Magnetic therapy is an ever-growing industry, particularly within the equine community, and with the vast majority of products using traditional ‘static’ magnets stitched into their products we look at some of the options available to horse owners and some of the unique selling points behind each product or technology.
There are a plethora of different magnetic boots for horses now available on the market.
In this article we look at the technology adopted within a variety of magnetic boots, also known as ‘magnetic stable boots’ or ‘magnetic bell boots’ and how they differ from product-to-product. We do not look at other types of magnetic therapy such as magnetic horse rugs, boot liners or so on, but those technologies adopt similar techniques as discussed within this article. Likewise, we do not discuss within this article technologies which do not emit a magnetic field such as infra-red or ceramic therapy.
We will then look at the advantages and disadvantages of each of these magnetic products and review feedback provided on the products across independent platforms.
Finally, we will discuss the latest addition to the magnetic therapy market - advanced magnetism - and what additional benefits it provides horse owners over more traditional magnetic technologies.
The Magnetic Gauss level, referred by some as the “strength” of their magnet
The magnetic gauss level used by many of these manufacturers to describe “the strength of their magnet” is a widely misunderstood and in our opinion a ‘miss-marketed term’.
Gauss is a complicated mathematical equation which directly refers to the intensity of the magnetic field. For the purpose of sanity we won’t be going into this within this article; feel free to ‘Google it’ and see what we mean.
Gauss readings are different to the ‘pull strength’ of the magnet and the 'gauss level’ of the magnet being used cannot be used to establish “the strength” of the magnetic fields within the magnet itself.
The gauss level of Planet Earth is 0.5 gauss yet the gauss level of a magnetic alphabet toy stuck to your fridge door is 10 gauss. Does that mean the earths magnetic field is weaker than your fridge magnet? The reality is that the gauss level of a magnet can vary as one individual magnet does not have one specific measurement of gauss within it.
As we say, it’s complicated and in our opinion manufactures use this complicated science to bamboozle customers with how their product claims to work better than others.
What types of magnets are used in magnetic therapy devices
There are three main types of magnets which are categorised by how they source their magnetic field. Temporary magnets which as the name suggests only hold their magnetic fields temporarily, permanent magnets which do not lose their magnetism over a period of time and electromagnetic which create a magnetic field by having electrical current through it, when the current is switched off so is the magnetic field.
In the magnetic therapy market permanent or static magnets are mainly used, yet, the question of polarity and how best to deliver magnetic poles to users for maximum therapeutic effect is unknown and widely debated.
Neodymium magnets are by far the strongest static magnets available in science and have shown to avoid demagnetisation better than other magnetic materials, with this many magnetic therapy manufacturers are attracted (excuse the pun) to using neodymium magnetics in their therapeutic devices.
Neodymium magnets create a static and consistent magnetic field so are widely used in devices such as magnetic resonance devices. There are then Ceramic magnets and Flexible/rubber magnets which historically hold less charge and are often overlooked by therapy companies. Advancements in quantum physics over the past few years have seen birth of the worlds-first fully siliconised magnet, a magnetic material manufactured using a secret mix of natural silicones and ferrites which are then subjected to an electromagnetic field. These create a static magnetic field which contain multiple poles of polarity.
What is important when using magnetism to support our health is establishing the polarity of the magnetic fields within the magnet itself. All magnets have a north (positive) and south (negative) pole within them. Altering and manipulating these magnetic fields to direct the energy into the body is how many of the manufacturers differ. Unipolar devices target one magnetic field )either North or South) into the body whereas Multipolar or Bipolar devices are used to describe magnetic devices which deliver multiple fields of magnetism to the body which face the body at the same time. Unipolar magnets do not actually exist in science, all magnets are bipolar, but some magnetic therapy companies position a neodymium magnet facing away from the body and claim this to be unipolar.
Magnetite, a natural material, is a crystal which creates both a positive and negative magnetic charge. Magnetite is used in some jewellery to expose the wearer to both north and south magnetic poles. Magnetite is one of the ferrites within the latest advancement in magnetic therapy as introduced by StreamZ Global.
Table of a selection of therapeutic products advertised on the market
The following table is a ‘snap-shot’ of some of the most popular products in the equine market. With a plethora of varying technologies and marketing stances we look at some of the key features of magnetic therapy boots and what that means to horse owners.
*1 This company claims they use unipolar magnets, which we discussed above. These do not exist in science and thus in our opinion should be treated with a pinch-of-salt.
*2 Although this company claim their technology can be used 24x7, when we look at their technology they use neodymium magnets which claim to contain 6 x 2000 gauss magnets. The magnetic density of these magnets naturally increase heat when placed within products and then wrapped around a horses legs. We can see this clearly in thermal imaging studies carried out by independent specialists using the same technology. Due to this, we would question their claims that these bands can be used 24x7.
Do traditional magnetic technologies create heat on a horses legs?
This is a topic much debated within the magnetic therapy market and a subject which many manufacturers disagree on.
The reality is that traditional magnets themselves do not create heat, as such, if they did we could simply fit magnets within water tanks to increase the temperature of the water.
This is not what we mean though when we say magnetic therapy products create heat.
A varying magnetic field (not a constant magnetic field) will induce an electric current in a conductor, and an electric current can produce heat - so there are certain processes and technologies which use magnetism to create heat.
Heat can also be created from magnets by putting magnetised materials into a high-frequency oscillating magnetic field which makes the magnet's polarity switch back and forth at a high-enough rate to produce a level of friction - which in turn creates heat.
You see, it’s complicated!
Magnets themselves do not have healing properties, the action they create on the living system produces a reaction which can lead to an increase in thermal activity. This is an important point.
Whether products do or do not create heat leads to a lot of misunderstanding within the therapy market. As such, in our opinion, thermal imaging techniques are an import study which manufacturers should use to prove or disprove that their products increase the thermal temperature - importantly within the muscle structures themselves and not just on the surface area. For some reason however the majority of manufacturers who claim their technology does not create heat do not carry out or disclose these studies to their audiences. Why is this? It could be argued that they carry out these studies and see an increase in heat or that they simply do not bother. Some manufacturers are well aware of this and clearly advertise the bands to be used for limited periods of time and not on muscle or tendon injuries.
Whether a magnetic product creates heat or not can be shown in thermal imaging, as shown by StreamZ global. If you are unsure then ask the manufacturer if they have carried out these studies and if not, why not.
Applying heat is not what we look for when supporting our horses recovery process. Importantly, when a muscle, tendon or ligament is healing it requires limited heat and in many cases horse owners will apply cold compressing (the opposite effect of traditional magnetic therapy) to the horses injury. As with a professional athlete, when a muscle is pulled or strained a bag of ice goes on!
It is this reason that the majority of magnetic therapy manufacturers do not advise their products are used immediately after exercise and should only be used when the horses pulse rate has returned to normal.
Many traditional magnetic products, using static neodymium magnets, should only be used for limited and short periods of time. This results in horse owners having to manage the period of time their horse is wearing the product, complicating their ongoing care.
Why is Advanced Magnetic Therapy becoming so popular?
Advanced Magnetism introduced by StreamZ Global, uses an entirely unique approach to magnetic therapy.
Unlike with traditional magnets, Streamz manufacture their magnets themselves in the United Kingdom using a secret-mix of natural silicones and metallic ferrites. These are then subjected to a specifically developed electro magnetic machine which sets a variety of frequencies within the material itself. The result is a fully flexible magnet which maintains it’s polarities (frequencies) and provides a series of extremely low-frequency magnetic fields.
As far as we know all manufacturers within the table above do not manufacture their own magnets.
The multi-directional fields of magnetism within StreamZ silicone are wrapped around the horses legs providing a 360º energy field. This process does not lead to a thermal reaction in the system and thus does not create heat on the horses legs.
EQU StreamZ magnetic therapy bands can be used 24x7 and on conditions where applying heat should be avoided. They are ideal for supporting muscle, tendon and ligament injuries where applying heat should be avoided.
They are easy-to-use and do not require the owner to keep track of when the magnetic therapy bands were fitted.
Unlike the vast majority of manufacturers StreamZ provide extensive efficacy evidence using both independent and in-house studies. This includes pre clinical studies with leading animal universities. Although not clinically proven StreamZ magnetic technology has shown in independent studies to support claims of improved range of motion (tarsal joint), inflammation reduction (windgalls) and much more.
Finally, and most importantly, comes results. Independent reviews (on amazon.co.uk) show how superior Streamz products are, along with reviews on their own websites which exceed 500 5-star reviews. Alongside reviews StreamZ have extensive endorsements directly relating to their product from a range of influencers and top level professionals including world and olympic champions.
The magnetic therapy market is an ever-growing aspect of holistic horse care and can be used to support a wide variety of condition with horses.
Horse owners are well aware of the anecdotal benefits of these products and widely adopt them to complement their horse in a whole variety of ways from arthritis, inflammatory conditions and of their ongoing wellbeing.
If you haven’t tried magnetic therapy on your horse then why not give EQU StreamZ horse bands a go, we’re pretty sure you’ll be delighted with the results.
Note: the views and opinions within this article are by StreamZ Global and have been established by reviewing marketing claims made by the manufacturers listed within the table above. If you require specific information from another manufacturer please contact them; as they promote their own products surely they know how they work.…