Ferrite-Ring Magnets
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Laurance Johnston, Ph.D.

Compared to pulsed electromagnetic fields, ferrite-ring magnets represent a low-tech approach that may restore some function after spinal cord injury (SCI) and dysfunction.

Ferrite-ring magnets (shown in photo next to quarter) create a relatively powerful, toroidal spinning field, which in shape resembles the earth’s magnetic field. Such a field more readily resonates with nature and living things.

In a simple, yet visual, demonstration of field strength, a five-inch ring magnet is able to alter a television image from nearly two feet away. Clearly, thring magnetsese magnets have the potential to influence organs and physiology deep beneath the body’s surface.

Because many commercially available products use relatively weak magnets, their effectiveness is questionable. For example, the magnets in many mattress pads are so weak that little field extends beyond the intervening padding, sheets, and pajamas.

The powerful ferrite-ring magnets are inserted into various clothing or devices that place the magnets as close as possible to specific body areas.  For example in SCI, one could wear a magnet-containing vest (or drape it over the wheelchair back), sit over a magnet located under the wheelchair’s seat cushion, and sleep on a mattress pad containing the ring magnets.

Example Cases

Lee, 29, was paralyzed in a construction accident. After a spinal cord blood vessel burst, he progressively lost function, including bowel-and-bladder control and sexual ability, and could only walk a limited distance using a walker. Five months after injury, Lee started treatment with the ring magnets and obtained remarkable results. After a half year of therapy, Lee regained most of his lost function. Although I did not personally talk to Lee, a physician independently confirmed his recovery.

I did, however, talk to Art and Grace. Art became a C5-6 quadriplegic in a 1981 car accident. His case represents an example of the more subtle improvement that may result from magnetic therapy many years after injury.

A sports writer who recently obtained his Master’s degree in rehabilitation counseling, Art has used ring magnets for four years and believes that he has accrued subtle, but significant, benefits from them. He feels stronger, especially in the trunk region, has new tingling sensations that seem to grow with time, and sweats more than he has since his injury nearly 20 years ago. Furthermore, MRI imaging now indicates a much more viable spinal cord.

Grace, who has spina bifida (a neural tube birth defect in which a portion of the spinal cord protrudes through the vertebral column), had been plagued with recurring pressure soars. When her last sore would not heal, she tried the magnets. Because it was the first soar that healed without surgery, she is now a believer. 

What further amazed Grace were some other improvements that seemed to be correlated with her magnetic therapy.  Specifically, she could contract her left gluteal and thigh muscles for the first time, which, she believes, is indicative of some nerve healing. In addition, her left leg got longer with new bone growth as documented by x-rays.


Because these represent a limited number of anecdotal cases with unique circumstances, we must be careful in extrapolating the results. Although dramatic results are probably the exception, subtle improvements that can significantly affect quality of life and independence may be a real possibility with perseverance.

This article is based on the work of Richard Hopkins, a magnetic therapist who died in 2000.

Sources: With some research, including the Internet, ferrite-ring magnets can be obtained from numerous sources. They can also be obtained from Richard Hopkins' son Jon (email: hopkinshands@yahoo.com).

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