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Magnetotherapy: An Alternative Remedy
|by Dr. Frank S. K. Barar|
Alternative medicine is a battery of 'therapies' and 'techniques' that serve as an "alternative" to the commonly employed system of medicine labelled as "western medicine". The term "alternative medicine" is a generic code name for a series of medical interventions available for treatment of ailments when conventional biomedical agents like antibiotics, pain relievers, chemotherapy, and other prescription drugs fail to offer adequate relief. It includes procedures like acupuncture, acupressure, kinesiology, aromatherapy, music therapy, biofeedback, enzyme therapy, chiropractic, herbal medicine, magnetic-field therapy, massage therapy, mind-body medicine (yoga), meditation, and naturopathic medicine. It is a growing belief that alternative medicine is economical, effective, less invasive, and safer than conventional medicine. As the various systems employed in alternative medical procedures are multiple and diverse in nature, a general statement about their efficacy is not possible. Moreover, the efficacy varies from person to person.
Magnetic-field therapy or magnetotherapy employs static magnetic fields produced by permanent magnets applied to the affected body parts. There are no harmful side effects to magnetic-field therapy if used properly. A magnetometer is used as a standard method for determining the poles of a magnet. The strength of a magnet is measured in units of gauss (magnetic flux intensity) or tesla (1 tesla = 10,000 gauss).
Positive fields can increase pain due to their interference with normal metabolic functions. Negative magnetic fields applied to the head have a calming effect due to stimulation of production of melatonin. Melatonin in turn antagonises stress, ageing, infections, and development of cancer. The production of free radicals is reduced.
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