects the strength of the magnetic field on the magnet‘s outer surface. (See also Milligauss and Tesla).

  • Geomagnetic

    This is the planet Earth’s magnetic field. It is everywhere at once and protects us from extremes of solar radiation with a background strength of 0.5 Gauss.

  • Hahnemann

    Dr. Samuel Hahnemann, the founder of homeopathic system of medicine, was a strong believer in the therapeutic and healing powers of magnets and magnetism.

  • Holistic Medicine

    These are forms of alternative therapy, medicines and healing techniques like homeopathy, acupuncture, magnet therapy and many others which emphasize that all things to do with the health of the body and mind are interconnected with each other at basic levels of being.

  • Ionization

    This is the production of charged particles from neutral atoms. (See below).

  • Ions

    These are atoms with an electrical charge; positively charged ions are called cations and negatively charged ions are known as anions. One theory concerning the processes of magnetic therapy is that it ionizes the blood.

  • Iron

    The magnetic element that is the fourth most common on earth and the second most common metal.

  • Isotropic Magnets

    This is a way of constructing magnets when they are pressed in the absence of a magnetic field; therefore there is a less uniform crystalline alignment in their internal structure. This allows for more complex but less directionally controlled magnetic fields which can randomly form around any axis of the magnet. (See also Anisotropic Magnets).

  • Keeper

    This is a cap of extra Iron positioned over the ends of some alnico magnets to better retain the strength of their magnetic properties. (See Alnico Magnets).

  • Lodestone

    This is any iron ore such as Hematite and Magnetite which exists in the Earth’s crust and is naturally magnetic.

  • Magnatherapy

    An old term for magnetic or magnet therapy.

  • Magnetic Field

    The force field of magnetic energy that surrounds a magnet. The depth and intensity of this field will depend on the strength of the particular magnet.

  • Magnetic Field Therapy

    See Pulsed Magnetic Therapy.

  • Magnet Therapy

    Another currently used interchangeable term for magnetic therapy used by such innovative companies as Nikken who produce magnetic mattress pads for therapeutic results.

  • Magnetic Poles

    See Poles.

  • Magneto Therapy

    A previous but now mostly discontinued term for magnetic therapy.

  • Magnotherapy

    Another older word used to describe magnet or magnetic therapy.

  • Milligauss

    This is a unit of measure of the strength of a magnet. 1 milligauss is one thousandth of 1 gauss. (See also Gauss and Tesla).

  • Multipolar

    Some magnetic therapy products utilize magnets with both poles facing inwards on the same surfaces towards the wearer in a variety of placed configurations like circular or triangular designs. This is only effective at much shorter ranges than unidirectional or unipolar magnets are, because the magnetic field is not as strong and uniform too allow it to penetrate any deeper into the body than just the skin. (See also Unidirectional and Poles).

  • Negative (-)

    See Poles.

  • Neo Magnets

    See Neodymium Magnets.

  • Neodymium Magnets

    Neodymium is an element not commonly found in the Earth’s crust; hence the name `rare earth’ which they and Samarium magnets are also known by. These magnets have been made since the 70’s and 80’s and are more powerful for their size and subsequently more expensive to buy. The latest Neodymium magnets contain combinations of Neodymium, as well as the elements Iron and Boron. (See also Samarium and Rare Earth Magnets).

  • North

    See Poles.

  • Paramagnetic

    Any substances which are more strongly attracted towards magnetic fields are described as paramagnetic. (See also Diamagnetic).

  • Permanent Magnets

    These are magnets which keep their magnetic fields strongly without loss.

  • Poles

    All magnets have two poles, known as the North and the South. The opposite poles of magnets attract each other and like poles repel one another. For ease of use, color codes are used for magnet therapy: Usually blue or green, but sometimes white for the North Pole and often red, or sometimes black for the South Pole.

    The North Pole is also referred to as the negative (-), whilst the South Pole is the positive (+).

  • Positive (+)

    See Poles.

  • Protons

    These are particles with a positive charge inside an atom. An atom is of neutral charge when the protons and orbiting electrons are present in equal numbers. (See also Electrons).

  • Pulsed Magnetic Therapy

    This is a treatment for speeding up the repair of slow-healing wounds like fractured bones, and damaged tendons and ligaments. It works by the use of a pulsating electromagnetic field which penetrates tissue to a much deeper level than the static fields generated by most therapeutic magnets.

  • Rare Earth Magnets

    These powerful Neodymium and Samarium magnets are the most expensive to buy since they have extremely strong magnetic fields for their size and strongly resist demagnetizing. (See also Demagnetizing and Neodymium Magnets and Samarium).

  • Reflexology

    This healing system uses pressure points in the feet which it is claimed relate to different parts of the body in the same way that auricular therapy focuses on the ears. Some shoe insoles can be bought to massage these pressure points as you walk, and supporters of magnetic therapy will also include magnets in insoles which correspond to these diverse points.

  • Samarium

    This metallic element can be combined with Cobalt to make a powerful rare earth magnet as a substitute for Neodymium magnets. (See Demagnetizing and Neodymium Magnets).

  • South

    See Poles.

  • Spot Magnets

    These are smaller magnets that are applied by the use of sticking plasters to acupoints (acupuncture points) around the body. (See Acupoints and Acupuncture).

  • Static

    Most magnetic fields from therapeutic magnets are static, or level in their strength; as opposed to pulsing magnetic fields which vary their intensity and flow. (See also Pulsed Magnetic Therapy).

  • Strontium

    This alkaline metal is an alternative to Barium used to join with Iron in the make up of ferrite magnets. (See also Barium and Ferrite).

  • Supermagnets

    This is a term used by some manufacturers and retailers to describe products containing the rare earth Neodymium magnets. (See also Neodymium and Rare Earth).

  • Tesla

    Named after the Serbian-American engineer and scientist Nikola Tesla (1856-1943) this is a measurement of magnetic force; 1 Tesla is equal to 10,000 Gauss. (See also Gauss and Milligauss).

  • Unidirectional Magnets

    See below.

  • Unipolar Magnets

    These are the magnets most recommended by manufacturers for magnetic therapy. Also known as unidirectional magnets, they have the positively charged South Pole on one side, and the negatively charged North Pole on the opposite surface. Almost always it is the North Pole which faces inwards towards the body. (See also Multi Polar and Poles).

That is a look then, at some of the terms and definitions of magnetic therapy.

There are lots of products now out there and available for purchase, both on the web, in stores and catalogs; which promise to help us get rid of our physical woes without the need for drugs. Certainly a seductive vision, but one that does appear to hold at least some credence.

After all, not everybody can be wrong when they say that their troublesome conditions like neck pains, headaches, back and leg pains, stiff shoulders, hurting elbows, wrists, ankles and suchlike are considerably helped by Nikken magnetic therapy. Indeed, everywhere there is a joint on the body it is claimed that magnets can help to stop any pain there suffered.

Just talk to golfers for instance, and chances are you will soon find one who uses some type of magnetic support or wrap to help him/her enjoy their round without suffering the consequences afterwards.

So why not try it out for yourself? You may find the results to be very attractive indeed.

About The Author

Matt Jacks is a successful freelance copywriter providing valuable tips and advice for consumers purchasing Nikken air filtration systems, ozone air purifiers and stress management and your health & wellness. His numerous articles offer moneysaving tips and valuable insight on typically confusing topics.

This "Glossary of Magnetic Therapy Terms and Definitions" reprinted with permission.

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