As children, we have all been fascinated by pieces of iron .that attracted and repelled each other with unimaginable force. We played with the little pieces in awe of the ‘magic’ they seemed to exude until parents and teachers explained to us that they were ‘magnets’ and that Nature had invested in them properties to attract and repel.
The entire cosmos, comprising universes and infinite galaxies of stars and planets, is delicately balanced by magnetism. Since man also shares the subtle and crude forces of the cosmos, it makes sense to believe that he must also be balanced by the same magnetism.
Magneto-therapy is a clinical system in which human ailments are treated and cured through the application of magnets to the body. It is a simple, cheap and entirely painless system of treatment with almost no side or after effects. ‘The only tool in the entire treatment process is the magnet.
The earliest mention of the magnet as a healing agent occurs in the Atharvaveda – one of the four Vedas, which contains the treatise on medicine and the art of healing.
It is believed that the builders of pyramids in Egypt were well acquainted with the properties of the magnetic forces and utilised them in the preservation of dead. Queen Cleopatra of Egypt (69-30 BC) is said to have worn a small magnet on her forehead to preserve her beauty. There are innumerable other examples of the use of magnets in ancient times.
The mention of the mineral magnetite appears in Greek writings as early as 80 BC. According to Encyclopaedia Britannica, the Chinese were familiar with the qualities of the magnet as early as the 2nd century. But it was only in the year 1300 AD that the Chinese developed a compass from the magnet. In Europe the first mention of the magnet occurs in a work entitled De Magneta (1600 AD) by William Gilbert. He established that a piece of magnetised iron loses its properties when heated, but regains them on cooling. The compass was invented in Europe much later.
Michael Faraday, the discoverer of electricity, was the first in Europe to study the force of the magnet and he called the area of its influence the magnetic field.
The discovery of the magnet was quite accidental. And if its healing properties were used by the ancients, it was done unwittingly. They were unaware of the magnetic forces in nature and anything awe-inspiring was ascribed to supernatural intervention.
Magneto-therapy was never made an object of scientific investigation till the beginning of the 16th century when a Swiss alchemist and physician P.A. Paracelsus undertook a study and brought to light the healing powers of the magnet. He made the revolutionary observation that the magnet could cure all inflammations, influxes, ulcerations and many diseases of the bowels and uterus. He opined, after considerable investigation, that magnets could be useful both in internal as well as external ailments.
Father Hall, an Austrian Professor of Astronomy in the 18th century, took the cue from Paracelsus and treated nervous men and women by applying magnets to their bodies as remedial tools. Magnetic treatment given by Hall was closely watched by Dr Friedrich Anton Mesmer (1733-1815) of Mesmerism fame. Dr Samuel Hahnemann (1755-1843), the Father of Homeopathy, picked up the baton from there and used the principles of magneto-therapy in the preparation of homeopathic medicines.
All this fuelled enormous research. Magneto-therapy had now come to stay and gained a foothold in the medical interventions of that time.
Dr William Gilbert (1540-1600) of England, the court physician to Queen Elizabeth I, pioneered the scientific-study of electricity and magnetism. He was the first to declare that the earth itself was a huge magnet. Michael Faraday (1791-1867) laid the foundations of Biomagnetics and Magneto-chemistry and established that all matter is magnetic in one way or the other and is either attracted or repelled by a magnetic field. In 1862, Louis Pasteur discovered that the earth’s magnetic field exercised a positive effect on the growth of plants.
All these discoveries had taken the lid off a hornet’s nest. Now there was no stopping the furious pace of further research.
From here, the biomagnetists in America, Russia, Japan, England and France carried out extensive research on the nature and scope of the magnetic field and its effect on living organisms. Thousands of experiments on bacteria, flies, mice, birds, fish, pigeons and rabbits, as well as on plants and tissue cultures, were conducted with amazing results.
It has now been proved that magnets can cure a number of common and serious human ailments without any medicinal aids. Experimenting biomagnetists and practising magneto-therapists have demonstrated that magnetic treatment drives out all types of bodily pains, helps in speedy healing of wounds and fractured bones, dissolves any clots in the blood vessels, washes out stones in kidneys and the gall-bladder and cures diseases like arthritis, asthma, eczema, inflammation, paralysis, polio, slipped disc, spondylitis, stiffness, swelling, tumours etc. There are reports of even cancer being successfully treated in the initial stages with the application of magnets.
Magnets, as we will soon see, have become a convenient, safe, dependable and complementary tool in the treatment of disease.