Magnet Therapy Continues

Magnet Therapy Continues

It sounds like another snake oil salesman tactic promising all sorts of health benefits that never seem to pan out. Magnet therapy had a boom in the 1970’s and 1990’s convincing people that it would ail their woes. However, it seemed to dwindle in popularity once a barrage of quack watch whistle blowers got their fangs into it.

Today, magnet therapy seems like what it probably should have become in the beginning, an inconspicuous health remedy that offers significant results to those who give it a chance without a prior, skewed, skeptical eye.

Solely based on observational studies, magnet therapy has found a place in some people’s medicine cabinet with numerous users citing pain relief. Surely if placebo effect comes to mind you wouldn’t be too far off however a majority of conventional and traditional remedies could also be linked to mind over matter. Interestingly, the placebo effect is currently being considered as a valid healing application. It was found that even those who understand they may be receiving a placebo, still positively respond.

Maybe experiencing magnet therapy for yourself will determine your response.

The Polar Application

The magnets applied for personal use therapy are called static magnets. These have fixed magnetic fields that are available in various strengths called gauss. Made from iron or alloy metals, static magnets have a surprising history in human health remedies.

Found in The Yellow Emperor’s Book of Internal Medicine published about 240 AD magnetic stones are cited as being used to heal. According to legend, Cleopatra used a magnetic stone on her forehead while she slept to preserve her youthful appearance. Some speculate that the magnetic stone placed on the forehead stimulates the pineal gland to release melatonin, the important sleep hormone.

Magnets were officially researched by William Gilbert, the court physician to Elizabeth I in England 1600 who wrote that lodestones (magnetized stones) could be “beneficial in many diseases of the human system”.

Under the Scope

Studying the effects of magnet therapy, researchers found that smaller trials showed more positive results than large scale studies. The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH) has reported that,

“Preliminary studies looking at different types of pain—such as knee, hip, wrist, foot, back, and pelvic pain—have had mixed results. Some of these studies, including a 2007 clinical trial sponsored by the National Institutes of Health that looked at back pain in a small group of people, have suggested a benefit from using magnets.”

Overall, because there have primarily been more small scale studies with varying results it has been recommended for large scale studies to continue, using stringent protocols for more acceptable data.

However, regardless of speculative reports and citing no solid proof, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center has embraced magnet therapy. Dedicating a full page to the many facets of magnet therapy including brands, uses and mechanism of action it gives one pause to think that this renowned institution may have seen its fair share of magnet therapy success stories.

Sloan explains the possibility of how magnets may affect the body,

“static magnetic fields (SMFs) may alter ion flow, cellular potential, membrane configuration, ion pump activity, or neurotransmitter release. Most of the biological phenomena associated with SMFs may be caused by changes in cellular calcium.”

It goes on to list the variety of “purported uses” of magnet therapy which includes relief from arthritis, circulatory disorders, fibromyalgia, fatigue, inflammation, insomnia, multiple sclerosis, muscle pain, and even HIV/AIDs sufferers.

Everyday Applications

Purchasing magnet therapy devices could be tricky due to the variety, pricing and lack of scrutiny. It is best to start small and do your research and search reviews before committing to more expensive items. The most popular application is a magnet bracelet for carpal tunnel syndrome. There are knee braces, car seat back supports and even mattress toppers which some report a feeling of body tingling upon rising from a slumber on magnets. Even some professional athletes are wearing magnet necklaces to reduce neck pain.


Magnet therapy still remains a mystery even though medical science has deemed any success a placebo effect. Yet, history tells us that magnets have made it through centuries of skepticism and still bring relief to many, particularly to the tune of a billion dollar industry. If you have an ailment and don’t want to succumb to the Big Pharma circus, try magnets and see if pain relief is a result.