Magnetic therapy, also called magnetic field therapy and bioenergy therapy, is an alternative therapy that uses magnets of varying sizes and strengths that are placed on the body to relieve pain and treat disease.
Thin metal magnets are attached to the body alone or in groups. They can be worn as bracelets or necklaces, attached to adhesive patches to hold in place, placed in bands or belts to be wrapped around the wrist, elbow, knee, ankle, foot, waist, or lower back. Also available are magnetic insoles, blankets, and slumber pads.
These magnets may be worn for just a few minutes or for weeks, depending on the condition being treated and the practitioner. Proponents state the magnetic fields produced from the negative pole of the magnet have healing powers. Negative magnetic fields are thought to stimulate metabolism, increase the amount of oxygen available to cells, and create a less acidic environment within the body. Conditions diagnosed or treated include arthritis, cancer, circulatory disorders, diabetic neuropathy (nerve disease), fibromyalgia, HIV/AIDS, immune dysfunction, infection, inflammation, insomnia, multiple sclerosis, muscle pain, neuropathy, pain, rheumatoid arthritis, sciatica, stress and to increase energy and prolong life. Although there are anecdotal reports of healing with magnetic therapy, available scientific evidence does not support these claims. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) considers magnets harmless and of no use for medical purposes.