How Magnets are Transforming the Medical Field


Magnets are everywhere.  Vacuum cleaners, refrigerators, speakers, computers all use magnets to function.  When we finally get the hoverboards that Back to the Future promised us, they will likely use magnetic technologies to hover.

One industry where magnets have had the biggest impact is the medical industry.  The science of magnets has advanced medicine in many ways from equipment to therapies.

Magnetic Resonance Imaging

Most people are familiar with MRIs and have either had one or know someone who has.  It is a machine that creates a strong magnetic field and radio waves that reveal detailed images of tissues and organs in the body to be viewed. The invention of the MRI machine gave us the ability to diagnose a wide range of diseases and medical issues and revolutionized the field of medicine.

Magnetic Field Therapy

This kind of therapy comes in different forms used to improve health and may be beneficial in the treatment of some conditions.

Static Magnetic Field Therapy.   This is the use of magnets directly on the skin with a bracelet, insole of your shoe, etc.

Electrically Charged Magnetic Therapy.  This type of therapy uses electrically charged magnet on the body.

Magnetic Therapy with Acupuncture.  This therapy focuses on the same areas of the body that an acupuncturist would with needles.

These therapies are believed to work on the body’s natural magnetic field to restore it and get it working the way it should. They’ve been used to treat pain, help wounds heal, headaches, and Fibromyalgia pain.

Medical Devices

Magnets are used in a multitude of medical devices such as hearing aids, implantable cardioverter defibrillators, neurostimulators, blood separators, dentist drills, orthodontia, medical ventilators, and biological separators.  Any device with a high-speed motor will have magnets in it.

Cancer Treatment

Magnets can also play a role in the treatment of cancer.  In a new treatment, magnetic nanoparticles are inserted close to the cancerous tumor and then activated with a magnetic field.  This procedure essentially burns the tumor cells without damaging healthy cells and although it may not be used for the treatment of all types of cancer, it could prove to be an important step in the eradication of the disease.

Treatment of Depression

TMS, or Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation, is a treatment for Major Depressive Disorder that uses strong magnets like in an MRI machine.  It is a drug alternative that uses magnetic fields to stimulate specific areas of the brain to lessen or eliminate the symptoms of MDD.  It is recommended to patients who have undergone other treatments, such as medications, that have failed.

TMS is administered through a coil which generates a magnetic field which when applied to the head, induces an electrical current in the brain.  By activating the neurotransmitters with a magnetic field, they may begin to function properly and alleviate the symptoms associated with depression.

Gateway TMS is a leading provider of TMS treatments in the St. Louis area.  Our caring staff will guide you through the process from diagnoses to treatment to filling out insurance forms all in a calm, relaxing environment.  To find out if TMS is a good course of treatment for your Major Depressive Disorder, call Gateway today at (314) 909-8487. We’re here to help.