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Where did the idea of magnetic therapy come from?

We often hear about the idea of using magnets to cure disease or at least to alleviate symptoms. But from where did the idea originate?

It certainly isn’t a new idea and has clearly been around for a long time in many different societies and cultures. One source – an encyclopaedia  about alternative medicine – claims that it goes back to ancient China, circa 200 B.C. But other sources place it even further back – that’s further back as in 2000 B.C. in ancient Egypt. Even if this is somewhat speculative, we know that Aristotle wrote about it in 300 B.C. so the 200 B.C. reference is probably an error on the side of caution.

Like most great ideas, magnetic therapy is controversial. Nevertheless it has a large number of adherents and one can freely buy titanium magnetic bracelets, hematite bracelets, i balance bracelets and silicone magnetic bracelets over the counter, in health food stores or online through places like mps and elsewhere.

Some might scoff at this do-it-yourself approach to health treatment. But it is really no different to personal exercise, diet or meditation. But as with those other practices it is important to know what one is doing and one should therefore read up on the subject before applying magnet therapy or purchasing particular products to deal with ones ailments.

For example, it does one no good to buy a magnetic bracelet if one knows nothing about the effect of polarity. It is widely accepted by magnets therapy healers that the north pole is normally the one that should face the body. This is the pole that opens up the body’s natural energy paths (what the ancient Chinese called Chi and the Japanese called ki).

Wearing a magnetic bracelet with north pole facing not just the inside but specifically the wrist has long been known to help maintain the body’s pH balance, hamper the proliferation of harmful bacteria and viruses and most significantly eliminate free radicals, those dangerous scavenger molecules that cause so much slow but steady damage to ones system. It also eases psychological tension, improves  relaxation and increases oxygen production in the body.

The south pole should generally point away from the body except if the body has too much alkaline, in which case reversing the polarity – with the south pole facing the wrist – will restore the balance.

Whilst the underlying science is now only beginning to be understood, the ancients had plenty of observational evidence on which to base their practices and we would do well to take advantage of this vast body of accumulated wisdom.