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The case for magnetic field therapy.

When Ronnie Lott joined the Los Angeles Raiders in 1992, he was 33 years old, a veteran of 11 brilliant but bruising seasons, and had a history of arthritic knees and other physical ailments.

Ronnie had always been a conditioning fanatic, but the pain in his joints was forcing him to cut back his training regimen and adjust his technique.

At the time, I had just finished investigating the benefits of magnetic field therapy and was convinced, after examining Ronnie, that it could help him. He agreed to try it.

Electromagnetic energy and the human body have an important interrelationship. MFT can be used in both diagnosing and treating physical disorders. It can relieve symptoms and, in some cases, retard the cycle of new diseases. In recent years, trainers and medical people have been using it to eliminate pain, facilitate the healing of broken bones, and counter the effects of stress.

Ronnie, after adopting this modem modality, declared that "It put an extra three years on my career. I realized that it could be of use to anyone with muscular or orthopedic injuries, particularly athletes."

The healing potential of magnets is possible because the nervous system is partly governed by varying patterns of ionic currents and electromagnetic fields. These fields are able to penetrate the body and affect the functioning of the nervous system, organs, and cells.

Trainers know that most injuries can be divided into two groups stress injuries and acute injuries.

Stress injuries may involve various aspects of the joints such as bone, cartilage, tendons, and nerves adjacent to joints.

Acute injury usually stems from a sudden trauma to an area. Sports such as football, lacrosse, hockey, even basketball, have a high incidence of such injuries.

Although these two types of injuries have different origins, both require a common denominator to ensure complete healing - an adequate blood supply to the injured area. None of the common modalities can produce this as effectively as magnetic field therapy. MFT can take place 24 hours a day, continue as long as the magnet is worn, be self-administered, and penetrate through skin, fat, nerves, and bone.

MFT can also be used to relieve stress. According to Dr. William H. Philpott, a biomagnetic researcher from Oklahoma, a negative magnetic field, when applied to the top of the head, stimulates the production of melatonin, a natural hormone produced by the body, which has proved to be anti-stressful and anti-infectious, thus producing a calming effect that reduces stress.

With all of these scientific findings, it is easy to see why magnetic field therapy is rapidly gaining in popularity. Chiropractor Kurt Vreeland, physician for the U.S. Olympic ski team and no stranger to bumps, bruises, and orthopedic injuries, swears by it: "I have used magnets with good results on everything from rotator-cuff injuries to what football people used to call 'hip-pointers.'"

The therapy can be applied in many ways, ranging from small devices with simple magnets to large machines capable of generating high magnitudes of strength. Specially designed ceramic disc magnets can be placed either individually or in clusters above the various organs of the body or directly on injury sites, lymph nodes, or various points on the head.

When I worked with Ronnie, I was able to create a magnet casing as part of a knee brace that Ronnie could wear all day, as well as a casing that I could apply when I taped him up. This direct application of the magnetic field not only allowed constant exposure to his painful knees, but afforded him a level of healing that allowed him to return to All-Pro form.

Because magnetic field therapy allows athletes to stay healthy with a minimum amount of time, administration, and expense (it can be used while the athlete is practicing or even competing), trainers and medical personnel would do well to investigate its potential use in their programs.
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Author:Anderson, George
Publication:Coach and Athletic Director
Date:May 1, 1997
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