June 3rd, 2017

Magnets and Modern Therapy

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Since first being used by early Eastern and Western civilizations as crude compasses, magnets have developed to become an indispensible part of our current technology. Today, they are used in a wide range of modern devices, from computers and cell phones to automobiles, refrigerators, turbines and medical equipment (most notably, magnetic resonance instruments or MRIs).

Over those same centuries, magnets also continued to be associated with therapeutic treatments. Modern therapeutic magnet therapy attempts to explain this persistent association through a few theories: 1) magnets increase blood flow to tissues and connective tissues, 2) magnets when placed on a painful area create an ion exchange, and an associated oxygen surge to cells promoting improved blood circulation or 3) magnets produce a slight electrical current when placed on a painful location, helping the nerves react to produce the body’s natural pain-killer.

In terms of evidence-based, English-language research, one website that provides good but somewhat dated summaries of magnetic therapy studies over a ten year period is “Magnetic Therapy Research;” a more recent study by University of Virginia scientist Thomas Skalak is summarized in an article with the title, “Magnet Therapy Gets Boost From Real Study.

It is no coincidence that modern magnet therapy theories provide explanations that are very similar to those traditionally used to explain how acupuncture works. Given this commonality, it was a logical step for magnets to be used with acupuncture meridians in much the same way as needles. One obvious way to synergize such compatibility was to apply magnets to the meridians of the entire body. A less obvious protocol involved applying magnets only to the hand. Using the hand as a microsystem of the body incorporates another ancient therapy called reflexology. Dr. Tae-Woo Yoo, OMD, Ph.D., a Korean acupuncturist, further developed this theory beginning in 1971, including the actual mapping of acupuncture meridians on the hand. Today, this system is called Korean Hand Energetics. For some additional insight into the general acupuncture – magnet therapy connection, there is an interesting article by Camilo Sanchez in Acupuncture Today, entitled “Acupoints and Magnet Therapy.”

I have been fortunate to study and learn magnet therapy from my teacher of over 25 years, Dr. Stephen Stiteler. He has a great depth of knowledge and experience regarding magnet therapy, along with many other healthcare modalities. To learn more about Dr. Stiteler, click here.

The combination of small, powerful magnets and the acupuncture hand microsystem provides a non-invasive way to get the benefits of acupuncture in a format that can be self-applied. Watch this blog for some specifics on exactly how this exciting ancient / modern protocol is actually used.


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