Evidence of Magnetic Therapy – Empirical or Elusive?

Magnetic bracelets are an application of Magnetic therapy or Magneto therapy. This comes under the category of complementary and alternative medicine. Advocates of magneto therapy believe that exposure of certain parts of the body to magnetic fields can relieve pains, alleviate muscle fatigue and increase healthful blood circulation. As the case may be, implements of magneto therapy such as magnetic bracelets and magnetic jewellery can be used for specific purposes such healing from injury, or for general purposes such as better energy flow. Some might dismiss this as ‘faith healing’ and if the truth is to be stated, there is no concrete established proof of the effects of magnetic bracelets, but it is a belief among disparate sections of the public and supposedly gives relief.

Several studies have been conducted to validate the health benefits and healing effects of magnetic therapy, in spite of the fact that this could be difficult. It becomes hard because the presence of a magnetic field is easily detectible by the participants. When studies are conducted on several participants in which only a few are actually in the purview of a magnetic field and others are not, it is possible to give concrete results. In such surveys, usually even the assessor does not know which respondent is being given magnetic therapy and who is not. But this balance is disrupted mainly due to the fact that the assessors or the participants can check for themselves whether a magnetic field is present or not.

All studies about magnetic therapy used magnetic jewellery to check validity. Usually, magnetic bracelets were used. Some were titanium, some were stainless steel, and some were even copper magnetic bracelets. Each magnetic bracelet that were used in the study was wear by a person who really needed it, sometimes by two at the same time.

In such situations, the ‘placebo effect’ could enter the minds of the respondents and delude their perception, causing them to give unnatural responses which defeat the purpose of the study. But on the whole, practitioners have been able to arrive at one conclusion, i.e. magnetic therapy is more effective when used for general health and well-being rather than for specific ailments.