Magnet therapy

Magnet therapy
Energy medicine - edit
NCCAM classifications
  1. Alternative Medical Systems
  2. Mind-Body Intervention
  3. Biologically Based Therapy
  4. Manipulative Methods
  5. Energy Therapy
See also

Magnet therapy, magnetic therapy, or magnotherapy is an alternative medicine practice involving the use of static magnetic fields. Practitioners claim that subjecting certain parts of the body to magnetostatic fields produced by permanent magnets has beneficial health effects. These claims are both physically and biologically implausible and no effects on health or healing have been established.[1][2][3] Although hemoglobin, the blood protein that carries oxygen, is weakly diamagnetic and is repulsed by magnetic fields, the magnets used in magnetic therapy are many orders of magnitude too weak to have any measurable effect on blood flow.[4]


Methods of application

 A smooth circular band of magnetite on a finger.
Magnetite ring.

Magnet therapy is the application of the magnetic field of electromagnetic devices or permanent static magnets to the body for purported health benefits. Some practitioners assign different effects based on the orientation of the magnet; under the laws of physics, magnetic poles are symmetric.[5][6] Products include magnetic bracelets and jewelry; magnetic straps for wrists, ankles, knees, and the back; shoe insoles; mattresses; magnetic blankets (blankets with magnets woven into the material); magnetic creams; magnetic supplements;[7] and water that has been "magnetized". Application is usually performed by the patient.[8]

Purported mechanisms of action

Perhaps the most common suggested mechanism is that magnets might improve blood flow in underlying tissues. The field surrounding magnet therapy devices is far too weak and falls off with distance far too quickly to appreciably affect hemoglobin, other blood components, muscle tissue, bones, blood vessels, or organs.[1][9] A 1991 study on humans of static field strengths up to 1 T found no effect on local blood flow.[4][10] Tissue oxygenation is similarly unaffected.[9] Some practitioners claim that the magnets can restore the body's theorized "electromagnetic energy balance", but no such balance is medically recognized. Even in the magnetic fields used in magnetic resonance imaging, which are many times stronger, none of the claimed effects are observed.[11]


Several studies have been conducted in recent years to investigate what, if any, role static magnetic fields may play in health and healing. Unbiased studies of magnetic therapy are problematic, since magnetisation can be easily detected, for instance, by the attraction forces on ferrous (iron-containing) objects; because of this, effective blinding of studies (where neither patients nor assessors know who is receiving treatment versus placebo) is difficult.[12] Incomplete or insufficient blinding tends to exaggerate treatment effects, particularly where any such effects are small.[13] Health claims such as longevity and cancer treatment are implausible and unsupported by any research.[14][9] More mundane health claims, most commonly pain relief, also lack any credible proposed mechanism, and clinical research is not promising.[8][15][16]


Effects of magnet therapy on pain relief beyond non-specific placebo response have not been adequately demonstrated. A 2008 systematic review of magnet therapy for all indications found no evidence of an effect for pain relief, with the possible exception of osteoarthritis.[15] It reported that small sample sizes, inadequate randomization, and difficulty with allocation concealment all tend to bias studies positively and limit the strength of any conclusions. In 2009 the results of a randomized double-blind placebo-controlled crossover trial on the use of magnetic wrist straps (a leather strap with a magnetic insert) for osteoarthritis were published, addressing a gap in the earlier systematic review. This trial showed that magnetic wrist straps are ineffective in the management of pain, stiffness and physical function in osteoarthritis. The authors concluded that "[r]eported benefits are most likely attributable to non-specific placebo effects".[17][18]


These devices are generally considered safe in themselves, though there can be significant financial and opportunity costs to magnet therapy, especially when treatment or diagnosis are avoided or delayed.[8][15][14]


The worldwide magnet therapy industry totals sales of over a billion dollars per year,[14][9] including $300 million dollars per year in the United States alone.[12]

A 2002 U.S. National Science Foundation report on public attitudes and understanding of science noted that magnet therapy is "not at all scientific."[19] A number of vendors make unsupported claims about magnet therapy by using pseudoscientific and new-age language. Such claims are unsupported by the results of scientific and clinical studies.[16]

Legal regulations

Marketing of any therapy as effective treatment for any condition is heavily restricted by law in many jurisdictions unless all such claims are scientifically validated. In the United States, for example, U.S. Food and Drug Administration regulations prohibit marketing any magnet therapy product using medical claims, as such claims are unfounded.[20]

See also


  1. ^ a b Park, Robert L. (2000). Voodoo Science: The Road from Foolishness to Fraud. New York, New York: Oxford University Press. pp. 58–63. ISBN 0-19-513515-6. "Not only are magnetic fields of no value in healing, you might characterize these as "homeopathic" magnetic fields." 
  2. ^ Wanjek, Christopher (2003). Bad Medicine: misconceptions and misuses revealed from distance healing to vitamin O. Hoboken, New Jersey: John Wiley & Sons. pp. 1–253. ISBN 0-471-43499-X. 
  3. ^ National Science Foundation, Division of Resources Statistics (2006-02). Science and Engineering Indicators, 2006. Arlington, VA. Chapter 7. 
  4. ^ a b Stick C; Hinkelmann K, Eggert P, Wendhausen H (1991). "Do strong static magnetic fields in NMR tomography modify tissue perfusion?". Nuklearmedizin 154: 326. 
  5. ^ Rawls, Walter C.; Davis, Albert Belisle (1996). Magnetism and Its Effects on the Living System. Acres U.S.A. ISBN 0-911311-14-9. 
  6. ^ Eccles Nyjon K. "The misery of Restless Legs Syndrome survey". Magnopulse LTD. 
  7. ^ link title Magnets for a Better Life
  8. ^ a b c Singh, Simon; Edzard Ernst (2008-04-08). "Are we being hoodwinked by alternative medicine? Two leading scientists examine the evidence". Daily Mail. Retrieved 2009-08-18. 
  9. ^ a b c d Flamm, Bruce L. (2006-07). "Magnet Therapy: a billion-dollar boondoggle". Skeptical Inquirer (Committee for Skeptical Inquiry). Retrieved 2009-08-18. 
  10. ^ Polk, Charles; Elliot Postow (1996). Handbook of Biological Effects of Electromagnetic Fields. CRC Press. pp. 161. ISBN 0849306418. 
  11. ^ "Safety in Medical Imaging Procedures". 
  12. ^ a b Finegold L, Flamm BL (January 2006). "Magnet therapy". BMJ 332 (7532): 4. doi:10.1136/bmj.332.7532.4. PMC 1325112. PMID 16399710. 
  13. ^ Altman, DG; KF Schulz, D Moher, M Egger, F Davidoff, D Elbourne, PC Gøtzsche, T Lang, CONSORT GROUP (Consolidated Standards of Reporting Trials) (2001-04-17). "The revised CONSORT statement for reporting randomized trials: explanation and elaboration". Annals of Internal Medicine 134 (8): 663–694. PMID 11304107. 
  14. ^ a b c "Magnet therapies 'have no effect'". BBC. 2006-01-06. Retrieved 2009-08-18. 
  15. ^ a b c Pittler, Max H. (2008-03). "Static magnets for reducing pain". Focus on Alternative and Complementary Therapies 13 (1): 5. doi:10.1211/fact.13.1.0003. Retrieved 2009-08-18. 
  16. ^ a b James D. Livingston. "Magnetic Therapy: Plausible Attraction?". Skeptical Inquirer. 
  17. ^ Richmond, S. J.; Brown, S. R.; Campion, P. D.; Porter, A. J. L.; Moffett, J. A. K.; Jackson, D. A.; Featherstone, V. A.; Taylor, A. J. (2009). "Therapeutic effects of magnetic and copper bracelets in osteoarthritis: A randomised placebo-controlled crossover trial☆☆". Complementary Therapies in Medicine 17 (5–6): 249–256. doi:10.1016/j.ctim.2009.07.002. PMID 19942103.  edit
  18. ^ "Copper bracelets and arthritis". NHS Choices. 2009-10-19. Retrieved 2009-11-03. 
  19. ^ National Science Board (2002). Science and Engineering Indicators – 2002. Arlington, Virginia: National Science Foundation. pp. ch. 7. ISBN 978-016066579-0.  "Among all who had heard of [magnet therapy], 14 percent said it was very scientific and another 54 percent said it was sort of scientific. Only 25 percent of those surveyed answered correctly, that is, that it is not at all scientific."
  20. ^ "Magnets". CDRH Consumer Information. Food and Drug Administration. 2000-03-01. Archived from the original on 2008-04-24. Retrieved 2008-05-02. 

External links

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Игры ⚽ Нужна курсовая?

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Therapy — For other uses, see Therapy (disambiguation). Therapy Intervention MeSH D013812 Therapy (in Greek: θεραπεία), or treatment, is the attempted remediation of a health problem, usually fo …   Wikipedia

  • Magnet-assisted transfection — is a transfection method, which uses magnetic force to deliver DNA into target cells. Therefore, nucleic acids are first associated with magnetic nanoparticles. Then, application of magnetic force drives the nucleic acid parcticle complexes… …   Wikipedia

  • therapy generation — n. The generation of people who grew up with, and are comfortable with, using therapy to solve personal problems. Example Citation: Mr. Lorch began therapy at Columbia s campus counseling center. He estimates that he attended a dozen sessions… …   New words

  • Electromagnetic therapy — is a form of alternative medicine which claims to treat disease by applying electromagnetic energy to the body. [cite journal author=Gordon GA |title=Designed electromagnetic pulsed therapy: clinical applications |journal=J. Cell. Physiol.… …   Wikipedia

  • Lipid therapy — Lipid therapy, fat therapy, or theraputic lipovenous injections is a controversial medical technique that entails the injection and expulsion of fats and lipids, which proponents claim can improve cognitive and memory function. The technique… …   Wikipedia

  • Gene therapy — using an Adenovirus vector. A new gene is inserted into an adenovirull. If the treatment is successful, the new gene will make a functional protein. Gene therapy is the insertion, alteration, or removal of genes within an individual s cells and… …   Wikipedia

  • MAST Academy @ Homestead Medical Magnet — is a secondary magnet school located in Homestead, Florida.[1] The school recently opened for the 2010 2011 school year.[2] Its current principal is Greg Zawyer. The acceptance at MAST Academy @ Homestead is done via random selection process. The …   Wikipedia

  • suicide magnet — n. A location such as a bridge or tower where a high number of suicides occur. Example Citation: Golden Gate designer Joseph Strauss declared in 1936 that his creation was practically suicide proof. But Mr. Strauss envisioned guard rails nearly 6 …   New words

  • magnetic therapy — noun A therapeutic treatment using the properties of magnetic fields, eg to increase the permeability of cell walls and to accelerate the healing of fractures • • • Main Entry: ↑magnet …   Useful english dictionary

  • Energy medicine — Spiritual Healing redirects here. For the album by the band Death, see Spiritual Healing (album). Energy medicine edit Acupuncture Energy (esotericism) Energy medicine Polarity therapy Reiki …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”