Acupuncture and Static Multipolar Magnets: An Emerging Attraction?

Arnyce R. Pock*, Richard C. Niemtzow, Songxuan Zhou Niemtzow, Erik K. Koda

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: Magnetism has been known for >4,000 years. Recently static multipolar magnets have demonstrated analgesic clinical usefulness. Local application of magnets may be beneficial in reducing musculoskeletal pain, particularly when other modalities have failed. A recent series of clinical cases demonstrates how multipolar magnets may be incorporated as an effective adjunctive treatment in an acupuncture clinic. Materials and Methods: PubMed database was searched using the magnets, medical magnets, magnets and pain management, therapeutic magnets, multipolar magnets, and history of magnet therapy. In addition, clinical cases were submitted by 4 different medical acupuncturists as examples of how the use of multipolar magnets is incorporated into an acupuncture clinic. Results: Over the past 20 years, 143 articles fulfilled the search criteria and unfortunately demonstrated considerable variability in research methodology. Magnetic tapes, needles, and beads of various magnetic strengths constituted the stimulating apparatus with durations ranging from minutes to years. This article highlights 10 cases, 9 of which reflected situations in which the use of 1 or more multipolar magnets provided an enhanced analgesic effect, often when traditional acupuncture had either failed to produce a satisfactory response or when the application of acupuncture needles needed to be limited. Conclusion: Despite the variability of the literature review, it appears that magnetism is related to pain reduction, and when properly employed, it can be an effective and safe modality as demonstrated by a recent series of cases submitted from the practices of 4 different medical acupuncturists. A clinical trial incorporating the latest technology of multipolar magnets with steep field gradients should be initiated for the more formal investigation of magnet-induced analgesia.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)127-134
Number of pages8
JournalMedical Acupuncture
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1 Jun 2023
Externally publishedYes


  • acupuncture
  • magnetic fields
  • magnetism
  • membrane potentials
  • multipolar magnets
  • pain


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