Research on Theories
and Beliefs On How Magnets Might Relieve Pain
magnets might change how cells function.
Description of Studies: (1) Mouse nerve cells were exposed to static
magnetic fields of three different strengths, and the cells were stimulated
with pulses of electricity. (2) Mouse nerve cells were exposed to a static
magnetic field and capsaicin (a pain-producing substance).
Findings: (1) Exposure of nerve cells in culture to a static 110-G
magnetic field reduced their ability to transmit electrical impulses.
(2) Magnets prevented mouse nerve cells from responding to capsaicin.
Citations: (1) McLean et al., 199534
and (2) McLean et al., 200132
might alter/restore the balance between cell death and growth.
Description of Study: Cultures of the U937 human lymphoma (a tumor
of lymph node tissue) cell line were exposed to a static magnetic field
at the same time that they were treated with agents that cause cell death.
Findings: Static magnet fields protected some cells from agents
that cause cell death and allowed them to survive and grow.
Citation: Fanelli et al., 199935
magnets might increase blood flow.
Description of Study: Randomized clinical trial (RCT) of 20 healthy
young men who wore static magnets or placebo devices on their forearms
for 30 minutes.
Findings: Blood flow was not significantly different when comparing
the results of the magnet session with the placebo session.
Citation: Martel et al., 200236
pulsed electromagnets might affect how nerve cells respond to pain.
Description of Study: The pain threshold to a hot surface was measured
for rats before and 30 and 60 minutes after exposure to weak pulsed electromagnets
for 30 minutes.
Findings: An increase in pain threshold (analgesic effect) was
found 30 and 60 minutes after exposure to pulsed electromagnets.
Citation: Ryczko and Persinger, 200237
electromagnets might change the brain's perception of pain.
Description of Study: Rats were exposed to pulsed electromagnets
(treatment group) or static magnetics (control group) 4 hours/day, for
up to 28 days. The brains were removed and changes in the number of serotonin
(a brain chemical that affects stress and pain) receptors were examined.
Findings: Significant increases in the number of receptors that
bind serotonin were observed in the brains of the rats exposed to a pulsed
Citation: Johnson et al., 200338
might affect the production of white blood cells involved in fighting
infection and inflammation.
Description of Study: Human and rat white blood cells were exposed
to electromagnets or pulsed electromagnets.
Findings: Both the human and rat cells exposed to either type of
electromagnetic therapy (ET) showed a modest increased capacity to multiply.
Citation: Johnson et al., 200139