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Magnetic field therapy uses magnets to maintain health and treat illness.
The human body and the earth naturally produce electric and magnetic fields. Electromagnetic fields also can be technologically produced, such as radio and television waves. Practitioners of magnetic field therapy believe that interactions between the body, the earth, and other electromagnetic fields cause physical and emotional changes in humans. They also believe that the body's electromagnetic field must be in balance to maintain good health.
Practitioners apply magnetic field therapy to the outside of the body. The magnets may be:
Some people use magnet therapy for treating pain, such as foot, back, or joint pain.
Research studies have been done on magnets, but there are not consistent results showing that magnets help with pain relief.footnote 1
Young children and pregnant women should not use magnetic field therapy, because the safety of this therapy is not proved. People who have medical devices or implants with a magnetic field, such as a pacemaker, should not use magnet therapy, because it could interfere with the function of the implant.
Magnet therapy is not thought to have negative side effects or complications when it is combined with conventional medical treatment.
Talk with your doctor about any complementary health practice that you would like to try or are already using. Your doctor can help you manage your health better if he or she knows about all of your health practices.
National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (2008, updated 2013). Magnets. National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health. https://nccih.nih.gov/health/magnet/magnetsforpain.htm. Accessed April 11, 2016.
Other Works Consulted
Murray MT (2013). Osteoarthritis. In JE Pizzorno, MT Murray, eds., Textbook of Natural Medicine, 4th ed., pp. 1651–1661. St. Louis: Elsevier.
Weintraub M, et al. (2008). Complementary and Alternative Medicine for Pain Management. New York: Springer.
Current as ofApril 9, 2019
Author: Healthwise StaffMedical Review: Adam Husney MD - Family MedicineKathleen M. Fairfield MD, MPH, DrPH - Internal Medicine
Current as of:
April 9, 2019
Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine & Kathleen M. Fairfield MD, MPH, DrPH - Internal Medicine
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