The most popular legend accounting for the discovery of magnets is that of an elderly Cretan shepherd named Magnes. Legend has it that Magnes was herding his sheep in an area of Northern Greece in a region of Macedonia called Magnesia, about 4,000 years ago. Suddenly the nails in his shoes and the metal tip of his staff became firmly stuck to the large, black rock on which he was standing. To find the source of attraction he dug up the Earth to find lodestones (load = lead or attract). Lodestones contain magnetite, which is an iron oxide that is easily magnetized when it forms. Magnetite is also known as Lodestone. This type of rock was subsequently named magnetite, after either Magnesia or Magnes himself.
Magnets in the form of lodestones were used for healing for centuries the people of India, China, and the eastern Mediterranean basin, as well as Australian aborigines and native Africans. Certain paintings suggest that high priests of ancient Egypt used magnets in some of their religious ceremonies.
Legend has it that Cleopatra, Queen of Egypt, during her reign from 69-30 BC used to wear a magnet stone on her third eye in an attempt to maintain her beauty and delaying aging.
Fast forward to the 19th century and we meet the biggest proponent of magnetic therapy, Dr. C. J. Thacher, whom Collier’s Magazine dubbed “King of the magnetic quacks” (Macklis 1993). The doctor explained that the energy of life came from magnetic force of the Sun and is conducted through the blood, due to its high iron content.
Lakouski in Russia in 1940 treated a few cases of malignant tumors with high frequency (HF) and in the 50s the Japanese Yasuda and Facuda and Americans Bassett and Pilla, diversified their studies to understand the behavior of electromagnetic waves on protein and collagen.
In 1970 the French physicist Fellus, studying the action of high frequency (HF), discovers that electromagnetic waves, raise the electrical potential of the cells, improve the kinetics of enzymes and accelerate the time for repair of tissues and bones.
A mid-twentieth century, interest in magnetic healing increased rapidly in countries like India, Russia and Japan.
The term magnetism was thus coined to explain the phenomenon whereby lodestones attracted iron. Today, after hundreds of years of research we not only know the attractive and repulsive nature of magnets, but also understand MIR scans in the field of medicine, computers chips, television and telephones in electronics and even that certain birds, butterflies and other insects have a magnetic sense of direction.