History of Magnetism

Early Uses of Magnetism

References to the early use of magnetism in the healing arts are found in most civilizations of the world:

  • The earliest record of magnetism is found in a Chinese book entitled “Yellow Emperor’s Book of Internal Medicine” (circa 2000 BC) where it is referred to in conjunction with the practice of acupuncture. 2
  • Cleopatra is claimed to have worn a lodestone on her forehead to prevent aging. 2
  • The famous Persian physician Ali Abbas describes using magnetism to relieve spasms and gout around 1000 AD. 3
  • Galen, a noted Greek physician, author and educator, referred to magnetism as an excellent purgative. 3
  • William Gilbert, from England (1544-1603), literally put magnetism on the map. After nearly two decades of study and experimentation, he published a world-view changing treatise entitled “De Magnete” or “On the Magnet” in 1600. It was the first scientific work published in English and proposed that the Earth itself is a magnet. He was also the first to believe that magnetism and electricity were two types of a single force. Gilbert was a medical doctor and in 1599 became president of the College of Physicians. He was later appointed royal physician, serving both Queen Elizabeth I and her successor, King James I.

The Beginning of Modern Research

Dr. Kyoichi Nakagawa is considered the founder of modern magnetic research and the value of magnetism in enhancing health. He published a study in 1956, which claimed that the Earth’s natural magnetic field had declined by at least 50%. He then went on to study the effects of magnetism on health. He coined the term Magnetic Field Deficiency Syndrome; this is where a lack of magnetic field causes aches and pains. During his studies, he noted that his patients received relief for about 3 weeks, but after this time period the beneficial effects of the magnets lessened. What Dr. Nakagawa did not account for was the different effects the positive and negative poles have on the body. This explains why his study participants experienced only temporary relief. 1

Since 1829, scientists have been able to accurately measure the Earth’s magnetic field and have recorded a decline of its strength. Today the magnetic field of the Earth is measured between 0.3 and 0.6 gauss (a unit of measurement of magnetic fields). It is estimated that the Earth’s magnetic field 4,000 years ago was anywhere between 2.5 and 5.0 gauss. That is a decrease of 80% or more.