If a person can feel magnetic fields does that mean they have electromagnetic hypersensitivity?

I want to know cause I have a reletive who can feel magnetic fields from magnets.

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iceng5 years ago
Most people who can feel small magnetic fields can help narrow down
where on their body they are most sensitive.
A lady friend of mine found the spot was above her right kneecap.
Where is your relative's area ?

The creatures that are sensitive usually maintain a natural magnetic
substance at a nerve site that feels the movement or orientation
caused by a localized EMF field.


I can feel magnetism with my entire body. Easiest to do it with my hands as I can easily move them around to feel more localized magnetic fields such as from a computer or low power magnet. However for less localized magnetic fields such as the earth's magnetic field it is easiest to feel with my body. In blind self-tests picking a direction and rotating my body to that, I am within 10 degrees of the actual every time; south is what I feel, so if I feel the ache/pressure/pain on my back, I'm facing north.

I read once that unoxidized red blood cells are affected by a magnetic field. Logically, I assume that what I feel is simply the collective push/pull of the red blood cells on the walls of all of the arteries and veins in my body. My brain ignored this, I guess, until I stimulated this way past normal when I bought some magnet spheres, played with them for an hour, and realized my hands ached weirdly. After using them a couple times, I realized that it was the magnetic field. After a few weeks I had basically trained my brain to not only not ignore this signal, but also represent it as another sense (to add to the ~26 science says we all should have). Likely the increased blood vessel density from capillaries caused this to feel like a feeling in my skin or just under it. I still am not fully sure why I can feel the direction, maybe pressure sensing nerves can sense pressure both towards and away from the skin and my brain can interpret this and pick one as more important. This also explains why I feel it largely on both the close and far side of my hand, for example. Somehow I can also force my brain to pick out signals in a particular direction, like forcing my brain to consider the opposite side as the side with the most feeling, or try to feel a direction with less strength to temporarily lessen the feeling when my body starts to hurt from being in the same orientation for too long. Also I can differentiate between multiple magnets with more than around 40 degrees of separation an alternate between which I'm primarily feeling, again my brain gets the signals but is able to modify it before I feel it.

Compared to the magnetic field from one part of my laptop ~1000µT, MRI machines are 0.5-3T maybe more. That is a 500-3000x increase. More teslas or more time in that field causes more pain. Considering a scan may take a while in some cases, if the feeling increased linearly, the pain would be unbearable.

nerd7473 (author)  alexpoulsen10 months ago

I've learned much since I posted the question 4 years ago. Magnetoception is the term. We all can, to an extent feel electromagnetic fields. I am showing some ability to feel magnetic fields (I suppose it could be due to me paying more attention to my own body). But yes, we can all feel electromagnetic fields, and if we pay attention, consciously percieve them.

Burf iceng5 years ago
I have had a small piece of steel imbedded deep in the heel of my left hand since I was a kid and I can feel a strong magnet when its close to that spot.
Kiteman5 years ago
[citation needed]

Have you properly tested your relative's claims?

Conductor + moving magnet = current. Yes, its entirely possible, but I bet the magnets are very strong.
People inside MRI scanners (the most powerful magnets non-scientists will ever encounter) cannot feel the field (I've checked).

I just took my first mri scan to see if i have crohns today. i felt the machine doing something to my stomach, like it was a muscle tightening, to pulsating sound (it could be the frequency from the sound, but i doubt that.) from the machine. and when my eyes was closed, my vision was like this pulsating thing. But when my eyes were open, i saw nothing. pretty cool, but then again might be bad. Im not sure if i cant explain this any better. but i am 100% sure i felt the machine and the force it created, specialy around the area being scanned. Wich in this case will be, feeling radio waves, and magnetic force. the guy who was in charge of this mri said, that it could be that the machine triggerd some nerves. So indirectly, he said that you could feel it. Now i feel like a target for goverment science experiments... So, what your saying, is that people can not feel anything from magnetism or radiowaves. I say you're wrong, since i felt it.

I had to sign in to reply to your comment.

Example one, 5 years ago I went to get MRI for my shoulder and upon exiting the machine I asked the tech if it's possible to feel the MRI being done. He asked why and I told him the precise start and stop point of the scans along with in which directions they started and stopped. He was dumbfounded that I could tell.

Example two, fast forward to last July and I had a MRI of my lower back and knee. I told the tech about my previous experience and he told me to tell him if I could when they did my knee. I told him the exact spots he stopped and which direction they had started in. He was getting a kick out of it. We then flipped me around and did my lower back. That where things got even more interesting. My L4 through S1 was getting this incessant heat building (similar to those hot gel you apply for skin) but in the mean time of it building I could still tell how each scan was done. When we finished I told him of the heat in my back and he said it should possible get warm but when he touched my back he was shocked how hot I was was. I was sweating through my lab dressing.

I belive the heat I felt was in a sense conductive charging. I don't feel a shock while getting the MRI. It just feels like when a tear rolls down your cheek or a soft finger glides across your skin. There is a feeling but not a pain.

Thewife Kiteman4 years ago
I came across this page curious, as I had an MRI scan a year ago and could feel the electromagnet as it moved around. I have had a conversation with a Dr in a casual environment who said there was reason to suggest some people could, but not to be confused with magnetic sensitivity (which I don't believe I have). I have been able to 'feel' magnets since I could remember but assumed everyone could until I had an MRI. When I made a flippant comment to a nurse after about it being strong she looked at me like I was mad, which led to me finding out it was unusual!
That's a static field.
Not when you're walking around in it, or being wheeled into it (relative to you, that is)
There ARE magnetic stimulators when all is said and done - used for neural research and diagnostic testing. They can be felt.

It seems perfectly possible to me that a magnetic field might tickle a nerve a tiny bit.
Define "felt" - what the author is talking about is a person waving their hand over magnet and saying they can feel it (ie a tactile, skin-based sensation), what you're talking about now is a strong magnetic field applied relatively directly to specific area of the brain (being aware of an effect).
Of course I'd like to see a double blind trial, but I wouldn't discount the possibility since there are plausible methods of excitation.
(Adds to list of projects for after-school science club.)
Try H Robin Baker's paper from about 1979 AFAIR. He was a lecturer at Manchester Uni, and did a paper on magnetic location in humans, which looked pretty compelling that we CAN sense fields, at least subconsciously.
nerd7473 (author)  steveastrouk5 years ago
JeffM28710 months ago

I get headache and euphoria after handling both ferrite and neodymium magnets these sensations are localized to my head nearest I can figure it I must have high iron content in my blood from being an ex machinist and welder.

iceng JeffM28710 months ago

I think when you handle the magnets you temporarily magnetize some floating elemental paramagnetic debris that clump together and cause blockages that may elicit the sensation you report...

The brain we are told has no pain sensors, yet we can experience crippling head aches...

Vyger mentions an iron rich blood disease called hemochromatosis which is too much iron In the blood... A friend and dive buddy I knew had to monthly bleed himself and occasionally take a transfusion in order to lower his iron content...

Vyger JeffM28710 months ago

There is a specific disease, I can't remember the name, in which the body does not rid itself of extra iron. Sometimes these people first discover the problem when they set off metal detectors. The standard treatment has been to remove blood over a period of time and let the body replace it. In the process of replacing the blood iron is used so it gradually reduces the iron content.

James JP1 year ago

I can feel magnetic fields in my left hand also sense my Girlfriend and in which direction she is with a tingly small vibration in the tips of my fingers. I believe that this can be recreate in anyone. I had a small injury on my wrist and then came in contact with something and it took 3 years to firs feel something unexpected I need to study this so if there is anyone with the same thing mail me about your Nutation. jjpounce@gmail.com . its great I know how to change genetics but do nothing with it come on don't we all dream of superheroes or is it just me that wants to find my Girl in the dark. No jokes I need your help to complete my book. Can you sense something's let me know please. Special JJ =)

Burf5 years ago
I just tested my hand with the piece of imbedded steel in it. Moving a weak magnet like a refrigerator magnet over it caused no sensation that I could detect. However, using a magnet I removed from an old hard disk, I could feel a very slight buzzy sensation near where the steel is imbedded, Mildly reminiscent of the feeling you get when you whack the crazy bone in your elbow. Were I not concentrating on it though, it would likely not be noticed.
I had an MRI on my shoulder less than a year ago and did not notice the sensation in my hand. But I must say, getting an MRI is a lot like being shoved head first into a 55 gallon barrel and having someone whack the barrel repeatedly with a large hammer. I was thinking about a lot of things but my hand wasn't one of them.
Redion Burf5 years ago
"head first into a 55 gallon barrel and having someone whack the barrel repeatedly with a large hammer" - Agreed :-)

Once I saw hospital bring mobile MRI machine which hooks up to the 18 wheeler and I ran compass on my phone and it was going bazerk when I came close to the machine :-)
kelseymh5 years ago
There's no such thing. Resistance is not a signed quantity. If your meter was reporting a negative value, then either you were not using it correctly, or the meter was malfunctioning.
nerd7473 (author)  kelseymh5 years ago
sorry I was wrong I think it was malfunctioning
kelseymh5 years ago
There's no such thing as "negative resistance". Resistance is not a signed quantity when it is measured DC. If your meter was reporting a negative value, then either you were not using your meter correctly, or it was malfunctioning.
lemonie5 years ago
If, then yes that would fit the description of electromagnetic sensitivity. However, the phrase "electromagnetic hypersensitivity" implies that a person is just more sensitive than others.

Put magnets and "identical" bits of metal in sealed-boxes and conduct a randomised double-blind trial....