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 A look at modern magnetic therapy
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Zeked
Skeptic Friend

USA
90 Posts

Posted - 08/30/2008 :  15:59:12  Show Profile Send Zeked a Private Message  Reply with Quote
A look at modern magnetic therapy.

Static field magnetic therapy refers to placing a stationary magnet(s) on and around your person or animal friends and expecting great things to happen because of testimonials.

Pulsed field magnetic therapy refers to time varying magnet fields that you apply to your person or furry friends and expect great things because of testimonials and a small amount of real scientific credibility.

But just what does research indicate? Well static magnetic fields have no measurable affect until you get to laboratory strength energies, 1.5 Tesla and up. (Viscosity change in oxygenated hemoglobin. Yamamoto et al 2004 Phys. Med. Biol ) The packaging of these neo “super magnets” therapy devices seems the only place of health benefit, (pads, belts and pillows).

Pulsed magnetic fields have a much better foundation in science. Analgesic effects are well documented in peer reviewed research. With laboratory strength pulsed fields, neurons can be depolarized or hyperpolarized to alter, induce, inhibit and interfere with normal functions.

The pulsed field therapy products on the market ~pulsing pads and pulsing wands, don't seem bothered that there are no scientific or medical standards for small field strength neural stimulation. The important stuff, like field strength, pulse rate, area of effective field stimulation – the nitty gritty and critical specifications are either omitted or manufactured with no guidance from respected medical authority.

Where static field magnet therapy has failed in pure science, it has succeeded in massing subjective research by the boatload.

Where pulsed field magnetic therapy has succeeded in pure science, it has attracted a problematic industry and activities that taint the credibility. I have found online stores selling static field devices along with the pulsed field devices. This adds disappointment to an already unsatisfactory ethics displayed in this industry.

Magnetic therapy is a multi-billion dollar annual global industry, with 300 million estimated in the US in 2006. The bulk of this industry is still focused on “static field” therapy methods. Profit margins are highest with static field therapy – a 30 cent magnet can sell for $30. Does anyone else remember “pet rocks”?

Pulsed Magnetic stimulation is a method for stimulating excitable tissue with an electric current induced by an external time-varying magnetic field. Static magnetic therapy refers to a non-time varying magnetic field, and is not capable of biomagnetic stimulation, current is not induced in tissues.

When looking for insights about the viability of a particular magnetic therapy, it is profoundly useful to first look at the simplified models of electrophysiology, represented by parallel resistance and capacitance. Static fields can change the values of resistance and capacitance, where pulsed fields can alter, inhibit and interfere with the normal functions dynamically.

These simple models are of limited value in understanding the more complex structures they interact with, but they do provide a good baseline to determine essentials, such as the energy required to elicit a change or response.

A SFN regular, bngbuck, has issued a request for my own experiences with pulsed magnetic therapy. Like luring a deer to the hunt by blaring claxons and throwing hand grenades. However, there might be some value in discussing these things.

My own experience with pulsed magnetic fields and the effects they have on my person is as a muscle relaxant, analgesic and they make nifty patterns of flickering light in the retina.

All these effects on my person are substantiated by scientific research.

What is such a device worth? Much-much less than what I see them sell for on the market. I build my own.

A surplus solenoid makes for a good starter electromagnet, ~$2-5$. The drive circuit and signal generator can be built for as cheap as $5 and as much as several hundred to seve

bngbuck
SFN Addict

USA
2437 Posts

Posted - 08/31/2008 :  01:26:28   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send bngbuck a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Zeked.....

Thank you for your well-phrased and comprehensive post on pulsed magnetic field effects on human tissue. I particularly appreciate your documentation. I notice the latest document cited was in 2000, with most of the citations in the '70's, '80's, and '90's (that's 1970, '80, and '90) Has there not been extensive work in this field since the year 2000?

With my current work load, it will be two or three days before I can adequately respond to your post. But I appreciate the obvious effort and the presentation of your work on what is admittedly a controversial subject, and I will definitely respond as soon as I can read sufficiently to write intelligently.

Other than cost, is there any particular reason why you prefer a mechanical method of pulsing a static magnetic field rather than an electronically controlled pulsed electromagnetic field, be it 60 hertz or 600?

I am not particularly restricted by minor cost differentials, and I truly am interested in building or acquiring the most effective analgesic device of this nature that may be available (for less than the several thousand dollars that "professional" equipment might cost.) Is there an electromagnetic pulsed field device, irrespective of what it is designed for, that is not a scam, available anywhere on the Internet for under $1000.00?

What would you charge to build one, parts and labor, finished plug-in product with a reasonable profit margin (you define it) built into the price? I will, of course, pay for shipping. All I ask is that you test it thoroughly upon both yourself and friends and family and state upon shipping it that it works!

How about it, Zeked? I am a bona-fide customer! No time limit constraints, and I will be glad to provide a deposit or pay for parts and labor as you may require during the construction of the device!

If you agree, and it works for me and mine, I have some interesting plans for what to do next. If it doesn't, what can I say? Maybe, can you spell P-L-A-C-E-B-O effect?
Edited by - bngbuck on 08/31/2008 01:32:30
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Zeked
Skeptic Friend

USA
90 Posts

Posted - 09/01/2008 :  01:19:04   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Zeked a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Has there not been extensive work in this field since the year 2000?


I may have been too conservative in the list of cited work. Being in hillbilly hell with a local library that has more shelf space dedicated to Zane Grey than the entire research section, I consider myself fortunate to have dial up that no longer requires a long distance call. I must pick up my library book loan, of “Biomagnetic Stimulation” and see if I can add some good references to the list.

Just casually scanning around the net, the more credible pulsed field research is now in TMS applications, and most of this is in cognitive mapping. Pulsed field is hot, explosively - incredulously so. You can pick an ailment and find a citation. Weak bladders, seems to come up more frequently than I think is reasonably justified. Did make me laugh. Almost pissed myself. Maybe I should degauss my bladder.


Other than cost, is there any particular reason why you prefer a mechanical method of pulsing a static magnetic field rather than an electronically controlled pulsed electromagnetic field, be it 60 hertz or 600?


Basically, mechanical pulsed devices have more advantages than disadvantages over electromagnetic coil pulsed devices. Safety being number one. Reduced complexity being number two. I could elaborate.

Is there an electromagnetic pulsed field device, irrespective of what it is designed for, that is not a scam, available anywhere on the Internet for under $1000.00?


I'll see what I can find. There is no doubt that electromagnetic devices are the most effective for pulsed field therapy applications. The main scam to watch for comes in the claims of what the device is claimed to do. I would consider devices capable of producing a measured field strength of ~150 gauss at 2” above the coil, UL/TUV safety certified, variable / selectable frequency in the 7-400Hz range, and control over field intensity would be nice. While I'm wishing, a field strength meter and calibration capability.

What would you charge to build one, parts and labor, finished plug-in product


I've been down this road before, having now revisited my thoughts on this, I have pages of introspective diatribe that will not make it in this reply. For reasons of safety, ethics, legal concerns, and my wish to maintain a more peaceful mind, I must decline. I now limit my devices to the inherently safe magnet spinner. I would enjoy building you one of these, as a gift, for educational purposes. I could not in clear conscious make claims to any effect other than its uncanny ability to erasing the mag stripe on your credit cards and creating fantastic undulating rainbow colors on a CRT.

I am certain a venture that is based on strong ethics, solid science research and a focus on clarity and customer service can make a great contribution with pulsed magnetic field therapy devices.
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tomk80
SFN Regular

Netherlands
1278 Posts

Posted - 09/01/2008 :  03:32:10   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit tomk80's Homepage Send tomk80 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
making just a quick seach on "magnetic stimulation" in pubmed gives an extensive list of literature. Now, a number of the articles will not be on the topic discussed here, but from a quick scan on the titles the number seems specifically higher than 0.

Tom

`Contrariwise,' continued Tweedledee, `if it was so, it might be; and if it were so, it would be; but as it isn't, it ain't. That's logic.'
-Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Caroll-
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bngbuck
SFN Addict

USA
2437 Posts

Posted - 09/01/2008 :  10:01:44   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send bngbuck a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Zeked.....

I would enjoy building you one of these, as a gift, for educational purposes. I could not in clear conscious make claims to any effect other than its uncanny ability to erasing the mag stripe on your credit cards and creating fantastic undulating rainbow colors on a CRT.
If you are sincere in that statement, I would enjoy making a gift to you in appreciation of your generosity. Antiquity brings carelessness, and I find myself frequently experiencing surface lacerations filled with iodine. Stings like hell and is damned annoying. NSAIDs don't help and, lacking a den, opium is out of the question.

I have other problems, some more than annoying. I am also related by association, paternity, and habitat to several humans and two dogs (their habitat) with various algesias that I endlessly experiment upon. I would consider such a gift as you suggest to be from the gods, such as they are, and if the damned thing worked, I would undoubtedly worship at their paws for the somewhat uncertain term of existence remaining for my corpus ancientium. Dog bless you, my son!

I have been boning up (figuratively, academics don't excite me that much) on biomagnetics and it appears at first flush to be an opaque picture indeed. At this early stage in my elucidation on this subject, I feel that I have learned:

1. Any effects of a pulsed magnetic field on animal tissue are completely due to induced current resulting from the reasonably conductive salinity of animal tissue; not because of any previously undiscovered ferromagnetic qualities of animal blood or tissue.

2. Some significant effects on neural synapse discharge and neuron conductivity due to induced currents have been noted.

3. Due to the highly subjective nature of pain, the possible analgesic effects of pulsed magnetic fields are still largely unsubstantiated. A number of large-scale studies will have to be performed before sufficient statistical data can accrue to validate the current largely anecdotal data extant.

4. Significant tissue effects are noted in pulsed fields starting at about 0.5 teslas and up. Below that threshold, little effect has been noted.

5. Static magnetic fields have not been shown to have any effect on animal tissue, at least at the relatively low EMF generated by reasonably sized permanent magnets. The advent of neodymium (ND2Fe14B) magnetic material has made significantly higher static fields possible, but even with neodymium approaching the theoretical field strength limit of N64, permanent magnets of extremely large size would be needed to exert a field of one tesla or higher. What, if any, effect a high tesla (1-10T) field would have on animal tissue is currently unknown.

Do you take any issue with these tentative conclusions? I continue to explore this very interesting subject. I welcome your comments.
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Zeked
Skeptic Friend

USA
90 Posts

Posted - 09/01/2008 :  17:26:25   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Zeked a Private Message  Reply with Quote
bngbuck

I'll get you a spinner put together. Yes! I'll message you when it is done, soon, under two weeks. Needed to have a few more on hand around here anyway. And seriously, I enjoy this kind of thing. Not great at it, but building stuff is my form of meditation.

Good conclusions, IMO. Of course there is much more to all things and I know circuits, not neurons.

The different types of pain has really been on my thoughts. We are all uniquely biologically predisposed to differing levels of stimulus and response, there are normal ranges and known exceptions. These levels are moving targets with age, health and environment. So we have this wide spectrum of electrophysiological differences, then we add the subjectivity of the psychological, the physical pain versus psychological pain, nociceptive versus neuropathic, pre-conditioning etc..

If nothing else, the spinner turns a CRT into a neat kaleidoscope. These systems and functions I know well. LCD screens, no effect. Aint science grand?
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bngbuck
SFN Addict

USA
2437 Posts

Posted - 09/02/2008 :  01:09:11   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send bngbuck a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Zeked.....

I'll get you a spinner put together. Yes! I'll message you when it is done, soon, under two weeks.
Well, I certainly appreciate your kindness. Please let me know the costs of parts, shipping, and something appropriate for your efforts, Zeked, I understand your reluctance to get into a business based on spin, but after all, I solicited you to create a Magnaxontm for me, so it is only right that I pay you a fair price for it.

Of course I expect you to have all the necessary Federal, State, County, City, and Neighborhood, Interstate Commerce, Experimental Device, and Unknown Physiometric Effects Licenses and Permits in place by the time you send it. The Patronize Act will have to be considered and full disclosure of its possible seditionary effects upon sheep will have to be made to the Department of Homemade Security.

You have given me the perfect excu reason to get rid of all the old CRT screens in the house and replace them with much larger LCD displays! I have been doing a pas de deux with my wife over this matter for about a year, and now when I turn that puppy on, American Idolatry will be sufficiently distorted that we will have no further dissention over the wisdom of heaving a brick at the cathode screen!

In researching a treatise I am writing, I have come across many views of the perception of pain. It is remarkable to me that, given the remarkable developments in particle physics, neurobiology, and the applied engineering applications of those sciences that have transpired in the past fifty years since I was an academic, Science has not yet come up with a dependable non-subjective method of measuring degrees of perceived pain.

One would suspect that an analgesic effect of electrical currents, generated by a pulsed magnetic field, on the surface of or internal to a animal body; might well derive in some manner from electrical interaction with the nociceptor mechanism itself at the source site of the pain. Have you seen suggestions that this might be the case in any the studies you have researched?

Or do you feel that the current is more likely affecting the neural transmission of the pain, either in the neuron membrane, or at the bouton or electrical synapses?

The subjectivity of the pain experience is an entire field of study unto itself. One quickly gets into the physiology of the thought process, here seen as perception, and soon arrives at the apparent ghost in the machine which spectre tends to haunt most mechanical examinations of conciousness.

From what I have heard from you, I am sure that you have mused upon these subjects at great length, I certainly have! Magnetically induced electrical stimulation of neural signal origination or transmission may possibly cast some light not seen before upon some of the details of these puzzles!

I'm all a-twitter looking forward to my new choo-choo toy! I assure you it will get a workout and a write-up! You have checked these things out for possible Jeckyll-Hyde side effects, haven't you?
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