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Healing with magnets? Now that’s attractive

WHEN you go horseriding as often as I do — four times a week — you’re bound to get hurt.

Civilians have a reasonable fear of the kinds of ways that you can harm yourself in the process of pursuing all things equestrian, but to be fair, you can give yourself a dinger of an injury doing any sport.

Steep mountain plus icy snow plus tree springing up from nowhere equals a broken something. I once pulled the bejeezus out of my lower back whilst swimming, which is supposed to be lowimpact.

Basically, put your body into a high-stress, active situation, and something’s bound to pull or strain. I’ve had two big falls, several medium ones, and a host of negligible tumbles, and none kept me out of the saddle. So when I seemingly pulled a wee muscle in my left calf and was limping about the place for a few days, I was rather stunned to find that I wasn’t going to be working through the pain during a lesson, and that, according to my sports therapist, I’d actually have to take a week or two off.

He saw that I’d torn a muscle. As he began treatment, a combination of amatsu therapy and conventional sports medicine, the verdict was I’d have to lay off it for a while. My mind reeled. Given that one mounts from the left, and that the left calf, where the injury was sited, takes the weight until the body is raised up in the stirrup, well, it didn’t take a genius to realise that there was no way I was going to be riding until the pain went away.

I have never claimed to be a genius. Six days later I was attempting to get up on a horse. I got as far as putting my left foot into the stirrup and was beginning to lift when — aggggggh, it was like a knife running from the back of my heel to the back of my knee.

By the following week, I was back to David, the muscles in my lower leg feeling like blocks of concrete, and in a terrible state mentally.

I had to get back to my lessons. How much longer was I to be out of commission? I think David took one look at my wildeyed demeanour, took pity and handed over his magnets.

I literally grabbed them with both hands, barely listening to David’s explanation, and half-limped to the bus stop.

Once home, I took a good look at what I’d been given. Magnets? Like, the fridge sort? What good could these possibly do?

They did a world of good for Cleopatra, who used to wear an amulet made of lodestone on her forehead to preserve her looks. It worked because the pineal gland, located roughly at the back of the forehead, controls melatonin, which repairs cells and has a potential to slow down the ageing process. Astronauts have been saved from losing bone density by the use of lightweight magnets that line their suits.

Norstar’s ‘The Neo’ disks are small, and are indeed lightweight. Using medical tape, I stuck them to my leg: one on the exact point of injury and the other on the fleshiest part of my calf . . . and waited.

What was meant to happen was that the healing powers of the magnets, which extended three to five inches in all directions from the one-inch magnet itself, would allow the soft tissues to relax, and through relaxation, would allow thwarted oxygen and blood to flow to the site of injury and start fixing it.

I can tell you that it worked. The bruise that finally came up, which ought to have hung around for a week at least (I know my bruises) was gone in two days. In two more days, I had my range of motion back, and in another two, I was back in the saddle.

From now on, I’ll be keeping those magnets handy. I wonder how they do with hangovers? It might be worth researching . . .

David McCarthy practises in the Rathmichael Clinic, Shankill. Ring 085 143 4299 ‘The Neo’ magnets can be bought from www.energyforhealth.co.uk