Due to the huge popularity of Magnetic Implants/Finger Jewelry we have designed a separate FAQ to answer the many questions we receive about this popular procedure. Please read this entire section before you send us questions about magnetic implants. We have also included some personal experiences with the magnetic implants, plus multiple references of others’ views, both positive and negative. We highly suggest reading all of them and being completely informed about how you choose to modify your body.
If after reading all of this information, you wish to schedule an appointment at our studio in Arizona, please contact us to request an appointment. If you have additional questions not covered here, we are happy to answer them via email. Should you want to discuss additional theories of magnet use, you may schedule an appointment via email and a consulting fee will be applied accordingly.
What’s it for?
While it’s possible to use it for silly bar tricks to pick up paper clips, nails and bottle caps, the primary purpose is to sense electromagnetic fields. It grants you what amounts to a sixth sense, the ability to detect the vibrations emitted by motors and other electrical equipment or in various things that carry magnets. It has been described as “Magnetic Vision.” It can also be useful for those who work in electronics and other fields where sensing EMF would be useful (as well as being able to pick up small objects made of ferrous metals with a single finger). Only ferrous (iron-bearing) metals and magnets will be affected.
How is it done?
The nickel plated magnet is coated in implant-grade silicone via injection in a mold, and then cured. Your finger is placed in ice water for several minutes to numb it for the procedure. A small slice is made in your finger (typically on the side of your ring finger, near the tip). The magnet is inserted, you receive one stitch, and then your finger is bandaged.
How long will it take to heal?
Most people are able to use their finger carefully after 2 days, while still wearing the bandage. Primary healing of the cut takes about a week, and after 7-10 days the stitch is removed. Full healing and encapsulation takes about a month, and we suggest that you do not play with your magnet very much at all during this time while it heals. It will take about six months for the scar tissue to subside and for you to have the full sensitivity.
What if I want to be able to pick up larger objects, or use it for magic tricks?
We now have a larger magnet available for just that purpose, our Magician’s Magnet. This is typically implanted in the palm, but can be placed in other locations as needed. Please contact us if you’d like to set up an appointment to get this implant.
Can I get one in each finger?
You could, but we feel it is unnecessary to do so. Having one or ten magnets won’t change whether or not you feel the magnetic fields. One magnet is usually enough. Some people report that it feels as if their entire hand is sensing the field and not just the one finger. A second magnet in another finger in the same hand may give you a more “3D” sensation when you detect the fields. Some people like to have a magnet in each hand, while others prefer to have a “control” or non-magnetic-sensing hand if they are unsure if the vibration they are sensing is truly an electromagnetic field.
Can I get more than one in a finger?
No. This was tried in early testing and it proved to be unsuccessful, because the magnets are attracted to each other and will crush the skin between them, and as such we will not implant more than one magnet in a single finger.
Why do you recommend the ring finger?
The ring finger is the weakest finger and we place it to the side so not to inhibit pressure of lifting boxes and grasping items.
Can I get it implanted somewhere else besides the finger?
Yes. People have had them implanted on the backs of hands (including Steve himself) or ears, etc. The only thing is that we do not recommend using them to hold anything for a long period of time (anything over 20 minutes) because that will damage the skin over the magnet. We also offer “Lover’s Magnets,” which are pairs of magnets, one implanted in the typical ring finger and another in the back of the hand, aligned to how you typically hold hands, so that when you hold hands your magnets “snap” together.
I’m an modification professional, and I’d like to learn how to implant these magnets.
Steve offers a seminar on how to implant the magnets. He offers them a few times a year in various locations around the country and the world. He can also offer them over Skype if needed. Please contact us for further information.
Will it wipe out credit cards, or affect computers or other electrical equipment?
No. It is a neodymium magnet graded 52 gauss (which is very powerful) but it is still small enough that it won’t wipe anything. Many people have received this implant and none have yet to have a problem with credit cards or computers. Many of them work as musicians, computer technicians, etc, and they do not have any problem with the magnet affecting their equipment. You will likely be able to sense the fields vibrating your magnet, but the magnet is too small to affect your equipment.
What if any effect will it have on implantable defibrillators/pacemakers?
The two have not yet been combined in one body, so we cannot provide a guarantee about something that could potentially affect your medical equipment, however we can’t see there being an issue with it since it’s too small to affect credit cards or other types of equipment.
How many problems will it create with security, since it is not a medical procedure and not removable without being cut out?
We do not personally know of it ever setting off any metal detectors going through the airport. A wand may recognize it, but it’s unlikely they would point it at your finger. Explaining that you were testing a theory of magnetic vision so you have a tiny magnet implanted should clear it up. TSA have been known to be jerks to the modified, so that is a potential risk you will assume if you get this implant. Steve and his assistant travel frequently and their magnets have never been detected in routine screenings, either via standard screening, backscatter or a wand (or if they were, the screener did not bring them up).
What if you have an abnormal magnetic field to begin with? I’m one of those people that drains batteries, breaks watches and cell phones, etc.
It isn’t likely that you would drain this type of magnet. It takes thousands of years to drain a normal magnet and one rated so high as the neodymium magnet is expected to take longer. If this is truly the case with your body then I’m not sure what would happen with the magnet inside you. I’m not sure if you would receive the same response from the magnet as a normal person would. Again, keep in mind that this is an experimental procedure, so we cannot give you any guarantees of performance.
What if I need an MRI?
Originally it was thought that the magnets would always rip out of the skin and attach themselves to the MRI. However, we now know of several people who have the magnets and have gone through MRIs, and this did not happen. One person reported that the magnet just vibrated very strongly. Another person reported that the techs shielded his hand, as they would with someone who had shrapnel or medical implants. Yet another reported that the magnet heated up and vibrated strongly, and the technicians packed their hand with ice to combat the heat. However, there are several different types of MRIs, so we can make no guarantee of what will happen during your MRI, so you must discuss it with the technician. It is likely that they will give you a hard time about it, and may insist that you have it removed before the MRI, so you should be prepared for this and for any possible risks to yourself. It’s also possible that the MRI might demagnetize your magnet, as is always a risk with any strong magnet. Steve himself has two magnets and he has gone through two MRIs with no problem, but we cannot guarantee that will be the experience for everyone.
What if I want to remove it but I have no way to get to Steve?
Removal is as simple as insertion, but should be conducted by a professional. A small slit should do the trick. In any case, should the professional want basic instructions from Steve, feel free to email us with a request and phone number with the best time to reach them.
What is the safety record of the magnets? What about what I’ve read of the silicone breaking down?
Most of the information on the web refers to the early trials done with the first-generation magnets. Those magnets were dip coated, and the bubble shape that caused irregularly covered the pill-shaped magnets. The second generation magnets are evenly coated via injection molding. These magnets have now been in use since 2006, and have not been subject to the same failures. They have now been implanted in over a thousand people. While there have been some rejections as there can be with any implant or piercing, there have not been any reports of breakdown of the silicone coating as was seen in the first generation magnets.
What are my odds of rejection?
On some occasions, usually if it is played with too much during the healing stage, it can reject out of the body like a splinter would push out. If this occurs, we should be able to insert another magnet and it usually takes the second time. Rejection is always a possible risk with any implant or piercing, as your body is doing what it’s supposed to do, repelling a foreign invader, and you should be aware and prepared for this, though the likelihood of it is small.
I’ve heard magnets have healing abilities. Can these magnets heal?
We have heard of cases where having a magnet implants did bring alive what had been considered dead nerves, but there have been no studies to our knowledge to back up this theory, and we can make no claims to this fact.
For more information
Wired Magazine A Sixth Sense for a Wired World
Mind Hacks The Magnetic Sense
BME News So what’s it like having magnetic vision?
YouTube Playing with my magnetic finger implants
BMEZine Encyclopedia Magnetic Implant
NPR Wave of the Future: Magnetic Fingers
Jawish Hameed Two Years With Magnetic Implants