There are many forms of magno-therapy available to animal owners – from simple magnets attached to collars, to battery or mains operated equine boots and blankets designed to treat specific areas.
The Chinese were the first to realise the benefits of simple magno-therapy 1,000 years ago, by carrying “lode stones”, a natural mineral that possessed a magnetic property.
Today, many people will testify that the simple watchstrap magnet does make a difference to their wellbeing. However, in order to aid the healing of specific injuries, most experts agree that, for maximum benefit, magno-therapy must have a pulsed electric field (Pulsed Electro Magnetic Field Therapy – PEMFT).
The main benefits are gained by the resulting increase in the blood circulation. The magnetic field polarises the blood cells and improves the transfer of substances through the cell membrane. This allows nutrients and oxygen to be delivered more quickly and speeds up the removal of toxins via the lymph system.
“It is also capable of correcting the balance of weak or sick cells which all helps speed up the healing process – there is nothing magical,” says David Mooney, general manager of Magneto-Pulse, which has been supplying machines tothe equine world for the past 14 years.
“This type of therapy is particularly beneficial to soft tissue injuries, as well as being effective with tendon and ligament problems. It has also proved successful in the treatment of non-union fractures. In some instances it is used as a preventative treatment, stimulating bloodflow to a potentially weak area before exercise.”
National hunt trainer John Tuck, who runs a 15-box yard near Tetbury, Glos, is one of many trainers who routinely uses an electro magnetic rug.
He discovered PEMFT when it was suggested by an equine physiotherapist to help treat a horse who was unable to use himself effectively. The blanket contains 12 padded coils which align with key areas – the loins, withers, shoulders and stifles. The coils are connected to a rechargeable battery that slots into the blanket, eliminating the worry of electric cables.
“I soon noticed a difference, but was convinced that it did work when a friend received treatment by PEMFT for a rheumatic shoulder and regained much greater movement of their arm. “There isn’t a day when we don’t use it. It is easy to use, although vital to follow the correct instructions as the wrong setting can aggravate an injury.
Sherry Scott runs the Animal Therapy Trust in Aylesbury, Bucks, an association of animal physiotherapists who work alongside vets.
“Although we use many forms of therapy, we have used PEMFT for more than 20 years and had superb results,” she says. “Magno-therapy must be pulsed to be of benefit and different frequencies have varying effects. A high frequency is brilliant for removing the initial pain and a lower frequency promotes healing. It is an easy form of therapy to use, providing the user is following the specific instructions that have been advised. We have up to 60 cases at any one time using this form of treatment, including horses, dogs, and even tortoises, snakes and birds.”
Sherry treated police horse Sefton with magno-therapy after the horrific injuries he sustained from the bomb in Hyde Park in 1982.
“We use PEMFT extensively on police horses to treat heavy bruising. It is also very good for treating wounds that have been stitched as it prevents swelling, which helps eliminate the possibility of stitches breaking.”
For more information, contact:
Magneto-Pulse (tel: 01208 78448), Medicur (tel: 01432 850396), Centurion: short-term rentals available (tel: 01291 424710),Magno-Pulse (tel: 01249 782491), Bio-Flow/Ecoflow (tel: 01752 841144), Equine Therapy (tel: 01469 530131), Therapy Systems(tel: 01340 810549), Medi-wrap (tel: 01428 658899).