Detection of the second harmonic response of magnetic nanostructures to an ac current is shown to be a very sensitive probe of the magnetization reversal process. A temperature oscillation is obtained by Joule heating instead of using a laser as the heat source, as in thermo-galvanic voltage measurements (TGV). Joule heating is used to produce a large local temperature gradient in asymmetric Co/Cu/Co spin valves. Evidence is found for an effect of a heat current on magnetization.