I am unashamedly a fan of the Bioflow system of magnotherapy. It works, it’s got medical evidence to back it up, and it uses the principles of the reliable, proven electrical magnotherapy equipment in hospitals and physiotherapy clinics . So what makes Bioflow different from the hundreds of other kinds of magnetic therapy devices on the market? I’ll come to that, but first you need to know about a couple of things.
Hospitals Offer Great Therapy
First, let me say that the kind of treatment you’ll get in the physio department of a hospital or in a clinic is the model to follow. There are at least eight different kinds of plug-in machine, some of them combining magnetic therapy with other treatments. All of these machines use two principles which make them successful:
- A HUGE magnetic field, far in excess of the magnetic field strength (flux) in almost all appliances you can buy.
- A system to rapidly change the magnetic pole you’re near between north and south – usually called pole switching or flux pulsing.
In hundreds of medical trials and comparisons, it’s these two features which have proven consistently successful in providing pain relief, relieving sore areas after physiotherapy and encouraging wound healing.
What Your Regular Bangle Does
Stuff you can wear is very different. Almost all magnetic bangles and other appliances have two features: they use between two and twenty tiny magnets (up to 1000 for mattresses); and they place the north pole against your skin over the area to be treated. So does this make the hospital equipment wrong? Hardly likely, as this electronic magnotherapy is PROVEN to work. And in several hundred medical trials, appliances like bangles and straps have only been shown to work a few cases – the exact opposite of the machines in clinics.
Better appliances – in fact, nearly all, today – use neodymium magnets. But very few of them even come near the power of the hospital machines: the magnets are far too small to generate enough flux. In fact, I’ve worked out that you’d need 80 to 100 of the typical neodymium magnets in bangles to give the same flux, and they’d all need to be clustered in a small area.
You’ll notice, too, that the ‘flux changing’ of the medical machines is almost always absent. The conclusion – borne out in medical trials – is that useful therapy needs far more power than most stuff has, and the flux changing really is important.
Finally, there’s the cheating (or ignorance?) that a lot of retailers indulge in when they’re telling you how powerful their bangle or appliance is. You see, there are several ways of describing magnetic flux, so… (I don’t have to go on, do I?) Maybe I do.
- Neodymium magnets can be described, first, by the ‘core strength’ of the material – the magnets come in several grades. However big and powerful or small and weak the magnet, its core strength in gauss remains the same. So if the magnets are tiny, this figure is used.
- Second is the flux (magnetic field strength) at the surface of the magnet, and this is most often quoted for big magnets, when the gauss number is higher than for the core strength.
- And third is the flux at your skin. Even the thickness of plating or a plastic cover needs to be taken into account, because flux drops dramatically as you move away from the magnet. This is the key figure, but it’s rarely quoted except maybe when they’re comparing a rival’s skin flux to their own core strength – naughty!
So it’s almost impossible to tell how powerful a magnet is from quoted figures. The only useful test is to see what force the magnet pulls at that point, and this is how testing equipment works.
You can do it yourself – use a bunch of keys (the ring is steel) and see how it pulls, or a recent UK copper coin (which has some iron in it), and compare one magnet with another. For example, a typical bracelet magnet won’t even lift one penny, whereas a magnet of useful flux will hold up a chain of four pennies (each coin at least doubles the power needed) and be maybe 30 times as powerful. Both have the same core flux, usually about 1800 gauss, that the sellers quote.
And that brings us to Bioflow.
The Bioflow Advantage
Unique among therapy systems, Bioflow mimics the hospital equipment by using both large, high power neodymium magnets and flux changing. The maker, Ecoflow plc, discovered flux changing for fuel economisers and patented it, before finding that it also applied to therapy. This led to Bioflow being designed for use on the wrist.
The usual configuration is to have the main unit over a pulse, where it delivers the therapy to the whole body through your blood. The unit is about 30 times the power of a typical bangle magnet, so it has twice the pull of about 15 magnets in a good multi-link bracelet; but more important, it has the flux-changing principle (which is also patented for therapy) that has been shown in trials to be much more effective than north-pole-to-the-wrist.