The History of Magnetic Therapy

The Early History of Magnetic Therapy

The use of magnets for their healing and regenerative properties has been reported and documented around the globe, for many centuries, although using magnets for healing may seem like a recent trend. Many great, ancient civilizations recognized the healing properties of magnets. The earliest known medical record, the Yellow Emperors Book of Internal Medicine, which is a Chinese text dating to 2000 BC, outlines how magnetic stones could be used to correct imbalances in the Qi, or life force.

Ancient Egyptian writings document that physicians attributed various therapeutic benefits to magnets. It is reported that Queen Cleopatra regularly wore magnetic jewelry or a magnetic stone over her forehead to help preserve her youth and beauty. Other ancient civilizations known to use magnets for their health benefits include the Indians, Arabs, and Hebrews.

Biomagnetic therapy has been used since ancient times.

It is reported that Cleopatra used magnetic jewelry to help maintain her youth and beauty.


The ancient Greeks are also known to have used magnets for medicinal reasons. Both Aristotle and Hippocrates (known as the father of medicine) wrote of the healing properties of lodestone, a naturally occurring magnetic stone. Around 200 BC, it is recorded that the famous Greek physician Galen discovered that using natural magnets could relieve pain caused by various illnesses.

There are various records from the early years of the common era regarding the healing properties of magnets. During the first century AD, Chinese doctors recorded the effects on health and disease related to variations in the earth's magnetic field using sensitive compasses to monitor the subtle variations. A document written by an unknown author from the year 752 AD, titled "Thousand Ducat Prescription" says: "Put the powder of magnet on injury for painkiller and to stop bleeding."

Later records report that magnets were used for a number of health reasons, including strengthening muscles and bones, smoothing joint articulation, nourishing the kidneys, and improving bad eyesight. Around 1000AD, a Persian physician documented the use of magnets to treat health disorders, such as muscle spasms and gout.

Magnetic Therapy During the Renaissance

Beginning in the 16th century, as interest in science blossomed, the number of studies and experiments performed by European doctors and scientists regarding the medical use of magnets increased. As more positive results using biomagnetic therapy were recorded, interest in the field quickly grew.

In 1530, the famous Swiss physician, Paracelsus, reported successfully using magnetic fields for health purposes. Paracelsus was forcibly removed from his post as Professor of Medicine at Basle University because of his goal of replacing religious dogma and superstition with science. In the 1600's the renowned English physician Gilbert wrote of the health benefits of magnets. In the 1700's a physician named Mesmer wrote a dissertation about magnetism that eventually became one of the foundations for magnetic therapy and healing in Western society.

Many studies of biomagnetic therapy were performed during the Renaissance.

Interest in healing with magnets grew in Europe during the Renaissance.


Maximililan Hell, a Jesuit priest, devoted his life to the study of mathematics and astronomy. He became a professor of mathematics at Klausenberg, and was appointed director of the imperial observatory in Vienna in 1755. By this time, powerful carbon steel magnets had started being produced, and Hell thoroughly investigated these new, more powerful magnets. He treated patients using magnets form into various shapes corresponding to the area of the body where healing was needed. 

The number of studies and experiments continued to grow, including the first in-depth study of the history of using magnets  to treat diseases undertaken in 1777 by Abbot Lenoble - a member of France's Royal Society of Medicine. He produced and tested healing magnets. He recommended using magnetic bracelets and crosses on the wrist and chest. Lenoble also was able to reproduce results in 48 cases of magnetic therapy including the treatment of toothaches, rheumatoid arthritis, tension, stomach spasms, convulsions, and other health disorders.

Additional studies of biomagnetic therapy were performed by Eydam in 1843, Charot and Renard in 1878, Westphal and Gangee in 1878, Mueller in 1879, Benedict and Drozdoz in 1879, Benedict in 1885, and Quinan in 1886.

Modern Use of Magnetic Therapy

Since the 1950's, numerous studies have been conducted in Japan which have demonstrated the effectiveness of using magnetic fields for treating various health problems. A number of medical papers have been published on the subject. Magnetic jewelry, including necklaces and bracelets, are popular in Japan, Europe, and China for relieving neck, shoulder, and back pain, as well as for reducing stiffness and stimulating circulation.

Magnetic back and knee supports, wraps, and braces are now widely used to help relieve pain and stiffness. Many users have reported relief from arthritis pain and stiffness. In fact, many magnetic devices sold in Japan are registered with the Japan Welfare Ministry as medical devices. To obtain this registration, devices must undergo clinical testing at accredited medical institutions to verify their effectiveness. Most of these Japanese products are "bipolar." This means that when they are used, they apply both the north and south pole magnetic fields to the body.

Biomagnetic therapy products like braces and supports are used to treat pain.

A wide variety of biomagnetic therapy products, including braces and supports, are now available.

Both European and American physicians have had positive results from using electromagnetic fields to treat bodily damage ranging from ulcers to severe burns. Soft tissue, bone, and joint injuries have all been reported to respond well to magnetic therapy treatments. In Russia, physicians regularly use magnets to accelerate healing after surgery, to improve circulation, and to heal and strengthen bones.

Dr. Jack Prince, an American dentist, has successfully applied magnets to acupuncture points to reduce bleeding, gagging, and pain. He found that magnets can immediately relieve chronic pain due to jaw dislocation,s as well as from TMJ syndrome, headaches, and teeth grinding.

Technology has advanced considerably, and it is now possible to manufacture powerful magnets that retain their properties for over a hundred years. A one-time investment can bring a lifetime of health benefits, making biomagnetic therapy an attractive and cost effective treatment for pain and other health issues.

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Unknown | Frederick Arthur Bridgman - Cleopatra on the Terraces of Philae