Magnetic therapy dates back thousands of years, with the first documented use around 2500-3000 years BC. Cleopatra is one of the first people of note to have used magnet therapy. It is frequently documented that Cleopatra used to sleep on a Lodestone, a naturally magnetised piece of the mineral magnetite, to keep her skin looking youthful. The Chinese were the first people to make use of magnets, and the Yellow Emperor’s Book of Internal Medicine, the earliest medical writing in 2000 BC, mentions the application of magnetic stones to the human body.
The word magnet comes from the Greek language, and derives from Magnes lithos, meaning ‘stone from Magnesia’. Magnesia was an area of Greece known for its volcanic rocks containing magnetic forces.
Despite the common use of magnets in certain parts of the world, Europe was slow to appreciate their uses. In the 16th century an Englishman, Dr William Gilbert, published one of the first books about magnet therapy, called De Magnet. Gilbert was the first recognised expert to describe the Earth as one big magnet, with magnetic poles close to the North and South Poles. Gilbert also confirmed that the use of magnetic materials could be used on people.
During the next few centuries, scientists continued to study magnets and their use became much more widely recognised. One notable pioneer was Dr Kreft, a German scientist, who in 1905 studied the effects of magnets on people. Since the 1990’s, a huge amount of research has been carried out into magnetic therapy and its uses within human application. Many well known people are advocates of magnet therapy such as Cherie Blair, Anthony Hopkins, Prince William, Michael Jordan and Andre Agassi.
Magnetic therapy devices are now registered as prescribable medical devices in over 50 countries worldwide, commonly used within Complimetary and Alternative medicine and is a and non-invasive natural therapy, deemed a ‘no health risk’ by the World Health Organisation.