Response to RACQ magazine “The Road Ahead” article on magnetic therapy.

An article on magnetic therapy titled “Magnets’ pull yet to be proven” appeared in the Oct/Nov, 2014 issue of the popular RACQ magazine, The Road Ahead.

The RACQ is also a large insurer for motor vehicle injuries and ironically we have had a role in rehabilitating many of their policy holders for conditions such as whip lash using Q magnets. The author of the article is prominent Australian sceptic Loretta Marron OAM. Click on the image to enlarge it and read the entire article. Here is our response below…

RACQ-2014-Magnets-Pull-Yet-To-Be-Proven

Just how many patients do you think Ms Marron has treated with magnets to gain such insight? We could be wrong, but our guess would be a big fat zero. It always amuses us how the more strident opponents of magnetic therapy have never actually used them.

Magnetism is a new frontier in medicine and everyone has heard of the most advanced technology in radiology – the MRI, a huge powerful magnet. But are they familiar with remote magnetic navigation, spatially targeted therapeutics, magnetic induction hyperthermia, magneto-optic screening and of course magnetic field therapy. All of these are cutting edge therapies using specialised magnets that have been developed and optimised through SCIENCE.

We couldn’t agree more with Ms Marron about the ridiculous claims attributed to magnets, like increasing blood flow by attracting iron in the blood. But equally, there is promising research and increasing evidence that well designed static magnetic fields can have therapeutic benefits. The article refers to an NCCAM statement that research cannot support the claims that magnets are effective for the treatment of pain. But this statement is so outdated, it fails to even mention magnetic field gradients or inhomogeneous magnetic fields which is where the promising research resides.

Unlike most of the zealous detractors of magnetic therapy, I have used them (Quadrapolar magnets that is) on over 2,000 patients over a 13 year period. I have also completed a randomised controlled clinical trial on osteoarthritis of the knee and trained over 100 health professionals on how to use them. We can assure the readers of The Road Ahead from research, personal experience and the experiences of many patients that static magnets can be optimised for therapeutic effects and multipolar magnets such as Q magnets are effective in around 80% of cases treated.

It is RACQ’s (and many CTP insurers) unwritten policy to not fund magnets for rehabilitation after motor vehicle accidents. However, they purchased many of them on behalf of our patients simply because the benefits and the cost savings through avoiding surgery, time off work and medication use was so obvious and undeniable. Insurance companies are not one to pass up savings on a claim.

Sceptics will often claim that these accounts are anecdotal and “argument from authority” in order to discredit our observations. While at the same time, they draw on the more dubious claims of magnetic therapy and ignore the more reputable research which is commonly referred to as a “straw man argument” and we like to refer as “argument by misrepresentation”.

Dianne Hermans B. Phty MPhil(Qual) RHD
Physiotherapist & Clinical Educator
Neuromagnetics Australia Pty Ltd

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