Magnet therapy

BMJ 2006; 332 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.332.7532.4 (Published 5 January 2006)
Cite this as: BMJ 2006;332:4

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  1. Leonard Finegold, professor (L@drexel.edu),
  2. Bruce L Flamm, clinical professor of obstetrics and gynaecology
  1. Department of Physics, Drexel University, Philadelphia, PA 19014, USA
  2. Kaiser Permanente Medical Center, Riverside, CA 92505, USA

    Extraordinary claims, but no proved benefits

    Magnetic devices that are claimed to be therapeutic include magnetic bracelets, insoles, wrist and knee bands, back and neck braces, and even pillows and mattresses. Their annual sales are estimated at $300m1 (£171m; €252m) in the United States and more than a billion dollars globally.2 They have been advertised to cure a vast array of ills, particularly pain. A Google search for the terms “magnetic + healing” omitting “MRI resonance” yielded well over 20 000 pages, most of which tout healing by magnets. The reader is invited to insert “magnetic healing” into a web browser, and evaluate these spectacular claims.3

    Many “controlled” experiments are suspect because it is difficult to blind subjects to the presence of a magnet. An example is a …

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