This article is from the Alternative Medicine Therapies guide.
Magnet therapy involves the use of a magnetic device placed on or near the body to relieve pain and facilitate healing. The magnetic products on the market today come in many forms. They can be taped to the skin, worn as jewelry or in your shoes, or slept on as pillows and mattresses. Arthritis, insomnia, carpal tunnel syndrome, and headaches are among the long list of ailments for which people have tried magnet therapy. Although no one can say how magnets work, advocates claim that they can have a profound effect on the body, particularly in relieving pain.
The lure of magnets for medicinal purposes is not new. The ancient Greeks believed that lodestones (natural magnetic rocks) had therapeutic powers. In the sixteenth century, Swiss-born alchemist and physician Philippus von Hohenheim, who went by the pseudonym Paracelsus, purportedly used magnets to draw illness from the body. Over the past decade, magnet therapy has become increasingly popular, especially among professional athletes who use it for aches and pains. Even so, magnet therapy remains controversial. Scientists have only recently begun the well-designed research needed to persuade most mainstream doctors to add magnets to their medicinal arsenals.