Frequently Asked Questions regarding Q magnet devices:
The following FAQ`s have been separated into four categories for ease of searching.
How do you use Q magnets?
How do you apply the Q magnets?
Are Q magnets safe?
How do Q magnets work?
How much do they cost?
What are Q magnets?
What is a Q magnet?
The Quadrapolar or Q magnet is a static multipolar magnetic flux generator Class I Medical Device. It consists of four alternating magnetic quadrants or poles within one solid magnetic body. The Q magnet produces steep magnetic field gradients along the boundaries of the four alternating pole quadrants. The Q magnet has a flux plate attached to the top of the device to further increase the field gradient and drive the field deeper into the body to enhance the therapeutic effect and target the deeper nerve structures.
On top of the plate is a durable sticker that displays the orientation arrow and a unique serial number for the medical device. The device is then encased in a hypoallergenic tough acrylic casing.
Seen through a magnet viewer to the left, the boundaries between the four alternating pole quadrants can be observed. The boundaries, seen as lines, represent the dividing point where the field as measured on the surface of the device transitions from one pole to the next. The field gradient makes this steep transition along the entire length of the boundary.
The first Quadrapolar magnets used therapeutically were comprised of four separate bipolar magnets which had to be assembled into one device. The maximally effective region of these devices were at the point of contact of each bipolar magnet. The bottom image of the three to the left shows the four alternating bipolar magnets through a magnet viewer. Although the magnets are in fact touching, looking at the magnetic field it appears they are slightly separated. This is also the dividing point where the magnetic field transitions from one pole to the next.
Q magnets provide a far superior effect as they produce a steeper field gradient along the entire length of inter-pole boundary.
Q magnets were designed to treat acute and chronic and postoperative pain and swelling. Work on the first Quadrapolar magnets was pioneered by Dr Robert Holcomb in 1986. Q magnets are manufactured in Australia and is listed with the Therapeutic Goods Administration as a Class I Medical Device AUSTR # 132324.
What are the different Q magnet models available?
There are 13 available Q magnet models to choose from. See the Q magnet product page for more information.
It is relevant to note that for magnets made of the same material, the larger the magnet, the more intense the magnetic flux density and the stronger and greater penetration of the magnet. All Q magnet models contain some of the highest quality rare earth magnetic material available with a 13,500 Gauss rating.
How are Q magnets different from other magnets advertised in print and TV?
Q magnets are a static magnet field generator. Although the field is static, there is steep variation of the field gradients in three dimensions. If the gradient could be altered by moving the poles apart and increasing the distance between the Q magnet device and its target (for example, a cell under study), the effectiveness gradually diminishes. When the gradient is below threshold amplitude, there is no effect. Many magnetic field therapies on the market are common bipolar magnets (with a north and south pole) and as such do not create a field gradient. Such devices have had little or no effect in cell assays in which Quadrapolar magnets have had substantial biological effects.
Are Q magnets similar to Magna Bloc™ that was sold through Amway distributors?
Magna Bloc™ was built on the same quadrapolar design. Q magnets are the next generation of quadrapolar design in that they combine very strong rare earth neodymium magnets with the latest magnetising techniques to produce a quadrapolar magnet of four alternating quadrants or poles in one round magnetic body. One side of the Q magnet device has a flux shield like a plate, made of high grade magnetic stainless steal adhered to it. This drives the field deeper into the body and insulates the field exposure away from the body. The outer side of the Q magnet has an extremely strong sticker on it that displays the orientation arrow and other information including the Australian ARTG Class I Medical Device number and a unique Serial number for every device. These next generation quadrapolar magnets are smaller and yet much more powerful and penetrate deeper into the body providing a more reliable and greater therapeutic effect such as pain relief.
Are Q magnets similar to magnets sold through Nikken?
Some of Nikken’s magnetic products try to emulate the Quadrapolar technology in producing steep field gradients but do not do it as effectively and hence do not achieve as good a result. Nikken’s magnetic products may also be working on different systems within the body, more research needs to be undertaken. See Nikken comparison.
Is Dr Holcomb involved with Q magnets?
Dr Robert Holcomb invented the first generation Quadrapolar magnetic array for the treatment of pain in 1986 and is not currently involved in the Q magnet product. However physiotherapist Dianne Hermans, the Principal Clinical Educator for Q magnets was extensively trained by Dr Holcomb both in Australia and at Vanderbilt University.
Are there other applications for these devices?
Yes, there are many applications for these devices and those applications are being studied at scientific research facilities in many locations.
I have read that magnetic energy generated by high tension wires is dangerous. Is this device potentially dangerous?
This device is a static magnetic flux generator and does not create alternating or pulsing fields of energy. The years of research done on static magnetic fields have shown them to be safe. There are no known harmful effects caused by static magnetic fields. The Magnetic Resonance Imaging Machine (MRI) is many times more powerful than rare earth static magnets and this has been deemed safe by the FDA. The WHO and the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection released a report in 2009 titled GUIDELINES ON LIMITS OF EXPOSURE TO STATIC MAGNETIC FIELDS which states that static magnetic fields under 2T or 20,000Gauss are safe for humans.
Static magnetic fields are all around each of us in our daily lives, including the earth’s magnetic field. The uses of static magnets are many including those used in cars, machines, advertisements, etc. To date, it is universally accepted that static magnetic fields do not pose a threat to anyone's health or safety.
Magnetic fields generated by high tension wires are alternating pulsing fields caused by AC electrical currents. These alternating fields could cause a potential health risk. There is a lot of controversy surrounding these fields. Many scientists have linked diseases from exposure to these fields but the results of the research is not universally accepted.
Nearly all metal implants are made from titanium. Titanium is a paramagnetic material and as such has negligible interaction with magnetic fields. As an example, titanium implants are safe for use in MRI machines which generate strong magnetic fields from large superconducting electromagnets that are many times stronger than Q magnets. If you are unsure, check with your doctor that your implant is in fact titanium or some other paramagnetic material and you will have no concerns with using Q magnets over them.
What makes the Q magnets different from other magnetic devices on the market today?
This device is a magnetic flux generator and other magnetic devices on the market are magnets. Magnets throughout history have been used to treat various ailments, but it has not been demonstrated or proven until recently that a device using magnetic energy has been as effective and consistent as the Q magnet device.
How do you use Qmagnets?
How do I know which Q magnet to use?
The best Q magnet to use for an application is dependent on three criteria in the following priority:
a) The depth of the nerve from the surface at the skin.
b) The size of the nerve you are seeking to block the pain signal.
c) The comfort factor of wearing a device on a certain part of the body.
If the nerve you are seeking to have an effect on is for example, the sciatic nerve (runs through the buttocks and down the back of the leg), then since it is a relatively deep and large nerve, it would be best to use the QF28-6 or a small person may use a QF28-3 model. It is recommended to use at least the QF28-3 model over the dorsal column (spine).
If it is a nerve near the hand such as a radial nerve you would likely use the QF20-2, as these nerves are relatively small and close to the surface. The other factor is that the smaller devices such as the QF20-2 or the Q6-1.5 may be more comfortable in places such as the wrist and arm.
Is the EquineQ model just for horses?
Can anyone treat his or her self?
The answer is yes, if the directions are followed carefully. However, success depends entirely upon correct placement of the Q magnet. Failure could easily reflect poor placement rather than ineffectiveness.
It is likely that more complicated pain syndromes will require evaluation and correct diagnosis by a physician, physiotherapist or skilled health care provider before treatment. Correct diagnosis and treatment by skilled health practitioners in the use of Q magnets will likely produce beneficial results in the majority of cases. Medical doctors may also combine the use of Q magnets with pharmaceutical agents to great benefit.
So while someone may be able to treat themselves successfully, failure does not necessarily mean the Q magnets cannot be made to work under the proper circumstances. Importantly, because no significant side effects of Q magnets have been identified, individuals can try to treat themselves safely before seeking further expert attention. It is recommended, however, that individuals not use a trial of Q magnets as an excuse to put off seeking expert attention for the treatment of a significant medical problem.
Since the placement of Q magnets is critical to its efficacy, how does one find the specific placement?
The simplest principle is to place the Q magnets over the area of tenderness. However, use of multiple devices may be necessary to gain adequate pain control and the basis for positioning may not be obvious. Clinical experience has shown to place multiple devices along neural pathways proximal the affected site.
This depends on accurate knowledge of neurological localization. For example, the pain of a wasp sting or of tendonitis due to tennis elbow may respond to placement directly over the tender spots. However, the pain of radiculopathy lancinating into the heels may respond to placement of several Q magnet devices over the paraspinous region of the point of entry of the S1 root.
Some physicians have achieved success in treating patients with reflex sympathetic dystrophy by placing Q magnets over the superior cervical ganglion and over the paraspinous regions of entry of roots from the affected limb into the spinal canal. Thus, the therapy must be tailored to the specific problem and to the individual.
For Q magnet placement protocols, click on the Body Map.
Placement of Q magnet devices over acupressure points on the wrist may avert nausea of chemotherapy or surgical anesthesia. Thus, interfering with neural traffic along the referral patterns may dictate the points of localization of Q magnet devices. The optimal use of multiple Q magnet devices requires a willingness to use careful neurological localization and even paradigms of acupressure and acupuncture. With regard to the latter, there is much still to learn. However, the reported efficacy of these ancient techniques should not go unnoticed.
Are there any side effects?
There have been no known side effects reported with the use of the Q magnet device. However, on occasion, it has been known to cause dizziness if used over the carotid artery in the neck. The dizziness will stop when the device is removed.
Magnetic devices can not be used near a pacemaker or an implanted defibrillator.
If I use the devices all the time, will I become dependent on them?
The Q magnet devices do not cause dependency like narcotics or other analgesics. You may remove them at any time without any negative effects. If you remove the devices, your painful condition may return. If you experience severe or chronic pain, and the devices seem to relieve this pain, it is possible that it may be necessary to wear the devices for an indefinite time.
If the Q magnet device stops working, what does that mean?
The device will work indefinitely if properly placed. If the device is in the proper location and being used as directed, and the discomfort returns, check the placement of the device first. Many times a very small shift in position will alter the effect. Also, be certain to take care of the devices since magnetic devices are damaged if dropped or exposed to high temperatures. Never leave the devices in a car, especially during hot summer months. The prolonged exposure to heat will damage the devices. They can be damaged if dropped on a hard surface.
It has also been observed that Q magnets can loose their effectiveness while the user is suffering from a high temperature fever.
Can a Q magnet erase video tapes and computer discs?
Yes, any magnetic product will erase video tapes and computer discs. The Q magnet device has an internalized field. In order for the device to erase a tape or disc, the device needs to come in direct or very close contact with the item.
Can I use my computer while I am wearing Q magnet?
Yes, you may wear the devices while using your computer. If you are wearing the devices on your wrist, be careful when removing discs from your computer and not let the device come in direct contact with the computer disc. Never set the computer disc down where you may rest an arm or wrist that has the device in place. It is always preferable to avoid an accident that may result in lost data.
Can I wear Q magnets when I am pregnant?
Q magnet devices have not been tested on pregnant women. We advise consulting your physician when using any device or medication while you are pregnant.
I have more pain when I am wearing the device, what does that mean?
A person may complain of pain that has changed and/or the pain seems more severe when wearing the device. This is a rare occurrence and we advise removal of the devices for a period of time. If you wish to try again, be certain that the placement is done according to the directions and the orientation markers on all the devices are facing the same direction.
When does the Q magnet quit working?
Q magnets will always work provided they have not been damaged and are in the proper location. If the device is placed improperly or receives a severe shock damaging the generator, the device will not produce the relief it was designed to give. Also, if it has been exposed to high temperatures for a prolonged period of time, damage will occur and the device will lose its effectiveness. Always be certain to check placement of the device first and consult the directions for use.
If my dog or horse suffers from chronic pain, will the Q magnet help?
It is possible that the devices may help your pet, but it is imperative that care is taken to secure the device on your pet and to place the device in the correct location for maximum benefit. If you have any questions regarding treatment of your pet, consult your veterinarian.
Since these devices are magnetic, when should I be extra careful using them?
The devices will stick to metal. If you are wearing a device on a wrist or an arm and move a pan off the stove, the device may stick to the pan and could potentially cause an injury. It is important to use extreme caution if the cookware is attracted to magnets.
Also, it is imperative to keep the devices from coming in contact with someone's pacemaker or internal defibrillator. Direct or very close contact of the Q magnet device to the pacemaker or defibrillator could cause a malfunction to occur that may be life threatening. Please consult your physician if you have questions about potential risks.
The devices will stick to a chair if the chair is made of iron. Be certain to use care and not expose the devices to computer discs or video tapes. Always use caution when using magnets while piloting a plane.
I am allergic to all metals, can I still wear the Q magnet devices?
Q magnets come in two different metal plattings, silver and gold. Choose the one you are least likely to have a reaction to, if a reaction does occur there are a number of things you can do. The first is to coat the metal side that would normally rest against your skin with a sealant such as a nail polish or a strong varnish/sealant. Another would be to tape over the device.
Can I wear too many of these devices at one time?
Yes. The Q magnet is a device that should be placed in the proper position following all directions for its use. Placing the devices too close together or using too many and not aligning them properly may cause the fields to interact, thereby causing the devices to be less effective. Be certain to read all instructions on placement to gain maximum benefit.
Can I travel on planes while wearing the Q magnet devices?
Yes, people fly every day with the devices in place and they do not seem to set off the security screens at airports while wearing them. It is important to note that magnets stored in luggage on airplanes may be prohibited by some airlines. Always check with your airline about the rules regarding magnets being stored in luggage.
Why are there arrows on the Q magnet devices?
The devices all need to point up towards the head of the person wearing the devices and therefore in the same direction. Otherwise the magnetic fields they generate will interfere with each other and the device will not perform optimally.
How do I apply the Q magnet device?
The Q magnet device is easy to apply with sports tape such as Fixomull™ or Hyperfix™, double stick adhesive such as QFixPro or for the MiniQ use QFixMini plasters. You may also get creative with your application by using sport type bandages and braces for knees, backs, elbows, elastic bandages, headbands or your own creation using Velcro secured materials.
Which side of the magnet do I apply to the skin?
The sticker with the plate should always be facing away from the body so you can see the orientation arrow when applying to the skin. A Q magnet is a Quadrapolar magnet with a flux plate attached to one side and a model and information sticker attached to the plate. The purpose of the flux plate is to deflect the magnetic field so that it penetrates deeper into the body. The flux plate also provides a barrier or insulation so the outside of the magnet is less likely to stick to metal objects.
When I use tape I develop a skin irritation, what can I do to prevent this?
There are products on the market that act as protective barriers between the skin and the tape. One such product is called Skin Prep™. This creates a barrier that is a clear coating that dries fast and can not be detected. It is applied prior to tape being placed on the skin. The product is available in an aerosol spray, pump bottle or a small pad similar to an alcohol swab. When used faithfully, this will help protect your skin from the irritation that is so common with frequent use of tape.
I have very sensitive skin and all tape seems to cause me problems, what can I do?
Many people complain of tape sensitivity and have tried a protective barrier product and still have problems. Pure Vitamin E is a great treatment for skin irritation. If Vitamin E is applied to the skin each time the devices are changed, it will lesson the irritation and help the lesions heal. Also, it is important to find other ways of applying the devices to your skin without using tape by experimenting with elastic bandages, elastic supports, headbands, wristbands, etc.
Can I take a bath or shower wearing the Q magnet devices?
Yes, Q magnets are coated in either silver or gold and the flux plate is a high grade magnetic stainless steel so they are waterproof and resistant to rusting. If your bathtub is porcelain, the devices may stick to the sides of the tub due to the metal underneath the porcelain. If that occurs, you may need to remove the devices before you bathe.
How do Q magnets work?
Precise details of the molecular mechanism of biological effects of Qmagnets are still under investigation. Extensive investigation since 1986 suggests that steep variation of the field gradient in the area encompassed by the four magnetic poles of the Q magnet may alter the configuration of ion channels and change the permeability or neuronal cell membranes to sodium and calcium ions. This results in suppressing transmission of painful impulses to the brain. Other actions are under investigation, including effects on enzyme kinetics and membrane lipids.
See the How Q magnets work page for more scientific information.
What is the mechanism of action?
The precise molecular mechanism of action has not been completely established. Simultaneous blockade of voltage-sensitive sodium dependent action potentials and ligand-activated calcium responses of cultured neurons are consistent with an effect of the Quadrapolar generated magnetic field on gating dipoles within the transmembrane portions of the ion channel sequences. The effects in a number of biological systems, including cultured cells and animal models, suggest that there may be multiple simultaneous mechanisms of action.
What is the “Sweet Spot” of the Q magnet?
The “Sweet Spot” is the area of the magnet that has the physiologic effect. This is the maximum effective area where the Q magnet generates the steep field gradient at the boundary between the four + and – poles. The larger the Q magnet, the further it penetrates and the larger the “Sweet Spot” and the larger the nerve that can be affected. The smaller the Q magnet, the smaller the “Sweet Spot” and the more accurate it has to be placed to be positioned over the nerve.
Do Q magnet devices mask pain?
No. Q magnets will not anesthetize an area like the drug lidocaine. If the pain is C-Fibre mediated, the device suppresses the abnormal firing and the pain is relieved.
What is an Action Potential?
An Action Potential is transmitted along nerve fibres and is the basic unit of pain signal that transmits to the brain. The Resting Membrane Potential (measured in mV) is the measured potential difference across a cell membrane of a sensory neuron or nerve cell. A variety of cellular permeable ions such as Na+, Ca++, K+ and Cl- will attempt to drive the membrane potential towards its electrochemical equilibrium. Once the membrane potential reaches the Threshold Potential, an Action Potential is inevitable, unless the nerve cell is being exposed to a steep magnetic field such as that produced by the Q magnet. An Action Potential consists of a rapid Depolarisation (membrane potential becomes less –ve) followed by a Repolarisation (membrane potential becomes less +ve).
Is the effect of the Quadrapolar magnetic field temperature dependant?
Under certain experimental conditions, cooling cultured neurons to 30ºC or less prevents the effects of the field produced by Q magnets. It has also been found that Q magnets loose their effectiveness on individuals with a fever running a high temperature.
What is a placebo effect?
Many effects of a device or medication may only be perceived, and if the relief is short lived or can not be sustained, then the effect is placebo. A placebo effect may occur with any treatment. Clinical trials are usually double blinded placebo controlled studies to see the effectiveness of a new drug or device. When a device or medication is tested against a placebo, the real effect of the device or medication is measured. With any treatment, a person may experience relief that is very short in duration. If a positive effect of a treatment can not be duplicated or sustained, it may be a placebo effect.
Most treatments for pain have a very high placebo effect. Could the effect of the Q magnet be a placebo?
The treatment of pain with magnetic treatment devices and with pharmaceuticals involve placebo effects. Placebo effects have been a great confounder and a substantial component of pain relief in placebo controlled studies of pharmaceuticals. Control studies have shown that the efficacy of Quadrapolar magnetic devices is greater than that of placebo devices in those studies. Thus, the pain relief by Quadrapolar magnets can only partly be accounted for by placebo effects.
I feel a warming sensation when I first apply the Q magnet to my skin. What is happening?
It is known that magnets of all types may cause dilatation of the small peripheral blood vessels at the location of placement assumes this increases blood flow causing a warming sensation. A Q magnet may have this same warming effect.