Information Abounds Among the Competition
by Vincent Ardizzone, EE
You've probably heard the claims, you've probably seen
their ads: "Our magnets have an amazing 2000 gauss!
(according to the manufacturer's rating)..." "Clinical
studies show these magnets to relieve pain and promote
healing." "No other therapeutic magnet can compare..."
"Professional athletes such as... use our magnets and
get great results" ... The claims go on and on.
... I'm sure you've found yourself
wondering how these companies are allowed to make such
bold claims? Well, in case you haven't yet realized it
they are not! It's called truth in advertising and
obeying the rules. And most of these companies do
Let's take the first claim for instance about the gauss
rating. It is so terribly misleading, it is one small
step from being an outright lie. In the world of
therapeutic magnetics, the manufacturer's rating of a
magnet is completely meaningless!
The manufacturer's rating represents the internal
magnetic potential of a given material. Users of
magnetic therapeutic devices should have no interest in
the internal magnetic field since it is the external
magnetic field that is used to penetrate into the body!
The external magnetic field of most of the competition's
devices (especially the unipolar ones) are under 200
gauss! Pretty big difference eh? And even if the
manufacturer's rating had some significance, the Relax
Pads have a higher manufacturer's rating for a flexible
magnetic material than any of the competition anyway.
So much for the manufacturer's rating.
The next claim is also very misleading. It's very
interesting how these companies talk about studies that
support their claims yet never show the study or even
indicate where thc so-called study can be found.
It is for this reason that the FDA forbids any medical
claims to be made until studies are conducted that
follow strict FDA protocol and are submitted according
to the established guidelines. So these other companies
that are making these medical claims are in direct
violation of the FDA mandate.
The closest study out there that was conducted by a
group of researchers with no connection to any company
that sells magnetic therapeutic devices is entitled
"Blockade of Sensory Neuron Action Potentials by a
Static Magnetic field in the 10 mT Range".
This study was conducted by the Department of Neurology
and Neurosurgery at Vanderbilt University and the
Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center,
Nashville, Tennessee, and the Science Division at
Northeast Missouri State University, Kirksville,
Missouri. The study showed conclusively that pain
impulses could be significantly reduced when exposed to
a static magnetic field of a certain configuration. The
unipolar design found in most of ...'s competition
didn't work. A bipolar configuration didn't work. Only
an arrangement of 4 alternating magnetic poles in a
configuration almost identical to the design found in
...'s Relax Pads and Magsteps worked!
The researcher's concluded that the most probable cause
for the observed phenomena was the fact that such an
arrangement of magnetic poles produced a steep field
gradient, and that somehow a steep magnetic gradient
creates conformational changes in the nerve membrane
effecting the firing of the nerve.
The field gradient is a measure of how much the gauss
level of a given magnetic field changes as measurements
are taken across the surface area of the magnet.
Although a configuration of parallel alternating poles
were not tested in this study, such a configuration
would produce a steep field gradient in only one
direction, whereas the triangular design used in the
... products produces a steep field gradient in all
directions across the pad.
So, based on this study, the ... magnetic design is
incomparable. But we already knew that, right?
Finally, let's look at the claim of endorsements from
the world of professional sports. This is nothing new.
... also has a very impressive list of former and
present athletes who have successfully used the
products. The only difference is that ...'s
endorsements are for real and not hyped to the extreme.
There is no doubt that some people respond to any amount
or type of magnetism applied to their body. This can be
explained in part due to what is known as the Magnetic
Deficiency Syndrome. Dr. Kyoichi Nakagawa, former
director of the Isuzu hospital in Tokyo, Japan wrote a
whole thesis on this phenomenon. But by and large,
though, more people respond to a magnetic field that is
more efficacious by design. And remember, ...'s
magnetic design is patented. How many of the competition
can claim that?
In conclusion, let's remember the old wisdom taught to
us as children. Some people talk big, but carry a
little stick. Other's, as pointed out by Teddy Roosevelt
speak softly but carry a big stick. As a ...
distributor you can talk greatly because you carry a
great product. Let the others try to deceive the public
with their little sticks. You know better, and hopefully,
armed with the facts, you will act better. Good luck!
A Comparative Analysis of Unipolar vs. Multipolar Magnetic Designs Used in Magnetic Therapeutic Devices By Vincent Ardizzone, EE With the recent attention focussed on the use of magnetism as a viable modality in the treatment of pathological conditions such as chronic pain, the distinction between the different magnetic designs available should be addressed in an effort to determine the most efficacious design for use in therapeutic treatments. In the field of magnetic therapy there are two major categories of devices in use today. The first category deals with devices which utilize alternating current to produce what is commonly referred to as EMF or Electromagnetic Fields. These fields operate at certain frequencies which have been the subject of much controversy in recent years due to the question of the safety of such fields. The second category deals with the most benign manifestation of magnetism which is the Static Magnetic Field. This type of field is basically what is produced by the earth itself and is considered an integral component of life on this planet. Since a static field operates with no frequency it is considered a very safe form of energy. Man has learned to reproduce this type of field by utilizing two means: direct current and magnetic rare earth material. Due to the energy input requirements of the first means, the use of direct current is a less desirable method of static magnetic field production and is used mainly to produce fields that are much stronger than any found in nature and also for devices that require a pulsating action of the field. Rare earth material on the other hand, such as magnetite, cobalt, and neodynium, are permanently magnetized and require no additional input energy to produce their magnetic properties once they are in a magnetized state. Although their magnetic strength is limited, permanent magnets have become the material of choice not only in therapeutics but in a wide range of industries wherever a static magnetic field is needed. Interestingly, even in the narrow category of static magnetic fields used in therapeutic treatments, there are distinctions. Some devices use single magnetic poles and are known as unipolar devices. (Actually the term "unipolar" is a misnomer in magnetics since every magnet must have two poles, a north and south, in order to complete the magnetic circuit. But in magnetic therapeutic treatments, if only one pole of a two pole magnet is applied to the body it is considered "unipolar" since only one field is acting on the body.) Other devices use several magnetic poles arranged in an alternating fashion of north and south poles. These are called multipolar devices. Proponents of the unipolar design claim that these devices offer the most therapeutic benefits since they are most similar to the earth's magnetic field. But their claims don't appear to hold up to clinical scrutiny. In fact, a study published in 1995 in the journal of Bioelectromagnetics shows that an alternating polar arrangement had the most pronounced effect on pain sensation. The study, entitled Blockade of Sensory Neuron Action Potentials by a Static Magnetic Field in the lOmT Range, tested various magnetic pole arrangements for their effects on neural depolarization of sensory nerves. Neural depolarization basically means a drop in the voltage of a nerve. When a sensory nerve is resting peacefully in an undisturbed state its resting potential (voltage) is approximately 70 mV (millivolts or thousandths of a volt). In this state the nerve is "resting" and no pain is perceived. When an external stimulus of sufficient intensity acts on the nerve, a chain of events takes place which causes the resting potential of the nerve to suddenly drop down to 0 volts (depolarization). This sudden drop in voltage is also known as the action potential because it causes the nerve to act on each nerve it is connected to in dominos-like manner until it reaches the brain where it is recorded as pain. So, anything that could somehow block the action potential would thereby block pain transmission. Now getting back to the clinical study.. . The study showed an amazing 66% of the stimulated sensory neurons failed to elicit action potentials when exposed to an array of 4 alternating permanent magnets arranged in a checkerboard-like configuration. No statistical effect was observed when unipolar, or even bipolar magnets were used. This was the first study of its kind to show clinically what many people have experienced personally using multipolar therapeutic magnetic devices. The researchers hypothesize that the most probable reason that the multipolar design has such a pronounced effect is due to the steep field gradient produced by such a magnetic arrangement of poles. A field gradient indicates the degree that the field changes within the area it impinges. If the field strengths were plotted on graph paper, one would observe a series of peaks and valleys as a function of movement across the field. Thus, a steep field gradient would show a sharp rise or fall in field strength with a relatively small movement in the measuring position. ...'s Magsteps and Relax Pads are the only patented magnetic therapeutic devices on the market today which utilize a polar arrangement similar to that used in the clinical study mentioned. In fact, not only is the polar arrangement practically the same but the triangular shape of the magnetic poles used in the ... products produce an even steeper field gradient than the circular poles used in the study. Therefore it is reasonable to conclude that the ... Magsteps and Relax Pads are the most advanced static field magnetic therapeutic products on the market today.