Up until age 26, Danielle Pilarninos thought her health was basically "fine." And then one morning after a pain-filled night, she woke up to a left bicep that was vastly swollen and painful.
Thinking she had a blood clot in her arm, she went to work at the hospital where she served as a sonographer performing ultrasounds for high-risk pregnancies. A doctor immediately sent her to the emergency room.
"They did a scan and there was no blood clot, everything was fine," she says. "But my blood work showed high levels of CPK [creatine phosphokinase], an enzyme that occurs in the blood when you have a lot of muscle die off, and mine was really elevated."
Diagnosed with rhabdomyolysis, which, she says, "is just a fancy word for saying your muscles are dying," she was also diagnosed with compartment syndrome from the edema—a painful condition that occurs when pressure within muscle tissue builds, decreasing blood flow and preventing nutrients and oxygen from reaching nerve and muscle cells.
Danielle was hospitalized for five days to keep her body hydrated and prevent her kidneys from failing due to all the toxins in her bloodstream from the muscle cell die-off, and then finally told the presumed cause: she'd been exercising too hard.
"At the time I was running between 20 and 30 miles a week, lifting weights on a regular basis and doing yoga. I was really fit. And because I knew my body, I knew it wasn't too much exercise."
Once home, her fatigue was extreme. Danielle experienced such intense joint and muscle pain that she was unable to work. "I went from being that active person to not being able to walk around the block, essentially overnight. It was crazy."
She was referred to several infectious disease specialists and a rheumatologist, and at one point had 21 vials of blood drawn at one time, checking for every possible culprit. But all the blood tests came back negative.
At that point the doctors gave up, saying it was probably an infection, that there was nothing they could do and that it would "probably go away at some point."
After six months of pain and debilitation, the symptoms did go away, and everything seemed back to normal. But it didn't last.
A year after her first bout of rhabdomyolysis, Danielle woke up to the exact same symptoms once again, except this time they were worse. While hospitalized, she was sent to a neuromuscular specialist who diagnosed her with muscular myopathy, a condition where the muscle cells of the body aren't able to metabolize nutrients properly and starve to death.
"They told me I was 'exercise intolerant,'" she says. "And I was like, 'This can't be real. This doesn't make any sense! How does this just happen?'"
Over the next three years Danielle was variously diagnosed with an alphabet soup of labels: chronic fatigue, chronic lymphedema, fibromyalgia, something called postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS) and even Renard's disease, a condition where the smaller arteries supplying blood to your skin (principally in the hands) narrow, limiting your blood circulation to those areas.
She put herself on an autoimmune protocol and a Paleo diet. She juiced and did colonics and saunas, went organic and got rid of everything chemical in her house. She saw alternative therapists and a Lyme disease specialist in New York. But nothing helped, and by 2016 her body was starting to collapse.
"One time, my husband and I were walking to our door, and I just fell over and started convulsing," she says. "That started happening on a regular basis, so I was given a walker and told I would soon be in a wheelchair."
At that point her older brother mentioned Biomagnetic Pair Therapy (BPT) and told her that Dr Luis Garcia, one of the most prominent practitioners, was in New Jersey just three hours away. Danielle had never heard of the therapy but was ready to try anything.
Her first appointment with Dr Garcia lasted for four hours, and the morning after receiving BPT for the first time, a shift occurred.
"I came downstairs and my mom, who was staying with us at the time because I couldn't do much, rubbed my left arm, and she said, 'Sweetie, I think the swelling is better!' The lymphedema was definitely better, and we both just started crying because that was the first thing that I'd done that was working."
After that first visit, Danielle never fell again. Over the course of the next year, she saw Dr Garcia about 10 times, and after each visit, more and more of her health issues would disappear.
Within a year, all of them were gone. Within a year and a half, she says, she had her life back, and her health was better than it had ever been before.
What is magnetic therapy?
Magnetic therapy takes many different forms. For thousands of years, "static" magnetic therapy has been practiced, where different strength magnets (or their forerunners, lodestones) are placed at various points on the body to stimulate healing.
In the East, magnets have been used for at least 1,000 years to stimulate acupuncture points and energy meridians. Today in the West, practitioners apply magnetic field therapy to the outside of the body by:
• using static magnets
• accentuating the effectiveness of acupuncture by applying magnets along with the needles
• using pulsed electromagnetic fields (PEMFs)
• using Biomagnetic Pair Therapy (BPT), also known as medical biomagnetism, where two magnets are placed on specific parts of the body in specific combinations to target infection and body dysfunction
Biomagnetic Pair Therapy
BPT uses two magnets with opposite poles in biomagnetic pairs placed on specific parts of the body in specific combinations to shift pH values in the target organs, enabling the body to optimally deal with pathogens such as bacteria, viruses, parasites and fungi.
BPT is a relatively new modality, and few clinical tests of its effectiveness have been carried out. But the few studies that have been done have been promising.
It has proven to be highly effective, for instance, in clearing the Salmonella typhi bacteria (which causes typhoid) from patients. In one study, 10 out of 13 patients tested negative after receiving just one brief treatment, and all patients reported an improvement in their clinical symptoms.1
In another study using BPT on nine patients with advanced metastatic tumors, two patients experienced full clinical remission, and three others experienced partial therapeutic effects.2
And magnets themselves have a long history of use for therapeutic purposes (see box, page 47). Various other forms of magnetic therapy have been clinically proven to have a range of healing effects on the human body.
For example, magnetic fields have shown promise in anti-inflammatory and wound-healing applications,3 and the placement of static (single, stationary) magnets has been shown in a number of randomized controlled trials to have an analgesic (pain-relieving) effect.4
Peripheral rMS (repetitive magnetic stimulation) has positive short- and medium-term therapeutic effects on myofascial pain,5 and static magnetic fields have also shown effectiveness for reducing pain intensity in people with fibromyalgia.6
Magnetic pulse treatment reduces pain and disability in patients suffering from osteoarthritis of the knee7 and chronic low back pain.8
Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) uses magnetic fields to stimulate nerve cells in the brain as an aid to relieving depression.9
Static magnetic fields have also been used to decrease blood flow and platelet adherence (which promotes cancer growth and metastasis) in tumor microvessels.10
"Magnetic fields applied to the body increase the electrical charge of red blood cells and reduce the extent of red blood cell clumping in stacked formation, otherwise known as the rouleaux formation," says Dr Luis Garcia, a BPT teacher and founder of the company American Biomagnetism. He references a 2013 scientific article, which concluded that exposing a body to the natural magnetic fields of the earth increases the surface charge on red blood cells and thereby reduces blood viscosity and clumping.11
"I've had individuals who had what clinically appears to be angina pain and chest pressure come in, and by the time they leave they are significantly relieved of any pain and chest pressure." In many instances they had inflammation in the chest, either of the pericardium (the membrane enclosing the heart) due to a staphylococcus infection, a streptococcus infection in a coronary artery or some other cause that he claims can be identified and balanced through the precise application of the therapy.
"Or they've had palpitations and heart arrhythmias that have also self-regulated after biomagnetism sessions." Dr Garcia says that these conditions and more may be correctly identified by how the body responds to the placement of the magnets and the way the individual responds after the therapy.
The process of BPT itself is fairly simple. After an energy analysis of the person's total health profile through applied kinesiology, by testing muscles for strength and weakness or by changes in leg length when exposed to a variety of substances (see box, page 52), the therapist is usually able to identify certain pathogens or physical imbalances. Following the body's prompts (again, via muscle testing) the first pathogen and associated organ(s) are addressed, and two magnets are placed on the body at precise locations ("pairs"), one magnet with the negative pole facing toward the body, the other with the positive pole toward the body.
In the 13 years he has been studying, using and teaching BPT, Garcia says he has identified over 800 pairs on the human body representing symptoms.
"Magnets move hydrogen protons around in the body," he says. "The dual placement of the magnets draws this energy from one to the other magnet. When you have inflammation, infections or dysfunction in an area, you can use the magnets to draw the protons either away or towards the area, thereby increasing circulation, reducing inflammation, restoring the natural pH to that particular area and thereby reactivating the body's normal functions."
To explain the process of BPT, Garcia uses the example of someone with a headache. "Let's say you find tuberculosis or you find Epstein-Barr virus, which are two common infections that affect a person's body as a whole.
"After placing the magnets to shift and stabilize the local conditions that allowed for those particular pathogens to survive and create inflammation, you then place a magnet where the headache was, and you can now observe the imbalance that is actually at that location."
In Danielle's case, Garcia says her body was tremendously imbalanced and that she had possibly 100 different infections present in her body, including Epstein-Barr virus, tuberculosis and other bacteria, cytomegalovirus, parasites and fungi. All had to be cleared in stages compatible with the body so that her system could reach homeostasis—a stable equilibrium of all physiological processes—which is the foundation of good health.
What is biomagnetism?
The term biomagnetism is used to describe both the interaction of living organisms with external magnetic fields as well as the endogenous creation of magnetic fields by living beings themselves.
A magnetic field is created whenever charged particles such as electrons or protons are on the move—by the currents of electricity that flow in the molten core of our planet, in electrical wiring or devices, and in different types of cells in the human body, including neurons, endocrine and muscle cells.
The earth's magnetic field at its surface at the equator measures between 0.25 and 0.65 gauss. The magnetic field of an ordinary refrigerator magnet is enormous by comparison—around 100 gauss.
Magnetic fields produced by the human body are much, much smaller, in the range of 10-10 to 10-5 gauss, and measurable only with a sensitive magnetic detector called a SQUID (superconducting quantum interference device). The best-known applications of SQUIDs are in magnetoencephalography (MEG) and magnetocardiography (MCG), which measure magnetic fields in the brain and heart, respectively.
"The body's own internal magnetic fields are generated by the extraordinary amount of internal electrical activity that keeps our bodies alive," says Dr. William Pawluk, a physician with a practice near Baltimore, Maryland and a foremost authority on the use of pulsed electromagnetic field therapy. "These biomagnetic fields interact with all of the other magnetic fields on the planet and control our basic chemistry."
The body's electrical activity happens primarily around the cell membrane. Cells maintain an "electrical potential," measured as a voltage, across the membrane, with a high concentration of positive ions on one side and negative ions on the other. (An ion is any electrically charged molecule or atom. Cells most commonly use sodium, calcium and potassium for this purpose.) Cells create this voltage by pumping ions through the membrane via specialized channels.
When a neuron "fires" an electrical signal or a muscle contracts, for example, the channels open up, ions rush across, and this generates electrical energy, similar to how a battery works. However, this complex process in cells is highly vulnerable to disruption.
"If a cell is injured or otherwise not well, this activity slows or stops," says Pawluk. "Applying an external, therapeutic magnetic field to the body supports this function by providing the cell with the energy it is incapable of producing itself."
The importance of pH
One of the most surprising revelations of BPT is the variability and fluidity of pH levels throughout the body and how they figure into infections and disease conditions. The pH is a measure of the concentration of hydrogen ions (protons) in a substance.
The pH scale ranges from a powerfully acidic reading of 0 to a powerfully alkaline reading of 14, with 7 representing the neutral point. Human blood is normally slightly basic, with a typical pH range of about 7.35 to 7.45. Stomach acid, on the other hand, averages between 1.5 and 3.5 on the scale.
What most people don't realize is that trauma can shift the pH level in different organs and areas of the body, driving them away from homeostasis. For example, anemia from acute blood loss, contraction of the blood vessels in response to hypothermia, and restricted cardiac function can all severely impair oxygen delivery to tissues throughout the body, resulting in lactic acid production that drops the blood pH into a more acidic state.12
"In the cells you constantly have this kind of bioelectric communication that happens between the inside and outside of the cells, where you're constantly exchanging ions," says Caitlin Policastro, Clinical Director of the New York Center for Innovative Medicine in Huntington, NY.
"If you don't maintain a balance, if one area's a little bit too acidic or too alkaline, then you have a dysfunction. When a part of the body is very acidic, for instance, it can become a breeding ground for specific infections and pathogens. But the opposite is also true, where it can be too alkaline and develop hyper-alkalinity, which can be problematic as well."
Indeed, it's been well established that pH affects cellular behavior including movement and contraction of the cytoplasm inside every cell.13 Different cells—including disease-causing bacteria or fungi as well as cells in the human body—have different optimal pH ranges, and an environmental pH outside of this range will negatively impact the cells' ability to take in nutrients and maintain normal function.
Because pH also influences the activity of immune cells and key enzymes, these shifts in pH state can reduce the health of the organs and tissues and make them susceptible to dysfunction and infection.
In the skin, for example, which normally maintains an acidic pH on its outer surface to act as a barrier against harmful microbes, an increase in pH can increase susceptibility to dermatitis and Candida infection.14
Although magnets are known to have the capacity to change the pH of water,15 so far it has not been directly proven that changing the pH state of tissues with magnets is what causes the reduction of pathogens.
However, magnets have been proven to reduce or eliminate bacteria and viruses. For example, the use of magnets has been shown to cause a sharp decline in the number of microbes in oral cavities, as well as to kill
E. coli bacteria.16
"The best part about using BPT is that when you start to balance people's body energies and pH and bring things back into balance, the body heals itself," says Garcia. "It's that simple."
The history of biomagnetic pair therapy
In the 1970s, Dr Richard Broeringmeyer was working for NASA, researching the effects of magnetic fields. Astronauts would reliably come back from space with one leg shorter than the other because being outside of the earth's magnetic field caused imbalances in their physiology.
Broeringmeyer learned how to rebalance the astronauts' bodies with magnets. In addition, he learned how use magnets as a diagnostic muscle testing device. He also discovered a correlation between the pH balance of the body's organs and magnetic fields and began to teach what he had learned.
In Mexico in 1988, Dr Isaac Goiz attended Broeringmeyer's course. Intuitively he knew that magnets come in pairs, and that while a single magnet placed on the body could help correct dysfunction and disease, he reasoned that two, working in tandem, would work even better.
He tried his theory on a man who had tested positive for HIV and been given less than a year to live. Using a magnet with its negative pole facing down toward the body, he ran the magnet over the person's body to see if there was a muscle reaction—a shortening or lengthening of one of the legs.
Muscle testing is a method many practitioners use to determine where there are issues in the body. The practitioner tests the strength of a muscle—usually the client's arm—which holds strong when there are no problems, and goes weak when a problematic area is touched. Or he observes one leg lengthen or shorten in reaction to touching a problematic area, in this case with a magnet.
Goiz got a "hit" when the magnet reached the thymus gland in the chest. He then ran another magnet, positive pole toward the body, down the man's back. This time he got a second "hit" at the rectum. He left the magnets in place for about 25 minutes. The man came back a week later saying he had gained five pounds and felt great. Months later he retested negative for HIV.
From this surprising start, Dr Goiz theorized that pathogens "pair" and strengthen each other energetically, that the man had an E. coli infection as well as HIV, and that one was lodged at the rectum, and the other at the thymus. Clearing both pathogens was necessary for the body to restore itself to health.
To date, there is no clinical proof that pathogens "pair" like this, but Dr Goiz, and now Dr Garcia, continue to develop their understanding of magnetic pairing while cataloging a list of linked pathogens and anatomical points that work together.
Until such studies can be done, what proof there is may simply be in the pudding—individuals like Danielle—overcoming serious illness with magnets.
Jackie Kotler, 37, Manhattan
Three months after giving birth to her first baby, Jackie was on vacation in the Dominican Republic with her husband and took an excursion trip cliff diving into a lagoon. Mid-jump she went into a sitting position, and when she landed in the water her spine compressed, and the vertebra at T12 shattered. There was no Medivac available, and she experienced a lot of jarring movement getting out of the jungle and to different hospitals and clinics and, finally, back to New York.
"The doctors told me, 'This is a very complicated surgery, so take care of everything in your life in advance,'" she recalls.
The surgeons built a cage around the T12 vertebra with pins, removing one of her ribs to get better access, fused the vertebrae and removed bone from her left hip for a bone graft to rebuild the spine.
After surgery she was sent home in a body cast and adult diapers, and she spent the next year basically immobilized. "For years, the physical pain was so severe I couldn't function," she says.
She spent thousands of dollars trying alternative approaches, but nothing worked. Finally, she went to Dr Luis Garcia and tried Biomagnetic Pair Therapy.
"After the first session, I walked out of there and suddenly I could breathe, and my chest wasn't hurting anymore," she says. "I figured, 'Okay, I don't understand this guy, but whatever he does I'm just going to come back."
After her second session the migraines stopped, and after the third the sinus pain and pressure were gone. "Every time I went to him, another layer and another set of issues were peeled away."
Today Jackie says she's never felt better, and she's now pregnant with her third child.
Sharon Jarboe, 58, New Jersey
Sharon suffered from debilitating chronic rashes and swelling on her face, neck, arms and hands, sometimes so severe that she couldn't sleep.
She saw a variety of doctors, who prescribed antibiotics and then steroids, but she did not become rash-free until she tried BPT.
In just one appointment, she saw her skin clear up by about 90 percent. After the second appointment her skin was 100 percent clear.
"BPT helped reveal that beneath layers of sensitivities, co-infections and emotional armoring, I had built up a significant level of arsenic toxicity," she says.
"Bingo! This was the root of my problem. It took about 10 sessions over the course of a year until my immune system was balanced enough to clear the toxins. I also had to make some dietary changes to avoid foods contaminated by arsenic. But, by the year's end, I was finally rash free!"